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Blog Directory Del's Perspective: 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oklahoma's Rock'n Roll Song As Decreed by the Lawmakers

The Neanderthals at the capitol building in Oklahoma City spent untold hours studying for the honor its citizens the State Rock'n Roll song. The lawmakers just couldn't help themselves, they just had to pick what Time Magazine called the most depressing song ever. What a tune! What a sound! Not quite up there with Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" but the ditty is truly a downer.

Drum Roll please. Yes, let's hear it for the Flaming Lips and their truly sad song "Do You Realize"
Here are the lyrics, you decide.

Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face
Do You Realize - we're floating in space -
Do You Realize - that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round

Do You Realize - Oh - Oh - Oh
Do You Realize - that everyone you know
Someday will die -

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round

Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face
Do You Realize

So, why the carping?
They could have picked a number of great rock songs from the Tulsa Sound era. They could have found something that would put the state in a positive image, instead we get another round of depression.

Modern Day Salem Witchhunt: Scapegoating the Auto Industry

Treasury Sec. Geithner announced yesterday that, yes, we will probably need to push more money into the banking industry. At the same time the Prez announced that he wouldn't give the auto industry anymore $$$ without huge changes; he basically took these CEOs to the public whipping post and meted out punishment after he humiliated them via the airwaves. The clarion call echoing nation-wide is "Let Them Go Bankrupt".

I don't get it, and I don't think the average citizen gets it, either. This govt gave the industry a whopping $18 billion and is miffed that the magic wand of capitalism isn't bringing about sky-rocketing auto sales. And, because of the paucity of sales, the Prez and Congress have had a field day beating up on them.

The banking industry, on the other hand, which hasn't done a thing has been given the royal treatment. Many have been invited to the White House or to special functions by members of Congress for a red carpet-back slapping- good ol' time. Remember these are the same g/gals who got us into this mess and, guess what, no one in leadership wants these CEOs fined, prosecuted, removed, or even verbally criticized.

Oh, lest we forget, the banking industry has been handed $1 trillion U.S. dollars (and getting more). The auto industry at least created jobs and our beloved cars.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The 77% Woman

You won't read this in the Wall Street Journal or any other rag, but the above title is correct. It is also sad and sobering. Save for government related jobs women still earn 77% of her male colleague in blue to white collar jobs and this is 2009 not 1909. Disgusting isn't it?

Just think what would happen if the women of this nation finally put their power into a mass political surge to put an end to it all.
Ssh! Here's the big unknown that just shouldn't ( ok, maybe it truly should) get out into the marketplace of ideas. If only women knew that they currently they hold 51% of the vote; 51% of the population; and, 53% ownership on corporate stock on Wall Street. If they only knew...oh my, you go girls!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Economic Ignorance: Don't blame the kids

Walk into any high school and you'll probably see a slogan that just so full of optimism that your hair will stand up on your arms in excitment. It reads something like this: " We're Here For the Kids". If only it were true. So many words, so meaningless. There are reasons for the facade put forth by education leaders, but let me give you a simple example.

Ask the next high -schooler you see the following:
1. What is the function of the Federal Reserve System?

2. What is a blue chip stock?

3. What is meant by the term "federal deficit"?
4. What is meant by the term "fiscal policy"?

If the responses are "I don't know", please don't nod your head in agreement with so many other adults who just think our children are below stupid on the intelligence scale. They aren't!

Let's go back to that school slogan about being there for the kids. How can our school look at us with a straight face and say they are there for them when they make no effort to prepare these kids with economic knowledge? Let me take it a step further: school districts pulled courses such as economics and civics out of the curriculum in an effort to save money. In place of those courses they designed a course called "social studies" a sort of snake oil of the social sciences; a sort of dumbed-down version of history.

After thiry four years as a teacher of government and economics I couldn't define the term "social studies" because it is just too nebulous.

Schools....not there for the kids.

While your at it try asking a college graduate the following:
1. What's the function of A.I.G.?
2. What's a hedge fund?
3. What is a "credit default swap"?

