“Pro-Choice? Quit Crying About Your Miscarriage”

7 02 2009

Here at Snook we’ve talked lately about “respect” — you know, what respect means, how we manifest it, and who owes it to whom for what.

We’ve talked about respect for marriage and/or divorce; for education choices and achievements, from charter schools to doctoral degrees to a politician educating his own children any darn way he sees fit regardless of party rhetoric; respect for the office of the presidency and/or respect for diametrically opposed inhabitants of that office; respect for neighbors who do or do not report criminals in their midst; respect for world-class musicians who use pre- or post-recording technology to give us their best despite weather at its worst; even respect for and respect shown by, personal wardrobe choices such as audacious hats, suitcoat or shirtsleeves. . .

Here now is a disrespectful post about human life, drawing attention from humans who seem to respect inhumane beliefs ABOUT human life more than actual human life: Read the rest of this entry »

Bill Gates’ Change Checklist: Mosquitoes, Education, Sleep

7 02 2009

Bill Gates video at TED this week on how he personally is working to change the world. Yes, this is the attention-getting, audience-unsettling mosquito release stunt you heard about. . . and it’s all about education too (schools, libraries, teachers, and btw, praise for those KIPP charter schools that unions want back under collective bargaining controls.)

His service themes are mind-bogglingly well-funded through his foundation of course, but also for the most part they’re focused on smart, creative, pragmatic change, and what I might call “pro-life through choice” thinking. He is quite literally saving the lives of women and children worldwide, and making a world-changing difference in the lives of many millions more.

Bill Gates hopes to solve some of the world’s biggest problems using a new kind of philanthropy. In a passionate and, yes, funny 18 minutes, he asks us to consider two big questions and how we might answer them. . .

Read the rest of this entry »

School Folk Fighting for Control, Yep, Fits Right In

7 02 2009

“Perhaps the standoff should not be a surprise. Charter schools, which are publicly financed but operate independently, were founded in opposition to teachers’ unions; many of the movement’s supporters view union contracts as a fundamental flaw in public education that keeps ineffective teachers on the job.

And KIPP [Knowledge Is Power Program] like many charters, has hired teachers without traditional training and requires long hours and weekend work, usually for extra pay. . .”

With unionization heating up as the next big battle in federal politics as soon as our pesky economic crisis is addressed, this skirmish fits right in — see pro and con politics of union card check fight, and you might think the interests of you and your child to live free and peacefully don’t figure into it much, for either side.

Are public or private (government or corporate) controls on your side as an individual, or is the deeper truth that in the never-ending battles and/or collusions between them, we as self-governing individuals just keep losing, no matter which front is the news of the day?