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A Sobering Look At History Through Ancestry: Owned v. Pwned

From Brandon Friedman (@BrandonF) via Twitter, about 11:30 pm EST:

If you watch the Ancestry.com TV ads, you always see people who find wonderful, redeeming stories about their families.What they don’t prepare you for is that you also find the names and dollar values of the people your family used to own.

Warren 24 years old, yellow color, $1,500; Mease a man 28 yrs old, black color, $1,400;Nettie 20 yrs old, black color, and her children, $1,700; Sarah 17 yrs old and her children, $750; India 52 yrs old black color, $350.

No idea what became of them.

Those are sobering thoughts that harken back to a darker part of our national heritage - a part that we have not left fully behind, when slavery and indentured servitude were used to build the nation on the backs of others. Make the jump»

Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Things to do in Boston on a Rainy Day, New England Aquarium Edition

It's overcast and wet in the Boston area of New England today - a perfect day to get out to one of the many indoor area attractions. Especially if the attraction has to do with water and may involve getting wet...like the new Touch Tank exhibit at the New England Aquarium. Check it out:

Looks pretty cool, eh?

What's the weather like in your neck of the woods? And what kind of day would you have - what would you do, where would spend it - if you could do anything within 25-100 miles of where you are now?

We are looking forward to your responses. :)

Comments are open: this is an Open Thread.

 

The Hornet's Nest Kicked Back - A Review of Susan Lindauer's Extreme Prejudice

Michael Collins

Fiction delivers justice that reality rarely approaches. Victims endure suffering and emerge as victors after overcoming incredible challenges. Stieg Larsson's gripping Millennium Trilogy weaves a story of revenge and triumphs for Lizbeth Salander, locked away in a mental institution and sexually abused for years. When Salander got out and threatened to go public about a high level sexual exploitation ring, the perpetrators sought to lock her up again. In the final installment, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, Salander found some justice. (Image)

Susan Lindauer's autobiography, Extreme Prejudice, tells a story with certain broad similarities. In her case, however, the hornet's nest kicked back with a real vengeance. After over a decade as a U.S intelligence asset, Lindauer was privy to information about pre war Iraq that threatened to serve up a huge embarrassment to the Bush-Cheney regime. She hand delivered a letter to senior Bush administration officials in hopes of averting what she predicted would be the inevitably tragic 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Those officials, unnamed in the indictment, were her second cousin, then White House chief of staff Andy Card, and Colin Powell. Make the jump»

Open Thread; Schoolhouse Rock, Hard Lessons Edition

Today's generations apparently didn't get enough "Schoolhouse Rock" when they were kids. Many of the older generations remember such items as Conjunction Junction, Interjections, Lolly Lolly Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here or even Verb. Here's a few of the lesser-known, less-popular ones (according to my own internal rule of thumb) to help jump-start people's senses and sensibilities again.

Enjoy. :)

 

And remember -- this is an Open Thread.

Make the jump»

Open Thread - Education: The downward spiral continues

I'd like to ask ePM's Hawaiian Blog mistress if there is more to this story than what it appears to be, but slashing education budgets and cutting down on days in school just does not strike me as a good thing to do:

In Hawaii, school's out for recession

At a time when President Barack Obama is pushing for more time in the classroom, his home state has created the nation's shortest school year under a new union contract that closes schools on most Fridays for the remainder of the academic calendar.

The deal whacks 17 days from the school year for budget-cutting reasons and has education advocates incensed that Hawaii is drastically cutting the academic calendar at a time when it already ranks near the bottom in national educational achievement.

While many school districts have laid off or furloughed teachers, reduced pay and planning days and otherwise cut costs, Hawaii's 171,000 public schools students now find themselves with only 163 instructional days, compared with 180 in most districts in the U.S.

Given our kids results, not just Hawaiian kids but US kids across the country, in comparison to other nation's kids you would think states would be considering longer school years and more money and resources for them? I know that this is an old report but I have yet to see anything to suggest these trends have changed. Even the reports suggesting otherwise - misleadingly with a lot of selective wording of their own, IMHO - read like "It could be worse" and "Yay! we haven't slipped into last place, yet.". Well?

This is an Open Thread. Make the jump»

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