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World is on brink of unprecedented wave of extinction, says UGA's Farmer

@TeeWee: You are sadly misinformed and too stuck in what the "non mainstream media" tells you to think.

posted @ Saturday, August 30, 2014 - 20:34

Reagan: Sharpton eulogy addressed tough subject

Perhaps Michael Reagan is surprised that the political world is not always 'black and white', no pun intended. That is, there can be varying areas of in between positions. Al Sharpton does tend to thrive on controversy and stirs some up himself. But he was correct in bringing this issue up and I hope he continues to do so.

So, instead of taking the usual snarky path of criticizing (including the pointed comments about part-time presidents, etc.) if Mr. Reagan truly wanted to help he should be encouraging others from all races to join in this process. But, instead he choose to take the business as usual approach to political commentary.

posted @ Friday, August 29, 2014 - 07:37

Construction time uncertain for Ga. nuclear plant

While I support the basic principal of having nuclear power as one of the options, imagine how effective it would have been if even a portion of the cost overruns for Vogtle would have been directed toward increasing energy efficiency ('nega-watts') and support for additional renewable energy systems (solar, offshore wind, biomass).

That won't really happen here until Georgia Power modifies its business model of making and selling as much electricity it can as cheaply as it can. Energy efficiency reduces overall income, and renewable energy systems as distributed around and not centralized generation that GP owns and operates; thus not in their current business model.

posted @ Friday, August 29, 2014 - 07:30

Lousiana governor suing feds over Common Core

I assume that they sent the $17 million back....

posted @ Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 07:37

Leon: Why not sell political offices to highest bidder?

Well we pretty much already do sell the political offices to the highest bidders now. That is why there was so much attention to the recent Supreme Court decisions, for one thing.

posted @ Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 22:02

The Editor's Desk: Maybe we need some different friends

Perhaps the spiral of silence refers to the silent majority of centrist thinkers who are not among the wingnuts on both sides that dominate our political process now.

Imagine that... the old concept of the "Silent Majority" from the early 70's now really refers to a simple middle ground.

posted @ Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 21:59

Richmond: Education is no subject for politicians

@T J Haas: Having more choices is good for those who can take advantage of it. My one problem with this program is the potential for abuse by some. A well-to-do parent donates to this school of choice receiving a tax credit and then their child gets a scholarship to attend the same school.

School choices are good, but some can't really take advantage of them. We need a multiple solution approach to ensure that all kids get the opportunity for a good education, not just those who are well connected or who can afford to commute to the private school.

posted @ Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 07:59

Yarbrough: Texting while driving is 'idiotic obsession'

[quote][b]jtsim[/b] - I have no problem with stupid people hurting themselves. Just don't hurt me in the process.[/quote]

Or hurt someone else...

I was driving back to Athens from ATL airport one day when I was passed on the 75/85 connector just entering downtown ATL by some young man (college age it seemed) texting on his phone held in front of the steering wheel going in excess of 75 mph. Traffic was fairly heavy and I made sure I kept some distance from him up ahead so I could avoid any possible consequences that he might cause.

posted @ Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 07:50

The Editor's Desk: Workforce-focused education may shortchange Georgia

From my perspective in my second career in academia after nearly 20 years in industry, both Kwijibo Junior and Jim Thompson are correct.

"KJ" correctly points out a big reason why CAT is located here in Athens. People from within have told me that they consider the Georgia workforce education program one of the best in the nation. That in itself should be incentive to our state officials to expand this. Every dollar invested is worth many more to the state, and we should find ways to pay for this without the annual cries to cut back on the government spending. (Can make a good case for several other areas here as well, such as infrastructure but I digress).

However, I have come to realize over the years that what Jim Thompson says is also right. I teach in a STEM area at UGA (engineering) but now see that without a general good well rounded education you can end up with basically a robot if someone only focuses on technical skills. One must understand the context, historical, cultural, political, economic, etc. of an issue.

posted @ Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 07:45

Richmond: Education is no subject for politicians

The title for the printer/online version of Mr. Richmond's letter says it all. The letter itself does not provide good examples or solutions, other that pointing out that our polarized politics of today is full in incompetents who unfortunately control the process.

posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 - 21:34

Nackerud: Nothing to fear in refugee resettlement

[quote][b]maxcat07[/b] - I'm glad to read a nuanced response to the news of the political refugees. I had heard about this several months ago, despite the Mayor's claim about the word not getting out to the public, and I thought it was a decent thing to do. I had heard about other areas in Georgia helping to resettle refugees, and none seemed to have horror stories to tell.
Unfortunately, the comments, at least the ones on On-Line Athens, were all about the southern border and Mexicans, with no one taking the time, or care, really, to learn what the resettlement was really about. This, in a community where there are Christian churches on seemingly every corner. Somehow, we have forgotten the teachings of the book taught in those churches.

Well said Maxcat. Our mayor seems to either be lazy in this matter, have an incompetent staff that did not forward emails or letter, or just plain biased.

The comments about the Christian churches in this community (could really say the state or the region) and their response to immigrants is well said, but I would add that not all Christian churches are in that mindset. Different denominations (protestant or catholic for example) might take very different viewpoints.

posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 - 21:30

GA board reinstates gun rights to convicted felons

[quote][b]The Oracle of the Athens Banner Herald[/b] -
Voting rights are restored automatically upon completion of their sentence.
Ergo, anyone who completed their sentence 5 years ago has been able to vote for 5 years without anyone doing anything.
What's interesting about this process is that the action of this Georgia Board does not necessarily restore the felon's rights to own or purchase a gun, which is controlled by federal law.

