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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 35,989

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We should call fracking ecoterrorism

At the very least it would muddy the waters.

Dumb question on Iran: what DOESN'T nuclear nonproliferation treaty do that we want from Iran?

that's all.

another way to BOYCOTT standardized testing & corporate driven education reform

In the face of corporate and sports boycotts, Indiana's governor has scrambled to amend their "Religious Freedom" law that is really intended to allow businesses to refuse to serve the LGBT community, and Arkansas's Republican governor has just announced he will boycott a similar bill when it comes to his desk.

This is no small concession for Republicans. Distaste for gays and appeals to the religious right are how they drive their base of voters to the polls, especially when their other policies of endless war and free rein to corporate criminals isn't playing so well.

Public school educators are faced with an ongoing assault on our freedom to teach our students based on our training and experience and are instead being handed a script written by hedge fund managers that conveniently requires that we teach and test and grade using materials that they have invested in and will profit from. And when the test results are declared a sign of failure, rather than investing more tax dollars in lower student-teacher ratios, social workers, and other programs to make the school a success, those same hedge fund managers demand the school be closed and replaced with a for-profit charter school or turned over to a for profit education management company that they will also profit from.

Needless to say, decent pay and job security for teachers would cut into those profits, so we must be reduced to the equivalent of tour guides, mindlessly parroting the script they write for us, rather than thinking on our feet and tailoring our lessons to what works and doesn't with a particular group of students.

Educators are resisting by refusing to administer the tests, and encouraging parents to opt their children out of the tests, but this recent fiasco in Indiana and Arkansas shows we have another, probably even more powerful tool at our disposal: boycott.

Where teachers and administrators have any say in the buying of textbooks, software, and testing materials, they should block the purchase of those sold by backers of the corporate take over of public education. If they can't get around the testing requirements, then fight for open source materials developed by teachers themselves that won't give our tax dollars to those trying to privatize our schools.

While K-12 teachers and administrators might have limited flexibility in these matters, they have a potential ally that has almost unlimited flexibility with choice of materials: colleges and universities, especially those with teachers prep programs.

Many of those schools of education that train future teachers have seem a dramatic drop in enrollment because students can see the assault on teachers in the mainstream media and deciding not to dedicate their lives to getting a public beating.

Those who teach future teachers and those students who want to be teachers without being Wall Street's whipping boy might be very eager to take action to save their profession.

Likewise, professors and college instructors in other departments might be surprisingly easy to persuade to join in for a number of reasons:

  1. They know their students are being directly screwed by overpriced textbooks that are randomly rearranged and amended every year or two just enough that students can't use an old edition for their classes.

    Many instructors already rely on their own handouts and materials available freely online to do without commercial textbooks. This would simple be an incentive for more to do so.

  2. Professors and administrators are increasingly aware that the same investor class that wants to divert tax dollars from K-12 education to their own pockets have their eye on public higher education too, and are devising metrics of failure and even trying to close colleges the way they have K-12 schools.

    The hedge fund managers, their foundation, and astroturf citizens groups are even trying to drive the same stake into the heart of higher ed that they've already driven into K-12: common core.

  3. Professors don't want to teach at a McCollege any more than K-12 teachers want to teach at a McSchool.

  4. The concepts of boycott and divestment are hardly alien to college campuses. In the 80's, college students demanded their schools divest from and boycott apartheid South Africa, and today they are demanding divestment from fossil fuels--and getting it.

    And while not all will agree with cause, many are calling for a boycott of and divestment from Israel because of their dealings with Palestinians. It's unsettled the Israeli government enough that they have publicly responded to the movement.

If K-12 and higher ed teachers and administrators realize they face a common enemy they could unite, stop buying these companies products, demand that their retirement funds and school based foundations divest from them, and give our kids back the chance to get a decent public education WITHOUT Wall Street calling the shots AND taking a skim off our tax dollars spend on education.

Pearson, the company at the heart of Common Core, would be a good place to start.

PIC: Scott Walker, future commander in chief of our Armed Forces

I hope someone has time to do a better one and post it here.

Then we can send the best one to Scotty to use for his campaign posters.

HOUSE Judiciary Committee page looks like a BUZZFEED article:

This is just bizarre.

If you've ever read through one of those vapid Buzzfeed articles with vaguely related gifs, you have the reading comprehension ability to get through this.

Netanyahu comic book, action movie logic echoes Bush admin lies

This is the line that really got me in Netanyahu's speech to Congress:

ďRight now, Iran could be hiding nuclear facilities that we donít know aboutĒ

Doesn't that sound suspiciously like the Bush administration's thin case for invading Iraq because of phantom WMD's that MIGHT be there and if they exist MIGHT someday be used against us?

Also, even if Iran were to get nukes, why would they use one against the US or Israel when they know that would mean instant retaliation from one of Israel's hundreds of nukes or our thousands?

They would take out maybe a city on our side, but would not even have time to gloat before everyone in their country was radioactive dust.

Individuals might become suicide bombers, but nations do not.

After the farce and crime against humanity that was the Iraq War, no leader should be able to make this kind of case without being met with boos, eggs, and rotten fruit, and their mental competence or more likely, honesty, should be publicly questioned.

