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school cheating scandal
Every now and then a big-time civil settlement makes sense and is good for our country. Recently the government brought suit against Education Management Corporation, based in Pittsburgh, Pa., which operated several for-profit colleges. The government maintained that the company was violating rules on paying incentives to employees for signing up unqualified students for Pell grant assistance to attend their schools. One story said all the low-income students needed was “a pulse and a Pell (grant)” for the colleges to enroll them…
Today I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States. It’s fitting that I begin my candidacy in the historic setting of my upstairs studio. I am honored to be surrounded by so many supporters and well-wishers, and by that I mean my two cats. (My wife has yet to sign on to my campaign but give her time).
I’m working on a campaign slogan—it’s a toss-up between…
pas d'armes autorisées
OK then, Canada it is. I’ve been looking for a country to move to in case Donald Trump gets elected president. That country’s decision to not only take in some of the flood of migrants from Mid-Eastern countries but to welcome them warmly helped me make up my mind.
Or I might go ahead and move there anyway. When a Christian school urges its students to arm themselves and gun sales nationwide are higher than ever, when mass shootings are everyday…
what do your see?
It’s understandable that the media give wall-to-wall coverage to Donald Trump: he gives them great ratings. But at this point, it is not Trump himself we should be focusing on.
By now, we’ve gotten a good look at what Trump is up to, and the spirit he is serving. When even Republicans are using the word “fascist” to describe Trump’s message, the picture has surely become clear enough.
end gun violence
It was a beautiful Saturday morning to be in Woodruff Park. About 70 degrees. Broken clouds to keep the sun from feeling too hot. It was so easy to be there.
Any excuse to get outside in mid-December was welcomed. Our excuse was the third anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings. The idea was pretty simple: we would meet in the park to remember the 20 children and six adults killed December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut.
The American Medical Association has announced Fearbola is now recognized as a legitimate disease and warrants further investigation by the medical profession as to treatment and prevention.
“The abnormal and uncontrollable fear of terrorists can have profound detrimental impact on the individual as well as our economy if it goes untreated,” said Dr. Oscar Kemper of the AMA. “Having people afraid to leave their homes and live in fear of what might happen is a recipe for a neutered society.”
Congressional Republicans moved swiftly Tuesday to change the subject from banishing all Muslims from entering this country to passing new legislation that will make it beside the point because every single American will have a gun.
If passed, the Affordable Guns & Ammo Act (AG&AA) will cut prices on assault rifles for middle class families by as much as 40 percent and require employers to buy workers up to 1000 rounds a month, or face stiff fines, said GOP officials.
sensible gun laws now
Congress and the Senate today vowed to do everything in their power to do absolutely nothing about the mass shootings today. Which shooting you ask? I don’t know, pick one, there are far too many to keep track of.
The Speaker of the house, Paul Ryan, in an interview today said “We don’t want to rush to judgment and take away the rights from any red-blooded, all-American, shit-for-brains that simply wants a big-ass gun. His right to stupid supersedes your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of breathing…
police killing of caroline small
It was well covered in the news, the local reporter says. And, indeed, the Atlanta Journal Constitution has been on the story for a long time. After all, the shooting of Caroline Small, by two Glynn County, Georgia, cops, occurred over five years ago, well before cops shooting citizens became a topic of national disgust.
About a month ago, some strangers with a camera showed up at the Glynn County Commission meeting, but nobody knew why they were there. The only thing that happened that night, which the visitors might have noted, but probably didn’t, was that the Commission passed an imprudent resolution…
spreading despair not helping.
It’s a sad sentiment voiced loudly and with much distress in these times: what a dangerous world we live in! It’s as true as it always has been.
I don’t remember the exact moment I was sentenced to die. Then again, it was over 56 years ago and I was but a millisecond old at the time. Yet, the instant I welcomed that first gasping breath into my infant lungs, I also accepted my fate. Someday, I would die.
It wasn’t that day – nor has it happened with any of the roughly 20,513 sunrises since. But it will. I surely didn’t know then, but it’s been a fact of my life for a long, long time now that someday it will end.
living in a secular society
“You are not being persecuted for your beliefs when you are merely being denied the privilege of shoving them down someone else’s throat.” – The Bard of Affliction
Several months ago, there was a lot of Sturm und Drang over one Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who had garnered a certain amount of notoriety for having refused to issue wedding licenses to same-sex couples despite having been ordered by the courts to do so. Putting her name on said licenses would (she had said) imply her approval of same-sex marriages, something she felt she could not do based on her religious beliefs.
