EPA is taking action to ensure delivery of temporary water supplies to four homes where data reviewed by EPA indicates that residents’ well water contains levels of contaminants that pose a health concern.
I was so interested in this article about blogging vs term papers in today's NYT education supplement (both as a father who just read his son's long-form analysis of the Battle of Teruel, and as prep for an upcoming talk about blogging to the GDS seniors) that I skipped past this piece by Larry Summers; fortunately, Nick Carr was there to eviscerate it for me.
If Greensboro wants to build a downtown arts center, where would it go?
I've seen suggestions that the Carolina Theatre be expanded. I have no idea whether this is feasible, or desirable. And would a new, freestanding facility complement the Carolina, or compete with it?
There's a large (6+ acres) site available at Murrow and Lindsay (the old Galloway Buick dealership). It's close enough to the Cultural Arts Center, Historical Museum, and Children's Museum to be a part of a real arts district. One downside: the asking price would add almost $4 million to the project budget.
And then there are the big lots (seven acres in all) at the corner of South Elm and Lee. The City already owns the land, and although a development group has been named, no final deal has been struck. A new facility at the southern trip of downtown would be great fit for the neighborhood, and also easily accessible from other parts of the city and 40/85.
I thought Karl Smith missed badly with this *: "[T]he term liberal is heavily associated with the social-sexual mores of the American upper class. Most Americans reject those."
As I wrote in the comments (and also emailed to him, but never heard back):
"Certainly some very large number of Americans have accepted all manner of changes to social-sexual rules, including divorce, cohabitation, children out of wedlock (the upper class may lag much of the nation on that one), and gay rights. Even gay marriage has become less of a wedge issue. So…what exactly are these issues rejected by 'most Americans?'"
Here's some polling data -- from the state in which both Smith and I live -- that supports my contention about gay marriage.
And this morning's WSJ opinion piece on America's diverging social classes by Charles Murray (with which I also have some real problems **) offers data to support my point about at least some social-sexual mores being more conservative among the upper classes.
*I also thought Smith and Brooks both underweighted the impact on the word "liberal" of a relentless, generation-long political and media campaign to make it into a synonym for "stupid, weak, and profligate," but that's a subject for another post.
**Among my problems with Murray's piece: His willingness to mythologize a common culture that even he is forced to acknowledge always excluded a big chunk of the population; the way he ignores the role of income disparities in driving the cultural differences he identifies (a lot of people might vacation in Costa Rica if they could afford it, duh); underplaying the role of technology in exploding the common culture; missing the fact that for much of America, the recession began long before 2008; failing to include any possible positive outcomes from the programs he blames for so many social problems; author's history of junk science.
Elon Law prof David Levine says in a more serious way what that Daily Show clip of lawmakers playing dumb was saying:
If nothing else, yesterday’s protests may have brought home to many elected officials that it is no longer acceptable to profess ignorance of the technology underlying the Internet and the impact of regulation on it...
...Members of Congress do not need to become nerds, but to meet the challenge of regulation they do need to become respectful of them and familiar with what they know.
Etta James, whose powerful, versatile and emotionally direct voice could enliven the raunchiest blues as well as the subtlest love songs, most indelibly in her signature hit, “At Last,” died Friday morning in Riverside, Calif. She was 73.
I got the usual run of emails from Kay Hagan's office yesterday -- Senator Hagan tours flag factory, Senator Hagan changes tire for senior citizen, whatever -- but not the one I wanted to see: Senator Hagan announces that she's reconsidering her support for PIPA.
There are butt-covering ways of doing this. See, for example, the careful hedging of Hagan's Democratic colleagues Udall and Cardin. And of course you get to show that you listen to the technology experts and the grassroots.
Being a pro-business Democrat is a good thing; being a corporate-owned Democrat, less so. Working with leadership to better serve North Carolina is a good thing; responding "how high?" when party bosses and well-paid alums tell you to jump, less so.
Also close to home: Jon Stewart calls out Mel Watt for having "no f'in idea what this thing's about."
