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Extra, Extra!

10 Sep

Close to 30,000 teachers striking in the Chicago Public Schools. Read all about it here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/chicago-teachers-and-school-district-officials-halt-strike-talks/2012/09/09/f73a4364-faf2-11e1-a65a-d6e62f9f2a5a_story.html

More to come, including an opinion.

If You Don’t Care, You’re Not a Punk, You’re JUST LAZY

3 Jun

Please email Rick Snyder at this email to assert your support or concern for the issue of hydraulic fracturing: rick.snyder@michigan.gov

My email read as follows:

Dear Governor Rick Synder,

I am a concerned citizen regarding fracking. I have signed petitions calling for the new deep fracking to be banned, as it is new technology, with unknown long-term effects. I recently received your response via moveon.org.

First you state that fracking has been occurring safely since the 1960s. This particular type of fracking is new technology, with new implications and issues. You stating that the past fracking has been safely practiced is arbitrary. Again, “our experience” with hydralic fracturing being safe is utterly useless in regard to this new technology.

I suppose what most upsets me about your email is that I feel you did not actually address the issues which are on the table. You state that the DEQ is committed to environmental quality; as DEQ is an acronym for “Department of Environmental Quality,” this is redundant and a bit insulting. As history has shown time and again, institutions need we the people to monitor their government and institutions to ensure actual quality, and this is what we are doing.

You say that the DEQ enforces strict regulations to ensure that no fluids contaminate freshwater sources; are these similar to the regulations that ensure that sulfide will not come into contact with freshwater sources during nickel/copper/sulfide mining? After you talk about how safe these regulations are, you then state that we have more regulations in place so that we can adequately deal with spills. There’s some of the truth – you, I, and the people of the great state of Michigan all know that this new hydraulic fracturing causes contamination to freshwater sources. Pennsylvania is one example of the impacts of this new technology:  http://www.npr.org/2012/05/17/152268501/pennsylvania-doctors-worry-over-fracking-gag-rule

You state that MSDS will be provided so that we can know what we are doing when it comes to cleaning up spills. These are wonderful protection measures after the fact. I don’t want to see after the fact, and neither do the people of Michigan. I want prevention.

Another issue I have with the MSDS is the fact that the information is not public; you say that the DEQ will “post this information on their site,” but if the chemical compounds are protected under federal law, what is the DEQ going to post?

If this new hydraulic fracturing is so safe, why is the government protecting the chemical identities of chemicals used by the drilling companies? This is absolutely outrageous. Please, Governor Snyder, ask yourself that question out loud. Why would the government hide information from the people? To keep us safe? If this is the answer, the logic is backwards.

Your job as governor is to hear the voice of the people; I know we are many voices, but I beg of you, hear mine, my brother, my sister, my neighbor. Please call for a hold on fracking until we understand how to harness this powerful technology.

Sincerely,

Jaime VanEnkevort
Marquette, Michigan
youremail@email.com
517-***-****

EDUCATE YOURSELF!

Learn more about fracking at: http://www.watershedcouncil.org/learn/hydraulic-fracturing/

All the Single Ladies

15 May

“MOST important, neither entrepreneurs nor the rich have a monopoly on brains, sweat or risk. There are scientists — and artists and scholars — who are just as smart as any entrepreneur, only they are interested in different rewards. A single mother holding down a job and putting herself through community college works just as hard as any hedge fund manager. A person who takes out a mortgage — or a student loan, or who conceives a child — on the strength of a job she knows she could lose at any moment (thanks, perhaps, to one of those job creators) assumes as much risk as someone who starts a business.”

Hell yeah! Check out this pretty angry and wonderful article HERE.

Be proud, Beyonce

Stop the American War Culture.

31 Oct

Back to educating ourselves, about everything, including exactly WHAT Americans are known for doing in our “war” in the Middle East.

