Posts Tagged ‘NBA

04
Jun
14

6.4.14 … post ga primary venting …

I am still in shock over the 5.20 GA Republican Primary … That said, I will repeat a favorite tv quote:

“No, I call myself a Republican because I am one. I believe in market solutions and I believe in common sense realities and necessity to defend itself against a dangerous world. The problem is now I have to be homophobic. I have to count the number of times people go to church. I have to deny facts and think scientific research is a long con. I have to think poor people are getting a sweet ride. And I have to have such a stunning inferiority complex that I fear education and intellect in the 21st Century. Most of all, the biggest new requirement-–the only requirement-–is that I have to hate Democrats.”

via The Newsroom Recap – Season 2, Episode 9 – Season Finale | Mediaite.

follow up, Second Amendment to the Bill of Rights:  It is fascinating that people can interpret  the same passage and reconstruct the same history to such different ends.

… no amendment received less attention in the courts in the two centuries following the adoption of the Bill of Rights than the Second, except the Third (which dealt with billeting soldiers in private homes). It used to be known as the “lost amendment,” because hardly anyone ever wrote about it. The assertion that the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to own and carry a gun for self-defense, rather than the people’s right to form militias for the common defense, first became a feature of American political and legal discourse in the wake of the Gun Control Act of 1968, and only gained prominence in the nineteen-seventies. A milestone in its development came when Orrin Hatch, serving on Strom Thurmond’s Senate Judiciary Committee, became chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution. Hatch commissioned a history of the Second Amendment, resulting in a 1982 report, “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” which concluded, “What the Subcommittee on the Constitution uncovered was clear—and long lost—proof that the second amendment to our Constitution was intended as an individual right of the American citizen to keep and carry arms in a peaceful manner, for protection of himself, his family, and his freedoms.”

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, American historians who disagreed with the individual and insurrectionist interpretations of the Second Amendment began to take them more seriously when it became clear that a conservative judiciary was taking them seriously, and that a test case would reach the Supreme Court. An important statement of what is generally referred to as the collective-rights interpretation—the idea that what the Second Amendment protects is the people’s collective right to keep and bear arms to form militias for the common defense—is an amicus curiae submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2008 case of District of Columbia v. Heller, signed by fifteen eminent university professors of early American history, including Pauline Maier, Fred Anderson, and Pulitzer Prizes winners Jack Rakove and Alan Taylor. It concludes,

Historians are often asked what the Founders would think about various aspects of contemporary life. Such questions can be tricky to answer. But as historians of the Revolutionary era we are confident at least of this: that the authors of the Second Amendment would be flabbergasted to learn that in endorsing the republican principle of a well-regulated militia, they were also precluding restrictions on such potentially dangerous property as firearms, which governments had always regulated when there was “real danger of public injury from individuals.”

The different weight the Court gave to these different interpretations is suggested by its decision in Heller. Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, determined that, “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia.”

In his remarks before the N.R.A. last week, Gingrich offered a human-rights interpretation of the Second Amendment. “A Gingrich presidency,” he said, “will submit to the United Nations a treaty that extends the right to bear arms as a human right for every person on the planet.”

The United States has the highest rate of civilian gun ownership in the world, twice that of the country with the second highest rate, which is Yemen. The United States also has the highest homicide rate of any affluent democracy, nearly four times higher than France or the United Kingdom, six times higher than Germany. In the United States in 2008, guns were involved in two-thirds of all murders. Of interest to many people concerned about these matters, then, is when the debate over the Second Amendment will yield to a debate about violence.

via The Debate Over the Second Amendment : The New Yorker.

“check our white privilege”:

We’re not in an ideal world, of course; we’re in the news cycle. In the above video, when Greta Van Susteren asks Fortgang what “check your privilege” meant, he replies, “I don’t think the people who are saying ‘check your privilege’ really know what it means.”

That’s a bad way to start a dialouge, but it’s how you talk when you’re inhabiting the world of cable news—you claim your ideological opponents don’t understand the words they use, you scoff and gloat your way through two-minute segments until everyone who agrees with you is convinced you’ve won the argument. These “debates” are all empty calories, and the people who publicize them move on to the next thing as soon as they possibly can, because there’s a cycle to feed with anger and elation. Current candidates for outrage include a black teacher suing a school after being mocked for her race, a Republican senate candidate who once worked as a drag queen, and a California school that asked students to write papers about whether the Holocaust actually happened. That’s a lot of privilege to be checked!

The cycle will soon return Fortgang to Princeton, where he and his Weltanschauung will no doubt continue to irritate his peers and where he’ll continue to write things that will one day make him cringe as he looks back on them. Hopefully now that he’s no longer on television he’ll be able to learn something.

via This College Conservative Pissed off the Internet. You’ll Easily Guess What Happened Next | VICE United States.

End of an era, Davidson College, Laundry Service:  There are so many great things about Davidson, but this very quirky one will be sorely missed by its loyal  sons undaunted (and daughters).

Davidson College announced today that it will discontinue free full-service laundry for all students, beginning May 15, 2015. Students will continue to have access to free self-service laundry facilities across campus.

The decision comes at a time when Davidson is aligning its resources to meet educational priorities within the changing landscape of higher education. As a result, the college is reprioritizing the services and amenities it offers to students.

“This transition reflects our vision for Davidson now and into the future,” said Davidson College President Carol Quillen. “We are committed to sustaining what is intrinsic and distinctive to Davidson, while offering new services and programs that prepare and enable Davidson graduates to thrive in a global society.”

