Dec 282013

I’m writing for tomorrow and waiting for my helper friend to arrive and continue the business of moving.  It’s a slow time for news, because the people woo make it are on vacation, but with a little extra digging, I could come up with articles.

Jig Zone Puzzles:

Today’s took me 3:08 (average 5:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Conversations about the U.S. education system often revolve around misconceptions. Here’s some clarity.


This video makes it crystal clear that Democrats are on the right track, but every one of the Republican educational policies will make the problem worse.

From Alternet: You already know that the United States locks up a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world. If you look at local, state and federal prison and jail populations, the United States currently incarcerates more than 2.4 million people, a figure that constitutes roughly 25 percent of the total incarcerated population of the entire world.

A population of 2.4 million is a lot – enough, in fact, to fill up a good-sized country. If the incarcerated population of the United States constituted a nation-state, what kind of country would it be?

Click through for a fascinating read on the US system if

Click through for a fascinating read on the US system if prison injustice.  Because I spend three days a month working with prisoners, I can confirm this piece.

From Crooks and Liars: As 2013 draws to close, the negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program have entered a delicate stage. But in 2014, the tensions will escalate dramatically as a bipartisan group of Senators brings a new Iran sanctions bill to the floor for a vote. As many others have warned, that promise of new measures against Tehran will almost certainly blow up the interim deal reached by the Obama administration and its UN/EU partners in Geneva. But Congress’ highly unusual intervention into the President’s domain of foreign policy doesn’t just make the prospect of an American conflict with Iran more likely. As it turns out, the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act essentially empowers Israel to decide whether the United States will go to war against Tehran.


Contact your Senators, and tell them to oppose this. Empowering Israel over war on Iran is like empowering Republicans over war on ________. (Almost anything good will do here.)



Contrary to Republican lies, this was not handed down from the founding fathers. It was written in 1892, and the words "under God" were not added until 1954.


  19 Responses to “Open Thread–12/28/2013”

  1. 3:16 I have no excuse. I tried my best and TomCat buried me in litter.

  2. It's a good thing that it's a slow news time. You have all the time in the world to unpack at your leisure.

    Upworthy ~ Any policy proposed by RepublicanTs for education turns out to be against education. While Democrats proposals are not 100% right, they are at least on the right track. RepublicanTs will never learn that "slash and burn" doesn't work when you want to fix things. But thatiswhat they want to do.

    Alternet ~ Great minds think alike. I read this earlier and if you had not posted it, I was going to. These are some pretty amazing facts. The one thing that really surprised me was that the DOD is the biggest consumer of prisoner-made goods. It's time to stop building prisons and start building schools and factories.

    Crooks & Liars ~ Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer are saber rattling too. I have already contacted him and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand.

    Cartoon ~ Don't confuse RepublicanTs with facts. Their heads will explode.



    • Actually, Patty, slow newes times means more work just to find some worthy material.



      Dems need to can their feal of looking soft.

      Amen agaun!!

  3. 2:55

    We have to learn one important lesson, education is for those who learn the profession. Keep politics out of education, keep political and religious ideas out of public education. Our students are doing fine, they could do better if we allowed them the space to achieve. We do not! No child left behind is but one more campaign slogan that needed to be left on floor after the campaign is over.

    Education has become far too top heavy with those on top pushing down hard on those in the classroom, and that is a fact not an assumption. All that top heavy weight that laps up the money that could for better tools in the classroom and yes, better teacher pay, must justify itself in some way. They point to the teacher. Teaching is not an easy job, not a place where one stands up for a few minutes teaches an element and sits down the rest of the day. The ideas propagated about teaching are as holey and as a lump of Swiss Cheese.

    Trite though it may be: If you are reading this, thank a teacher.

  4. 5:01  Frozen out.

    Upworthy – another proof "common sense" is anything but common.

    Alternet:  As the wife of a prisoner, I can confirm it too.

    Crooks & Liars – Robert Naiman, the Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy, has stasted a petition on Move On addressed to Senator Sherrod Brown, whom Naiman regards as a "firewall" on the Menendez bill.  See more and sign at  You don't have to be from Ohio.

    Cartoon:  I was nine, but smart enough to know that adding "under God" to the Pledge was a bad idea. 

  5. UPworthy:  Our schools have deteriorated since W's "No Child Left Behind" act. My sister taught for 27 years.  Prior to the act she could be creative and have projects that were interesting to the kids and that taught several subjects at once.  After the act was passed, she could only teach what was "on the test".  Our schools are funded ridiculously, too.  If attendance is down due to the flu, funds are cut.  Makes no sense.  Teachers are not through working at the end of the school day, they spend hours working at home, on their own time.  They also spend their own money to  provide for children who can't afford basic needs in school.

    Alternet"  This is a disgrace to our country.  Privatization of prisons has led to corruption of judges, too.  There are places in this country where the slightest offense can land you inprison.  The so called War on Drugs has also helped build the prison population yet drug addiction is worse than it was when Reagan started it.

    Crooks and Liars:  I am contacting my senators, and also signing the Move on petition.

    Catoon:  The supply side Christians will use any weapon they can find.



  6.  Tx , TC, Now that you are "in" your new home….you can take your time unpacking and rest inbetween so you don't overdo. We do not want you to get sick again. Do take care…….Education : It's not the intellengence level of our children. They for the most part are very bright. Teachers are underpaid & overworked. But…big problem is the politics involved in education now. Get the politics out…that will help. Also cost…the cost of education in this Country is rediculase.! Quality education for All should be free(or darn close to it). The cost of Higher Education has reached the point of being obsene.( my spell check disappeared again.) I Hate my computer.!!!

    The Stupid people in Congress are going to push us into another (unnessary) War. The Stupid people need to just Shut-up.!

  7. 5:20 – The US spends more money on Education and Health Care than all other countries, yet rank lower. Lessons learned? I have a good idea why…

  8. I couldn’t contact my senators, because I don’t know if there are any that represent US citizens overseas. But I did sign that Move On petition (thank you Joanne D and TC), sprinkled with a little dose of my usual ranting self. I mean, seriously now, who does Israel and AIPAC think they are to try influencing our foreign policy, and who the hell is Menendez to sponsor a bill that would destroy any hope for a little peace in the Mideast and that would essentially enable Israel to decide whether the USA will or will not go to war with Iran.

    • James, I may be wrong, but I believe that Americans living abroad may vote absentee and be represented by the elected officials in the US location they last established residence.

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