Monday, July 29, 2002

Here is a SJ Mercury News sports columnist trashing cycling champ Lance Armstrong. He runs marathons himself, and thinks that marathoners are better athletes. I don't buy it. The top marathon runner in the world is a skinny 125-pound weakling who couldn't beat up the average 14-year-old. The main requirements for long distance running are being small, skinny, very little muscle, and a lot of training and perseverance. I just ran a 10k race in Santa Cruz yesterday, and today my leg muscles ache. So I can understand also that distance runners are well-conditioned for running, and can tolerate a lot of aches. But I wouldn't call them great athletes.

The SJ Mercury News has the worst sports columnists of any newspaper I have read. Their editorial page opinions are no better. Today's attack on school choice says, "It's the rich parents whom Congress and the Supreme Court really meant to reward with vouchers." Nonsense. The plans approved by Congress and the Supreme Court only benefit poor people. The non-poor do not qualify. The column also complains that poor voucher students will only get a choice between their current public schools and with "hastily set up non-denominational warehouse schools". Isn't that better than no choice at all?

School choice attacks tend to argue that the private schools will better, or be worse. Sometimes, as in this SJMN column, both arguments are made at the same time. More likely, of course, is that the public and private schools would become competitive, and some people would like one or the other, based on individual preferences.

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