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Articles of Interest

Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, Obama on education, tea parties, federal reserve

Who investigates Carol Williams? (James Meier in Kansas Liberty, a subscription service) Does the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission benefit from a catch-22 in the law? “The moment you walk in this door and file a complaint, you are prohibited by law, a class A misdemeanor, of discussing the fact that you walked in here and gave us that complaint.” — Carol Williams, Executive Director, Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. “But what happens when the Ethics Commission doesn’t follow the law? … Who investigates Williams for disclosing investigations to the press? By fining a private citizen for the very same actions she has taken, the Ethics Commission has shown an aptitude for determining when confidentiality has been breached. Should one file a complaint with the commission about the commission? Not if you want to talk to the press about it.”

Obama Echoes Bush on Education Ideas (Education Week) “President Barack Obama campaigned on a message of change, but when it comes to K-12 education, he appears to be walking in the policy footsteps of his recent predecessors, including George W. Bush…. happy at the similarities. .. ‘He is operating almost in a straight line from President Bush,’ said Diane Ravitch, an education historian at New York University … Alfie Kohn… echoes that assessment. ‘This is what passes for quote-unquote reform: an intensification of the status quo that reflects the sensibility of politicians and corporate executives rather than educators.’ The article has excerpts from the last four presidents, showing that little has changed.

Modern-Day Tea Parties Give Taxpayers Chance to Scream for Better Representation (Fox News) Nancy Armstrong, one of the organizers of the Wichita tea party on tax day, was quoted in a story on the Fox News website. “‘This is about the people. This is about what we have to say,’ said Nancy Armstrong, who’s organizing the tea party in Wichita, Kan. Armstrong, who attended one of the parties in northern Kansas in late February, said she’s expecting at least 1,000 people at the local post office in Wichita on April 15.” More coverage of the Wichita tea party is at Wichita tea party.

How Bernanke Staged a Revolution (Washington Post) About Chairman of the Federal Reserve System Ben Bernanke: “This chairman set out to lead as a civil servant rather than a celebrity economist. Facing a thundering financial collapse, he has reinvented the Federal Reserve. Bernanke, 55, has said his academic research, especially about the Great Depression, convinced him that the Fed has no choice but to move forcefully during a financial crisis.” Bernanke is definitely in favor of intervention by the Fed to help fix the current economic crisis. Not all agree this is the right course. See The Great Depression According to Milton Friedman, which concludes: “The Fed’s performance has improved since 1980, but that does not mean it is no longer capable of mistakes that would have devastating consequences for our lives. Friedman’s work should serve as a warning of what can happen when so much power is artificially concentrated in one institution. It is for this reason that it is so vitally important that people today be taught the real story of the Great Depression. Their faith in government institutions might be considerably undermined if they understood what really happened.”

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