Middle School Segregates Student Council Elections by Race

Stephan:  Never doubt that there is a hardcore of whites whose hate for racial equality has never abated, particularly in the South. And Southern readers please don't write me and tell me that I don't understand the South. I grew up in rural 'old' Tidewater Virginia, worked as a reporter for several newspapers throughout the Commwealth, and I understand it all too well. And as bad as it was in Virginia it was far worse in the deep 'cotton' South.

Administrators at Nettleton Middle School in Nettleton, Miss., say they are ‘reviewing’ their processes for student elections after a shocked parent went online to publicize the school’s policy of racially segregating student council positions.

According to a school memo, obtained and uploaded to the Web by parent Brandy Springer, eight-grade candidates for class president must be white; vice-presidential candidates must be black.

The same applies for seventh-grade students, but in the sixth grade, both the president and vice-president have to be white, and the only position open to black students is that of class reporter.

‘Additionally, it is unknown how children who are not black or white would run for student government offices,’ notes the Smoking Gun.

Springer first went public with her revelations on a Facebook page devoted to supporting mixed-race marriages. Of Springer’s children, two are mixed black and white, and two are mixed Native American and white, leaving Springer wondering where her children fit in in the school’s scheme of things.

‘My daughter came home from school telling me that she wanted to try out for the school reporter, but it is only open to black students,

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Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan: 1,200 People Approved So Far

Stephan:  Now we begin to see the torturous reality of the incremental path chosen by the Obama administration in lieu of a public option and universal health care. At this rate it could be a decade or more before people get processed. And note the fees that will be charged. No family with an income of less than $100,000 could afford a straight fee-for-services out-of-pocket payment system as some have proposed. And even $100,000 would not be enough if they had a child with a chronic condition. This is just another of the poison pills built into the recent legislation to prolong the illness profit industry.

Just 1,200 people have been approved so far for a new program to provide insurance coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

The program, known as the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, launched in July as one of the immediate benefits of the new health care reform law, offering coverage to the uninsurable until 2014 when people should be able to choose from affordable policies available on an ‘exchange.’

There are roughly four million people uninsured because of pre-existing conditions, and Democrats touted the new program as one of the best immediate provisions of health care reform. But the PCIP’s administrators have said they expect it to reach only 350,000 over the next three years. The program is run by the federal government in 22 states and by the state government in the rest.

Kaiser Health News reported that 3,600 people have applied and about 1,200 have been approved for the PCIP. An obstacle is the program’s steep premiums, which range from $140 to $900 depending on an applicant’s age and location, and its requirement that people be uninsured for six months before applying (though the PCIP is still less expensive and more generous than existing high-risk pools operating in 35 states.)

‘As of August 1, […]

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Egg Recall: FDA Finds Salmonella on Suspect Farms

Stephan:  Further on the health breakdown involving eggs. Outbreak Information from foodsafety.gov

The farms implicated in the nationwide egg recall are indeed contaminated with salmonella, FDA investigators find.

Fortunately, the FDA earlier this month pressured Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms — two Iowa facilities that are part of the same company — into voluntarily recalling over a half billion eggs. It’s by far the largest U.S. egg recall on record.

The links below can provide you with the latest on the egg recall and the investigation of the outbreak.

Egg Recall: Frequently Asked Questions

Egg Safety Center List of Recalled Eggs

Now, for the first time, the FDA says its investigators have found salmonella in four samples from the suspect facilities:

* a sample from chicken manure
* a manure sample found on a barn walkway
* a sample from chicken feed made at a pullet-raising facility that supplies hens to the two egg farms
* a sample from a feed ingredient

FDA investigators are still testing hundreds of other samples. In a few days, they will file a full report on the extent of salmonella contamination at the facilities, […]

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Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime


SAN FRANCISCO - It’s 1 p.m. on a Thursday and Dianne Bates, 40, juggles three screens. She listens to a few songs on her iPod, then taps out a quick e-mail on her iPhone and turns her attention to the high-definition television.

Just another day at the gym.

As Ms. Bates multitasks, she is also churning her legs in fast loops on an elliptical machine in a downtown fitness center. She is in good company. In gyms and elsewhere, people use phones and other electronic devices to get work done - and as a reliable antidote to boredom.

Cellphones, which in the last few years have become full-fledged computers with high-speed Internet connections, let people relieve the tedium of exercising, the grocery store line, stoplights or lulls in the dinner conversation.

The technology makes the tiniest windows of time entertaining, and potentially productive. But scientists point to an unanticipated side effect: when people keep their brains busy with digital input, they are forfeiting downtime that could allow them to better learn and remember information, or come up with new ideas.

Ms. Bates, for example, might be clearer-headed if she went for a run outside, away from her devices, research suggests.

At the University of California, San […]

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Can Social Media Save the World? Some Nonprofits Give it a Try


As Facebook shows that 500 million people can connect through a single platform, one of the most powerful tools in human history is being tapped to – well – save the world, say a growing number of media and technology experts.

More precisely, they say, a rising number of software designers are harnessing social media’s über-connectedness for something other than a million-member chat about whether Lindsay Lohan should serve a full jail term. As local, state and federal budgets swim in red ink, some are hoping that a sophisticated ‘search and match

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