What's really unsettling here is Deen's role as an apparatus for an industry that sees more money in perfecting the expensive (for the patients) management of a disease instead of working harder to find a cure or to promote prevention, in which there is no viable financial market. Diabetes, a widespread, little-understood, but completely manageable disease, is a potentially evergreen market.
I've heard for years about the self-esteem-boosting, no-score-keeping, everyone's-above-average culture that is sapping the moral fiber of our nation, but as a parent of two kids who would seem to be in the core demographic I can say that pretty much nothing I've seen in their academic or athletic careers, or in those of their cousins, friends, or peers, reflects that mindset.
Look around. Grades and scores still matter. It's a big deal when, say, Page and Northern bring home state football championships, and kids who graduate with distinction from area high schools get cited in the newspaper each spring.
And if the whole generation is so aimlessly fat and happy, where has the military been getting all its volunteers? Why are good colleges so hard to get into?
There must be some basis for the meme, but how widespread is it, really?
Eastman Kodak Co., running short of cash and unable to sell 1,100 digital imaging patents that could have rescued it, filed today for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.
I read the news about Kodak just after reading this article about Boeing abandoning Wichita and thus undermining that city's "enduring status as the 'Air Capital of the World.'"
Both made me think about Greensboro. We want to be an aerotropolis, and to recruit big pieces of companies that are headquartered somewhere else. Those may be sound strategies, but Wichita is a reminder of some risks.
Being a headquarters city is better than being an outpost -- it keeps decision-making and riches close to home -- but Kodak is a reminder that exogenous factors (e.g., shifting technology) can destroy the grandest of companies. I'm not sure that GSO, having seen homegrown giants succumb to globalization and financial engineering, needed that reminder, but there it is.
No great lessons to share here, although I guess we should be working as much on nurturing homegrown enterprises as luring outside investment. Our nanotech center may be an example of both strategies in action.
Jaron Lanier's lament on web culture and economics includes a critique of netopianism, a plea on behalf of digital sharecroppers, and a clear view of the business landscape and Facebook's play thereon ("The obvious strategy in the fight for a piece of the advertising pie is to close off substantial parts of the Internet so Google doesn’t see it all anymore.")
The peg to the SOPA blackout doesn't quite work, though -- fighting one threat doesn't mean we have to ignore all other threats -- but it was a great way of getting this article some prime real estate in the Times.
"PIPA and SOPA are not oddities, they're not anomalies, they're not events...more is coming...until we convince Congress that the way to deal with copyright violation is [...] to have a trial with all the presentation of evidence and the hashing out of facts and the assessment of remedies that goes on in democratic societies..."
Kay Hagan: "We have about $58 billion a year of intellectual property stolen."
Really? "What does invalidate the 'research' is the inappropriate use of 'multiplier' effects to double—and triple—count loss estimates that were dubious to begin with."
On a day when other sponsors are abandoning PIPA and SOPA, Roch says, "Hagan is parroting lobbyists' talking points. I wonder if that's because she hasn't explored other sources of information. It's hard to imagine how anybody could have a comprehensive understanding of the consequences of these bills' provisions and continue to support them."
Back in 2002, the equation already had been worked out:
Hollywood money + Congressional cluelessness = flawed legislation
...One of the major players then was Howard Coble, the popular Representative from North Carolina's 6th district, in which, depending on the gerrymandering du jour, I sometimes live. One of the co-sponsors of the present Senate bill is Kay Hagan, who also comes from Greensboro. Something in the water, maybe.
A stroll down memory lane, and some thoughts on how things have changed, over at the DJB.
If you've got a question that needs answering during the big Stop SOPA blackout, feel free to leave a comment here and I will make up a credible-sounding response.
Meanwhile, contact Hagan and Watt and tell them you'd like your internet back.
Better yet, ask them to address specific points from this article -- and do it today, while they can't get to Wikipedia (unless they know the simple workaround that lets anyone reach the site, which I bet they don't).
The Times had estimated the threshold for being in the top 1 percent in household income at about $380,000, 7.5 times median household income, using census data from 2008 through 2010. But for net worth, the 1 percent threshold for net worth in the Fed data was nearly $8.4 million, or 69 times the median household’s net holdings of $121,000.
