Saturday, September 07, 2002

report from florida

our sunshine state correspondant, kathie k, sends us this report in anticipation of next tuesday's florida primary:

Hi Skippy, I haven't been a very good correspondent lately, have I? Sorry about that, I've gotten really busy with work. [ed. note: you've been doing just fine, kathie, not to worry!]

Yes, I am so looking forward to Tuesday because if McBride wins, there really is no stopping him against Jeb. I can think of nothing sweeter (except big brother's defeat in '04) than ridding our state of the horrendous Bush presence and all the dishonesty that comes along with it. It's hard to remember an election in which a candidate seemingly came out of nowhere to overtake a nationally known figure (Reno) and the incumbent governor? But did McBride really come out of nowhere? The Democratic Party apparatus has been backing him from day one, even though no one noticed those puppet strings being jiggled. But a McBride victory / Bush defeat will only be the beginning. There are 4 years worth of regressive Jeb policies to repair. I look forward to holding McBride to his campaign promise of spending $1 billion on educational initiatives that actually work, as opposed to the bogus and useless standardized testing Jeb Bush has imposed on our state's students and teachers. Wouldn't it be nice to reduce class sizes and invest in schools instead of having teachers spend several months a year teaching their students how to take a test? All so that Jeb can shut down the F schools and prop up his unconstitutional vouchers for lackluster charter and substandard parochial schools.

Yes, the ball is rolling down the hill, picking up speed and new voters along the way like velcro. Many people I have spoken to in the past week are enthusiastically casting their vote for McBride. Yes, some of these are pragmatists who know that they are voting for the candidate who can beat Jeb, and unfortunately Reno’s not it. But remember, America, a few months ago Jeb looked unbeatable, now the odds are even that he’s a one-term governor! There is hope for us after all.

Kathie

thanks a lot, kathie! excellent mixing of metaphors with the velcro ball rolling down hill, too! we're looking to your report on tuesday!


Friday, September 06, 2002

the great echo chamber of lies - continued from skippy the bush kangaroo

the story so far: the washington times published an article, "the nea delivers a history lesson," on august 19. after the washtimes ripped the nea a new one for promoting tolerance, mr. george "i wear bow ties to baseball games" will, put in his two cents worth in the washington post. we commented on mr. will's incorrect implications on our own blog. but apparently, we weren't enough to stop the madness. mona charen also had to get into the act.

what follows is our analysis of the washington times article, as well as mr. will and ms. charen's view points, and what we found out with our own research into the national educators association website.

one of the biggest problems, journalistically speaking, that the washington times article had, was its failure to mention, not only the words "outside links" on the front page of the nea health website, which takes the reader to all various different lesson plans, including the one offending essay by dr. lippincott, but the disclaimer at the bottom of the same nea front page:

"please note: links to organizations and indidvuals (sic) that have a political perspective do not necessarily represent the position of the nea on any issues discussed. these links are presented as background and to assist you in researching the topic cited." [emphasis added].

as well as the disclaimer on the bottom of the page with dr. lippincott's essay: "note: The article above was written by brian lippincott, phd, director of programs at john f. kennedy university's graduate school of professional psychology..." blah blah blah "...this work is professor rippincott's opinion and does not necessarily represent the university's position on this issue." [again, emphasis added].

the washtimes article says, "the suggestions and lesson plans were developed by brian lippincott..." and it goes on to list his curricula vitae. however, dr. lippincott, according to our research, was responsible for just the one page.

of course george will in his article also incorrectly implies (without actually stating out right) that dr. lippincott was responsible for coming up with the whole web site of suggestions and lesson plans. he conveniently leaves out the other institutions and organizations that contributed, such as the smithsonian institute, walk for america, the nypd and fdny, the american psychological association, and various specific school districts across this great land of ours. and in fact, my use of the word "contributed" may be not accurate. these organizations provided web pages that the nea linked to, much like they linked to dr. lippincott's one page essay that started the whole washtimes brou ha ha.

and example of mr. will's dissembling: "under the category 'healing tools, routines and rituals' the nea says that on sept. 11 teachers should 'help students understand that they can help themselves feel better by taking care of themselves, by following their established routines and by identifying activities that make them feel better'."

first of all, mr. will, what's wrong with tolerance? (don't worry, he tells us: "but should that day really become an exercise in self-absorption? why should a commemoration of mass murder be an occasion to 'feel better'?" uh, because that's part of the grief process, maybe?)

but mostly, what mr. will refers to was not provided by the nea (as if any of this was; all these pages were only linked to by the nea). the words and lesson plans and suggestions mr. will is talking about in this one instance, where he specifically says "the nea says that..."; this specific page was put together by that bastion of liberal left-wing fifth columnists, the american red cross! by golly, we thought libby dole was something of a pinko when she ran that organization!

of course, mona charen in her article, furthers the lie, and stirs in her own mud to the already murky waters: " `do not suggest,' the nea advises, `that any group is responsible.' "

of course, the nea does not suggest this anywhere on their site. these words are found on the national association of school psychologists web site; and apparently, they cribbed it from dr. brian lippincott off of his essay. true, both sites are linked to by the nea, but only after you read the disclaimer. duh!

