Shifting Sands - Signs and Portents

Friday, June 09, 2006
Barring a catastrophe, this will be the last Shifting Sands for a while. I find the turnout and results of the California primary a sufficient rationale for entering into hiatus. E. J. Dionne provides some insight as to why this is a wise decision. Dionne is a well respected (by progressives, at any rate) progressive voice. That he misses the glaringly obvious is, therefore, completely unsurprising - and completely satisfactory.

Total turnout based upon the total vote on Proposition 82 of 4.1M (total vote for all candidates in the gubernatorial primary was 3.74M) was 26%. That's the lowest in California history. While California is no bellweather in terms of which party will predominate in a national election the general apathy shown by the voters is a very good indication that only the faithful will be showing up in November.

Rather than sacrifice millions of pixels on a no change election I think that my time would be better spent on looking at the means by which nongovernmental agencies are seeking to make societal changes. So, rather than paying any attention to the futility of the Kossacks in Las Vegas, I'll be watching this convention in Greensboro. There is going to be an interesting debate on the establishment of many more private schools. Given the financial muscle that the SBC is capable of bringing to bear upon a specific situation, the outcome will be much more important than anything that might occurr in Vegas.

If you're wondering what in the world I'm talking about when referring to SBC muscle - it was (and still is) the impetus to what has become known as the evangelical movement - the real "base".


David Thomson said...

I continue to maintain that the Republicans will hold onto both houses of congress. Nothing earth shattering will likely occur in November.

JB said...

Keep us updated, Rick. This could be an extremely important long-term development.

Skookumchuk said...

Rick, are you talking more universities and colleges or primary and secondary schools? Here's hoping you guys build some of the latter in the Hispanic communities like crazy. Hispanics are actually quite unreceptive to PC in schools and were among the most vociferious opponents of bilingual education in California, a stance that our MSM has quietly swept under the rug. Something to consider.

Rick Ballard said...


I'm an evangelical but not a Baptist. Should the resolution pass - something that is not at all certain - then it's initial thrust is summed up as an "exit strategy from the public schools that would give particular attention to the needs of orphans, single parents, and the disadvantaged" which appears to encompass a rather wide spectrum.

It's definitely an outreach ministry because the SBC's base in the south does not lack for private schools with a religious bent.

If it does pass, I intend to make contact with the steering committee to get an idea of what and where the initial focus will be.

I know the economics involved fairly well having developed a business plan for a pre-school/elementary for my own church (it's now in the county permitting process). Private schools are very viable in any community with even moderate church attendance.

Thanks to our court system and the ACLU.

Buddy Larsen said...

I'd love to see the non-government school sector develop some investment vehicles--

Buddy Larsen said...

Seling debt would be preferable to selling equity, I'd think--

Rick Ballard said...


Money isn't really an issue. Find a landowner who will do a lease purchase, start with leased modulars and it's positive cash flow from day one.

I'm unsure as to why more churches don't already do this but I'm sure that one factor is the difficulty in bringing a team together without a model to study and follow. Any church of 200 or more members probably has the necessary skill set on tap. That's why the possibility that SBC will take this up is so interesting. It's an organizational issue as much a monetary issue and they have organizational skills in spades.

David Thomson said...

I highly recommend Jay Greene’s book, Education Myths: What Special-Interests Groups Want You to Believe About our Schools--and Why It Isn’t So. The author admirably demolished the arguments against private education. The forward is even written by famed sociologist James Q. Wilson. This work is a must have if one is actively combatting the public school establishment.