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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 46,705

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“You’re really doing what you need to be doing” & teachers would tell me “But the test says I’m Not"

This is a school where the average child entering kindergarten has a vocabulary of 300 words, versus 3,000 words for kids in suburban schools. The whole thing is worth a read for what he notices about education and for a brave coming out story.

Tim Mains: 'I was the gay teacher'
by Tim Louis Macaluso


My second year as a principal (at School 50), I got 90 percent of my fourth graders passing the math test. We were busting our butts. Back then, the only students who had to take the tests were in fourth grade and eighth grade. The very next year, the state instituted grades 3 to 8 testing, and when they did that, test scores across the state crumbled. And when the test scores crumbled, so did teacher morale.

It took me five years of steady gains to move the scores back up to the point of getting 68 percent to 69 percent passing the English language arts tests and 72 percent passing math.

And just at the point where we were getting to something acceptable, the state changed the scoring process again. Trying to motivate the instructional staff and help them believe that they really do make a difference was difficult.

I would say, “You’re really doing what you need to be doing.” And teachers would tell me, “But the test says I’m not.”



80 Percent Of U.S. Adults Face Near-Poverty, Unemployment: Survey

Source: Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.

The findings come as President Barack Obama tries to renew his administration's emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to "rebuild ladders of opportunity" and reverse income inequality.

As nonwhites approach a numerical majority in the U.S., one question is how public programs to lift the disadvantaged should be best focused – on the affirmative action that historically has tried to eliminate the racial barriers seen as the major impediment to economic equality, or simply on improving socioeconomic status for all, regardless of race.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/28/poverty-unemployment-rates_n_3666594.html

Obama: "Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the gall to win the presidency.”

Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the gall to win the presidency.”

Mr. Obama all but dared Republicans to challenge his executive actions, including his decision three weeks ago to delay until 2015 the health care law’s mandate that large employers provide insurance or pay fines. Republicans and some legal scholars questioned whether he had the legal authority to unilaterally change the law.

The delay in the employer mandate, which mostly affects large businesses that already insure workers but are worried about federal reporting requirements, was “the kind of routine modifications or tweaks to a large program that’s starting off that in normal times in a normal political atmosphere would draw a yawn from everybody,” Mr. Obama said.

“If Congress thinks that what I’ve done is inappropriate or wrong in some fashion, they’re free to make that case,” he said. “But there’s not an action that I take that you don’t have some folks in Congress who say that I’m usurping my authority. Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the gall to win the presidency.”



New beer lawsuit could spell trouble for Keystone XL pipeline

Bell’s Brewery, which bills itself as the oldest and largest brewery in Michigan, has just filed a lawsuit against the company Enbridge and if that name doesn’t ring a bell, think back to July 26, 2010 when an Enbridge pipeline broke and spilled an estimated 843,00 gallons of Line 6B oil into the Kalamazoo River, making it the largest tar sands oil spill in US history. How does that affect the proposed Keystone XL pipeline? Just for starters, it undercuts the safety claims of pipeline advocates. The Enbridge cleanup is not nearly complete after three full years, and EPA has all but admitted that up to 168,000 gallons of oil will remain in the Kalamazoo River indefinitely.


In a statement issued on July 2, Larry Bell, President of Bell’s Brewery, explained:

“As Michigan’s oldest and largest brewery, Bell’s has a longstanding commitment to quality. While Bell’s uses water from the municipal water system to brew our beer, the pristine cleanliness of the water and air around our brewery and neighbors is of the utmost importance to us.”

Evidently Bell’s concerns were not addressed, because last week the company filed a lawsuit against Enbridge and CCP, the developer of the site where the pollution facility is being located, at Comstock Commerce Park. The facility will be used to process sediment dredged from a delta near Morrow Lake.

As reported by Ursula Zerilli of Midwestern Energy News, the lawsuit alleges that Enbridge and the developer failed to notify Comstock Township of the work, and CCP failed to notify other businesses on the property as required by Michigan law.

MORE (wouldn't it be something if the BEER/Water get priority?):

Hacker found dead days before he was due to demonstrate how to kill someone fitted with a pacemaker

Hacker found dead just days before he was due to demonstrate how to kill someone fitted with a pacemaker at conference
Barnaby Jack had said he could kill a person from 30 feet by using the hack
Gained infamy after demonstrating how to hack cash machines


A computer hacker who gained cult status across the internet after revealing how to hack cash machines has been found a week before he was due to demonstrate how to kill someone by hacking their pacemaker.

The body of Barnaby Jack was found in San Francisco yesterday. The city's medical examiner's office would not give any further details.


He was due to appear at the Black Hat hacking convention in San Francisco next week, demonstrating how he could attack heart devices.