He/she probably won't have a clue. So how dare any of us point a finger at those who took out mortages they didn't understand and criticize them anymore than we would those brilliant lawyers/doctors who bought the crap Madoff sold them

Friday, March 27, 2009

No Sunset for the Patriot Act

I have been in Prez Obama's camp since his Democratic nomination. His ideas/ideals have been refreshing and sorely needed. Now comes the bad news. The infamous Patriot Act introduced under the previous administration was set to expire this year. In political circles this is known as "sunset". Now, however, it appears that Mr. Obama just can't seem to let it die.
A quick review of the law should scare anyone. It allows for the arrest and detaining of a "suspect" without habeas corpus for just about anything authorities may deem a "terrorist act". Check out too many books on radical Islamic Faith and risk having the librarian report you to the F.B.I., no, it's not because she's a mean busybody, it's because the law requires such notification ; your buddy sends a $500 check to his friend Ibn in Niarobi which immediately draws the attention of the Dept. of Homeland Security and his possible arrest. This law allows for the searching of our phones, computers, and just about anything that might be considered "suspect". Which could lead to arrests with out right to legal counsel indefinitely.

Every civil rights organization under the sun has come down hard in opposition to the act, but their pleadings have fallen on death ears.

Pardon my naivete, I looked to Mr. Obama to change this capricious law with an executive order the first day he walked into the White House. It didn't happen. Later, I waited for him to ask Congress to deny reauthorization of the bill this year. It didn't happen, either.

Obama's position on this issue begs for logic only to find none. Yep, it's all about politics. In this sense one could think of the Executive Branch as a sponge soaking up yet more power that it doesn't want to release. Think Lord Acton and you get a better picture: "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely".

Benjamin Franklin got it right when he said: "Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve either".

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Goodbye to a National Icon

John Hope Franklin was a legend. Save for the Neo-Nazis, I cannot think of an American who is not indebted to him. How is that? In great measure, it was his research that helped Thurgood Marshall achieve victory over segregation in the famous BROWN v. TOPEKA SCHOOL BOARD, wherein the very conservative U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 to outlaw discrimination in public schools. Had Mr. Franklin not been in the throes of disgust over Jim Crow Laws one could pretty much guess that Marshall wouldn't have had the ammunition to win over the court and the Supremes would have sent Brown packing just like they had done previously in the famous Plessy v. Ferguson Case of 1898.

Mr. Franklin, you were one hell of a man.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Common Worker Takes a Hit .....Again

The Prez's plan to give back $400 to the common worker is taking a hit by the Rebubs. To me it is obvious, because: 1) $400 couldn't really help anyone and it's almost nonsensical; but, 2) the repubs want to put a stop to it.

Just totally forgetting #1 because it is too little too late, is one thing. But #2 is, well, what could we expect from the Repubs. Are they kidding? They have so little concern for the common guy/gal at the workplace that they just can't wait to "serve it up to the big business" that they want to erase the $400 stimulus monies from the "little" guy and dedicate all the monies to business. Yep, another episode of screwing the little guy.
It's just another example of Corporatocracy.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Home Schooling: Child Abuse , Criminality , and Knowledge

How does your state deal with home schooling? Hopefully you have checked into it just to make sure things are on the up and up.
Here in the Sooner State our leaders are so convinced that our citizens are so bright, intellectual, and enamored with the love of learning that they allow home- schoolers and their parents to go totally unregulated and unrestricted.
Think of the thousands of Oklahoma children who elect to be "home schooled" because:
1. They hate the teacher or the school;
2. They hate algebra or science, some class;
3. They have been suspended and just say "to hell with it, I'll just be home schooled";
4. Maybe mom or dad need them to babysit.

My point is obvious: there is plenty of room for abuse in this new societal approach to academia.

The religious zealots say they pull their child out of the schools due to the social environment only to later demand that their child be allowed to be a cheerleader, on the ball team, or serve on the debate team. Many of these parents demand to enroll their child in driver's education in order to skirt the cost of private training.

Are there legitimate reasons for home schooling? Absolutely. My fear, however, is that one day we will read of something horrible or dreadful as a result of this new method of scholastic achievement.

