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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 38,262

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What would our government do if Syria killed over a thousand civilians with white phosphorus or

depleted uranium?

Or just plain cluster bombs or helicopter gunships shooting at reporters and kids?

How about if he just killed a million people in a country on the other side of the world instead of a few thousand in his own country?

Would we still be figuring out "military options" to end his atrocities?

WHITE HOUSE PETITION: fully pardon Bradley Manning

There probably are and will be more of these various places, but posting one on the White House website makes it harder for them to say haven't seen it, and for others who stumble across it on their site, it will be like a scarlet letter.

Who knows, it might even force Obama to act.

Sign at the link:


Pardon Bradley Manning and reduce his sentence to time served.

His 35 year sentence is greater than that given to uniformed members of the military who tortured or massacred civilians, and typically got ten years and served far less.

Bush admin lied about their case for war led to the deaths of thousand of troops and a million Iraqis but weren't even tried.

A prosecution witness in the Manning trial said NO deaths resulted from his leaks.

Manning's leaks exposed war crimes and helped spark the Arab Spring democracy movement.

The only "damage" he did was to the ability of our government to lie to our people about the means and motives of our foreign policy.

Clean up the corruption and moral squalor in corridors of power in Washington instead of punishing the person who exposed it.


What would you like to see Wikileaks, Snowden, Anonymous or others leak most?

This is inspired by Robert Parry's piece that the Bradley Manning leaks may have prevented a war with Iran.

Way up on my list is the part of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 that Bush censored that deal with the Saudi government role in 9/11.

Sen. Bob Graham, chair of the Senate Intel Committee at the time of 9/11 said if the public saw those pages, it would change our relationship with Saudi overnight.

He and former Sen. Bob Kerrey are pursuing evidence of Saudi involvement on their own, presumably to find independent evidence that they can present without revealing what they know from classified sources.

I would also like to see the emails between Wall Street and both the Bush and Obama White Houses during and after the 2008 collapse, so we can see exactly who was calling the shots, and what they expected to get out of it.

And I would like to see the real arguments for the Iraq War and which players in the business world were lobbying for that (so we can possibly present them with a bill for our services).

Any others?

Should DU have a GOSSIP and personal attack about public figures forum?

Given the MANY personal attack posts about Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, and in the past other progressives that annoy Republicans and corporate Democrats' masters, as well as the largely irrelevant self-inflicted wounds of pols like Anthony "Look at My" Wiener, should DU have a gossip and personal attack forum?

That would mean locking or deleting such threads in other forums, and telling the poster to take it to its assigned dungeon.

I think there should still be room in General Discussion and the other big forums for issues of hypocrisy like which pols talk a good game while taking money from corporations, back the drug war after (or while) partaking themselves, or the gay-bashers who are closet gays.

And we could make the Gossip forum just for those to the left of Olympia Snowe (though that would not be my choice).

Locking this crap and redirecting it to a Gossip dungeon would clear out a lot of the trash talk and acrimony and recenter DU on actual issues instead making us sound only half an IQ point above the talking heads on TV.

And it would help our corporate friends here to sell their case based on the merits of their arguments on ISSUES rather than by defaming people they don't agree with.

What do you think?
What do

RAVITCH: Why don't corporate ed reformers want public schools to be like best private ones?

What's odd here is that the corporate ed reformers claim that most parents don't want the kind of education for their kids that the president, education secretary, and very wealthy get for their kids.

Why don't they just say that every time they announce these policies: "I want to make money giving your kids an education I would NEVER accept for my own."

At the very least, I wish someone would ask the best private schools in their community how often they do standardized testing.

What’s Not to Like About Exeter? Sidwell? Lakeside? Dalton?
by dianerav
The folks at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute are struggling to come to terms with the New York testing disaster. They certainly will not retreat from their deep faith in standardized testing, and they insist that there must be more parent choice, even though parents are sick of the excessive testing and most continue to choose their neighborhood school, if they still have one.

This is my favorite line:

"Reform critics like Diane Ravitch often question why we don’t push reforms that would create a “Sidwell Friends” for every student. Putting aside where we would find the extra $1.6 trillion it would take to make that possible, there is a simpler answer: some of us don’t want Sidwell Friends. And just because some believe the elite culture of the top 1 percent is what’s best for all children, doesn’t mean all parents share that belief."

I can't say where that $1.6 trillion number comes from. I went to ordinary public schools that did not face annual budget crisis, that did not squander millions on standardized testing, that provided arts programming and daily physical education and foreign languages, that did not fire teachers if students got low test scores. But people who did not go to ordinary public schools may not know that.

What I want to challenge here is the assertion that "some of us don't want" what the best private schools have to offer.