For the time being, the Guardian is strictly an on-line refuge for the hacked and battered traditionalist, whose principles are under siege, it seems, from every corner of a degenerate culture. To those cast out and stigmatized by an increasingly progressive society, we offer a safe haven.
Both the Website and the Facebook page (see the link below) will be updated frequently, and multiple new features are in the works. I encourage you to visit often. (It is possible that, in the months ahead, the Guardian will expand to include a newsprint version.)
Instead of pushing back, however, the Obama Administration technocrats love to talk about what they can learn from the private sector, and talk about public-private partnerships (where “private” always means “for profit”), and generally give the impression that even if they disapprove of individual for-profit colleges or healthcare companies, in principle they think such things are a swell idea.
They're more afraid of being called SocialistsTM than they are interested in solving the problem.
On Thursday, 450 bloggers, journalists, students, scientists, librarians and programmers will converge on North Carolina State University (and thousands more will join in online) for the sixth annual ScienceOnline conference. Science is moving to a collaborative model, said Bora Zivkovic, a chronobiology blogger who is a founder of the conference, “because it works better in the current ecosystem, in the Web-connected world.”
Success doesn't always go to the niceguys, but in this case it has.
It is unclear that companies like Facebook and Google, left to themselves, could have swayed members of Congress or the White House without using the Internet to marshal opposition from technologists, entrepreneurs and computer-adept consumers. Opposition came from a vast spectrum, including computer security specialists who worried about a provision to tinker with Internet addresses and venture capitalists who feared the legislation would thwart the innovation of technology start-ups.
It's not over yet, so don't forget to contact Hagan, Watt, and the rest of the NC delegation.
Soon after posting about Justin Conrad's run for state senate, I got an email saying he'd be vying for the nomination with Trudy Wade, and that this is widely known in local GOP circles, to the point that Dr. Wade has been introduced as a candidate at recent meetings.
Victoria Espinel, Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at Office of Management and Budget, Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and Howard Schmidt, Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator for National Security Staff stress that the important task of protecting intellectual property online must not threaten an open and innovative internet.
A free society must allow people to practice religion as they wish, but cannot allow any group to impose its particular view of religion on the rest of society.
Not only did Dr. Maayan and her husband have to sit separately, as men and women were segregated at the event, but she was instructed that a male colleague would have to accept the award for her because women were not permitted on stage.
Though shocked that this was happening at a government ceremony, Dr. Maayan bit her tongue. But others have not, and her story is entering the pantheon of secular anger building as a battle rages in Israel for control of the public space between the strictly religious and everyone else.
I am a cosponsor of this bill and support the goals of this legislation. I am concerned about unscrupulous individuals engaging in the online theft of intellectual property, and believe that this bill represents a step in the right direction to combat this issue. I will keep your thoughts on this legislation in mind as it is further considered in the United States Senate.
She can't keep your thoughts in mind unless you share them with her, so this might be a good time to politely express yourselves to the Senator. There's plenty of common ground when it comes to opposing unscrupulous people stealing stuff, it's the how of this bill that needs some fixing.
"The worst thing about the bill is that it entitles copyright owners to ignore any law, so long as they stay within the (murky) bounds of the statute. ... Copyright owners are saying that, unlike the rest of us, they should be above the law. This is a power that we as a society don't give to anyone, even to the FBI."
Brad Miller, a congressman who actually understood something about the recent economic unpleasantness as it unfolded, on the occasion of le downgrade:
Just for the record: the European sovereign debt crisis is all about the banks. Government bonds (sovereign debt) are collateral for shadow banking lending, which is unregulated, opaque, stunningly huge and generally very short term, like overnight. The fecal matter will hit the fan in Europe when shadow banking lenders start requiring more collateral, not when there's a default. That could happen without much warning.
Justin Conrad, the third generation President of local small business Libby Hill Seafood and a conservative Republican, will formally announce his campaign for State Senate District 27 next Tuesday, January 17 at the High Point Libby Hill Seafood restaurant. Senate District 27 is a newly created State Senate District entirely based within Guilford County and currently contains no incumbent.
Justin's a smart, thoughtful, capable guy. He should make a formidable candidate.