Sunday, April 22, 2007

This Is Progress?

Here are the top two headlines on the MSNBC website tonight:


The commanders search for signs of success. On Friday night at dusk, Petraeus boarded a helicopter to look for scenes of normalcy and progress from above the maelstrom of the capital.

"On a bad day, I actually fly Baghdad just to reassure myself that life still goes on," he said, leaning back and propping his legs on the seat in front of him.

The aircraft banked right and Petraeus caught sight of a patch of relative calm. "He's actually watering the grass!" Petraeus said with a laugh, peering down at a man tending a soccer field, with children playing nearby.


BAGHDAD - Gunmen in northern Iraq stopped a bus filled with Christians and members of a tiny Kurdish religious sect, police said, separating out the groups and taking 23 of the passengers away to be shot.

The attack came on a violent day in Baghdad, with at least 20 people killed in car bombings, most in a double suicide strike against a police station in a religiously mixed neighborhood.


Two suicide car bombers attacked a police station, police said, killing at least 13 people and turning nearby buildings into piles of rubble.

The first driver raced through a police checkpoint guarding the station and exploded his vehicle just outside the two-story building, police said. Moments later, a second suicide car bomber aimed at the checkpoint’s concrete barriers and exploded just outside them, police said.

The blasts collapsed nearby buildings, smashing windows and burying at least four cars under piles of concrete. Metal roofs were peeled back by the force of the explosions. Pools of blood made red mud of a dusty driveway.

A man who was among the 82 wounded in Sunday’s attack staggered through the wreckage.

“All our belongings and money were smashed and are gone. What kind of life is this? Where is the government?” he asked. “There are no jobs, and things are very bad. Is this fair?”

Yes, but a soccer field got watered.

All these people do is complain.

POSTSCRIPT: Prime Minister Maliki killed U.S. plans to build 12 foot walls around Sunni areas of Baghdad to protect them from Shiite areas:

In his first public comments on the issue, al-Maliki said he had ordered the construction to stop.

“I oppose the building of the wall and its construction will stop,” al-Maliki told reporters during a joint news conference with the Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa in Cairo, Egypt. “There are other methods to protect neighborhoods.”

A cynic might say Maliki doesn't actually give a shit about Sunnis or Sunni neighborhoods.

Not that I'm a cynic or anything.

Two items completely off the subject: There was an article on Huffington written as a memorial to Molly Ivins. In it was a link to one of her Mother Jones articles from 1993 that's pure Molly, and I had to pass that along.

And, considering the VT situation and Columbine before that, do you think that teachers and/or school administrators should be made mandatory reporters when they suspect aberant behavior in a student? I don't know enough to have an opinion, so I would appreciate any input.

Thanks for all you do.
I believe in NY state, teachers are mandatory reporters for kids who look like they have been abused, are suicidal, are using drugs, etc. I have had to refer some students to counseling for various things they have written to me in personal essays. I usually talk w/ the student first to let them know that I am legally obligated to refer them so that they don't get too upset. I must say, though, that I have never had to refer anyone writing anything like Cho did.
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