What is a good teacher? How do you recognize that rare individual? One of the problems Bill and Melinda Gates have had in making grants for education reform through their billion-dollar foundation is that no one seems to know what makes a good teacher. Indeed, Gates stated: “The single most decisive factor in student achievement is excellent teaching.” But no one could tell him what made a good teacher. But since I spent 12 years — 1932 to 1944 — in public schools, I think I have a good idea of what a good teacher is, and I wish to pass on to Bill and Melinda and the coming generation of teachers some of the wisdom I have acquired.
 
 

Hot on the heals of the news that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested that new nations look elsewhere for their constitutional inspiration than to our own founding charter of 1787, there is this headline in the New York Times: “‘We the People’ Loses Appeal With People Around the World.”
 
 

Another brave state legislator has joined the resistance to federal tyranny by defending the constitutional right of states to govern themselves. On February 3, Oklahoma Rep. Charles Key (R-Oklahoma City) offered a bill that would officially request that the Congress of the United States repeal Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Furthermore, the legal effect of those two sections would be void in Oklahoma.
 
 
 
 

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers this week that the government’s borrowing was at “clearly unsustainable” levels, warning that its wild budget deficits increase the possibility of a sudden fiscal crisis which is creeping “ever closer.” The central bank chief also said Washington’s exploding debts would crowd out private-sector investment with damaging consequences for the economy.

 

On the morning of January 11, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a 32-year-old chemist from Sharif University in Tehran, was riding in a Peugeot 405 along Shahid Golnabi Street in eastern Tehran. As his car inched through the morning rush-hour traffic, two men on motorcycles approached Roshan’s vehicle, attached a magnetic bomb to the side of the car, and raced off just before the Peugeot and its prominent passenger were blown to bits. Roshan — who was also deputy director for commercial affairs at Iran’s Natanz nuclear reactor — had just become the latest victim of an apparent covert campaign of assassination targeting high-profile Iranian scientists allegedly involved in the Islamic republic’s controversial nuclear program.

 

A pro-life official with Susan G. Komen for the Cure has resigned her position after the cancer charity was pressured into rescinding its decision to stop funding the abortion giant Planned Parenthood.  In her resignation letter, Komen vice president Karen Handel, whom pro-abortion activists charge was behind the initial decision by the charity to defund Planned Parenthood, said that she was “deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it. I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen’s future and the women we serve.”
 
 

It’s ironic that it is Barack Obama now ramming a contraception policy down Catholics’ and other Americans’ throats. Little more than a month ago, former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos spent 10 minutes in a Republican debate grilling presidential contenders Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney on, of all things, contraception.

Army Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis survived the first invasion into Iraq in 1991. He later left active duty and worked for a Texas senator while serving in the Army Reserves. Called back into active duty, he did a tour in Afghanistan (2005-06, another in Iraq, 2008-09), and back to Afghanistan during 2011. During last year's tour, he was part of the Army's Rapid Equipping Tour that took him into every part of the embattled country and enabled him to have "conversations with 250 soldiers in the field." Back in the U.S., he has just issued a blistering report claiming that, despite the deployment of a force exceeding 100,000, there is a glaring "absence of success on virtually every level." He even witnessed Afghan military personnel "collude with the insurgency."

 

Big Brother is set to adopt a new form of surveillance after a bill passed by Congress will require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to open U.S. airspace to drone flights under a new four-year plan. The bill, which passed the House last week and received bipartisan approval in the Senate on Monday, will convert radar to an air traffic control system based on GPS technology, shifting the country to an age where satellites are central to air traffic control and unmanned drones glide freely throughout U.S. airspace.

 

The latest report from the Calgary (Alberta, Canada) Herald was nothing but good news: The steadily declining production of light oil from 2002 to late 2010 has reversed itself completely and is now not only proving the power and principles of a free market but “will change the way we think about oil, with many weighty consequences…” says blogger Peter Tertzakian. The graph he provided here shows Alberta’s production declining by about 16,000 barrels per day (B/d) every year since 2002, dropping to just over 300,000 B/d in late 2010. Now, thanks to new capital, new technology, and new enthusiasm, production is close to 400,000 B/d. It also “could heighten the blood pressure of a few peak oil theorists,” said Tertzakian.
 
 

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