So, a lot of Hollywood types have latched on to the whole Bloomberg “Demand A Plan” scam. Mayor Bloomberg already has some of the most onerous gun laws in the nation yet it doesn’t stop criminals from killing lots of people. Maybe the Mayor should spend more time wondering why people use the subway for murder in his fair city but I digress. Chicago’s laws are tougher where gun owners have had to sue to own or carry a gun, yet homicides exceeded 500 this year.
Who are these Hollywood folk who see fit to use their celebrity to try to convince us they know something we don’t? Let’s take a look.
Maybe he’s looking for publicity for his new film but Jamie Foxx is right at the top of the list. The very same Jamie Foxx toting a gun on a blood spattered poster for Django Unchained the new Quentin Tarrantino film he’s starring in. It promotes those important morals, “Life, liberty and the pursuit of vengeance.” In 2007 he starred as a blackmailing gun-wielding FBI agent in The Kingdom.
The guy who brought his career back from life support on the cult hit Arrested Development. They were happy to feature a dopey security guard running around shooting mice with a gun in the episode “Not Without My Daughter”. It’s also damn funny to teach the nerdy character a lesson at the business end of a loaded shotgun carried by a probation officer in “Making A Stand“.
Another Arrested Development star, see above.
Young new star who last year starred in that placid film Drive where an all-around bad ass Ryan Gosling has to protect her from her estranged convict husband’s friends with just a car. Well, of course, it wasn’t just a car it was pistols, shotguns and the beautiful scene where Ryan just kicks the ever loving crap out of a guy in an elevator.
Come now Beyoncé, did you really think we would forget “Thug Love”? Let me remind you:
A thug is what I want
And a thug is what I need
And my friends don’t understand
How my baby laces me
A thug is what I want
And a thug is what I need
And my friends don’t understand
And I think its jealousy
I know, her thug must not use a gun.
I’m amazed Mr. Renner has the gall to open his mouth on this topic at all. Let’s run down his IMDB hit parade shall we?
- Hawkeye in The Avengers (I guess shooting people with bows and arrows is okay)
- The Bourne Legacy
- Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
- The Town
- The Hurt Locker
- The Assassination of Jesse James…
- 28 Weeks Later
It appears to me Mr. Renner has little interest in a role unless he’s using a gun or other weapon to mow down a bunch of people in it.
Seems most of the cast on Arrested Development took time to put down their guns and join in this “PSA”.
Double duty packing heat for Robert Rodriguez in Sin City and Machete not to mention her big break starring in one of my faves, Dark Angel where she was a gun-toting wunderkind. She even brandished one of those evil “machine guns” with a “high capacity clip”, an HK MP5. She’s going back for more as well, the Machete sequel is in post-production and she’s filming the Sin City sequel. Lock and load Jes!
Rashida got her hunt on for some great laughs on Parks and Recreation when the whole gang hit the woods and Rashida was happy to mishandle and break various safety precautions with a Remington shotgun. But hey, it was just in good fun wasn’t it?
Yep, Aziz was in that episode of Parks and Recreation as well, he had a Mossberg shotgun to greet visitors at his cabin door.
As if his lyrics weren’t criminal enough he was happy to hook up with Talib Kewli for a little ditty called “Around My Way”, take a sample:
No place like home when the cops ask you about your neighbors
Beat on you, threaten to incarcerate you
Till you spill your guts like you a Garcia Vega
We roll blunts not the papers
Cop the greatest take it coast to coast
L.A. to Chicago like Smooth Operators
Cop the Dro and cop the blacks
Cop the four, cock it back
Drop the flow, rock a hat on top a stocking cap
Roll the blunts and cock one back John, priceless.
Another Parks and Recreation cast member who apparently can’t remember what he puts to film. His character has a claymore (not the sword, the explosive device) and a sawed off shotty on his desk. For fun and games he likes to wield a revolver around the office with his finger on the trigger.
Now we come to two points of disappointment for me for I am a huge Mad Men fan. I thought John was clean until I checked out an appearance he made on 30 Rock. Um…yeah.
