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liberal N proud

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Member since: Sun Aug 8, 2004, 01:54 PM
Number of posts: 58,938

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Frontier 'enhances service' with new carry-on bag fee

There’s a new front in the battle over space in the overhead bins — and for the hearts and minds of fliers. On Wednesday, Frontier Airlines announced it will begin charging passengers a fee of $25 to $100 for using the overhead bin if they book their tickets anywhere other than the airline’s website.

“Frontier’s most loyal customers have made it very clear that finding overhead bin space for carry-on bags has become unacceptably difficult,” said the airline in a statement. “In response, Frontier will be introducing a charge for carry-on bags for customers buying Basic fares through third party sites.”

Conversely, those who book at FlyFrontier.com will be able to use the overhead bins at no charge, as they always have. How that constitutes a “service enhancement” is unclear. (Bags that fit under the seat will continue to be allowed at no charge, regardless of where tickets are booked.)

“What they’re saying is if you work with us, we’ll work with you,” said Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst with Hudson Crossing. That, he says, should help the airline differentiate itself from other low-cost carriers, such as Spirit and Allegiant, both of which charge for bin-bound carry-on bags regardless of where passengers buy their tickets.


Next they will charge for breathing
Posted by liberal N proud | Wed May 1, 2013, 06:17 PM (2 replies)

The cost of cheap manufacturing (graphic)

As American companies continue to push production overseas, let's be reminded of the cost of that not only in our own high unemployment or under-employment but the cost to those who are producing for the corporate whores.

People and rescuers gather around the collapsed building in Savar, on April 24, 2013

A Bangladeshi firefighter carries an injured garment worker in Savar, on April 24, 2013

People gather in a neighboring under-construction building to watch the rescue operation of the collapsed Rana Plaza building

Take note on this last one, the upper floor is held up with bamboo. If you look carefully, you can see the floor above is the ceiling of the level below with no appearance of support beams anywhere.

Rescue Efforts Halted at Collapsed Bangladesh Building

Caution, there are even more graphic images at the above link.
Posted by liberal N proud | Tue Apr 30, 2013, 07:58 AM (1 replies)

The Coming Revolution in Public Education

Critics say the standardized test-driven reforms pushed by those like Michelle Rhee may actually be harming students.

It's always hard to tell for sure exactly when a revolution starts. Is it when a few discontented people gather in a room to discuss how the ruling regime might be opposed? Is it when first shots are fired? When a critical mass forms and the opposition acquires sufficient weight to have a chance of prevailing? I'm not an expert on revolutions, but even I can see that a new one is taking shape in American K-12 public education.

The dominant regime for the past decade or more has been what is sometimes called accountability-based reform or, by many of its critics, "corporate education reform." The reforms consist of various initiatives aimed at (among other things): improving schools and educational outcomes by using standardized tests to measure what students are learning; holding schools and teachers accountable (through school closures and teacher pay cuts) when their students are "lagging" on those standardized assessments; controlling classroom instruction and increasing the rigor of school curricula by pushing all states to adopt the same challenging standards via a "Common Core;" and using market-like competitive pressures (through the spread of charter schools and educational voucher programs) to provide public schools with incentives to improve.

Fueled in part by growing evidence of the reforms' ill effects and of the reformers' self-interested motives, the counter-movement is rapidly expanding. Here are some reasons why I predict it will continue to gain strength and gradually lead to the undoing of these market-based education reforms.

•It's what history teaches us to expect. In this country, we lurch back and forth between efforts to professionalize and efforts to infantilize public-school teachers, and have been doing so since the beginning of public schools in America. Neither kind of effort accords teachers much respect. Because teachers are chiefly employed by local governments (unlike doctors or lawyers who are typically employed in private enterprise), there has always been a tendency on the part of some groups of people to try to exert greater central control over teachers, not believing them to be professionals who can be left to do their jobs according to their own judgment. When those skeptics hold sway, the "solutions" they impose favor quantitative/metrics-based "accountability," top-down management, limitations on teachers' autonomy, and the substitution of external authority (outside measurers and evaluators) for the expertise of educators themselves. (See William J. Reese's op-ed piece Sunday on the early history of the "testing wars" in America.)

•Education policies based on standardization and uniformity tend to fail. The policy alchemists' notion that a "Common Core" or standardized curriculum, along with standardized tests, are appropriate measures for "fixing" American education is uninformed by an understanding of history and practice. Twenty-five years ago, two of our wisest scholarly analysts of educational reform, Richard Elmore and Milbrey Wallin McLaughlin, observed, based on their study of education reforms over the decades: "Reforms succeed to the degree that they adapt to and capitalize upon variability [from school to school and classroom to classroom]. . . . Policies that aim to reduce variability by reducing teacher discretion not only preclude learning from situational adaptation to policy goals, they also can impede effective teaching." Today's corporate reformers are flying in the face of experience.

Posted by liberal N proud | Fri Apr 26, 2013, 01:13 PM (4 replies)

The Senate Passes Bill to End FAA Furloughs Just in Time to Fly Home

In a marathon session before a weeklong recess, Senators finally found a way to agree on something Thursday night, when they passed a bill to end flight controller furloughs. Thanks to the sequester, the Federal Aviation Administration has to figure out a way to save $637 million before September 30, so cuts must be made. The furloughs kicked in this week, leaving many airports short on air traffic controllers and contributing to thousands of delays. Then there's the safety risk on top of that. Big mess. However, the Senate's new bill would allow the FAA to move the $253 million it needs to avoid furloughs from its $400 million-strong new airport fund to make up the difference.

