On My Radar 5/6/09: Steal This Blog

* Shoplifting Up
* Have A Drink
* All The News That’s Fit



Contra la ley by flickr user Daquella manera
"Contra la ley" by flickr user Daquella manera

Here are the stories that interest me this morning, along with my take on why they may be of interest to philanthropy and nonprofit leaders.


  • Study: Shoplifting up amid worsening economy. A study released yesterday by the Retail Industry Leaders Association found shoplifting to have increased across the board over the last four months.  61% of the stores surveyed found increases in “opportunistic” theft, and 72% say they’ve seen a rise in organized retail crime.
    • My take: No surprise but it will get worse.
  • Study: Drinking up amid peace dividend. A study by the Rowntree Foundation finds a clear increase in drinking in Northern Ireland since 1986. It’s gone up on the Emerald Isle more than it has in neighboring Great Britain. Researchers say the trend may be due to a higher standard of living stemming from the peace process.
    • My take: While it sounds like a minor issue, lost productivity and illness from over consumption of alcohol is a large problem worldwide. Yet because it is so ingrained in Western culture, it is hard to address in the same way that smoking and seat belt use have been. Watch for this to change over time. 
  • Student: Teacher scolded me for reading the news. The case of a  Traverse City, Mich. student is getting attention after he called the Rush Limbaugh show to complain that, while reading news headlines during free time at the computer lab, he was told to turn off the objectionable material by the teacher. The problem? He was reading FOX News and not the BBC. From the transcript: “[T]oday I was on the Internet reading Fox News, and my teacher came up behind me and found out I was reading Fox News and yelled at me in front of the whole class and said I was not allowed to read Fox News in class, that I’m only allowed to read BBC and stuff of that nature.” The school says it is investigating.
    • My take: Episodes like this don’t help counteract charges of bias in the nation’s classrooms and on campuses. Many of the charges leveled by conservatives have merit. Journalism, public education, philanthropy, the nonprofit sector, and academe really ought to look carefully at such charges rather than dismiss them. 

Thanks for reading.


Published by

Brad Rourke

Executive editor of issue guides and program officer at the Kettering Foundation.

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