Thursday, January 22, 2009

Only in China and...

Original Post 10:00 AM

Yeah, when I was in China recently for a couple weeks I was amazed by their ability to control the Internet. In addition to censoring President Obama's inaugural speech reference to communism they also put a blogger in jail for "inciting state subversion" by exposing lousy school building construction that killed so many children in that awful earthquake in the Sichuan Province in May.

Of course the stark contrast between school buildings that pancaked like the Trade Towers compared to other government buildings nearby that withstood the quake was hard for even the highly-skilled Chinese censors to cover up.

The People's Republic of Amherst simply threatens pesky bloggers with arrest, and then has a "Trespass Notice" hand delivered by a Sheriff. But hey, at least the difference between the Schools and the other town buildings is only in hot water provided (off the charts at the Bangs Center and Town Hall) and not in sturdy construction...I hope.
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10:25 AM UPDATE

Ironically I was checking my open public sitemeter and found someone who arrived here a few moments ago from a search engine called "Onekey—the kid safe search engine,” and of course across the top appeared the names of Amherst schools. They also hit “search the web” rather than “search arps.org”.

According to their ‘About Us’ link: “OneKey partnered with Google.com provides the largest database of kid safe sites”. So I guess we do censor the Net even here in America. But still, a big difference between porn and politics.

Nice to know the Amherst schools have not banned my blog.

33 comments:

Ed said...

There are two differences between China and Amherst.

First, one of degree -- and that is only because of what is necessary to silence the dissident. Larry will stay out of the school with a threat of jail, in China it took actual jail.

And second, in China the harm has already happened, the children already dead.

Beyond that, well, irony....

Oh, and to irritate Neil:
UMASS, UMASS, UMASS....

Ed said...

There are two differences between China and Amherst.

First, one of degree -- and that is only because of what is necessary to silence the dissident. Larry will stay out of the school with a threat of jail, in China it took actual jail.

And second, in China the harm has already happened, the children already dead.

Beyond that, well, irony....

Oh, and to irritate Neil:
UMASS, UMASS, UMASS....

LarryK4 said...

Now that should really piss off Neil.

Anonymous said...

If you start posting your pictures from the boy's bathroom then you would probably get blocked.

LarryK4 said...

I already did post my pictures from the Boy's bathroom--it's called evidence and, thus far, have not been blocked (pay attention Nitwit)

Ed said...

Larry, if they block you, THEY can't read it either as they are coming from the ARSD IP addresses as well.

Oh, and Neil:
UMass, UMass, UMass, UMass, UMass...

Anonymous said...

Cold weather causes problems for Amherst school
Thursday, January 22, 2009

AMHERST - The below-zero temperatures during the last two weekends have caused problems at the Regional Middle School and Wildwood School, said Ron Bohonowicz, the facilities manager.

Copper coils in the univentilators, which act like radiators, have frozen and split and started to leak, he said. It's a design problem in the heating systems of the two school buildings, he said

Anonymous said...

"The People's Republic of Amherst simply threatens pesky bloggers with arrest, and then has a "Trespass Notice" hand delivered by a Sheriff."

It's beyond threats, many people have been fired for bringing up issues

Anonymous said...

"Copper coils in the univentilators, which act like radiators, have frozen and split and started to leak, he said. It's a design problem in the heating systems of the two school buildings, he said"

He's known about it for years but what has he done about it?

I guess it's just esier to call the custodians to mop up all the water that saturates the rugs and seeps into the cracks ( growing mold), than it is to insulate against the freezing temps. OH WELL.

A Realist said...

Question - have any of you actually paid a visit to any of these schools to see first-hand what the heating, plumbing, electrical, etc. systems look like? If you did, you would see old, tired, and out-dated systems that have survived well beyond their scheduled years with the use of spit and duct tape because the money hasn't been there to fix these systems like they should be fixed.

The job that has been handed to these various custodians/maintenance workers - to keep the school doors "open for business" day in and day out, despite the failing systems - is both tough and thankless and all you can do is lob rocks from the sidelines. Wonderful.

Why don't you get Ed and all of your Larry For School Committee cronies together, call Alton Sprague at the get-outta-jail-free hotline number to make an appointment, and then take a tour of some of these facilities. It would be an eye-opener for all of you. Trust me.

(and the answer is NO, I don't work for the Amherst Schools or have any connection to them whatsoever - I am just someone who hates to see uninformed criticism leveled at people who are doing nothing more than working hard at their jobs. Simple as that.)

