Category Archive Opinion

ByEric

Chris Christie & Carly Fiorina Latest GOP Candidates To Drop

Carly-Fiorina-L-and-Chris-Christie-AP-PhotosIn the latest wave of campaign suspensions, Both Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina threw their hats into the ring today. Donald Trump is the turd in the GOP pool and anyone still in this thing is forced to swim in it.

ByRandomology

Fox news vs. Mister Rogers

Choose wisely.

May 15, 2013

I’ve had my fair share of gripes about Fox News. They went after the Muppets and Sesame Street. They’ve championed the Second Amendment despite overwhelming evidence of the dangers of firearms without sensible gun control. They’re an unabashed arm of the Republican Party, if not the controlling force behind it. In every way, shape, and form, Fox News represents dishonesty and an antithesis to journalism.

But now they went after Fred Rogers.

Misters Rogers…

This… will not stand. I don’t care if the clip is a few years old. This is a crime.

If you have the stomach, check out the following clip.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29lmR_357rA&w=420&h=315]

In essence, the Fox hosts here are reporting on a study (actually a single professor just talking) on how Mister Roger’s message of “You’re special just the way you are” has created generations of lazy, self-interested little socialists and he’s also the reason American children don’t do well in school.

It couldn’t possibly be because of far right-wing hijacking of history and critical thinking or a culture that promotes mediocre achievements and fawns over anyone who’s “famous,” could it?

Fox going after Mister Rogers is another piece of evidence that shows the American Far Right has lost its collective mind in the last several years. Things like compassion and empathy have already been vilified on the Right, but to overtly say that a man like Fred Rogers is evil is a bit like saying the Dalai Lama eats puppies and can’t achieve climax without thinking of the Holocaust.

The Right has been hijacked by Randian “ethics” in that a person’s worth is tied to his or her bank account and how much he or she resembles the “superman” who cares not for morals but only self-interest. Modern American conservatism has been led down the path of the Tea Party, of might-makes-right, of thinking businesses are people and people can be shot simply for not being citizens. Mister Rogers’ message is a splash of cold water on those beliefs.

Charity? Sharing? Togetherness? These have no place on the American Right!

Mister Rogers is the closest thing this world has had to a physical saint in a long time. The man had a message of hope and peace that endures after his passing. He taught millions of children, myself included, that we are special. Every child, every person, is a unique individual.

Of course, there’s also a major difference between “You’re a special person,” and “You never have to try to achieve anything.” The second is a strawman by Fox. Mister Roger never implied anything like that. He never said you should get things just for asking. He said you should have a feeling of self-worth no matter what.

And on a personal note, I was raised on Mister Rogers, Sesame Street, and Doctor Spock, all things these brain cases complained about. Guess what? Dean’s List in college, am in a loving, long-term relationship, and I’ve got the drive to publish my work on Randomology.org, here, and in my upcoming book. And I teach college and middle school courses.

I know I’m special. Mister Rogers told me so. Fox News? I’m sure even Mister Rogers would hesitate before telling them they’re special.

Actually, I’m pretty sure they are “special.” They’re a very special channel with very special people.

Let’s all remember Fred Rogers for what he was: one of the most decent human beings to ever live among us.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlUENUSm3Xk&w=420&h=315]

ByRandomology

Daily Caller: Don’t Ban Guns Because We Like Them

Said no sane person ever.

Dear Daily Caller,

I have some opinions regarding your website, but for right now, I’d like to address your recent article on why banning AR-15s is such a bad idea from a defense and ideological point of view. It’s a nice written article, generally level-headed, and seeks to point out the flaws in banning or even limiting certain firearms.

However, I would like to point out a few of the half-truths and outright lies you yourself have used in this article. If we’re going to have a debate, let’s get the facts straight.

[Misinformation] is not just coming from the usual anti-gun crowd, whom one would expect to lack knowledge about firearms and how they function, but also from supposedly knowledgeable gun owners and hunters, some of whom favor “reasonable” controls on firearms freedoms.

Okay, let’s get this straight. I have to know about cleaning barrels, disassembling firearms, and how to convert for different types of ammunition in order to have a debate about guns? Maybe if I wanted to debate gun quality, sure, but this debate is about what guns allow people to do. Trigger gets pulled. Bullet fires. Bullet does damage.

And if gun owners and hunters are actually saying they’d like more controls, isn’t that something to listen for? Or are we only supposed to pay attention to people when they agree with you? For example a majority of NRA members want background checks for gun purchases. I’m pretty sure those people know about guns.

Could I use another gun for self defense? Of course I could and the AR may not be the best firearm to use in all defensive situations. I could use a shotgun or a pistol, I could use a baseball bat or a knife, I could use a tennis racket, a golf club, my bare hands, or I could just try playing possum.

Good! We’re at least acknowledging that a firearm may not be the best weapon for the job. I like this so far. I’m sure the final few examples are sarcasm, but whatever.

It is not a question of what I use to defend myself but my right and desire to have the best possible tool for the job at my disposal. I want a semi-automatic rifle with an adequate capacity magazine for the same reason the police want them; to be able to quickly and accurately engage multiple assailants should the need arise.

Frankly, I’d think a good alarm system, iron bars, and heavy doors would be much better at preventing home invasion. Why react when you can prevent? Also, I don’t think you understand why police actually use the AR-15 and other weapons like it.

But I do.

During the 44-minute North Hollywood Shootout, police fired hundreds of 9mm and 12-gauge rounds at two armored assailants and didn’t do much damage. The perpetrators, on the other hand, had rifles, some of them AR-15s, which they modified to fire full auto.

SWAT itself was originally armed with revolvers and shotguns, but a 1974 encounter with the Symbionese Liberation Army changed things and semi-automatic rifles were introduced into SWAT’s arsenal.

Basically, these police departments were dealing with multiple, heavily armed, heavily armored assailants. Then again, maybe you really are worried someone could enter your home wearing tactical armor and wielding his or her own rifle. Okay, fine…

The AR is traditionally chambered in the 5.56x45mm NATO (interchangeable with the .223 Remington caliber) cartridge. The U.S. Military has been using this round as their primary rifle caliber for 50 years, through many wars and other interventions. If it was not effective we would not still have it.

As with any firearm, the weight and type of bullet can be easily changed to deliver better performance and while not all loadings may be ideal for hunting, many are used on deer, feral hogs, coyote, and other game animals.

The AR-15 has ammunition designed to punch through body armor and is extremely long range. As you’ve said, the rifle can be converted to fire other, less-powerful ammunition, but if that is the case, why not use a weapon that is already chambered for some other load?

