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Showing posts from May, 2006

FBI Investigation Inches Closer to Roy Blunt

ABC News investigative correspondent, Brian Ross, reports that FBI investigators are taking a close look at House Speaker Dennis Hastert's letters to the Department of Interior on behalf of casino interests represented by crooked lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Ross reports that . . .

"Part of the investigation involves a letter Hastert wrote three years ago, urging the Secretary of the Interior to block a casino on an Indian reservation that would have competed with other tribes."

If I'm not mistaken, this is one of the three letters signed by the 7th District's very own moral icon, Congressman Roy Blunt. Back in January, we posted a timeline of fundraisers and letters to Interior Secretary Gale Norton that clearly linked Blunt and Hastert to Abramoff's casino interests in Louisiana. Here's a clipping:

June 1999 - Abramoff donates $5,000 to ROYB fund.
February 2000 - Abramoff donates an additional $1,500 to ROYB Fund.
March 2000 - Abramoff donates maximum amount to M…

Sunday Thread

The News-Leader was all over the power plant issue in this week's Sunday edition. Environmentalists argue against a new coal-fired plant; CU argues in favor of building the thing. Frankly, I don't know enough about this issue to say much, but it seems that, given the reality of global warming and the cost of generating power, that any viable way to create cleaner, sustainable power should be a priority.

Sara Overstreet told us of a handicapped woman who can no longer ride her motorized wheelchair to an OACAC Head Start center due to the closure of the Broadway Avenue railroad crossing. I know I sound completely insensitive, but it's yet another in a series of sad, lightly truth-tinted stories from Overstreet.

Last year, she wrote of a special needs adolescent boy who had been repeatedly turned down by Big Brothers & Big Sisters, when all he sought was a little kindness and love. I remember that kid, even though I never had him in class. I don't know what specifically…

Rountree Teacher & Principal Charged

The News-Leader online edition reports that misdemeanor sexual misconduct and assault charges were filed today against Rountree PE instructor Mark Washam. Washam was arrested and released in mid-March by SPD. Five girls and one boy were listed as victims. Principal Carolyn Harralson was also charged with misdemeanor violation of failing to report the abuse to the Childrens' Division.

I'm sure the offended parties feel vindicated, and if Washam did exhibit some of the alleged sexual behaviors listed, his removal from contact with children is a good thing.

Pedophiles and sexual offenders are a sneaky lot, but as one who works with adolescents on a daily basis, there are still questions in my mind about this case.

One thing you won't see in this case or others like it . . . the discipline records of the children involved. A record showing repeated instances of disrespect for authority, dishonesty and aggressive behaviors, for instance, would cast this story in an entirely differ…

Bearing False Witness Door to Door

I hear a knock on the door last Saturday, and standing before me on my front step are two gentlemen carrying paperback books about the Ten Commandments.

The younger of the two men did all the talking while his buddy, an older man who was obviously nervous about this door-to-door thing, stood smiling throughout his partner's narrative. I was treated to a well-rehearsed story that began . . .

"Of course, you know that the ten commandments have been removed from the schools and that the pledge of allegiance is no longer recited in the classroom. There has been a concerted effort to remove prayer and God from the schools . . . "

It was somewhere about here when I interrupted the young man to tell him that I was a public school teacher.

"As far as I can remember, the ten commandments have never been in the schools - none that I've seen as a student or a teacher. Every Monday my home room and I stand as one, as do all the other 600+ students in our school, and recite the …