- Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 00:00
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The Occupy Wall Street Movement isn’t a headline grabber. They got some initial coverage, but very quickly, coverage of the Occupy movement, rapidly declined. That’s because, simply put, they’re hard to write about. For one thing, while having a range of issues that concern them, they have no agreed-upon agenda. Also, as one participant described their protest, “the movement is purposefully disorganized.” That’s a challenge to anyone who is trying to write a story about them. However, they are, with very few exceptions, peaceful, and if you go to talk to them, as I have in Washington, which, like New York, has been accommodating to the protestors, they’re friendly, good natured, and polite. And make no mistake, they’re serious about their concerns, and what’s more, this is a movement, and a presence in many of our nation’s cities, which months after it began, hasn’t gone away.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 November 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 09 November 2011 00:00
- Hits: 286
It was the early 1860s and the United States of America was in the process of tearing itself apart in a great national crisis. But in the midst of that there was a series of small news stories that appeared in newspapers from time to time that captured a common emotion in both the Confederacy and the Union. It was the passing of the very last of America’s original greatest generation, the veterans of the American Revolution.
Make no mistake, by any generation’s standard, these were very old men. They had fought in a war that had ended 80 years before and as they died, no matter where they were from, newspapers in the North and the South dutifully noted their passing.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 November 2011 15:45
- Published on Wednesday, 02 November 2011 15:45
- Hits: 303
My wife and I recently moved to a new house. It’s got a barn, a little acreage, and room for a couple of horses. It’s a wonderful place and I am slowly learning how to work a tractor and mend fences. But, first we had to move, and we had been in the old house for 22 years. It’s amazing how much “stuff” a family can manage to pack into one modest-sized house. And I am shocked to admit, that when we were packing up, there were even some boxes left over from our move from Reston, over two decades ago, that hadn’t even been opened. They were, in a sense, time capsules. But, I am also a little embarrassed that they had just taken up space for so long, and worst of all that we
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 00:00
- Hits: 300
It’s a fair question and it’s one that as a former school board member I feel awkward even asking. And that is, “just what is a modern high school degree worth in the 21st century?” I don’t have an answer for that, but for decades, there has been a growing body of evidence that students leaving high school aren’t ready for the workforce, or for that matter, aren’t even adequately prepared, or ready for their post secondary school education.
This doesn’t seem fair. We put a lot of time and energy into our schools, our kids work hard, and we should be
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 17:48
- Published on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 17:48
- Hits: 224
If you drive through Montana, Wyoming, or South Dakota, you’ll notice a relatively new addition to the landscape and that’s wind turbines. They look like propellers mounted on tall polls and here and there they’re perched on hillsides, lined up on the open planes, and on some days, when the wind really gets going, their speed controls have to kick in to keep them from turning too fast. On the open prairie the weather is unpredictable, but there is one guarantee, there is always a wind blowing.
The same is true when you get a little closer to home. But in this case, it’s not the open plains of the American
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 12 October 2011 00:00
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It’s been said that the field for the GOP nomination for President has been set. The last candidates who are going to enter the contest are in the ring. And that’s probably true. To some in the media that means it’s all over. To them, it’s now a choice between Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. The press and pundits love to decide these match-ups early. But, they should remember, that in the past they have had a terrible problem getting it right.
2008 is a perfect example. At this point in 2007 the pundits, the media, and the political regulars, had it all figured out. For the GOP this meant that the “hands on” favorite was Mitt Romney. John McCain, in the eyes of the media, was a spent force. Some wondered why he didn’t drop out. As we all know the story turned out differently. McCain managed a come from behind win in New Hampshire, started on roll that led to his not only beating Romney, but also dousing the campaigns of Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. He managed to take this momentum all the way to the convention in Minneapolis. Romney, understandably, since he was the guy who was supposed to win, was still looking for the license tag of that truck that ran over his campaign.
The media treated the Democrats no differently. After Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses it was just “assumed” that he would beat Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. Obama even started acting like the presumptive nominee. However, what happened was that Hillary just campaigned hard, won that primary and what followed was one of the feistiest primary campaigns in American history.
That’s why we need to be a bit more careful with the 2012 GOP field. A candidate’s position as leader of the pack can dissolve in a matter of days. The Democrats, of course, have their nominee. But the Republican cast of candidates, while having two leading contenders, is still a crowded field. What’s more the two leading candidates have their weaknesses. The Party is by no means sold on them. Perry’s performance in the debates has been poor. He has trouble forgetting he is running for President and not Governor of Texas. Also, his strong play to evangelicals, while pleasing to the party base, has at the same time been disconcerting to Main Street Republicans and Independents. As for Romney, while highly competent and likable to many in the party, he changes positions far too often.
As far as the media is concerned it’s a choice between these two. But, hold on, the GOP field has a few prospects, and some outliers, that though long shots to get the nomination, are still fighting on. One candidate, who following Sarah Palin’s official departure from the field (thank goodness) is sure to pick up delegates in the caucus states is Michele Bachman. Dismissed as too far to the right, even ditzy (talk about a sexist term) she is still a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and to those who doubt her abilities, they should remember that not only is she a lawyer, but she also has a master’s degree in tax law. I ask you, when was the last time we