about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.
REM (1980-2011) did this song when I was in college. Michael Stipe was the lead singer -- he's the
guy with the gray-white beard in the above video. I loved REM
at the time, and this song in particular. "It's the End of the World" from 1987, which is the year I
started Freshmen year in college at Tulane University. My roomate, Tim Conley, introduced me to
REM, and this song was my favorite when I heard it in the Fall of 1987. THANKS TIM :-)
David Brooks' "opinion" is often contrived,
highly compromised with obvious biased agenda, and is even comical with its pathetic bloviating
ramble on trying to weave a nonsensical argument. Driftglass is incessant in a long term attempt to point out how David Brooks is
full of shit.
When David comes on PBS and debates Mark Shields I was always able to point out Mr. Brooks
subtle deceptions and blatant incongruities. He has been a plant of respectable reason and has
betrayed that assumption more than half the time. His purpose is to appear reasonable sometimes,
only to suddenly turn on a dime and make proclamations that don't relate to whatever reasonable
opinion he most recently espoused. He is a dagger. Just when he starts to make to make sense, wham,
you get hit with the irrational statement that leaves his real intent bare. David Brooks is a hired
word assassin. He is sponsored by that segment of the corporate elite that rely on Mr. Brooks to
"gum-up-the-works" and provided a courtier role of justifying the corporate paradigm in a way that
might be palatable with the upper middle class and educated classes.
Wednesday, 28 December 2016 at 18h 51m 23s
What schools cannot do alone
Fact: the correlation between student responses on multiple choice standardized tests against
various sociological parameters is very high. Above 90 percent R squared (Coefficient of
Determination) – which is the percentage of variation accounted for by only the two factors of data
Scores versus Family yearly income.
Scores versus Parental Level of Education.
Scores versus amount of vocabulary attained by age 5 or 6.
Scores versus Zip Code.
All of these factors are so highly correlated that they are borderline predictive.
In many schools, the location of the school indicates the sociological factors of which that school
will have to become associated. These factors are independent of the school itself, because they
are based upon the sociological and economic background of the location -- not the ability or
functionality of the school. Hence separating the school from it’s inherent sociological
environment is very difficult to do. Not all failures are a result of the school system when the
resulting society ignores community and social investments which can make a palpable difference
beyond anything school personnel can do. After and before school programs, school lunch, breakfast
and dinner programs, parental education programs, subsidizing community sponsoring events, investing
in pre-K education, subsidizing child care, insuring a viable nationalized retirement system, and
single-payer nationalized health care would all go a long way towards alleviating the other factors
that cause issues with the scores of our pre-18 year old youth. When these other factors are not
addressed, or become exacerbated, the more relevant issues of why students do not achieve their
potential cannot really be separated from what is measurable at school.
Granted, correlation does not mean causation. This is precisely why statistics alone cannot
completely capture what it is that we call the phenomenon of prerequisite knowledge, because the
results are too dependent upon too many various factors and indicators to be indicative of anything
beyond the specific issues of the individual child upon which each individual assessment is taken.
We cannot average out these individual assessments to attain anything meaningful, other than what it
is that might be dominant characteristics of the overall population from which such individual
statistical slices come. However every average is always somewhere in between the maximum and
minimal values of the data set, and not representative of any individual in the group.
This is why charter schools in the same districts as the public school do not make a measureable
difference when the students come from the same population of students without separating the
population based on various beneficial statistics. The best charter schools actually separate the
better students using various tactics, often kicking out the lesser endowed, so their success rates
compared to the public school is more a result of these mechanisms of subtraction, a result that
comes from removing the students who are more difficult to teach. Schools who are said to be failing
are largely suffering from being overwhelmed by social factors not being addressed by the government
and the local community
Schools provide a service called education. This service involves a teacher who creates and
enhances whatever curriculum or spectra of topics are desired to whatever course a student becomes
attached. This teacher, under the most efficient and beneficial assumptions, gets to know each
student, adjusts and caters the overall curriculum design to meet the various needs of the incoming
students. Students who have less cognitive dissonance move far beyond their own expectations, while
at the same time students who are cognitively inhibited (for whatever reason) do not fall farther
beyond. At best it is assumed that these low-end students actually rise above their prior level, so
that we give credit to the best teachers those who rise the level of all their students across the
Under certain stable conditions, this is possible. The Bell curve of the classroom all shifts to
the right an equal amount. In practice however, this bell curve of the incoming students represents
not just one group, but many different groups; each of whom respond differently to different
situations and have their education affected by different factors throughout the measurable time
frame (semester, quarter, tri-mester, or year-to-year). These students have erratic learning
habits, and are highly affected by their non-school related events.
