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Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Only in Florida….

By Tiffany Walden, Orlando Sentinel
2:48 p.m. EST, February 6, 2014
Only in Florida would deputies search a home and find two frozen alligators, meth in a box of baby wipes, a live bass in an aquarium, ammo and homemade drug pipes — all within reach of twin infants.

That, according to deputies, was the bizarre find this week in a Polk County house

Deputies with a search warrant found those oddities and more in a Lake Wales home where a couple lived with their 10-month-old twins on Tuesday.

The couple — Shane Park, 29, and Cortney Williams, 24, were arrested along with a visitor, Joshua Lee Mellon, 31.

The twins were taken into state custody.


Stop tenure tyranny and show some love for our hardworking teachers

By Ted Rall

My mother retired recently from teaching under pretty much the best possible working conditions one could expect in an American high school: She taught high school French in an Ohio suburb that is at least 90% white, ranging from middle to upper middle class. By the end of her career, she was relatively decently paid. Her students weren't hobbled by poverty or challenged due to not having mastered English. Since French was an elective, her kids pretty much wanted to be there (though the possibility of having the class cut because of low enrollment was a worry).

Still, it was a tough job. Sure, class was only from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and she got those long summer vacations. But I remember watching her get up at 5:45 a.m. so she could prepare for class during the calm before the morning bell. She rarely got home before 5 p.m. — there was always some meeting to attend — and then she had to grade papers and prepare for the next day's classes.

Teaching is a performance. You've got six to seven hours to fill, keeping the kids entertained and engaged enough to get them to pay attention to what they need to learn. It's exhausting, especially when you were up until 11 the night before correcting tests and averaging grades.


Until my mom got tenure, she was afraid of disciplining students. She didn't dare be active in her union. She didn't want to reveal, in a Republican town, that she was a Democrat. Tenure didn't make her lazy after she got it, but it did make her more relaxed, less terrified of her boss. Which made her a better, wiser, smarter teacher.

Tenure doesn't prevent districts from firing teachers. It makes it hard. (Not impossible: 2% of teachers get fired for poor performance annually.) Which, frankly, is something that every worker who has ever experienced an unfair review should be able to empathize with. If anything, the only thing wrong with tenure is that only teachers can get it.


Toon: Become a California Teacher!

Weekend Toons!


Farm Bill








10 years

Great Barrier Reef on brink of devastation in relentless quest for coal

The Queensland and federal governments' mining push is a catastrophe in the making, write Helen Caldicott and Reese Halter.

The rampant destruction of the Great Barrier Reef, given the green light last Friday by the federal government, epitomises the values of our modern world. "Economic development" and "jobs" reign supreme while our reef, one of the seven wonders of the world, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is in great jeopardy.

Home to endangered dugongs, glorious endangered sea turtles and corals, it is seething with life rich in biodiversity containing many potential medications to treat cancer and other diseases. The preservation of this unique treasure is now secondary to the voracious greed on the part of Queensland and federal governments and some individuals to export coal.

By 2030 Australia is predicted to increase its export of coal from 240 million tonnes this year to 787 million tonnes in 2030. Queensland's liquefied natural gas and coal exports are soaring in order to deliver atmospheric-warming carbon fuels to satisfy Chinese and Indian markets.

The ports of Gladstone and Abbot Point are poised to become the busiest in the world. In 2011, the shipping industry alone increased our export trade coffers by $38 billion. In 2012, 3950 ships entered these Great Barrier Reef ports and these numbers are set to treble by 2030.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/comment/great-barrier-reef-on-brink-of-devastation-in-relentless-quest-for-coal-20140203-31x6q.html

Bosnia privatization protests reach other cities

By Associated Press, Published: February 6
TUZLA, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Violent protests by thousands of unpaid workers in a northern Bosnian city spread to other parts of the country Thursday and have morphed into widespread discontent in an election year about unemployment and rampant corruption.

Police used tear gas to temporarily disperse the protesters in Tuzla who threw stones at a local government building. The protesters returned after the tear gas volley, surrounded the empty government building and set tires and trash on fire. Police were reinforced with special dog units.

The protests in Tuzla, which began Tuesday, are about an ongoing dispute involving four former state-owned companies that were privatized and later filed for bankruptcy. Thousands gathered in four other cities in solidarity with the Tuzla workers, but also to protest against Bosnia’s nearly 40-percent unemployment rate and politicians whom they accuse of being disconnected from citizens’ needs.

More than two dozen people sought medical help in Tuzla, mostly from the effects of tear gas.

The majority of those injured were police officers, including one who was hospitalized with a chest injury from a thrown object. A police spokesman initially said the officer was fighting for his life, but a hospital later said his injuries were no longer life-threatening.



Another protest against the 1% that you hear nothing about…

Eight more Fukushima kids found with thyroid cancer; disaster link denied

FUKUSHIMA – Eight more Fukushima children have been confirmed as having thyroid gland cancer following the prefecture’s checkups, a local panel of experts said Friday, ruling out any link to the Tepco triple-meltdown calamity.

The prefecture began the checkups in 2011 due to the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 power station. Those subject to the measure were 18 or under at that time.

The panel, made up mainly of doctors and other medical experts, said it is unlikely the disease was caused by exposure to radiation from radioactive materials from the stricken power station.

The panel said 75 people were suspected of having thyroid gland cancer as of the end of last year, of whom 33 were confirmed as having the disease. Three months before, the number of confirmed patients stood at 25.


Russian Snowboarder has Pussy Riot logo on his board

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia -- Russian snowboarder Alexey Sobolev crashed near the end of his second run at Thursday morning's slopestyle qualification round at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park.

However, not all of the questions from reporters afterward were about his performance.

After his run, he held up his board in the finish area, waiting for his scores, and quite visible to the TV cameras was a design on his snowboard of a knife-wielding woman wearing a ski mask, which is what the members of the feminist punk rock band Pussy Riot wear when they perform.

Some Russian reporters asked if this was a gesture of support for the controversial Russian group.

In December, two Pussy Rock band members were released from prison under an "amnesty law," after they had been incarcerated on a charge of hooliganism in connection with a performance in the winter of 2012 in which the band denounced Russian President Vladmir Putin.


'Sex strike' against leading Tokyo governor candidate

TOKYO: Women in Tokyo are threatening a sex boycott against any man who votes for the front-runner in this weekend's gubernatorial election, in protest at his claim that menstruation makes women unfit for government.

A Twitter campaign group based in the capital which bills itself as "The association of women who will not have sex with men who vote for (Yoichi) Masuzoe," has garnered almost 3,000 followers since it launched last week.

Although the founders have not identified themselves, in their profile they said: "We have stood up to prevent Mr. Masuzoe, who makes such insulting remarks against women...We won't have sex with men who will vote for Mr. Masuzoe."

Masuzoe, 65, a former political scientist who became a celebrity through TV talk shows before getting involved in politics in 2001, is widely seen as an establishment figure in a country where gender roles remain very distinct.

In 1989, he told a men's magazine that it would not be proper to have women at the highest level of government because their menstrual cycle makes them irrational.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/International/2014/Feb-07/246687-sex-strike-against-leading-tokyo-governor-candidate.ashx#ixzz2sgUdiWaC
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

Friday TOON Roundup 3 -The Rest


Farm Bill





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