Jul 042013

I’m writing early for day 20, and the inside temperature has finally dropped below 80°.  I’m not sufficiently recovered to take on the Monthly Report, but I do have more articles today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me  3:22 (average 5:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Alternet: A San Diego protester who faced over a decade in jail for drawing anti-bank slogans in chalk was acquitted yesterday by a jury. The victory for 40-year-old Jeff Olson, who was inspired by Occupy Wall Street, came despite the prosecutor’s zeal for imposing a heavy jail sentence on him for the misdemeanor charges.

He was prosecuted for drawing chalk slogans outside Bank of America locations from April to August 2012 that read, “Shame on B of A” and “No thanks big banks.” He also drew a picture of an octopus reaching for dollar bills.

Bank of America had contacted the city’s attorney to urge the prosecution.

Olson faced 13 years in jail for drawing the chalk slogan, and also faced the possibility of a $13,000 fine–an unusually harsh punishment for graffiti. But the jury was convinced of Olson’s innocence–and agreed with the San Diego mayor, who called the prosecution “stupid.” Olson was acquitted despite the fact that his lawyers were hamstrung by the judge’s decision not to allow them to argue that Olson’s actions were constitutionally protected.

Right on, Jeff Olson!! The prosecution was stupid, and the judge had his head so far up his butt that he could see the bottom of his tonsils. The jury cared more about the Constitution than the fascist five Injustices of SCROTUS!

From Crooks and Liars: AMERICABlog’s Gaius Publius reminds us the demolition of public education is not a byproduct of a declining economy — it’s something the elite have wanted to do for a long time:

In our Deadlines post — “America faces more than a dozen deadlines, all caused by billionaires and wealth transfer“— we noted that public education was in a crisis of privatization from which it may never recover (some editing and added emphasis below):

Number 15 on the list is “Destruction of public education.” Does that really have an end-point? If so, what does it look like? Extrapolate the charter-school / “for-profit school funded with public money” process — which is, again, both uni-directional and accelerating — to its end-point and you get a two-tiered school system with a sloppy middle.One tier is an aging, decrepit, under-funded, useless-for-education factory-school system for the middle and lower classes (most of the country). The other tier has bright shiny (private) charter schools for the billionaires and their millionaire administrators and friends.

A good example of this bifurcation is the charter school that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel sends his children to, in which music and the arts are taught, which he supports at the same time he’s destroying public school funding for the poor and middle class of his own city.


I can see the effects of the decay already. When I was a kid, I learned how to think in school. Today is about passing a test and what to think, and the product is often functionally illiterate. Kudos to the many teachers fighting to hold the line against Republicans and sold-out Corporate Democrats like Rahmbo.

From Think Progress: The world experienced unprecedented high-impact climate extremes during the 2001-2010 decade, which was the warmest since the start of modern measurements in 1850 and continued an extended period of pronounced global warming. More national temperature records were reported broken than in any previous decade, according to a new report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO News Release).

A picture is worth a thousand words.






  16 Responses to “Open Thread–7/4/2013”

  1. As a professional who has had to watch the destruction of public education from the inside,, and even observe our  president support the kind of destructive initiatives that kill education (Race to the Top, school closings, mass teacher firings), it is encouraging to read the article and the comments you posted here today, Tom.  The truth is finally coming out.  The purpose of the state assessment tests is to destroy education by placing impossible standards upon teachers and schools and students. The tests are not standardized (they have no reliability and validity) and they are tweaked by political appointees every summer. 

    • While I won't say there are no bad teachers, teachers are certainly NOT the problem here.  The only disagreement ypou'll get from me is that Obama and the Democrats have consistently supported policies to save teachers' jobs.  Republicans have blocked them.

      • Sadly, Tom, there are bad teachers.  The majority, as you state, are good.  What you say about Obama consistently saving teachers' jobs is true in almost every case.  He has, in some specific instances, supported total school closings and mass teacher firings.  If I am not mistaken,some of the first closings were in Detroit.  He supported those teachers being fired.  This was shocking to me. 

        • Angie, if my memory serves, Obama did not support the school closings.  County officials tried to pressure him into bailing out the school system, and he did not, because there are far more school systems in need than he could bail out with available funds.  Them the right jumped un with accusatons that he supporfted the closures.

          • Wow.  I am happy to be corrected on  that point.  Very happy.  Thanks, Tom.

            • KIt was an edasy one to moss. because the blame Obama crowd on the left was, as always, fast to parrot the Republican lies.

  2. 3:36  I guess I'm just going to have to follow your furry little butt TC.  The mouse started chasing the cat and the cat turned tail!

  3. Puzzle — 3:36  I guess I'm just going to have to follow your furry little butt TC.  The mouse started chasing the cat and the cat turned tail!

    Alternet — Bloody unbelievable.  I sure hope they assess the court's costs to Bof A!  The big bank is afraid of a little chalk?  Perhaps they should have thought of things like this before they started screwing with people.  And don't get me started on the prosecution agreeing to press the case and a judge that tried to finish Olson off.  A jury of your peers — eehaw!

    Crooks and Liars — I have been a proponent of public schools.  I do not believe in charter schools that operate with public funds but are not open to anyone.  If someone wants a "special" educational experience for their kid, then pay for it with your own dollars, not mine.  Additionally, have a curriculum that is up-to-date for today's world, and teach kinds how to think.  Schools should encourage kids to thinnk outside the box, encourage kids to explore and be creative.

    Think Progress — Anyone who says there is no climate change is a fool!  Wacky weather and wacky temperatures should indicate that there is something amiss.

    Cartoon — I wonder if the Republican/Teabaggers have tried to buy the wall from the Chinese, or if they are planning a military action to take what they want?

    • I had an unfair CATvantage, but got Crunched anyway.

      The Banksters are afraid of truth, not chalk.

      That's my view too, but Republicans want superior education for the rich paid for by the poort and middle classes.


      If they could, they'd offshore the construction.

  4. HuffPo reported the mayor, Bob Filner, called it a "nonsense prosecution" and a "stupid case." So there is one mayor with some sense.

  5. I am so glad that jury had more sense than the judge and prosecutors.  I was stunned when the judge effectively gagged the defense attorney.

    The dumbing down of American has been going on for a long time. My sister taught for 27 years.  In the beginning she was allowed to "teach"  and let the kids be creative.  At the end of her career she was instructed to teach what was "on the test" and nothing else.  My 20 year old nephew graduated from H.S. with honors.  His education is about what I had by sixth grade.  Sadly, the only kids who are getting an education are those who are either wealthy, or whose parents work their tails off in the evening teaching them what they did not learn in school.

    Anyone who does not believe in climate change at this point is an idiot.

    Loved the cartoon.

    I hope your break in the weather continues.  Our area is under a flash flood watch tonight, thank goodness I moved nearly to the top of a mountain.  

    • You's be amazed how often that happens.  Prosecutors play with a stacked deck.

      A math text commonly in use here im Portland for HS juniors is ths same text I had in school.  But I had it in the 7th grade.

      And there are too many Republidiots.


      Sadly, they start increasing again today. 🙁

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