So far, the argument has been that the AR-15 can be used against multiple opponents and can be converted to fire other types of ammunition. Just how many people do you think are involved in home invasions? And if ammunition can be swapped for others to prevent over-penetration, why not use other weapons?

Some have argued that a 5.56mm AR is bad for home defense because the round will over penetrate and pass through walls, endangering other occupants or neighbors. Tell that to police SWAT team that are increasingly switching from 9mm (pistol caliber) sub-machineguns to 5.56mm ARs exactly because they over penetrate less than the 9mm especially with proper ammunition selection.

Police are switching to these high-powered rounds because they offer better performance against armored targets. I would also point out that 9mm hollow-points lack penetration and deal a heck of a lot of damage, maybe not as much as the 5.56mm, but certainly enough to stop someone who’s entered your home.

If over penetration is a serious concern then use a shotgun with bird shot. At close ranges this can be extremely effective. Others argue that a long gun is too unwieldy for home defense and going around corners. Ironically a shotgun has long been considered an ideal home defense firearm, not to mention that “hunting down” home intruders is not really advisable anyways. Better to barricade yourself and call the police.

I would think over-penetration is ALWAYS a concern, especially if there are others in the house. It’s why hollow-point rounds were invented. And you’re right. A long gun can be very unwieldy in a home environment, and a shotgun suffers from the same drawback.

But a shotgun lacks the over-penetration of the 5.56mm and has an extremely high intimidation factor. Shotguns are also quite cheaper to purchase than an AR-15, making them ideal for many budgets. So far, the argument seems to be, “I really like the AR-15, and it has a lot of drawbacks like the possibility of hitting innocent civilians, but I REALLY want an AR-15.”

Ignoring the fact that semi-automatic rifles are used to commit only a tiny fraction of all gun crimes and that gun crimes overall have been declining for the past 20 years, the AR and other similar rifles are no more dangerous than any other firearm. The AR is semi-automatic and fires once each time the trigger is depressed, like a double-action revolver, or any pistol, or many other rifles and shotguns.

It can also be easily modified for full-auto by any idiot with the right tools. A quick Google search yielded thousands of forum threads on the subject. While gun crimes have declined overall in the last 20 years, so has gun ownership. Less people own guns, but that group now owns MORE guns than before. And guns like the AR-15 are, as you yourself have pointed out, not the ideal ones for home defense, and their ammunition can be a danger not just to people in the house, but possibly people outside the home, too.

If you think the AR-15 is no more dangerous than other guns, I’d suggest you try a shootout while wielding a .38 revolver. Your opponent will have an AR-15. Let’s see which one’s more dangerous. Better yet, use a baseball bat because, as many of your side have said, those are just as dangerous.

If you believe that the AR is too dangerous to own then there is no rational limit to what firearms you will find too dangerous next. Politicians have attacked firearms as too dangerous because they are too small and easy to conceal, too cheap and easy for poor people to buy, too accurate and usable and sniper weapons, too powerful and usable against vehicles. The list of “too dangerous” can easily be expanded to cover most any firearm and making every firearm “too dangerous” is exactly the real agenda.

Ah, I see. The real problem is that you’re afraid if one gun is banned, then they can all be banned. I have bad news for you. Scalia of all people wrote an opinion which stated the Constitution itself grants the federal government the right to regulate certain weapons. There’s also the nasty bit in the Second Amendment about a militia being “well-regulated,” kind of like how Israel does it. And we do have certain weapons banned right now. You can’t own a grenade, a rocket launcher, or C4. Even if you had the money, you can’t own a tank with functional weaponry.

In what insane, parallel dimension, do you think guns will be banned in the US? I’ll assume your head is somewhere where you’re likely to run into your colon. Yes, certain guns become controversial, and yes, we’ve tried to pass legislation regarding guns, just like every other right and Amendment has had legislation to address loopholes and abuses.

The First Amendment even has restrictions. You can’t yell “fire” in a crowded room if there’s no fire, you can’t incite a riot, and you can’t threaten the life of the president. These are not tyrannical forces conspiring to keep you disarmed. They’re regulations put into check to address changes in society and possible abuses we’ve seen since the Constitution was written.

I know, I know. You REALLY want an AR-15. However, by your own admission, there are other weapons that won’t cause as much collateral damage. The AR-15 suffers from over-penetration, something I would think is a SERIOUS concern to someone who believes himself to be a responsible gun owner, and can be modified for full auto.

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Guns help, though. The AR-15 is designed to be used against hardened targets in a combat zone. If you need thirty armor-piercing bullets to stop a home invader, you’re either a really bad shot or you are in way over your head.  You might be fighting a pack of velociraptors or terminators. In that case, I suggest actually moving.

ByRandomology

Teachers, Guns, and the Great Lie

This picture looks like proof of armed teachers preventing school shootings. In truth, it shows how STRICT gun regulation makes for a safer country.

If we’re going to have gun debate, and if we’re going to be adults, we need to get a few facts straight. Like I’ve said before, we’re entitled to our own opinions, but we’re not entitled to our own facts. If we do this and remember to respect each other, we should be fine.

With that in mind, we need to clear up a few “facts” about gun control.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen many on the pro-gun side posting pictures of Israeli teachers armed with rifles. You can see one such picture above. These individuals point to it and say it’s a beautiful thing to see a country determined and willing to protect its youth, that it shows our cowardice when we don’t arm our own teachers.

However, context matters. Yes, Israel doesn’t have school shootings like we do, and it’s easy to say that the armed teachers help. After all, Israel gave teachers guns and they haven’t had the kinds of mass shootings we have, right?

But let’s look at the facts for both Israel and the United States.

  • Israel has 7.3 firearms per 100 people
  • The US has 88.8 firearms per 100 people.
  • Israel has 1.96 firearm deaths per 100,000 people.
  • The US has 10.26 per 100,000.
  • Israel has a total of 0.83 homicides per 100,000 people.
  • The US has 5.86 homicides per 100,000 people for the same year.
  • Israel has 0.04 accidental gun deaths per 100,000 people.
  • The US 0.19 per 100,000 for the same year.
  • Israel requires that someone be 27 years old to own a firearm, or 21 if the individual has military service. In order to acquire a gun, a person must apply and give the specific reason the gun is required. The background checks include criminal and mental health evaluations. The authorities maintain records of everyone who possesses a firearm. On top of that, a gun owner must reapply for a license every three years.

It should also be noted that teachers in Israel who do choose to carry firearms almost always have a background in the Israeli Defense Forces, meaning they have military training. Contrast all these things with the US where anyone can walk into Wal-Mart and walk out with a shotgun and as much ammo to invade Fallujah. In Israel, civilians are limited to how much ammunition they may own, and there are even regulations on how that ammo can be stored.

