We journalists know that, when you’re in the public eye, everything you do can and will be watched. You’re fair game.
…Unless it’s a private event. Right, Romney?
At a “private” fundraiser on May 17th held in the home of Marc Leder, Romney was recorded by someone saying that the 47% of Americans who back President Obama are victims who pay no income tax. He then said that it isn’t his job to worry about “those people,” because he’ll “never convince them they should take personal care and responsibility for their lives.”
On late Monday, Sept. 17, Mother Jones published the videos while keeping the anonymity of the person who submitted them. By the looks of the videos, it appears to be a member of the waitstaff, although we never actually see the guilty party.
When guests arrived at this lavish, $50,000 per-plate event, they were searched to make sure they had no recording devices of any kind, including cellular phones. It makes sense, then, that it could have been a worker–did you forget to check their pockets, Mr. Romney?
The publication of the videos obviously caused quite a stir. Mother Jones also went as far as to publish the transcripts of the videos, in case the viewers had a difficult time deciphering the garble.
Mitt Romney plans no apologies for this video. He stated that, while he didn’t exactly say things eloquently, he meant what he said.
What do you think? Was Romney right to stand his ground, or should he have made a public apology?
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The Whitewater Common Council met Sept. 18 to discuss student parking at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, concerns about a possible invasion of the ash borer beetle, and the replacement of air conditioning units on the city hall building.
Councilwoman Stephanie Abbott voiced her concerns over the parking situation at UW-W. The university removed meters from some parking lots, but added meters along Prince and Prairie streets. The removal of parking meters from the lots increased parking for those with commuter passes, while decreasing the amount of free parking around campus.
“I must express some disappointment that some of my fellow council members did not recognize as I did that the information presented during the June 7, 2012 council meeting differed greatly from the actions later taken by UW-Whitewater and Parking Services specifically,” Abbott said.
Karen Coburn, a member of the city’s Planning and Architectural Review Commission, voiced concerns to the council about a possible upcoming invasion of the ash borer beetle. The beetle has been located just 20 miles away from Whitewater and action needs to be taken to protect the city’s ash trees, Coburn said. An Emerald Ash Borer Public Educational Forum will be held Thursday, Oct. 4, at 6:30 p.m. in Hyland Hall. The Forum is open to the public.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Director Matt Amundson spoke of the air conditioning units located on the roof of the city hall building. Units A, B and C are 15 years old, which is the life expectancy for those particular units. In addition, the coils on unit C were damaged by pressure washing performed by previous maintenance workers. It has been recommended to not run this unit until the coils are repaired, which will cost an estimated $6,500. All three units should be replaced by 2014, according to Amundson.
In Thomas Friedman’s column “New Rules,” Friedman talks about children in Estonia who are being taught computer programming in schools beginning at age seven and ending at age 16. Friedman talks not so much about the fact that children are being taught how to code computers, but about the fact that the world is a much different place now than it was when Clinton was president.
“The truth is, if you want a decent job that will lead to a decent life today you have to work harder, regularly reinvent yourself, obtain at least some form of postsecondary education, make sure that you’re engaged in lifelong learning and play by the rules. That’s not a bumper sticker, but we terribly mislead people by saying otherwise.” -Friedman
It’s true- what so many of us were told while growing up, “you can be whatever you want to be,” doesn’t always hold true anymore. For a good job now, especially in the US, one needs a college degree, perhaps some additional degrees, and extra training and experience.
And, sometimes, even that’s not enough.
So, back to Estonia, where children are being taught the extra skills needed to program computers. It might seem a little strange to those of us who were just taught the basics- but in other places of the world, if people can go further in life by acquiring the necessary skills needed to succeed in that areas biggest market, why not go for it?
I don’t think Friedman is in any way saying that children at this particular age can’t learn how to write code. I don’t think he is saying that children (or anyone) are incapable of being taught the language of computers.
However, he does seem to marvel at it.
Yes, it is a very interesting idea, children learning such complex concepts- the sort of thing that many adults here go to tech schools for. But is it something that we, as Americans, would trust our children to do? Does the thought of a seven year old with computer programming knowledge make you feel as inferior as it does me?
I suppose there are many hidden talents around the world, in the US included- children who know more about cars, are ridiculously good at mathematics, who win national spelling bees with words I can’t even pronounce, who could out-sing Whitney Houston, I could go on. So, why does the thought of a child with more knowledge base when it comes to technology astound us so much?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been put in my place once or twice by a kindergartner in my life who was able to fix the settings on an iPhone or figure out how to resolve a computer issue while I sat there completely stumped. What this article brought most to my attention was, why when children show us their true potential, do we still stick them in the cookie-cutter shapes of “other” children their age? If the aforementioned kindergartner was able to fix the settings on a piece of technology that I, as a poor college student, can’t even afford, then why did I (most likely) turn around and still refer to myself in the third person and insult his intelligence?
Perhaps what we should be marveling about in regards to children learning such skills (which we as adults can’t even grasp) is not the fact that they’re so young- perhaps what we should be marveling about is how many of these children are capable of such a thing, but are overlooked simply because we don’t have the faith in them to follow through.