GLOBAL PANIC OF 2014 REACHES CHINA: Freakishly Large, Bizzare Flying Insect Found in Sichuan Province, Experts SayPosted: July 22, 2014
World’s largest flying aquatic insect, with huge, nightmarish pincers, has been discovered in China’s Sichuan province
Large enough to cover the face of a human adult, this scary-looking insect is also known among entomologists as an indicator of good water quality.
(CNN) – According to the Insect Museum of West China, local villagers in the outskirts of Chengdu handed over “weird insects that resemble giant dragonflies with long teeth” earlier this month.
Several of these odd critters were examined by the museum and found to be unusually large specimens of the giant dobsonfly, which is native to China and Vietnam.
The largest one measured 21 centimeters (8.27 inches) when its wings were open, according to the museum, busting the original record for largest aquatic insect held by a South American helicopter damselfly, which had a wingspan of 19.1 centimeters (7.5 inches). Read the rest of this entry »
Global Panic of July 2014 Centers on Meat Spill on Upstate New York Roads, Stench may Reach Manhattan by Sundown
The Associated Press reports – QUEENSBURY, N.Y. – Some car owners are raising a stink after driving a road littered with meat in upstate New York.
The Post-Star of Glens Falls reports that dozens of chunks of meat were on the road in front of a mall Thursday in Queensbury, about 60 miles north of Albany.
Police believe meat fell off a truck that might have been heading from a farm or slaughterhouse to a rendering plant, but no one has come forward to claim it.
‘This Video Has Been Removed By User': Cowardly Washington State Democrat’s Controversial Campaign Ad Angers CriticsPosted: July 12, 2014
Washington Examiner‘s T. Becket Adams contributes to embarrassing a reckless Washington state congressional candidate. Does he stand by his message? Well, no. He yanked the YouTube link, as illustrated in the screen cap above. The Yakima Herald reports that Beltran pulled the ad on Saturday after Americans for Responsible Solutions, a pro-gun control group, criticized it. Here’s how Beltran‘s (now removed) ad begins:
“They say I can’t win in this district.”
Estakio Beltran might as well have added “so let me take this opportunity to prove them right.”
“But what happens to an elephant that stands around doing nothing for too long?” he asked, referring to Republican Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington’s 4th District.
The Democratic candidate pulls the trigger and blows away the elephant.
According to The Seattle Times, the backlash over the imagery of the “Republican Party Symbol” has been heaviest among conservatives, who say the Democrats “would flip out if a GOP candidate blasted away at a symbol of the [Democrat] Party.”
Understandable, yes, it’d be a Democrats-with-hair-on-fire cuckoo-bananas flip out.
“Mr. Beltran’s ad showing him shooting a stuffed elephant — the longtime symbol of the Republican Party — is irresponsible and offensive. This kind of misguided imagery and rhetoric on both sides of the political spectrum just furthers the lack of balance in our nation’s debate about guns,” a statement from Americans for Responsible Solutions read…(read more)
T. Becket Adams continues,
…this is slightly different from shooting a copy of the Affordable Care Act. There’s the Imagery of the party mascot and the suggestion that “this is what happens” to incumbent Republican politicians…
…Remember: Hours after Jared Loughner on Jan. 8, 2011, opened fire on a crowd in Casas Adobes, Ariz., killing six people and injuring 13, including Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, economist Paul Krugman penned a blog post blaming former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin:
Just yesterday, Ezra Klein remarked that opposition to health reform was getting scary. Actually, it’s been scary for quite a while, in a way that already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing. Read the rest of this entry »
Known for crafting scripts for the stage and screen with maximum authorial command, David Mamet is the last guy I’d count on to “go with the flow” in a dispute about content.
Milwaukee’s Alchemist Theatre has canceled its production of the David Mamet drama “Oleanna” after one performance after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the playwright’s representatives over the theater company’s decision to cast a male actor in the play’s lead female role.
Violating an author’s material to add new chapters in the gender debate would be a non-issue if the author were a dead white male. They picked a live one. Who better to tango with than a famous successful macho provocateur like David Mamet?
