Friday, May 13, 2005

Wall Street Journal (subs. req.): "Although Americans still think of their land as a place of exceptional opportunity -- in contrast to class-bound Europe -- the evidence suggests otherwise. And scholars have, over the past decade, come to see America as a less mobile society than they once believed."

More from the article by David Wessel:

As the gap between rich and poor has widened since 1970, the odds that a child born in poverty will climb to wealth -- or a rich child will fall into the middle class -- remain stuck. Despite the spread of affirmative action, the expansion of community colleges and the other social change designed to give people of all classes a shot at success, Americans are no more or less likely to rise above, or fall below, their parents' economic class than they were 35 years ago.

Immigrants still seem to move up the economic ladder. Also, IQ is seen as a poor predictor of economic success, but race a strong one. Interesting article, with a section on the rise of the American image of the self-made man (starting with Ben Franklin), a shame WSJ doesn't make it available to a broader audience.

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SouthNow: "Whether it's a thinly-veiled attempt to plug into the culture wars (red v. blue, North v. South, urban v. rural, ordinary folks v. the snooty elite) or simply another piece of political sideshow theater, the accents of the two leading major party candidates in the Virginia Governor's race have somehow become a campaign issue."

Meanwhile, half the people in Virginia can't even pronounce "mouse" and "house."

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Rocky Mountain News on the hack-attack that hit sites including Greensboro101.

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AP: "The No. 2 chaplain at the Air Force Academy said Thursday she has been fired for speaking up about religious intolerance among cadets and staff, including allegations that evangelical Christians wield too much influence."

NYT: "A chaplain at the Air Force Academy has described a 'systemic and pervasive; problem of religious proselytizing at the academy and says a religious tolerance program she helped create to deal with the problem was watered down after it was shown to officers, including the major general who is the Air Force's chief chaplain."

Not everyone is sympathetic to the chaplain... NewsMax: "Chaplain Wants Christ out of Air Force Academy." Hugh Hewitt calls the investigation a "witch hunt."

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Public journalism: Philly Future hosts an open-source interview with Philadelphia's chief information officer, Dianah Neff. Philly Future is one of the best city sites around, and Philadelphia has one of the more ambitious urban wi-fi plans in the nation.

Previously: an interview with Philly Future founder Karl Martino.

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An interesting conversation over at Orange Politics about what makes a good civic website, with Ruby Sinreich asking some tough questions about a free "makeover" won by Chapel Hill.

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More on the County Commissioners from Hoggard: "Why in the world do we, as citizens of Guilford County, tolerate this crap?...Is it possible that Guilford County voters all have battered wife syndrome?  Do we think we just don't deserve an elected body that is comprised of normal, rational, level-headed, altruistic, civic-minded people?"

In Hogg's comments, Mr. Sun sez: "What criteria did the Board develop and apply in the Jenks case that led to his investigation and public humiliation? Was it anecdotal stories from employees? If so, how many? Is it the *policy* of the Board of Commissioners to investigate and publicly question the integrity of employees upon receipt of 'x' number of anecdotes about an employee from his coworkers?"

Gate City: "I just finished listening to the tape of County Commissioner Davis after the session where Tax Director Jenks Crayton was cleared of the latest allegations against him. Gate is embarrassed. Not just with Davis, who I think leads the pack in looking bad right now, but overall with our local elected officials...I want to encourage everyone right now who would be a legit candidate to consider running for something." (Sorry, Gate, I am booked up for a good long while, but thanks for the vote of confidence.)

Hardy Floyd, in a comment chez moi: "Davis stubbornly seems to think that by not changing his position on this issue that he is demonstrating some impressive kind of strength. Instead, he is displaying the worst and most pathetic kind of weakness."

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