“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

12/05 Morning Report

Do you think the Supreme Court will rule against segregation? That seemsto be the issue. The basid idea behind the case is: can a student be turned down for transfer because he is white, and the district guidelines say that would upset the racial balance at a school? The school attorneys wanted to

persuade the justices that the appropriate analogy was not to affirmative action…But by the end of the tense two hours of argument, that effort had not so much failed as it had become irrelevant. Lawyers for the school systems found themselves struggling, under the justices’ questioning, to meet the even more basic challenge of explaining why the plans should be seen as something different from the intentional segregation that the court struck down in Brown v. Board of Education.
(…you know…if I didn’t know better…I might think the Times was in favor of the civil rights guys losing this one…)

The BBC had a couple of interesting reports on the EU today. First, it seems the EU is taking lessons from the US on how to influence other countries and get what you want. The answer: use money, of course. Their aim is to get agreements and influence from Eastern Europe to the Middle East and the Caucasus. And just like the US, the EU is also finding out money isn’t always enough,

Meanwhile, there is also a new EU rule: Prove the chemicals you use are safe. Think our problems with OSHA are bad?
A newly-established agency in Finland will oversee the way the firms assess the chemicals they use.
"The most fundamental thing of all is that it reverses the burden of proof. Manufacturers and importers have to demonstrate that products they put on the market are safe," said Chris Davies of the Liberal Democrats.
But the higher standards would also mean a significant rise in animal testing, he said.
(…I bet PETA will be thrilled with this one…)

Question: what are you going to do when the shuttles are retired?
Answer: We’re going back to the moon…permanently…we just need some partners to help fund it. NASA plans to be building a science station there by 2020, using funds currently used for shuttle flights. The shuttle fleet is due to be phased out 2010.
(…it should be interesting to see how they juggle the accounting ledgers for this one…)

Now, for those who consider the death toll in Iraq to be such an issue, consider this
Illegal aliens in the United States are more than fourteen times as lethal (14.48 actually) as a full scale armed conflict.
Don’t believe me? Go read the whole article over at Jarhead’s Firing Range. For a moment, set aside politics and check out the facts. Then, take some action.

Well, today just seems to be an odd news day. I don’t know if it’s just my mood, or there were just so many weird items that I saw these. Anyway…there are a couple of new definitions of “progress…

How about using >McDonalds for you fitness center?
Climbing ropes, stationary bicycles and electronic dancing games could join the menu of play options for kids at McDonald's if they prove a hit in a trial launched in several of its U.S. restaurants.
And, there are currently 6 pilot sites open for test marketing.

Or, what about this definition of forward progress? Let’s mount giant kites on ships! After 4 years of testing, it’s going to go LIVE! The downside? They are useless at speeds over 16 knots, or in a headwind.
(…so we are back to trying to control the winds…the sad part is, I could actually back a green initiative like this…if it worked right…)

Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, Castle Argghhh posted this:
A serious blog survey.
I met David Perlmutter (in digits) via email during the recent Israeli invasion of Lebanon, while I was helping Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee debunk the doctored pictures.

David is a photojournalist himself, who wrote an article in Editor and Publisher about the danger the photoshopping posed to ethical journalism. He is on the faculty at Kansas University, just down the road.

He's also interested in blogs and blogging. Heck, he sends his students to go read SWWBO!

Anyway - KU and Wisconsin are collaborating on a study of blogs. SWWBO was in the first wave of the survey. The Castle is in the second wave. If you've got some time, click the link below and take the survey. It's not too painful, I took it for SWWBO. And I'm not going to be hurt (nor will I know, either) if you aren't listing the Castle in the Top 5 blogs you visit every day. This place ain't striving any more to be that kind of place. We're where you come to relax.

Click here to take the survey.
I went through it. If you blog, join in.