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March 31, 2010

U of Wyoming retracts invite to Bill Ayers to save the reputation of the last government institution they trust

What is more amazing? That Wyoming residents are so batshit crazy paranoid about any and all government institutions that Bill Ayers mere presence could cause them to turn their backs on their entire university system ... ...or that a state university president used "impact" as a verb. It's a toss-up. AP News | University of Wyo. cancels William Ayers speech
The University of Wyoming has canceled a speech by former 1960s radical William Ayers after it raised hundreds of objections from citizens and politicians over the man who became an issue in the 2008 presidential campaign. In a statement released by the university, UW President Tom Buchanan supported the decision to cancel Ayers. "The University of Wyoming is one of the few institutions remaining in today's environment that garner the confidence of the public. The visit by Professor Ayers would have adversely impacted that reputation," Buchanan said. Ayers was scheduled to speak Monday on the Laramie campus about social justice issues and education. The following day, he was to participate in a teleconference with Wyoming school principals.

March 30, 2010

The Coffee-Party and the Zero-Sum Game

I actually joined the Coffee Party, but almost immediately dropped it after they told me what a wonderful writer and man David Brooks was. I'm sure he's okay to have a beer with, but as a columnist, I could build a better one out of a banana. Anyway, I'm too angry for this lot. But the FDR quote should be read, out loud, every morning in every classroom in the USA, right after the Pledge of Allegiance -- or instead of it. Why I started Coffee Party USA - CNN.com
"Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt When I began the Facebook fan page "Join the Coffee Party Movement," I had no idea what would transpire. It was about 1:30 a.m. January 26, and I was very frustrated with the endless news coverage about the Tea Party and the growing narrative that it represented America.... Over the course of many years, Americans have grown accustomed to thinking of two-party politics as a kind of a zero-sum game. If one team wins, the other team loses. The game framework encourages many Americans to be spectators passively watching professional politicians go at each other. Furthermore, it invites people to "game" the process to advance their personal or partisan agendas. In Washington, recently the tactics have become so vicious that the game looks more like Ultimate Fighting. This is not acceptable. The game framework is not an intrinsic quality of democracy. In fact, it is inconsistent with the basic tenets of democracy.

Many truckers secretly picking up knitting

Truckers Pick Up Quilting and Knitting - WSJ.com It's really a shame they need to stay in the closet about it.
Mr. Banks, who lives in Sioux Falls, S.D., and hauls romaine lettuce between California and the Midwest, learned to knit last year after load-volumes slowed. Creating something tangible beats sitting around the truck stop "talking about who has a bigger radio," he said. He's finished a scarf and socks, and is working on a sweater for his wife. . . . Thomas McConnaughy, a married grandfather from Hemet, Calif., hauls cereal, reads his Bible, plays Sudoku, and talks trout fishing at truck stops. He doesn't let on to other drivers that he keeps 15 coils of yarn in his cab and makes what he describes as "really cute slippers." "In the truck stops, it's usually a bunch of guys watching football," he said. "If I sat down with my knitting, I think there would be some funny remarks." Mr. White, the quilter, who is 53, came to his new passion last summer after feeling he was wasting time "waiting on freight."
*Thanks, Lucia!*

March 29, 2010

Increasing Number Of Parents Opting To Have Children School-Homed

Increasing Number Of Parents Opting To Have Children School-Homed | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
WASHINGTON—According to a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education, an increasing number of American parents are choosing to have their children raised at school rather than at home. Deputy Education Secretary Anthony W. Miller said that many parents who school-home find U.S. households to be frightening, overwhelming environments for their children, and feel that they are just not conducive to producing well-rounded members of society. Thousands of mothers and fathers polled in the study also believe that those running American homes cannot be trusted to keep their kids safe. "Every year more parents are finding that their homes are not equipped to instill the right values in their children," Miller said. "When it comes to important life skills such as proper nutrition, safe sex, and even basic socialization, a growing number of mothers and fathers think it's better to rely on educators to guide and nurture their kids." "And really, who can blame them?" Miller continued. "American homes have let down our nation's youth time and again in almost every imaginable respect."