KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Friday, September 22, 2006

Cronies (Not Reading) First

This bothers the hell out of me, especially because I've done projects for McGraw-Hill, though for a different division of the company:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bush administration pushed local school districts across the country to use a reading curriculum that had been developed by a company with close political and financial ties to the administration despite concerns about the quality of the curriculum and despite the fact that, in some cases, states sought to use other curricula, according to the results of an independent government investigation released today. As a result, the investigation concluded that the Bush administration violated the No Child Left Behind federal education law.

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, said that the report shows that it's time for the Department of Education—which last year admitted that it had paid media commentators hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce covert propaganda—to clean house.

"Corrupt cronies at the Department of Education wasted taxpayer dollars on an inferior reading curriculum for kids that was developed by a company headed by a Bush friend and campaign contributor," said Miller. "Instead of putting children first, they chose to put their cronies first. Enough is enough. President Bush and Secretary Spellings must take responsibility and do a wholesale housecleaning at the Education Department."

The investigation, conducted by the Department of Education’s Inspector General, found that the Department of Education made states’ funding under the federal Reading First program contingent on their using a reading curriculum developed by McGraw-Hill, Inc. or one from a short list of commercial reading programs. The report concluded that the Department of Education had stacked peer review panels, ignored federal statutes, and manipulated state and local reading curriculum selection procedures to steer grants to its favored venders. More than $5 billion has been spent on Reading First since 2002.

McGraw-Hill’s Chairman and CEO, Harold McGraw III, and its Chairman Emeritus, Harold McGraw Jr., contributed a total of over $23,000 to the Republican National Committee and to President Bush’s campaigns between 1999 and 2006. The Bush and McGraw families have been personally and professionally close since the 1930s, according to published reports. ...

Read the rest here. (More stories are available from the New York Times [requires registration] and MSNBC.com.) Hat-tip to Think Progress.

Updated September 23, 2006: Read the inspector general's report here.

The World's Gone Mad

I've gotten out of the habit of blogging regularly. Life's been hectic but good and without major crises, so I've had little time to write and nothing in my personal life to gripe about even if I did have time.

But what's held me back from posting even more is that everywhere I look around the world, there's something to be disturbed about, and that just gets overwhelming after a while.

  • Bush is still lying and obfuscating, and Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers are dying.

  • Bush is still trying to make torture by the U.S. military legal, so we can't try him for war crimes.

  • Former U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell, who sold his soul to Bush to help make the administration's bogus case for war in Iraq, has finally grown a spine enough to take a stand against his former boss's desire to legalize torture, saying that the world has begun to "doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism." Ya think?

  • Under the White House–Republican compromise on the torture bill, Bushco still gets to torture but without reprisal from the U.S.The U.S. has been conducting military operations in Iran for several months already because Bush will go ahead with his plan for a war with Iran.

  • The pope has insulted Muslims, who've responded with violence.

  • Katrina survivors are still being screwed.

  • Oncologists are making money off of the cancer drugs they prescribe for their patients.

  • There's been a coup in Thailand.

  • The genocide in Darfur continues.

Sometimes it's all too depressing to contemplate.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I just couldn't resist reading an e-mail in my in-box this morning that had the subject line Hi, noun equivalent.

I was hoping to find that the sender was selling editorial aids—you know, energy boosters for use when editing boring manuscripts—because I am indeed a noun equivalent. But Cialis was the only thing on offer. Geez! Don't tease me that way, spammers!

Monday, September 11, 2006

U.S. Imperialism

Five years ago, on September 16, my youngest son was born. He lives in a land of privilege, a land whose citizens can't fathom why people of other nations hate them.

Somewhere in Iraq, there is a child who was born five years ago, in a land whose citizens can't fathom why the Americans invaded their country. Both children are precious and should be protected. But it's hard for the Iraqi child's mother to protect him; his father was killed in a raid by American troops, and all that's left of his family's home is rubble. He goes to bed whimpering in fear each night; my son falls asleep quickly, trusting that nothing bad will happen to him.

Things might not be this way if the Bush administration hadn't incited enough hatred worldwide to create more terrorists. And if earlier U.S. administrations hadn't thought it necessary, over the years, to help place specific leaders into power in some nations. And if U.S. businesses hadn't thought it necessary to expand into other nations; expansions bring along with them features of American culture that sometimes are in wild contrast to the cultures of those nations and so bring unsettling changes and sometimes fear and hatred.

I cannot understand the attitude that other nations should become more like the U.S. That attitude has caused generations worldwide to suffer. When will the suffering end?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rock Star

Neil, the rock star

My son Neil, the soon-to-be rock star and
newly minted seventh-grader

Neil son school middle school rock star electric guitar

Life Extremes

Talk about your life extremes! I have pictures for you from my youngest's first day of kindergarten, which was today, and my oldest's wedding, which was on August 6:

Getting on the bus

Jared climbs aboard the bus.

Becky and Li before the wedding

Li and Becky before their wedding (more photos here)

daughter wedding Becky Li son-in-law Jared son school kindergarten

Friday, September 01, 2006


Impeach the dictator
Template created by Makeworthy Media