So what's on your alleged mind? James's blog Comments What a day :( Nothing but one computer problem after another. Been a weird day out on the tubes. There's a virus attacking Internet Explorer James, there's currently a virus attacking some of the people that use Internet Explorer. You can go to Google and see what that is. Also, there's a "patch" to correct it...and not sure if that's what your problem is, but just a suggestion. Go to Google and put in "Internet Explorer Virus Patch". It'll take you to where you'll need to go to correct...and I think it's on a Microsoft website. I happened to have my computer in the "shop" at the time and they got 'er done for me. Smitty The best thinking is independent thinking. After much neglect... I'm glad to be back to perusing through BlueNC content. The campaign trail made it somewhat difficult before election day, and then after that I was off to Georgia with the Martin Campaign. After attending Larry and Kay's swearing in festivities in DC yesterday, it's a fair assumption that I'll be back here as often as I can be. 2009 will be a great year. Rep. Kissell has already come out swinging, and Sen. Hagan has already signed on to Ledbetter. Gov. Perdue is finishing assembling her cabinet, and President-elect Obama drops the "elect" in a mere two weeks. Change has prevailed, but it is our duty to hold all feet to the fire, and hold all elected officials (even our friends) to their word. Here's to keeping Hope alive, keeping the wheels of the NCDP turning fluidly through transition and (hopefully) into more progressive territory, and keeping the level headed discussions alive here at wonderful BlueNC. It's good to be back "y'all." I would like to see a post on the computer stuff It's crazy out here. The wind is the featured player in this evenings drama The high winds are playing a symphony using my wind-chimes, the porch swing and assorted pine boughs. Every few measures of this symphony the canine chorus bursts in with their own counterpoint. Is it any wonder that my head hurts? Great prose, Linda Damn....James might be able to use that in a book of his. Super prose, m'lady. The best thinking is independent thinking. Funny. Makes for some interesting characters, no doubt. One of my favorite topics Competence. Which is why I have mixed feelings about Perdue's DHHS pick He appears to be at least competent. May not be so bad after all. But man, he'd better be squeaky clean. I'm concerned about what will happen at the Division of Child Development if a Republican is in charge at DHHS. No offense meant to Smitty and his pals - but it's been recently noted on this site that there is a distinct difference in the world view of Democrats and Republicans. In my experience, most republicans view child care as a luxury, not a necessity. That's not the case, and DCD should be run by someone who gets that. Luxury-Necessity-Right Do they really view it as a "luxury" or is the real disagreement over whether or not non-parental childcare is a right? Certainly a child has a right to be cared for by someone, but I think conservatives get all worked up when adults see it is their right to receive, regardless of means, free childcare for their offspring, free healthcare, housing, etc. Entitlement, if you will. Back to childcare, I think the evil republicans would be more willing to increase childcare spending if: -We made great strides in decreasing children born to truly one-parent situations (only one parent participating in caring for child) -Effectively illustrating the benefits and lower costs to society of providing more childcare options Can I quote??? "Back to childcare, I think the evil republicans would be more willing to increase childcare spending if: -We made great strides in decreasing children born to truly one-parent situations (only one parent participating in caring for child) -Effectively illustrating the benefits and lower costs to society of providing more childcare options" C'mon, y'all....is that the democratic belief? What has lessened our belief in our country that all republicans aren't "evil" and that there are very legitimate concerns in child care on the right vs. the left???? I'm just sickened at this. God help our children...and PLEASE don't allow the left to use them as political pawns. The best thinking is independent thinking. Chill I should have used quotes on "evil republicans" Otherwise, the post was serious. Yeah... Well...look, I know you'll get kudos on this venue for your post and I know you don't have to justify anything you say here because of the majority posters that have the same opinion you have here. I'll take your post as an apology. The best thinking is independent thinking. I thought it was probably a I thought it was probably a pretty middle of the road post. I guess that means I get to piss both sides off... Really? Sure is surprising you thought that. But, hey...if that's what you thought...kudos. If not...and only you can be the one that TRULY knows...shame on you. Work for you? The best thinking is independent thinking. oh..and another thing If you post stuff that pisses me off...lose the "chill" post. It's just too third grade. The best thinking is independent thinking. Third Grade I'm real good at "Your Mom" jokes too :-) Yep : The best thinking is independent thinking. I understand what you're saying, and agree, mostly. I don't see child care as a right, per se, but I do believe that