A friend recently told me that her great grandmother to the ninth generation was aboard the Mayflower. The young lady in question arrived in what was to become this country when she was only four. Living to be eighty-three and becoming a matriarch directly linked to at least fifty grandchildren, she was obviously a most incredible woman. But what also struck me about her story was that her future father-in-law was the leader of a Purists/Separatists/Dissenters group in Holland. In one of his sermons, he said: “But now we are all, in all places, strangers and pilgrims, travelers and sojourners.”
meet me in dabiq
Were I to tell you a story in which Jesus, the son of the virgin Mary, was sent by God to guide the children of Israel, perform miracles including curing blindness, raising the dead and casting out demons, was crucified and raised alive into heaven to be the God incarnate. Jesus, who is promised to come back as the Messiah on judgement day to lead God’s army against the armies of Rome led by the Antichrist to the final victory in Jerusalem. What holy book do you think that would be from?
power and terror:
In an interview with ABC news correspondent Martha Raddatz pointed out to Dick Cheney that a majority of citizens opposed the war in Iraq. Cheney replied, “So?”
Martha asked, “You don’t care what the American people think?”
He said, “NO.” Cheney then goes on to say that we can’t be subject to fluctuations in opinion polls.
A White House spokesman was asked later if this meant the government didn’t think the public should have input. The spokesman remarked that the public has input every four years.
Researchers said Tuesday that watching Fox News caused brain damage in rats. They said they’re not sure what that means, but the results are conclusive.
After watching “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Hannity” for six months the rats were never the same.
“They got more hostile and I would venture to say more irrational,” said University of Wisconsin researcher, Ralph Phillips, who led the study that was published in the November issue of the science journal Mind Bender.
threatens as much as war
The word “conservative” means something different today than it used to.
Conservatives have traditionally understood the importance of stability—and the dangers of disrupting the established order. They considered it a responsibility to preserve their heritage and pass it down intact to the next generation.
Conservatives have been the guardians of tradition because they saw that what our forebears created is a great achievement, built with difficulty over time.
bald faced untruth
Do Marco Rubio’s inhumanly large and pointy ears wiggle when he lies? That’s what it seemed like during last Sunday’s interview with John Dickerson on “Face the Nation.” Maybe it was just a trick of the television lens but there is reason to think that something almost fey about Rubio’s successful dissembling. Asked about possible political repercussions of failing to do what most Americans believe U.S. Senators are paid to do – to actually vote on legislation in the U.S. Senate – said, “I’m not a political strategist; I’m a candidate.” And he got away with that…
pause to pity
Pause a moment to pity temporary front runner Ben Carson for his poor performance at the Third Republican-CNBC Debate in Boulder. Perhaps ‘non-performance’ is the right word. He was hardly a presence among the weirdly energized collection of candidates. So how did candidate Carson go from being the ‘great Evangelical hope’ to ‘doctor who?’ You only notice that Carson is boring when he is faced with any competition for attention on the stage. Between his soft, slightly slurred voice and the rambling illogic of his story-telling…
on top of stone mtn
Georgia plans to build a “We Exhibit – You Decide” racial strife museum atop Stone Mountain to address the state’s long and troubled history of discrimination against dozens of minorities and blacks by making it a tourist attraction.
The museum will offer exhibits on both sides of the controversy over civil rights: people for them, and people against them. And, instead of passing judgement, the museum will allow people to decide for themselves, said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal in an afternoon press conference.
poor school districts
You might not get much in your morning newspaper if reporters didn’t turn in stories by a certain time. Deadlines keep reporters — and columnists — on task. If there were not a specific time limit to submit a story for publication, the story might never get written. There’s always somebody else you can call or interview.
Like newspapers, courts set deadlines frequently. Time limits provide some certainty in the often long, convoluted judicial process and move cases along toward conclusions…
we got this one
Joe, we love ya, but please don’t run for president.
You are the man when it comes to defense and foreign affairs. You were there for the Bosniaks in 1994 when Clinton was timid, but you were wrong in 2006 when you voted for the Iraq war. Yet, we should have listened in 2006 when you wanted Iraq split into the three ethnic areas as it is today. Our troops might be home, the Islamic State probably wouldn’t exist and millions of refugees might be at home.
You were the man on justice for victims of domestic violence, against Bork and Thomas, assault weapons, hate and sex crimes, and privacy, but…
As it turns out, you haven’t really ‘arrived’ in today’s world unless the Internet has declared you dead, defunct or ‘discontinued’ at least once. The reportage of death – or some other rite of passage – on the ‘Net is mostly unreliable. Often an Internet obit is a hoax. So when I first hear the latest rumor about PLAYBOY, it could only be that some digital-age scamps – some knuckle-brains — were screwing around on the Internet…
he has a dream
Fifty-two summers ago, Martin Luther King challenged our nation with these words: “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.”
