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Check Out Jenny Marshall—She Could be the One to Finish Virginia Foxx!

I wish I could vote for Jenny Marshall, a teacher and potential opponent for Virgina Foxx in District 5. She seems like a refreshing and dynamic candidate who would give Foxx a real challenge and likely defeat! She is running a great grassroots campaign,door-to-door, which has already attracted national recognition and endorsements.

Random Thoughts (But Not Prayers) Re: Teachers with Guns in Classrooms

Random Thoughts (But Not Prayers) Re: Teachers with Guns in Classrooms
Nell Steelman Whitlock
1.School scenes: 
Scene One:  Ms. Jones’ cheery room,decorated with rainbow colors and positive quotations like “ Be kind," “Help your friend,” “ Talk quietly," etc. Ms. Jones likely has no assistant since the NCLEG cut funding.  30 second-graders are straining with raised hands,eager to answer Ms. Jones’ questions about an adventure story they just read. 

Still Waiting for Burr's Reply / Spotlight On His Rape Vote Continues in HuffPo Article

Update: Still waiting to hear from Senator Burr in response to my 10/19 letter requesting an explanation of his vote against the Franken amendment. Meanwhile, it seems as if this issue will not die for Burr. See the following article at today's Huffington Post by Lawrence Lessig who refers to a poll taken recently in NC on the issue and how many state voters support the Franken amendment. Check out Lessig’s group (Change Congress) petition to Sen. Burr, admonishing him for failing to represent his constituents.

Below is an excerpt:

Plain Sight Corruption: Senator Burr and Rape Victims

Why is Senator Burr Pro-Rape?

So our Sen. Burr is on record for voting against Al Franken’s bill that prohibits the Pentagon from hiring contractors that won’t allow women employees to sue if male employees rape them on the job, as in the Halliburton case in Iraq. Sen. Burr is among 30 male Republican senators who think rape is okay if employees of Federal contractors like Halliburton are involved.

Today, I sent the following letter to Senator Burr:

Senator Richard Burr
US Senate
217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Burr;
Please explain to me your reasoning for voting against Senator Al Franken’s bill ( S.AMDT.2588 / H.R.3326 ) concerning Federal contracts with Halliburton or any other contractor who requires mandatory arbitration clauses to be signed by employees, thereby prohibiting female employees from suing when they are raped by fellow male employees.

Celebrate with a Few Fireworks for Senator Hagan

In light of at least three full page ads this week in the N&O by NC Big Pharma companies opposing any public option in health care, along with today’s news about the dismal job loss report,( which, of course, means more people losing medical insurance), it is truly a ray of hope that our wavering Senator Kay Hagan has finally taken a decisive public stand in favor of said option.
( Link to the story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/02/kay-hagan-key-senate-demo_n_225233.html )

It’s about time. As an independent who not only voted for Hagan, but actually sent her campaign a few bucks, I would have expected her to take a leading role in advocating for healthcare as an inalienable right of every American citizen, as a part of the common good of being a member of this nation.

Spark, Nudge, and Miracle-Gro for the National Spirit, Brain and Body

Spark, Nudge, and Miracle-Gro for the National Spirit, Brain and Body

By Nell Steelman Whitlock

Serendipitously, I encountered two intriguing books back-to-back last weekend: Spark by Dr. John Ratey and Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. I heard interviews with Ratey (People’s Pharmacy) and Thaler (BBC). I have begun to read Spark, and am waitlisted for Nudge at the library. I heard enough, however, in the interviews to get their gist and crystalize an idea that has been bouncing around in my head for a while: abolish drug ads on television the way we abolished cigarette ads and begin to improve the national spirit, brain and body. Especially if we substitute positive public service messages about exercise and nutrition.

Opt-Out is Irresponsible: Time to Rethink Sex-Ed


In 2007 I happened to see a sign in the State Bureau of Vital Statistics that listed the 2005 facts I mention below in my article. The NC legislature was beginning to consider the comprehensive sex ed bill( Healthy Youth Act H88/S221 ) at the time. As I began to think about that bill I sensed a kind of link between that issue and the driver's license as a universally accepted rite of passage. I struggled to organize a coherent argument. This year, when I heard Rep. Ty Harrell, a leading sponsor of the bill, in an interview on WPTF (of all places) make an offhand comment about the driver’s license during the discussion, my concept finally clicked. I.e. sex ed is more important to the public good than are teen drivers licenses.

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