Anonymous said...

Here! Here! All you consersvative "don't spend my money" types can't start complaining when there's no money to upgrade antiquated facilities.

Anonymous said...

Oh Ron, cares about making himself look good by renovating the town hall but can't even keep water off the schools floors.

http://www.esmagazine.com/Articles/Cover_Story/e2cec1c879ba8010VgnVCM100000f932a8c0____

What's so hard about doing the right thing? Ron?

Anonymous said...

http://www.esmagazine.com/Articles/Cover_Story/e2cec

(connect when pasting)

1c879ba8010VgnVCM100000f932a8c0____

Ed said...

Two things.

First, there is no way in hell that I would agree to some Polkim Village Tour. We trespass everyone who raises questions, allegedly fire employees who question, but if you come in and see what we want you to see, then that is OK. Maybe...

Bulls***!

Second, the researcher in me asks for the control sample. There are other buildings of these ages and vintages challenged by the same weather and how are they holding up? Do other schools in the county have the same issues? How about other buildings of the same age -- Ann Walen, Clark House, all of N/S Pleasant Street, etc. Town hall....

It isn't like the school budget has gone up over the years. So either the schools have been mismanaged over the years, they bought the wrong stuff in the first place, or the people maintaining it over they years haven't done a good job doing so.

If you have two employees and one totals a half dozen vehicles and the other doesn't put a scratch on even one, what would you conclude?

If only the Amherst schools are having boiler troubles, what would you conclude?

Anonymous said...

"Question - have any of you actually paid a visit to any of these schools to see first-hand what the heating, plumbing, electrical, etc. systems look like? If you did, you would see old, tired, and out-dated systems that have survived well beyond their scheduled years with the use of spit and duct tape because the money hasn't been there to fix these systems like they should be fixed."


How would you know if you don't work for the schools?

Anonymous said...

"If you have two employees and one totals a half dozen vehicles and the other doesn't put a scratch on even one, what would you conclude?"


ED, the second prince of Amherst!

Looks like the word is getting out!

FINALLY!

Anonymous said...

Mass Whistleblower Law -
http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/149-185.htm

I would suggest all public employees to read this. Essentially, if you tell your boss that something is unsafe/illegal they not only can't fire you but you can then tell the press and they still can't fire you.

Anonymous said...

They can make your life a living hell, and as I've said before, I've got kids to feed!
Thanks Ed and Larry for being our voices

Anonymous said...

"Ironically I was checking my open public sitemeter and found someone who arrived here a few moments ago from a search engine called "Onekey—the kid safe search engine,” and of course across the top appeared the names of Amherst schools. They also hit “search the web” rather than “search arps.org”."

"Nice to know the Amherst schools have not banned my blog."


Would be nice to know who over there is using their computer in a way forbidden by school policy.

Realist said...

To: Anon 12:59 re: how I know about the condition of the Amherst Schools - I had two kids go through the schools many years ago and, at the time, knew many of the people who took care of the various facilities. Hearing about the current issues, I'm fairly certain that not much has changed since that time.

But that's irrelevant. What IS relevant is the need to gather all information about a situation before passing judgment. It's just so easy to play arm-chair quarterback on things like this - and toss out "easy solutions" from the comfort of our homes - when in fact the realities are much more complex than any of us realize.

And another thing to Anon 12:59 - are you the same guy who was told several posts ago to "put up or shut up" re: your claims against Ron B and the Schools? I think it's time to drag whatever information you may have out into the light of day much as you're asking the Amherst Schools to do. The other Anon had it right when he (or she?) told you that the future safety of Amherst School children may depend on whatever it is that you have to share.

Anonymous said...

"To: Anon 12:59 re: how I know about the condition of the Amherst Schools - I had two kids go through the schools many years ago and, at the time, knew many of the people who took care of the various facilities."


Oh no kidding. Things have been bad for years I'VE heard...

Looks like you missed your chance to do something about it, BIG time...

Oh well, yours are safe...

Anonymous said...

> They can make your life a living
> hell, and as I've said before,
> I've got kids to feed!

Fortune was that I didn't but I do understand. My blood pressure dropped 20-30 points once I left the housing authority.

Of course, what they don't realize is the the UMass Minuteman newspaper is coming back this spring and I was handed the "townie" beat which includes, well...

And anyone who wants to spend 42 cents (use a stamp, not the postage machine!) to leak anything interesting can do so via:

UMass Minuteman Newspaper
c/o UMass Republican Club
c/o Center for Student Development
423-B Student Union Building
UMass, Amherst, MA, 01003

Oh, Neil -- that is 003 for UMASS.

