January 2, 2010 archive

What happened to education politics?

Now here’s a subject I don’t see hardly anywhere in the blogosphere: education politics.  Given that education politics is a matter of students, teachers, and parents in communities of lower-class children versus the political class, the educational corporations, and its Veal Pen, though, it’s no wonder.  But if “progressives” really wish to have some degree of autonomy from the business interests, and to be “with the people” on this one, they’d better pay attention to educational politics.  The most important struggle, as I will discuss below, will be that of empowering lower-class parents by improving their socioeconomic status, rather than by testing their kids and blaming their teachers.

(Crossposted at Orange)

Go Ahead. Caption This…

This Week In Health and Fitness

Welcome to this week’s Health and Fitness.

‘Tis the season for colds and the flu. Everyone needs to take caution in how they treat themselves with over the counter medications (OTC). Some of them are expensive and it is not well studied whether any of them really work all that well. Remember there is no cure for the common cold or even the flu, just medications to reduce the symptoms of fever, cough and congestion. If you have any existing medical problems, such as Asthma, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, any kind of Heart problems or are taking prescription medication, consult your doctor or ask the Pharmacist before taking any OTC medication.

Catching a cold or the flu may be unavoidable. You can reduce your chances by washing your hands more frequently and using a hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of great than 60%. If you do get sick, stay home if you have a fever (hopefully, you can) and cover you coughs and sneezes.

This weeks NYT has a good article on Money Tips for When the Sniffles Start that also has tips about staying well during the flu season.

As is now custom, I’ll try to include the more interesting and pertinent articles that will help the community awareness of their health and bodies. This essay will not be posted anywhere else due to constraints on my time. Please feel free to make suggestions for improvement and ask questions, I’ll answer as best I can.


Subtitle: Never underestimate the power of rationalization and denial.

Perhaps the biggest casualty of the last 12 years or so of aggressive partisan politics started and perfected by the Republicans (for lack of actual ideas or the ability to govern) has been what was once referred to as an open mind. The ability to look at the facts or hear a persuasive argument and have the strength of character and intellectual honesty to change ones mind.

Well the biggest casualty besides the dead of Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan, the secret torture prisons, the middle class, and the Constitution, anyway.

And of course the sub-casualty, the idea that there are actual facts at all. Facts that can’t be spun or facts that can’t be discounted because of who is presenting those facts, facts that can’t be smeared out of existence in the course of killing the messenger bearing them.

The effect of partisan warfare (and the assault and discrediting of science and the scientific method) has been the snapping shut of minds all across the political spectrum.

Now, what you believe in your gut is more important than facts or reasoned argument.

For example, that it was wrong for Bush to kill Afghan children, but it is ok for Obama to kill Afghan children.  

The bush/repub Years

As the old saying goes, “Read it and Weep!”

Open Mind


Shooting Handcuffed Children

by David Swanson this morning…

The occupied government of Afghanistan and the United Nations have both concluded that U.S.-led troops recently dragged eight sleeping children out of their beds, handcuffed some of them, and shot them all dead. While this apparently constitutes an everyday act of kindness, far less intriguing than the vicious singeing of his pubic hairs by Captain Underpants, it is at least a variation on the ordinary American technique of murdering men, women, and children by the dozens with unmanned drones.

Also this week in Afghanistan, eight CIA assassins (see if you can find a more appropriate name for them) were murdered by a suicide bombing that one of them apparently executed against the other seven. The Taliban in Pakistan claims credit and describes the mass-murder as revenge for the CIA’s drone killings. And we thought unmanned drones were War Perfected because none of the right people would have to risk their lives. Oops. Perhaps Detroit-bound passengers risked theirs unwittingly.

The CIA has declared its intention to seek revenge for the suicide strike. Who knows what the assassination of sleeping students was revenge for. Perhaps the next lunatic to try blowing up something in the United States will be seeking revenge for whatever Obama does to avenge the victims (television viewers?) of the Crotch Crusader. Certainly there will be numerous more acts of violence driven by longings for revenge against the drone pilots and the shooters of students.