In the past year, the college has celebrated the opening of “Studio M,” a new makerspace that fosters technological creativity and exploration, and introduced Africana Studies, an interdisciplinary department. In the next year, the college plans to expand career development offerings to meet growing student interest in career counseling and internship placement as a well as move to a 24/7 library for students.

While the majority of first-year students utilize full laundry service, that rate drops over a student’s time at Davidson. Only about 35 percent of seniors use the free full-service laundry, opting instead to use the free self-service facilities.

The full service laundry facility opened in 1920 and has operated as a free full-service laundry for more than 90 years.

via Plans Announced to Transition to Self-Service Laundry – Davidson College.

A few comments from my fellow alums:

Mistake

Noooooooo. . . Signed, #117

Terrible idea! What’s wrong with tradition??

Nooooooo the horror of it al!!! l #76. How will the students get their flannel shirts to stand up in the corner now????

NOOOOO. After doing a 9-day college tour with my daughter, trying to decide exactly what “made the Dickinson Experience unique,” and concluding that nothing made any of the top schools unique except the Laundry at Davidson, I hate this. Get rid of “graduate-level research.” Everyone has that!

Boo!

It was one of the factors that made my daughter choose Davidson over Vassar (and the weather). She sent me a text this afternoon to let me know. The writer of the story on Davidson.edu would have received a C or worse from Charlie Lloyd, and I was disappointed in President Quillen’s comments. I agree with Anne Lupo – there’s nothing wrong with tradition, and the quirkiness of free laundry as an amenity was pretty neat. Davidson will become less distinctive, as it continues to try to climb up the greasy pole of the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Am I cynical to note that the announcement comes at the end of the year, when exams are upon the students, and nobody is liable to protest?

That leaveis a great business opportunity for some enterprising students. Laundry pickup and delivery.

According to the Observer website it cost 400,000 per year to run – only 500 per student. I bet they want the building for another purpose. Did they do dry cleaning on site? Superfund site?

When we were there they added a mandatory $300 per year charge to pay for laundry. If it would only be $500 per year now, that is the best bargain around! Tuition, room and board are up by a factor of 10 since I was there. Laundry up only 67%? Yikes!

Let’s protest!!

Free laundry! What a great battle cry.

I was sorely disappointed to hear this news. I agree with ____ too! What next – self scheduled exams?

Solo in Paris – NYTimes.com.:

It was easy in Paris to surrender to the moment. But why? What alchemy transmuted ordinary activities, be it a walk across a bridge or the unwrapping of butter, into a pleasure? My default speed in New York is “hurtle,” yet in Paris I dragged the edge of a fork across an oyster with a care better suited to sliding a bow across a violin.

This was not simply because I was in Paris, though it has long held a kind of magic for many Americans. It was because I was there on my own. In a city that has been perfecting beauty since the reign of Napoleon III, there are innumerable sensual details — patterns, textures, colors, sounds — that can be diluted, even missed, when chattering with someone or collaborating on an itinerary. Alone one becomes acutely aware of the hollow clack of pétanque balls in a park; the patina of Maillol’s bronze “Baigneuse se Coiffant” that makes her look wet even on a cloudless day in the Tuileries; how each of the empty wine bottles beside sidewalk recycling bins is the embodiment of someone’s good time. There is a Paris that deeply rewards the solo traveler.

Indeed, the city has a centuries-old tradition of solo exploration, personified by the flâneur, or stroller. Flânerie is, in its purest form, a goal-less pursuit, though for some it evolved into a purposeful art: Walking and observing became a method of understanding a city, an age. Baudelaire described the flâneur as a passionate spectator, one who was fond of “botanizing on the asphalt,” as the essayist Walter Benjamin would later put it. Typically, it was a man. No longer.

I had taken the book, by Patricia Wentworth, because I recognized the sticker on the cover: Bookcrossing.com, a website that encourages people to read, register and hide books in the world for others to find. For years I had wanted to discover one. Later, when I went on the site to register that I had the book, there was a message from its former, anonymous owner: “This book was not lost,” it said in French, “it was found for a new reader.”

via Solo in Paris – NYTimes.com.

Facts In Your Face (FactsInYourFace), Twitter:

Facts In Your Face @FactsInYourFace  ·  4h

There is a psychological condition when people can’t work, sleep or concentrate because of songs that stick their heads.

via Facts In Your Face (FactsInYourFace) on Twitter.

The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, The Bright Cloud of Unknowing, Transfiguration (Matt. 17-1-9) – Day1.org:

Most of us are allowed at least one direct experience of God (within bounds)–something that knocks us for a loop, blows our circuits, calls all our old certainties into question.  Some churches even require you to produce one as proof of your conversion.  But even in congregations that welcome signs and wonders on a regular basis, there seems to be a general consensus that life in Christ means trading in your old certainties for new ones.

Once you emerge from the cloud, you are supposed to be surer than ever what you believe.  You are supposed to know who’s who, what’s what, where you are going in your life and why.  You are supposed to have answers to all the important questions, and when you read the Bible you are supposed to know what it means.  You have your Christian decoder ring, now use it!

But what if the point is not to decode the cloud but to enter into it?  What if the whole Bible is less a book of certainties than it is a book of encounters, in which a staggeringly long parade of people run into God, each other, life–and are never the same again?  I mean, what don’t people run into in the Bible?  Not just terrifying clouds and hair-raising voices but also crazy relatives, persistent infertility, armed enemies, and deep depression, along with life-saving strangers, miraculous children, food in the wilderness, and knee-wobbling love.