mona goes on: "the nea also tells teachers to say: `We have no reason to believe that the attacks were part of an organized plan of any other country. The terrorists acted independently, without the sanction of any nation.' this is false. did afghanistan not fully participate in the terrorists' attacks? "

uh, no, mona. the taliban, who was nominally if despotically in charge of afghanistan, gave refuge to bin laden's terror troops, but i don't remember any of the hi jackers being afghani's (please correct me if i am wrong about this). and, to pour a little more salt into mona's misstatement, george w. bush was in negotiations with those evil doers, the taliban, the summer before 9/11, according to the book "bin laden: the forbidden truth" by jean-charles brisard and guillaume dasique. even if you take that book with as many grains of salt as you please, it does throw a monkey wrench into mona's theories concerning afghanistan's "involvement."

to sum up, in our opinion, the moonies at the washtimes, and afterwards, ms. charen and mr. will, as usual, left out pertinent information that would absolve the nea of total responsibility for the words; they falsely attributed specific lesson plans directly to the nea; they failed to mention the political disclaimer; and they manipulated their readers selectively through a series of over 100 links and websites to attain their own end, which, in our opinion, was the furthering of bigotry and hatred.

yes, 9/11 was, and still is, the greatest tragedy that ever happened to america. [ed. note: what we originally meant to imply, but forgot to include in our hurry to get this piece out, is that 9/11 was the greatest tragedy to happen to american in our lifetimes. some comments in the commentary section on the skippy the bush kangaroo blog reflect the original statement].

yes, we should definitely be angry about 9/11, and go after those responsible (funny how none of those authors mentioned osama bin laden, and mr. bush's failure to continue to try to find him). yes, we should never forget. but for children (remember those, mr. will, ms. charen? the people that the nea is concerned with in the first place?) the attitudes of hate and anger may not be healthy. now, i am not a child psychologist. we can't really speak to that.

but we do know that moving on with life is a natural part of healing.


comments? please go to the comment section on our original blog here.

addendum: thanks to chris matthew's blog hardball, we found the nea's own response to the various media attacks. also, thanks to brendan nyhan of spinsanity for the link to the google-cached version of dr. lippincott's original essay that started the whole brou-ha-ha.




Thursday, September 05, 2002

government or spam: text of email from barbara boxer's office

I thought you would be interested in the following update.

Sincerely,
Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

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Support for Wilderness Bill Continues to Grow

In May, I introduced the California Wild Heritage Act of 2002 (S. 2535) to protect approximately 2.5 million acres of public lands in 81 different areas across the state, as well as the free-flowing portions of 22 rivers and streams. I am pleased to report that support for the bill continues to grow each day. Just last week, the California State Assembly passed Senate Joint Resolution 52 in support of the bill. Joint Resolution 52 was passed by the State Senate on August 19.

I am very pleased that the California Legislature has formally supported my efforts to protect California's precious heritage. I deeply appreciate the strong efforts of Senator Sheila Kuehl who authored and worked for the passage of the resolution and thank Assemblymember Joe Nation for his efforts in the State Assembly.

The California Legislature's endorsement of the California Wild Heritage Act follows support from Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante, Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Treasurer Phil Angelides and dozens of local elected officials across the state. It has also received the strong support of many national and California environmental organizations



Superfund Program

The federal Superfund program is intended to clean up hazardous waste sites in America. While the cleanup pace was steady for many years, there are substantial signs that it has languished in the past year. In California alone, a total of 104 sites are listed on the Environmental Protection Agency's website for Superfund sites. Sadly, only five have been deleted from the list.

My colleague, Senator James Jeffords, (I-VT) and I have written to the Environmental Protection Agency asking for more information about progress on the program. Our letter, in part, expressed our deep concern "over the slow down in the pace of clean-up and the inability of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to make progress at sites that are ready for further action. We are also concerned that clean-up delays may create new threats to public health and drive up the cost of clean-up."

Superfund is a vital program for communities and is important to both public health and economic strength. It must not be allowed to fail. I will continue to push for faster action and for a secure source of revenue to assure continued progress in cleaning up Superfund sites.



Stay in Touch

If you have questions about these or any other federal matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

===================================================

For more information, please go to: http://boxer.senate.gov

If this message reached you in error, or if you would like to cancel your subscription, please reply to this message with unsubscribe in the subject line.

If you would like to make a comment regarding this or any other federal matter, please feel free to fill out my web form at http://boxer.senate.gov/contact/webform.html


[ed. note: funny she should ask us to fill out her web form if we had comments regarding federal matters. when sen. boxer voted against sen. fred thompson's bill to impose term limits on the senate, we wrote her an email expressing our displeasure. we got an obviously standard form email back, thanking us for our correspondence. when we replied with a scathing missive berating the concept of a senator basically ignoring criticism by sending form emails, we got back, you guessed it, the same form email thanking us for our correspondence.

and they wonder why people don't vote.]