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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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Glenn Beck reveals serious illnesses that: "quite honestly, has made Me look crazy.”

Glenn Beck reveals serious illnesses
By LUCY MCCALMONT 11/11/14 6:19 AM EST

Conservative media host Glenn Beck disclosed he has been suffering from a serious illness that he says “quite honestly, has made me look crazy.”

“About five years ago … I had begun to have a string of health issues, that quite honestly, has made me look crazy and, quite honestly, I had felt crazy because of them,” Beck told viewers on Monday evening on “The Blaze.”
Story Continued Below

Beck cited health issues such as “vocal cord paralysis” and “strange eyesight problems” that he said he thought initially was “just simply a very painful form of neuropathy.”

“We didn’t know at the time what was causing me to feel as though, out of nowhere, my hands, or feet or arms and legs would feel as if someone had just crushed them, or set them on fire, or pushed broken glass into my feet. I can’t tell you how many nights my wife would sit in the light looking at the bottom of my feet to make sure there really wasn’t any glass in them,” Beck said.

The host said he had not wanted to reveal his health struggles until now due to “personal reasons, business reasons and you name it.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/glenn-beck-illness-sick-112769.html#ixzz3Ilu1UFFO

Low Information Nation

Call This Election What It Was: A Fossil Fuel Coup

Ballot initiatives nationwide prove that the 2014 election marks a turning point, where democratic corruption, climate and clean energy become the galvanizing central issues for the 2016 elections. In many state referenda, citizens voted to overturn Citizens United, and fracking bans were victorious in Ohio, California and even, for the first time ever, in Texas.

While these power brokers have played the political long game masterfully, they have ignored the long-term damages to sustainable world resources, and have invited chaos - both economically and ecologically.

For this reason, instead of rolling over and accepting defeat, we must insist most emphatically that there is no mandate for the new majority in the US Senate to unleash the fossil fuel industry and bring on runaway global warming. The 2014 elections were rigged primarily for the sake of perpetuating the mother of all Wall Street bubbles: the carbon bubble. Scientists tell us that when this mother finally bursts, it will bring humankind to its knees, sink whole island countries, and may eventually cause the death of half or more of the species on the planet and billions of human souls.


It's undeniable that the corporate oligarchy has performed this coup d'état almost flawlessly - pulling off a subterfuge that a few decades ago would have been impossible if not for the illegal and partisan Supreme Court decisions. Tragically, while these power brokers have played the political long game masterfully, they have ignored the long-term damages to sustainable world resources, and have invited chaos - both economically and ecologically.

the rest:

"If insanity is defined as doing same thing over & over+expecting different results-We are there"

The Truth About the Wars

AS a senior commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, I lost 80 soldiers. Despite their sacrifices, and those of thousands more, all we have to show for it are two failed wars. This fact eats at me every day, and Veterans Day is tougher than most.

As veterans, we tell ourselves it was all worth it. The grim butchery of war hovers out of sight and out of mind, an unwelcome guest at the dignified ceremonies. Instead, we talk of devotion to duty and noble sacrifice. We salute the soldiers at Omaha Beach, the sailors at Leyte Gulf, the airmen in the skies over Berlin and the Marines at the Chosin Reservoir, and we’re not wrong to do so. The military thrives on tales of valor. In our volunteer armed forces, such stirring examples keep bringing young men and women through the recruiters’ door. As we used to say in the First Cavalry Division, they want to “live the legend.” In the military, we love our legends.

Here’s a legend that’s going around these days. In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq and toppled a dictator. We botched the follow-through, and a vicious insurgency erupted. Four years later, we surged in fresh troops, adopted improved counterinsurgency tactics and won the war. And then dithering American politicians squandered the gains. It’s a compelling story. But it’s just that — a story.

The surge in Iraq did not “win” anything. It bought time. It allowed us to kill some more bad guys and feel better about ourselves. But in the end, shackled to a corrupt, sectarian government in Baghdad and hobbled by our fellow Americans’ unwillingness to commit to a fight lasting decades, the surge just forestalled today’s stalemate. Like a handful of aspirin gobbled by a fevered patient, the surge cooled the symptoms. But the underlying disease didn’t go away. The remnants of Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Sunni insurgents we battled for more than eight years simply re-emerged this year as the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

The surge legend is soothing, especially for military commanders like me. We can convince ourselves that we did our part, and a few more diplomats or civilian leaders should have done theirs. Similar myths no doubt comforted Americans who fought under the command of Robert E. Lee in the Civil War or William C. Westmoreland in Vietnam. But as a three-star general who spent four years trying to win this thing — and failing — I now know better.

the rest:

Limbaugh threatens to sue DCCC for ‘out of context’ quotes about sexual consent

Limbaugh threatens to sue DCCC for ‘out of context’ quotes about sexual consent

The conservative pundit is threatening to sue the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for a series of fundraising e-mails that suggested Limbaugh was condoning campus rape in comments he made on his widely syndicated program on Sept. 15.