Whether such biblical encounters come disguised as “good” or “bad,” they have a way of breaking biblical people open, of rearranging what they think they know for sure so that there is room for more divine movement in their lives.  Sometimes the movement involves traveling from one place to another.  Sometimes it means changing their angle on what is true and why.  Sometimes it involves the almost invisible movement of one heart toward another.

Certainties can become casualties in these encounters, or at least those certainties that involve clinging to static notions of who’s who and what’s what, where you are going in your life and why.  Those things can shift pretty dramatically inside the cloud of unknowing, where faith has more to do with staying fully present to what is happening right in front of you than with being certain of what it all means.  The meeting–that’s the thing.

There is no way to be sure, but I think Peter sensed that.  When Jesus lit up right in front of him, Peter knew what he was seeing.  The Bible calls it “God’s glory”–the shining cloud that is the sure sign of God’s capital P Presence.  In the Book of Exodus, when Moses climbed Mount Sinai to fetch the tablets of the law, the whole top of the mountain stayed socked in divine cloud cover for six whole days.  In 1 Kings, when Solomon dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem, a dense cloud filled up that huge place so that the priests could not even see what they were supposed to be doing.  When Ezekiel had his vision of the four living creatures, he saw them in the middle of “a great cloud with brightness around it and fire flashing forth continually.”

That’s what God’s glory looks like, apparently: a big bright cloud–dark and dazzling at the same time–an envelope for the Divine Presence that would blow people away if they looked upon it directly–so God in God’s mercy placed a cloud buffer around it, which both protected the people and made it difficult for them to see inside.

via The Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor – The Bright Cloud of Unknowing – Transfiguration (Matt. 17-1-9) – Day1.org.

labyrinths:

Students at Davidson College are well acquainted with stress. Although many have already developed their own tactics to manage anxieties, a new outlet will soon become available for the Davidson community in the form of a labyrinth.

On Sunday evening, in a discussion themed “Life is not Linear,” College Chaplain Robert Spach ’84, Lauren Cunningham ’09 and Dr. Trisha Senterfitt, spoke in the 900 Room about Davidson’s plans to build the stress-reliever.

Guest speaker Senterfitt received her doctorate in Ministry from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur and wrote her dissertation on labyrinths.

She claimed that the 180 degree turns made when walking  a labyrinth relieve stress.

For this reason, the benefits of a labyrinth walk exceed those of a standard walk down Main Street.

She suggested that the act of walking a labyrinth engages the right side of the brain, the side that manages creativity and imagination.

In doing this, a balance is created between the right side and the left, which, on hte other hand, is utilized most frequently by the typical college student bogged down by mathematical equations and essays.

Senterfitt cited the success of labyrinths in the treatment of patients with neurological disorders due to this balance in brain function.

Furthermore, she said she believes so firmly in the importance of the labyrinth that her husband constructed one in their backyard.

She finds comfort in walking the labyrinth to reflect, to give thanks and to relax.

Senterfit has lofty goals for the Davidson labyrinth. She envisions some students taking regular meditative walks and others utilizing the structure around more stressful times such as exam period.

Both Senterfitt and Cunningham spoke of how the labyrinth could potentially enhance several disciplines at Davidson.

Math students could explore its geometry, historians could explore its significance in early history and art students could use it in their studies of spatial relations.

Cunningham’s involvement in the project began in the summer of 2007.

The idea of a Davidson labyrinth dawned on her after reading a book that conveyed the author’s moving experience with labyrinths. Cunningham, Spach and Professor Cort Savage met with President Ross to present their idea.

A Labyrinth Committee formed and the community warmly received its proposals.

The labyrinth is expected to positively effect students physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Logistically speaking, the labyrinth will be located in Hobart Park, which is situated between Faculty Drive and the Baker parking lot.

At an estimated 30 feet in diameter, it will be built of concrete.

The labyrinth in Chartes, Cathedral in France serves as the inspiration for its design.

The labyrinth will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Its date of completion is unknown and dependant of funding.

The kit used to build the labyrinth and its installation will cost an estimated $30,000.

Approximately two-thirds of the cost has been pledged by the President’s Office and an anonymous donor.

Individual students can help the funding effort by purchasing labyrinth t-shirts and tickets for the Amazing Maize Maze located in Mooresville.

via Labyrinth proposal geared to relieve stress – News – The Davidsonian – Davidson College.

Jack and Trisha Senterfitt:  From the article above, I found this couple to be great fun … they remind me of some people I know.

We’re Jack and Trisha Senterfitt, aka Santa and Mrs. Claus, and on March of 2013 we  embarked on a great adventure!  While I retired in 2007 after a career as an attorney, Trisha just retired at the end of March.  She’s a Presbyterian minister who, after 14 years in parish ministry in Atlanta, became the Director of The Craddock Center in Cherry Log, Georgia–an outreach ministry to low income families, primarily focusing on children’s enrichment in north Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina.  She loved doing this, but decided last year to retire, so we could travel, spend time seeing this great country and visiting friends everywhere.  So in August of 2012 we found a 2008 Winnebago View in mint condition close to our home and this was the trigger for her to go ahead and retire.

via Happy Times Two: About Us.