Lastly, just because someone has an education it doesn't mean that h/she could inculcate a lesson correctly or appropriately.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tort Reform #1 on Republican Agenda, #1 Joke

The Republican Party has trotted out its major issue and of course it zeros in on the almighty dollar, and more huge profits for the insurance industry. The industry is serving up its new and improved version of "tort reform" wherein the Party acting as a shrill for the industry paints all lawyers as evil and that the number of frivolous lawsuits is astronomical thereby crippling the industry.
The reality is anything but what the industry says it is. For example, State Farm Insurance Co. acknowledged to the state of Kansas that, "We believe the effect of tort reform on our book of business would be small." The lie regarding frivolous lawsuits is further debunked in the New England Journal of Medicine which reported that only 2% of people injured by a physician's negligence ever file a lawsuit.
Tort Reform would deny the injured the right to select h/her own doctor, insurance companies would make that decision. It would deny the right to hire a lawyer if injustice has occurred. But more importantly, it would deny the injured the right to have a judge or jury examine the seriousness of the case and the extent of the damages.
If you think "Tort Reform" is really necessary and that the insurance companies are just barely holding on, you might want to view the Consumer Federation of America study profitability of the insurance industry that showed a profit of $157,000,000,000 (that's billion) over the last 3 years.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A..I.G. Bonuses: What a Bunch of Bull

To hear it from the august body of Congress, we now must suffer from the complete anger of its members . What a great day, can't you see it? Ranting, raving about how untoward it is for A.I.G. to send out bonuses albeit the fact that they are miniscule in relation to the bailout (1%).

What a microphone day these Congressional g/gals must be having! Can't you see it: raising hell over nothing but getting credit for being a vanguard of the public trust. (Where have they been?)
Everyone connected to this episode knew that the Feds and the Treasury Dept. gave complete and total information regarding this (not so important) story months ago.
But, hey, it fills up the giant T.V.s and gives us a reason to flip-off a commentator to vent our anger. But, it's a no story made huge.
How about reporting on the unemployed, the failings of Iceland, or Darfur? Much like the Octo-Mom, whom I ditched weeks ago, I am pretty much tired of listening to this non-event.

The Holy See Has Smashed Its Moral Compass

What I know about the inner workings of the Catholic Church could fill a gnat's naval. I do have a great admiration for the work of its missionaries, hospitals, and educators. But I do know when Papal Bull is just so much bull. Pope
Benedict XVI said, " You can't resolve the Aids epidemic with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem". The Pope has a moral obligation not to invite death to anyone's house. He did just that with two sentences.
The scene was simple: he was flying into the continent of Africa. A giant place with a giant problem. HIV/Aids is racking most of the Third World Nations there with so much pain and death that most of the 53 countries within the continent that they can not contain or stabilize it. So what does the Pope do? Instead of just going to Cameroon and expressing his love for the people and exemplifying compassion, his Holiness pulled the pin on a social bomb that will explode into even more pain and death.
The Universal Leader has unleashed an internecine madness that even his own spin doctors will not know how to control.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Teachers: Just Shut the Hell Up!

Before you discount this as another "poor teachers, always whining" scenario, hear me out. The far right legislature in the far right state of Oklahoma has a pending bill that would disallow teacher associations from bargaining for terms and agreements on teacher contracts. Before you blow that off as "So what?", it would be important to remember that the Republican Party has for years tried to muffle the voice of teachers and their associations. Let's try their first strategy: always refer to teacher associations as a "Union", as if it is a pejorative. But let's take it to a higher level, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity belong to the National Broadcasters Association, would anyone suggest that they don't belong to a union. In other words they have they right to associate, but teachers do not. How about lawyers or doctors? Aren't they members of a union? But hey, the repubs feel they must cast teachers as a bunch of blue-collar workers who listen to some guru, such as Jimmy Hoffa. What a bunch of B.S.
So, you're saying: "What the hell does this have to do with me or my state?" Simple answer: if the radical spin doctors can influence Okla. they damned sure can influence the negative attitude about teachers in your neck of the world. If they can be successful in shutting the voices of teachers, then what about citizens , who are unassociated and who want to bring forth change?
Will this bill, a total violation of the 1st Amendment, make it through the totally dominate Repub. legislature in Oklahoma? Who knows.
The question is: Will it come to a state near you? I am betting yes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Begrudging Fairness to A.I.G. Bonuses

