17512 Columbia

Archive for February 3rd, 2012|Daily archive page

today’s news … Friday, February 3

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2012 at 5:31 am

today’s news and information gleanings from here and there! 

Quote for today“To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.”W.E.B. DuBois

  • OLA Novice team wins tournament
  • School districts here wrestle with budgets. Columbia school board, for instance, approved a preliminary budget with a 10.78 percent increase, which would boost the average taxpayer’s bill by $216. But the board’s goal for its final budget is to stay within the district’s Act 1 index of 2.5 percent, which would result in an average tax increase of $50, according to business manager Laura Cowburn.” – Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/New Era
  • Austerity will become reality! This is a reality quote from a column written by the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, General Raymond Ondierno, in the current issue of “ECHOES” – the newsletter for retired US. Army soldiers. “In the past, during periods of austerity, we’ve said, ‘We will have to do more with less.’ As we move forward under significant budget restrictions, we will have to do ‘less with less.” We will have to accept higher levels of risk than we have in the past. Determining where best to do so is the primary task before us.” When will local governments, school boards and bargaining units come to grips with that reality?Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/New Era
  • The $avior $peak$ – “To hear him tell it, the United States will collapse under the weight of its health care system and basic freedoms will be history. Iran will annihilate Israel and then South Carolina if Iran isn’t blocked from building a nuclear weapon. And divorce will yield higher taxes for all Americans.” – The Boston Globe
  • Letters to the editor – including one from a municipal elected “public servant” who gets it! – Lancaster Intelligencer Journal/New Era
  • PLANS! Before he became President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower was General Eisenhower. He was a consummate planner, but he knew: “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” Likewise every emergency management professional and emergency responder who has been in a leadership role knows that the Incident Action Plan [Incident Action Plan (IAP): An oral or written plan containing general objectives reflecting the overall strategy for managing an incident.] sets the tone for the expected outcome of the response. Here is a perspective about planning for fire department consolidation in Columbia. Read the rest of this entry »

“The Crisis of Education in America: ‘How to Become a Serf’”

In Education, Government, Opinions on February 3, 2012 at 5:30 am
A society in which people exist for the sake of companies is a society enslaved
By John Kozy, © Copyright John Kozy, Global Research, 2012

Educational systems now train workers to fulfill the needs of companies. A society in which people exist for the sake of companies is a society enslaved. But there’s a deep problem with the notion that education should equal vocational training. To paraphrase a very famous and renowned person, man does not live by work alone. Indeed, the knowledge and skills needed to earn a living in a capitalist industrial economy are of little use in human relationships, and human relationships are the core of everyone’s life. Schools devoted to vocational training provide no venue for teaching cultural differences, for trying to understand the person who lives next door or in another country. Value systems are never evaluated; alternatives are never considered. As a result, although we all live on the same planet, we do not live together. At best, we only live side by side. At worst, we live to kill each other. Education as vocational training reduces everything to ideology, our devotion to which causes us to reject the stark reality that stares us in the face, because our ideologies color the realities we see and people never get wiser than those of previous generations. People have become nothing but the monkeys of hurdy gurdy grinders, tethered to grinders’ organs with tin cups in hands to be filled for the benefit of the grinders. And this is the species we refer to as sapient. What a delusion!

(Photo source: Wind-Up Monkey at Organ Grinder Pizza. by Bonnie (Boston, MA) – uniquely-portland-oregon.com)

For many years, I have been troubled by what I saw as the results of what passes for education in America and perhaps elsewhere too. Why is it, do you suppose, that one generation does not seem to get any smarter than the previous one? Oh, it may know more of this or that, but what it “knows” does not translate into smarts. In other words, why don’t people ever seem to get wiser? Why do they repeat the same mistakes over and over?

For centuries, an education was thought to be comprised of considerably more than one providing the skills and requirements needed to carry on a trade or profession. For instance, consider this passage:

“Education is not the same as training. Plato made the distinction between techne (skill) and episteme (knowledge). Becoming an educated person goes beyond the acquisition of a technical skill. It requires an understanding of one’s place in the world—cultural as well as natural—in pursuit of a productive and meaningful life. And it requires historical perspective so that one does not just live, as Edmund Burke said, like ‘the flies of a summer,’ born one day and gone the next, but as part of that ‘social contract’ that binds our generation to those who have come before and to those who are yet to be born.

An education that achieves those goals must Read the rest of this entry »

“Fighting fact-free journalism: a how-to guide” – The Conversation

In Everyday Living, Opinions, Opportunities on February 3, 2012 at 5:25 am

(It can be hard to sort fact from fiction in the modern media environment Mike Bailey-Gates) … and with some blog sites, it’s impossible.

A growing cohort of commentators has bemoaned the descent of contemporary political “debate” into a largely fact-free zone.

People used to be entitled to their own opinions, but not their own set of facts. In the contemporary spectacle that passes for politics, it appears as though politicians are also entitled to make up their own facts at will.

There are small but encouraging signs that this era of post-fact politics might be coming to an end.

The boundary between truth and falsehood has arguably been eroded during the past few decades, aided in part by a media which has gradually discarded actual journalism that establishes and reports facts in favour of “he-said-she-said” churnalism.

This trend has made it possible for outlandish and patently false claims, such as the imaginary uncertainty surrounding President Obama’s place of birth, to be given extended coverage by the “mainstream” media, rather than being speedily dismissed upon investigation for complete lack of substance.

Truth Vigilantes

Into this fact-free media world exploded a bombshell earlier this year when public editor of the New York Times Arthur Brisbane asked whether the paper should be a “truth vigilante”. Brisbane asks “whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge ‘facts’ that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.”

Excuse me?!

Isn’t this why we have a free press in the first place?

The very fact this question is posed reveals the full depth of the vortex into which some Western societies have descended … . But the fact the question was posed also shows this crisis is beginning to penetrate even the minds of those who are partially responsible for it in the first place. This is surely an encouraging sign.

This (below) is not an encouraging sign!

It can be hard to sort fact from fiction in the modern media environment. Mike Bailey-Gates Read the rest of this entry »

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