The Parklands of Floyds Fork, kayaking/canoeing, Louisville KY:

Comment from one of our visitors over the weekend: “Did the kayak rental today – the four hour trip – had a fabulous experience. It was so exquisite, and so filled with wildlife and nature’s beauty it was hard to believe I was in Metro Louisville. My only regret is that I’ve missed this all my life…up until now! I have a new love: Kayaking at The Parklands. Thank you for enriching our lives.” What a great testimonial for our new paddling rentals through Green Earth Outdoors! Learn how you can experience it for your self, here:

via The Parklands of Floyds Fork.

NBA, Warriors: from a friend who knows mores about sports than I will ever know …

You have got to be kidding me. The Warriors had been a joke for years. Jackson took them to the playoffs two years in a row for the first time in over 20 years. If you listen to the audio, a couple players complained he showed “favoritism” to Steph Curry. Yeah, you wouldn’t want to keep your best player happy. Unbelievable.

 

14
Nov
11

11.14.2011 … Davison College Wildcats v. Richmond Spiders … DC up by 9 at the half … and in the end Wildcats stomp the Spiders. :)

2012 Presidential Election, religion, Mormonism:

A dark truth of American politics in what is still the era of Reagan and the Bushes is that so many do not vote their own economic interests. Rather than living in reality they yield to what oddly are termed “cultural” considerations: moral and spiritual, or so their leaders urge them to believe. Under the banners of flag, cross, fetus, exclusive marriage between men and women, they march onward to their own deepening impoverishment. Much of the Tea Party fervor merely repeats this gladsome frolic.

AS the author of “The American Religion,” I learned a considerable respect for such original spiritual revelations as 19th-century Mormonism and early 20th-century Southern Baptism, admirably re-founded by the subtle theologian Edgar Young Mullins in his “Axioms of Religion.”

A religion becomes a people, as it has for the Jews and the Mormons, partly out of human tenacity inspired by the promise of the blessing of more life, but also through charismatic leadership. What we now call Judaism was essentially created by Rabbi Akiva ben Joseph to meet the needs of a Jewish people mired under Roman occupation in Palestine and elsewhere in the empire. A great sage, Akiva was also a leader of extraordinary charisma, an old man when martyred by the Emperor Hadrian, presumably for inspiring the insurrection of Bar Kokhba that ended at the siege of Bethar.

via Will This Election Be the Mormon Breakthrough? – NYTimes.com.

photos:  Great photos!

November 8, 2011. A sedated black rhino is carried by military helicopter away from a poaching area in the hills of the Eastern Cape in South Africa to a new home 15 miles away. The World Wildlife Fund organized the move of 1,000 rhinos, which are under threat from poachers across Africa because of the market value of their horns.

via TIME Magazine’s Best Pictures of the Week, November 4-November 11 – LightBox.

British humor, American Humor, culture:

It’s often dangerous to generalize, but under threat, I would say that Americans are more “down the line.” They don’t hide their hopes and fears. They applaud ambition and openly reward success. Brits are more comfortable with life’s losers. We embrace the underdog until it’s no longer the underdog.We like to bring authority down a peg or two. Just for the hell of it. Americans say, “have a nice day” whether they mean it or not. Brits are terrified to say this. We tell ourselves it’s because we don’t want to sound insincere but I think it might be for the opposite reason. We don’t want to celebrate anything too soon. Failure and disappointment lurk around every corner. This is due to our upbringing. Americans are brought up to believe they can be the next president of the United States. Brits are told, “it won’t happen for you.”

There’s a received wisdom in the U.K. that Americans don’t get irony. This is of course not true. But what is true is that they don’t use it all the time. It shows up in the smarter comedies but Americans don’t use it as much socially as Brits. We use it as liberally as prepositions in every day speech. We tease our friends. We use sarcasm as a shield and a weapon. We avoid sincerity until it’s absolutely necessary. We mercilessly take the piss out of people we like or dislike basically. And ourselves. This is very important. Our brashness and swagger is laden with equal portions of self-deprecation. This is our license to hand it out.

via Ricky Gervais: Is There a Difference Between British and American Humor | TIME Ideas | TIME.com.

Dogwood Farms, Ann and Cot Campbell, kith/kin, kudos:  Cary’s mom and dad … kudos!

Dogwood Stable president Cot Campbell (from left) and his wife Anne received a gold tray from Nick Nicholson, president of Keeneland Race Course, to commemorate Dogwood's eighth stakes victory at the Kentucky track.  SPECIAL

The celebration was originally set to honor Aikenite, Dogwood Stable’s 4-year-old colt, for winning a spring race to give the Aiken-based outfit a gold tray from Keeneland Race Course.

.Aikenite won Dogwood’s eighth graded stakes race at Keeneland by rallying in the stretch to win the Commonwealth Stakes in April. Jockey John Velazquez guided Aikenite to his first stakes win by 2 1/4 lengths over Cool Bullet.

Dogwood won its first Keeneland grades stakes race in 1971 with Mrs. Cornwallis in the Alcibiades. Other Dogwood horses to win a gold julep cup from Keeneland include Luge II (Forerunner), Summer Squall (Blue Grass and Fayette Handicap), British Banker (Phoenix Breeders’ Cup), Golden Gale (Beaumont) and Vicarage (Perryville).

The eighth one earned Dogwood the solid gold tray, which the stable proudly displayed at the museum Friday night.

via Cot Campbell honored at hall of fame event | The Augusta Chronicle.

