Jun. 26th, 2009

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Hospitals hire people with few qualifications and very little training for low paying jobs that bring them into direct contact with vulnerable people, then act surprised when things like this happen. People who cry openly at the death of a celebrity don't bat an eye over the abuse of people with disabilities. Celebrities, after all, are front page news, but this story was found in the back of the local section, where many shameful things reside.

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I've never owned a Michael Jackson record, nor do I have plans to buy one. 

In death, Jackson is being heralded as on of the most influential singers of all time and as an ambassador for race relations. Baloney! Jackson was a child prodigy who later squandered his talent. True, he was a pioneer in music videos and created some highly entertaining and influential ones, but that makes him an entertainer, not a great singer. He was better at grabbing headlines than creating truly great music. Sales alone do not make a song great. 

How can Jackson be considered a uniting force between blacks and whites when he couldn't accept being black? It's ironic  that he's an African-American icon who felt the need to bleach his skin and narrow his nose at great cost to his health.
There is no merit to the claims that he was the force behind uniting black and white music genres. That process began before Jackson ever set foot on stage. Hank William, Sr. crossed the tracks to take guitar lessons from Rufus Payne, a black street musician. Elvis was influenced by black R&B and blues singers and publicaly acknowledged his debt to them long before doing so became fashionable. Ray Charles made unforgettable crossover albums. In the 50s and early 60s, kids in the Jim Crow South couldn't resist black music and defied authority to get their hands on it.  Although the skewed charts of the times hid the fact, Little Willie John's version of "Fever" outsold Peggy Lee's version by 2 to 1. Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and Little Richard enticed white middle class kids with new music that blended musical styles. Sam Cooke and Clyde McPhatter brought black Gospel influences into pop music, a legacy that will never die. A comprehensive list of those who drew on American musical styles to create new music and use art to overcome racial boundaries is endless.  Thank God that the triumph of music over racism began long before the 1983 release of Thriller.  
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Dr. Bill Hanlin, our local agricultural extension agent, wrote an article in this week's local paper about a growing problem: herbicide residue in manure used as fertlizer. Broad leaf herbicides are widely used on pastures and silage crops. Because these chemicals don't break down quickly in the environment, residue collects in the systems of animals fed food from treated fields. The residue is deposited in manure, where it continues to act on plants. Some farmers and gardeners are reporting damaged crops due to the residue in manure. Hanlin suggests testing manure in a small area, or checking the provenance of manure before using it. Some crops are more susceptible than others. I'll see if Mr. Hanlin has a file of the article that he'd like to share.

If we keep on carelessly using chemicals that remain in the environment years after use, we're going to make the Earth barren. Anybody remember DDT and the food chain? Will we ever learn?

BTW, the residue isn't removed by composting the manure. 
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Cheetos as a weapon?!

"I love your tan lines..."  How sleazy and immature can you get? Not to mention stupid enough to send the emails.


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