It is this archetype, the archetype of a hero, who has noble direction, who has drawn the line, who has sacrificed, who has persevered and confidently overcome obstacles, who possesses the ultimate form of courage, the courage to sacrifice oneself for the lives of those around him and/or for a higher ideal, it is this definition of man that seem to permeate and transcend ALL cultures, societies, and religions around the globe, making it the universal definition of man.

Brian Kim – How to Be a Man

30 most satisfying simple pleasures

So good! Makes me happy just thinking about those things…

1. Sleeping In on a Rainy Day

2. Finding Money You Didn’t Know You Had

3. Making Brief Eye Contact with Someone of the Opposite Sex

4. Skinny Dipping

5. Making the Yellow Light

6. Telling a Funny or Interesting, True Story

7. Seeing a Friend Stumble Over Himself

8. Hearing the Right Song at the Right Moment

9. The First Sip of a Beverage When You’re Thirsty

10. Catching a Glimpse of Bare Skin on the Opposite Sex

11. Saying the Same Thing Simultaneously

12. The Pull-Through Parking Spot

13. Realizing You Have More Time to Sleep

14. People Watching

15. Putting On Clothes Straight from the Dryer

16. A Familiar Smell

17. The Feeling You Get When Your Idea Works

18. Fresh, Clean Bed Sheets

19. A Beautiful View

20. Reminiscing About Old Times with Your Closest Friends

21. Receiving an Unexpected Compliment

22. Having a Good Laugh

23. The Feeling After a Healthy Workout

24. Receiving a Real Letter or Package via Snail Mail

25. The Celebration in the Instant Something Makes Sense

26. Relaxing Outdoors on a Sunny Day

27. Holding Hands with Someone You Love

28. Playing in the Water

29. Making Someone Smile

30. Finishing What You Started

(via scout)

The problem with enforcing federal funding for public schools

I found myself in an unusual position today: on the conservative side of a hot-topic issue – Education. I made a comment about how lower socio-economic status is correlated with lower intelligence, and the student behind me interjected with the fact that this fact is largely because of abysmal public schools in poor neighborhoods.

This student, (I don’t know his name; let’s call him Jon) believed that education is a fundemental right, and therefore public schooling should be of equal quality and completely federally funded. That way, children would equal opportunity to succeed in the future.

While I strongly support equal opportunity, I disagree with his strategy for achieving it. Here’s why.

This country was founded on the principles of LIBERTY and EQUALITY. By mandating federal funding, Jon ignores that first principle. Currently, richer communities can pay normal tax rates but raise more funds and thus improve the quality of their schools. This federal mandate removes those communities abilities to do that, because their money taken away and “reallocated” back with less. Rich people want to protect their freedom to put MORE money into their schools and less taken away to fund other schools.

At the end of the day, people who have more money will find ways of improving their children’s educational experience. Jon mentioned that he was fine with rich people sending their kids to private schools.

But if that’s the case, then the rich will find a way to pay lobbists to change the laws so they no longer have to pay the “educational tax” because they don’t use public schools. This will quickly drain the general pool and drop the funding to public schools, lowering the quality so that everyone who has any money will jump ship to a private school.

This is probably happening already to some extent, but increasing the tax for education will only accelerate this trend.

Consider that health is probably even more fundamental then education, and yet we are the only democratic developed nation without universal health care.

Now I don’t know what the answer is the educational inequality – Teach For America, the Gates Foundation, Consulting firms, Universities and other organizations are all trying to tackle the issue from different sides – training teachers, experimenting with school systems, reorganizing governance programs, improving teaching methods. These are all important and are helping push educational equality along. Is there more we could be doing? Certainly. But I’m pretty sure that having the Fed come into force equal schooling quality will fail.