I did not know that. I thought voting rights were suspended indefinitely... I guess based on seeing something about convicted felons not being eligible to vote. thanks for the info.

posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 - 21:23

Today's editorial cartoon

Now here shows a good example of the polarization we have in society today. Some who fret the massive growth of government etc, and some who have lived as second class citizens under that government.

Do I have the solutions to this? Sorry no, I don't really. It will take those on one hand to realize that there is a society here outside their own enclave, and on the other hand a willingness to try and integrate and recognize 'they' are different. (These actually can apply to many on both sides if this issue in both ways).

posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 - 21:19

Paul: Night sky is vital resource

[quote][b]Duke Briscoe[/b] - And it is a total waste - we do not really intend to light up the whole sky rather than just the things at ground level, [/quote]

That is so true, but typical of the systems that we set up in the later half of last century. All was bright and beautiful then to make it 'modern'. The overall waste of energy and impact on the environment was not important as we were becoming more 'modern'. Perhaps there will be a shift in the pendulum.

posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 - 21:14

Jones: Changing demographics turning Georgia into electoral battleground

Maybe this will help reverse the trend toward being dominated by the extreme wingnuts in both parties.

posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 - 07:49

Pitts: America's racial, cultural challenges can't be ignored

Yes, this might be 'utopian', and I am not sure exactly how such a course would be structured or how it would fit in (probably in a social studies class).

But, that said we do need to do something like this, for as Mr. Pitts says: "We have only the one country. And we can either tear it apart or figure out a way we can all live in it in justice and, thus, in peace.'

posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 - 07:41

GA board reinstates gun rights to convicted felons

@jtsim: No, you are not the only one.

I wonder if their voting rights were also restored in this process?

posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 - 07:28

Islamic authority: Extremists no 'Islamic State'

The world need more of this denouncement from the Muslim community.

posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 - 07:23

'Controlled havoc:' $60 million in construction underway at Clarke schools

[quote][b]OCCountry[/b] - It is construction. There should be no Havoc on a construction project.

Having spent a lot of time on construction projects, controlled havoc often is a good way to describe them. Lots going on all at once that has to be coordinated.

posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 - 07:14

'Controlled havoc:' $60 million in construction underway at Clarke schools

[quote][b]Oistrakh[/b] - Why not renovate Barnett Shoals and save the tax payers $6 million dollars Quest

A renovation would still be left with an older building, but newer systems inside. Likely that they determined that overall it was a better investment to go for new. Kind of like the decision you make sometimes on whether it is worth putting money into fixing up an older car or time to get new.
UGA went through a similar exercise a few years ago with the decision to build new one of the dorms on central campus rather than trying to fix up an old 'dog' of a building (no pun intended).

posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 - 07:12

NeSmith: November can't get here fast enough

And the recent Supreme Court rulings have opened the flood gates for more and more money spent on more and more negative ads.

This will only end when Americans on all sides of the political spectrum say enough is enough. Part of the solution however is not avoiding voting which is what many do, so much so that particularly in the primaries it is mainly the hard core committed ideologues that vote and thus we get stuck with 'extremists'.

posted @ Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 08:49

Islamic State backers under scrutiny in US

Why is Twitter allowing these accounts to stay active?

posted @ Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 08:40

What Others Say: Religious discussion should be encouraged (The Times, Gainesville)

[quote][b]dahreese[/b] - When will some 'Christians' learn that they are not 'all right' and when will southern Baptist learn that they will not be the only ones in their 'heaven?'[/quote]

A big Amen to that!

posted @ Friday, August 22, 2014 - 22:43

What Others Say: Religious discussion should be encouraged (The Times, Gainesville)

Some school districts seem to overreact in this area. Freedom of religion does not necessarily mean freedom from religion.
That said, coaches etc, should be careful about how this is handled. If a student comes to them privately to discuss a topic of religion they should be free to do so. If a group of students want to self organize for a prayer, even if it is on the field, they should be allowed to do so, but coaches or teachers probably should not be part of that to avoid the impression.

One point to mention here is that those who advocate for this form of religious expression should be prepared to accept the fact that if the coach, teacher or whatever were not a Christian but say Muslim, Hindu, atheist or whatever that this same form of first amendment right of free speech needs to be allowed as well. I have not heard of any case like that coming up but it likely will someday.

posted @ Friday, August 22, 2014 - 08:41

The Editor's Desk: Good to see new cycling infrastructure at UGA

"And look, I understand that in some of those communities, topography — read level ground — and weather make cycling a more practical and popular option than it is in Athens-Clarke County. "

I was at a convention in downtown Seattle this summer and marveled at all the bike commuters there. For those that don't know the geography of that place, the downtown area is located on a very much hilly area, although it all slope toward the bay, unlike Athens where the hills are scattered.

That said Jim, I think it is just as much a culture attitude as anything when considering how the community views cycling as a transportation alternative.
I plan on riding in tomorrow (about once a week average)

posted @ Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 22:21

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