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Hometown: SC
Member since: Tue Oct 7, 2008, 07:35 PM
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Rachel Maddow will be a monthly columnist for The Washington Post

We are delighted to announce that Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show,” will be joining The Washington Post’s Opinion section as a monthly columnist. We expect that she will bring to Post readers the strong arguments, sharp wit and thoughtful analysis of political and social issues that have made her show an Emmy Award winner.

Rachel, who has written previously for The Post, is the author of “DRIFT: The Unmooring of American Military Power.” The 2012 book was a national best-seller.

“The Rachel Maddow Show” has been nominated by the Television Critics Association for “Outstanding Achievement in News and Information” four times. Rachel received the 2012 John Steinbeck Award from the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose University. Before becoming an MSNBC political analyst in 2008, she was a host on Air America Radio.

Rachel has a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Stanford University and a doctorate in political science at Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She lives in New York and Massachusetts with her partner, artist Susan Mikula.

Her first column will be published this week.

Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Wed Dec 11, 2013, 11:47 AM (13 replies)

Graca Machel bids farewell to late husband Nelson Mandela

Graca Machel bids farewell to late husband Nelson #Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Wed Dec 11, 2013, 09:16 AM (1 replies)

Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year.

I think he's a valid winner.

(Heard this on ESPN)
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Wed Dec 11, 2013, 09:03 AM (91 replies)

Teaching kids who can't read

I taught 7th grade Life Science for several years. When I received my class lists I would look up reading scores. I wanted to know where these kids stood in that area. I found this to be of better use to me than IQ or other measurements. Invariably, I found many with reading levels in 1st through 4th grades. This never failed to distress me. Obviously the books we would use were going to be useless in some ways.

I began to develop my own lesson plans which were based on the scientific concepts they were supposed to be learning. I had worked with a reading teacher to make these lessons function in another way. They were also structured using formats that helped them read and learn to read.

I didn't ignore the books. I didn't want the students to feel that they were too dumb to use them. I also wanted them to become more comfortable using books. If you can't read, a book can be terrifying. It is a real world reminder of what you can't do.

I talked to each class at the beginning about the science books and books in general. I told them were were going to use the books with other material and not as the only source for our class.

While discussing books, I asked them if they were comfortable using them. Many were not and not just because they couldn't read. A lot of them had been humiliated in a class when they were asked to read in front of others. That would really help make someone view reading positively. NOT!

I told them I learned to read with comic books. Somebody read them to me and I began to follow along and then read. Nobody required you to use books to start with. I told them it was very hard for me for a while. The books we had were used as a source to look up items. We did go through some areas and use some of the exercises. It was the best that I could do.

I wish I had the time and talent to make science modules based on comic books. They would have science characters and superheroes to demonstrate the concepts. I am not talking about "Richie Rich" types. I am talking about Justice League and such that would have both female and male parts. The skills and 'weapons' would be scientific concepts and items. Maybe I should try to do one now instead of playing hidden object games as my brain melts.

I believe this would keep the kids from becoming bored to tears. I was bored to tears by the way a lot of things were taught in textbooks. It didn't come alive and was stale and boring. It probably sounds stupid.

So that is what I tried. I don't know if my way worked any better than any other methods used. If even one kid benefitted from it then it was worth it. It seemed to make them less discouraged which gave me hope. Hope is all I had to give back to them to help in the world they were entering.


Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Wed Dec 11, 2013, 08:37 AM (30 replies)

There goes the neighborhood:


Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Wed Dec 11, 2013, 07:22 AM (7 replies)

Accuser's lawyer in Jameis Winston case to hold news conference the day before the Heisman Ceremony:

Accuser's lawyer in Jameis Winston case to hold news conference

The family of the woman who accused Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston of sexual battery will make a statement, through counsel, at a press conference Friday to address the State Attorney's report on the investigation, the accuser's attorney Patricia Carroll said Tuesday.

The press conference will occur one day before Winston is expected to win the Heisman Trophy.

State Attorney William Meggs determined last week there was not enough evidence to pursue charges against Winston. That decision closed the case after it surfaced publicly last month.

The original complaint was filed last December but was made inactive in February.

Gonna be interesting.
I hope she fries Meggs and Winston's attorney Nelson for their glib attitude at the press conference announcing no charges would be forthcoming.

Nelson used many phrases to call the accuser a liar. However, Meggs never said Winston was innocent. He said that in his view there wasn't enough evidence to bring charges. That's a huge difference.

Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Wed Dec 11, 2013, 07:06 AM (2 replies)

By Julie DiCaro: Why I believe Jameis Winston's accuser

There were also subtle omissions made all throughout the press conference. While Meggs stated that there were "several people in the room" while the alleged sexual assault took place, he didn't mention that the witnesses were all friends of Winston's, friends who had clearly been well-prepped by Winston's attorney before they ever spoke to the police. In fact, when the witnesses finally agreed to speak to the police, almost 11 months after the alleged sexual assault, they testified in accordance with the affidavits they'd provided to the police, which were also prepared by the office of Winston's attorney. As for Winston? He was never even interviewed by the police. He "declined" through his attorney.