It should be no surprise that he who portrays Don Draper is the cleanest of the lot. Yes, he wielded some guns in The Town but nothing that glorified them as he was “the law”. He’s also carried portraying a soldier in We Were Soldiers (a personal favorite) as well as Mad Men.
Does dating Biebs count?
Badly handled a revolver on 30 Rock and a shotgun in The Bounty Hunter. No, I didn’t even know about that movie until I started working on this.
Another disappointment but like Jon Hamm he’s also clean.
I saved the best for last because when I saw him come up in this I could not believe my eyes. Chris Rock? Really Chris? Are you kidding me? If you know Chris Rock you know why, for the rest of you perhaps you have heard of one of Chris’ most famous routines known as, and I quote, “Black People vs Niggas”. Check it out on You Tube if you haven’t already.
So, after exploring some issues concerning propagators of the thug life shall we say, Chris drops some knowledge with the line, ”What, you think I’ve got three guns in my house ’cause the media is outside?” So, apparently Chris thinks we need to do something about the guns “as a human being” but I guess he’ll be keeping his three?
There were more folks in this video but the point has been made – Hollywood doesn’t just live in hypocrisy, it takes hypocrisy to the bank. When someone like Jeremy Renner, who would be flipping burgers if it wasn’t for the “gun culture” propagated by his films, has the gall to tell me I need to demand a plan from politicians things have gone far enough alright.
These folks are the ones putting the guns in your living room every day goofing with them and killing lots of bad guys with them. After all, guns are funny as hell right? Meanwhile mine and those of respectable gun owners are locked, secured and out of sight.
Whether it’s comedy or action there’s really no difference though because the money is made one way or the other and guns are things of amazement instead of dangerous tools to them. Do we need to look for ways to prevent Newtown from happening again? Absolutely. However, we don’t need lectures from those who earn their living glorifying guns to tell us what they are.
Yesterday’s horrific massacre in Newtown, CT has grabbed every bit of media time and attention throughout the social webs and stratosphere. Most of all, it’s moved your erstwhile lazy blogger to resume his blogging status because this opportunity can’t be missed.
Everyone is of heavy heart today and while I may disagree with a lot of the politicking I won’t disagree with the reaction. What happened yesterday was truly awful and only someone subhuman would not ask “what can we do to prevent this?” However what happens next is the easy route – blame the inanimate object. It’s far easier to point your finger at something that can’t point back on its own. So, there we have it, blame the gun, walk away from it all and feel better.
What’s missing is the true soul searching that needs to take place – the soul searching about mental illness and how we handle it in our society. These warnings have been there before and the circumstances have been very similar.
In 1988 Laurie Dann, a woman suffering from what we now call bipolar disorder as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder walked into a Winnetka, IL school with three handguns and opened fire. Fortunately she only took one child’s life before taking her own hours later.
In 1999 Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris staged a savage attack on Columbine High School in Littleton, CO. Klebold was a depressed and easily manipulated child who had been taking mental health medications for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Harris was an undiagnosed malignant narcissist and likely suffered from paranoid personality disorder. They were both bright and had little difficulty securing a cache of weapons to bring into the school that awful day.
Earlier this year James Eagan Holmes, under psychiatric care and texting a friend about dysphoric mania days before, walked into an Aurora, CO midnight movie showing after sneaking out the back door to his car to retrieve his cache of weapons and proceeded to gun down various member of the audience.
The first similarity is, again, the guns. People wanting to just move on and get past trying to explain the inexplicable go for the gun as the easy way out. What they fail to see in all these cases, including yesterday’s, these are children of privilege and affluence. There weren’t any economic or logistical barriers to these people getting help. In fact, in all the cases except for Harris they did get help.
The barrier that was there though is a social one. It’s very hard to try to change society and so people would prefer to just continue to blame the gun because, after all, it saves them from blaming themselves. We are all responsible for this happening because of the way we treat people with mental illness – they are the dregs of society, they are to be shuffled aside and cast off and left to be dealt with by their families.