So, to all who keep pointing to Israel as a haven where the population can be armed as they see fit and don’t suffer the kinds of shootings here, I’d like you to remember this.

They have MUCH stricter gun control than us. They didn’t eliminate their guns, but they require those who use them to be trained and regulated with periodic checks and, as such, have fewer guns per capita. This is the kind of thing most of us are trying to push. I don’t want guns eliminated entirely. Not by a mile, but I do acknowledge that they are weapons designed to kill. They are not tools. As such, they require training and constant attention.

In the US, while the number of guns has gone up, the number of gun owners has gone DOWN while the number of gun deaths has also slowly gone down. This doesn’t point to more guns making us safer. It points to less people owning guns making us safer.

Now then, if you’re going to keep pointing to the “Israeli model” as proof we need armed teachers, you should also be pointing out the strict background checks, training, and regulation mandated by the government and that said teachers previously worked as soldiers.

Like I said, context is everything.

ByAmanda Gynther

The Great Debate

The great debate was not so great… In fact, I was horrified by the performance of Obama. I want to like him. I truly do. I want to like him so badly I feel pain sometimes in my stomach when I see him on television. I think so highly of him as a father and a husband. I voted for him last time round…. I wanted him to be the great fixer…. I did not expect superman. I just expected someone passionate that would fight the crazy fringe lunatics driving us off a cliff. That was all….. I was tired of the failure going on in Washington. I wanted him to go in and put some new systems in place and run his game rather than continuing the failed policies of trickle down economics. I was stunned by the lack luster president that we got and I  was disturbed by the way my party has over the last four years moved further and further from me. They have left me behind in the dust. But I am one of those voters that put them where they are.

 

The debate tonight has ended and I am just sitting here processing the disappointment I am feeling. Truth is, in that debate both candidates lied rather severely, though Romney was worse with the dishonesty thing. Still, what Romney did or didn’t say is hardly what won the debate. Neither candidate really won…. But Obama, lost. And he would have lost with his behavior and demeanor, lacking in all fight and passion had Romney just been a silent and empty chair. This fact troubles me greatly because the past four years I find myself feeling like Obama, just rolls over and plays dead while Boehner, and the rest of his vile ilk of scum and villainy have a party bouncing around on Obama’s stomach. Since Obama, has been in office all he has done is disappoint and give way to crazies. He has done little besides compromising to the point that the lunatics are winning. In so doing he moves further and further to the right leaving me behind….

 

Tonight, I was hoping to see someone ready to take back the power. Someone ready to get up on his hind legs and stop playing nice. Someone prepared to take a swing at the lunatics to protect my future children from being taught that God did it in biology class. Someone that would stand up for me as a woman and make the morning after pill available over the counter. Someone moving actually to the left. What I saw was a passionless tired man that has done nothing but talk about fighting for the last four years while doing the opposite. I saw someone that was taking record amounts of money from the financial industry that crashed our economy. Someone trying to blame me in part for the troubles of our country when my mortgage is payed and I did everything right, yet I have had to spend the last four years banished to Europe, due to lack of work for my husband a highly trained professional with a PhD, and a military background to boot… What has Obama done for me? Absolutely nothing. He has been too busy pussying out of every fight. Just as he did tonight while the country goes further and further to right wing crazy land where the fanatics rule.

 

We are back in the USA now, but for how long? If we once again can’t find work, we may have to go back to Europe. Which will really upset me. I want to stay here. I am thirty two years old and I would like to produce children. It is very difficult to do that in countries where you don’t speak the language. Obama, not stepping into the ring, his failure to fight, is forcing me to hold back on my dream of being a mother. Though I own a house, though I have a highly trained and highly educated husband, though in any other part of the world, we could and did do quite well. My own home has become inhospitable to me and my own representatives have turned on me. They have refused to fight. This debate is just another example for me why Obama, does not deserve my vote again. He had a chance to make a difference. He chose to waste his time and play dead for a bunch of crazy people. And I paid the price as I continue to be childless and in a couple more months my husband will yet again be unemployed unless we find something for him soon. I am fed up and frustrated. Is it too much to ask of my representative to give voice to that frustration loudly and passionately, and is it too much to ask to have my representative fight for me? I don’t think it is. And I don’t think I should have to have an army of lobbyists in order to feel safe to have a baby in this country.

 

I have traveled all over the world. I have never seen such… lack of passion in any world leader or political figurehead anywhere. Not even in Finland, where they don’t run attack ads against each other…. Not anywhere. They all seem active and engaged and busy working for the people who put them where they are. They seem strong, well informed, and willing to put it all in to make their point, because their point is the  point of those they represent.

 

I want to have a baby Mr. President. So, you get up there and you fight for me so I can do that. Imagine your life without both of your beautiful daughters. How would you get through your day? But I get up every day wishing for a baby but not daring to have one because my husband a PhD in theoretical physics, can not find a damn job in this country and yes, we are and have always been happy to relocate in order to find work. It would be unfair to produce a child while unable to support it. It would be unfair for me to drop that load on society, and it would be unfair to drop that load on my future off spring. But there is also fairness to me. When will society be fair to me? I am getting older and older waiting and waiting holding off…. When, are you Mr President, going to get up on your hind legs and fight this insanity and put a new deal in place that is fair to me, so that I can have a child of my own, like the ones you have? Why is it that you should have such a luxury and I shouldn’t? You aren’t just up there representing and fighting for me. You are fighting for those beautiful daughters of yours too. I know, if I were fighting for the child I dream of every night, I would be passionate. I would be standing tall and I would be completely uncompromising with those that would injure, or damage, or treat my child unfairly, I would stand up and fight to my last breath. So I don’t understand where your passion is Mr. President and how you can stand there so passively  at the debate taking for granted your children, while some of us who have supported you while you dissed us over and over and over again, can not do anything but dream of having children of our own.

 

I am sick of watching my president play dead. There is only so long I can afford to be patient about these issues due to the biological reality of menopause. And I am angry, that the representative I have selected doesn’t even pretend anymore that he is fighting for fairness for me. That is all I am looking for and all I am asking for. Simple basic fairness. Where men like my husband can find work, where I can have children, even just one…. I have done everything right. But my government and elected officials have forsaken me. And once again, with a total lack of passion my president stood there in the spot light and he pussied out. When are you going to stop talking about fighting and start actually fighting? My future children depend on you. And if you will not fight for them, then I can no longer support you because I only have so many fertile years left and the crappy economy is eating them, while my president sits around dispassionately debating a moron and losing…

 

This debate was alarming. It was a perfect example of the failure of the Obama presidency. The lack of passion was terrifying. Mitt, didn’t even do particularly well. I still can not believe how truly bad it was….. I find myself in shock that I voted for someone at such a critical time, who has no fight and no passion in him what so ever. Congratulations Mr. President you are excellent at misleading your base. But after today, and the last four years, you are driving us away. We want to stay with you. You gotta stop making it so damn hard by stepping into the fight. Otherwise, I am voting for Jill Stein. There is simply no other option. I really wanted it to be you though.