Meggs went on to say that there was no evidence that sex between Winston and the victim was "a forceful act." Sure, that could be true, if you ignore the bruises that a sexual-assault nurse noticed on her left knee and right elbow, the blood in her underwear on her shorts, and the fact that Winston's DNA was found in her panties. And that she called two friends immediately after the encounter; we don't know what she told them, but it was serious enough that one of the friends called her parents and the other called the cops. She also described Winston's apartment accurately. She remembered that he owned a black scooter. From the incident report:

stated the apartment in which the incident occurred was on the first floor. The room where the incident occurred had a broken door that did not shut all the way. The room had a queen size bed with red and gold sheets. The sheets had a polka dot kind of design on them. The bedroom had its own bathroom.

According to she remembers lying on the bed and the suspect taking her clothes off. stated she was "kinda incoherent" and was "just laying there". When he started to have intercourse with her, she stated she told him to stop but wasn't yelling or anything, she was quiet because she felt sick.

stated the suspect started out on top of her but then rolled her over and tried to put her on top of him but she "just laid there", so he rolled her back over. After a little while a male subject she described as a bigger but not taller (than the suspect) black male came into the room and told him to stop. The suspect responded by picking up and carrying her to the bathroom. Once in the bathroom, the suspect told that he could lock that door. He then put her on the ground and continued the assault. After the assault he told her that she "could go now", but then said he'd take her home on the scooter.

All of this, however, wasn't enough for Meggs.

Having spent many years in criminal court, I'm familiar with prosecutors' abiding concern and affection for their conviction rates. Many prosecutors won't take a case to trial unless it's a sure-fire winner. Sadly, real life is not CSI, and slam-dunk cases with rock solid-evidence are rare. If prosecutors believe a victim is credible and a crime took place, their job is to advocate for the victim, build a case, and do their best to put the criminal behind bars. For crying out loud, they are AT LEAST supposed to interview the accused rapist.
More: http://deadspin.com/why-i-believe-jameis-winstons-accuser-1479782169

Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Wed Dec 11, 2013, 06:02 AM (0 replies)

Here is THE BOSS:


Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Tue Dec 10, 2013, 11:34 AM (1 replies)

Cold-Loving Cockroach Invades NYC

A new species of cockroach that can withstand freezing temperatures has taken up residence in New York, scientists confirmed.

The resilient critter, Periplaneta japonica, had never been seen in the United States until an exterminator spotted some strange-looking roach carcasses last year on the High Line, a mile-long park built on an old elevated railway in Manhattan. Researchers confirmed the identity of the species, which is native to Asia and notable for its ability to thrive in cold climates, unlike the American cockroaches that populate New York and take shelter indoors when winter comes.

"About 20 years ago colleagues of ours in Japan reared nymphs of this species and measured their tolerance to being able to survive in snow," Rutgers insect biologist Jessica Ware said in a statement. "As the species has invaded Korea and China, there has been some confirmation that it does very well in cold climates, so it is very conceivable that it could live outdoors during winter in New York. That is in addition to its being well suited to live indoors alongside the species that already are here." (Alien Invaders: Photos of Destructive Invasive Species)

Happy days are coming for cold weather areas as more insects adapt.
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Mon Dec 9, 2013, 05:59 PM (5 replies)

Slowly They Modernize: A Federal Agency That Still Uses Floppy Disks

WASHINGTON — The technology troubles that plagued the HealthCare.gov website rollout may not have come as a shock to people who work for certain agencies of the government — especially those who still use floppy disks, the cutting-edge technology of the 1980s.

Every day, The Federal Register, the daily journal of the United States government, publishes on its website and in a thick booklet around 100 executive orders, proclamations, proposed rule changes and other government notices that federal agencies are mandated to submit for public inspection.

So far, so good.

It turns out, however, that the Federal Register employees who take in the information for publication from across the government still receive some of it on the 3.5-inch plastic storage squares that have become all but obsolete in the United States.

Now government infrastructure experts are hoping that public embarrassments like the HealthCare.gov debacle will prompt a closer look at the government’s technological prowess, especially if it might mean getting rid of floppy disks.

“You’ve got this antiquated system that still works but is not nearly as efficient as it could be,” said Stan Soloway, chief executive of the Professional Services Council, which represents more than 370 government contractors. “Companies that work with the government, whether longstanding or newcomers, are all hamstrung by the same limitations.”

It's a wonder that the ACA website works at all.
One of the issues nobody is talking about is the procurement process. It is unwieldy to say the least. In addition, politicians try to get their faves a leg up in the process.

The other huge problem are all of the different systems and computers in use. I'll bet if they look there is probably an Eniac in use somewhere and Univacs being given to peons. I wouldn't rule out the use of punch cards in the bowels of one of those government buildings.
Posted by Are_grits_groceries | Mon Dec 9, 2013, 05:45 PM (71 replies)
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