Excellent article!

news thing

Goodbye to the beat

The first “beat reporters” were probably the men sent by newspapers to hang around the criminal courts in the early 19th century. Today almost every news outlet is organized around fixed beats: “financial markets”, “real estate”, “technology”, and so on. These are now so ingrained that we see them as an actual description of reality—the things the world is made of.

Yet the beats aren’t so much an objective taxonomy as a convenient management tool, devised for an old technology. When news came in a sheaf of pages it made sense to divide them into sections—domestic, foreign, business, and so on—with an editor and a team of writers for each one, and make each writer responsible for a slice of that section: a beat. Matching people to pages made managing the newspaper easier, and covering all the news in each beat allowed it to be comprehensive—which was…

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A good review of “‘from whence we came”


LINCOLN said: “Study the Constitution!”
“Let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislatures,
and enforced in courts of justice.” (Citizen’s Rulebook)

Most Americans, if any, learn anything about ancient historical figures that helped to shape our modern world, politics, and government type. Neither do we learn anything these days of the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.” This makes it difficult to grasp, sometimes, the convictions of our Founders.

    “The Declaration of Independence is a document with its roots in the law of God. Perhaps the best place to begin understanding how the Declaration serves in this capacity is to discern how the framers understood and applied its principles to the creation and formation of civil government. If we can understand how they took the Declaration’s principles and applied them to the formation of constitutions, then we too should be able to apply those same principles to any…

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New Khakis And A Blue Shirt

New khakis and a conservative blue check shirt can’t disguise the impracticability of refusing to take Medicare off the table and pursue the only debt reduction plan  (Simpson Bowles) that had a serious chance of being accepted by both parties.  This April the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops criticized  Ryan’s House passed  budget by saying that it failed to protect the ‘poor and vulnerable’.  Additionally according to the Pew Foruma letter signed by about 90  Georgetown University faculty members and priests  said Ryan had misinterpreted church doctrine on the role of government in public life.  Nor can it disguise the duplicity of  espousing insurance exchanges for future seniors in his ‘privatized’ plan while opposing them in the Affordable Care Act. “Ryan basically proposed the Affordable Care Act for future seniors,” said Jonathan Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who advised both President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney on health care.  “I don’t understand how you can like it for future seniors but not like it for today’s needy uninsured.  That doesn’t make any sense.”

New khakis and a cool blue shirt can’t disguise old misogynistic  ideas and make them acceptable to  21st century electorate no matter how charming the messenger.  Paul Ryan believes that if you are a poor woman who has been raped but can’t prove that it was a “forcible” rape you should be compelled by the federal government to bear your rapist’s child.  Even if you are legally unable to consent.  He said in a recent interview “the method of conception is not important…”  Moreover, even though many state governments have passed laws that aid pregnant raped women who seek to abort, that require hospitals to offer emergency contraceptives to prevent a pregnancy from that rape, or that allow for streamlined termination of the rapists parental rights should the victim decide not to terminate a pregnancy,  still  31 states allow the rapist to sue his victim for joint custody and\or visitation rights to the child.   Barbaric.  Only 17 states fund abortions for poor women enrolled in Medicaid beyond the federal funding restrictions of  cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.  What we need from our federal government is not a new law further redefining ‘rape’ and further restricting a woman’s control over her own body but  new compassionate legislature that protects not the just the  potential of a child but the actual child and the actual mother.

““Next we’ll be trying to take away the vote from women,” lamented Alex Castellanos, a Republican  strategist who advised Romney in the 2008 race. “How can we be the party of cool and make the generational leap forward when we have these recidivist ideas at the very core of our base?

New khakis and on open collared blue  shirt can’t disguise the fact that Paul Ryan  is a man who  earns $168,000 to $1.2 annually  from investments in addition to his $174,000 Senate salary, who orders  $350 bottles of wine to sip while dining with his colleagues and\or lobbyists in trendy D.C. restaurants.  Which seems to me just a tad bit more like a Wall Street guy than a Main Street guy even for a guy who sleeps in his office and catches catfish with his hands.  And although he did work the grill at McDonald’s  during his  high school years,  the only other non-political job he has ever held  was as a Marketing Consultant for a  family business. 

 For the record both Romney and Ryan have signed Grover Norquist’s  tax pledge as part of his “protection racket” package.  As has every House Republican who brought the country  to the brink over the debt ceiling in an act of economic sabotage  earlier this year and who have pushed us to the edge of the fiscal cliff  we will face in December.

As the person Ryan’s credited most with having influenced him  said  “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”  ( Ayn Rand)


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Legitimate Rape?

, member of the United States House of Represe...

, member of the United States House of Representatives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This has been a week-end of profound  befuddlement for me.

How does a man get elected to political office  for twenty-four  years,  here in this enlightened, technology dominated,  21st century,  who believes  in  a 13th century  concept of Legitimate Rape?   How does a man who believes in an obsolete medieval  medical concept,  offering it  without so much as a blush  as a rational reasonable  explanation for his opposition to abortion even in the case of rape, get elected to the  House in the first place, anywhere in this country,  much less for  six terms.  Did anybody in his district ever listen to this guy?  Just how far back in the woods is his district?

And the kicker  is this – this same man now  sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, let me repeat that ….. Rep. Todd Akin, (a Tea Party candidate for the Senate in Missouri) sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, the guy who publicly stated   ….. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”  How can a politician who publicly clings  to 13th century theories  on how a woman’s body works be expected to bring  any thing lucid to the table in any discussion on science, space or  technology?

This is a man with a B.S.  from Worcester Polytechnic Institute who worked  for  four years as an engineer at IBM.  Surely he knows better.

Of course he was just preaching to the choir.

Later on  Sunday his Facebook page  admitted an  error,  saying he misspoke  – declaring  “It’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year,”  he said.

He did not apologize for  or  disavow his belief in Legitimate Rape nor did he  publicly correct the awful  fallacy  contained in that belief.

It will be interesting to see how women in Missouri feel about Legitimate Rape in November.

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Facilitating Hard Meetings: Everyday Magic, Day 583

Just because we know getting to the yes or to a workable compromise is going to be hard is not an excuse for stalling.  The following has some good points. Buck up and do it!

Facilitating Hard Meetings: Everyday Magic, Day 583.

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