Students who live with single parents
Students going through a parental divorce
Students who live with step parents
Students who have had a history of mobililty over a five year period
Students who live in poverty
Students who have poor dietary habits
Students who come from a poor educational background.
Students responding to computer programs that are meant to address their individual needs cannot
address the eight issues above. Removing the teacher-student relationship alone is not an effective
means of addressing the education phenomenon that appears to be “broken” and in need of “reform”.
Assuming the reason why students lack success only relates to their pace of learning, is it a
good idea to place impressionable, possible highly ignorant young people responding to a computer
program with little or no interference from a teacher or any other human being? Learning is not a
passive experience, involving mere pressing of buttons on a keyboard, quietly answering questions
using simple words without interacting with other persons during the experience. Students watch
videos and then respond or click boxes based upon how much they remembered (this is called a Quiz).
Students do not interact based upon watching the same video. Students do not analyze their opinions
or reflections of the video. Students do not get differing viewpoints about the video from other
students, or even feedback from the teacher. The experience is solitary. The answers to such
questions are thusnot referencing a dynamic involving various reactions with the learning
environment, but responses to a script.
Hence the phrase “catering to the individual needs” of the student is really a means of
disconnecting the individual from the group and from the peers where the learning environment is
organic. The method
doesn’t guarantee long-term or developmental memory because it depends upon inferential solitary
integration with the dissemination of knowledge. Most people need to be engaged with the learning
experience. Discussing and sharing knowledge also enhances an individual’s understanding. Linkages
are created whenever there is some sort of group socialization or attempt to form a socialization
around knowledge that do not occur when knowledge acquisition is solitary.
Think of this like reading a book. Reading a book is solitary knowledge acquisition. You learned
something by reading the book. When you discuss the book with someone else, you attach your
information to what you have already learned in the past, in addition to reflecting on what it means
to what you have already learned. If you then write a paper explaining the book -- or speak to a
group -- on what you have
gained by reading the book, you are suddenly not only regurgitating that information but putting it in a
context that you feel expresses the knowledge that you have. All of which creates a deeper, longer
lasting learning experience. You would not get the same development or understanding if you just
skimmed a few chapters of the book, watched a five minute video that summarized the book, or just
looked up references on Google that gave you some solid paragraphs – after which you answered ten
multiple choice questions that assessed your learning. That is called learning by proxy.
The idea that we can rescue dysfuctional communities by removing qualifying students to different
schools is just another way of ignoring and not investing in the issues that affect dysfunctional
communities. Syphoning these funds to a private or for-profit institution at the behest of the
individual assumes the individual alone can be plucked away from the community as a way of “saving”
the community. But what merely happens is that such individuals who are “saved” eventually leave
the community, leaving the community unchanged, a community that continues to languish because it
never got any benefit from the investment that “elevated” the student and moved the individual
somewhere else to become more successful. The coasts and urban cities are filled with migrants who
relocated, without making a difference at all in the communities from where they left.
Tuesday, 27 December 2016 at 15h 30m 17s
Why is this necessary
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has asked two Cabinet departments for the names
of government officials working on programs to counter violent extremism, according to a document
seen by Reuters and U.S. officials.
The requests to the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security involve a set of
programs that seek to prevent violence by extremists of any stripe, including recruitment by
militant Islamist groups within the United States and abroad.
Reuters could not determine why the Trump team asked for these names. The Trump team did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.
SOURCE:Warren Strobel & Arshad
Mohammed | Reuters | 23 December 2016
Why would an incoming presidential administration make a formal request to ask for these names so
soon? Why would this be a priority given the overall success over the last 8 years? Why would this
even be leaked to the press?
