Sunday, December 9, 2012

Race To The Bottom

Abandoned Schoolhouse [Photo by Tony J Case on Flickr]

A "must listen" on the state of the American Education System - there is no difference between Dubya's "No Child Left Behind" and Obama's "Race To The Top" - standardized testing based educational system - with Diane Ravitch, former U.S. Asst. Secretary of Education - 32 minutes...but truly important stuff..."education in Finland, a commitment to the life of the mind..."

Listen or Download Podcast:

And one more link: (cuz sometimes links get broken)

Diane Ravitch's Website

Diane Ravitch's Blog

"Congress doesn't know what to do with 'No Child Left Behind'. It should be thrown out. It's been a failure. We've had it now since 2002. In January of 2002 is when George W. Bush signed it. Congress is just frozen in place, they don't know what to do other than to keep collecting test scores. The Obama administration has not really thrown it out. They created a system of waivers where states can opt out of the November 2014 deadline. There is this crazy idea that by November 2014, 100% of the children in the U.S. will be proficient, and if they're not proficient, then you start getting rid of the schools, close them down, privatize them, give them to the states, all sorts of punishments come into play for not reaching an impossible goal." [Diane Ravitch]

At about the 20:00 minute mark...half a trillion dollars just sitting there...that the profiteers/privateers are just salivating over...much (if not all) of the push for privatization is coming from Wall Street...they are having seminars and workshops to talk about how much money there is to be made by privatizing the education system...then we have U.S. elected representatives in the pockets of the moneyed Wall Street carpet-baggers and their moneyed money's all so clear...yet we do nothing about it...

We are witnessing the beginnings of the privatization of the public education system in the U.S. by the right wing. It is a system that has been set up to be doomed to fail so that the profiteers can step in and begin to plunder yet another area of taxpayer funds/cash flow stream...this is my evidence of is a gut feeling...and I trust my gut...

Thursday, December 6, 2012


This term is Jon Stewart's fine work with regards to the "Fiscal Cliff" that we are hearing about in the news so much right now. Jon, as always, nails it: (careful though, some might be offended by the "Stalin fucking a bald eagle" image...)

Basically, the "Fiscal Cliff" is the climax if you will, of Congress kicking the can down the road back in the summer of 2011. The can is the issue of the Federal Budget/Deficit and the Federal Debt Ceiling. Congress was gridlocked, as usual, and failed to act on the issues before them.

For those of you who want to know more, here are a few links:

Fiscal Cliff Graphic

Here's Matt Miller in an opinion piece in the Washington Post, where he sets forth the "Endless Cliff Hypothesis".

Dana Milbank's "The Bare Truth About The Fiscal Cliff" in the Washington Post.

And if this isn't enough, here's 'The Lesson Plan' from The New York Times - "Understanding the Mathematics of the Fiscal Cliff"

My thoughts on the subject? I had gelled it all down to a lucid crux-esque thought, but then I lost it. I hate it when that happens.

Basically (I use this word WAY too much), this is all a bunch of smoke and mirrors obfuscating the real issue - balancing the Federal Budget. A 'balanced budget'. A novel concept.

Here's my "Deficit Tango" post from August 2011 - Warren Buffet's beautiful simplification/explanation of an UNbalanced budget.