Saturday, September 25, 2010

How to waste $100 million...

Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, announced that he was going to donate $100 million to help improve the public schools in Newark, New Jersey.

He would have been better off if he would have announced a series of 100 prizes worth $1 million to those individuals who come up with the best ideas for improving Facebook. Or, he could have spent the $100 million hiring more employees to monitor abuses of the Facebook service. Or, he could have thrown $100 million out of the window of his moving vehicle and assumed the people who picked it up would put it back into the economy.

Yet he chose to do one of the dumbest things a human being could do with $100 or $100 million.

Will $100 million:

a. Cause lousy parents in Newark to suddenly get involved in their childs' education or help them with homework or encourage them to read to their kids?
b. Cause poorly qualified teachers to magically become experts in their field of study?
c. Cause the teachers union in Newark to lose the power to protect bad teachers?
d. Cause tenure to go away in Newark?
e. Cause Newark to open up all school districts to competition, allowing any kid to go to any school he or she desires?
f. Cause the schools to adopt 1950s era punishment for unruly, disrespectful students?
g. Cause the IQ of the students in Newark to increase?

I wish Mr. Zuckerberg would reconsider. All he has accomplished is a net reduction of his wealth with nothing to show for it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thoughts on Quran burning and Mosque building

If liberty is truly valuable to you then you must allow others to use their liberty to do things that you might find offensive - so long at their behavior does not violate the rights of others.
This silly pastor in Gainesville has as much right to do something stupid as Muslims in New York have the right to do something that might be offensive.

It really does not matter what we think about a mosque being built in the shadow of 'Ground Zero'. The people who lost their lives nine years ago do not have an opinion on the matter any more than those who are upset about the mosque have any right to use government to stop its construction. If the folks who are proposing this building have paid for the land, labor and materials to build it, then so be it. That is the end of the story....IF....we truly believe in the idea of liberty. To force them to go somewhere else would simply show that Americans are hypocrites and that all that we say we have been fighting against the last nine years would be for naught.
I would be upset if I saw some nut burning the Bible in Iran - or Illinois. Yet, I only have an interest in seeing the Bible treated with respect, not a right to see it treated with respect.

If a book gets burned in America, so be it. So long as the pastor did not steal the matches or force someone else to assist him, we, as liberty-lovers are obligated to stand back, shake our heads over the foolishness of the man, and then let him proceed.

I would hope that Muslims and Christians living in America would see these events as an opportunity to do what we are supposed to do - leave each other alone.