For Campbell, in his tailored role as a racing manager, the 2012 season will dawn with Aikenite at the head of the runners in the existing partnerships. This year, Aikenite, a son of Is It True, won the Commonwealth at Keeneland and the Churchill Downs Handicap on Derby Day, and those are the races he will target early next year as well. Campbell knows enough, though, not to heap upon Aikenite disproportionate praise. He has yet to reach the heights of such Dogwood runners as Summer Squall, Southjet, Inlander, Storm Song, Nassipour, Trippi, and Wild Escapade.

“He’s a very satisfying horse,” Campbell said of Aikenite. “A horse with a lovely personality. He’s not going to volunteer anything, but when you do ask him the question he’ll give you the answer. He’s here now in Aiken for a couple months. I was just over giving him some peppermints.”

It was Friday morning, and that evening the Campbells were set to host an open house at the local Aiken Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. It was fitting that Aikenite’s victory in the Commonwealth earlier this year was enough to earn Dogwood a special honor from Keeneland, commemorating the stable’s eight graded stakes wins there. A gold tray of some sort was involved, but mostly it was a good excuse for a party. Aiken, pop. 29,494, has a rich tradition as South Carolina’s off season mecca for the Thoroughbred industry, offering a wintertime home to many of the leading stables throughout the history of the sport. Aikenite was named as Campbell’s tribute to Dogwood’s home.

“This is a good town to live in if you’re going to be in any kind of horse business,“ Campbell said. “We’ve invited the entire citizenry of Aiken, and right now it looks like they’re all coming.”

Without much doubt, the evening was destined to end up a tribute to Campbell as well.

“I was going to hold up my announcement about my plans, but I figured hell why not just say what I’ve got to say,” he said.

“To put it kindly, I’m in the twilight of my existence, or maybe the late evening,” Campbell said. “Who knows how long it will go on? I’m fit, I feel great, and I’m having a good time.

via Dogwood leader Cot Campbell eases into semi-retirement at 84 | Daily Racing Form.

Sara Bates, Watson Scholars, Davidson College, D2s, kith/kin, kudos:  A fun blog to follow … daughter of classmates Thomas and Lisa.  Kudos to Sara!

Let me share my experience with you as I travel this next year as a Watson Fellow.

via sara bates … watson adventures | Let me share my experience with you as I travel this next year as a Watson Fellow..

Joe Paterno, tragedies:  I hate this story …

The best piece about Darío Castrillón Hoyos was written by the Catholic essayist John Zmirak, and his words apply to Joe Paterno as well. Sins committed in the name of a higher good, Zmirak wrote, can “smell and look like lilies. But they flank a coffin. Lying dead and stiff inside that box is natural Justice … what each of us owes the other in an unconditional debt.”

No higher cause can trump that obligation — not a church, and certainly not a football program. And not even a lifetime of heroism can make up for leaving a single child alone, abandoned to evil, weeping in the dark.

via The Devil and Joe Paterno – NYTimes.com.

First, let’s get the language straight. The very last thing that these brave boys and men need is a nation referring to them as victims. They are heroes and survivors. Words matter.

Second, I’m not sure that any of us really know what happened and how it happened. But based on my research, I do know this:

When the culture of an organization mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of individuals, you can be certain that shame is systemic, money drives ethics, and accountability is dead. This is true in corporations, nonprofits, universities, governments, churches, schools, families, and sports programs. If you think back on any major scandal fueled by cover-ups, you’ll see this pattern.

In an organizational culture where respect and the dignity of individuals are held as the highest values, shame and blame don’t work as management styles. There is no leading by fear. Empathy is a valued asset, accountability is an expectation rather than an exception, and the primal human need for belonging is not used as leverage and social control.

We can’t control the behavior of individuals; however, we can cultivate organizational cultures where behaviors are not tolerated and people are held accountable for protecting what matters most: human beings.

via thoughts on penn state – my blog – Ordinary Courage.

Atlanta, Civil War, history, William Sherman, Burning of Atlanta:

I reached Atlanta during the afternoon of the 14th, and found that all preparations had been made-Colonel Beckwith, chief commissary, reporting one million two hundred thousand rations in possession of the troops, which was about twenty days’ supply, and he had on hand a good supply of beef-cattle to be driven along on the hoof. Of forage, the supply was limited, being of oats and corn enough for five days, but I knew that within that time we would reach a country well stocked with corn, which had been gathered and stored in cribs, seemingly for our use, by Governor Brown’s militia.

Colonel Poe, United States Engineers, of my staff, had been busy in his special task of destruction. He had a large force at work, had leveled the great depot, round house, and the machine-shops of the Georgia Railroad, and had applied fire to the wreck. One of these machine-shops had been used by the rebels as an arsenal, and in it were stored piles of shot and shell, some of which proved to be loaded, and that night was made hideous by the bursting of shells, whose fragments came uncomfortably, near Judge Lyon’s house, in which I was quartered. The fire also reached the block of stores near the depot, and the heart of the city was in flames all night, but the fire did not reach the parts of Atlanta where the court-house was, or the great mass of dwelling houses.

Atlanta History Center, I reached Atlanta during the afternoon of the….

‘Three Cups of Tea, tragedy:  I hate that Greg Mortenson’s story is not true.

The fight over whether mountaineer Greg Mortenson made up portions of “Three Cups of Tea,” his best-selling memoir about building schools in Pakistan, is getting nastier.

On Monday, Jon Krakauer, the climber and author, released online a 75-page story on Mr. Mortenson called “Three Cups of Deceit.” Mr. Krakauer also appeared in CBS’s “60 Minutes” program on Sunday, which cast doubt on Mr. Mortenson and the financial management of his charity, Central Asia Institute.

