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MONTEBELLO E-NEWS

 February 15, 2007 

“Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.” 

Henry David Thoreau, US Transcendentalist author (1817 - 1862) 

 

In This Issue

 1.     Can Being Absent Be a Good Thing for America?

2.     Is Everyone “LOCO”?, Part 1

3.     Announcements

4.     Fun Fact

5.     About Montebello E-News and “My Montebello” 

 

Online Community Lesson

 Can Being Absent Be a Good Thing for America?

Student-authored and teacher-edited

            When you hear the words “permanent absentee-voter ballot,” what do you think of?  If you think about a ballot that gets sent to your house and you no longer have to go to the polls to vote on election day, and you can vote in the comfort of your home, then you are right.  When you apply for a permanent absentee-voter ballot, you are sent the ballot by mail and you can mail your ballot or turn in it at a polling place at your convenience before the deadline.  

            You can get permanent absentee-voter status by filling an application, which can be obtained by the Internet through the Los Angeles County Register-Recorder or you can have one mailed to your house by calling (562) 466-1323. 

                  With permanent absentee-voter status, you have no need to request an absentee-voter ballot for each election. You also have the liberty to vote on your own schedule, eliminating election-day conflicts with your job, school, emergencies, meetings, childcare, etc.  Also, you can have discussions with family to help with your decisions.  (This last idea fits well with the suggestions in the essay, “The Eleventh Commandment, Part 3”, which appeared in the January 25, 2007, issue of E-News, available at www.mymontebello.com.)   

            However, everything has its ups and downs. Some ballots may be delayed, lost, diverted, mishandled, held or stolen in transit.  

            Despite permanent absentee-voter ballots that make voting easier, the majority of people still do not vote. 

If you answer the multiple-choice questions below and e-mail to lessonanswers@mymontebello.com with “Lesson answers” in the subject field, you will be credited toward a “certificate of recognition in community affairs” to be awarded in 2007 by a local nonprofit organization. 

1. Permanent absentee-voter ballots can be obtained by

(a) the Internet.

(b) calling the county register-recorder’s office.

(c) Both a and b.

(d) None of these. 

2. Permanent absentee-voter ballots

(a) allow you to receive your ballot at home.

(b) allow you to vote on your own schedule.

(c) allow you to have time to think of your decision thoroughly.

(d) all of these. 

3. What is the best way to use your permanent-absentee voters ballot?

(a) Put the ballot next to the microwave to remind you every time you heat up leftovers.

(b) Join a “WAVE” [“We Always Vote in Elections”] group in which everyone receives a permanent absentee-voter ballot and meets before every election to discuss, mark her / his ballot, and mail along with everyone else.

(c) Wait until a campaign worker call and offer to help you mark your ballot. 

  

Is Everyone “LOCO”?, Part 1

           Yes, at least every human is “LOCO”.  LOCO stands for “Limits on Constructive Output”.  That sounds as dry as a wind on a hot Arizona day.  Until we consider what LOCO means.

             LOCO means that  

·        human diversity due to genetics and culture is so great that teachers can never know how to handle every situation or teach every child to everyone’s satisfaction;

·        the tax code is so complex that the IRS or the taxpayer makes a mistake which necessitates that time and money be spent fixing the mistake;

·        human diversity due to genetics is so great that pharmaceutical companies cannot create drugs which work equally well for everyone, nor can the companies create drugs which are free of side effects;

·        the space shuttle is so complex that there is a high probability of catastrophic failure, as has happened twice;

·        physicians and medical specialists misdiagnose more often than anyone finds acceptable;

·        human diversity due to genetics, culture, and history is so great that police can never know how to handle every situation to everyone’s satisfaction;

·        management of systems—like local governments and corporations—has become so involved that specialists become necessary, making it more difficult for people—like voters and shareholders—to understand how best to govern;

·        even legislators, with their consultants and lawyers in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, deal with such complexity in lawmaking that, at times, technical legislation is introduced to correct the mistakes which they have inadvertently introduced into the law;

·        human diversity due to genetics, culture, and history is so great that it is very unwise for one country to think that it could apply its historic success to another country, as the US is very painfully finding out in Iraq;

·        preparing preschoolers for success in school and life has become so involved that we are moving away from parenting and moving toward pedagogy, an example of which is Head Start. 

However, our human spirit is undaunted.  We look LOCO in the eye and we growl our defiance.  We give teachers and police officers more training, we add warning labels—using illegibly tiny type—on bottles of medicine, we dutifully go to the polls on election day.  But here are the nagging questions:  are we taking the wrong action?  Are we punishing and rewarding idealistically, as our Constitution and laws would have it, or, realistically, as LOCO would have it?  Is there a better way to deal with LOCO than what we have been doing? 

 

 

Announcements

FOR EVERYONE.  February 27, 2007.  Francisco Fraide will be doing a workshop and exhibition on the Mexican Folk Art Popotillo, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the meeting room of the Montebello Library, 1550 West Beverly Boulevard, Montebello 90640.  For more information, 323.722.6551.

FOR YOUTH.  March 3, 2007.  “Young Adult Career Day”, From 11a.m. to 3 p.m.  Hosted by the Montebello Friends of the Library.  Young adults will have the opportunity to meet and discuss careers with professionals in various occupations.  In the meeting room of the Montebello Library, 1550 West Beverly Boulevard, Montebello 90640.  For more information, 323.722.6551.

FOR YOUTH.  Are you an inventor?  Jeff Marks, a graduate student at Loyola Marymount University whose family has a successful dog kennel near Los Angeles International Airport, is inviting youth to suggest ideas for pet products.  There is some chance that a suggestion would be adopted, enabling a youth to start a business through which money would be earned for college.  For more information, contact the E-News project teacher at project_teacher@mymontebello.com, subject field “Announcement about pet products for LMU student”. 

 

 

 

Fun Fact

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on.  Hence, the phrase "goodnight, sleep tight."

 

 

About Montebello E-News and “My Montebello”

To learn about this newsletter, Montebello E-News, and the accompanying, growing Web site, “My Montebello”, visit www.mymontebello.com.  Also, you will find instructions and contact information for submitting announcements for publication in this newsletter. 

 

 

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   HOME  | "E-News" | Life's Problems  | "Montebello Oil" | Open Suggestion | Public Documents | Setting an Example | Young Thinkers | Project Instructions
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