Should the US put "troops on the ground" to deal with ISIS?

I think there are better ways to deal with them like acknowledging our ally Saudi Arabia has bankrolled most of the Sunni extremist groups we've fought, and treating them accordingly, but someone in a thread here said that most people, including those on DU, would support sending in ground troops to fight ISIS.

Would you support sending ground troops to fight ISIS?

CNN falsely says they can't independently confirm Saudi gov't role in 9/11

CNN ran the story of the so-called 20th 9/11 hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui, testifying in a 9/11 families lawsuit that high ranking members of the Saudi family supported al Qaeda before 9/11, but rather than try to find any evidence to substantiate his claims, they ran a classic "he said, she said, we can't tell who's telling the truth" mainstream media story.

But the evidence is there if they bother to look.

Saudis backed the foreign jihadis that fought the Soviets in the 80's, helped with the break up of Yugoslavia in the 90's along ethnic and religious lines, and most recently, bankrolled ISIS (at least when their target was primarily Syria).

The FBI was actually tracking two of the 9/11 hijackers who landed at LAX, and were picked up by a Saudi agent who set them up in an apartment in a building he owned in San Diego, funneled money to them from Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar's wife, and this agent was in constant phone contact with the Saudi embassy and consulate until 9/11, according to FBI documents released in response to a FOIA report.

Former chair of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee at the time of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11, Sen. Bob Graham, said ]

Former Senator Bob Kerrey has joined him in pursuing other evidence that independently verifies what they know is in those pages but can't legally reveal.

And that's just scraping the surface.

The issue of Saudi government involvement in 9/11 is not a matter of whether, but why, and why it hasn't shaken our government's trust in them one iota.

Amy Goodman asked the right question on ISIS and Boxer dodged it

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now had a chance to interview Barbara Boxer at Sundance, and her answers on ISIS were as dishonest as any you'd get from a Republican.

Everyone knows these ISIS guys are bad. But like many Islamic extremists from those who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan to the 9/11 hijackers to ISIS as recently as two summers ago, they have been funded by SAUDI ARABIA and sometimes directly the US (when they were only a problem for Syria, a country on our shit list).

Wouldn't it be a hell of a lot cheaper to tell our allies to stop supporting assholes like this? Wouldn't it be cheaper and generate more good will toward the US if OUR GOVERNMENT stopped backing assholes like this when it's convenient to overthrow secular regimes they don't like, then spending more money to kill them later?

I rate Boxer in the top 5 or 10 progressive senators, but if any politician can't be honest about foreign policy that costs us hundreds of billions of dollars and costs people's lives, what can we trust them on?

SEN. BARBARA BOXER: So, let me just say, as a leader in what I call the peace movement, because Iíve been ever since Vietnam, I think if someone sits back and allows people like this, who donít value human life, who enslave women, who rape women, who throw acid in the faces of women, if we canít stand up to thatósure, if thereís a diplomatic way, you do that. War is a last resort, not a first resort. But for me to stand here and say Iím going to do nothing about ISIL, I think I wouldóI would be dead wrong.

AMY GOODMAN: But isnít standing up to that perhaps looking behind thatófor example, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. support of Saudi Arabia?

SEN. BARBARA BOXER: Well, look, if you wonít beóyou and I just disagree, so why do we cut it off? It seems to me that you donít see any reason ever to confront people who are uncivilized, who donít care one stitch about your life or mine, who would just as soon cut off your head as say "good morning."

AMY GOODMAN: No, but what about cutting off their support?

SEN. BARBARA BOXER: And let meóyouíre asking me a question. And I donít support them. As a matter of fact, I already voted to give the president authority to go after them. So why donít we leave it at that? And as far as trying to find out the root causes of why they are the way you are, Iíll leave that to you. Iím a senator. My people are threatened, and Iím going to take action. War is the last resort, never a first resort. I donít support going to war and sending combat troops. I support President Obamaís plan, which is not to do that, but to make sure that we can help people fight against this terror group, which is so frightening and so frightening to humankind. Thank you so much.


thoughts on the "lover/hater" meme

I thought the "hater" talking point to put down critics was stupid when the Bush administration did it (along with the corollary "lover" meme like "You're a Saddam lover," etc.), but when it survived to be used by defenders of the Obama administration, I was offended that they would not only talk to their own base like that, but that they wouldn't hire a new PR firm to do their shilling, or at least ask for some new glib put downs.

I just realized the other day though that I had heard this kind of talking point before.

When I was a kid, any white person seen as too friendly, sympathetic, tolerant, or just benignly neglectful toward blacks would be called a "n*****r lover." Maybe if you just didn't laugh at a racist joke.

It was racist and vaguely seemed to question people's loyalty to their own race, but most importantly, it was ugly and stupid.

People are often accused here of being "Obama haters," Putin or ISIS "lovers" or in the past, "lovers" of the now dead Hugo Chavez.

Can't we agree to leave this kind of childish, ugly rhetoric in the trash can of history along with Bull Connor and Jim Crow where it belongs?

Shouldn't there be something like Godwin's Law to shame those who use this in place of arguments or evidence?
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