Who here has heard about the Granai Airstrike, also called the Granai Massacre? Yeah, that’s the one where we mistakenly bombed a civilian base, killing as many as 140 civilians, most of them children. Estimated 97 children.

Where’s that on Fox News?

A Hollywood perspective of what ARE we doing? over there.

In Defense of Ms. Honey, Matilda’s Kindergarten Teacher

10 Sep

I just found a website with a post titled, “Ann Coulter accurately describes Kindergarten Teachers as “useless public sector workers” with the following comment:

“From what I see she’s dead right in this time . I went to kindergarten in the summer before first grade (1962), was taught by my soon to be first grade teacher and I hated it , but I learned by rote the alphabet , the vowels ( long and short sounds ) how to count to 100 by 1s , 10s , and 5s , and by 2 to 10 . In just a few weeks in the summer . Tell this to most teachers today and they look at me like they’re going to cry , but it worked .”

Thanks, gentilekevin. Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the political/social/economic environment has changed a bit since 1962. My defense for the Kindergarten Teacher, whom I enormously respect:

“Actually, kindergarten teachers have an incredibly difficult job. The most crucial years of a child’s development are the years BEFORE the child enters readiness or kindergarten. If kids are at any socioeconomic disadvantages (i.e. a single mom does not have time to read her child bedtime stories), the child enters school already behind the rest of the class. It is up to the kindergarten teacher to remediate a child that has never even had formal education. If a child falls behind in kindergarten, they are more likely to be academically disadvantaged for the next thirteen years of schooling.”

Let’s not hate. Appreciate.

If I can’t convince you of it, let Ms. Honey, the ultimate Kindergarten queen.

A glass of water and some maternal love for kids from bad homes? Yes, yes, yes!

Down with Bipartisan Labeling (or, Use Your Goddamn Brain)

10 Sep

Let’s read some positive news. I had a teacher in high school who once said, “You have those on the far left. You have those on the far right. Somewhere in the middle, the gray area, is the truth.” I re-read this sentiment while reading a editorial on the Missouri law that tried to ban teachers from using social media to connect with their students:

“It’s time that Democrats, Republicans, teachers, charter school supporters, superintendents, urbanites and suburbanites and others who care about educating our next generation take a step back and refocus on lessons in communication from our early school days.

Talk nice. Take turns. Listen. Share. Work together.”

That’s right. Bipartisan labeling and side-taking is absolutely ridiculous. Think about the issues. Think about the ideas. Use your head and make an intelligent decision, free from the chains of political names. And for the love of Pete, stop talking and LISTEN UP.
Next time I pray, it’ll be for compromise.
Also, the title’s a shout out to my good man and a great read, Mr. JD Salinger (check him out HERE).

Must love the rebellion when the spirit calls

Read more about the Missouri Law here: http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/columns/the-platform/article_70dc0b06-17af-5a97-ad91-4257bb692b06.html#ixzz1XWSTkeYe

More of The Incredulous – Michigan Actually Did This?

4 Sep

I’m trying to read more/do more research on education policies in Michigan so I can be better informed and thereby better inform my readers. I just read this, straight off the MDE website (MI Dpt. of Education):

“Who pays Emergency Financial Managers? – Pursuant to Section 18 of the Act, an Emergency Financial Manager is entitled to compensation paid by the unit of local government for which he or she is appointed. The Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board establishes the level of compensation and also approves actual and necessary expenses.”

Hold a goshdarn minute here, folks. Did I just read that when the state decides to shut down local government due to financial instability, the state requires the economically starving local governement to compensate the very person that has replaced the authority of the local government?

!!?!!?!?!?!?!?!

What!?

I thought that the reason the Emergency Financial Manager was coming in was to repair the destitute condition of the decaying district, not scrounge up the remaining dollars and lap them up like an insatiable hound.

Roy Roberts, feelin' smug.

Great job, Granholm and Snyder.

Read the document HERE. It’s downright scary.