In a civilized world, the alternative to vengeance is justice. Often we can even set aside feelings of revenge as long as we are able to act so as to deter more crime. But at the same time that the puppet president of Afghanistan is demanding the arrest of the troops who shot the handcuffed children, the puppet government of Iraq is facing up to the refusal of the United States to seriously prosecute the Blackwater assassins of innocent Iraqis. Justice will not be permitted as an alternative to vengeance — the mere idea is anti-American.

Martha, Mary, Ernesto and the Coup d’etat Mentality

Nowhere does the Biblical Jesus piss me off more than when he tells Martha, “Tough shit, your sister has chosen the better lot, deal with it.” Spoiled Mary enabling prick.

Really, had I been his speechwriter, I would have had him equitably tell Martha to leave the drudgery behind and come sit and listen too. Or asked everyone to pitch in and not given the speech until all the work was done. Or waved my hand and made the house clean and the food prepared. But I’m way left of Jesus’s authors. Probably left of Jesus himself. Make me a deity, and see who gets smitten, see who is told to passively accept their suckage lot in life. Service to one another only works when everyone plays the game. I have no stomach for a deity who tells one to suck it up and lets the other have all the good shit. Jesus sounds Republican in this one.

Fuck that noise. I like the scripture of Ernesto the Queen-goddess much better. He spoke from a barstool throne with a wine glass scepter in the Holy Land of Haight in the days of yore called the late 70’s.

Ernesto said, “I do not understand why you Americans bother fighting with your Politicians. In my country, if they do not do what they say they are going to do when we elect them, we just kill them and start over.” He paused, smiled angelically, and added, “It makes the next Politicians so very much more careful.

Now that’s a man and a scripture I could start a Religious Movement around. Ain’t a man alive who could get that bitch on a cross.


That is the revolutionary thinking they have taught us to fear even speaking aloud in our land. We fear even TRYING the obviously guilty, we fear investigation, recalls and due process, cannot imagine real revolution.


Because that is exactly what they did to us in November, 1963. It made the People, as well as the Politicians “so very much more careful.”  And thus far? We have accepted our lot, a nation of Marthas with downcast eyes.  

Crony Capitalism, Part 4

In Part 4 of his continuing series about the causes of and possible fixes for the ongoing economic and banking crisis with Paul Jay of The Real News, Dr. Robert Johnson, Director of Financial Reform for the Roosevelt Institute, and Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) discusses his ideas of the main principles for the kind of legislation needed to remedy the situation.

Johnson notes that without fundamental changes in the way the Obama Administration is dealing with, and a new regulatory framework governing, the actions of investment banks on Wall Street and the forms of financial instruments like derivatives that they can create and sell, that another very serious economic crash, almost certainly worse than what we’ve seen so far, is a virtually certainty to occur, probably sooner than later, and that firms that are “too big to fail” must be allowed to fail.

Real News Network – January 2, 2010

The crash can happen again

Robert Johnson: Nothing in current financial reform legislation will stop another crash

You can watch all four parts of this interview under the tag Robert Johnson.

Docudharma Times Saturday January 2

Saturday’s Headlines:

U.S. Loan Effort Is Seen as Adding to Housing Woes

Miscommunications let accused killer of 4 cops stay free

Aughts were a lost decade for U.S. economy, workers

Hawaii is far from an economic paradise

Irish atheists challenge new blasphemy laws

Russia starts year with war on cheap vodka

Concern as China clamps down on rare earth exports

Slaughter on the volleyball field as Taleban wreak revenge on villagers

Israel’s Netanyahu proposes Egypt peace summit with Palestinians

Archbishops condemn attacks on Zimbabwe’s Anglicans locked out of church

Cuba faced worst economic crisis in ’09

Afghans burn Obama effigy over civilian deaths

How many people in America are at all aware of this?