“Oleanna,” introduced to audiences shortly after the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, centers on the relationship between a professor and a female student who accuses him of harassment and rape.
In Alchemist’s production, which opened Thursday night, Ben Parman was cast in the role of Carol, the student. David Sapiro plays John, the professor.
In a statement issued Friday evening, Erica Case and Aaron Kopec, owners of Alchemist Theatre, said:
“We excitedly brought this story to the stage because even though it was written years ago, the unfortunate story that it tells is still relevant today. We auditioned for this show looking for the best talent, not looking for a gender. When Ben Parman auditioned we saw the reality that this relationship, which is more about power, is not gender-specific but gender-neutral.”
Do you think Mamet overreacted? I’d like to hear his point of view. This seems heavy handed toward regional theater, but I assume the license has terms and the terms were violated. Why didn’t the theater seek permission before committing to this path?
I’d like to hear Mamet’s view, too. At this time (the news of the play’s closure was reported in the journal Sentinel less than 24 hours ago) he’s not made any public comments, but I suspect we’ll see something within a few days. I agree with Althouse when she says,
“…It’s specifically all about the male teacher/female student relationship. If it’s about 2 men, it’s a different story. There’s nothing wrong with telling different stories, bouncing off an old text, and any given production can stand on its own merit, but Mamet owns the rights…”
“Oleanna” is ripe for reinterpretation. Gender elasticity is the preoccupation of our time. For talented writers like Kevin D. Williamson, it’s a lively debate topic. (read his Laverne Cox piece if you haven’t yet, exploding with 8736 Comments) For any number of hack journalists, academics, bloggers, and media figures, it’s an echo chamber. Why not theater people, too? It’s easy to see the temptation. Especially with material like “Oleanna“.
But it’s inconceivable that anyone even casually familiar with Mamet’s work could underestimate this author’s seriousness about precision, fidelity, and creative control. Of all the writers to screw with, David Mamet? Really?
“…I suspect he’s angry that he wasn’t asked, but I also think he would have said no, it wrecks his story, and isn’t that probably why they didn’t ask?”
I agree, if asked, Mamet would likely have said no, though he might have invited Alchemist to make its case before declining.
But it wasn’t just that Mamet wasn’t asked. The casting choice was concealed until the curtain went up. It was staged for maximum controversy. Read Erica Case and Aaron Kopec’s statement, see if you think it makes sense.
“We auditioned for this show looking for the best talent, not looking for a gender. When Ben Parman auditioned we saw the reality that this relationship, which is more about power, is not gender-specific but gender-neutral.”
Authors and lawyers are inclined to be more specific.
“We stayed true to each of David Mamet’s powerful words and did not change the character of Carol but allowed the reality of gender and relationship fluidity to add to the impact of the story. We are so very proud of the result, of both Ben and David Sapiro’s talent, and Erin Eggers’ direction.”
The “reality of gender and relationship fluidity”? This is the kind of postmodern academic gibberish that Mamet brilliantly savages in his plays. What they’re essentially saying is, “we reject the author’s reality, and are substituting our reality.” As Williamson says, “facts are not subject to our feelings.”
Not knowing the details of the contractual agreements involved in staging plays, it’s not clear if Erica Case and Aaron Kopec thought they were taking a calculated risk, and expected to succeed? Or expected to fail, intentionally provoking the author, invitng a shut-down, figuring they’d benefit either way? That they went to “unusual lengths” to conceal their casting gambit suggests an attention-seeking stunt.
Violating an author’s material to add new chapters in the gender debate would be a non-issue if the author were a dead white male. They picked a live one. Who better to tango with than a famous successful macho provocateur like David Mamet?
Welcome to micro-agression theater.
Chris Foran continues…
Dramatists Play Service, which represents Mamet and which gave Alchemist the rights to produce the play, didn’t see it that way. The firm sent the cease-and-desist letter Friday, the day that reviews of the show appeared online and revealed the company’s casting decision — a decision that the company went to unusual lengths to keep hidden before opening curtain.