Realist said...

Whoa...you know absolutely ZIP about what I did/did not do when my kids were in school. And, once again, when it appears that someone does not like a particular message - and they have no viable retort - they resort to the age-old tactic of attacking the messenger (which, ironically enough, is exactly what LK et al have been complaining about re: the School's response to HIS assertions)

Who I am & what I am are of no matter - if you see something of value in what I say, great. If you don't, then you can either present a differing opinion or simply ignore me entirely. To head down the path of attacking or belittling me as a "tactic" reminds me of my childhood when we would simply say "I know you are, but what am I?" when put into a corner.

So - what say thee, Shylock? Are you going to continue to try to extract your pound of flesh from Ron B and Pete C or are you going to step out of the shadows long enough to tell us what you know?

LarryK4 said...

Either the system is working (with Ron B and Pete C) or it is not. End or story. I don't know either of them, so I don't care one way or the other.

I just wish people would be honest.

Ed said...

I just wish Larry would run for school committee...

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, just what I need: more work for no pay.

Realist said...

I COMPLETELY agree about the desire for honesty & transparency when it comes to how our government (and schools) operate. That's why i appreciate Mr. Kelley's efforts re: shining light where there has been nothing but shadows in the past. I may not agree with some of his opinions and methods, but I do agree with his assertion that SOMEBODY has to be paying attention or we risk more Watergates, Whitewaters, S&L scandals, etc. in the future.

I would be careful about the whole running-for-public-office thing, however, because that may tie your hands (and your time) in ways that would make you less effective. It's tough to be the burr in the saddle when you are in fact a part of the horse.

Anonymous said...

"I COMPLETELY agree about the desire for honesty & transparency when it comes to how our government (and schools) operate. That's why i appreciate Mr. Kelley's efforts re: shining light where there has been nothing but shadows in the past. I may not agree with some of his opinions and methods, but I do agree with his assertion that SOMEBODY has to be paying attention or we risk more Watergates, Whitewaters, S&L scandals, etc. in the future.

I would be careful about the whole running-for-public-office thing, however, because that may tie your hands (and your time) in ways that would make you less effective. It's tough to be the burr in the saddle when you are in fact a part of the horse."


LOL. They'd HATE to have to deal with Larry.

Case closed.


Larry, find a way... please.

Anonymous said...

"And anyone who wants to spend 42 cents (use a stamp, not the postage machine!) to leak anything interesting can do so via:

UMass Minuteman Newspaper
c/o UMass Republican Club
c/o Center for Student Development
423-B Student Union Building
UMass, Amherst, MA, 01003"



Email?

Anonymous said...

Anything sent to info@umassgop.org will be read by a UMASS (yes Neil) UMass undergraduate and if it says that it is a tip for the Minuteman and doesn't reference black helicopters too terribly many times, it will get to someone who will follow up on it.

One caveat - if you sent an email it is possible to strip off the IP address it came from so there is no such thing as an anonymous email even if you use Yahoo or GMail, we can identify your computer. This is why I suggest printing stuff out and sending it snailmail, THAT is truly anonymous.

celticagent said...

I am frequently in China. My wife and I go there at least 2 times a year. I was just there 2 weeks ago, in fact.

The Chinese Government does not censor in the way you describe. They do censor, but only to play down as an incentive to incite. They do not censor in the way you and I would think they would - to block western reports, for example.

It's truly an amazing country.

For Tranparent Government said...

If Larry ran for School Committee and continued to blog, he would be soundly criticized for continuing to voice his opinions. Look at what happened to Catherine Sanderson for blogging about her School Committee experience (letter in this week's Bulletin). She is all for data and transparency and is feeling the heat for it. www.myschoolcommitteeblog.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

"would be careful about the whole running-for-public-office thing, however, because that may tie your hands (and your time) in ways that would make you less effective. It's tough to be the burr in the saddle when you are in fact a part of the horse."


Nice try to keep Larry out...


I hope he would reply thusly:


"And just for the record: this blog is the private property of Larry J. Kelley private (sort of) citizen, life-long resident of Amherst, as were four generations of Kelley's before me. I do not speak for Amherst Town Meeting (15 years experience) or the Amherst Redevelopment Authority (10 years experience) or Amherst Bulletin Columnists (14 years experience).

I do, however, speak for God and Country."


Amen and AMEN!!!