Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"about poor education and the Constitution"

Low graduation standards are one reason for failing schools in America and for-profit colleges pretty much guarantee a degree to anyone who pays. I worked once in a Beef packing plant with a few people who were smarter than several teachers I taught beside. Every "for credit" class I took through my school district after earning my bachelor's degree at ASU West was a University of Phoenix guaranteed-to-pass class. I heard a woman who just earned a phd. from a for-profit school say, "I never can keep it straight - which one is true, fiction or non-fiction?" This woman graduated from the classroom to the counsellors office with a big raise because of her phd. BUT ... I had a principal who graduated from a HARVARD special class for minorities (summer school, something not a 4-year plan) who was dumb as a post. Once when she was talking to me it was the security guard (same minority group) who would jump in and clarify her sentences, correct her poor word choice, etc. So, we're muddled from top to bottom, aren't we?
Where to start to fix the education mess? Let's start at the top. Education is not mentioned in the Constitution, so therefore it, not being denied to the states, is a state's right. I mean, for God's sake can we at least begin with SOMETHING both sides agree on? And that one thing is the Constitution. The federal government should butt out of education except for the right of citizens of all races to have access to an equal level of that state's educational system. If Mississippians want to run last in a race to the bottom with Texans, let 'em go! The ridiculous thing is that Texas has a major influence on textbook publishers who wish to sell nation-wide, and, with the new Texas state standards in history, America's students will know less about Thomas Jefferson than they do about Phyllis Shalafly!
Private schools? Turn 'em loose. F... 'em. NO TAX dollars for you. Teach any BS you want. Exclude who you want, you private and religious schools, but NO TAX dollars for you! Oh, you say, they may teach lies. Duh, we're already teaching lies. Put back into place the fairness doctrine that Reagan took from broadcasting and apply it to textbooks, too. Republicans are fond of saying that the average American knows how best to spend his/her money, so lower taxes. Then they turn around and only significantly lower taxes for the rich and they tax US for "private" "charter" "whatever" schools.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

"Jesus was right, most Christians are wrong"

This blog is more like a Sunday School lesson. Sorry, but I just can’t say it better than Jesus Christ did.
Matthew, Chapter 23, verses 12 through 14:
“And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
The USA.
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
Wow, that so reminds me of George Carlin when he said something like, “You have a right to life, but not a right to live.”
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.”
Certain corporations and banks.
Verses 23- 28
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
The Supreme Court of the United States.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.
The military/industrial complex.
Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”
Certain select parts of the CIA, the NSA, the FED and all other secret agencies of our government.
Like I said earlier in this blog series, you can’t convince those who have been listening to hateful sermons for years. This is for you – a person of common sense. Did not George W. exalt himself? Is not Obama humble in his dealings with Congress? Haven’t the “banksters” devoured widow’s houses. Haven’t we seen those who “… for a pretence make long prayer.”? Who is it who“… have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment mercy, and faith …”  I’d say it’s the Supreme Court. Supreme, ha!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Christians don't believe Jesus Christ"

