A New FB User Asks Questions of Ella Ward

Last night, a Samantha, a new Facebook user appeared and immediately posted two pointed comments on the Ella Ward for Congress page. She has a large, eclectic group of likes for such a new user, and a beautiful profile picture, for which she credits a friend with a professional camera. Yet she seems to have no friends and no internet presence for such an attractive young lady with friends who have professional cameras.

The mysterious, friendless beauty had two things to say. First, she took issue with the grammar in some of the campaign’s posts.

Who runs your posts? You have horrible grammar and punctuation
on several posts. Yet you support education and want us to invest
in you? Doesn’t add up to me.

Second, she asked about Dr. Ward’s view on sequestration, and said that Randy Forbes has been clear about his views.

The comment about grammar contains at least three grammatical errors, but it can still be answered. Dr. Ward’s campaign team is a group of dedicated volunteers, and is not a staff of polished professionals. The campaign’s earliest posts were, indeed, filled with errors, but the cause of that problem has been fixed. I don’t believe there are any recent mistakes worthy of any fuss, but if there are, they reflect the roughness of Ella Ward’s grass-roots campaign team, and not any deficiency on the part of Dr. Ward herself. I ask those who vote on grammar not to hold it against her. Dr. Ward supports funding for public education and wants to improve early educational programs and job training programs. That fact is unchanged by any amount of poorly written Facebook posts.

The mysterious user hasn’t posted anything about Randy Forbes’s grammar, despite gems like:

Just arrived at the Romney 2012 rally in Chesapeake. Lamar is with Governor Romney and does a great job!

but since Randy Forbes doesn’t support public education, I suppose his writing is in keeping with his views.

Randy Forbes is one of the few Republicans who manages to stay on message about defense cuts. Unlike Americans for Tax Reform and Cross Roads GPS, who have been calling me several times a day, and other Republican politicians, Congressman Forbes remembers to mix his Keynesian hypocrisy with alarmist warnings about losses of defense capability. But the warnings can’t hide the fact that Forbes and other Republicans know that government spending does create jobs. If the sequestration results in nothing more than the closing of unnecessary commands, like JFCOM, and the reduction of the manufacture of unwanted assets, like the M1 tank, than it will result in no loss of military capabilities. We may actually be safer if the military is forced to make decisions based on defense necessities without being distracted by the requirement to distribute tax dollars to influential state politicians and defense companies. But the sequester will result in the loss of military jobs. Fortunately, those jobs can be replaced by government spending in other areas, such as transportation, scientific research, and of course, education. The problem with such spending is it gives too much advantage to the disadvantaged. With public transportation, poor in a city can compete for more jobs. With universal broadband, poor in the country have greater access to information. It’s counterproductive for Mr. Forbes and his peers to support such forms of spending. It’s better for them that we build tanks.

If Congressman Forbes is concerned about military capabilities, it isn’t his biggest concern. Congressman Forbes voted against sequestration but was just as unwilling to compromise on tax cuts for the wealthy as those Republicans who voted for it. He may have been clear about where he stood, but clearly, he has higher priorities.

I sent a friend request to the new user. I await her response.

Ella Ward Emphasises Jobs & Education (They Go Together), Women’s Rights, and Supporting our Military and Veterans

Dr. Ella Ward spoke in a crowded restaurant at her pancake breakfast this Saturday, and emphasized three reasons why “You need to pick Ella Ward for Congress”.

1) Jobs and Education – “They go together”. Dr. Ward believes that supporting education and allowing educators to teach critical thinking skills, rather than cutting education funding and vilifying teachers, is an integral part of the strategy to bring jobs to America.

2) Woman’s Rights. Ella Ward wants to ensure that equal work is rewarded with equal pay, and believes that women should be able make their own decisions about their own bodies.

3) Protecting the Military and Veterans. “When they come home we have to make sure they are equipped with what they need to transition to civilian life.”

A common aspect of the second and third items is the Affordable Care Act, which covers vital services for women and enhances coverage our nations veterans, while not taking away coverage that veterans already have.

The breakfast was held at the Gourmet Breakfast Place on Old George Washington Highway in Chesapeake. Ella graciously thanked her host and her campaign volunteers for what turned out to be a successful and upbeat event.

Ella Ward Addressing Attendees at Restaurant Event

The Mean Spirited Motive behind Education Vouchers

In a response to an NRO article slamming President Obama for cutting an experimental voucher program in favor if increased funding for public schools, I wrote,

If I’m wrong, I’m open to someone explaining why. But I don’t see how it’s surprising that taking a sample of low income students out of their local public schools and putting them into private schools can provide any useful information. Of course they’ll do better. But if we expand a voucher program to all students then private schools will simply raise their prices, and the vouchers won’t be enough to cover the new tuitions. Rich kids will still go to the best schools and poor kids will still go to the worst, except that we will have defunded public schools to such a point that those students who can’t get into private schools will be even worse off than they are now. So the only effect I can image vouchers having is increasing education inequality.

My contrite opening is my way of admitting that I haven’t studied this issue. I haven’t yet seen the replies from NRO readers, which I imagine will include insults to my intelligence, morality, and sexual prowess, but as things stand now I don’t see how my logic can be flawed.

I don’t even know how this can be researched since, as I said, the results of any test program won’t reflect the results of handing vouchers to the public on a larger scale.

I also don’t understand any mechanism which makes private schools better than our constantly derided public schools other than the fact that private schools have more money. Free market principles still apply when government competes with private institutions. If two similar jobs offer similar benefits than they will each attract similar applicants. Right wing rhetoric suggests that public school teachers are overcompensated, but if that were true, then the best teachers would all be at public schools and the worst would be forced to settle for jobs at private schools.

The only factor left out of the above dynamic is that some very good teachers take jobs at public schools because they want to make a difference for students who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance at a decent education. Those wonderful teachers help compensate for the disparity between public and private education, but they can’t completely overcome the difference or else nobody would ever pay for private school.

I don’t how it’s possible that public school teachers are overcompensated or, if they are, that they’re not the best teachers on earth. And I don’t see how attacking public schools can be anything other than a mean spirited effort to prevent income mobility and to ensure that children of wealthy families don’t have to worry about children of poor families coming up from behind and changing the generational dynamic of inequality.

Books.  (this picture is illustrative, not informative)