Monday, 26 December 2016 at 12h 50m 11s
Why You Cannot Run Government Like A Business
These are some sources to read, but the answer is quite simple. People run a business to earn a
profit. Thus the desire to control costs and maximize revenue serves as the governing protocol for
everyday situations and decision making processes. Obtaining loans to finance operations or making
capital investments are always secondary to the need to make a profit, hence decisions on what to
finance and where to invest are determined by short-term revenue potential and a desire to form a
monopolistic or at least dominant position versus any competitors.
Government however is not a
competitive industry. Whatever competition that exists should be about ideas, upon which voters are
suppose to choose based on the strength and legitimacy of various ideas. Government investments and
revenue practices also have longer term goals, that mostly are not profitable in the monetary
measurable quantity of revenue and profit alone. Social and community goals are highly
beneficial to society but cannot be quantified by money. Other social organizations and investments
save the overall society money, but these savings are so diffuse that they cannot be separately
aggregated to any one individual or group.
But read the following links for a more poignant analysis:
[SOURCE:Georgie Bishop | Excellence In
Goverment | 6 April 2016]
[SOURCE:Mike Sabo | The Federalist
Papers | 8 January 2016]
This an article about an interview with Steve Bannon, Trump's campaign manager and chief Strategist,
and the chairman of Breitbart media. Breitbart is a known promoter of various right wing mis-truths
and contrived docu-mercials depicting political falsehoods, like those against Acorn, Planned
Parenthood, and the hyperbolic non-sense of falsely registered voters or voter fraud.
(Note: yes it is true that some registration organizations gather signatures of person's who
write Mickey Mouse and
Superman on registration ballots, but these are 100% filtered out by the employees at the local
state Registration office, and never make it to the actual real world voter registration list.
However, attacking these groups by infiltrating their signature gathering attempts with people who
deliberately contrive to put these fake names on the registration cards -- and then "exposing" this
occurrence in a docu-mercial -- is what Breitbart calls "journalism."
He never called himself a “populist” or an “American nationalist,” as so many think of him today.
“I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed.
Shocked, I asked him what he meant.
“Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring
everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment ...”
“[The] National Review and The Weekly Standard,” he said, “are both left-wing magazines, and I want
to destroy them also.” He added that “no one reads them or cares what they say.” His goal was to
bring down the entire establishment including the leaders of the Republican Party in Congress....
Trump’s behavior thus far has been compatible with Bannon’s belief in Leninist tactics. As the
Bolshevik leader once said, “The art of any propagandist and agitator consists in his ability to
find the best means of influencing any given audience, by presenting a definite truth, in such a way
as to make it most convincing, most easy to digest, most graphic, and most strongly impressive.”
[SOURCE:Ronald Radosh | The Daily
Beast | 21 August 2016]
Some other things about Steven Bannon and Breitbart "in their own words" comes from the New York Times.
Referring to Ann Coulter, Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin in a 2011 radio interview on Political
Vindication Radio, he said: “These women cut to the heart of the progressive narrative. That’s why
there are some unintended consequences of the women’s liberation movement. That, in fact, the women
that would lead this country would be pro-family, they would have husbands, they would love their
children. They wouldn’t be a bunch of dykes that came from the Seven Sisters schools up in New
England. That drives the left insane, and that’s why they hate these women.”
[SOURCE:Danile Victor and Liam Stack | New York
Times | 14 November 2016 ]
The pot calls the kettle black and then makes some tea.
Donald Trump spent the past two years attacking rival Hillary Clinton as crooked, corrupt, and weak.
But some of those attacks seem to have already slipped into the history books.
From installing Wall Street executives in his Cabinet to avoiding news conferences, the
president-elect is adopting some of the same behavior for which he criticized Clinton during their
fiery presidential campaign...
Then: "I know the guys at Goldman Sachs," Trump said at a South Carolina rally in February, when
he was locked in a fierce primary battle with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. "They have total, total control
over him. Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton."
Now: A number of former employees of the Wall Street bank will pay a key role in crafting Trump's
economic policy. He's tapped Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn to lead the White House National
Economic Council. Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary nominee, spent 17 years working at Goldman
Sachs and Steve Bannon, Trump's chief strategist and senior counselor, started his career as an
investment banker at the firm.
