Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 82,345
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 82,345
Retired teacher who sees much harm to public education from the "reforms" being pushed by corporations. Privatizing education is the wrong way to go. Children can not be treated as products, thought of in terms of profit and loss.
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Twitter hat tip to Vivian Griffin
Posted by madfloridian | Sat Dec 13, 2014, 02:03 AM (0 replies)
Back in 2009 Katha Pollitt wrote an article at The Nation about how those who were the architects of the torture program were faring quite well for themselves. John Yoo was one of them.
Those of the "torture creative class" and how they got rewarded.
Yoo is only one of those who are mentioned, and of course there were Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Feith.
What I mean is, I should have been a member of the torture creative class--a conceptual torturer, a facilitator of torture, perhaps an inventor of torture law, an architect of the torture archipelago, a dissimulator, concealer, denier, rationalizer, minimizer and pooh-pooher of torture. As a word person, I could have come up with circumlocutions to confuse the media, bureaucratic phrases like "special methods of questioning" and "enhanced interrogation techniques." According to New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt, just figuring out whether to call a given action "harsh" or "brutal" has kept editors busy for years! Or I could have written copy for the CIA. For example, I could have suggested they call putting people in coffinlike boxes full of insects "studio picnics," because studio apartments are small and picnics have bugs, and I could have nicknamed waterboarding "drinking tea with Vice President Cheney," although come to think of it, waterboarding is a euphemism already. Maybe that's why people didn't catch on that it was the same thing we prosecuted Japanese interrogators for doing in World War II. In the Tokyo trials it was called "the water treatment," or "the water cure," or just plain "water torture." Calling it "water torture" was probably what got those Japanese into trouble. That, and losing the war.
She mentions Yoo.
John Yoo. In 2002, while working for the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Yoo wrote a crucial memo saying that terror suspects weren't covered by US commitments to treaties and agreements banning torture. Now Yoo is a tenured professor of law at Berkeley. Eat your heart out, Ward Churchill! And he isn't hiding away in his office, either. This semester Yoo's a visiting prof at Chapman University School of Law, where he spoke at a public forum and defended torture as necessary to protect the country. "Was it worth it?" he asked, according to the Los Angeles Times. For John Yoo, definitely.
This year UC Berkeley students, alumni and a group of lawyers are protesting John Yoo's faculty chair endowment.
UC Berkeley students, alumni and a group of lawyers in the Bay Area initiated an online petition last week to rescind UC Berkeley School of Law professor John Yoo’s recent faculty chair endowment.
Wikipedia has some of the Torture Memos.
This week John Yoo published an op ed in the New York Daily News about his opinion of the torture revelations.
A torture report for the dustbin
The release of a Senate report on Bush-era interrogation policies could have prompted an informed, responsible debate over intelligence and the war on terror. But not the report that saw the light of day Tuesday.
Muckety has a flow chart.
A former editor of the Yale Law Journal and clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, he is beloved by many on the right and mocked by many on the left.
In 2011 The Guardian UK summed up the problems this torture culture has caused for our country.
The reason why torture is universally prohibited in international and domestic law the world over, however, is not because it is ineffective or counterproductive (though it is). Torture has been universally prohibited because in the aftermath of the second world war, the nations of the world agreed, under the leadership of the United States, that respect for basic human dignity required the absolute prohibition of torture under any circumstance.
Posted by madfloridian | Fri Dec 12, 2014, 12:38 AM (56 replies)
Creative writing teacher out of job because student writes of Jesus giving out marijuana to the sick
The administration said that the teacher was not fired, but she chose to resign rather than conduct her class "in a professional manner".
I would think there would be a wide range of what is considered "professional" in a creative writing class of all places. A student writes creatively of a topic that offends another student and their parents. She was targeted and harassed.
I found the news video at You Tube, the article is listed below it.
Creative writing teacher resigns after student writes about Jesus, pot
The assignment was to take a fairy tale or legend and rewrite it in modern times. One student changed the biblical story about Jesus handing out bread and fish to the poor to Jesus handing out marijuana to the sick.