This is great news for travelers. And would you believe that people are actually saying nice things about the Senate? For once, the do-nothing Congress did something that will actually make everybody's lives better. They failed to do that last week, when a series of much-anticipated gun control measures fizzled following a confusing vote and filibuster. This earned the upper house a week's worth of lambasting. (Jon Stewart did it best.) Of course, the Senate's been irking Americans for a long time, which is part of the reason that the approval rating of Congress plummeted to its lowest level ever a few months ago.


Everyone feels good, but we know the only reason the Senate passed this is so they don't have to wait for their flight out of Washington.
Posted by liberal N proud | Fri Apr 26, 2013, 09:52 AM (7 replies)

Twinkies are coming back

Twinkies to be back on store shelves in July

Stand down Twinkies hoarders, you can start eating your secret stash.

Twinkies will hit store shelves nationally by late July, Michael Cramer, executive vice president of Hostess Brands LLC told NBC News on Thursday. "We expect to be making and selling in July," he said. "Probably the later half of the month before the product hits the stores."

All of the classic Hostess snack brands will return, some making their return in August and September. Hostess Donettes and some of the snack cakes will be among the first to return. And "Twinkies for sure," Cramer said.

Posted by liberal N proud | Thu Apr 25, 2013, 03:08 PM (10 replies)

Bulletproof whiteboards?

Cold Spring Police Chief Phil Jones, left, and Rocori School District Superintendent Scott Staska hold bulletproof white boards in Cold Spring, Minn., on April 22. Rocori schools are among the first in the nation to acquire the kevlar whiteboards which can be flipped quickly to provide some protection for teachers and students in the event of a shooting.


Shooter shows up and starts shooting the place up, so you quickly rip the whiteboard from the wall and shield yourself form the bullets.

We are all about false sense of security, take your shoes and belt off at the airport but don't let your pants fall down, stop selling pressure cookers and don't allow cameras at sporting events, but for god sake don't prevent the shooter from getting assault weapons because that is his inalienable right.

Posted by liberal N proud | Thu Apr 25, 2013, 06:49 AM (9 replies)

Republican senators demand hearings on Boston Marathon

Two Republican senators are demanding congressional hearings to examine whether U.S. intelligence officials could have prevented the attacks on the Boston Marathon.

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., want the Senate Homeland Security Committee to find out if government agencies were able to communicate with each other sufficiently -- and if they didn't, whether properly sharing that information could have alerted authorities to Tamerlan Tsarnaev and possibly saved lives.

"We are requesting that the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hold a hearing as soon as possible to investigate whether our intelligence officials had information that could have prevented these attacks," McCain and Ayotte wrote Wednesday in a letter to Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del, the committee's chairman.
"It does not appear that the money spent or the information sharing environment put into place after 9/11 were useful in apprehending the Tsarnaev brothers, specifically Tamerlan Tsarnaev," the two wrote.

The call for hearings is the latest escalation of an increasingly politicized conversation on Capitol Hill about the bombings that killed three people and injured scores more.


First question: Where were these two in 2001?

Second question (rhetorical): Will McCain ever get over 2008 and stop trying to nail anything he can on Obama?
Posted by liberal N proud | Thu Apr 25, 2013, 06:44 AM (4 replies)

West Texas satellite before and after

Posted by liberal N proud | Sun Apr 21, 2013, 03:15 PM (24 replies)

Boston transit shut down as authorities hunt terror suspects

Source: NBC News

Public transportation in Boston was shut down Friday morning and some neighborhoods and towns were in total lockdown as police searched for the second of two men believed to have been involved in the marathon bombings earlier this week.

The other suspect was shot and killed.

All services on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority were immediately suspended authorities announced and the residents of the city’s western suburbs, including the neighborhoods of Watertown, Allston-Brighton, Cambridge, Belmont and Newton, were asked to remain in their homes.

Read more: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/19/17822687-boston-transit-shut-down-as-authorities-hunt-terror-suspects?lite>1=43001
Posted by liberal N proud | Fri Apr 19, 2013, 06:34 AM (3 replies)

Ariz. bill passed makes cities sell turned-in guns

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona cities and counties would have to sell guns turned in at community buyback events instead of destroying them under a law passed by the Legislature.

The bill doesn't have any effect on guns seized by law enforcement, which already have to be sold to a federally licensed dealer under a law passed last year. But that didn't stop a lengthy debate that veered into the possibility that the gun used to shoot U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords might end up back on the street.

The bill is designed to eliminate a loophole in last year's law that requires police agencies to sell seized guns. Cities, including Tucson, have continued to hold buyback events and destroy the weapons, arguing that because they were voluntarily surrendered, they aren't covered by the law.

The Senate passed House Bill 2455 Tuesday on an 18-12 party-line vote and it now goes to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer for action.

Posted by liberal N proud | Wed Apr 17, 2013, 11:05 AM (5 replies)
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