The gravamen on the latest A.I.G. flap is a little irritating in that: 1. the Fed and the Treasury have known about the new round of bonuses going to employees in London for months. To come out now and make the officers of A.I.G. look like greedy pigs just doesn't have the smell of something untoward; and, 2. lawyers for the Fed and the Treasury Department approved these bonuses based on the rule of law and not on the will to plunge the public knife of hate into the deeply troubled insurance behemoth.
Money is of course money but having a tizzy fit over the bonus money that equals a mere 1% of the bail out is hardly criminal. The manner in which the latest rounds of bonuses was announced to the press was out of bounds and below the belt.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hey! Let's Beat Up on the Kids

Check out State Budget Shortfalls on K-12 Education Spending and Job Loss. Geez, wouldn't you know it, right off the bat the destruction will be around 9% loss on common ed. spending.
Ok, let's use really big numbers here for emphasis: $54,000,000,000. Sadly the stimulus package won't help shortfalls in local spending.
This country ought to be ashamed of it lack of effort or concern for it's citizenry and it's future. Every S.O.B. elected leader has h/her hand out for the stimulus money, but as usual the kids get the punch in the mouth both now and, oh, yes, later when the bill comes due to pay for this mess over Wall Street.
Of course the teachers get kicked in the ass over this crap too, yet they will be expected to shoulder the load and suffer from the "come on do it for the kids" even though their health insurance soars, their retirement stands in jeopardy, and their principal has one thing on his/her mind: Test Scores.

But, hey, lets screw with those who can't speak for themselves. Isn't that the American way?

Wrong road to win in Afghanistan

A slow walk through history would tell just about any one that the continuing a surge in Afghanistan is, how should I put this? A big mistake.

I won't bore you with the history but in the short-cut version the Brits called it the "graveyard of empires". Alexander the Great had more problems there than he would admit while his army was there. The mighty Russians got their asses kicked until the sophomoric U.S. Representative, Charlie Wilson (Texas) found the means, however secretive, to get shoulder-rocket-launchers to the Afghani fighters. After 10 brutal years the Russians pulled up, retreated, and left the place admitting that too many Russian helicopters were falling out of the sky. Remember they were the "Super Power".
So what are we doing there? Adding another 36,000 troops, spending (choke) another $2 Billion a month, and for what?
If Bush/Cheney were pulling this we would be outraged, in fact, how is it any different?
I ask: "What is so important there that we must risk/kill another young soldier, marine, or airman for that place (Ok, apologies to the Navy Seals). Please show me/us the world what is so damned valuable that we must necessitate an even more brutal war than in Iraq.
This is from a former Marine.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

John Wayne, Billy the Kid, and Professors at the Ok Corral

Wonderful Oklahoma, so far to the right you couldn't locate it with flashlight. The only state that went totally red in the last Prez election. A state so steeped in conservatism that 1/4 of its children go to bed hungry every night, their parents have no health insurance, and 80% of the population still believe that Iraq was involved with the terrorist attack of 9/11.
Given the above info, it shouldn't come as a surprise to learn the the state legislature just turned down a bill which would have given professors the right to carry concealed weapons on campus. Whew! It died in committee. But wait, this was the second time this bill was introduced, and with lots of fanfare. Surely you can see why this bill got lots of play at every deeply red bar or reddish church social, after all this state invented "God, Guns, and Gay bashing".
One would think that our state legislature would be trying to do something with our prisons (# 1 in the nation for incarcerated women and #4 for men). How about focusing on our roads and bridges ( #1 worst in the nation)? Education? 48th in the nation for teacher pay and 47th in student expenditures.
Of course we would be asking too much for our legislators because last year they concentrated huge blocks of time on selecting/naming the State Rock & Roll Song and brought tearful debates on naming the state fruit.
Ignorance be not proud, for we have next year to reintroduce a handgun for professors and "intoxicated" students. Three times is a charm. Bang! Band!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hubris Sans Dignity

I "get it" when a leader, mayor, governor, etc stands by h/her political or economic philosophy. I find it refreshing that anyone in a leadership role would reason that they were elected to make decisions based on their intellectual skills and that they would stay the course on what brought them their initial success in the first place.