ByJosh Bilodeau

Mitt Romney Abandoned Massachusetts

Although the media hasn’t given much time to Romney’s record in MA, the citizens of the Commonwealth remember Romney quite well. Many, Republicans included, were disappointed by his performance, and Deval Patrick’s speech at the DNC summed things up nicely:

  “He was a lot more interested in having the job than doing the job.”

Much of Mitt Romney’s rise to political prominence comes from a interesting combination of perseverance and luck. A man, who doesn’t seem to hear the word “no” much, has used Massachusetts has a stepping stone to the White House. Only in office for one term, Romney couldn’t even last the full four years and opted to spend almost 212 days out of the state. Well, what was he doing you might ask?! Beginning to run for President of course!

Using an average of four days a week, the sitting governor visited 35 states and eight countries. He was even kind enough to visit the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq; getting his feet wet in foreign affairs and national politics. Till this point the Bain baron, Olympics savior, and MA governor had little name recognition, and getting out on the open road and visiting the troops and speaking on behalf of Congressional candidates was a great way to show his face to Americans.

While MA still stumbled with nationally high unemployment numbers and the acquisition of healthcare reform, Mitt was busy using state troopers to cross the United States making speech after speech. He was even able to raise money for his two year old PAC (Commonwealth PAC). During the 2006 election cycle it raised $2.71 million. Not bad for one year. Although getting that money wasn’t always easy. Romney was forced to compromise, or should I say flip-flop, on his moral stance on a few policies. Gay marriage became abominable, abortions became sinful, and the healthcare mandate he gleefully passed was now something to shy away from.

And what about those voters in MA that honored the Mittster with the seat of Governor? Well, they became the center of his political jokes. Certainly not a very funny man, Romney tried to woo some of the more average Joes with jokes like:

 “Being a conservative Republican in Massachusetts is like being a cattle  rancher at a vegetarian convention.”

The only funny thing about this joke is calling himself a conservative Republican from Massachusetts. In all honesty, there really is no such thing, and Romney was not the leader to stand up for “conservative” values. For many Massachusetts citizens, Romney pulled a fast one and distanced himself as quickly as possible from the state that was good enough to land him his first real political stepping stone. While pandering to a group of conservatives in Utah, Romney even said that he wished his state was more like theirs.

Mittens really had no, and still has no, line in the sand. Everything to him is fair game so long as he obtains his goals. Ambition is by no means something that should be absolutely rejected, but ambition sometimes hides a deeper thirst for power and Mitt is certainly thirsty. Viewing his rise to power really shows a pattern of events and articulated movements that he thought would land him in the Oval Office. No luck yet, but never count out a multi-million dollar business man with a hope for even more power.

 

Don’t Believe Me? Check My Sources:

http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/2012/05/16/20120516romney-giving-up-home-state-massachusetts.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governorship_of_Mitt_Romney#Last_year_of_term

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5330854

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitt_Romney_presidential_campaign,_2008

Bynick.harrison

Shifting views on Unions, Strikes and the Future of Our Society

NFL officials Bob Waggoner, left and Gene Steratore take the field with the rest of the game crew for the first time this season before the start of the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns game on Thursday night.

In a tragic commentary on the state of our society consider two recent strikes, the Teacher’s Union in Chicago and the NFL Refs.

When it comes to officiating over a football game, even the most ardent opponent of organized labor  sides with the unions.

When it comes to caring for the well-being of our students and looking out for the standard bearers or their education, even the traditional champions of organized labor get distracted  and side tracked.

So much of the press surrounding the teacher’s strike focused on how the parents were tolerating it.   We focused on what the student’s were doing instead of going to school.   Very little attention was paid to why the teacher’s was striking.

Public service unions and especially teachers have been vilified recently as being part of the problem.   To hear some pundits describe the situation, you could easily conclude that instead of  being a bastion safe guarding the education of our most valuable resource, teachers are an entitled group of self-absorbed lazy …

Teachers were once a highly regarded and highly respected demographic.   We need to restore them to that rightful place of honor.   It is a tragic commentary on our society that the professionals we all love to hate, football referees, garner more public support than the professionals that we once all loved and admired.

Maybe teachers should take a page for the ref’s play book.   Next time they go on strike, send in some replacement teachers.   Replacement teachers may have a similar effect rallying support around trained educators.   What if they taught fake science, fake history, and confused math facts and details?    Would we the public cry out to send back the regular teachers?   Or would we be glad that the kids were being told creationism, young earth theories, and fuzzy math probability?

ByAmanda Gynther

The Right Is Wrong For Women!

For some time now, I have found it impossible to go a day without reading some horrendous new thing from the Right, about women and how their bodies work and what we should and should not have the right to do with them. They base their argument on justifications from the Bible, in which human beings are told by God to “be fruitful and multiply”. Abortion is a human tragedy, no woman wants to face such a choice. Some women see their unplanned for babies as gifts from God, others see them as leeches living off their bodies and making their life more problematic. I am sure the choice is difficult enough to make without society weighing in on an issue of great personal importance that has nothing to do with them.  The Right, gather and stand outside abortion clinics screaming at young women who are in the midst of the most tragic and tumultuous decision of their lives; on a good day, abusively they show off pictures of dead babies and rage at these poor women. On a bad day they blow the abortion clinic up and kill a bunch of well educated highly functional members of society doing a service for some of the most desperate and needy. It seems, they are forever trying to legislate the vagina. Yeh, I said VAGINA, and if you don’t like it you can bite me, twice.

 

This is the attack against women from yesterday http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/09/12/republican-delegate-says-children-with-disabilities-are-punishment-for-past-abortions/. Yes, disabilities are the fault of mothers who have previously “murdered” God’s chosen first born, and I would point out here first born and first conceived are not always the same thing. I am dyslexic. I am my mom’s first pregnancy. Please Mr. Crazy-Old-Fringe-Right-Wing-Nut-Job, explain that according to your logic? What is more, babies are made up of genetic material contributed by both parents. What about men who waste their seed by having sex with other women prior to the one they finally make the disabled baby with? Why don’t you nut cases ever blame the men? Inquiring minds would like to know. So, it is not alright for a woman, to control her own body. Men however, can waste their seed and do as they choose without being hauled down the carpet.  And you, want to tell me you are using the Bible as your reasoning for this? I could swear the bible advocates that men should not waste their seed. The reality is, you Right Wingers are just a bunch of cherry pickers, aren’t you? Yes, you are. You are not really pro Bible, and  pro turning America into Bible Land. You are pro abuse and control of women. If you weren’t using cherry picked crap from the Bible, you would just be using cherry picked crap from somewhere else, ANYWHERE else. I refuse to listen to your Bible thumping until you start blaming men for these things too in accordance with what your Bible says.