Who wouldn't want what Sidwell offers? Or Exeter? Or Lakeside Academy in Seattle?

Who wouldn't want classes of 12-15 instead of 35-40?

Who wouldn't want a beautiful campus?

Who wouldn't want experienced, respected teachers?

Who wouldn't want a rich curriculum with science labs, history projects, drama and music, and lots of sports every day?

Who wouldn't want to go to a school that never gave standardized tests and didn't judge teachers by students test scores?

Maybe there are such people. I have never met them. Maybe they work at Fordham or the Gates Foundation, but I doubt it.

dianerav | August 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Categories: Class size, Curriculum, Parents, Standardized Testing, Teachers and Teaching | URL: http://wp.me/p2odLa-5wl

PIC: BREAKING BAD + Goldman Sachs =

NSA launches lip reading drones in United States

New leaks reveal for the first time that the NSA is using drones to spy on in person conversations within the United States. Predator drones are taping all conversation outdoors and many indoors observable through windows not blocked by drapes or blinds.

An unnamed high-ranking official in the Obama administration said average Americans should not be concerned about their privacy being invaded.

“We’re just collecting meta-data,” the official said, adding, “like who is talking to who, where, and when, and the general tone of the conversation, you know, whether it’s friendly, business-like, or furtive. We’re certainly not recording the content of the conversations.”

Critics of the program have disputed this, noting that the NSA has advertised in many deaf publications for lip readers to serve as analysts....


MICHELLE MALKIN calls out cronyism and corruption of education reformers

When a high profile conservative pundit like Michelle Malkin starts describing education reform as "phony academic standards, crony contracts, and big-government and big-business collusion masquerading as 'reform,'" that shows how broad the opposition to the corporate take over of public schools is.

It goes without saying that I don't agree with everything she says, but apart from her digs at teachers and calling these policies "progessive" at one point, she mostly gets it right.

Nothing will stop politicians from pushing this corrupt, failed policy as long as they get their checks from those who will profit from it, but if the uproar against it gets big enough, INVESTORS might realize that these companies are a losing bet and pull the plug on them faster than you can say "mortgage-backed derivatives."

Or at least let's hope so.

The resignation of Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett couldn't have come at a better time. His disgraceful grade-fixing scandal is the perfect symbol of all that's wrong with the federal education schemes peddled by Bennett and his mentor, former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush: phony academic standards, crony contracts, big-government and big-business collusion masquerading as "reform."

Bennett stepped down Thursday after the Associated Press reported that he had meddled with charter school accountability ratings in Indiana last fall while serving as that state's schools superintendent. The beneficiary of his intervention? Big GOP donor and charter school operator Christel DeHaan, who has forked over nearly $3 million to Republicans (including $130,000 to Bennett).


t turns out that Bennett's wife was hired by an outfit called Charter Schools USA to serve as a regional director in Florida. The group just happens to be the same one Bennett contracted with to operate schools in Indianapolis that the state had taken over. The Indianapolis Star reported: "Tina Bennett is now earning a paycheck from the company her husband handpicked to take over schools in Indiana, a decision that was very good for the company's financial fortunes." Like the Church Lady said: How conveeeenient!


These good ol' boys bonded over their zeal for the top-down racket known as Common Core. As I've reported previously, this Fed Ed program is supported by both big-business interests (Microsoft founder Bill Gates and News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch's education arm) and government educrats. Progressive activists in both parties have worked on nationalized standards, tests and curriculum for decades under previous names: outcome-based education, national school-to-work, Goals 2000 and No Child Left Behind, for example. Obama administration bribery through "Race to the Top" greased the wheels for adoption of the Common Core program by cash-strapped states, many of which had more rigorous standards than the fed-imposed system.


TOON: giving Larry Summers the keys to the economy...

RAVITCH: Philly School District may sue banks and Wall Street for fraud losses

At least Wall Street didn't steal money from public schools...oh wait, they did.

Is there anything these guys can do that would put them in jail or at least out of business?

Investigative journalist Daniel Denvir reports that the Philadelphia school district may sue banks and Wall Street firms that sold defective financial instruments to the school district, causing massive losses.

Denvir writes:

"Philadelphia and other cities have filed similar lawsuits, contending that such "interest-rate swaps" — billed as a protection against rising borrowing costs — were tilted in banks' favor through the fraudulent rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor.

"The School District took out swaps with Wachovia (purchased by Wells Fargo in 2008), Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. But a lawsuit could name more banks as defendants. Philadelphia's lawsuit names banks that were direct counterparties and also those that are accused of rigging Libor, including Citi, JPMorgan, RBC, Bank of America, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, RBS and UBS."

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