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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 36,731

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Lindsey Graham: 28 Pages Could Damage "Allies"

A couple of things about this.

1. Random citizens ask better questions than mainstream journalists.

2. Lindsay Graham said releasing the truth about Saudi role in 9/11 would "damage" them, essentially implying some official guilt.

3. I don't necessarily buy or know if the version of the story Graham is telling here is true or not, but at least it's an insult to our intelligence like most of the stuff most politicians say about this.

4. Graham's description of Saudi and Pakistan (oddly, the person asking the question didn't mention Pakistan having a role in 9/11) could easily apply to OUR government's dealing with religious extremists up through ISIS.

5. None of this is meant as an endorsement of Lindsay Graham in any way. If he told the truth, it was because he was caught off guard.

What is or would be the difference between Biden as opposed to Hillary in policies?

I know there are differences in "style," but style doesn't put food on the table or stop wars and unnecessary cuts to the safety net to make the rich richer.

Echoes of LA riots in FEAR THE WALKING DEAD

The first two episodes of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD have really haunted me even though none of the characters we are supposed to care about have been killed and/or turned into zombies, and I couldn't figure out why.

Then I realized: I lived through this.

I lived in downtown LA during the LA riots, in an old hotel USC had converted to a dorm.

I had been playing tennis at the beach with a friend when we saw the riots start on TV, so I figured I'd better get home. Driving back to downtown LA, I saw fires on both sides of the 10 freeway.

From the roof of our building, we could see smoke from fires to our east, south, and west, East LA, South Central, Koreatown respectively. That is, we could watch them until a cop came into our building and told us to get off the roof or they would shoot us.

Some people in the dorm were talking about getting the hell out of town going north, but someone said they heard there was a sniper on the freeway north, so no one was leaving until things settled down.

At one point, a cop caught a looter at a Foot Locker we could see from our building, and instead of throwing her in the back of the squad car, he handcuffed her to iron fence around a tree and drove off.

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD is set in a neighborhood just past Koreatown.

On of the resident advisors in our dorm was from Beirut, Lebanon and said it was just like back home, but he didn't seem any less disturbed than the rest of us.

Like in the show, the police seemed overwhelmed, ineffectual, and at best, not necessarily on our side, especially your skin was darker than a paper bag.

The second day, a couple of my friends and I decided to drive around town and see what was going on. Looters at Pep Boys, an auto parts store, ran in front of my car with a set of tires. We saw building burning across the street from the USC campus, and train of cop cars screaming down the street in a row. Ironically, we saw the biggest police presence in Beverly Hills and nothing was going on there. We went north to the Valley, and people were lined up out the doors of grocery stores stocking up for a long siege or a getaway (even though there didn't seem to be any violence going on there).

Unlike the show, all of it was covered on TV, we knew what started it (cops beat the crap out of Rodney King on film and were acquitted), and it came to a definite end around the time troops showed up.

And the violence was not done by zombies, but was at least started by people who realized the acquittal meant they could be killed with impunity by the authorities who were supposed to protect their lives, and they would have no recourse in the legal system.

That virus is still alive today. We see it every time the cops shoot and kill an unarmed black kid, choke out a black guy for selling loose cigarettes, or arrest a black activist for pulling over to get out of a cop's way without signaling.

Somehow, the public doesn't erupt into chaos and violence on the scale of the Los Angeles riots.

Because the public hasn't reacted that way, we see the virus isn't them or in them. The virus is in our society and those we trust with authority.

All it will take for the facade of civilization to break down is video of a couple of white middle class teens and white loose cigarette sellers getting killed by cops too and middle and working class white people realizing that those who control the cops don't value the lives of any race if they get in the way of their control and profit.

We already live in the world of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD. We just don't know it.

Trump is for America what Arnold Schwarzenegger was for California.

For all the hand-wringing by the GOP establishment over the "crazy outsider," it's hard not to see something oddly familiar in Trump's campaign.

In the early 2000's, California had our first Democratic governor after nearly two decades.

Deregulated electricity allowed energy traders to blackmail the state for billions. When Davis asked federal regulators to do their job, President Bush came out to personally tell him to fuck off.

Republicans then blamed Davis for the resulting deficit and the public believed them.

When they demanded a recall, the GOP had just one problem: voters were unlikely to replace him with a far right yahoo since the last Republican governor had demonized Latinos.

The solution? A celebrity who ran not so much as a Republican but as "post-partisan," Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Many of my community college students voted for him because they thought it would be a hoot to have their financial aid checks signed by the Terminator, and the local media was saying he was inevitable in any case.

Once elected, he screwed CC's so badly that faculty and students turned their back on him when he came to speak at graduation at Santa Monica College.

The GOP has used different methods to throw a monkey wrench into Obama's presidency, but they have wisely foregone the national equivalent of a recall (impeachment) since it failed so utterly when they tried it on Bill Clinton.

But they know decades of race-baiting and feeding the rich and starving the rest make it unlikely they'll retake the White House on the issues.

So what do they do? Reach for another celebrity whose bombast and personality eclipse the fact that he's spewing the same crap Republicans have for decades, with some random exceptions that are unlikely result in action if he is elected.

Trump might not only get a lot of angry white male votes in the general election but low information apathetic voters who think it would be a hoot to have a celebrity in the White House instead of a dull politician and those who sense we need radical change but don't have the time or intellect to figure out exactly which change we need.

Democrats need to take Trump seriously, or they will get their ass handed to them by a Terminator with a comb-over.

Does anyone understand the right wing talking point that Obama is arrogant?

I was visiting my right wing dad this summer, and he made the crack about Obama being "arrogant" a couple of times.

