On Facebook for the past several days, I’ve been counting down my 50 favorite Christmas songs. Coming up with the top 50 songs wasn’t terribly difficult. I’ve identified roughly 375 different contenders, though I’m only familiar with a little more than 200 of them. A good number of the Christmas songs I know were easily disqualified because of the unpleasant visceral reaction they cause.
Ranking the top 50 on the other hand — beyond a few that consistently rise to the top — was a difficult task. Still, there’s a kind of double-edged fun to assembling a list like this one: 1) Comparing and debating the rankings with friends; and 2) The fluid nature of the list, in part because of new songs discovered that upset the balance. If I do this again, the 2013 edition might look somewhat different.
Some of the songs you see below contain video links, either because the song may be less familiar or because it’s a rendition I particularly like. So without further ado, here in descending order is the current list of my 50 favorite Christmas songs: (more…)
The 19th century American individualist Ralph Waldo Emerson once famously declared, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” This coming legislative session might just give teachers union leaders a chance to confront their own hobgoblin — choosing whether to embrace it or banish it far away.
Rumors persist that the American Federation of Teachers wants to inflict legislative revenge on the bold Douglas County school board. In exchange for having their monopoly bargaining status and political dues collection revoked, they apparently are tempted to advance a bill that would impose some sort of bargaining requirement on local school boards. To succumb to the temptation would place their Colorado Education Association (CEA) union counterparts in a bind: How would they look having so stridently defended the principle of local control in the recent past?
The frequent and widespread invocation of “local control” under the Golden Dome has grown into a running gag among education lobbyists and committees. Article IX, Section 15 of the Colorado Constitution grants local school boards “control of instruction of the public schools of their respective districts.” But the clause often grows larger than life, with advocates either clinging to or resisting the argument based on the bill before them. (more…)
Last week, as the honored recipient of the 2012 Kemp Leadership Award, Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio laid out a vision for parent-empowered education reform. On one point especially, Coloradans should take heed.
When a Republican politician speaks competently, compassionately and courageously about real education reform, my ears perk up. When that politician happens to be hailed as one of the GOP’s top contenders for the national ticket in 2016, I also smile optimistically.
Rubio framed the education message in his D.C. award acceptance speech around the goal of opening wide the doors to America’s middle class. A linchpin is his bold proposal to expand educational choice at the federal level in a way that has not really been pursued before: (more…)
Earlier this week I told you that it looked like Right-to-Work legislation was coming to the Big Labor stronghold of Michigan. And has it ever come quickly!
Some of Wisconsin’s early 2011 scenes played out yesterday at the State Capitol, as protestors thronged and chanted favorites like, “A people united will never be defeated!” and “Hey hey, ho ho, Right-to-Work has got to go!”
News outlets report that Michigan State Police arrested eight people trying to break into legislative chambers as the state senate gave preliminary approval to send the workplace freedom measure on to supportive Governor Rick Snyder. (When similar legislation is introduced here in Colorado in 2013, the reaction almost certainly will be much more quiet… and lethal.)
As the legislative process unfolds in Lansing at a rapid pace, Left-leaning media organs like Think Progress repeat one of Big Labor’s favorite anti-Right-to-Work talking points, descriptively suggesting the measure “effectively undermines union activities by allowing non-union workers to free-ride on union-negotiated contracts.” (more…)
When it comes to freedom of association, Colorado workers soon may have good reason to envy their Michigan counterparts. The Washington Times recently reported some developing momentum for a Right-to-Work law in the Great Lakes State:
The possible push in the state Legislature’s lame-duck session has already sparked a battle, as a coalition of about 300 AFL-CIO members as well as a contingent from the state police descended on the Statehouse in Lansing on Thursday to lobby lawmakers against a measure they fear could dramatically limit their influence.
Big Labor is trying to nip the effort to empower non-union workers in the bud, organizing vocal pressure before a bill even has been introduced. Before the recent elections, there was no imminent sign of workplace freedom moving forward.
As the Detroit Free Press notes, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder “has repeatedly said right-to-work is not on his agenda.” But union-backed Proposition 2, a failed statewide initiative that sought to enshrine collective bargaining guarantees in the state constitution, clearly antagonized a reluctant Snyder. (more…)