 

You people don’t shag sheep, (at least I hope you don’t.) There is at least one spot in the Bible, that singles out livestock for rape by conquering soldiers, along with children and women. Why are you people not trying to pass laws then to force everyone to have semi regular sex with livestock? if a Bible society is truly your goal, and you want to live in accordance with every single syllable of  God’s book, why not legalize marijuana? God is constantly appearing in a cloud of sweet smelling smoke, a case for the legalization of weed if ever I heard one and it is from your own manual on the way to properly live life as a fringe whack-a-doodle. The bible does not explicitly tell us to drive cars. Perhaps you should all start walking everywhere. And when you want to go on tours of European churches, you can walk like Jesus, on the water across the Atlantic, as the bible also does not give expressed permission to ride planes ether. That also means you can walk to the Holy Land to take a tour of Jerusalem too. You see, two can play this game of of using the word of God to control other people.

 

It is unbelievably ridiculous, in the modern age to use the Bible, a bunch of bronze age sheep shagger myths, as a basis to go after the contemporary women of the modern age.  Completely ridiculous. And I can only imagine, if someone “legitimately raped” one of Aken’s daughters,  he would hardly be appeased by a small bag of silver to settle the issue of the abuse of his “property.” I also can not imagine him stoning such a daughter to death either. Which is also sanctioned in some cases of rape in the Bible. This is what I mean though about the cherry picking. If the left really wants to go to war and if women really want to take action against this kind of defective crazy that is taking over our political discourse with hypocrisy, lies, and agenda, that seeks to turn women back into chattel then here are my suggestions.

 

These Bible Thumpers, attacking women for Jesus, claiming to want to live under Bible law would actually be miserable under Bible law. They want to live under the Bible laws that they cherry pick and select. I want a law passed in accordance with the bible requiring us to shag sheep monthly. After all, the bible does make that argument at least once if you interpret it that way. It is time to take back the Bible from these nut cases by seeking to have many of the lesser loved laws of the Bible made into state and federal laws. If they last a whole forty eight hours without these same cherry picking Christians having a freak out over them, I would be shocked. But we can then point to their own book while we make their pathetic lives as miserable for them as their closed minds have made Gays and women, for the past several hundred years. It’s enough. If it’s Bible law they want, let’s give it to them.

 

The Republicans have started this war, and women have not even begun to fight. The Republicans had better pray that we don’t begin to fight. Because if we do, the least of their concern will be at the ballot box. Our war strategy could take the shape of making anchor babies with illegals. As many little mixed race brown babies as we can produce, and as frequently as we can produce them. Just imagine what those white old men would do when we applied for status for not only all our anchor babies but the Mexicans who had fathered them. Imagine the hulla-balloo, if we then applied for food stamps for all of our little brown anchor babies and for ourselves and our illegal mexican partner/s.  I give it a week before they suddenly start demanding the re-legalization of abortion and they will pretend it is their idea that we should have a choice.  If they won’t be reasonable, we as women should take the initiative and just breed the white old Right out of existence. They had better pray to their God that women do not turn this into a war.

 

At the end it is all about choice. It is about whether or not women should be more than just sex objects that produce sons. I am not going back to back alley abortions. I flat out refuse. If it comes to that I will pack my things again, just as I did after Bush got his second term and I will once again flee to Europe. What gives these men the right to make all the decisions for women, some ancient book of dubious origin? Is that it, come on there must be something more? If not, that is just ridiculous and the men of this country should be ashamed of themselves. Not even the Democrats, are there to protect women’s rights. In Europe I could get the morning after pill over the counter at my local pharmacy. No need to see a doctor and get some moral argument from them. I just walked into the nearest pharmacy requested the pill and was given it and told how to take it to be safe and affective. Even the Democrats have moral issues with a woman’s right to choose. They go so far as to seek to protect us from ourselves, as our pretty little heads are not designed for decision making, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203413304577084560710472558.html. Seems to me the only good choice for women this year is the Green Party which has a woman presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate. Who else but a pair of women could ever actually understand the capacity of the minds inside our pretty little heads.

 

Choice is so fundamental to all people of all ages. Wasn’t that the dream when the United States was formed, everyone  pursue happiness where ever they might find it? Everyone could choose for themselves without having someone looking over their shoulder trying to invade their bodies with legislation. No one is seeking to force God loving women to abort. I would even pay more taxes to help support them as single mothers even if I disagree with their choice and even though if the shoe were on the other foot their Christian piety would demand they throw me to the wolves. What pro- choice is about, is having a choice. On one side you have the Christian Right trying to take that away from everyone, trying to force us all to live in accordance with the cherry picked bits of their holy book that they like. On the other side, you have the option pro-choice which allows everyone to make a personal decision personally, privately, and for themselves, it leaves both abortion and Jesus on the table. This is why I support it.

 

I would really like to see a law passed making this debate illegal for the reason of public health. My feeling is, given all the disgusting holes and unsafe sexual situations that our Government has been in, they should for the safety of society, be denied the right to legislate inside the bodies of American women. It is a public health matter. If you have been in here then it is a risk to public health for you to crawl into any woman’s uterus as you are dirty and likely disease infested.

Bypiechartking

What’s Up with Voter ID in Pennsylvania?

So by now, we all know that Democrats and liberals (and lovers of freedom and voting rights everywhere) won a “sorta” victory yesterday, a “did we win or not?” win. Proponents of voter rights had appealed the earlier decision of a lower court last month refusing to issue a preliminary injunction preventing Pennsylvania’s controversial new Voter ID Law from taking effect. Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down its decision.

As a lawyer, this decision is right in line with what judges usually do – hand out deflating victories, or defeats with cushions. If you’re not an attorney, though, this decision could be a little too much nuance, and not enough oomph. It was anything but a sexy decision. Lightning did not crash. No choirs of angels sang. The earth didn’t move. And the Law is still there – with no injunction to block its implementation – yet.