Poll: Obama’s Choice in Neckties Hits Record Highs, Leadership, Foreign Policy, Economy, Health Care, Competence, Not So GoodPosted: June 18, 2014
Though the President’s taste in fine’s menswear is enjoying its highest approval rating since 2012, especially his ties, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reveals that President Obama’s disapproval ratings on leadership, foreign policy, and competence, are among his worst ever.
After a slight rebound last month in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, President Obama is back to his previous overall job approval low of 41% (a drop of 3%) and hit record lows on his handling of foreign policy and overall competence…
“It all comes back to one word: leadership.”
– Democratic pollster Peter Hart
…A full 57% (a record high for this poll) disapprove of the way Obama is handling foreign policy. Only 37% approve. Read the rest of this entry »
“This poll is a disaster for the president.”
President Obama‘s approval rating has dropped to 41 percent, a majority of Americans disapprove of his handling of foreign policy issues, he has lost support from the Hispanic community and Americans actually think his administration is less competent than the Bush White House post-Hurricane Katrina, according to a new survey from the Wall Street Journal and NBC News.
“…Lowest job rating, tied for the lowest; lowest on foreign policy. His administration is seen as less competent than the Bush administration, post-Katrina.”
In short, the poll is nothing but bad news for the president.
“…essentially the public is saying your presidency is over.”
[more about the WSJ/NBC News poll here.]
Note: Chuck Todd says something interesting here, that’s left unexplained (in this clip) about 34 seconds in,
“What’s interesting, it’s a disaster for the president, it’s not a disaster for the Democrats.”
What? If so, that would be historically peculiar. A president’s unpopularity and disastrous failure that inflicts no damage to the party he leads? Seriously? Recall that Bush’s unpopularity–nearly identical–damaged the Republican brand so thoroughly that the effects linger to this day. Somebody explain how the Democratic party, in the public eye, is somehow insulated from Obama’s unpopularity.
“Effectively rewriting history to suit their agenda, the press will also inflate the legacy of Obama, once his final term is complete, reinventing him as a historic, noble, misunderstood figure of astonishing greatness.”
If true, the only explanation I can imagine is this: Once the press’s historic success at promoting and protecting its cherished president begins to fail, they can at least succeed in protecting their party’s brand. And let’s not kid ourselves, it’s their party. The media is overwhelmingly Democratic, donating millions to campaigns, actively working for the cause, its most influential members no longer even attempting to pretend otherwise. The media’s collective efforts to discredit Bush, smear Republicans, and fortify Democrats, could actually work. Chuck Todd may be right. Read the rest of this entry »
Funny thing about the pundit class, as our contributing editor, primatologist, once observed:
“There’s no penalty for wrong predictions.”
We’ll call it the First Law of Punditocracy. But even in the penalty-free pundit zone, I’m not nearly as brave as Tom Bevan, who’s looked into the future and sees a presidential campaign without Hillary. While I don’t necessarily agree with his analysis, he sells the idea better than most, everything he says here makes sense.
In fact, I picked up a clue from Hillary’s televised interview yesterday, June 17h, with Bret Baier & Greta Van Susteren, the segment where Clinton defended her remarks about the U.S. political system being the “most brutal” in the world. The statement was controversial–for obvious reasons–and though she did an adequate job of qualifying it, reframing it, Hillary unintentionally revealed two things that help make Bevan‘s case.
1) Hillary’s complaints about the U.S.’s non-parlimentary, winner-take-all system’s disadvantages; about how our campaigns are not time-limited the way some other western democracies are, complaints about uniquely-American campaign financing, referring unhappily to the Supreme court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission–which old-school media-monopoly Democrats hate, Hillary has a personal reason to hate (the *case involved her directly) and modern power-monopoly progressives deeply hate–complaints about how difficult and exhausting and expensive a presidential campaign is, were convincingly hesitant and weary. She knows how hard it is. That campaign was brutal. It will certainly be more brutal this time. Is she up for it? Her private concerns, if she harbors any, are valid.
