Friday, January 30, 2004

This morning our students went up the street about a mile to the regional food bank for No Central NJ. We sorted canned goods, drinks, cereals, pasta, ... The need is great. What amazes me is not only the vast amount of stuff that needs moving, but that there
are people in sufficient need to consume all this stuff.

To visualize what volunteers do in a place like this, imagine capillary action in your blood system. There is one long table, 40-50 yards
in parallel with an assembly line roller tray. The students find one of four prinicpal jobs: first, scooping boxes, cans, bottles, ...
the food stuffs out of large 4' x 4' x 4' crates/cartons they have come in on. there is no order to the cartons or contents. they girls
in this job simply set the stuff up on the long table, starting to impose some order on their stuffs. At this point, the ultimate desitnation is worth noting: there are 15 pallet stations beyond the roller assembly station. Each station will receive a particular king of commodity:
kitchen paper, water and bottled drinks, canned drinks, canned fruit, pasta and beans, ... haba (Heath and Beauty Aids!) ... The second joib is the skill poisition: collecting the stuffs on the table and finding an appropriate box or carton floating down the assembly line. The third job is simply moving the nearly filled carton from the assembly line to the pallet area. A job in limited demand is the setting the
newly opened boxes at the head of the line.

It was most interesting to watch the young ladies find their niche in the process. We were guided in by four strapping young men, one stressing "safety", like where the fire exits were, ... With some prodding from him, the girls started taking their positions, and the process began to flow! There were on the order of 150 of us there, including 12-15 faculty and administration. For the better part of two hours we moved the food.

Our day was kicked off by the diocesan director of Catholic Community Services, who is not directly connected to the Food Bank, but is really the diocesan, or 4 county co-ordinator for the 75 local food banks, who are the member distributors. Imagine a request, "I need 8 cases of tomato and pasta sauce." She noted in her 20 years in the position, with some sadness, the growth in the need for their services.

I felt the girls "got it". Some will continue to.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

It's Wednesday a.m. 11" of snow here in the Nor East, and school for
today was called off last night. The NDT is carrying a new button in
support of MoveOn.Org's campaign to expose Bush's dedt dumping.
Where is he dumping it? On your and my children, theirs, and ...?

As you may or may not know, MoveOn.Org opened their doors to
anyone who could put together a cogent 30-second TV spot, conducting
a contest to air the best commercial on the Super Bowl. You probably
also saw some of the RWC (that's Right Wing Conspiracy, if you didn't
know) attack on the MoveOn.Org effort. Within a day or two of opening
the campaign, the RWC was claiming MoveOn.Org was calling Bush a Nazi,
linking him to the third Reich, ... While there is plenty of evidence
in support of Bush family money coming from those vile sources, the
MoveOn.Org effort was clearly about today and tomorrow. As a subscriber,
"Ed" saw the first contest entries, and spotted the eventual winner
pretty early on.

It depicts children, non seemingly over ten yrs, working in blue collar
jobs. At the end, a caption comes on, showing you "Who'se going to
pay for the Bush budget excesses". Go to the link and see for

The current campaign is to shame CBS into eventually airing the ad.
Their stated reason to deny the ad is it detracts from the festive
atmosphere. An equally likely scenario is that other big sponsors
have requested their ads not be shown in the same commercial break.
But that would just be guessing? "Ed" doesn't have the kind of
loose change it takes to talk to those people.

Meanwhile, the snow awaits...

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Welcome to the Web Log for the News' Dark Time
We hope you will take advantage of this space to
report on "Some of the News That's not Fit to Print."

Whatever the reasons, some of which must be apparent
we live in a place and time where many thinking people
know we aren't being delivered
"All the News That's Fit to Print"

Greetings, loyal readers of The News' Dark Time. Those of you who are interested in "reporting" for the NDT, please feel free to write me. I've opened up a weblog on,
"newsdarktime", of course where I'm inviting you to post your rants against the dark in which we live. Your editor is particularly interested in stories where you feel you have evidence the news you receive has been spun by your news source. (Not that we won't spin news here, but, we feel, in reaction to the major outlets.)

Mind you, there are plenty of sites who are on top of the alternate news. My favorites are and CommonDreams. What we are looking for is what the news business has
for years been called "page six" material. You'd be surprised what you will find on the page six of your hometown paper.

The proximate cause of my opening this blog is the current issue of Wired, where Glenn Reynolds lists his Top Ten Blogs, a few of which I'm also interested in, a few not. Notably, The New York Times itself, and "my inbox", but also kausfiles and Howard Kurtz.

Enough for now, I'll be linking both ways to/from The News' Dark Time.