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Showing posts from April, 2006

Ozarks Messenger, Rountree Molestation III

Sunday Thread

Reading the Sunday News-Leader took all of eight minutes this morning. My god, you'd think we have roving bands of pit bulls on the streets tearing at the flesh of terrorized citizens. Jeezus, give the dog story a rest, please.

Maybe a new editorial page editor will help. Tony Messenger wrote his first Springfield editorial today, the obligatory glad-to-be-here-in-the-Ozarks-where-a-handshake-still-means-something-and-did-I-mention-my-love-of-gooseberry-pie routine. Your basic load of shit. Now that's out of the way, we can expect Messenger to actually say something next week. Welcome to the Bible Belt. You'll find out soon enough what it means, Tony, don't worry.

His new blog, Ozarks Messenger, just started up last week and should be an interesting addition to the local blog scene.

Rountree Alleged Molestation - Preponderance of Hearsay
Springfield R-12, seeking some kind of closure to this ugly mess, suspended the Rountree principal last week. Carolyn Harral…

Lincoln on Preventive War

Here's President Lincoln's take on presidential war powers in speaking his opposition to the Mexican War in 1848. It's from a Washington Post article by Arthur Schlesinger.

"Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose - and you allow him to make war at pleasure [emphasis added]. . . . If, today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us'; but he will say to you, 'Be silent; I see it, if you don't.

This is essentially what has happened with Bush and his Iraq War.

Abramoff, DeLay, Blunt: A Living Museum of Corruption

If there ever were a Southwest Missouri Hall of Fame of Political Corruption, someone would be commissioned to prepare a bust of Roy Blunt for the centerpiece - or perhaps a life-size wax figure would be better, symbolizing Blunt's malleability when doing behind-the-scenes work on behalf of crooked lobbyists and big corporate contributors.

I doubt that John Q. would pony up any funds for such a place, but I'd put it right next to the Sports Hall of Fame out there by Highland Springs. It would glow behind a big glittery sign that would light up the entire James River valley below, and the architecture would be resplendent with cheezy casino motif.

Blunt's name cropped up again this week in an excellent Abramoff piece by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone entitled Meet Mr. Republican - Jack Abramoff. Here's a short excerpt that details how Blunt pulled some strings to help his buddy Jack. So discreet, nobody notices. It makes you wonder how many times things like this took place…

The Large and Small of It

There is so much to write about, and so little time, but this amazing image of what has been called the "DNA Nebula" stopped me in my tracks. I ran across it in National Geographic News. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured this infrared image of a spiraling, intertwining nebula in our own Milky Way galaxy that is some 80 light-years in length and is shaped like a colossal DNA strand.

In my classroom, we sometimes talk about what we term "Big Thoughts" - questions about time, eternity, space, infinity . . . this will make for some interesting discussion tomorrow - after we take the damn MAP test, that is.

"Nobody has ever seen anything like that before in the cosmic realm," said Mark Morris, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles, and lead author of the study (appears in this week's issue of Nature).

"Most nebulae are either spiral galaxies full of stars or formless, amorphous conglomerations of dust a…

John Dean on George Bush

I found two interesting quotes from former Nixon White House counsel John Dean. You may recall the image of Dean being sworn in at the Senate Watergate hearings that ended with Nixon's resignation. Nixon had been ordering illegal wiretaps on American citizens in the name of national security, and he faced certain impeachment.

Fast forward thirty-three years and Dean returns to testify on the proposed presidential censure motion introduced by Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin).

He told the senators:

". . . I must add that never before have I felt the slightest reason to fear our government. Nor do I frighten easily. But I do fear the Bush/Cheney government (and the precedents they are creating) because this administration is caught up in the rectitude of its own self- righteousness, and for all practical purposes this presidency has remained largely unchecked by its constitutional coequals."

Dean also published an article called "Bush's Unprecedented Arrogance"

Bond Issue, MAP Mayhem at Springfield R-12

Sunday Thread

The Sunday News-Leader editorial page is awash with education issues today - school board endorsement, bond issue debate and numerous letters to the editor endorsing school board candidates.

Their own editorial had this curious heading:

"Our picks a tool to help in choice". At first, I thought they were describing school board candidates - well, there is Roy Holand - but they were just telling us that we didn't have to vote for their recommendations. Gee, thanks for the heads up.

Holand, the former ultra-conservative state legislator, says all the right things during interviews but strongly supports school vouchers and the further blurring of the line separating church and state. Put this guy on the school board, and we'll very likely be arguing intelligent design this time next year. He didn’t get much attention from the N-L. I guess the fact that Holand has kept these views on the down-low is encouraging - perhaps a recognition that they are not held by t…