He had claimed he had developed techniques for attacking implanted heart devices that could kill a man from 30 feet away

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2379009/Barnaby-Jack-dead-days-demonstrate-kill-fitted-pacemaker.html#ixzz2aIZJaLOw

BUSHCO: “All rules were thrown out the window & they would use any excuse to spy on Americans"

They Know Much More Than You Think
AUGUST 15, 2013
James Bamford


For a quarter of a century, the rules were followed and the NSA stayed out of trouble, but following the September 11 attacks, the Bush administration decided to illegally bypass the court and began its program of warrantless wiretapping. “Basically all rules were thrown out the window and they would use any excuse to justify a waiver to spy on Americans,” I was told by Adrienne J. Kinne, who in 2001 was a twenty-four-year-old voice intercept operator who conducted some of the eavesdropping. She or her superiors did not have to get a warrant for each interception. “It was incredibly uncomfortable to be listening to private personal conversations of Americans,” she said. “And it’s almost like going through and stumbling and finding somebody’s diary and reading it.”

All during this time, however, the Bush administration was telling the American public the opposite: that a warrant was obtained whenever an American was targeted. “Anytime you hear the United States government talking about a wiretap, it requires—a wiretap requires a court order,” President George W. Bush told a crowd in 2004. “Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so.” After exposure of the operation by The New York Times in 2005, however, rather than strengthen the controls governing the NSA’s spying, Congress instead voted to weaken them, largely by codifying into the amendment to FISA what had previously been illegal.

At the same time, rather than calling for prosecution of the telecom officials for their role in illegally cooperating in the eavesdropping program, or at least a clear public accounting, Congress simply granted them immunity not only from prosecution but also from civil suits. Thus, for nearly a century, telecom companies have been allowed to violate the privacy of millions of Americans with impunity.

With the arrival of the Obama administration, the NSA’s powers continued to expand at the same time that administration officials and the NSA continued to deceive the American public on the extent of the spying. In addition to the denial I have mentioned by James Clapper, General Keith Alexander, the NSA director, also blatantly denied that his agency was keeping records on millions of Americans. In March 2012, Wired magazine published a cover story I wrote on the new one-million-square-foot NSA data center being built in Bluffdale, Utah. In the article, I interviewed William Binney, a former high-ranking NSA official who was largely responsible for automating the agency’s worldwide eavesdropping network. He quit the agency in 2001 in protest after he saw the system designed mainly for intelligence about foreign threats turned inward on the American public. In the interview, he told how the agency was tapping into the country’s communications and Internet networks. He revealed that it also was secretly obtaining warrantless access to billions of phone records of Americans, including those of both AT&T and Verizon. “They’re storing everything they gather,” he said.

the rest:

I'm a San Diego Dem-SO, I Post This: The Camp Journal Of Bobby F: An Odyssey Of Growth & Redemption

The Camp Journal Of Bobby F : An Odyssey Of Growth & Redemption
By: TBogg Saturday July 27, 2013 1:10 am

Monday Aug 5, 2013 Day One

My name is Bobby F. and I am a serial groper of women.

I am here at Camp Morningwood high in the hills above San Diego by my own choice so that I might become a better person. Recently it was brought to my attention that I have acted “inappropriately” in both social settings as well as in private with women with whom I have come in contact with on a daily basis or while conducting official government business. According to those who have witnessed my actions or have been on the receiving end, I have acted poorly and therefore have been described as a “walking hard-on”, a “clammy-handed sex lamprey”, “that thing in the Alien movie that shoved its proboscis-thing down that guys throat to implant an egg”, and as a “total dick”. Also, “Headlock McGropeyface” … although I’m not sure what that one means. Needless to say it would seem that I have my work cut out for me as I work with the Camp Morningwood counselors and my fellow campers over the next two weeks to modify my behavior so that I can once again walk amongst my fellow (female) citizens without grabbing their asses or licking my lips in a lascivious manner at the slightest glance. God grant me strength.

Tuesday, Aug. 6 – Day Two

Today we awoke to A New Day of Clear Hearts and Clean Minds. For some it began later than for others as a few of my fellow campers were caught in their bunks masturbating to a light breeze that wafted into our cabin from across the lake. After a brief yet intense communal shaming ritual we had breakfast and then met in the Sharing Lodge where we each spoke in turn about our “difficulties with women” and sexual histories. I was disappointed by one camper who described a sexual encounter he claimed he once had as a freshman at a “small midwestern university”, recognizing it as “Lesbian Gymnast All-Nighter” from the Sept. 1977 Penthouse Forum (page 87, contd. page 188) of which I have but a passing recollection. Our group facilitator, Dr. Phylicia Warburton, seemed to not recognize the obvious act of plagiarism, but in a gesture of solidarity with my fellow camper (or as the medical literature describes us: “uncontrollable cockmonsters”), I did not call attention to his theft which would have only brought him more shame.