The allegations fall broadly in two categories: That Mr. Mortenson fabricated key elements of “Three Cups of Tea” and a later memoir “Stones into Schools” and that CAI has improperly helped Mr. Mortenson buy and promote his books.

via Were There ‘Three Cups of Deceit’? – India Real Time – WSJ.

DailyLit, The Intellectual Devotional:  Love getting an excerpt every day! DailyLit: The Intellectual Devotional, book by David S. Kidder and Noah Oppenheim.

‘Stairway To Heaven’, music, history:   Turns 40!!

“Stairway to Heaven.” Those three little words have come to mean so much. Led Zeppelin’s eight-minute classic turns 40 this week, and it still sets the bar for headbanging chutzpah, if not sophisticated songcraft.

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were woodshedding in Wales when they devised their faery-strewn folk-metal psychedelia masterwork. Bassist/arranger John Paul Jones added mood-setting recorders and drummer John Bonham brought his protean thwunk to the game. The song may or may not have borrowed key elements from an instrumental by the American band Spirit, with whom they once toured. But nobody but Zep could have molded those chord progressions into such a masterpiece of excess.

“Stairway to Heaven” set the template for the power ballad and made unwitting J.R.R. Tolkien experts out of listeners who merely intended to get their rocks off. Depending on your view, the song is the greatest achievement of one of history’s most important groups … or rock’s ultimate nightmare, incessantly resurrected by awful cover bands, shrieking karaoke singers and your very drunk uncle who grabbed the microphone at your sister’s wedding reception.

via ‘Stairway To Heaven’ Turns 40: Celebrate With 7 Covers : The Record : NPR.

meditations, faith and spirituality, Henri Nouwen:

The Fruit of Our Communal LifeOur society encourages individualism.  We are constantly made to believe that everything we think, say, or do, is our personal accomplishment, deserving individual attention.  But as people who belong to the communion of saints, we know that anything of spiritual value is not the result of individual accomplishment but the fruit of a communal life.Whatever we know about God and Gods love; whatever we know about Jesus – his life, death, and resurrection – whatever we know about the Church and its ministry, is not the invention of our minds asking for an award.  It is the knowledge that has come to us through the ages from the people of Israel and the prophets, from Jesus and the saints, and from all who have played roles in the formation of our hearts.  True spiritual knowledge belongs to the communion of saints.

via Daily Meditation: The Fruit of Our Communal Life.

college tuition, student loans, Great Recession:  Makes you think …

The college-bubble argument makes the solution to rising costs seem simple: if people just wake up, the bubble will pop, and reasonable prices will return. It’s much tougher to admit that there is no easy way out. Maybe we need to be willing to spend more and more of our incomes and taxpayer dollars on school, or maybe we need to be willing to pay educators and administrators significantly less, or maybe we need to find ways to make colleges more productive places, which would mean radically changing our idea of what going to college is all about. Until America figures out its priorities, college kids are going to have to keep running just to stand still. ♦

via College Tuition, Student Loans, and Unemployment : The New Yorker.

ADHD, science, brain-function link:

A brain area that helps orchestrate mental activity works overtime in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, reflecting the internal struggle to hold more than one thing in mind at a time, neuroscientists reported Sunday.

The scientists used a functional magnetic imaging scanner to track signs of neural activity among 19 affected children and 23 other children who were asked to remember a simple sequence of letters. The scientists discovered that a critical mental control area, called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, worked much harder and, perhaps, less efficiently among children with attention problems.

This fundamental difference in brain function might be an underlying cause of the inattentiveness, impulsivity and focus problems that make it hard for ADHD children to concentrate in the classroom, the scientists said during an annual gathering of 31,000 brain researchers in Washington, D.C.

“Our findings suggest that the function as well as the structure of this brain area is different in children with ADHD,” said Wayne State University biologist Tudor Puiu, who reported the team’s findings Sunday at a conference held by the Society for Neuroscience. “It might explain the cognitive problems we see in the classroom.”

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, can be diagnosed in preschool-age children as young as 4, according to new treatment guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Jennifer Corbett Dooren has details on Lunch Break.

All told, about two million U.S. children have been diagnosed with attention problems. No one yet understands the basic neurobiology responsible for the mental ailment, which has grown more common since 2003, according to a survey by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration.

via ADHD: Scientists Probe Brain-Function Link – WSJ.com.

NBA, Steph Curry:  Yeah … Steph can finish the semester!

In a move that jeopardizes the NBA season, the NBA players union rejected the league’s latest offer and said it would begin the process to disband the union.

In a move that jeopardizes the NBA season, the NBA players union rejected the league’s latest offer and said it would begin the process to disband the union. Kevin Clark has details on The News Hub.

Labor talks “completely broke down,” said union Executive Director Billy Hunter. The union said it has begun legal proceedings to dissolve the union, a tactic that would take the dispute to the courts.

“The 2011-12 season is now in jeopardy,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern.

The decision came after a five-hour meeting among player representatives at a New York City hotel. Mr. Hunter said an anti-trust lawsuit should be filed in the next day or two. Union president Derek Fisher said the idea to dissolve was approved in “unanimous fashion.”

Jeffrey Kessler, a union lawyer, said the decision came after the players agreed that “bargaining completely failed” and said the players wanted to assert their antitrust rights.

via Players Reject NBA’s Offer, Begin to Disband Union – WSJ.com.

