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From the Mailbag ....

  • Posted on: 31 July 2008
  • By: Roxy

Keeping tabs on the "right", this came in from Human Events

National Polls: The complete lack of movement in the national polls is good news for Sen. John McCain and bad news for Sen. Barack Obama, even as the Democrat continues to hold a modest lead.

1. First, a word of caution: National polls are generally given undue attention in the press. There is no national election, but rather 51 state elections. On that score, our Electoral College count shows a razor-thin Obama lead (273 to 265).

Maintenance Alert!

  • Posted on: 7 June 2008
  • By: Roxy

UPDATE!

Still working on the updates. Ongoing outages are the order of the day.

The site will be going down periodically this weekend as we perform some needed maintenance.

The first outage will be at 2:30 Eastern time.

If you see the "down for maintenance" message check back in a few minutes, as the down time will be short periods.

Americans Love Grass

  • Posted on: 6 June 2008
  • By: Roxy

Acres and acres of the green stuff. Americans love turf ... front yards, back yards, golf courses, fairways, parks ... you name it, if it is more than 4 foot by 4 foot, we will cover it with grass.

Scott Meyer, editor for Organic Gardening, writes in his April 2008 column (page 6):

$10 billion. That's how much homeowners in the United States spent last year on lawn care.

It boggles the mind. $10 billion! on lawns. But there is a dark side to our love of grass ... and not just grass, it has to be lush, bright green and weed free.

Turf Wars

Duct Tape, Child Abuse and Public Education

  • Posted on: 5 June 2008
  • By: Roxy

Yesterday, on CNN, I caught this video . The incident happened in Oakridge, Oregon. Apparently, a teacher used duct tape to tape a 9-year-old boy to his chair. The news story does not tell the teacher's side of the story. The mother, the child and the superintendent are interviewed. The teacher is on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation. The Seattle Times reports the incident here and KMTR here:

Nine-year-old Austin Faile admits he was bored, and says the teacher repeatedly told him to sit down.

[...]

[Becky]Faile says she immediately called an attorney, and the school.

--sigh--

The story resonates with me on a personal level, as I had a similar experience with my son when he was in kindergarten. His teacher not only taped him to his chair, she taped his mouth shut too -- on more than one occasion. Was I horrified or outraged? No. Why? Because I lived with my son and could fully understand that when a teacher has 20+ kids in a class, she doesn't have time to deal with one that is creating havoc.

As a concerned parent, I knew it was my responsibility to discover why my son was exhibiting behavior problems and by the time he was in first grade we had discovered he had dyslexia and a severe muscular coordination problem in his eyes. Once we started dealing with his physical impairments his behavior improved immensely. The International Dyslexia Association estimates that 15%-20% of the population are afflicted with dyslexia.

I don't know that 9-year-old Austin from the news clip has a learning disability, but I do think that it is the parents responsibility to discover why their son is disruptive.

Should the teacher lose her job? Is taping a child to a chair child abuse?

Users or Pushers? Democracy American Style

  • Posted on: 15 May 2008
  • By: Roxy

According to dictionary.com a democracy is:

de·moc·ra·cy /dɪˈmɒkrəsi/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[di-mok-ruh-see]–noun
1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

As far as democracy goes (to quote Jon Stewart) we are "pushers not users".

An ongoing

From the Mailbag: A Passion for Place

  • Posted on: 9 May 2008
  • By: Roxy

*********************************************************
A PASSION FOR PLACE:
New Pamphleteers/New Reporters -- Convening Entrepreneurs
Who Combine Journalism, Democracy, Place and Blogs
June 4-6, 2008 / Univ. of Minneapolis
http://www.newpamphleteers.org
*********************************************************

ACT NOW! AIR FARES ARE RISING FAST.
Discounted registration for "A Passion for Place,"
ends Wednesday, April 16 at 11:59 p.m. EDT

FOR DETAILS:
http://www.newpamphleteers.org
WHO'S EXPECTED:
http://www.mediagiraffe.org/wiki/index.php/Jtm-mn-participants
TO REGISTER:

Chickens Come Home to Roost: Lurita Doan

  • Posted on: 1 May 2008
  • By: Roxy

with avahome

Since its inception in 2005 the members of ePluribus Media have built a large body of published stories on the systemic abuse and corruption generated by the Bush Administration and its Loyal Bushies. Lately, we have been seeing some of these "chickens coming home to roost." Lurita Doan is the latest in the flock that is giving us something to "crow about."

Lurita Doan was nominated by President Bush in April of 2006 to head the Government Service Agency which controls, among other things, the awarding of government contracts and in May of 2006 she was unanimously confirmed. By April of 2007 she was in front of congress doin' some s'plainin' about the way she was running the organization.

As CNN reports:

Doan's resignation comes 10 months after the government's the Office of Special Counsel recommended to the White House that she be disciplined to the "fullest extent" for violating federal laws against using government employees for political purposes, a finding she denied.

It seems as if cronyism is just, well, second nature to this crew:

The agency's inspector general criticized Doan for signing off on a $20,000 no-bid contract with a friend's public relations agency and accused her of "a disregard for the rules" in managing the $17 billion agency.

Keith Barratt wrote an op-ed on Lurita's congressional testimony, highlighting the arrogance and disrespect Ms. Doan conveyed when testifying. This op-ed was published on the ePluribus Media Journal [now in the Archives]. Has the term "public service" lost meaning for our private corporations?.

Earth Day 2008, Home Depot and the Patagonian Wilderness

  • Posted on: 22 April 2008
  • By: Roxy

ACTION ALERT PLEASE PARTICIPATE AND FORWARD WIDELY!

For Earth Day, Protest Home Depot's Complicity in Destruction of Patagonian Wilderness by Proposed Chilean Dams

By Forests.org, project of Ecological Internet

April 21, 2008

TAKE ACTION
Patagonia's wild rivers to be dammed, destroying ancient
temperate forests, for 50 years of electricity; please let
supposedly environmentally responsible Home Depot know they should not be doing business with the project's primary
Chilean advocate.

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