Today, some dream of placing a freedom bell on that mountain.
I have another dream today:
I have a dream that one fine day a little black boy and a little white boy will stand together side by side on top of Stone Mountain;
on the campaign trail:
Republicans expressed anger and resentment at the “lack of hate” in the Democratic debate Tuesday night that pitted front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton against self-declared socialist candidate, Bernie Sanders.
“I’ve heard all this talk on the radio about how they are destroying this country, how he’s such a socialist, and she’s such a liar, I just expected fireworks and a meltdown, the kind of hatred and vitriol we take for granted at Republican debates and campaign rallies,” said Ted Fletcher, who watched the debate with his family at their home in Satsuma, Ala.
dressed for success
Today something happened that rocked my world. I know what you’re thinking, but no, it wasn’t due to jamming knitting needles in my ears to prevent listening to the sea of stupid rolling from the mouth of Donald Trump. It wasn’t due to the reports of Ben Carson digging his way into another intellectual manure pile by saying all you have to do to stop a mass shooter is to for everyone to agree to rush the shooter all at once…
on the campaign trail
To fend off the inevitable criticism from Democrats, liberals and the media that the next GOP Speaker of the House is so delusional he or she must be on drugs, the new Speaker will first have to pass a urine test. “That should settle the matter that they’re not on drugs, even all those guys in the Tea Party Freedom Caucus,” said a GOP insider, who compared the plan to being pulled over by a cop. “So you’re weaving like crazy, and blowing…
“A new mentality is needed, and this implies above all a recovery of ancient and original wisdom. And a real contact with what is right under our noses.” — Thomas Merton, in a letter to Thich Nhat Hanh
On Thursday, September 24, I saw Pope Francis with my own eyes. That’s the gospel truth. Now the confession. I was attending the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate rally — organized to support the Pope’s call to action on climate change. That’s me on the right of the photo. That’s Doug, my Buddhist friend and climate troubadour, on the left.
Having returned from his trip to the U.S. where he addressed Congress, Pope Francis on Tuesday issued an encyclical from the Vatican warning of “man-made Global Dumbing.” “It disturbs me beyond belief the level of intelligence quotient that I encountered during my visit to the U.S., especially in the Republican-led Congress, where I’m guessing the average IQ must be in the high 70s or low 80s, at best,” Francis said, through an interpreter. “That’s unacceptable.”
no reason or compromise
I once worked for an abusive boss, a man who proved impossible to please. Congenitally mean, and though he wore no eye-patch, he had all of the charm, charisma and management style of your average, garden-variety Bond villain.
After three days on the new job, I knew I’d made a mistake. A year on the job, my misery factor was so high, I prayed (I was a church-goer in those days) one of us would either get a better job and move on — or that one of us would die, though preferably not me!
collateral damage of war
“Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh! Hard times come again no more.
“’Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh! Hard times come again no more.”
on the campaign trail
Bellevue, Ill. – Psychologists say there is growing evidence that GOP candidates scare pets and small children.
The psychologists, meeting here for their annual convention, said the research is based on interviews with parents whose children watched the first GOP debate and have since had difficulty sleeping without a parent in the room or leaving the lights on all night.
OXFORD, Miss. – Politicians and local editorial writers love Howard Industries of Laurel, Miss. The editors at the Laurel Leader-Call shower their blessings on Jones County’s largest employer and castigate any naysayer who might want to offer an alternative viewpoint. Politicians shower the producer of electrical transformers with money—taxpayers’ money…
freedom to discriminate
It’s a natural law: a pendulum, once swinging, will always reverse its course.
Sometimes, it takes forever for that pendulum to move the other way. Look at the State of Georgia, Democratic always until 2002, when the Republicans finally won the governor’s office. Up until then, the statehouse had been slowly moving toward a more conservative, Republican bent, with the GOP finally gaining control of both houses in 2004.
less carbon = jobs + lower taxes
Wall Street likes it simple: promote bull markets; avoid bear markets. But there’s now an elephant on Wall Street, and few are daring to talk about it.
In you hadn’t noticed, the market has been essentially flat for a year; that is until it cratered last week, losing 18 months worth of gains. Unlike the crash of 2008, there’s no obvious smoking gun.
all tangled up
There have been hundreds of thousands of words written and spoken about the unspeakable tragedy of the nine people gunned down at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. In time, there will be many more; books will be written and countless analysis will be presented seeking to find some meaning in what happened. In time, the events of the tragedy will become a permanent part of the history of Charleston and our people, indeed the whole state and nation.