The Supreme Court was cautious in its decision. The Court let the lower court know that it disagreed with the lower court’s reasoning and vacated the lower court’s decision. In addition, the Supreme Court sent the case back down to the lower court, with instructions. This basically lets the lower court know that it HAS to issue a preliminary injunction blocking the Law from taking effect, unless it is proven that some things have happened that will ensure that voting is not harder for certain groups. In other words, unless changes have happened that pretty much take all the political advantage away from the Republicans who passed the legislation in the first place, the lower court HAS to issue an injunction. It seems to be a reasonable approach.

The Voter ID Law

To the Supreme Court, the primary point of the Law is to require voters to present photo identification before the voter can vote. The Law expects that the primary form of photo ID used by voters will be Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT)–issued driver’s license or non-driver ID. The Law tries to make acquiring the ID really easy by attempting to override PennDOT procedures, kind of an “Easy ID” provision: the ID will be issued free of charge, and any voter who signs a statement affirming that the voter in question doesn’t have proof of identification and needs one for voting purposes, and has completed the application for the ID, will receive one. Apparently, the purpose of this “Easy ID” provision is to avoid any accusations that the Law is attempting to disenfranchise voters by making the procurement of a hard-to-get ID one of the requirements for voting.

However, it turns out that PennDOT is not playing along. If I were a cynical person (and I am), I would argue that Republicans wrote this Law, knowing full well that PennDOT would never implement it as written, but proceeded to enact the Law anyway. Why not? If confronted with claims of voter disenfranchisement due to PennDOT’s non-compliance with the Law, these Republicans could just shrug their shoulders. Hey, they tried to make it easy. Who knew that PennDOT was such a hardass? By then, then issue would be dead, because President Romney would already be warming up the money-bubble bath for corporations and obliging the Tea Party nuts.

No, PennDOT is still requiring that people present a birth certificate with raised seal, a social security card, and two forms of documentation showing current residence. And for good reason: since PennDOT photo ID is a secured form of identification, one that you can board planes with, for example, the bar must necessarily be high to show that you are who you say you are. When asked on the stand about PennDOT’s sensible adherence to its traditional vetting process prior to issuing photo ID, the Secretary of the Commonwealth could only offer the lame defense that the “Easy ID” section of“’[t]he [Voter ID] law does not require those kids of – the kind of identification that is now required by PennDOT for PennDOT IDs.’” In other words, “We tried to make getting ID easy, it’s evil PennDOT that’s screwing everything up!” How convenient for Republicans.

Remedial Measure

Because it’s so obvious that this situation will screw many voters (trying not to be overly technical, I think “screw” hits the right note), the State testified that it is “in the process of implementing several remedial measures on an expedited basis.” Wow, sounds reassuring. At the time of testimony, less than two months’ out from the General Election, the State’s “in the process”. Because if nothing else was being done, then there’s a real problem here, because the “Easy ID” section of the Law isn’t even being followed by PennDOT.

So what “remedial measures” to help comply with the “Easy ID” section? Well, one solution being contemplated is a new, non-secure Department of State ID card. Of course, preparations were still “underway” at the time of the evidentiary hearing back whenever, before the lower court trial. What’s more, applicants for the State ID card may still have to undergo the rigorous PennDOT application process and then get rejected, before qualifying for application for the State ID. According to the Commissioner of the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislations, applicants who are unable to get a PennDOT photo ID will have the opportunity to call the Department of State to “begin the process of obtaining the alternative card.” Yeah, that sounds really “easy”.

Let’s pause for a moment to digest what this means.

1) The Voter ID Law requires you to show ID, probably PennDOT ID
2) The Voter ID Law makes getting the PennDOT easier with its “Easy ID” provision
3) However, PennDOT does not comply with these easier requirements in the “Easy ID” provision, and keeps the same requirements for getting PennDOT ID (for good reasons, like commercial airport security)
4) Republican Department of State is in the process of offering alternative, Department of State-issued State ID
5) For State ID, you still have to undergo the entire PennDOT ID application process
6) For State ID, you have to then get rejected during your PennDOT ID application process
7) After rejection, then you get a number to call to contact Department of State to begin the State ID application process.

The Conflicts and Error in Lower Court’s Reasoning

Unsurprisingly, in the face of all this, voters’ rights groups challenged the law as invalid and asked for an injunction to prevent the Law from taking effect. The lower court refused, stating that its belief was that Pennsylvania government efforts to educate the voting public, coupled with remedial measures like the one just outlined above, would be sufficient to prevent any potential voter disenfranchisement.

Well, the Supreme Court smacked down that conclusion in its opinion, writing that, while it didn’t doubt the good faith efforts of State employees, the Court wasn’t about to let glowing State employee testimony settle the question of whether voters could be disenfranchised by the Voter ID Law. The Court stated that it was “not satisfied” with the lower court’s “mere predictive judgment” that the state’s education efforts and remedial measures would take care of the potential problem, in light of the daunting issue of implementing such widespread change in such a short period of time (the Voter ID Law was enacted only in March 2012, after all), all the while making sure that no one gets disenfranchised.

Although die-hard liberals like me would have liked the Court to issue an injunction preventing the Law from taking effect, the law student part of me has to admire the inherent fairness of what the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did. If you can agree, in theory, that requiring people to show photo ID before voting is constitutional, as long as everyone who wants a photo ID can get one before the next important election, then theoretically there is nothing wrong with the Voter ID Law.

The Court noted that the problem arises when the State of Pennsylvania attempts to ram through this new Voter ID procedure, the (unspoken and hoped-for) result being that thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of Democratic voters won’t be able to secure appropriate ID in time to vote in this year’s general election. Even though the Law may be constitutional in the long run, if implemented properly and reasonable education is combined with reasonable means for people to procure ID, in the short-run what the State is attempting to do is potentially constitutionally defective.
So given that, in the long run, this Law may constitutionally check out as legit, the Court sent the case back down to the lower court with some instructions. First, find out what’s up with this State ID initiative. Is it easy enough to get one of these State IDs that the “Easy ID” provision of the Voter ID Law is satisfied and disenfranchisement won’t occur because people can get the proper ID to vote? (The Court made it clear in its opinion that offering State ID only after you jump through all the hoops to get your PennDOT and then get rejected, doesn’t count as “easy enough”) If it’s not easy enough, or if the State ID initiative isn’t even off the ground yet, or not working well, the lower court has to issue an injunction. (Also, the Supreme Court stated that if the judge on the lower court has changed his mind, he must issue an injunction. I won’t hold my breath.)

From a perspective that values our representative-based democracy, you have to admire the Supreme Court’s restraint in its decision. Rather than block a law which was passed by democratically-elected officials in the legislature, the Court focused like a laser on the constitutional issue: could this Law’s hasty implementation disenfranchise vulnerable voters? If so, what’s being done to prevent that? State ID? Ok, well then, will State ID inoculate the voters against disenfranchisement by providing an easy solution to getting appropriate ID? If so, great! Let the Law stand. If not, block the Law. Even though the Supreme Court didn’t come right out and say it, it seems the Court knows that the State ID initiative will be insufficient to protect the rights of the sheer number of potential voters who will be disenfranchised by the new Law.

