The wonderful Nashville songwriter Don Henry:
I didn’t make it this year, but here are some mudpit highlights from 2012:
Yes, the man who was trying to hit on an employee was full of self-righteous wrath when his then-wife wanted a divorce. It’s all so very predictable and sad:
Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, known for his hardline stance on family values and violence in the home, allegedly assaulted his ex-wife, dragging her down the stairs by her neck in front of the pair’s now 16-year-old daughter, according to court documents.
The documents were part of a recently-concluded child custody case in New York, in which a judge ruled that O’Reilly’s ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy would get custody of their two children. Though the vast majority of the case’s documents have been sealed because they deal with minors, Gawker has been able to confirm that the judge did in fact hear testimony about the alleged incident, which took place around 2010.
The allegation is just the latest in a string of incidents that have come to light following the couple’s divorce.
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The Phillip H. Sheriden Elementary School is in a really poor area, right near the largest open-air drug market on the East Coast. This kindergarten class caught my eye because the teacher isn’t asking for any hi-tech toys or iPads, just the basics: A carpet for kids to sit on. Seat organizers. A couple of easels. Things they should already have!
I don’t have enough money to make a big difference, but it sure would be nice if we all chipped in. Just sayin’!
A typical day, as I know it, involves breakfast, circle time, a writing lesson, letter(s) activity, lunch, math and then centers. I may have just started, but I want my students to be confident, knowledgeable, expressive and eager to advance to first grade.
I was just hired at my school as a kindergarten teacher. My new class has been thrown together, with multiple substitutes and an unreliable environment. These children have gone through more than they should have and deserve more. I hope to be the one that brings them stability, encourages them, identifies with them and can help them progress to the next level.
The classroom I am in, as are my students, is sparse and uninviting. It lacks stimulation and minimal resources. I came in to a room where Kindergarteners were sitting at desks! Blasphemy! Kindergarteners should be sitting at tables where socializing and teamwork is essential. They need a place to sit during circle time that provides then a designated spot, but allows them to feel connected to the group. They need more than one white-board that allows them to reference throughout the day and week.
Children need a variety of materials that promote learning. The carpet will provide each student with self-restraint as well as group participation. The easel will allow them to volunteer and reinforce what they are learning throughout the week. The easel moves, which encourages them to “use the room” because it moves and can be brought over to their tables. Finally, the chair organizers provides them their own space, a spot that is their own. They can save work and bring items from home.
These resources are just the beginning to promoting my students academic achievements. Children are sponges and these resources will allow them to absorb more. Providing an environment that stimulates, as well as comforting, encourages progress and growth. I have taught for 7 years and it starts with the environment. My experience has taught me that organization, resources and comfort stimulates academic achievement. My class will be the best, but I need help achieving it!
That’s because the states, the red ones, that didn’t participate, will lose federal funding and its citizens will lose coverage according to a new study by the Urban Institute and the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. And guess who will have to fix and and who will get the blame? “The report estimates that in the event… Continue Reading →
I know they did it, but I still can’t quite believe that “local control” Republicans apply it so sporadically:
Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday signed a bill into law that prohibits cities and towns from banning an oil drilling practice known as hydraulic fracking, giving the state sole authority over oil and gas regulation.
Lawmakers in Texas, a state that is home to the two of the most productive U.S. shale oil fields, have been under pressure to halt an anti-fracking movement since November, when voters in the town of Denton voted to ban the oil and gas extraction technique. Residents near the 270 gas wells there had told Al Jazeera they suffered from nosebleeds and nausea that they said they believed resulted from fracking byproducts.
“This law ensures that Texas avoids a patchwork quilt of regulations that differ from region to region, differ from county to county or city to city,” Abbott, a Republican, said in a statement.
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So these Catholic kazillionaires wrote an op-ed last year for the Washington Post about how the teachings of Pope Francis are kinda sorta misguided, and the poor are actually best served by making large donations to the various Koch foundations, because freedom! No, I am not kidding:
We support the Kochs’ efforts because they are fighting to replace this broken system with a limited, responsible government. They oppose the cronyism and corporate welfare that prop up the rich at the expense of the poor. They encourage personal responsibility, ethical business practices and community engagement. Indeed, given what we have seen, we believe the Kochs are doing more to help the poor than the “social justice” campaigners who so often attack them.
The two of us will continue to devote the vast majority of our money and time to the church and its charitable activities. Yet helping the poor also requires a fundamental change in how our society — and our government — understands and seeks to address poverty. For us, promoting limited government alongside the Kochs is an important part of heeding Pope Francis’s call to love and serve the poor.
Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter responded (go read the rest, it’s good):
The problem with crony capitalism is not that it violates some pristine economic laws but that it corrupts public life. The problem that the relationship some rich people develop with leaders of the church is similar. Will Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver, or his predecessor, Archbishop Charles Chaput, who lavishes such praise upon them in the preface to the interview cited above, explain to the Saemans that they mischaracterize Catholic Social Teaching in this very public article? And risk however much they contribute to the annual archbishops’ appeal? Risk whatever they give to the schools program? You can bet if someone wrote an article suggesting that Planned Parenthood’s mission is consistent with Catholic thought, so that, as a Catholic, they give to Planned Parenthood, the bishops would be quick to speak up. The sad fact is that many U.S. bishops do not prioritize Catholic social teaching and do not care enough to risk losing a donor to defend it.
Having said all that, I wish the Saemans well. I hope they will continue to donate large sums of money to the charities of the church. I hope, too, that they will come to recognize that the libertarian ideology of the Koch brothers is precisely the “poisoned spring” about which Pope Pius XI spoke, the “erroneous autonomy” about which Pope Paul VI spoke, and the hyper-individualistic, materialistic consumer culture against which Pope Francis could scarcely be more clear in his denunciations. Hope springeth eternal. But, I would not publish their nonsensical arguments in the pages of The Washington Post and I would suggest to Pope Francis that when he comes to the U.S. next year, he recognizes just how ambiguous, and dangerous, a word like “freedom” has become in American political discourse. In actual fact, the chains of Catholic Social Teaching are binding, but they bind in order to liberate. Freedom shorn of solidarity is a false freedom for the Christian. And the Koch brothers and their friends are peddling a false freedom.