Okay, so, if you’re with me that we Americans should not stone sinners to death or kill our daughters for having sex, then are we not above such nonsense? You wish. I veer off into one of my pet peeves – rape. As far as I can tell MOST Americans laugh about one particular kind of rape. It’s a joke. They deserve it. No, you say? I’m talking about the rape of male inmates in our prison system. The only reason a person can chuckle about THAT is because nobody ever made them or their son “squeal like a pig, boy.” ‘nuff said.
So, to my mind, I have proven that conservative Christians hypocritically SAY that every word of the Bible is holy truth, but they don’t ACT upon that belief on things they don’t care about – like prisoners raping boys. Oh, we even put minors on trial “as adults” and throw the young stuff to the rapists, don’t we?
Well, they sure believe in Jesus, right? They would never disobey Christ without having to come back into grace by confession or pledging or “rededicating my life to Christ.” Wrong. Get out those red-letter New Testaments now. How can I do better than to go to Saint Matthew, Chapter 5, the Sermon on the Mount? Since I don’t expect readers to stay with me for a long diatribe, I’ll start by saying this. READ IT. Read Matthew, Chapter 5, verses 3 through Chapter 7, verse 27. I don’t care if you’re an atheist, an agnostic, or a saved person, read it. Read it again. Here is the heart of God talking to mankind and it is a voice of a humble heart, a long-suffering heart, and if you can’t believe that EVERY WORD is “literally and inerrantly true, how can you believe yourself a Christian?
Chapter 5, verse 5: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” The USA is not God’s favorite country, how could it be? We are arrogant. We think we have the right to tell other countries what to believe, how to act. We are not meek; we are obsessed with ruling the earth, with military power used even when we are not attacked! When did Chile attack us? When did Grenada attack us? When did Iraq attack us? El Salvador? Nicaragua? Never, but our leaders arrogantly attacked them. Our CIA assassinated Patrice Lumumba and aided and abetted evil dictators throughout history. Oh, I don’t want to be un-American, and I’m not; our leaders have been. Verse 9: “ Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Who among our recent presidents has been a peacemaker? I’d say Jimmy Carter was ( a Southern Baptist, too!). Yet he lost a second term because of lies, lies, and more lies from Ronald Reagan. Read Rachel Maddow’s well-researched book Drift for details and citings. I’m an old man and I don’t pretend to look up and cite every reference, but a serious, honest historian would and Rachel is.
 Verse 20: “For I Say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Whoa! Hold the fort. Let’s remember that verse. You must be BETTER than the “scribes and Pharisees” to get into heaven. Hummm. Scribes and Pharisees, let’s go thumbing through the pages until we see more red letters Of Christ talking about them.

Friday, July 27, 2012

"about "literal and inerrant" Biblical truth"

I was brought up in the Southern Baptist church and I know what it is to argue/debate with someone who really knows the Bible. They can go from Old to New and quote this and that and prove ANYTHING. They can prove that God cursed the dark-skinned races for all time, that all you have to believe in is that Jesus is the Son of God and ALL sins are forgiven – by God, not by your fellow man unless you “put on the agony, put on the style” and wave your hands in the air and praise Jesus. You can’t win against these people; I mean you’ll never convince them of anything their preachers haven’t taught them to believe. I doubt if many people are still reading this blog who believe that way. You’re still here because of other reasons, one of which might be an open mind.
So, let’s start with this – can it be possible that EVERY word in the Bible is “literally and inerrently true?” Open your Bibles to Leviticus, Chapter 11, verse 7, “And the swine, though he divide the hoof; he is unclean to you.” Verse 8: “Of  their flesh shall ye not eat …” Sorry, but I’ve some mighty good hams served after the “blessing to the nourishment of our bodies.”  How about Leviticus, Chapter 12, verse 2: “… If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days …” “ Verse 5: “ But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks…” Verse 6: “And when the days of her purifying are fulfilled … she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering …” Verse 8: “… and she shall be clean.” Let’s just go to Leviticus, Chapter 20, Verse 10: “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death…” Ok, enough. No, I didn’t bother quoting the homosexual or beast thing or the eating of shellfish thing or … all the other stuff. I’ve quoted enough to prove that the overwhelming majority of American Jews and Christians so not believe this to be the “literal and inerrant truth.” We do not kill adulterers, we don’t burn lambs, most Christians eat anything that tastes good with no worries. Do you really believe your precious wife, having delivered a son to you is ritually unclean? And if she makes the mistake of delivering a girl she is even MORE unclean? Did you ever attend a burnt offering? I hope not.
I’m focusing on Christians here because that’s how I was raised. I’m not going into Judaism or Islam, except to say this. We, the People, deplore the stoning of women. We deplore the “honor killings” of radical Muslims, some of whom will kill their own daughters or sisters if they have sex. Yet what’s the freakin’ difference people? These abominations of Leviticus are every bit as barbaric as honor killings! And there are Christian denominations among us, such as the Southern Baptist Convention, who want “Biblical Law” in America. They don’t want sharia law (Islam), but they want something just as un American.
Don’t kid yourselves, these things are in motion and which political party is it that openly encourages such barbarism? That caters to these nuts? It’s the Republican Party!
In my blog tomorrow I will continue my thesis that most Christians do not believe the words of Jesus Christ, and yet our politicians are afraid to fight against them on either Bible- or Constitution-based facts.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"about the Second Amendment"