Through its opinion, the Court has cleverly crafted a solution that will result in either the Law being blocked from taking effect, or will result in a solution that will take away all the victory from Republicans, because anyone who wants appropriate ID will have the opportunity to get one, thus ensuring them the ability to vote.

Moreover, by gently highlighting the doubts that the Supreme Court has about the voter education efforts and remedial measures to be implemented, the Supreme Court subtly called attention to the massive and craven power play in which the Republicans have engaged to suppress the vote in Pennsylvania.

Let’s be frank, this was the Republicans’ plan from the beginning. There’s no possible way that implementing such a massive new piece of legislation in a few months’ time could possibly ensure that no eligible voter is disenfranchised. That’s actually the unspoken-and whole-point. Unspoken and hidden away, beneath a series of impediments working together to form a gauntlet through which many voters in the most vulnerable groups in Pennsylvania will not successfully navigate in time to vote on November 6.

Need PennDOT ID? It’s easy, just apply and sign this statement. Oh what? You mean you have to show embossed birth certificate, social security card, and two pieces of documentation proving current residence? That’s OK, no problem! Just apply for this Department of State-issued State ID! Wait, we’re working on that right now. Don’t worry – we’ll make it available. But hang on – you have to first go through the PennDOT ID application process first. You know, the one where you have to show your birth certificate, social – yeah, that one. You got rejected? Okay, then, here’s a number to call. Just call the Department of State and begin the process to get your State-issued State ID. I’m sure the wait won’t be too- Oh looky here! President Romney wins Pennsylvania. Have a nice life, you 47% moochers!

ByAmanda Gynther

The Problems With Education In America

The problems with education in America are plentiful and colossal. There are many places to begin to discuss this issue, but I think I will start with the teacher’s union as there is presently a strike in Chicago. I am sure my opinion on this issue will be misunderstood so I will try to be as clear as I can be. My view on this is not going to be popular. I am not asking anyone to agree with me. Only to think very very carefully about what I am about to say because it is important and it needs to truly be heard. What box you file it under is your business.

 

I have a huge problem with some (not all)  of the things teachers are demanding in Chicago. The reason why is because it is so self serving. The teachers who unionized made a calculated educated decision. They decided, they wanted to protect all their teacher brethren and themselves from getting abused by the system. They chose to accept that no teacher would be payed what they are worth when they chose to create a system that made it nearly impossible to fire teachers. That is the compromise,  job assurance at low pay. So pretty much no matter how poorly you do your job, you get to keep doing it and children pay the price by failing to get the education they are entitled to. For this assurance and to keep everything equal so that all stand together, the teachers themselves have chosen that all teachers get payed the same amount of money a low amount of money. I can’t feel too sorry then when they complain that good teachers and/or all teachers don’t make enough, though I agree with the sentiment. A good teacher is a priceless teacher. Most teachers in the public school, if they could make the cut would go to private schools for a higher pay. Which is perfectly fair. The ones who don’t make it then run around demanding massive pay raises. I just think that is kind of unreasonable, especially, when they refuse to accept any kind of measuring system to see if they themselves are making the grade as teachers.

 

I would be happy to pay the good teachers more. I think it unreasonable that we don’t. I wish we could identify those teachers for just that purpose while identifying the very poor ones for immediate termination. But unfortunately due to the Teacher’s Union we can’t do that. The method Chicago, would like to use is rather reasonable actually. Chicago, would like to use the test scores of students as a basis upon which to evaluate teachers. Teachers object to this, whining about how they do not control the environment of their students. But they make no outcry on behalf of their students who have even less control over their environment than the teachers do, and are evaluated based on their standardized test scores. If  teachers find it fair to evaluate children with no control over their own lives and situations based on such tests, then it should be just as acceptable to teachers to be evaluated by those same tests and scores. Anything else from them is just disingenuous and unacceptable, at least to me.

 

The students in America have so little power they can’t even strike. You see, they don’t have a union. It is no accident, that the nation of the world with the strongest student union, also has the highest educational standard. It is no accident that they meet that standard consistently, unlike the united states which fails consistently to meet one of the lowest educational standards in the western world. It is no accident that tuition in the United States sky rockets each year, while students in Finland, the nation with the strongest student union on earth, go to university at no cost to them. They even get PhDs that way, while receiving a stipend to live on from the government. Finland’s system is so good, that they offer every subject in at least three languages, one of those languages is English. What is more, their free education policy is open to even foreign students. So for less than $2000 an American student, could go get an entire education through their doctorate over in Finland. I do not understand why we are not seeing a mass exodus of young people headed for Scandinavia. A free education for the price of a one way plane ticket and a few cold winters.

 

Finnish teachers all have at least masters degrees plus full teaching certification. They are constantly evaluated by other teachers and they push themselves to continually do a better job. They use all sorts of social media to teach their students over 75% of them are trained to teach special education and work those techniques into their mainstream class causing Finland to have a very low rate of children who need to go to a special education program. The social media is incredibly entertaining for the students who do on average more than 65% of the talking in their classes with the teachers making up the rest. It is quite obvious then why Finland turns out a ridiculous number of researchers each year. The teachers teach how to think rather than names and dates. The students get interested and look into it themselves. School time is reserved strictly for education in Finland. There are no inter school competitive sports in Finnish schools though there are sports clubs that meet after school hours and there is of course, PE so Finnish student’s only focus is their academics. Their federal government funds education equally for every child in Finland including foreigners studying at their universities. So it is not dependent on property taxes. The result is, Finland has a very high rate of upward mobility due to it’s incredible education. And what is education but opportunity? In ten years they will be out competing the USA. We will not be able to hold a torch to the highly educated population turned out by Finland and the rest of Scandinavia which also boasts very good education. Teachers in Finland, make about the same in euros as  American teachers make in dollars, which may actually work out to less as the cost of living in Finland is very high even by European standards, yet  Finnish teachers have no complaints. Neither does their well funded teacher’s union.