I have not been happy with Obama on many policies, but for the most part, I feel like he's struck the right public tone for his job, somewhere between gravitas and familiarity.

If anything, a lot of the time he has come off like a principal explaining himself to a school board that has the ability to fire him (especially when dealing with the right).

Is it just that he is black and it's arrogant of him to become president?

Do they have a wheel of insults they spin, and Fox News and talk radio will believe whatever the wheel says?

Or if anybody has the stomach to listen to right wing media, what evidence do they give for this talking point?

RAVITCH: Los Angeles: Broad, Walton Plan Major Expansion of Privatization

I send my kid to private school, not because I'm a rich elitist, but because the wealthy have so starved our schools of funds and weighed them down with their scam accountability and profit-making curriculum gimmicks that teachers can't do their job.

We have call these policies and the politicians who back them exactly what they are: CORRUPT.

We need candidates from president of the United States down to school boards who draw the line on this privatization agenda and letting the whims of wealthy conservatives and lust for ever greater profits of hedge fund managers dictate public education policy.

Sadly, more than enough Democrats in Congress and state legislatures vote for this corrupt agenda to keep it alive whichever party is in power. They need to be replaced.

If a politicians can't put the future of America's middle class, working class, and poor kids ahead of the greed of their wealthy donors, WHY SHOULD WE TRUST THEM ON ANY OTHER ISSUE?

Howard Blume reports that the Broad Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and other foundations plan a major expansion of privately managed charter schools in Los Angeles.

Broad and Walton are leaders in the movement to privatize public schools, eliminate unions, and break the teaching profession. Their goals align with the extremist agenda of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The Waltons and Eli Broad have long funded privatization and Teach for America.

They are undeterred by the numerous studies showing that charters on average get no better results than public schools and that many have participated in swindles.

ďOne person who attended a meeting said the goal was to enroll in charter schools half of all Los Angeles students over the next eight years. Another said there was discussion of an option that involved enrolling 50% of students currently at schools with low test scores. A source said the cost was estimated to be $450 million; another said hundreds of millions of dollars are neededÖ


3 sides of Iran Deal debate: pro, con & ignored reality

It's hard to add anything to this analysis.

But if you can use a lie to prevent a war based on lies, what the fuck.

Whatever works.

Let's do the count:

Senators rallying and whipping their colleagues to support the Iran agreement: 0.

Senators admitting that Iran has had no nuclear weapons program and has never threatened or been a threat to the United States: 0.

Senators pushing the false idea that Iran is a nuclear threat but indicating they will vote to support the agreement precisely in order to counter that threat: 16

(Tammy Baldwin, Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, Kirsten Gillibrand, Martin Heinrich, Tim Kaine, Angus King, Patrick Leahy, Chris Murphy, Bill Nelson, Jack Reed, Bernie Sanders, Jeanne Shaheen, Tom Udall, Elizabeth Warren)

Republican (and "Libertarian") senators indicating they will try to kill the agreement, thereby moving the United States toward a war on Iran: 54.
(All of them.)


TOON: Cartoon: Advice conservatives never give themselves


TOON: Side Effects of Diplomacy

The Iran Contra panel is especially relevant.

Reagan would NEVER make a deal with Iran, would he?

Just like he'd never trade arms for hostages.

Props to Brian McFadden at Daily Kos

KIPP charter schools tell teachers what to do in ear piece

This reads like a bad satire, but it's real.

The test of any of the crap that corporate education reformers come up with is whether they would send their own kids to schools like this or demand that their kids elite private schools are run the same way.

I don't think so.

Democratic politicians need to realize that can't afford to take donations from and follow the orders of the Wall Street crowd trying to take over public education or they will lose not only teachers, but parents, and the kids who had to endure this once they are grown up.

They're short term corruption will pay off with a potentially terminal cancer on the party and possibly kill it.

*Give him a warning,* said the voice through the earpiece I was wearing. I did Tom Bradyas instructed, speaking in the emotionless monotone Iíd been coached to use. But the student, a sixth grader with some impulsivity issues and whose trust Iíd spent months working to gain, was excited and spoke out of turn again. *Tell him he has a detention,* my earpiece commanded. At which point the boy stood up and pointed to the back of the room, where the three classroom *coaches* huddled around a walkie talkie. *Miss: donít listen to them! You be you. Talk to me! Iím a person! Be a person, Miss. Be you!*

Meet C3PO

Last year, my school contracted with the Center for Transformational Training or CT3 to train teachers using an approach called No Nonsense Nurturing. It c3powas supposed to make us more effective instructors by providing *immediate, non-distracting feedback to teachers using wireless technology.* In other words, earpieces and walkie talkies. I wore a bug in my ear. I didnít have a mouthpiece. Meanwhile an official No Nonsense Nurturer, along with the schoolís first year assistant principal and first year behavior intervention coach, controlled me remotely from the corner of the room where they shared a walkie talkie. I referred to the CT3 training as C-3PO after the Star Wars robot, but C-3PO actually had more personality than we were allowed. The robot also spoke his mind.

No Nonsense Nurturingô

If youíre not familiar with No Nonsense Nurturing or NNN, letís just say that there is more nonsense than nurturing. The approach starts from the view that no nonsense urban students, like my Lawrence, MA middle schoolers, benefit from a robotic style of teaching that treats, and disciplines, all students the same. This translated into the specific instruction that forbade us from speaking to our students in full sentences. Instead, we were to communicate with them using precise directions. As my students entered the room, I was supposed to say: *In seats, zero talking, page 6 questions 1-4.* But I donít even talk to my dog like that. Constant narration of what the students are doing is also key to the NNN teaching style. *Noel is is finishing question 3. Marjorie is sitting silently. Alfredo is on page 6.*

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