Monday, September 19, 2016

September 19, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Source: "Katrina's horrifying legacy: Inside a New Orleans hospital which was nearly destroyed by the hurricane and has been left to rot ever since"--Daily Mail.

  • "It Doesn’t Affect You, But It Does"--The Political Hat. Every once in a while, there is a commentary or analysis that stands out and needs to be read and re-read to be fully absorbed. I think this is one of those writings. The basic theme is that even practices that you don't believe can affect others does affect them. In explaining his reasoning, the author explains the role of conservationism in a culture:
     John Donne once said that “no man is an island”.  Society has evolved, does evolve, and will evolve, with the actions of each to one degree or another affecting it and being affected by it.  Society isn’t some abstract idea or social construct of the conspiratorial vein.  The libertarian ideal that everyone can do what they want and anything not affecting others in the strictest 1st degree will not have a depreciative or dilatory effect others, and thus society, is based upon a blind faith that the way, the truth, the light, of Randian enlightenment can not, and will not, be snuffed out a la Anthem because the choices of others does not, in the strictest 1st degree, command another.
         But this is based on an overly idealistic view of mankind.  It is the idealistic view that once a great evil is purged, that a true utopia will arise once properly established; it is the idealistic view shared by Communists, Progressives, and other assorted socialists.
           A society where people are free to choose as they like, but where the great swath of the populace have the wisdom to choose correctly, is a rare one.  It can not be constructed.  It, indeed, is a result of a strange and unlikely confluence of history.  America is that confluence.  It can not be rebuilt ex nihilo.  It can not overwrite an existing bias or set of mores.  It can not be written upon a tabula rasa, as such hypothetical musings are antithetical to human reality.  Despite the intentions otherwise, “their passions forge their fetters”.
             It is something that must be conserved.  It calls not for magicians [or] alchemists who can bring forth purity of essence from some invented and contrived trick.  It calls for stewards to keep and protect our civic inheritance, and to protect society’s evolution from the hands and machinations of intelligent design by unintelligent designers.
        Read the whole thing.
          “Other teachers say that this is a common practice in their schools: Students will be issued a referral for misconduct and then ‘counseled’ before being returned to class without being formally disciplined,” O’Donnell reports. Why? Two levers the federal government is pulling, both related to school districts’ discipline numbers.
            First, inside the Every Student Succeeds Act, which House Speaker Paul Ryan recently sped through Congress to replace No Child Left Behind, the federal government now includes measures besides test scores—such as annual suspension and expulsion rates—in ratings that influence funds and federal probes. Schools are technically supposed to report to the federal government every disciplinary action they take, and now they have more reasons to juice the numbers.
              Second, back in 2011 former Education Secretary Arne Duncan and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told schools that consequences for bad behavior, not the behavior itself, was to blame for the “school to prison pipeline.” In 2014 the pair issued regulations telling schools they would be liable for federal investigation if they recorded data showing black or Latino students had committed more infractions than white or Asian students.
                “Schools also violate Federal law when they evenhandedly implement facially neutral policies and practices that, although not adopted with the intent to discriminate, nonetheless have an unjustified effect of discriminating against students on the basis of race,” their subordinates wrote in a “Dear Colleague” letter (emphasis added).
                The author goes on to report:
                  In response to these federal rules, states including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Minnesota, California, and Washington have declared they will remove fewer violent students from classrooms through suspensions and expulsions.Children are not stupid. They have figured out that they can terrorize their peers and authority figures and get away with it now.
                    Schools are replacing stricter consequences with touchy-feely therapy sessions for troubled kids, which are less of a deterrent to bad behavior and often explicitly excuse it. 
                    According to the bombshell lawsuit, a transgender “girl" student, who participated on girls' sports teams, “twerked,” “grinded” and engaged in other sexually suggestive acts in the girls’ locker-room, leaving some of the girls in tears. After numerous ignored complaints, the lawsuit's plaintiffs say they were allowed access to other locations, including a boys’ locker-room, which the transgender “girl” also made his way into and extended his sexually suggestive behavior. The girls claim they were left with no place to go to secure their privacy in the most intimate of settings.
                    Amid troubled oil markets and a more than two-year oil price downturn that has seen oil prices plunge from $115 per barrel in the summer of 2014, to now trading in the paltry $40s range, well below the production break even point for many major producers, news came from China on Tuesday that the country’s crude oil output fell nearly 10% in August from the same period a year ago – to the lowest in more than six years. 
                    The issue for China is that dependency on foreign sources of oil brings a myriad of its own problems, including, as the author explains: "[from] a massive transfer of wealth, to securing vital supply lines and shipping lanes to other geopolitical considerations."
                      University of Florida researchers have identified a patient in Haiti with a serious mosquito-borne illness that has never before been reported in the Caribbean nation.
                        Known as "Mayaro virus," it is closely related to chikungunya virus and was first isolated in Trinidad in 1954. Most reported cases, however, have been confined to small outbreaks in the Amazon. Whether this case signals the start of a new outbreak in the Caribbean region is currently unknown.
                        The largest prison strike in U.S. history has been going on for nearly a week, but there’s a good chance you haven’t heard about it. For months, inmates at dozens of prisons across the country have been organizing through a network of smuggled cellphones, social media pages, and the support of allies on the outside. The effort culminated in a mass refusal to report to prison jobs on September 9, the anniversary of the 1971 Attica prison uprising.
                        Oh no. Whatever shall government do if it can't buy over-priced furniture from the prison industries?

                        No comments:

                        Post a Comment