Governor Mark Sanford, however, goes beyond the pale when he refuses to help the people of S. Carolina. How he could look into a camera and proudly proclaim that his state can and will withstand the massive unemployment, the huge turn down of private donations in the Palmetto State? Ok, Ok, his hubris at that point was acceptable; sort of a "keep a stiff upper lip" response. But he irritated the hell out of me when he declared that he would only take stimulus monies to "pay down the state debt".
The whole concept of the stimulus package is to create more shovel-ready jobs, not to shove the money into banks or pay off debts that stimulate nothing. Sanford knows this yet he refuses to help his hurting populace. He knows full well that United Way has exhausted its funds and that the food stores for the needy are bare but he refuses to help.
When supposed leadership hurts rather than helps, when it becomes more Machiavellian than compassionate one could deduce a change must result.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stimulus Package: Where's Ross Perot When We Surely Need Him?

Where's Ross Perot we need him? No, I am not talking about leading the country, although I do think he would be a great source of knowledge in these troubled times. I am talking about his ability to get up close and personal with his flip charts. Who could forget his visual effects during the 1992 presidential campaign? Whether we want to admit it or not he did inculcate a lot of difficult information with those big charts and keen pointers.

Every one is in a tizzy over the stimulus package and the bail out of banks. The information is so esoteric that the average citizen doesn't gasp the rationale for the continued loaning to A.I.G. and Citibank, for example. For that matter, many well educated people "get it" but continue to berate the Obama plan for no other reason than to follow the party line.
One huge reason why we must continue to bail out the big boys falls to a concept known as "credit default swap". This is a very complicated bank-to-bank scheme wherein world banks pay off a monthly type of insurance plan (this plan that must be paid monthly for fear of a run on the banks). In other words, A.I.G. and Citibank are wrapped up in a world web from which they cannot be extracted.

So, why bring in Ross Perot? Well, maybe not him physically, but someone who could graphically explain the whole process to us in order to bring credibility back to Wall Street. Yes, we need a Perot type person who is not connected to the financial barons who could flip chart us into some modicum of sanity.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Say No to Merit Pay for Teachers

Here comes the cure-all for ills suffered under the huge umbrella called education. It's posted everywhere, it's ubiquitous, it's the answer... it's Merit Pay for Teachers. Don't buy this snake oil. At least have a conversation with a teacher before you believe the hype coming out of school superintendent offices nationwide.

First the old chestnut is thrown out on the public square to get our pulse rate up: "Throwing more money at the problem won't solve the problem". The truth of the matter is that we haven't put enough money in education for decades, save for the huge amount that is spend out of the general fund for special education (about 25%). The last huge influx of dollars into common education occurred in the 60s during the race to space. The results were unbelievable and positive.

Second, the anti-ed crowd will shout to the heavens that we need to get rid of bad teachers. I agree, but the average citizen would be stunned at the low percentage of teachers who are doing an unacceptable job. More often than not, educators are placed in positions of which they have little or no skills or training. One simple example could be a beginning teacher who, in need of a job, will be placed in a classroom for special needs children. This teacher may not have a clue as to how to write an appropriate lesson plan for these children. Sadly, these teachers are left to figure out what to do with little or no assistance from h/her fellow teachers or administrators. A really excellent biology teacher may be assigned to teach physics, a subject h/she may not have the skills to teach. It certainly doesn't suggest that this teacher is a bad educator.
As unbelievable as it may sound, a school principal may have a conflict with a teacher over politics, religion, or even sports with (I am not kidding here) the principal looking for ways to "write up" that teacher with a "needs to improve" evaluation. Is this an exaggeration? Absolutely not!