*In the case, the conservative lobbying group Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act or “BCRA”). Section 203 of BCRA defined an “electioneering communication” as a broadcast, cable, or satellite communication that mentioned a candidate within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary, and prohibited such expenditures by corporations and unions. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia held that §203 of BCRA applied and prohibited Citizens United from advertising the film Hillary: The Movie in broadcasts or paying to have it shown on television within 30 days of the 2008 Democratic primaries. The Supreme Court reversed this decision, striking down those provisions of BCRA that prohibited corporations (including nonprofit corporations) and unions from making independent expenditures and “electioneering communications”
2) Hillary revealed an impression of a figure who’s been in elite circles all of her professional life. Traveling around the globe attending exclusive international events, where at exclusive dinner parties these free-world aristocrats can compare notes, and complain privately about how hard their jobs are. It’s an unseemly kind of complaining that’s not meant for public consumption, comments better expressed at those private champagne lunches with other insulated world leaders. That’s clue two. Out of touch, inept at campaigning. It’s a gaffe similar to the ones Bevan mentions.
Those are just impressions. Mainly, it’s the first one. Hillary’s characterization of the monumental task of running for president. It could be more difficult and ugly than she (or any sane person) is willing to endure. I don’t draw conclusions from those impressions, but it did make me reconsider Tom Bevan‘s list of 5 reasons. Without further commentary, here’s the kickoff to Tom’s list. Read the whole thing here.
Hillary Clinton’s minions are hard at work assembling a political machine and fine tuning it for another go at the White House. Mrs. Clinton is doing her part preparing for a run as well, churning out a bland memoir about the “hard choices” she faced as secretary of state and coyly positioning herself (again) as the inevitable nominee of the party. But after the troubled beginning to her book tour, we’re beginning to see the reasons why Hillary may eventually decide to pull the plug on a 2016 presidential run. Here are five:
1) She’s just not that good at campaigning. If the last two gaffe-prone weeks have reminded us of anything about Hillary, it’s that she’s a mediocre politician at best. Her shortcomings are significant: she can be stiff and wooden in public; she lacks the aura of a natural politician; she’s not a great public speaker, and she can come across as politically flat-footed and tone deaf — as she did with her “dead broke” response to a rather benign question about relating to the financial challenges of the average voter. People still seem to believe that the Clinton name is synonymous with political skill, but that assumption is only half-true: If Hillary possessed even half of Bill’s political talent and acumen, she wouldn’t have lost to Barack Obama in 2008. Read the rest of this entry »
“I saw myself as a highly intelligent and magnificent person who is meant for great things.”
“I had learned not to care. I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though…”
“Becoming a multimillionaire at a young age is what I am meant for.”
“It’s very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth- or sixth-most interesting person.”
“I am like a god.”
“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal.”
Answers after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »
Twice in late April, People’s Daily railed against the incorporation of acronyms and English words in written Chinese. “How much have foreign languages damaged the purity and vitality of the Chinese language?” the Communist Party’s flagship publication asked as it complained of the “zero-translation phenomenon.”
“Since the reform and opening up, many people have blindly worshipped the West, casually using foreign words as a way of showing off their knowledge and intellect. This also exacerbated the proliferation of foreign words.”
– Xia Jixuan, Ministry of Education
So if you write in the world’s most exquisite language—in my opinion, anyway—don’t even think of jotting down “WiFi,” “MBA,” or “VIP.” If you’re a fan of Apple products, please do not use “iPhone” or “iPad.” And never ever scribble “PM2.5,” a scientific term that has become popular in China due to the air pollution crisis, or “e-mail.”
“How much have foreign languages damaged the purity and vitality of the Chinese language?”
– The People’s Daily
China’s communist culture caretakers are cheesed, perhaps by the unfairness of the situation. They note that when English absorbs Chinese words, such as “kung fu,” the terms are romanized. When China copies English terms, however, they are often adopted without change, dropped into Chinese text as is…
“The use of imported words is becoming more widespread every day. It’s become so serious that the foreign words are even showing up in regular publications and formal documents, giving rise to resentment among the public.”
..In 2012, the Chinese government established a linguistics committee to standardize foreign words. In 2013, it published the first ten approved Chinese translations for terms such as WTO, AIDS, and GDP, ordering all media to use them. A second and third series of approved terms are expected this year. How French.
There is a bit of obtuseness in all these elaborate efforts. Read the rest of this entry »
Gergen should keep in mind that lame duck status has an upside: for this Administration, an uninterrupted 33-month period of limited power and diminished influence could be critical to our national interests.