 

Teachers in Finland don’t need to get payed as much as American teacher’s get payed. In Finland, they have a real social system that supports everyone the rich and poor alike. They have single payer health insurance so their teachers are not bogged down with worries over paying for their medical coverage and that of their families. The teachers themselves have no student loan debt, education for them was free. I think that is pretty cool. So all teachers have to worry about is purchasing food, entertainment of whatever kind they enjoy, car insurance if they choose to have a car, and rent. Imagine that for our teachers! I think it would simplify things and would make things a lot easier for teachers. So if I were striking I would be striking for the same healthcare insurance that the Senate gets on tax payer dollars. That is what our teachers should have for themselves and their families. I also think, that all un-tenured teachers should have their student loans forgiven. A very small salary bump across the board is in order, as a minimum wage for our American teachers. In exchange for this they must agree to the same kind of evaluation as their own students receive. Those teachers who consistently have students that excel several years in a row should then be awarded a small salary bump so that not all teachers are paid the same and there is incentive to do better. Those teachers who consistently do not make the grade should get fired. The standardized test scores should be evaluated perhaps on a slant for teachers working in low income areas, so that they get a fair evaluation actually reflective of their their affect on their students.

 

I am tired though of watching the Teacher’s Union and the school systems in America abuse the students. With poor teachers and many other horrible things. I want to tell a few horror stories that I have either witnessed or lived through myself.

 

The first story is about Rhode Island public schools. In which, it is apparently a common practice for students to sign behavior contracts with their teachers and the school. If students break the rules or do anything that violates this “contract” they are then subject of course to your standard punishment, but in addition, as happened to a friend of mine’s son, they get told they will not be permitted to attend their own graduation. This practice, practiced not just in Rhode Island but in schools all over the country is a gross abuse of our young people. Who can not rent apartments or buy real estate at fourteen, because it is illegal for them to sign contracts. What is more it is illegal to hold children to contracts they have signed because they can’t sign contracts. But do you think my friend’s son was allowed by Rhode Island schools to go to his own graduation, which he had earned in addition to earning the punishment that he received for breaking whatever rule it was he broke? No, because he signed a contract with them, that they knew or should know full well violate his constitutional rights. Who was looking out for him and his right to not be abused by the school and his teacher? No one. Why not? Because, American students have no student union, unlike Finnish students.

 

When I was in school they wanted to put me on Ritalin for a disorder that later turned out to be a vitamin deficiency. They made me go through all this horrible testing. When my parents and I were not in favor of popping pills, they tried to remove me from my very competent parents, pillars of the community well respected professional people. They had me meet with a woman they claimed was a Doctor. This woman, put her three hundred pound six foot body between me and the door of the room. I was sixteen and under one hundred twenty pounds five feet two inches tall. No one else was in the room. No one was watching, while this woman screamed and raved, and ranted and threatened and used her body menacingly while trapping me in a corner of the room trying to force me to answer questions about my family. Questions like this one: “Does your father sexually abuse you on Monday or Tuesday?” check the box for yes or no. My family is a typical family, it has it’s issues but one of those issues is not and never has been sexual abuse. It doesn’t take an idiot to know this is not a yes/no question. So I refused to answer it and other such questions. My school sanctioned jailer got angrier and angrier and more and more terrifying while she physically held me hostage blocking the door, refusing to allow me to go to the bathroom or to leave the room to get some air. She was angry because she had to send in the questionnaire to get it graded. It would cost the tax payers 50 cents to mail it, or so she raved at me. I gave her five dollars and I told her to tell the tax payers to keep the change. She held me in that room against my will for over 6 hours even after I covered the cost to the tax payers. This happened in one of the best school systems in the country, Lexington MA. Later, I would discover after reading the horrible report she wrote about me that read like something Clint Eastwood may have written in a letter to the empty chair, that this woman did not even have a masters degree in any field from any university. She was just some random cracker jack. Who, was there to protect me? No one. No parents were allowed, no other school officials except this one lone nutcase that was holding me hostage in that room and who could I complain to? The school that had siched her on me to begin with? I had no recourse. But…. If American students had a union such as teachers do….. I might have had some basic protections.

 

This next story also took place in Lexington. When I went to school, we had a small group of truly vile students. It would have pleased me to nail their mouths closed due to the hate and filth that came out of them. But all they ever did was talk. And when teachers heard them, they would send them to the office and deal with them appropriately, by not sending them to prison but penalizing them for being hate filled racist creeps. Well, they hired a new teacher one year. He, like half of the teachers happened to be Jewish. One day, he was found beaten in the hallway with swastikas drawn all over and around his body. Of course the usual suspects were rounded up. Of course no one believed them because they were disgusting vile excuses for human beings. Of course criminal charges were filed against them as they should be in a case of an assault. Later, after these kids had been serving their punishment for some time, it came to light somehow, that the teacher had actually done it to himself, he beat himself up. Because if you are beaten in the course of doing your job you get due to union rules a year off while receiving full pay. This teacher it turned out had pulled this same shenanigan three years running in three other school districts around the country. But the school could not give the next school district a heads up, because this teacher was protected by the union.  This is where the Teacher’s Union goes critically wrong. Firing someone for being miserable at their job is not abuse. Nor is it abuse to fire them for trying to rip off the tax payers and the students. Nor is it abuse to fire them for any reasonable legitimate reason, yet it is nearly impossible due to all the ridiculous rules, to fire teachers in the USA. That being said, our teachers must be protected from actual abuse. They must be protected from being injured or shot by students, they must be protected from being terminated without proper reason why. They must be protected from sexual abuse/harassment by co-workers/bosses. It isn’t abuse to get fired for just cause. No other industry gets to take having a job no matter how badly they do it for granted. I don’t think teachers should get that kind of assurance either. Especially not when it is an abuse to the students who would otherwise be learning more from a more highly trained or more entertaining teacher.

 

The last abuse I have seen of our students is huge. It knows no racial or sex based boundaries. It only knows economic boundaries. It is a real problem to have our education payed for by property taxes. It breeds generation after generation of poverty. If there was a student union, someone would be looking out for those disenfranchised students living in areas with low property taxes. Someone would step in and represent their interests, some organization would be hiring an army of lobbyists to go to the capital and demand all students receive the same amount of funding and that property taxes cease to be the method by which American students receive their education…. But unfortunately, American students must go all the way to Finland to get any representation. While teachers, get protected from all termination while they abuse the system. And yes, there are plenty of them who do. And those same individuals in their desperate effort to hide their ineffectiveness at their jobs drag all the good teachers down to the same pay grade as they themselves are worth… There has to be a better way. Seems to me Finland has found one. Why are we not paying attention and following their lead? Because there is no student’s union to push us in that direction and in the direction of free education through university. The problem with American education is less an issue of the Teacher’s Union and more an issue of a lack of a student union. That being said, the Teacher’s Union needs to check itself, in Chicago and everywhere else. Their motivation is less about what is best for their students and more about what enriches them personally often to the detriment of the students they are payed to serve. But who can balance the system? The student union of course… If only American students had one…