every child regardless of circumstance has a right to be well cared for. Because there are situations that demand child care, it behooves us as a society to ensure that any child care option provides children with a safe, stimulating, developmentally appropriate environment. I disagree with you on one thing, I don't think it's just the "right to" that works conservatives up. That gets under my skin, too, and I'm not anywhere close to being a conservative. I believe that since child care has traditionally been the province of the mother, it is seen as less important than if it were traditionally the province of father. A single parent, especially, are caught on this dilemma. He or she must provide for his or her children, by either being part of the workforce, or by relying on the government to pay for basics such as rent, food, medical care, etc. It's my belief, based on my own observation, that most conservatives don't believe in a single parent family any more than they believe in a family parented by two same-sex adults. Thus, they don't want to support the single parent by ensuring safe, affordable, accessible child care. Remember the boogeyman from the Reagan years? The Single Welfare Mom. Yikes. And yes, you're correct that effectively illustrating the benefits and lower costs to society is a great idea. I wish someone had thought of that before. :) Your experience??? What "experience" is that you can show that republicans view child care as a luxury vs. necessity? Look...I'm sure there are examples you can cite...but, it'll be a real minority...a R E A L minority. Republicans are SUPER involved in child care legislation...um, this is just one of the things I said was how the left likes to show some far-out belief just a few republicans believe as something to say republicans are being so horrible about. I'd certainly like to see how republicans are big-time against child care and such. We have kids, ya know...geeezzz...that really pisses me off. The best thinking is independent thinking. Hey, Smitty, sorry I tweaked you. But this is not some far-out or far left belief that this is the case, this is my opinion based on my experience as an early childhood educator who has been actively involved in advocacy in this state for going on 10 years. The problems that I see are diminishing federal funds that support quality in child care. The amount allocated annually between 2001 and 2006 went down dramatically since 2001, yet the demand for services and the federal to state mandates have increased. I was paying attention all that time; I know which party was in power in all 3 branches of the federal government Don't try to disown them now, y'all could have in 2004 but you didn't. I'd love for you to name me a Republican who is SUPER involved in child care legislation in a way in which I could agree - but you'd be hard pressed to find me one. I hear ya, Linda Yeah...I hear ya, Linda. I am not here to laud anything my republicans have done...nor am I hear to dissuade anyone from believing that the Clinton administration wasn't lax in their attention to childcare. I am here saying that we do, in fact, need to change our nation's focus on this very important issue. I'm trying desperately not to be partisan...I'm thinking that you dems will be "SUPER involved in child care legislation" (as you put it). You know me...you know I have been critical of the Bush administration's impact on not only this issue but MANY issues that affect we normal, middle-of-the-road citizens. I also know I can't cite anything the previous administration did that showed they were "SUPER" involved in this very important issue. However...I'm optimistic now. This is a critical issue and if the demos are truly interested in it...they have the "clout" to get-er-done. Hopefully that happens. The best thinking is independent thinking. I hope so, too, Smitty. I hope so, too. (PS - Clinton had better ideas about child care that got shot down by the a Congress that was controlled by Republicans for 6 years of his 8 year administration. :)) It's always republican's fault I know that's gonna be what's presented here...just gotta accept it. I'm curious, Linda, your take on the Obamas putting their girls in a private school. Is public education not good enough for them? Yeah, I know repub presidents did it...but, hey, they were rupubs. Why is it that Obama is against vouchers for parents that want to have their kids go to private schools and he then chooses to send his kids to a private school? I've heard the standard "security" response to this..which is ridiculous in my view...what's your take on it? The best thinking is independent thinking. Public v. private Actually, I don't like that the Obamas have chosen to enroll their girls in private school; I'd rather see public schools get the support and scrutiny. The added level of security that would have to be provided at any chosen school would certainly increase the quality and safety of a public school. I don't know why Obama is against vouchers yet still chose to have his children go to private school; they didn't discuss the matter with me. "they didn't discuss the matter with me" There it is again... Was that necessary? The best thinking is independent thinking. It was a joke, man. I wasn't trying to be snarky. I guess I just can't help it sometimes. Sorry. Do you want the long answer? I have no idea why Obama made the choice he did while still being opposed