Ultimate insider and establishment player David Gergen writes, among other things…
Coming home from Asia, Barack Obama is obviously going through another rough patch in his presidency. But this time, it could be more dangerous: He is perilously close to becoming a lame duck 33 months before he leaves office. That is bad for him, bad for the country and bad for the world…
“He is one of the brightest men ever to occupy the office…”
(Where is the evidence? Of this president’s intellectual brilliance? David Gergen doesn’t say)
“It would help if he and his team promised less and delivered more. It would help if more Republicans put the country first.”
(What’s causing America’s domestic impotence and global decline? Insufficient Republican patriotism. Yes, that’s it.)
“Most Americans still want him to succeed, but when television executives put him on the air, audiences often melt away.”
(When a candidate is promoted and elected on the basis of celebrity rather than fitness for office, audiences will tune him out just like any other celebrity they find disappointing or boring)
“Resisted by obstructionists among Republicans and plagued by his own mistakes, the first 12 months after re-election were a bust.”
(If only those Republicans found him more irresistible! Why aren’t they facilitating the president’s success? Why can’t they be more like Democrats?)
For Zagat, Kelly Dobkin reports: It may have started with female-friendly chainlets like STK in the early 2000s, but lately chefs and restaurateurs all over the country are redefining the steakhouse in new and unexpected ways. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the most notable carnivorous trends of the last year – and shared our picks for the best places in the country to try them yourself. Vegetarians, turn away now…
One trend that is decidedly new in the last year is the rise of steakhouses that appeal to the millennial set – young food-obsessed urbanites who are cuisine-curious with money to spare (cough: hipsters). M. Wells Steakhouse in Long Island City, Queens, is at the forefront of the trend. Quebecois duo Hugue Dufour and Sarah Obraitis of the now-retired M. Wells Diner made a name for themselves by cooking up eclectic, globally inspired plates not afraid of offal, bones, fat or gore. Read the rest of this entry »
For Yahoo News, Matt Bai writes: So now it’s out there. After five years of studied reticence (unless they were talking privately to one another or their supporters), Democratic leaders in Washington finally went public last week with what they really think is motivating Republican opposition to Barack Obama. As Steve Israel, one of the top Democrats in Congress, told CNN’s Candy Crowley, the Republican base, “to a significant extent,” is “animated by racism.”
Just to make himself clear, Israel did allow that not all Republicans were the ideological descendants of Bull Connor. To which I’m sure his colleagues across the aisle responded, “Oh, OK. Cool then.”
But it’s not the reaction of Republicans that Democrats should probably have some concern about. It’s the way American voters, and a lot of younger voters in particular, may view a return to the polarizing racial debate that existed before Obama was ever elected.
Note: one of Matt Bai‘s silly sentences:
“…Still, a lot of Americans who voted for Obama probably find the racism argument at least somewhat persuasive.”
A “lot”? Really? Any chance you can be more specific? Then, the deadly trio: “probably”, “at least”, and “somewhat”. Smothered in qualifiers, so weak and blurry, it undermines the author’s point. Imagine a voter thinking, “Wellllll…The Democratic Party’s opportunistic race-baiting and divisive name-calling is probably… at least….sommmeeewhat persuasive….I guess…”
Coming in an election year, and in the wake of sporadic campaigns to solidify support among women and gay voters, the sudden Democratic focus on race felt like an orchestrated talking point. Israel’s comments came just a few days after Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, suggested that racism was keeping Republicans from voting on an immigration bill. And Pelosi was reacting to a speech by the attorney general, Eric Holder, who complained to a civil rights gathering in Washington of “ugly and divisive” attacks against the administration.
“What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?” Holder, who is African-American, pointedly asked. “What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”
As far as I can tell, though, this eruption on race actually wasn’t born in the kind of strategy session where consultants lay out which issues will move which voters. What seems to have happened was something rarer: Washington Democrats, unable to suppress their frustration for a minute longer, simply blurted out what they have always believed to be true but had been reluctant to say. One catharsis emboldened the next. Read the rest of this entry »
Senator Reid on Cattle Battle: “It’s Not Over.” Harry, It’s Over
RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) — Senate majority leader Harry Reid hasn’t been very vocal about the cattle battle showdown in recent days, but says
“it’s not over.”