Maybe, as a father of a child on the autistic spectrum I know this pain and pressure all too well. I know the looks from across a restaurant as my son engages in a completely normal behavior (for him) of stimming. It means he’s enjoying himself and is nothing I wish to stop. When he was 8 years old the police were called to his school at the behest of a teachers aide who had put him in a hold during one of his “meltdowns”. He was beating his head against her and she insisted the police be called. The officer asked to interview my boy and I promptly let him know that was not going to happen, his interview would only compound my problem. What did happen I came to find out was he was drawing and wouldn’t stop so the aide yanked the pencil away from him thus inducing the meltdown.
This is the way we deal with mental illness in society – we stare, we force to make it stop, we call the police to lock it away. Dann’s parents were accused of refusing to admit she had any kind of problem yet they went to great lengths including enrolling her in a special program at the University of Wisconsin. Harris and Klebold’s parents have been demonized as those who ignored the problem and in Kelbold’s case tried to “medicate it away“.
I was a lucky man, people who understand mental disability set up New Connections Academy in Palatine not far from where I lived. I was able to end a lifetime of poor educational assignments and put my son in an environment of care for the disabled. These are people who understand and know how to use behavior therapy to treat these disabilities. My ex and I had to be persistent parents to make that happen though and refusing to accept “good enough” as an answer for our son. That’s a hard fight though, especially with society staring down its nose at you.
So while people damn Adam Lanza to hell, blame a mother dead at her own son’s hand and cry for more gun control I will sit and wait. I’ll wait for the story to be told like it was in the fantastic book Columbine by Dave Cullen. I’ll wait for people to answer questions posed by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Dave Grossman’s campaign to attack the real enemy of denial. Once the roar is over maybe we will take some time to look at ourselves and the stigma we so stridently affix to mental illness because do we really need more Columbines and Sandy Hooks to understand?
Photo Courtesy of infomatique via Flickr.
It’s election day here in Illinois tomorrow and although my 2010 endorsements were pretty much the kiss of death, I’m doing them again! No matter who you are for, Republican, Democrat, Independent, get out and vote tomorrow! Primaries are where it is at and many people just don’t show up. They matter!! If you’re in Lake County you can go to the County Clerk’s website for information on where your polling place is.
My final word, before I cut to the chase, is there are a lot of great candidates this year. I have folks pitted against each other in a few races that I really like. I could take the easy way out and not tell anybody but then again, I’ve never shied away from telling people how I feel. So, for what it’s worth, and I apologize to those I am endorsing, it may be the kiss of death!
President of the United States of America
I’m not a happy Republican this year. I came out early for Gary Johnson and unfortunately he couldn’t get the media attention he deserved and he decided to pack it in as the funds were dwindling. He has since gone over to the Libertarian Party to run for their nomination, he should win that quite easily.
At this point the vote has boiled down to two choices, you’re either with Mitt Romney or you are against him. I don’t like the collection of against hims so I am endorsing Mitt Romney for president. I have numerous qualms with him but he has the best chance to defeat the President and the array of choices aligned against him is not favorable:
Ron Paul - For whatever reason, he decided to run again. He has zero chance against Obama. Lost opportunity for Gary Johnson or Rand Paul to pick up the torch but it is what it is. I can’t bring myself to vote for Ron Paul, sorry (latest round of anti-Semitism from a Paul supporter did me in).
Newt Gingrich - Newt’s a smart guy, I admire many of his positions but he has made some really bone headed moves this election. It seems a part of his character to make them. I danced on the edge of switching to him when Johnson dropped out, can’t do it though as he seems willing to say whatever he needs to in order to get elected.
Rick Santorum - If there is one candidate, above all others (including President Obama) who advocates for the government to infiltrate and control as much of your life as possible it is Rick Santorum. If he manages to win the nomination, I am leaving the party, period. I will not be embarrassed by him and, given a choice, I would vote for President Obama over him in a head to head vote. Santorum symbolizes everything that is wrong with the GOP and none of what it should be about. He’s an embarrassment, if he wins the LP candidate, whoever it is, gets my vote.
