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Regional SWVA Democratic Leadership Group Saturday, 21 January 2006

Posted by R Garfield in The Left Side.
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A letter I thought I would share:

A group of young people from SWVA are meeting to organize a new Democratic leadership group that we hope will bridge the gap between election cycles in keeping the party alive, growing, and structured.

Young Democrats see a need for better organization of local parties and more communication between the counties. This will help our Democratic committees and candidates by giving them a more “coordinated campaign” with a better local focus than the state Democratic party is providing to Southwest Virginia.

The meeting room at Fishtales in Norton has been reserved for the first meeting this Tuesday, January 24 at 6:30 p.m. If you would like to help organize this group and get active, or know someone else who would, please feel free to join us!

~Tabitha Peace



Google vs. Government Saturday, 21 January 2006

Posted by R Garfield in Drifting.
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Wikinews reports that Google refuses to hand over logs to the U.S. Department of Justice, who requested the search giant turn over the type of searches and the index of pages it had over a week’s time.

The request was made by a group seeking to prove the constituionality – under a new, conservative court – of COPA, previously struck down as being unconstiutional in 1998. Google’s associate counsel Nicole Wong calls the request ‘overreaching.’

I’d call it a fishing expedition. I’ve always thought “‘MSM Spin” was a derogatory, unjustistified term, but this case bears out the use of the terminology. The spin here is that Google is refusing to turn over data relevant to a Child Pornography Law. Although you can make long, tedious arguments for that terminology – it invovles the law, children, and pornography – the image it implies is that somewhere, a child is being used for pornography, and that Google is evil for not allowing Feds access to its data.

This is spin at its worst: an out-and out lie, very directly responsible for a drop in Google’s stock price…

A much better write up than mine is over at Epigonic:

… (T)he essential issue at stake is the government’s attempts to gain information about the information we consume, with the further intent to restrict or regulate the information we consume. That’s a bad thing, plain and simple. 

For your further reading pleasure:

“Abramoff is Dogbertian, says Dilbert cartoonist” Saturday, 21 January 2006

Posted by R Garfield in Drifting.
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Scott Adams calls lobbyist Jack Abramoff the most Dogbertian alleged criminal of all, and offers his respects.

Colonial Downs now open for business … Saturday, 21 January 2006

Posted by R Garfield in Drifting, Views On News.
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and until I read what Brian Patton wrote about Job Creation In Scott County, I was too stupid to even think about blogging about it … Kudos, Brian!

Education, Work Force to play a part in Virginia’s future Friday, 20 January 2006

Posted by R Garfield in Views On News.
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Bruce Roemmelt has a bang-up post at his site discussing Tim Kaine’s appointment of former Virginia AFL/CIO president Danny LaBlanc to the position of the Secretary of the Commonwelath, and his own union ties. Although it no longer fits, I have my union-label shirt around here, and I won’t part with it any time soon. I fully support the view that Bruce puts forward, that unions have done a terrific job of improving things for wrokers and their families – even the ones that don’t join. There are two sides to every story, and I do think there are some things that could be done better, but on the scales, I definitely come down on the pro-union side.

However, the parts of Mr. Roemmelt’s post that have me urging you to go and read it have to so with the future of manufacturing and Virginia’s workforce, and the role education plays in preparing for the future. Education – especially as it related to vocation – was part of the platform my employer ran on in his own bid for the Virginia House of Delegates. Reform is needed, beginning with rewarding our teachers adequately for the hard work they do, and then moving forward to making sure that Virginia’s students are learning the skills they need to be competitive, to land and keep jobs, and to turn in a superior performance not only in the classroom, but in the real world of the workplace as well.

There are reasons for some of the classes that 750 Volts’ Kenton Ngo has such fun avoiding doing his homework in; the challenge is to make those classes relevant and meaningful, rather than rote reguritation of over-processed, homogenized slop that’s fit only for job-losing, welfare-needing workforce monkeys. (With apologies to Mr. Jaquith, for stealing and butchering his terminology.)

To rework the ‘teach a man to fish’ story: If you teach a child the SOLs, the child can pass the SOLs. If you teach a child to think, the child can have a better life.

I think with Mr Kaine’s commitment, his appointment of Mr. LaBlanc, and with people like Bruce Roemmelt on the Pre-K to 16 Educational Goals Committee (hope I got that right), we have a real shot at meaningful change.

And btw, Bruce has more readers than he thinks he does.