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March 22, 2012

Hey Republicans: What Would Jesus Do?

jesus and republican suggestions.jpg

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March 17, 2012

When Charter Schools Suck the Life out of Public Schools. St. Pat’s day opinion:

There’s nothing wrong with providing families with options. When charters open in their own privately financed, state-of-the-art buildings in poverty-stricken neighborhoods where they’re welcomed by the community, there may be reasons to celebrate. But when charters co-locate in mixed-income areas, choice is only half the story.

Linda Rosenfeld, author of "I’m so Happy For You," wrote a great op-ed on the charter threat in her neighborhood.

Instead of sending taxpayer funds to another Success Academy (the in-the-works-charter school that had a salesperson handing out leaflets to little kids about the possibility of a new charter school nearby), why not use that same money to try to turn some of the less popular elementary schools into institutions that, Linda’s children’s school, to attract parents from across the socioeconomic spectrum? In studies, a mix of rich and poor has been shown to lift up those at the bottom of the economic rung. As for the privileged families, isn’t it better for them not to spend their entire lives around people exactly like them?

if you’re getting squeemish or board. Then just read a bit of Linda’s op-ed. She does a better job than I do.

And I must leave the farm to a T.C. Boyle signing/talk. hmmm. Which is really an excuse to go drink a lot of green beer (well, it’ll be skinny-bitch- margaritas for me today. But I’ll toast with a green glass). with my folk.

 Cheers to all you Irish whose ancestors saved Civilization! (a must read by Thomas Cahill).

Anita Thompson

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March 12, 2012

Who’s the Luckiest One?

College: What was supposed to be a springboard for equality, has turned into a breeding ground for the privileged? This is no surprise, and has been a problem since the school system began. But what can be done about it?

This morning’s NYT has a good op-ed by Thomas Edsall:

…after World War II, college education today is reinforcing class stratification, with a huge majority of the 24 percent of Americans aged 25 to 29 currently holding a bachelor’s degree coming from families with earnings above the median income.

74% of students going top rated colleges (mostly the Ivy League), come from families with earnings in the top income quartile, while only three percent come from families in the bottom quartile.

Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce and co-author of “How Increasing College Access Is Increasing Inequality, and What to Do about It,” puts it succinctly: “The education system is an increasingly powerful mechanism for the intergenerational reproduction of privilege.”

As for me, i would fit somewhere in the middle (i was lucky, and I worked really hard): my college spanned Ft Collins Community College, UCLA then graduating from Columbia U as an adult. But the best thing about Columbia, besides great professors and the City, was HEALTH INSURANCE — more on that later as I’m off to my current health insurance policy which is called Bikram Yoga.

College? Although Rick Santorum thinks it’s a four-letter-word, but how do we get more kids to at least have the option? Start with a better K-12? Too bad kids can’t vote.

more TK:

your friend in Woody Creek, who beat the roosters this morning. 

I mean, I didn’t literally beat them, just beat them to the morning "ro-ros."

Anita Thompson

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March 11, 2012

“Ro Ro Rooooo” at 3:30 in the morning: Rooster pot pie anyone?

It’s daylight savings. So, the usual 3:30 am rooster calls were sounding at 4:30.

A few weeks ago, the first rooster call of the season seemed really exciting. I texted family and friends that spring is here. Yay. But the novelty has worn off, and my two (yes two, there was a mistake at MacMurray Hatchery) are totally confused. They’re supposed to ro-ro-ro-ro rooo at dawn. Not pre-dawn, right?

Just when I was about to become a meat-eater and roast a couple of roosters for breakfast, I opened the Sunday Times to see an article reminding me of why I’ve been a veg-head for these 20+ years. So roosters, you have Mark Bittman to thank for saving your lives this morning:

IT is pretty well established that animals are capable of suffering; we’ve come a long way since Descartes famously compared them to nonfeeling machines put on earth to serve man. (Rousseau later countered this, saying that animals shared “some measure” of human nature and should partake of “natural right.”) No matter where you stand on this spectrum, you probably agree that it’s a noble goal to reduce the level of the suffering of animals raised for meat in industrial conditions.

Great article about the new technology at the Hague that has a non-animal machine creating meat-like-protein instead of an an actual animal – and it’s tasty, healthy, and not disgusting like living flesh, and perhaps soon available in the states. read here.

Enjoy the tofu, and happy Daylight Savings. 

Your friend at Owl Farm,

Anita Thompson

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March 05, 2012

Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot

The good thing about having Rush Limbaugh as one of the primary spokespersons for the Behemoth Right, is that he represents rot and gluttony in one package. But it’s time to send another message to his advertisers. I hope his own mouth just got himself fired… again. 

When a Georgetown Law student testified before Congress to protest rightwing attacks to limit women’s access to birth control, Rush Limbaugh called her a "slut" and a "prostitute." The advertisers on Rush Limbaugh’s show financially support his attacks on women. Time to let  click here


An excellent book about the jerk is by Al Franken:

 Al Franken, titled,  Rush Limbaugh is a big fat idiot .

It’s one of the first non-fiction political books I’d read in my life (i was early twenties), and laughed out loud it was so good. Check it out if you can. 

Your friend, Back from a good weekend,

Anita Thompson

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