Jerry Sandusky Scandal/tragedy: 

Jerry Sandusky to Bob Costas in exclusive ‘Rock Center’ interview: ‘I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.’

via Rock Center with Brian Williams – Jerry Sandusky to Bob Costas in exclusive ‘Rock Center’ interview: ‘I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.’.

Davison College, Wildcats v. Spiders: Up by 9 at the half … Wildcats stomp the Spiders. 🙂

 

06
May
11

5.6.2011 …it seems Osama bin Laden got my attention today … and cardinals …

Stephen Curry, Davidson College, Davidson basketball, NBA, kudos: Well, he went to Davidson …

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors is the recipient of the Joe Dumars Trophy presented to the 2010-11 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner, the NBA announced today.

Curry (Pacific) was one of six divisional winners, which included Charlotte’s D.J. Augustin (Southeast), Chicago’s Luol Deng (Central), New Jersey’s Deron Williams (Atlantic), Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge (Northwest), and San Antonio’s George Hill (Southwest).

Curry received 88 first-place votes (2,445 total points) of a possible 347. The NBA will make a $10,000 donation on behalf of Curry to Habitat For Humanity East Bay, which uses volunteers to build affordable homes in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

via WARRIORS: Stephen Curry Wins 2010-11 NBA Sportsmanship Award.

faith and spirituality, favorite blogs, Davidson College, kith/kin:  I love the cardinal guest post by college friend Diane on college friend Cary’s blog, a favorite of mine. I don’t have a great redbird story other than I have always been told to wish on a cardinal because it will bring you good luck.  Read on …

Yesterday I requested “cardinal stories” from readers, since several told me (in response to a post on hope on Tuesday) that they’d had cardinal encounters recently (what’s going on?)  So for the next couple of days, I’ll stick with the cardinal theme.

Here’s a post from a college friend, Diane Cooper.  Let me tell you a little about her first:

Diane Cooper is the mother of four children, including sweet David Cooper, her seventeen-year-old son who died suddenly two years ago from Athlete Sudden Cardiac Arrest while rowing with his crew team at McCallie School in Chattanooga.

via Guest Post by Diane Odom Cooper « Holy Vernacular.

Let us always make sure that it is protected and never take it for granted. Whenever you see a cardinal, smile and say, “Thank you!” You have received one of the ultimate blessings of Nature.

via The ultimate backyard bird | Backyard Birder | a Chron.com blog.

Osama bin Laden’s death, President Obama, photography:  As they say a picture is worth a thousand words … I enjoyed this insightful analysis of this picture.

President Barack Obama and his national security team watch updates on the mission to capture Osama bin Laden on Sunday.

Most commentators have focused on the historic nature of the photo: Obama staring at the screen with a grim intensity; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, covering her mouth to repress her reaction — the epicenter of U.S. military power hunting down its most hated foe.

But look deeper and that photo becomes historic in a more subtle way. It’s a snapshot of how much this nation’s attitudes about race, women and presidential swagger are changing, several scholars and historians say.


“The photo is visually suggestive of a new American landscape that we’re still crossing into,” says Saladin Ambar, a political science professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

“When Obama was elected, there were some people who thought that we had crossed a racial threshold,” Ambar says. “What his presidency is revealing is that there are many crossings.”

via What ‘Situation Room Photo’ reveals about us – CNN.com.

Osama bin Laden’s death, OBL’s family: Never understood the concept of mail order bride … do you think she loved him …

While little is known about Bin Laden’s daughter, his wife, Amal, “was a kind of mail-order teenage bride from Yemen, whom he married while living in Afghanistan during the 1990s, according to the account of bin Laden’s former Yemeni bodyguard,” according to Steve Coll, the author of “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the C.I.A., Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001.”

….

Although it is far from clear what will happen to Bin Laden’s surviving family members in Pakistan, or if we will ever hear directly from them about what they saw when the American commandos shot Osama bin Laden, his wife, Amal, did speak to the media at least once. In March 2002, she granted an interview to Al Majalla, a Saudi magazine in London, which was reprinted by The Guardian.

In the interview, she explained that, following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, her husband had arranged for her to be transported from Afghanistan with her children and handed over to Pakistani authorities. On that occasion, she was, reportedly, allowed to return to Yemen.

via Left Behind: Bin Laden’s Wife and Daughter – NYTimes.com.

Osama bin Laden’s death, law:  Can you imagine what a nightmare of a bar exam question this would be???

International law recognizes a country’s inherent right to act in self-defense, and it makes no distinction between vindicating these rights through a drone strike or through a boots-on-the-ground operation. Administration officials have described the raid as a “kill or capture” mission and asserted that the SEALs would have taken Osama bin Laden alive had he surrendered and presented no threat to U.S. personnel or the others in the compound that night. This, according to official accounts, did not happen.

Much has been made of the disclosure that Osama bin Laden was unarmed, but this, too, is irrelevant in determining whether the operation was lawful. The SEALs entered the compound on a war footing, in the middle of the night, prepared to encounter hostile fire in what they believed to be the enemy leader’s hideout. They reported that they became embroiled in a firefight once inside; they had no way of knowing whether Osama bin Laden himself was armed. Even if he had signaled surrender, there is no reason to believe that danger had evaporated. As Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said during a congressional hearing on Wednesday: “From a Navy SEAL perspective, you had to believe that this guy was a walking IED,” prepared to blow up himself and those around him or possibly to detonate an explosive that would have engulfed the entire house.