Illinois 10th Congressional District
The Democratic gerrymandering of Illinois now finds me in the 10th District. Robert Dold is running unopposed.
Illinois 31st Legislative District (Senator)
The Democratic gerrymandering leaves me in Suzi Schmidt’s district over Dan Duffy whom I heartily campaigned for four years ago. This was a definite disappointment to me as Dan has done a great job and I was proud to have him as my “rogue” Senator.
This has left me in the unenviable spot of having three people I genuinely like running against each other for the seat. After a thorough and honest review of them all and a lot of thought I have decided to endorse Lennie Jarratt. I think Lennie is solid in his beliefs, unique and thoughtful and stands up for what he believes in. I think we could use a lot more people like that in Springfield and ultimately that’s what led me to Lennie in what was a very tough call for me.
Illinois 62nd Representative District
Democratic gerrymandering now finds me in Sandy Cole’s 62nd District, she is running unopposed.
Lake County Circuit Court Clerk
The campaign I have worked on the most this year (although in a diminished capacity), this is a no brainer for Gerald T. Dietz. Jerry is a RLHS alumnus, has a great platform of change he wants to bring to the clerk’s office and, most of all, a great guy. We need more people from Round Lake at the county level, this is an easy endorsement for me.
Lake County Coroner
Steve Newton has worked too long and too hard for me not to give him this endorsement. He decided a long time ago he was running and he has the experience needed to fix a coroner’s office that has been plagued by scandal and mismanagement. We really need a coroner that will return the compassion and professionalism to the office that Barbara Richardson was known for, Steve Newton is that man and is heartily endorsed.
Lake County Recorder
Sometimes it’s all about who goes to functions and works for votes and who doesn’t. Bob Bednar has and gets my vote.
Lake County State’s Attorney
Think this one has been a bit nasty and competitive? I do and so does my mailbox. To me one of these candidates has consistently tried to stay above the fray and on message about who he is and what he is about, that candidate is Bryan Winter and gets my endorsement.
Lake County Board District 16
Another tough one for me with two people that I like. After a lot of thought and consideration though I am endorsing Michael Carbone. Michael has spent the past several years on the Grayslake Elementary school board, that experience will serve him well on county board. I would encourage Rene Hernandez to keep at it though, this was a tough call for me but I have to go with Michael and his experience as a board member.Thanks to Theresa Thompson for feature photo.
One of the agonizing things for those of us in the “liberty” movement has been our tendency to eat our own. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the race for president in 2012. Normally I am clamoring for order and asking that we not eat our own. This time, I can’t abide that, I’m fed up.
I was hoping that Ron Paul was not going to run this year, that he would realize he had done all he could and would pass the torch to someone else. Gary Johnson came out and said he was running and I was hoping that would be good enough for Paul. Johnson is an attractive candidate — former governor, successful businessman, thoughtful and well spoken, impeccable libertarian credentials (better than Paul’s). Surely Paul would see this and realize he need not run. Of course, I was wrong.
Once that took place the teeth gnashing started and the thrashing in liberty circles started and it has become a full-on Paul versus Johnson war. I’m fairly certain that neither candidate wanted this to happen, yet it has. The problem is the “Paulistas” as I call them: rabid and zealous Paul devotees who hold him with messianic zeal. They are easy to spot:
- Nearly always refer to him as “Dr. Paul” (funny, I never heard them utter “Dr. Frist” but I digress…).
- Every other sentence refers to either the latest Ron Paul poll or is encouraging participation in a poll.
- If you are a Democrat they will sell you Paul’s stands on drugs, war and social issues while concealing Paul’s vote on DOMA.
- If you are a Republican they will sell you Paul’s stands on the Fed, taxes, balanced budget amendment while concealing his request for earmarks despite Speaker Boehner’s ban on them.
- If you are a member of the Tea Party they will tell you how the Tea Party was all because of Ron Paul and you should support him automatically (and stop your corporatist shilling for the Koch Brothers).
- If you are a Libertarian they will tell you how Dr. Paul is the only one with a chance to win.
- If you are a libertarian Republican they will gut and fillet you if you don’t support Ron Paul.