Third, merit pay should be based on the tests performance by their students. The inherent unfairness in this concept is almost too difficult to explain because there are too many scenarios to explain. For example, Mrs. X teaches Honors English while Mr. Z teaches 10th grade English. It doesn't take an I.Q. over the temperature of table water to determine that Mrs. X's students will perform well above Mr Z's students.
What about Ms. Bell and her art class? There isn't a statewide/nationwide test over art. or for that matter physical education, or government, music, etc. Is it fair that Ms. Bell would be denied a pay increase while Mrs. X will probably enjoy a hefty bonus? What about the school librarian or the school nurse?
Speaking of tests, more Americans don't know that the tests never compares , for example, sophomores to sophomores of a given class, region, state, or the nation. Instead, it compares the current a sophomore class to the previous year's aggregate sophomore group.

Lastly, there remains the group who calls for the Arkansas Model for Merit Pay. It is even more bothersome than merit pay on its face. This model calls for a bonus to all of the employees (cooks, janitors, secretaries, and teachers) of a school when that school raises tests scores to a specific level. The idiocy of this plan is to suggests that the secretary or custodian worked as hard as the history teacher to raise the actual scores. Did the football coach truly deserve the same merit pay as the biology teacher who is stressed to the max to improve tests scores.

My real point is that a true conversation is needed the between concerned citizens and the educators. Have you ever noticed that when it comes to complex issues such as this one the principal/administrator is paraded out to "speak for the school" in an effort to muffle the voices of those who are truly and harshly impacted, the teachers.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Sixth Amendment slowly and painfully disappears

The famous Gideon v. Wainwright supreme court case is nearing its 50th anniversary and now, sadly, it is not a cause for celebration, instead it is a time for sorrow. Why is that? It has become obvious that state govts have gone out of their individual way to deny counsel for those accused of felonies.

Now, with all the creative incentive they can muster, state govts have established criteria that makes it almost impossible for lower income citizens to qualify for counsel under the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Abe Fortas, Clarence Gideon's lawyer, would be ranting before the supremes today if he could open his casket. From six feet below he could see the disingenuous of it all and demand that the supremes put an immediate stop to such silly rules that deny counsel to the accused should h/she own a car of $5000.00 value, or if h/her home is valued over $20,000, or if he is gainfully employed (as if he/she were making money while they sit in the clink), and the list goes on and on.

So why the whine over a bunch of losers who just happened to arrested? Let's see: false arrest, racial profiling, arrest quotas. More important is the fact that numerous states are thumbing their noses at the supremes and the 6th Amendment. The caveat from law enforcement appears to be: the only amendment with weight is the 10th.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

They're Missing the Point Both Left and Right

The Sunday Morning round table discussions excoriating the Obama stimulus program are worthy of the off button when the hosts and guests refuse to acknowledge the commoner in the equation. "The Potus has no credibility" or "Bankers are cautious of the program", etc is what is spewed across the airwaves instead focusing on where the public stands on this mess. If the public were queried the overall response would be echoed across the nation and it would be simple and understandable. Whey want the CEOs, the bankers, the Wall Street financial leaders brought to justice. They want to see that corruption is punished. They want a pound of flesh and who could blame them after all many lost their life savings or their retirement accounts due to illegal graft.

When honorable Americans see the dishonorable and greedy banksters and financial magicians get away with corruption, they lose faith in the rule of law and the concept of justice.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Flush Rush

One of the radio talking heads said quite smugly that "the Democrats are just looking for a scapegoat when they start designing ad campaigns against Rush Limbaugh". How can that be possible? Limbaugh has spent twenty years destroying the Democrats to the point wherein the very name is taken as a pejorative by most Republicans.

Limbaugh chants the Democrats are "soft on crime" and pushes for the "Lockem' up and throw away the key" philosophy even though he himself is a drug abuser. He growls that Democrats are liberals and that our very nation is on the precipice to hell if we endorse any plank of their platform, which is interpreted to mean that liberal thought is akin to the dreaded concept of Socialism. He riled for days against the social compact of Social Security and begged and pleaded with us to adopt George W. Brush's program to invest our money instead into corporate Wall Street financing. Where the hell would we be today had that market place idea come to fruition?

Many people say that Rush only wants Obama's plan to fail, and not America. What the hell does that mean? If the stimulus plan fails, than the syllogism follows that more banks will fail, more mainstreet and sidestreet business fail, and many American jobs will fail to exist, as well.