to vouchers. Knowing what I know of his policies, he might find a voucher plan he'd support, I don't know. My worry with vouchers is that while pretending to level the playing field, they won't. There will always be folks who want to bump to the front of the line, bypass the waiting list, seat-surf to the front row. Still, if the right voucher plan came along, one that truly did protect public schools as well as private, I'd support it. I just haven't seen one yet work in a demonstrable way. Okay...good by me I can accept that. Thanks. The best thinking is independent thinking. A republican view on school vouchers "leveling the playing field" (depending on what you meant by that, Linda) isn't why proponents of vouchers like them. They feel that if there is a choice for parents to have their children go to private schools vs. public schools, it will force public schools to compete with the private schools in academic standards. This can only help our education system. I understand that the teacher's unions are adamantly against that...but ya gotta question why, don't you? I have four kids all of which went to public schools. I'm a proactive parent with regard to education so they did well...one "acceptable" (if you know what I mean). But, I saw just SO many kids that didn't have that advantage. I saw just too many instances of a "give-a-shit" attitude with regard to high school teachers. However, I have to give credit to the K - 8 teachers...they were just soooooo dedicated and involved in the kids. The best thinking is independent thinking. The column is crowded! I'll reply below, Smitty. The financial situation of our nation and what it means to real people...not the ass-hats on Wall Street and those others we now own a stake in...whether we wanted to or not. Stan Bozarth Novel If y'all look at my blog post that I just ceated a minute ago, you will see information about a novel that I have decided to write, this will be my first novel so if Y'all have any pointers, let me know. good news Rev. Ryan Eller, an advocate for North Carolina's 5th congressional district, has taken a job with CHANGE, Forsyth County's IAF affiliate. I didn't even know the IAF was active in Forsyth County, but I expect we'll be hearing a lot more about it from now on. Here's some more info: http://www.wataugawatch.net/2009/01/good-profile-article-on-rev.html http://www2.journalnow.com/content/2009/jan/07/change-organizer-is-hoping-for-change/ http://www.changeiaf.org/ Eller in the Winston-Salem Journal: "Our philosophy is that the government is organized by political parties, corporations are organized by boards and management, and people oftentimes get left out of the equation because they're not organized," Eller said. "And so our job is to organize people, to organize organizations. And through that, we want to give folks a voice in their own governance in a way that they've never really ever had before." Eller, 27, started at the job Dec. 15. He said he plans to continue the work that CHANGE has done. "What I would like to be a part of is a transformation of the Forsyth County community," he said. "I'm not naive enough to believe I can come in and in a few years all the different subgroups of the community are going to get along with each other, but I really do believe that for us to be a successful community we have to have self-governance, and we have to have justice and equality." - - - - -http://twitter.com/Jerimee even more good news! Another IAF organizer, Ivan Parra, was profiled in the N&O. Parra was kind enough to get coffee with me a few years ago; he seemed like a brilliant organizer. http://www.newsobserver.com/726/story/1350544.html "I have seen that we can win," he says. "That becomes ... I don't want to say addictive. But it's that. That possibility of winning, of being relevant, becomes very rewarding." - - - - -http://twitter.com/Jerimee Am pondering human nature and how it affects modes of business/marketing, especially small businesses, independent businesses. Economic stress, worry ... drives people to spend less, that is obvious, but does it really also drive people to "nest" and stay close to home? Heard this on the radio. Can we tap that natural tendency (a desire to keep things close to home) and use it to increase traffic and customers for Main Street restaurants/merchants and other independent local businesses? Can we (downtown/independents) be a value-added discovery for local citizens (used to driving too much) that allows them to enjoy an evening out or a Saturday morning shopping closer to home? On the agenda for the next meeting ... "They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." Move Locally I heard a fitness person say once that everyone should get on Google Maps and draw a 1-mile circle around their house. Anything inside that circle they should do by walking or biking. Now, Betsy might not have anything inside the 1-mile circle that isn't on her property! But, for most of us there are a acouple things we do inside that mile that we could start walking/biking to do. So, for instance, I just drew one-mile and two-mile circles around my house. One mile gets me to the grocery store, kid's friends houses, restaurants, bars, local parks - lots of things. Two mile circle gets me near my work (as the crow flies, it is actually just over 2.5 miles the way I walk or bike). Also, covers a lot of downtown. Now, I can't do my weekly shopping on a bike, but I can pick up two or three bags and walk home with them. I don't do that now, maybe I will start. Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over. -me why haven't I done this yet the map radius thing sounds like a great exercise - someone should make a website to do this one-click - - - - -http://twitter.com/Jerimee hahahahahaha!! This is too funny. I tried it, Robert. The only thing I could do within a mile of my house is put gas in my car. You are soooo wrong, Robert I can walk in my woods and talk to the cows. I can walk to the ball field that belongs to the church and watch a softball/baseball game. I can pick blackberries. I can visit friends. I can go fishing at a stocked pond owned by a friend and I can enjoy a paddle boat ride at the same pond. A convenience store with a little diner is walking distance, but I can't think of anything on their menu that isn't deep fried. You know, of all the things I listed, talking to the cows is my favorite. Simple things for simple minds. :D *************************** Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own. Not at all simple .. "You know, of all the things I listed, talking to the cows is my favorite." Sounds like a Far Side cartoon caption. Just my brain after a week in a high school. Nice activities, Betsy. I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you? I think it's a great idea. One really good way for smaller downtowns to market themselves is to have extended hours on at least one evening a week, and be open at least for a little while on Sundays. So...that's gonna compete against WalMart? Look...WalMart has taken away the competitiveness the "downtown" stores and so forth can be involved with. People go to WalMart...1). they're accessable and 2). they're more reasonable price-wise. Anything said otherwise is just ridiculous. The best thinking is independent thinking. Killing Federal law enforcement were also reported to be looking into whether Mr. Grant’s civil rights were violated in his killing. . This one is going to go nukular if the cop doesn't hang. n&O blogs and comments Has anyone ever heard of a local "Debrah Correll"? I was beginning a blog about author Tim Tyson's upcoming appearance in Winston Salem--ran across some interesting comments from her in a N&O blog http://blogsarchive.newsobserver.com/zane/index.php?title=tim_tyson_revisits_duke_lacrosse_case&more... :) Just curious. BTW I have never seen Tyson speak and havent yet read Blood Done Sign My Name. LeighA Smut-Filled Tome Response to Smitty on vouchers You weren't sure what I meant by leveling the playing field - I mean the same thing you said: public schools should be able to compete academically with private ones. The sad truth is that most public schools can't afford to meet the class size and/or student-teacher ratio that private schools can. If you reduce class size from 25:1 to 10:1, you will almost assuredly improve academic performance just by doing that. But public schools don't have the ability to limit the number of students who attend -- even the size of the building doesn't limit it. Private schools do. They *can* turn children away. Public schools can't. (That's why we call them public, and yes, this is a parenthetical snicker. I'm trying to get away from emoticons.) If class size or student:teacher ratio were reduced, you'd have teachers who weren't nearly as overworked as they are now. Teachers do a lot of heavy lifting in our society, and are hardly ever given the credit for what they achieve. Sure, there are bad teachers out there. There are bad doctors, lawyers, comedians, etc. But even a bad teacher will do a better job with a smaller class. Unfortunately, our society hasn't seen fit to value education to the point to be able to afford that type of educational system. I have yet to be convinced that vouchers would do the same thing that putting more funding into the existing school systems wouldn't do. I wish I had the answer on education, Linda I don't want to just extending this discussion out for each of us to just cover the usual arguments pro/con on school vouchers. I can't disagree with a single point you've made. I can only post that I feel there is money in public school budgets that is manipulated away from the actual process of teaching and classrooms. Hey, we've now got the NC Education Lottery yet still have the problem you cited with class size and teacher/student ration. What's up with that??? I sure wish I had the purse strings...and I guess that's about all I can say about that. When I went to school...even when my own kids went to school (and they're now in their 40's) we didn't have to provide all the materials needed in the classrooms. Schools had the money to pay for just about everything needed (not everything, mind you)...right down to insurance and trips and uniforms etc. What the heck happened? Classroom sizes didn't seem extraordinarily large to me...but, that's just as memory serves me which is questionable : Currently, unless there's a rich family involved, access to private education is pretty much out of the question. So, there's really no school choice. I see choice as being good for education, providing competition which can only be good for the kids. We'll not see it the same way as you defend public school teachers and I'm a citizen whose only involvement now in education is in the taxes I pay in that regard. The best thinking is independent thinking.