I’ve had it with the Paulistas and I can’t stand by any more. Any time I have thought about giving up on Johnson and supporting Paul there’s a mass of sneering Paulistas reminding me why I can’t be affiliated with them. That, and the fact Ron Paul is not electable.
First, any debate involving Ron Paul and Barack Obama would be over the first time the President got to speak. He would ignore whatever question was asked and say, “Let me read you a bit of a Ron Paul newsletter“. As you know, the President is black and is our first black president. The sight of our first black president reciting things like “if you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be” would turn the stomach of any American. The Paulistas call it the “newsletter hoax” or the newsletters “have been debunked” but they cannot get around the fact that racist diatribes appeared in these newsletters with Paul’s name on the top. Whether he wrote them or not (I doubt he did) is irrelevant, if he can’t watch a newsletter how can he watch the United States?
That is just the opening round. Ron Paul is protected by a cloak of obscurity right now. Few people take him seriously and his opponents see him as little more than a nuisance. Therefore no political espionage efforts are undertaken against him, why waste money on someone that has no chance? The second he became a real threat that cloak would be yanked from him and Ron Paul would be out there warts and all. An Axelrod led team would easily have Paul labeled an anti-semite and point out donations he’s accepted from less than desirable groups.
My honest opinion is this is all bunk, none of it is true about Paul. I question why he makes sure to single out Israel but I think it’s a strategy to get the most attention. I also wonder why he doesn’t pay closer attention to donations but he has a laissez faire attitude about it, he got the cash and will spread his message with it, end of story.
Things have boiled down to a nasty gurgling simmer in Wisconsin since the fracas over Governor Scott Walker’s plan to require public workers to contribute more to their healthcare and retirement. Union protestors claim they are willing to deal but they refuse to deal on losing their rights to collective bargaining. In the meantime the Democratic members of the Senate have skipped town for the friendly confines of Illinois to shut the government down. Things may be simmering, but they’re ready to boil over.
We’ve had protest groups and counter-protest groups. We’ve had polls that seem to favor Walker and others that seem to favor the unions. We have allegations of plutocracy, autocracy and the obligatory reference to Nazis. I could write on all this ad nauseam but I thought I would spend some time talking about what I know most about — working with a public employee union.
As you may know I spent several years on the Round Lake Area Schools Board of Education, the last three of them as its president. I stayed out of union negotiations for the most part. Why? For much of my tenure I am the son of one of the members of the bargaining unit in Round Lake, the Education Association of Round Lake (EARL), a local of the Illinois Education Association (IEA) the biggest teacher’s union in Illinois.
Without going into a whole lot of detail into that experience (that would be a very long post) suffice it to say I have participated in collective bargaining negotiations, grievances, stayed up until the wee hours of the morning negotiating with the association and fielding hundreds of phone calls related to union matters. I’m not a lawyer but I consider myself well experienced in this area and familiar with the process.
I respect the core tenets of unions and what they stand for — protecting the rights of workers and ensuring that everyone receives fair treatment. The problem is when you deal with things as a collective you soon run into difficulty dealing with the individual and on more levels than one.
Governor Walker has a budget deficit looming and his state spends a lot of money on two things in particular — public employees and entitlements (Medicaid, welfare, social programs). Wisconsin is not different from any other state in this regard. Most of what the state spends on education does not go directly into education – it goes to the local school districts in the form of state aid. School districts receive federal money (usually for special programs for at risk students), state money (general state aid and categorical grants – money earmarked for specific programs if the district complies) and local money (property taxes).
If you broke down the figures most districts receive little to no federal money, it mainly goes to poorer districts or districts with a large population of kids with special needs. All of them though rely on state and local money . The biggest expenditure the local school district makes? Overwhelmingly (to the tune of 70-85% in many cases) salary and benefits for its employees, mostly teachers. So, this is how the different levels work and how it is broken.
Governor Walker wants to balance his budget, he needs to cut spending by a billion from somewhere. For the purposes of this exercise let’s say he wants to take it all in education. Does Governor Walker now go to the state teachers unions (most states have two) and get their approval? He could, but it would be as meaningless as any state union assurance now they will take the deal on reduced benefits. They don’t negotiate the contracts, the local teachers unions do!