In a letter to the Washington-based organization intended for delivery Monday morning, Limbaugh’s lawyer demanded a retraction and a public apology for the fundraising e-mails. The letter indicated Limbaugh will sue for defamation and business “interference” if his demand isn’t met.


The legal threat is the result of DCCC fundraising appeals sent out in the wake of Limbaugh’s on-air comments about a new policy at Ohio State University that instructs students to get verbal consent before having sex. The DCCC highlighted one particular sentence from his commentary — “How many of you guys . . . have learned that ‘no’ means ‘yes’ if you know how to spot it?” — saying it was tantamount to condoning sexual assault.

Limbaugh says the DCCC took the comment out of context and twisted it in its fundraising appeals. “We love opinions, but this crossed a very bright line,” said Limbaugh’s spokesman, Brian Glicklich, in an interview. “They lied about his words. They quoted something specific and out of context, and it is a lie."


Teacher’s resignation letter: ‘My profession … no longer exists’

Here is one resignation letter from a veteran teacher, Gerald J. Conti, a social studies teacher at Westhill High School in Syracuse, N.Y.:

Mr. Casey Barduhn, Superintendent
Westhill Central School District
400 Walberta Park Road
Syracuse, New York 13219

Dear Mr. Barduhn and Board of Education Members:

It is with the deepest regret that I must retire at the close of this school year, ending my more than twenty-seven years of service at Westhill on June 30, under the provisions of the 2012-15 contract. I assume that I will be eligible for any local or state incentives that may be offered prior to my date of actual retirement and I trust that I may return to the high school at some point as a substitute teacher.

As with Lincoln and Springfield, I have grown from a young to an old man here; my brother died while we were both employed here; my daughter was educated here, and I have been touched by and hope that I have touched hundreds of lives in my time here. I know that I have been fortunate to work with a small core of some of the finest students and educators on the planet.

I came to teaching forty years ago this month and have been lucky enough to work at a small liberal arts college, a major university and this superior secondary school. To me, history has been so very much more than a mere job, it has truly been my life, always driving my travel, guiding all of my reading and even dictating my television and movie viewing. Rarely have I engaged in any of these activities without an eye to my classroom and what I might employ in a lesson, a lecture or a presentation. With regard to my profession, I have truly attempted to live John Dewey’s famous quotation (now likely cliché with me, I’ve used it so very often) that “Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.” This type of total immersion is what I have always referred to as teaching “heavy,” working hard, spending time, researching, attending to details and never feeling satisfied that I knew enough on any topic. I now find that this approach to my profession is not only devalued, but denigrated and perhaps, in some quarters despised. STEM rules the day and “data driven” education seeks only conformity, standardization, testing and a zombie-like adherence to the shallow and generic Common Core, along with a lockstep of oversimplified so-called Essential Learnings. Creativity, academic freedom, teacher autonomy, experimentation and innovation are being stifled in a misguided effort to fix what is not broken in our system of public education and particularly not at Westhill.

A long train of failures has brought us to this unfortunate pass. In their pursuit of Federal tax dollars, our legislators have failed us by selling children out to private industries such as Pearson Education. The New York State United Teachers union has let down its membership by failing to mount a much more effective and vigorous campaign against this same costly and dangerous debacle. Finally, it is with sad reluctance that I say our own administration has been both uncommunicative and unresponsive to the concerns and needs of our staff and students by establishing testing and evaluation systems that are Byzantine at best and at worst, draconian. This situation has been exacerbated by other actions of the administration, in either refusing to call open forum meetings to discuss these pressing issues, or by so constraining the time limits of such meetings that little more than a conveying of information could take place. This lack of leadership at every level has only served to produce confusion, a loss of confidence and a dramatic and rapid decaying of morale. The repercussions of these ill-conceived policies will be telling and shall resound to the detriment of education for years to come. The analogy that this process is like building the airplane while we are flying would strike terror in the heart of anyone should it be applied to an actual airplane flight, a medical procedure, or even a home repair. Why should it be acceptable in our careers and in the education of our children?