Harry? we talked about this. It’s over.
Reid tells News4’s Samantha Boatman his take on the so-called cattle battle in southern Las Vegas.
“Well, it’s not over.
Well, yeah it is, Reid. It’s over.
“We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it.
So it’s not over,” Reid said.
Harry, you represent a Federal government that violates the law every day, and walks away from it. You’re in the worst possible position to make statements like that anywhere near a live microphone. Sit down, shut up.
Some highlights from today’s prank stories..
Exclusive: Controversial Female Teachers’ Group Dedicated to “Woman-Boy Love” Pledges Legal Support to Meredith Powell
‘Woody Whistle’ Given to Girl Scouts of America members in Manhattan to Help Protect Girls From Woody Allen
And here’s a golden oldie, based on a real photo, from late 2013…
Russian President Vladimir Putin demonstrates to reporters how he grabbed Obama’s balls and extracted unprecedented foreign policy concessions
Exclusive: Controversial Female Teachers’ Group Dedicated to “Woman-Boy Love” Pledges Legal Support to Meredith PowellPosted: April 1, 2014
Out of the Shadows: NAWBA Members Defend Their Affairs With Young Male Students, Promote Social Acceptance
NABWA, the North American Boy-Woman Association, a controversial organization of female school teachers, is a support group, a social club, and a legal defense organization. It was founded in 1995 by Margaret McGuff, a retired teacher with a PHD in psychology and human sexuality. Margaret began the club in her apartment in Phoenix, Arizona, when she was a high school administrator, to support women teachers who were struggling with society’s disapproval of their love of boy students.
The group has never revealed the identity of its members, has never advocated any criminal activity, and has carefully guarded its activities. NABWA has remained in the shadows. Until now.
Speaking out for the first time, Part-time teacher and full-time legal advocate Mercy McPhearson reached out to accused teacher Meredith Powell, in March of 2014, not long after her arrest.
“We feel that Meredith shouldn’t have waived her Miranda rights without first having an opportunity to consider her legal options, and benefit from our support. Meredith needs to know that she is not alone.”
– Mercy McPhearson, volunteer legal advisor for NABWA members
Mercy has been observing other cases like Powell’s, and has contacted parents, teachers, school officials, and law enforcement officials, confidentially, and has sometimes been successful in quietly brokering deals that keep the women she represents out of the newspapers, and eliminate prison time.
“Because our members are women, I can usually negotiate settlements, or informal agreements, that involve zero time in prison. As women, we’re simply not perceived as predators. It’s a natural benefit of being female”, said McPhearson. “We’re seen as nurturing, helpful, and kind, not immoral, or sexually deviant. We cultivate this image. We know how to use our strengths. Do we exploit this advantage? Absolutely.”
In our phone interview, Mercy explained the asymmetrical presumption of guilt or innocence, based on the gender of the teacher, and student.
“I’ve known female teachers who are carrying on long-term affairs with young male students, or happily servicing the whole football team. Even when the evidence is abundantly clear, school officials look the other way. “
– Brenda, Iowa high school teacher, NABWA member
“Though we have many men friends, we discourage adult males from associating with our organization”, Mercy explained. “Men don’t have anywhere near the latitude we do. Male teachers are almost always judged guilty before any facts or evidence emerge, and the slightest accusation against them is believed to be true. For women, not so much. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. School officials generally believe anything we say.” Though she added, “That doesn’t mean we not cautious. Or that we’re not sympathetic. We understand what they’re going through”.
Other members agree. “I’ve seen men lose their jobs over nothing. A rumor. Whispers in the hallway. Lies told by students, to avoid explaining absences, or unusual behavior”, said Brenda, a high school history teacher in Iowa. “At the same time, I’ve known female teachers who are carrying on long-term affairs with young male students, or happily servicing the whole football team. Even when the evidence is abundantly clear, school officials look the other way. “
This isn’t always true. The Meredith Powell scandal, for example. “The climate has changed, we have to be less careless, more vigilant. A few high profile cases have raised the visibility of our special hobby. The increased public awareness isn’t good for our members. It used to be such a delicious secret. In the old days, hardly anyone ever suspected anything. Now we all have to be more careful”, said a member who asked not to be identified.
