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English as a Secondary language
Michael considered fate at 11:31   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Okay, that was a bad pun on Secondary, using the educational meaning. Ouch.

Following on the heels of the immigration inforgraphic, the New York Times has an infographic map of the United States showing English learners in our schools:
Students learning English, labeled as English Language Learners by education officials, are among the nation’s fastest-growing group of students. In recent years these students have flooded small towns and suburban school districts in states like Arkansas, Georgia and North Carolina, which have little experience with immigrants.


Resignation letter of an A.I.G. Financial Products Executive
Michael considered fate at 11:38   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
The New York Times has published the resignation letter of one of the executives at the A.I.G. financial products division (the division responsible for the credit default swap fiasco). However, this executive wasn't involved in the fiasco, and makes excellent points on the political nonsense that is this scapegoating of executive bonuses:
I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.
It doesn't have to be said that the large debate over $163 million in bonuses is a giant red herring to the $170 billion the government has pumped into A.I.G. (and, indirectly, Goldman Sachs and even foreign financial institutions). Nevertheless, even this executive (briefly) admits that perhaps compensation is a little over-the-top:
So what am I to do? There’s no easy answer. I know that because of hard work I have benefited more than most during the economic boom and have saved enough that my family is unlikely to suffer devastating losses during the current bust. Some might argue that members of my profession have been overpaid, and I wouldn’t disagree.
What gets my goat the most about this debate, though, is the woe-is-me stories you get out of these executives: spending 10, 12, 14 hours [per day, at work], oh my! I don't know about you but I've put in a fair share of 10, 12, and 14 hour days in my time, but I've never been compensated for 1% of the profit that my work was partially responsible for producing. Gak, I would be a rich man if I were.


Lady Lamb the Beekeper @ Space Gallery, Portland Maine (Part Deux)
Michael considered fate at 23:21   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
First, the New York Times infographics its own demise. Good for a chuckle, but I can't say I'm happy to see the old stoop-side dinosaurs go.



Brave New Welfare
Michael considered fate at 14:19   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

My favorite (he quipped ironically) is so-called "enrollment specialists" at high schools who do everything in their power to disrupt a student from enrolling in high school. This has been very much the flavor of my year so far.

It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, man. 
Brave New Welfare, another great piece by Mother Jones:
Desperate, with her due date fast approaching, Clark decided to apply for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (tanf), better known as welfare. But when she went to the local Division of Family and Children Services office, a caseworker told her—wrongly—that she couldn't apply until after the baby was born. "They basically said, 'Go get a job,'" says Clark. "I was eight months pregnant."
You know I'm not a bleeding heart liberal (though still a liberal nonetheless), but shit like this still gets my goat (bahhhh). There is absolutely no point in having a government bureaucracy made up of employees getting paid with taxpayer money (jobs which you can never reduce, because it is just too politically unpopular) if the bureaucracy's charter - to dispense taxpayer money to those that actually need it - is actively avoided by said employees.
Clark patched things together with food stamps and $256 a month in child support. But after nine months, Gabby's father stopped paying just long enough for Clark to get evicted. She went back to the welfare office, where caseworkers turned her away, saying—falsely again—that because she'd been getting child support she was ineligible for tanf.
Welfare, many will point out, is best used as a stop-gap solution. A way to support those people who are temporarily down on their luck so that they can go out and find some good luck. If this is in fact true, then that makes it even more imperative that welfare be easily and quickly accessed.


Lady Lamb the Beekeper @ Space Gallery, Portland Maine
Michael considered fate at 01:32   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment


Shapes and Sizes and Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
Michael considered fate at 21:29   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment

how was the first band? all i caught was a few minutes of LLTB 

Shapes and Sizes had a kick to them.. I only caught maybe two and a half songs, but it was vibrant. 
Shapes and Sizes opened for Sister Suvi on Friday night:

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, too:

I bought the CD. $5! Who could go wrong?

The long walk home (actually it's pretty short)
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Michael considered fate at 23:21   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment


Immigration Explorer @ NYTimes
Michael considered fate at 12:28   |   Permalink   |   Post a Comment
Another interesting interactive graphic is available from the NYTimes, this time charting immigration by state (by foreign country of origin). It accompanies an article discussing The Impact of Immigration in which readers are encouraged to "join a national conversation on immigration and its consequences."

I'll be honest, I couldn't stomach clicking on the article, but I'm a sucker for NYTimes infographics.

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Check out heroecs, the robotics team competition website of my old supervisor's daughter. Fun stuff!
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