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From Kevin Drum:

Suppose you’re the agency tasked with overseeing county programs for the developmentally disabled. And suppose a couple of workers at an adult day-care program were caught on cell phones abusing developmentally disabled patients. And suppose the video was made public. What would your policy response be?

Answer: tell workers not to bring cell phones to work, of course. Your tax dollars at work.

The Los Angeles Times article he’s talking about:

The video made national news: a worker caught on a cellphone video repeatedly striking a developmentally disabled man as he cowered in fear and moaned.

In the weeks following the discovery, the administrators overseeing Orange County’s programs for the developmentally disabled have declined to discipline the adult day-care program in Anaheim where the abuse occurred, saying they were isolated incidents.

But officials did encourage workers not to bring cellphones to work and to use the video function only in emergencies away from the facility.

The two workers accused of the abuse are awaiting trial, which is well and good, but this still seems like a strange response (though the officials are saying it was planned before the abuse was discovered).


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Think Progress has this one short line:

MSNBC: At least two people shot at University of Missouri.

UPDATE — 4:32 pm: More from the MSNBC web site, indicating the shooting did not occur on campus:

A shooting Wednesday that was first reported to have been at the University of Missouri- Columbia campus actually happened a few miles south of campus, KOMU TV reported police as saying.

Four people were reportedly being questioned by police.

Police said the victim was critically wounded with a gunshot wound to the back, KOMU reported.

On the Virginia Tech shootings

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I like what Radley has to say:

When you blog every day, you sometimes feel conflicted about writing on other topics when there are breaking, overwhelming, horrible events going on in the news. Ignoring such news while writing on about other stuff seems callous. But so does commenting on an event about which you have little to say.

I feel bad that my prior post is titled as it is. I started writing it last night and finished before I had heard of the events at Virginia Tech. The Agitator goes on:

I guess all I have to say is that what happened at Virginia Tech today is horrible and heartbreaking. Now’s not the time for debates about gun control or campus access, or security. Now’s the time for sympathy and grieving. What a terrible story.

Root Canal Part Deux and Wilson gets tough?

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Tomorrow is my appointment for my root canal. I don’t have much more to say, other than to tell you that you all know what happened if you never hear from me again.

Also, check this NY Times piece on Heather Wilson:

A House Republican whose subcommittee oversees the National Security Agency broke ranks with the White House on Tuesday and called for a full Congressional inquiry into the Bush administration’s domestic eavesdropping program.

The lawmaker, Representative Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico, chairwoman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, said in an interview that she had “serious concerns” about the surveillance program. By withholding information about its operations from many lawmakers, she said, the administration has deepened her apprehension about whom the agency is monitoring and why.

Ms. Wilson, who was a National Security Council aide in the administration of President Bush’s father, is the first Republican on either the House’s Intelligence Committee or the Senate’s to call for a full Congressional investigation into the program, in which the N.S.A. has been eavesdropping without warrants on the international communications of people inside the United States believed to have links with terrorists.

Via Laura Rozen, though also mentioned this morning on Joe Monahan’s blog.

My knee-jerk reaction to this story is that it’s simply an attempt by Wilson to move a bit left, but I also recall she’s gone against the grain (more than some, at least) on a few issues in the past (Social Security comes to mind, though, again, that’s debatable).

Update: Democracy for New Mexico has more on this, including reaction from Wilson’s opponent in the 2006 election Patricia Madrid:

As you probably know by now, Rep. Heather Wilson has suddenly become concerned about our constitutional rights and is criticizing the NSA illegal domestic wiretapping program. Click for the New York Times story. Wilson’s newfound conscience may well be emerging because a new poll puts her in a dead heat with her Democratic opponent, Attorney General Patricia Madrid, in the 2006 CD1 congressional race.

This from the Madrid Camp: AG Patricia Madrid today called Rep. Heather Wilson’s rhetoric on wire-tap hearings too little too late and said that Wilson, as a member of the House Intelligence Committee, should have acted sooner instead of supporting the policies of President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

“Rep. Wilson could have stood up to this illegal program sooner,” Madrid said. “As Chairwoman of House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, Wilson had direct oversight of this program and she did nothing. She could have – and should have – taken action sooner.”

Chevron admitting peak oil?

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According to their latest ad campaign they are:

Energy will be one of the defining issues of this century. One thing is clear: the era of easy oil is over. What we all do next will determine how well we meet the energy needs of the entire world in this century and beyond.

So, um, wow. Go Chevron. It gets better:

We can wait until a crisis forces us to do something. Or we can commit to working together, and start by asking the tough questions: How do we meet the energy needs of the developing world and those of industrialized nations? What role will renewables and alternative energies play? What is the best way to protect our environment? How do we accelerate our conservation efforts? Whatever actions we take, we must look not just to next year, but to the next 50 years.

Thanks to No Se Nada over at ScienceBlogs for the tip.

UFW Betraying Chavez’s Legacy?

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Kevin linked to this article over at the LA Times. The first in a four-part series, which highlights the activities and focus of the United Farm Workers, the article comes out pretty hard against the organization:

The current UFW leaders have jettisoned other Chavez principles:

The UFW undercut another union to sign up construction workers, poaching on the turf of building trade unions that once were allies.

The UFW forfeited the right to boycott supermarkets and stores, a tactic Chavez pioneered, in order to sign up members in unrelated professions.

And Chavez’s heirs broke with labor solidarity and hired nonunion workers to build the $3.2-million National Chavez Center around their founder’s grave in the Tehachapi Mountains, a site they now market as a tourist attraction and rent out for weddings.

A few hundred miles away, in the canyons of Carlsbad north of San Diego, hundreds of farmworkers burrow into the hills each year, covering their shacks with leaves and branches to stay out of view of multimilliondollar homes. They live without drinking water, toilets, refrigeration. Fireworks and music from nearby Legoland pierce the nighttime skies.

While the UFW is doing good work for poor Latinos across the country, the article says farmworkers are reaping few benefits:

Rather than making elections and contracts its primary focus, the UFW has concentrated on selling annual memberships for $40 a year to build grass-roots support. They remind workers that the laminated membership cards can be used for identification, something many undocumented workers lack.

Pedro Lopez is convinced that only contracts will protect the Santa Maria farmworkers. “Fear is the main problem,” Lopez said. “But with a good guide, they’d lose the fear. When they get results, workers aren’t scared.”

In the garage of the small house where Lopez is raising five children, across from acres of vegetable fields, a handful of leaders of the United Mixtec Farmworkers meet each Saturday to strategize. They are not quite sure how to proceed, but they know they’re on their own.

“The UFW says, ‘Organize yourselves first,’ “Lopez said. “People say, ‘If we have to do that anyway, what do we need them for?'”

The article is hefty, but well worth the time. I was saddened to hear about the consstruction of low-income housing, which was built with non-union labor, and of the poor conditions in which many of the farmworkers live.

It will be interesting to read the next three articles, especially the one that delves into the money side of the operation: “The family business: Insiders benefit amid a complex web of charities.”