My profession is being demeaned by a pervasive atmosphere of distrust, dictating that teachers cannot be permitted to develop and administer their own quizzes and tests (now titled as generic “assessments”) or grade their own students’ examinations. The development of plans, choice of lessons and the materials to be employed are increasingly expected to be common to all teachers in a given subject. This approach not only strangles creativity, it smothers the development of critical thinking in our students and assumes a one-size-fits-all mentality more appropriate to the assembly line than to the classroom. Teacher planning time has also now been so greatly eroded by a constant need to “prove up” our worth to the tyranny of APPR (through the submission of plans, materials and “artifacts” from our teaching) that there is little time for us to carefully critique student work, engage in informal intellectual discussions with our students and colleagues, or conduct research and seek personal improvement through independent study. We have become increasingly evaluation and not knowledge driven. Process has become our most important product, to twist a phrase from corporate America, which seems doubly appropriate to this case.

After writing all of this I realize that I am not leaving my profession, in truth, it has left me. It no longer exists. I feel as though I have played some game halfway through its fourth quarter, a timeout has been called, my teammates’ hands have all been tied, the goal posts moved, all previously scored points and honors expunged and all of the rules altered.

For the last decade or so, I have had two signs hanging above the blackboard at the front of my classroom, they read, “Words Matter” and “Ideas Matter”. While I still believe these simple statements to be true, I don’t feel that those currently driving public education have any inkling of what they mean.

Sincerely and with regret,

Gerald J. Conti
Social Studies Department Leader
Cc: Doreen Bronchetti, Lee Roscoe
My little Zu.


How aliens view earthlings

An alien aircraft has been discovered hovering over the earth. We’ve been able to intercept their communications back to their mother planet. Through complex mega-computers we’ve been able to translate their language. Turns out it’s very similar to Yiddish. The following is a recent communique detailing their impressions of us earthlings:

We recently have been able to access something called the internet. It is a shared data service that can only be accessed by fruit. We don’t know how they tap into these pieces of edible spheres but specifically humans utilize apples for this purpose.


All forms of information are available on things called websites. Based on volume of traffic we conclude the primary interest among all humans is pornography. In a country called the United States there seems to be a large allegiance to Fox News. Those same humans switch back and forth between Fox News and pornography.


Here’s what we’ve concluded: Nobody works. Everybody is on vacation all the time. Everybody looks very flattering. No one’s hair is ever mussed. Everyone smiles all the time. They all seem to derive their life force not from water but from cocktails. Everyone is holding a cocktail in a strange container shaped like a funnel attached to a thin stem. Everyone has an obsession with small animals that are pleasing to the eye. The Fox News faithful share articles criticizing the United States leader.


To sum up: We find earth a most inviting planet. We would like to remain here, even land and go on vacations and participate in pornography ourselves. Currency appears mandatory to survive on earth, and of course we have none. But we have come up with a solution. We have started something called a Kickstarter campaign. So far, in three days we’ve raised fifty-thousand dollars, all from Fox News faithful who would like us to take control of their government.

the rest:

Net Neutrality - This statement by POTUS is pretty good.

More than any other invention of our time, the Internet has unlocked possibilities we could just barely imagine a generation ago. And here's a big reason we've seen such incredible growth and innovation: Most Internet providers have treated Internet traffic equally. That's a principle known as "net neutrality" — and it says that an entrepreneur's fledgling company should have the same chance to succeed as established corporations, and that access to a high school student's blog shouldn't be unfairly slowed down to make way for advertisers with more money.

That's what President Obama believes, and what he means when he says there should be no gatekeepers between you and your favorite online sites and services.

And as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) considers new rules for how to safeguard competition and user choice, we cannot take that principle of net neutrality for granted. Ensuring a free and open Internet is the only way we can preserve the Internet's power to connect our world. That's why the President has laid out a plan to do it, and is asking the FCC to implement it.

Watch President Obama explain his plan, then read his statement and forward it on.



Midterm mayhem - by Tom Tomorrow


Lowest Midterm Election Turnout Since World War II

Morning Line: “Final numbers are still being tallied, but at this point it looks pretty clear that turnout in these midterms was the lowest overall in 70 years. Turnout of the voting-eligible population was just 36.4 percent, according to the projection from the United States Elections Project, run by Dr. Michael McDonald at the University of Florida. That’s down from the 41 percent that turned out in 2010. You have to go all the way back to 1942 for lower numbers when turnout in that midterm was just 33.9 percent. They had a pretty good excuse back then — many adult-age Americans were preoccupied with fighting in a world war.”
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