Afghans burn Obama effigy over civilian deaths

By Samoon Miakhail (AFP) – 3 days ago

JALALABAD, Afghanistan – Protesters took to the streets in Afghanistan on Wednesday, burning an effigy of the US president and shouting “death to Obama” to slam civilian deaths during Western military operations.

Hundreds of university students blocked main roads in Jalalabad, capital of eastern Nangahar province, to protest the alleged deaths of 10 civilians, mostly school children, in a Western military operation on Saturday.

“The government must prevent such unilateral operations otherwise we will take guns instead of pens and fight against them (foreign forces),” students from the University of Nangahar’s education faculty said in a statement.

Marching through the main street of Jalalabad, the students chanted “death to Obama” and “death to foreign forces”, witnesses said.

The protesters torched a US flag and an effigy of US President Barack Obama in a public square in central Jalalabad, before dispersing.

“Our demonstration is against those foreigners who have come to our country,” Safiullah Aminzai, a student organiser, told AFP.

“They have not brought democracy to Afghanistan but they are killing our religious scholars and children,” he added.

Man, these people have no appreciation whatsoever.  We come to their country, spend trillions of dollars doing it, just trying to help them.   If only these people would change, dude!

I really don’t see what they’ve got to be angry about.

US forces ‘kill 8 children’ in night raid on village in Afghanistan

UNITED States troops have been accused of dragging innocent Afghan civilians from their beds and shooting them at close range, in a night raid that left ten people dead.

Government investigators said eight schoolchildren had been killed and all but one of the victims was from the same family. Locals said some had been handcuffed before they were killed.

But western military sources insisted the dead were all part of an Afghan terrorist cell responsible for manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which have claimed countless soldiers’ and civilians’ lives.

I am outraged, OUTRAGED, that the CIA should have to put up with a few deaths in their ranks, when they have recently been planning raids that kill Afghan children.  

We kill eight of their children, they kill eight of our CIA guys.  

And the CIA just can’t believe it happened.  

Yes, how DARE they.  

Meanwhile, Americans have absolutely no idea that any of this happened.   Except for the CIA guys actually getting whacked.   Just like in Iraq, when the Iraqis dragged those Blackwater guys from their car and burned them and hung their bodies from a bridge, Americans had NO IDEA that that was in response to Abu Ghraib.   None.  And they still don’t.

Meanwhile, CNN continues with its round the clock “TERRORGASM”.  

Yeah, who’s the terrorist again?   We are.  

Happy New Year.    

Sure hope it’s an improvement over 2009.

Original v. Cover — #6 of a Series

Earth and Moon from space Pictures, Images and PhotosThe featured song last week addressed the matter of U. S. involvement in near continual warfare, which defined almost the entirety of the decade beginning on January 1, 2000.  As we look forward to the next ten years, extending to January 1, 2020, U. S. military action in Iraq persists and significant escalation is planned in Afghanistan.  Future military intervention in other countries looms as a disturbing possibility.  If continued long enough, the United States may well follow the fateful trajectory of the Soviet Union, plummeting into the same abyss, having failed to learn from their predecessor’s untoward experience.  Continued U. S. military action and/or the eventual demise of this country to at least Second World, if not Third World status, will exert varying degrees of impact upon the rest of the world.  Despite this, many nations will likely survive mostly, if not fully intact.  

As we consider the decade ahead, perhaps the most critical matter of all is that of climate change.  As our mother earth’s ability to sustain human life deteriorates, adverse impacts will first be noted in other areas of the world, gradually spreading like a terminal malignancy throughout the remainder of the planet.  We can only imagine the accuracy with which our mainstream news media will disclose these developments to the general public, if this occurs at all.  More and more people will, of necessity, be crowding into continually shrinking areas of land, thereby reducing the amount of the earth’s surface available to produce that which is necessary to perpetuate life.  Those newly encroached upon by incoming refugees may not always welcome their new neighbors with open arms and may not be willing to share their meager food and water supplies with their recently arrived guests.  We can imagine the results, however much we may wish not to engage in such an uncomfortable exercise.

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