So Governor Walker puts together a plan and tells the state Board of Education to reduce spending by $1 bil. The state board comes up with the formula in elimination of categoricals (very common here in Illinois) and then reduction in general state aid. Or, maybe a state aid payment or two, or four gets skipped. Now imagine you are the local school district — your boss came to you and said that work you did last week on that special project? Sorry, not paying for it, it was very nice work but we have to cut expenses. Also, “I need to dip into your pay a bit, I’m not going to pay you this week, I might pay you again in two weeks but I’m not sure yet, I’ll let you know.” That’s reality here in Illinois and I doubt it’s much different in Wisconsin.
What would you do? You would cut back your expenses right? Well imagine for a moment if you went to cut your biggest expense then, let’s say it’s your mortgage. Do you think you could get a reduction in your mortgage? Maybe eliminate some of the things you built into the loan or you could sell your house and live in a smaller one though, right? Maybe sell and rent a smaller place? Not if you’re a school district. No, see you collectively bargained a contract with these folks a year or so ago and not only can you not do anything to change that you said you were going to give them a raise next year and they want it. They are also going to enforce the class size provision that we bargained for. Some locals will see the district is in trouble and negotiate, this has been happening in Illinois and to the credit of those locals, others won’t. It’s up to the local to decide how they wish to balance reduced benefits for their members versus loss of members in the form of layoffs.
So what is left for the local school district to do? Cut administrators and lay off the teachers you can. Maybe the union will bargain with you on how many of its members it will let go without too much of a fuss. Only bad teachers would be let go right? Nope, can’t do that, because a union is about seniority. No, you can’t lay off Mrs. Smith who has been mailing it in for the past decade trying to get enough years in to retire early. You need to lay off Mrs. Jones who is a new and enthusiastic teacher getting great results in her classroom. She’s only been here two years though and doesn’t have the protection of tenure.
This, my friends, is a glimpse into how things are done year after year in a school district. It doesn’t make unions all bad – it makes them misguided by tradition. It doesn’t make all school districts right, many of them planned recklessly. At the end of the day though the money comes from somewhere, not a magic tree or pot of gold over the rainbow. The taxpayers have been taking a haircut for the past few years and it’s coming time for the public employees’ turn in the chair.
The system is unsustainable as it is constituted so call me a little crazy for secretly hoping Wisconsin will become a disaster. A little revolution every now and then is good, no? Maybe then we can talk about what the real problem is.
I’m floored. I can’t believe this education proposal has come out of this administration. I had figured the President was in the back pocket of the NEA and AFT given the tremendous sums they gave to his election but he proved me wrong today. In this case I have no problem being proven wrong — bravo President Obama and bravo Secretary Arne Duncan.
Now this is just a proposal at this point so while I am giddy as all get-out about it I’m still not holding my breath. He can champion this all he would like but he still has to turn to Congress to get this done. I’m hopeful there is support in Congress for this and I’m hopeful Republicans are leading the charge because this is a transformation of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind (NLCB) and takes important steps to fix what is wrong with it while still insisting on accountability.
First we need to talk about what is broken with NCLB and that is ever increasing standards that can’t possibly be met. Standardized tests are based on percentiles so if you require schools to place within a certain percentile you are creating a glass ceiling — there will be a point where you can’t improve and if everyone improves someone still has to be at the bottom. This is the fundamental flaw of NCLB — it punishes districts even if they are making improvements.
While the administration has put out what it is calling a “blueprint” and not legislation, and I’ve been unable to find any outline yet what Duncan and Obama are saying is highly encouraging. According to the USA Today:
- Raise the current standards by 2014.
- Scrap the 2014 reading and math requirements and replace them with “college readiness” requirements by 2020.
- Use subjects other than reading and math in their ratings.
- “Value-added” indicators for teachers and schools.
- Use indicators other than just test scores in assessing teachers.