“It’s more than a hobby. It’s a way of life. We realize that many consider the love between female teacher and young male student to be wrong, and think of us as criminals, or mentally unstable. But it’s not true. Some of us are very healthy, and have a lot to offer. We’re very respectful of boundaries.”
– Julie, guidance counselor, soccer coach, NABWA member
How do women find NABWA, and what makes them decide to become members? Many women teachers felt isolated, confused, or ashamed. They felt they had no one to talk to. Others needed legal support, because they’d run afoul of the laws of their local communities.
“I apologize for my lack of discretion, I don’t usually allow my comments to get personal. I deeply regret the condition I was in during my appearance. I am in discussions with Fox senior executives, and I believe we’ll come to an understanding. Though I have no plans to discontinue my commentary, I will take a few weeks to reflect.”
“Charles just showed up on Kelly’s show, in the middle of a live broadcast. He’d been drinking. We didn’t see him enter. A staff member here said he’d just been reading the Washington Post, and talking to Neil Cavuto on the phone about something, then started throwing books, framed pictures, and coffee cups, saying he was late for his appearance, grumbling about his schedule. But then he went to the wrong studio, at the wrong time. It looks like he just snapped,” said an associate producer. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“A box of cereal could do a better job of running the White House than that jackass.”
“The funny thing was, I’ve never seen him so honest, so unguarded. Before we cut his microphone, he was really on a roll.”
Pundits are calculating doom for Democrats, hyperactive journalists are trying to call it early, operatives are indulging in premature celebration. Here’s just a few examples out of the hundreds of articles in last few weeks:
- Democratic strategists in 2014 are like French generals in 1940
- Midterm mania: Democratic pundits hitting the panic button
- Why Democrats in Congress are in big, big trouble
- Obama’s Job Approval Points to 2014 Trouble for Democrats
- This Map Spells Trouble For Democrats in 2014
- Obama’s in Trouble, but it’s with the Democrats, His Pals…
- RNC chief: Party to win ‘tsunami’ of victories
At least Brit Hume is sober.
Pro tip: pipe down until you’ve delivered. http://t.co/HCTJgcgAJI
— Brit Hume (@brithume) March 19, 2014
…Pens a Blistering Rebuke of Federal Bureaucracy
You know how Edward Snowden was like…a self-styled sleeper agent? A man with a mission, armed with high-level access to sensitive data, mad computer skillz, and a heroic fantasy of saving America from Orwellian tyranny? Snowden’s super-secret access to the bottomless pit of NSA misdeeds made him the most dangerous man in the intelligence universe. It’s Snowden’s world now, and we’re just living in it.
But…what if the Snowden phenomenon wasn’t just a freak one-time thing? What if he’s not alone? What if there there are mini-Snowdens out there, too, that we don’t know about? Sleeper-agent bureaucrats, working at mid-level jobs in dull, badly-managed government agencies, enduring the daily humiliations of the typical office worker, harboring score-settling whistleblower fantasies? And what if they’re only one coffee break away from flipping out, and going all Jason Bourne on their employers? Who else might be on the verge of busting out?
We might just have our mini-whistleblower. At HHS…
A Health and Human Services official has resigned after dealing with the frustration of the “profoundly dysfunctional” federal bureaucracy, which left him “offended as an American taxpayer.”
In a resignation letter obtained by ScienceInsider, David Wright, director of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI) — which oversees and monitors possible research misconduct — offers a scathing rebuke of the unwieldy and inefficient bureaucracy that he dealt with for the two years he served in the position.
“…the federal bureaucracy — at least the part I’ve labored in — is so profoundly dysfunctional. I’m hardly the first person to have made that discovery…”
In his letter to Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh, Wright explains that the 35 percent of his job that was spent working with science-investigators in his department “has been one of the great pleasures of my long career.” The majority of his duties, however, represented his worst job ever.