Sadly, we he makes comments about the economy failing, he has millions of listeners applauding in the background, who much like him, are gleeful at the supposed outcome, and that's just plain sick. It congers up a word for most of us; a word we commoners rarely use due to it's negative image: UnAmerican.

Awaiting your reply

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Limbaugh v. Steele: Two Scorpions in a Bottle

Was it ever a schadenfreude event or what? Surely you got the visual: the bloated faced, part-time druggie, Rush Limbaugh radio host giant went straight to smack down with the egoistical-over-the-top, RNC Chairman, Michael Steele. There it was the alpha males in a made for television version of" two scorpions in a bottle"

No sooner than Joe-the-plumper could pop a beer tab, chairman Steele went straight to his knees in obsequiousness. The whole scene was over so fast that SUV soccer moms could only surmise that King Rush ordered Steele to apologize publicly, but not on the Rush's "The Commies Are Coming" news hour, but on every major television station in the country.

Let's see if we get this: Rush, who has no love of minorities can't wait for not only Obama to fail, he couldn't wait to body slam the new (black) Repub. leader.

Sorry, I enjoyed the discomfort endured by the actors and the republican party in this scene. A schadenfreude moment short lived.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Washington Post Nods to Elitism

Watching the disappearance of the fourth estate before our very eyes is very disconcerting. After all, they have served as the watchdog against governmental abuses, not to mention the idealism of truth in discovery.

Therefore, one could not help but be disturbed and angry over the endorsement by the Washington Post Editorial staff for school vouchers. Using syllogisms that couldn't hold up a pair of baggy pants let alone water, they merrily...urgently ...begged us to disregard the first amendment's wall of separation between church and state. Ironically this is the very amendment that has protected the press since the nascent beginnings of this country.

Yesterday's endorsement by the Post conveniently failed miserably to reveal the real truth about vouchers. The Post failed to tell the reader that private schools accepting vouchers can and do discriminate at will; yep, they have their own subtle form of racial profiling. Private schools need not meet any state or federal laws regarding testing, special needs children (you can pretty much bet that this group is completely disregarded), teacher certification, or even reduced lunch programs for the very needy.

The Post cited higher tests scores, lower class sizes, and a profound environment for learning in the private schools and thus pleaded for us cast out whatever teachers may tell us about the value of public schools (aah, the dreaded teachers' union)and go for the elitism approach. In others words they parroted the concept of dismantling common schools a trademark issue of the neocons and the Republican Party.

They ought to be ashamed.The vanishing 4th estate"Potential" Disruption?

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

My job's gone, what do I tell my kids?

I met John at bar the other day. He seemed like a regular guy, but I could tell that deep down he was angry about something. After a brief introduction he told me that he had just been laid off after 20 years of dedicated service. "My job's gone, what do I tell my kids?"

What was your job? In our plant, in Arkansas, we make automotive parts such as hoses, gaskets, and other related things for General Motors and I was part of that for twenty years and very proud of it.

Did you have a clear clue about being laid off? It was almost secret-like in the beginning. As much as a18 months ago we saw maybe one or two getting pinked-slipped every month. Management always came up with some vague reason to keep us from getting scared. Then, suddenly, the lay-off notices came out of the blue. I got mine the week before Christmas and not one son of a bitch manager had the balls to look me in the face and express his concern.

How do you feel when people say that that our government shouldn't bailout the auto industry? Get real man. Are you kidding me? It isn't just the auto manufacturers employees who will suffer, it's also the auto
parts stores, tire companies, the essential small product producers (gaskets, hoses, etc) and, even, Serius Radio that will be negatively impacted. So, we're talkin' tens of thousands of jobs. Do we deserve a bailout? Look, if I have a job pay my mortgage. My job pays the bills. My job gives me a sense of dignity. Without my job, I draw unemployment, seek foodstamps, and lose the house with the picket fence (and yes, it has a picket fence). I didn't get a special loan; I didn't curry special favor with the bank, but without a job I lose my home...I lose it all.

He waved me off after that response. He was in no mood to sulk in pity. It was if he were saying that it (this pressing problem) was in his brain every minute of every day, and he just wanted to listen to ole George Jones on the juke box.

John multiplyied by 1000s.
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