How to Help Save Music Education?

26 03 2010

Do something!

Your creative kids have got until April 16 to join the Battle of the Bands, maybe win some “rockin’ prizes” and help save music in schools from learning about the Day the Music Died . . .

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New Diagnosis of What’s Causing Health Care Political Symptoms

26 03 2010

A couple of lines in the news jumped out at JJ this morning from this piece — maybe you’d already thought of it but she hadn’t!

As doctors move from being employers to employees, their politics often take a leftward turn. . .

Gordon H. Smith, executive vice president of the Maine Medical Association, said that his organization had changed from being like a chamber of commerce to being like a union.

Seems there’s been a dramatic move just in the past five years, from private practice to salaried medicine within hospitals and health care systems. No, not dramatic because it’s been quiet, not part of the high drama-trauma politics of health care reform. Still, HUGE. Imagine a third of all employer doctoring shifting to become employee doctoring, just since 2005! Talk about a revolution.

And it had nothing to do with government force via tea parties or pallin’ around with terrorists.

Individual doctors have been making marketplace choices, not being forced into this shift by government. So by the very definitions of right-wing politics, this reflects individual economic choice exercised by well-educated, hard-working, tax-paying Americans in their own best interest.





Really?

21 03 2010

They might actually pass a health insurance reform bill?

Something that might actually help real people?

I thought this thing was dead, really. And now they might actually accomplish something.

Hurray! Hurray with fingers crossed, anyway. 🙂





First Rugby Match Ever (Though It Was Sister-Kissing)

13 03 2010

Exciting! Young Son and I were hosted by Scottish nationals and had a great time.

But in the end, Scotland versus England at Murray Field on BBC today disappointed, ending in a 12-12 tie, Can’t remember the last tie allowed to stand in any sporting event I cared about . . .

OTOH, the players were hot. Incredibly cute in a virile, clean-looking, wholesome way. And rubgy compares pretty favorably to American football in terms of moving right along . . .





More Church Abuse of Its Own Members

7 03 2010

is being reported and, as with Catholic priests abusing generations of children who grew up to finally go public with what they had suffered and how it had been cynically covered up by a patriarchal, authoritarian institution that considers itself above earthly government by mere humans, it’s being reported by former believers, loyal insiders.

They could not just up and go. For one, they said, the church had taken their passports. But even more important, they knew . . . they would be declared “suppressive persons” — antisocial enemies [who] . . . would lose the possibility of living for eternity.

. . .“You’re in fear,” Mr. Collbran said. “You’re so into it, it’s everything you know: your family, your eternity.”

Mike Rinder, who for more than 20 years was the church’s spokesman, said . . .”disconnection has become a way of controlling people” . . .

[But this is] no different from Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Amish who practice shunning or excommunication. “These are common religious tenets,” [the current spokesman] said.

“The very survival of a religion is contingent on its protecting itself.”

Just like the superpowered not-humanity of corporations and wild animals. Power corrupts and superpower corrupts superbly. At least this is some honest free speech from a church spokesman for once, putting institutional religion’s all-powerful overriding human-killing survival instinct out in the open where real people can see it and maybe talk about it.

See some powerful stories of how Church power turns against its own, starting with a married couple each raised in the Church, pledged for a billion years to its service, but now trying to get out and exercise free speech about their actual religious freedom. In America — you know, where such human rights are supposedly guaranteed to the people in the so-called Bill of Rights?

What will we choose to believe about who/what is being threatened in this story, and what we are prepared to do about it on behalf of our fellows and communities? Where is the greater good, the greater evil, the authentic freedoms and rights and traditions to be honored and/or reinstated, the fabricated truths and evil powers and human wrongs to be righted, as best we humans can manage it?





Why Fencing Knickers Make Me Feel at Home

4 03 2010

Getting one’s first pair of fencing knickers is not something that most families celebrate. 😉

But COD and his seasoned 16-year-old Dark Horse fencer will appreciate it, if no one else can. And this week I’m in the hunt for any family-and-friends moment that can draw the cozy circle of “home” closer.

My life seems a little surreal because we’ve moved into a local hotel, pending new traditional wood floors being sanded, sealed and finished throughout our home of ten years. You don’t want to know how dusty places I haven’t seen since 2002 had gotten — we’ve all been sneezing our heads off — or how many boxes of books we packed before we could notice any difference (over 100.) Everything we own from electronics and delicates to the refrigerator and washer-dryer is now stuffed into our garage like a Jenga puzzle, front to back, floor to ceiling, and I mean everything — including, unexpectedly and rather unfortunately from my POV at least, the shirts and suits DH needs for work and all of Young Son’s personal hygiene products.

But by golly, we got out with Young Son’s fencing bag, chanter and bagpipes, Irish stepdance hard shoes, the library’s Les Miserables still in progress, his iTouch AND one of the chess boards. . . oh, and more than a dozen geek t-shirts.

And this laptop, upon which I now muse.

So anyway. Our regularly scheduled daily activities proceed unabated here “at home” except we’re not. At home, I mean. Instead of taking a vacation from our home, it’s more like our home is taking a vacation from us! Who are we, really — just where we are now or also where we were, where we hope to be? What we have with us at the moment and can show, or also what we’ve collected over time, even if we can’t get at it or forgot where we put it?

Wednesday afternoon we went to the fencing salle as we always do, but from the opposite side of town so it was the same but different. The knickers in his suddenly adult size had come in, hurray, so that when he’s ready for his first tournament, Read the rest of this entry »





At Stake Right Now . . .

3 03 2010

At stake right now is not just our ability to solve this problem, but our ability to solve any problem.”