The teacher had one last message for her students.
“If they have something to say, say it,” Guarascio said. “Not everyone's going to agree with you. But that doesn't make your point invalid or worthless. Tell your story.”
Another article makes it clear that the teacher was said not to be conducting her class in a professional manner. That of course is ridiculous. It was a creative writing class. The student applied a present day problem and told how it might have been handled by Jesus.
Conservative Student Attacks Teacher Over Jesus Story, Teacher Resigns
Katrina Guarascio, a teacher at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, gave her class the assignment to rewrite a fairy tale or legend with a modern setting. One of her students, following instructions, rewrote a tale about Jesus, a central biblical figure, to have him handing out marijuana to the sick. During the subsequent peer review session, one of the students claimed to be so offended, she complained to her parents, who then filed a complaint to the school. Guarascio was subsequently placed on administrative leave pending investigation, despite not having violated any rules.
The teacher said that Kim Vesely was someone she had never met, and someone who had never even been in her classroom.
Posted by madfloridian | Thu Dec 11, 2014, 01:04 AM (60 replies)
I Grew Up in Guantanamo and Time Has Left Me Behind
I wish I had the ability to describe the passage of 13 years at Guantanamo. My own mind shuts down when I try to think about it. And I have no words that can make you truly understand.
He is represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights, and there is more of his story at the link.
Fahd Ghazy is a Yemeni-national who has been detained at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba since February 2002 when he was only 17 years old. He is one of the last remaining prisoners to have been detained as a juvenile. Fahd was cleared for transfer by President Bush in 2007, and again by the Obama administration in 2009. He is now 29 years old and has spent over one-third of his life in Guantánamo without charge.
A video from the CCR Waiting for Fahd.
Posted by madfloridian | Wed Dec 10, 2014, 01:45 PM (8 replies)
Right now in this country so many are going along with the idea that all students are alike, learn alike, can perform the same educational tasks, and that there really are no special needs students that can't be fixed by more rigid standards.
In fact President Obama says if we don't accept these new reforms we are comfortable with the "status quo".
"But education is an economic issue – if not the economic issue of our time," Obama said. "It’s an economic issue when the unemployment rate for folks who’ve never gone to college is almost double what it is for those who have.
Obama went further in his defense of the new normal in education. He said the "status quo" is morally inexcusable.
President Obama on Education: “The Status Quo is Morally Inexcusable”
Recently when he spoke of those of us who opposed the Trans Pacific Partnership, he said we were "accepting the status quo".
Video in which Obama says if we oppose the TPP we are "accepting the status quo".
Those words are about 5 minutes into the video.
I believe in both instances there are positions that allow us to have a different opinion but also understand that things are not perfect just as they are.
I believe we can see the serious harm to be done if the "status quo" is changed so very drastically in both areas.
I remembered where I had seen the term "status quo" used to marginalize those of us on the left of the party who question such policies. Guess who said it.
Why Third Way
This dysfunction in Washington serves to maintain the status quo – leaving us unprepared to meet the defining challenge of our time: making the global information era work for the United States, not against us. The innovation, dynamism, and modernization we need from our political system to meet that challenge have simply not kept pace:
It's a term used too freely, so freely that it has literally lost its meaning.
Posted by madfloridian | Mon Dec 8, 2014, 09:01 PM (11 replies)
She should not be expected to accept an apology from the man who kept choking her husband while he was saying "I can't breathe".
I missed this a few days ago, and her answer is powerful.
'Hell No!': Eric Garner's Widow Rejects Officer's Condolences Amid Shock Over Grand Jury's Decision
At a press conference Wednesday at the Harlem headquarters of the National Action Network, the advocacy group founded by Al Sharpton, Garner's widow, Esaw Garner, and his mother, Gwen Carr, expressed their disappointment with the grand jury's decision and their frustration that Pantaleo would not be held accountable by a court.