It is easy in the light of day to second-guess decisions made in the heat of war. It is particularly easy for those who refuse to acknowledge that war in the first place. Based on information released by the administration, the covert military operation that brought down the most wanted terrorist in the world appears to have been gutsy and well executed. It was also lawful.

via In killing Osama bin Laden, U.S. had the law on its side – The Washington Post.

Osama bin Laden’s death, covert operations:  Amazing …

The SEALs did the shooting inside bin Laden’s compound, but an elite Army unit called Task Force 160 flew them there and back, and the pilot of one of the Blackhawk helicopters may have been the difference between success and failure, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.

The SEALs were about to fast rope into the courtyard in front of bin Laden’s house when the Blackhawk lost lift. Imagine what would have happened if it had crashed into the courtyard with all its SEALs still aboard.

Chris Marvin doesn’t have to imagine. It happened to him in Afghanistan.

“How close did he come? As close as any helicopter pilot can, maybe closer,” said Marvin, “but he had or she had the talent and skill level to land the aircraft safely and let everybody off without injuries.”

via Blackhawk pilot’s quick thinking credited in raid – CBS News.

Osama bin Laden’s death, covert operations:  Anatomy of a Raid: Osama bin Laden’s Final Moments – Video – TIME.com.

10
Dec
10

12.10.2010 … pets are loving this cold weather and their weak master!

you have got to be kidding:  Christian Extremist Group to Picket Elizabeth Edwards Funeral.

tv, culture, holidays, Christmas:  I just watched this and I have to admit I wasn’t sure what the message was.  At the most basic level, it is saying that Christmas is a cultural holiday, not a religious holiday.  Community – Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas – Video – NBC.com.

holidays, Christmas, Atlanta, Louisville:  Pink pig in Atlanta!!  A Christmas Carol and glassblowing ornaments in Louisville … two of my favorite towns made the list.  Best Southern Christmas Vacations – Photos – SouthernLiving.com.

fast food, KFC, Africa:  Having been to South Africa, KFC is everywhere … even in very small villages.  So this was very ineresting to read.

Of the roughly one billion people in Africa, KFC estimates it currently reaches 180 million.

When McDonald’s Corp. arrived in South Africa in the mid-1990s, KFC worried about the impact the burger giant would have on its business. So KFC began opening new restaurants and remodeling existing ones to make them more modern. By the early 2000s, KFC had about 300 restaurants in South Africa.

KFC quickly outpaced McDonald’s, which has fewer than 200 restaurants in Africa. With more than 600 KFCs in South Africa now, the chicken chain has a 44% share of that country’s $1.8 billion fast-food market, followed by South African chain Nando’s, with 6%, and McDonald’s and the local Chicken Licken, each with a 5% share.

“The KFC brand is highly aspirational in Africa. People will save up to buy the $3 meal, even if only once every three months,” Mr. Warren says.

KFC sells chicken more cheaply in South Africa than most parts of the world because local labor costs are lower and chicken suppliers don’t charge as much, partly because South Africa is a major producer of corn to feed the birds.

via KFC Savors Potential in Africa – WSJ.com.

Boulder, kudos, superlatives: Boulder … smartest city … who would have thunk it.

Colorado was the only state to take two spots in the top 10. The smartest city, Boulder, is home to the University of Colorado, which probably explains the high proportion of degree holders. Five out of every six people in Boulder have attended college. Many other top-ranked schools are college towns; Ann Arbor, Mich. is home to the University of Michigan, Durham, N.C. is home to Duke, and Washington has a handful of universities within city limits.

via Where Are America’s Smartest Cities? – TIME NewsFeed.

politics, Constitutional law, Bush v. Gore,The Supreme Court:

This month marks ten years since the Court, by a vote of five-to-four, terminated the election of 2000 and delivered the Presidency to George W. Bush. Over that decade, the Justices have provided a verdict of sorts on Bush v. Gore by the number of times they have cited it: zero.

Momentous Supreme Court cases tend to move quickly into the slipstream of the Court’s history. In the first ten years after Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 decision that ended the doctrine of separate but equal in public education, the Justices cited the case more than twenty-five times. In the ten years after Roe v. Wade, the abortion-rights decision of 1973, there were more than sixty-five references to that landmark. This month marks ten years since the Court, by a vote of five-to-four, terminated the election of 2000 and delivered the Presidency to George W. Bush. Over that decade, the Justices have provided a verdict of sorts on Bush v. Gore by the number of times they have cited it: zero.

But the least we can expect from these men and women is that at politically charged moments—indeed, especially at those times—they apply the same principles that guide them in everyday cases. This, ultimately, is the tragedy of Bush v. Gore. The case didn’t just scar the Court’s record; it damaged the Court’s honor.

via The ten-year anniversary of Bush v. Gore : The New Yorker.

The five who came down on that side: Chief Justice William Rehnquist and justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Scalia has become known for telling those who object to what the court did to “get over it.” Toobin argues in The New Yorker’s latest issue that the decision “didn’t just scar the court’s record, it damaged the court’s honor.”

via 10 Years Later: Was The Supreme Court Right On ‘Bush V. Gore’? : The Two-Way : NPR.

 

Steph Curry, NBA, Davidson basketball:  Heal fully, Steph.  I’ll wait til next year to se see you play …

While X-rays showed no fracture and a subsequent MRI showed no torn ligaments, this is the fourth major sprain of Curry’s ankle this season, the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News report. Curry was carried of the floor by teammates and may miss an extended period of time, according to the reports. He is listed as doubtful for Friday’s game against Miami.

via Stephen Curry injured; Radmanovic calls on teammates to practice harder – NBA – Sporting News.

 




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