These are all great changes to NCLB. The only one I am leery of the teachers unions getting their hands on is the subjective assessments. They could twist this into a means of keeping teachers who are not up to par by subjective means. That needs to be discouraged. The rest of these are great improvements on NCLB that open up the restrictions and bring reality to eduction — it’s not all reading and math.
What they added next though was the real kicker. For schools that are struggling, down in the bottom 5% they would have to take one of the following actions in order to maintain federal funding:
- Shut the school down.
- Bring in an outside company to manage the school as a charter school.
- Fire the entire staff and rehire no more than 50% of them.
- Fire the principal and bring in a new one with a transformation plan.
Wow. That’s about all I can say about that, wow. This is absolutely, without a doubt, EXACTLY what is needed to put teeth in NCLB. Right now a struggling school will only get worse; most of the parents will have nowhere else to go, that school will lose federal funds and with less funding it will only get worse. That’s broken. This puts the teeth in NCLB and frees school districts to make the kind of changes they would need to transform a failing school.
You can guarantee the teachers unions will be fighting these provisions tooth and nail in Congress. ”Let me be clear” here for a moment if I can steal one of the President’s lines, I have a message for teachers. I have nothing against the rank and file teacher doing everything he or she can to educate our kids. It’s a tough and often thankless job. You get to deal with a slew of parents who just don’t care. However, there’s no legislation on the planet that is going to make them care. This is all that can be done.
The prescription from NCLB right now just gets in the way of a teacher being able to be a teacher. A slew of requirements are put on them, the district office is in their classroom, creating some new set of guidelines for them to follow or the like. Teachers aren’t allowed to innovate and educate. You need to tell your leadership right now that the President’s plan will let you innovate and educate again and stand on your own.
Your leadership is about to barrage you with a mountain of scare tactics and try to get you behind opposition to this plan. You need to stand up to your leadership and tell them no. Have you seen the headlines over the past few weeks? In Illinois we have a complete disaster on our hands and districts are cutting staff left and right. This is what your leadership has gotten you with their hold on power and their refusal to innovate. Many a good teacher is being fired so many a bad teacher that’s been doing it forever can keep his or her job. That’s not right and you need to stand up for it as not right.
I’m sure you can easily count the bad teachers in your building right now. The ones who don’t care, the ones who “phone it in”, the ones you are constantly covering for. Admit it, you know they are there. Are you prepared to lose your job for them? That’s what your leadership will be asking you to do. Under this proposal YOU will be responsible for YOUR own results. If you are doing all that you can it will be seen and measured and you won’t be held responsible for your failing peers. This plan is a plan for good teachers and good teachers should stand up to their national leaders and get behind it.
I’m hopeful this plan can be put into place and it stays as it is outlined. You can rest assured I will be watching it as it comes out, but this is a great start and the first reason for hope and change I’ve seen out of President Obama. Well done.
Photo by Steve Rhodes.
Barack Obama talks about change and a new direction for the country, the only issue is you have to be included in his vision the way he sees it. If you’re unlucky enough to be born alive but unwanted he has no interest in protecting you.
I have a difficult time with the abortion issue, I must admit. I believe it is morally wrong but I never look to force my morals on others. Many times I find myself walking a fine line on abortion issues and how I feel and where I stand. However, one thing that has always chilled me to the core is partial-birth abortion and a practice I wasn’t even aware of — “born alive abortion”. A practice, more or less, where labor is induced and babies are left to die.
This all started with me watching this obviously pro right to life video:
So I figured, these are just some pro-life activists who have found a couple of votes made by Barack Obama (good luck with that given the number of times he voted “present” as an Illinois State Senator) and twisted it a bit. But when I looked into it, turns out I was wrong, this video is completely accurate.
According to an investigation by Annenberg Political FactCheck he did vote against protecting these children three times.
Obama opposed the 2001 and 2002 “born alive” bills as backdoor attacks on a woman’s legal right to abortion, but he says he would have been “fully in support” of a similar federal bill that President Bush had signed in 2002, because it contained protections for Roe v. Wade.