As it is Tuesday, dinner this evening was tacos (Taco Tuesday!) which led to an unfortunate incident where several campers ate their tacos in an “inappropriate manner”. Despite their protestations that their aberrant taco gobbling was a “cultural thing”, they were sent to bed early without their rice pudding cups. There but for the grace of God, go I.

Wednesday, Aug. 7 – Day Three

Today we went for a nature hike because “clean air cleans out the mind”. Once again several campers were discovered fondling themselves in their bunks at reveille and our foray into the great wide open was delayed as each “self-violater” was fitted with a remote-controlled shocking genital cuff (Boner-B-Gone™). The hike was invigorating and fairly uneventful if one discounts the disruptions to our bird watching endeavors as some of the birds were scared away by the shrieks of the cuffed campers who espied beckoning knotholes in some of the trees which had not been properly filled in by camp maintenance. Dinner was pizza (slices cut into squares for obvious reasons) and Hostess Snowballs which were probably a mistake. Six more more campers are slated for “cuffing” in the morning.

Thursday, Aug. 8 – Day Four

We met again in the Sharing Lodge where Dr. Warburton explained to us that women are not merely disposable sex toys composed of firm breasts topped with pert nipples, long lean legs that go on forever, and “an ass that a guy could could get lost in”. She explained that women were human beings worthy of respect and honor and dignity and some other stuff that I wasn’t really paying attention to because I was thinking about the breasts and the nipples and the legs and then when Dr. Warnburton called me out for not paying attention I felt ashamed. This is progress! Feeling that I had to make it up to her after the session, I complimented her on having a pretty nice ass for a seventy year-old woman.

With my mind occupied with the thought of my scheduled genital cuffing tomorrow morning at 7AM I was not able to fully appreciate this evenings Enchilada Frito Pie dinner.

MORE camp news::

Maher: "All Republicans hear when Obama says anything about race is “Kill Whitey!”

Maher moved the conversation to the “white backlash” to the Trayvon Martin verdict, and Bill O’Reilly’s racist tirades from earlier in the week.

Even when they are saying the exact same things, Maher said, they don’t hear each other, because all Republicans hear when Obama says anything about race is “Kill Whitey!”

“They don’t hear what Obama says, because they know what he’s thinking!” Maher said. “They know he’s thinking ‘Kill Whitey!’”

Greenwald: Democratic establishment unmasked: prime defenders of NSA bulk spying

Democratic establishment unmasked: prime defenders of NSA bulk spying. The Obama administration made common cause with the House Republican leadership

One of the worst myths Democratic partisans love to tell themselves - and everyone else - is that the GOP refuses to support President Obama no matter what he does. Like its close cousin - the massively deceitful inside-DC grievance that the two parties refuse to cooperate on anything - it's hard to overstate how false this Democratic myth is. When it comes to foreign policy, war, assassinations, drones, surveillance, secrecy, and civil liberties, President Obama's most stalwart, enthusiastic defenders are often found among the most radical precincts of the Republican Party.

To say that there is a major sea change underway - not just in terms of surveillance policy but broader issues of secrecy, trust in national security institutions, and civil liberties - is to state the obvious. But perhaps the most significant and enduring change will be the erosion of the trite, tired prism of partisan simplicity through which American politics has been understood over the last decade. What one sees in this debate is not Democrat v. Republican or left v. right. One sees authoritarianism v. individualism, fealty to The National Security State v. a belief in the need to constrain and check it, insider Washington loyalty v. outsider independence.

That's why the only defenders of the NSA at this point are the decaying establishment leadership of both political parties whose allegiance is to the sprawling permanent power faction in Washington and the private industry that owns and controls it. They're aligned against long-time liberals, the new breed of small government conservatives, the ACLU and other civil liberties groups, many of their own members, and increasingly the American people, who have grown tired of, and immune to, the relentless fear-mongering.

The sooner the myth of "intractable partisan warfare" is dispelled, the better. The establishment leadership of the two parties collaborate on far more than they fight. That is a basic truth that needs to be understood. As John Boehner joined with Nancy Peolsi, as Eric Cantor whipped support for the Obama White House, as Michele Bachmann and Peter King stood with Steny Hoyer to attack NSA critics as Terrorist-Lovers, yesterday was a significant step toward accomplishing that.


the rest:

In Letter Posted By Wyden: Clapper Admits He Lied to Congress - Re: Phone/Internet Data

.....in the letter posted by Wyden this morning, Clapper admits not only that the NSA collects phone data on millions of Americans, but internet data as well:

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