TBC (What Did You Learn in School Today?)

Breakfast Tune:  What Did You Learn in School Today? – Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton

What did you learn in school today,

Dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in school today,

Dear little boy of mine?

I learned that Washington never told a lie.

I learned that soldiers seldom die.

I learned that everybody’s free.

And that’s what the teacher said to me.

That’s what I learned in school today.

That’s what I learned in school.

What did you learn in school today,

Dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in school today,

Dear little boy of mine?

I learned that policemen are my friends.

I learned that justice never ends.

I learned that murderers die for their crimes.

Even if we make a mistake sometimes.

That’s what I learned in school today.

That’s what I learned in school.

What did you learn in school today,

Dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in school today,

Dear little boy of mine?

I learned our government must be strong.

It’s always right and never wrong.

Our leaders are the finest men.

And we elect them again and again.

That’s what I learned in school today.

That’s what I learned in school.

What did you learn in school today,

Dear little boy of mine?

What did you learn in school today,

Dear little boy of mine?

I learned that war is not so bad.

I learned of the great ones we have had.

We fought in Germany and in France.

And some day I might get my chance.

That’s what I learned in school today.

That’s what I learned in school.

Today in History

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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Breakfast News & Blogs Below


ACLU Calls Out NSA’s Christmas Eve Document Dump

by Deirdre Fulton

Common Dreams, Saturday, December 27, 2014

The American Civil Liberties Union on Friday accused the National Security Agency of using the holiday as cover to “minimize the impact” of its Christmas Eve document dump, which showed-amidst heavy redaction-that the agency’s mass surveillance program targeting U.S. citizens went on for more than 10 years and was rife with both human error and technical mistakes.

“I certainly think the NSA would prefer to have the documents released right ahead of the holidays in order to have less public attention on what they contain,” Patrick Toomey, a staff attorney at the ACLU’s national security project, told the Guardian.

Toomey told the paper that the documents, made up of annual and quarterly reports filed since 2001 and released in response to a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed by the ACLU, “really vindicate some of the things [Edward] Snowden said when he first described the NSA surveillance in terms of the ability of analysts to conduct queries-without authorization-of raw internet traffic.”…

AirAsia flight with 162 people missing

Al Jazeera and agencies, update: 28 Dec 2014 06:00

An AirAsia flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore has lost contact with air traffic control after take-off, the airline has said, as search and rescue operations get under way.

AirAsia, a regional low-cost carrier with presence in several Southeast Asian countries, said in a statement that the missing plane an Airbus A320-200 with 62 people on board, and was supposed to land in Singapore at 8:30am local time on Sunday.

Flight QZ8501 was carrying 157 Indonesians, one Singaporean national, one Malaysian and three Koreans, the airline said in a statement.  Sixteen children and one infant were on board.

Police turn backs on de Blasio at funeral of NYPD officer Rafael Ramos

by Amanda Holpuch

The Guardian, Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hundreds of police officers turned their backs on the New York mayor Bill de Blasio on Saturday as he spoke during the funeral service for Rafael Ramos, one of two New York Police Department officers killed in an ambush shooting in Brooklyn last week.

On Friday, the mayor briefly attended Ramos’ wake at the church in Queens. There was no noticeable reaction from officers upon his arrival, and Ramos’s family said they would welcome the mayor’s presence at the funeral.

The same day, an anonymous person paid for a an aerial sign to be flown over New York City. It read: “de Blasio, our backs have turned to you.”

Despite Box Office Patriotism, Experts Question North Korea Hacker Claims

by Lauren McCauley

Common Dreams, Friday December 26, 2014

Security experts are claiming that, despite official rhetoric, North Korea was likely not behind the Sony hack that spurred patriotic zeal and widespread rallying around the Christmas Day release of the comedy film The Interview.

Citing numerous experts, New York Times reporter Nicole Perlroth details why these claims against North Korea are so dubious, despite accusations by both President Obama and the FBI. Perlroth reports:

   For one, skeptics note that the few malware samples they have studied indicate the hackers routed their attack through computers all over the world. One of those computers, in Bolivia, had been used by the same group to hack targets in South Korea. But that computer, as well as others in Poland, Italy, Thailand, Singapore, Cyprus and the United States, were all freely available to anyone to use, which opens the list of suspects to anyone with an Internet connection and basic hacking skills.

   For another, Sony’s attackers constructed their malware on computers configured with Korean language settings, but skeptics note that those settings could have been reset to deflect blame. They also note the attackers used commercial software wiping tools that could have been purchased by anyone.

   They also point out that whoever attacked Sony had a keen understanding of its computer systems – the names of company servers and passwords were all hard-coded into the malware – suggesting the hackers were inside Sony before they launched their attack. Or it could even have been an inside job.

“[I]n the post-Watergate/post-Snowden world the U.S. government can no longer simply say ‘trust us,'” writes conservative columnist and former national security official Paul Rosenzweig at the Lawfare blog.

‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts see high-school basketball team disinvited from event

Associated Press in San Francisco

The Guardian, Saturday, December 27, 2014

A high school basketball tournament on the Northern California coast has become the latest flashpoint in nationwide protests over police killings of unarmed black men.

The boys and girls varsity basketball teams from Mendocino High School were disinvited from a tournament that starts on Monday at nearby Fort Bragg High, because of concerns players would wear T-shirts with the words “I Can’t Breathe” printed on them while warming up.

Mendocino unified school district superintendent Jason Morse said the boys team was reinstated after all but one player agreed not to wear the shirts anywhere on the Fort Bragg campus during the three-day tournament, but too few girls accepted the condition for the team to field a tournament squad….

Bernie Sanders Announces Deadline for Presidential Decision

by Nadia Prupis

Common Dreams, Friday December 26, 2014

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) announced Friday that he will decide by March if he will enter the 2016 presidential race-and whether he’ll run on a Democrat or Independent platform.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Sanders said his nomination would be more than a political game. “I don’t want to do it unless I can do it well,” he said. “I don’t want to do it unless we can win this thing.”

Sanders said he would make a “gut decision” about running and acknowledged that Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton would be his primary opponent. …

In Pennsylvania, Judge Paves Way for Private Takeover of Public School District

by Deirdre Fulton

Common Dreams, Saturday December 27, 2014

Control of the struggling York City School District in Pennsylvania has been handed over to the state, effectively paving the way for public education in that county to be provided exclusively by a private company.

State officials had previously said that, if approved for a receivership (as a state takeover is called), they would bring in Charter Schools USA, an ‘education management company’ based in Florida, to operate the district.

“Be it noted that today’s education ‘reformers’ don’t much care for democracy,” educational policy analyst Diane Ravitch wrote at her blog. “They would rather turn public schools over to a for-profit corporation that siphons off 20 percent in management fees and pays itself outlandish rental fees rather than trust parents and local citizens to do what’s best for their children….There will be no ‘choice’ for the families of York City. Their children will have to attend a charter school whose headquarters are in Florida. Yes, it is the death of local control and democracy in York City.”…

Ukraine peace talks break down

Al Jazeera and wire services

December 26, 2014

A round of peace talks between Ukrainian and pro-Russian rebel leaders has been scrapped, the host of the negotiations in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, has said.

Dmitry Mironchik, a spokesman for the foreign ministry of Belarus, told the Associated Press that the talks broke down on Friday but did not give a reason.

The opening round was held on Wednesday, one day after Ukraine decided to seek NATO membership. That change of policy added a new element of tension to attempts to resolve the violent crisis in the country….

Pope Francis’s edict on climate change will anger deniers and US churches

by John Vidal

The Guardian, Saturday December 27, 2014

He has been called the “superman pope”, and it would be hard to deny that Pope Francis has had a good December. Cited by President Barack Obama as a key player in the thawing relations between the US and Cuba, the Argentinian pontiff followed that by lecturing his cardinals on the need to clean up Vatican politics. But can Francis achieve a feat that has so far eluded secular powers and inspire decisive action on climate change?

It looks as if he will give it a go. In 2015, the pope will issue a lengthy message on the subject to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, give an address to the UN general assembly and call a summit of the world’s main religions.

“A papal encyclical is rare. It is among the highest levels of a pope’s authority. It will be 50 to 60 pages long; it’s a big deal. But there is a contingent of Catholics here who say he should not be getting involved in political issues, that he is outside his expertise.”

Francis will also be opposed by the powerful US evangelical movement, said Calvin Beisner, spokesman for the conservative Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, which has declared the US environmental movement to be “un-biblical” and a false religion. …

Top UK Retailers Targeted in Price Tag Switch for Living Wage

by Lauren McCauley

Common Dreams, Friday December 26, 2014

Amid the hubbub of the holiday shopping season, activists in the United Kingdom have been surreptitiously calling on the nation’s largest retailers to raise their wages and “stop scrooging” their employees.

Activists with the campaign, which launched in early December and will continue through the New Years shopping rush, are replacing the price tags at Britain’s most profitable chains with fake labels demanding corporate store owners adopt a live wage, which they estimate is £7.85 in the UK or £9.15 in London (which roughly equals $12.21 and $14.23). The national minimum wage in the UK is £6.50, or about $10, an hour.

Vice News reports: “While the UK’s government has been furiously cutting the welfare bill in an attempt to tackle the budget deficit, which is at £14.1 billion ($22 billion), and talking up the amount of new jobs that have been created, the reality is that despite record employment levels, 14 million people now live in poverty, and rely on in-work benefits to survive, instead of just out of work benefits.”


Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac:

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else. Churchill

Bruce Springsteen I’M ON FIRE 2005 with banjo

1 comment

    • BobbyK on December 28, 2014 at 11:20 am

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