We find that, as the NRLC said in a recent statement, Obama voted in committee against the 2003 state bill that was nearly identical to the federal act he says he would have supported. Both contained identical clauses saying that nothing in the bills could be construed to affect legal rights of an unborn fetus, according to an undisputed summary written immediately after the committee’s 2003 mark-up session.
So, my question is, do you folks know the real Barack Obama and what he stands for? I don’t think you do because this is legislation that on a federal level passed 98-0 in the US Senate and was supported by Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy. Obama voted against it not once but three times in Illinois and has the audacity to call those brave enough to point it out liars:
I suppose that FactCheck are liars now too Barack? I have a better idea, you are.
Photo by riot jane.
No no, you read that right. Please, this is COMEDY, for pete sake I can watch a bunch of nasty Sarah Palin videos let me post my one video poking fun at Dems. So don’t start up with how nasty and vicious Republicans are, this is a SPOOF. I aspirated Pepsi One at 1:06 so I had to share.
And now on to the video……
Photo by asecondhandconjecture.
You know, it’s funny that people would underestimate a woman from rural Idaho who settled in Alaska. Not sure if anyone checked the memo but Alaska is a pretty harsh environment. As such it attracts a type of person that is tough, self-reliant and unafraid to take the tough shots when they’re dished out. Not only that but they underestimated the appeal and down to earth nature of this woman.
Last night she made her debut and she hit the ball out of the park her first time up to the plate. What other person could deliver the tough jabs at Obama and Biden with a smile, a joke, and a nature that is instantly disarming? Suddenly the Obama camp had to run for cover — it was easy for them to make Hillary look cold and disconnected, that playbook is not going to work on Palin so they’re going to have to go back to the drawing board.
In fact they’ve already stumbled several times. How on earth can you compare being a community organizer to being a mayor or the governor of a state? No candidate on either slate has executive experience aside from Palin. They’ve tried to make Alaska look like a small insignificant state that shouldn’t be hard for anyone to run. I guess that would be true if it didn’t border with two other countries she’s had to deal with and provides an enormous amount of raw material backbone to the US economy. Oh, did we also mention it’s the largest state? I guess the Dem mudslinging machine was asleep in geography class and thought that Alaska was to scale on all the little textbook maps. Alaska may be small in population but it is immense on importance to the US.
After that you had Alan Colmes and the morons at Daily Kos questioning Palin getting proper prenatal care during her last pregnancy. Implying that somehow something to do with giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome. They might want to do a little bit of homework next time they try something like that since Down Syndrome is a genetic abnormality and has absolutely nothing whatever to do with quality of prenatal care. Colmes found out about his error and removed the posting but through the magic of Google caching it lives on.
I don’t know, maybe Alan should have just stuck with the party line that Palin should have exercised her reproductive rights and aborted the pregnancy as over 90% of mothers who receive a positive Down Syndrome prenatal screening do. You know, make it easier on herself and the world for not having to deal with a disabled child like Chris Burke. This kind of nonsense is the harshest slap in the face to all of us who are parents of disabled children. To insinuate and to outright lay it out there that somehow she is at fault and a bad parent that caused her child’s disability or there are increased risks of Down Syndrome to children of mothers over forty and that she shouldn’t have even conceived is beyond the pale. Keep writing this trash fellas, Sarah will be sworn in as vice president come January.
I must admit, when she was announced I was concerned that McCain was simply pandering to Hillary voters — trying to come up with a woman to reach out to the rightfully disillusioned Hillary backers. I was concerned she wouldn’t be up to the task. One speech went a long way but looking at this woman’s background has done more for me to silence those notions out. She is instantly disarming and appealing, clearly attractive but also feisty and tenacious (the hockey mom vs. pit bull joke was classic). It was energy that has been absent from the GOP Convention since The Great Communicator bid us all goodbye.
So it’s back to the drawing board for the dirty tricks gang working for Obama. I don’t think the blatant US attack did so hot, in fact I think you poured gas on the fire. It’s going to be a long two months for you guys.
Priceless, absolutely priceless, Jackie Mason can boil everything down to the brass tacks and always has been able to.