AirTalk for March 24, 2010

Mercer 6933
The Los Angeles Unified School District receives money from the State for each student attending class in the district but last year over 12,000 students opted to go to schools outside the district resulting in a loss of some $51 million to LAUSD. To recuperate these funds District Superintendent Ray Cortines is asking students to “come home” to LAUSD and is requesting district staff to revise the inter-district transfer policy to limit the number students who can attend schools in other districts. The new policy still allows inter-district permits to kids whose parents work outside the district and to high school seniors but all other requests for transfer will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Parents opposed to the new policy say the district is failing to live up to its promise to provide a wide variety of educational options for students in the district.
Mercer 6935

How to revive capitalism

The world economy finally seems to be rising from the worst calamity since the Great Depression. Matthew Bishop, U.S. business editor of The Economist, has tracked the downfall and has concluded that our political leaders are propping up the economy but failing to make the fundamental changes necessary to fix the weaknesses that lead to the collapse in the first place. In his book, The Road to Ruin, he says the Fed, the Treasury, the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission all watch over the system without any central authority providing coherent regulation. Larry speaks with Bishop about his recommendations for fixing the underlying flaws in the U.S. economy.
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Just minutes after President Barack Obama signed it into law, attorneys general from 13 states sued the feds, saying the health care law is unconstitutional. “The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage,'' the lawsuit says. (A fourteenth state, Virginia, filed a separate suit). The Federal Government has certainly mandated other things, such as a military draft and income tax. So is the constitutional argument valid? And what are the chances of this lawsuit overturning the health care law?
Mercer 6938
Dogs are known for a keen sense of smell, and bats use sound to perceive their surroundings. But the human senses are pretty extraordinary as well, says psychologist Lawrence D. Rosenblum. In "See What I'm Saying," Rosenblum details the science behind the hidden powers of the five senses. He explains how our amazing capacity for perception comes from the human brain's plasticity and ability to integrate information. Human pheromones, for example, can signal a person's romantic compatibility. Also featured in the book are blind mountain bikers who use echolocation to navigate their paths and sommeliers who can pinpoint the grape variety, region, and vintage of wines. And with increased awareness and a little practice, says Rosenblum, everyone can make better use of their senses.
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