Trump is following in a long political tradition, though one he derided on the campaign trail: If
Cohn accepts the nomination, he'll be the third Goldman executive to run the NEC.
Then: "Crooked Hillary. Look, can you imagine another four years of the Clintons? Seriously. It's
time to move on. And she's totally controlled by Wall Street and all these people that gave her
millions," Trump said at a May rally in Lynden, Washington.
Now: Trump has stocked his Cabinet with six top donors — far more than any recent White House. "I
want people that made a fortune. Because now they're negotiating with you, OK?" Trump said, in a
December 9 speech in Des Moines.
The biggest giver? Linda McMahon, incoming small business administrator, gave $7.5 million to a
super PAC backing Trump, more than a third of the money collected by the political action committee.
Then: "She doesn't do news conferences, because she can't," Trump said at an August rally in
Ashburn, Virginia. "She's so dishonest she doesn't want people peppering her with questions."
Now: Trump opened his last news conference on July 27, saying: "You know, I put myself through your
news conferences often, not that it's fun."
He hasn't held one since.
Trump skipped the news conference a president-elect typically gives after winning the White House.
Instead, he released a YouTube video of under three minutes. He also recently abruptly canceled
plans to hold his first post-election news conference, opting instead to describe his plans for
managing his businesses in tweets. "I will hold a press conference in the near future to discuss the
business, Cabinet picks and all other topics of interest. Busy times!" he tweeted in mid-December.
Then: "It is impossible to figure out where the Clinton Foundation ends and the State Department
begins. It is now abundantly clear that the Clintons set up a business to profit from public office.
They sold access and specific actions by and really for I guess the making of large amounts of
money," Trump said at an August rally in Austin.
Now: While Trump has promised to separate himself from his businesses, there is plenty of overlap
between his enterprises and his immediate family. His companies will be run by his sons, Donald Jr
and Eric. And his daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have joined Trump at a number of
meetings with world leaders of countries where the family has financial interests.
In a financial disclosure he was required to file during the campaign, Trump listed stakes in about
500 companies in at least 25 countries.
Ivanka, in particular, has been caught making early efforts to leverage her father's new position
into profits. After an interview with the family appeared on "60 Minutes," her jewelry company,
Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, blasted out an email promoting the $10,800 gold bangle bracelet that she
had worn during the appearance. The company later said they were "proactively discussing new
policies and procedures."
Ivanka is also auctioning off a private coffee meeting with her to benefit her brother's foundation.
The meeting is valued at $50,000, with the current top bid coming in at $25,000.
"United States Secret Service will be Present for the Duration of the Experience," warns the auction
After 6 bankruptcies, Trump was somehow still able to get new capital investments. James Henry, who
recently published an article in the magazine, The American Interest, titled "The Curious World of Donald Trump's Private Russian
This information comes not from some fringe lunatic.
James S. Henry is a leading economist, attorney and investigative journalist who has written
extensively about global issues. James served as Chief Economist at the international consultancy
firm McKinsey & Co. As an investigative journalist his work has appeared in numerous publications
like Forbes, The Nation and The New York Times. He was the lead researcher of the recently released
report titled 'The Price of Offshore Revisited.'
Trump Vineyard Estates LLC filed a request Dec. 2 with the Labor Department for six H2 visas, which
permit U.S. employers to hire foreigners for seasonal jobs such as pruning grapevines, which is what
the request said. The request was posted online by the Labor Department on Wednesday and first
reported by BuzzFeed News.
The workers are needed to prune the vines on the estate, the Labor application said, and they would
be paid $10.72 per hour for a 40-hour, six-day week. The jobs are anticipated to last from January
The Trump vineyard applied for 19 temporary visas for foreign workers in 2014, 2015 and this year,
before the most recent request, according to federal records. In addition, he has sought to hire 513
foreign workers since 2013 for some of his other businesses, including for his Palm Beach home,
Do you see the irony here? The same candidate who protested about immigrants taking jobs, is asking
for permission to hire (and has previously hired) immigrant labor instead of hiring American
workers. Obviously, it was all
bullshit. The chutzpah of these people is simply amazing.