Posted by madfloridian | Mon Dec 8, 2014, 12:10 AM (11 replies)
This just upset me so much when I read it. There was absolutely no reason for all this to happen.
Mother Loses Newborn Baby After She Is Wrongly Accused of Being on Drugs
The hospital’s reasons for believing Langwell was on drugs were all conjecture. They said that she was “hostile” when she wanted to check out early, that she packed containers that looked like they held pills, that she and her mother and the baby’s father were all shaky and irritable, and that Langwell refused a drug test while she was in labor (Langwell told Calhoun she was concerned about the cost since they were paying for the hospital out of pocket). In other words, the hospital and CPS declared Langwell to have a substance abuse issue until the point she could prove she didn’t.
That's horrible. I would be a little irritable as well after 2 days of contractions.
This Mom Checked Her Newborn Out of the Hospital Early. The Next Day Her Baby Was Taken Away.
Langwell had been having contractions for two days when she told her fiancé at 11:30 p.m. that it was time to head to Desert Regional Medical Center, which she'd chosen because it allowed rooming-in and she didn't want the baby to leave her side. Once there, she asked for an epidural, but by the time everything was in place for her to receive one, it was too late. She delivered the baby naturally at 2:34 a.m., and around noon was put in a room with two other new mothers and their babies, including one who Langwell says kept talking loudly on her cellphone.
Posted by madfloridian | Sun Dec 7, 2014, 01:11 AM (16 replies)
Snowden film 'CitizenFour' wins top documentary award
Director Laura Poitras of the best feature award nominee 'Citizenfour' poses at the International Documentary Association's 2014 IDA Documentary Awards in Los Angeles December 5, 2014.Credit: Reuters/Danny Moloshok
(Reuters) - "CitizenFour," filmmaker Laura Poitras's documentary about National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, was given the top award for best feature by the International Documentary Association on Friday.
Posted by madfloridian | Sat Dec 6, 2014, 01:44 AM (14 replies)
Recently Diane Ravitch, a former principal, a few education bloggers called attention to a new charter being opened although the founder had questionable credentials.
Yesterday the Democrat Chronicle announced that the school was not going to open.
Charter school won't open after lies discovered
Pic from Democrat Chronicle
Greater Works Charter School will no longer open in Rochester in 2015, part of the continuing fallout over lies in the resume of its 22-year-old founder.
And unfortunately this statement by Kozik can be applied broadly to other charter owners who are getting public money without oversight.
Kozik said he didn't think to question Morris' claims more closely until it was too late.
Educator/Writer Mercedes Schneider points out a strange statement from a spokesman for the NY state DOE.
Now, in a wonderful turn of events for the community of Rochester, NYSED asked the GWCS board to rescind its application, and the GWCS board did so. Therefore, to quote the now-former-GWCS board chair Peter Kozik, “Greater Works is done.”
He is saying they assume the application is true, and they do not investigate.
Posted by madfloridian | Wed Dec 3, 2014, 04:06 PM (9 replies)
This means that a decision could be made at a federal level to force all students, including those with special needs, to pass the same test....no matter what.
The philosophy is one we have discussed before. Arne Duncan is pretty sure that special ed programs are used to drag children down, and that with proper expectations, testing, grit socked in rigor, and teachers who don't suck, disabilities will simply have no effect on anybody. DC has been pushing it, and most recently Washington state has done the same. Florida was a pioneer, insisting that even students with little brain function and busy dying from disease should take the FCATs just like everyone else.
That's ridiculous view to take, but looks like it is happening.
Is US ED Tightening Noose on Sp Ed ?
It's a proposed rule change for Title I, and I can copy the entirety of it for you right here
The idea has been around since last year.
Why do this? Why continue to make the insane assertion that students experience with no problems with disabilities except for the problems created by their teachers? Why take us down a road that can only end with cutting any kind of special education programs?
It's like living in a dream world where everyone is capable and able to meet the increasingly higher standards each year.
It's a set-up for failure and frustration.
Posted by madfloridian | Thu Nov 27, 2014, 12:51 AM (5 replies)