If Americans were 1/10th as "fired up" about the abuses of out other nine rights in the Bill of Rights we would be so much better off. People who want common sense applied to this issue must realize that, as it is in the Constitution, it is foolish to call for a ban on handguns (protection) or rifles and shotguns (protection and hunting). The Constitution has been so twisted (interpreted) that property can be confiscated from it's legal owners because a crime was committed with or on the property. For example, a car in Phoenix was confiscated because the husband was busted having sex with a prostitute in it. The man's wife and children were left without a car! Let's interpret the second amendment beginning with the introductory clause, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state..." The NRA, the media, and our politicians ignore this. The Constitution obviously ties "well-regulated" and "Militia" into the amendment. It didn't say, you have the right to be an "Army of one." 
Modernization of interpreting the Constitution has been vital to our nation's progress. It is time to modernize, grow up, and apply some common sense to the second amendment. High-capacity clips, AK 47s, etc. make no sense outside the realm of the military.

"about a return to Common Sense"

Well, here I go with an idea I’ve been mulling over for years. My argument is that there is almost nothing in our national discourse that is untainted by greed and the need to feel superior to others merely because we were born in the USA. I hold it to be self-evident that almost no American actually reads and follows the Constitution and the New Testament. What we take to be news is mostly opinion and propaganda. We, the people, have been fooled and we act like fools because of that.
At the end of WWII we were fooled, first of all, into believing that even though the US helped win WWII, the Russians were now our number one enemy, that they were out-spending us on the machinery of war, that they were brainwashing us, that they actually COULD take over the whole world. Meanwhile, The USSR was starving and in no way capable of taking over the world. And they had died in massive numbers to aid our fight against Hitler. They had been our ally for God’s sake. I bring this up, not because my blog will be about Russia, but to show an example of how we were fooled by the secret agencies that grew out of WWII. I don’t even know how many there are. Let’s see, the CIA, the NSA, they spring to mind. But do not all American military branches have their own secret agencies? Were not private companies granted the status of our military (Blackwater, aka whatever), except that they were MUCH better paid! Why was there the destruction of 9/11? Had we not paid enough taxes to support our spies, both good and bad? Shouldn’t the cockpit doors on our airliners have been reinforced, locked doors, ever since the Palestinian hijackings of the 1960s? Shouldn’t the FBI have listened to the field ops that reported middle-eastern non-citizens taking flying lessons, but didn’t care to learn how to land? Good God! And NO ONE was fired or demoted after 9/11 except the field ops?
Recently, a relative of mine died. She was in her 70s, had undergone open-heart surgery, and her husband was a Baptist minister. Guess what? An autopsy was ordered to determine cause of death! The US investigates plane crashes to the nth degree, but Bush said it would be too troubling to America to do a scientific analysis of the debris at the World Trade Center? No autopsy for the body of the only attack on America since Pearl Harbor? That makes no sense, unless there was something to hide. You see, we’ve lost our common sense. We are no longer an informed nation; we are a nation allowing the super rich to form US into what THEY want. I’m sick of it.
The same people who will believe anything a Republican says deny any truth to anything Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi say. People admire the “Christian” act of burning the Koran and other acts of phony or ignorant preachers and can’t see with their own eyes that President Obama has spent his presidency reaching out, not getting angry  (even when called a liar during his State of the Union address). In other words, he behaves in a humble Christian manner, on our national political stage. And let’s not forget something, lest you think it’s all because he’s black. The vicious attacks on President and First Lady Clinton began immediately upon his assuming the office. Let’s see, they killed someone in the White House, and… and… and… The battle goes back, way back, yet we Americans aren’t allowed to know the truth. It’s classified Top Secret. So are the lies. How can all these people believe Obama is not a US citizen unless the CIA, NSA, and all levels of spies know it? Why do they not stir up a fuss with them? It makes no common sense.
So my blogs are about common sense and finding that common sense in two important documents: the Bible and the Constitution. Actually, I’m only using some verses from the Old Testament book of Leviticus, the RED letters (Jesus’s words) in the New Testament, and a copy of the Constitution that includes the original language as well as strike-outs of that original language as changed by amendments.
So there’s the starting point. We, the People cannot any longer know what our government is really doing. We cannot believe most of what is said on the radio and TV and written in newspapers. So, let’s go back to original documents and apply common sense to them in light of today’s America. Get your Bible (red letter edition) and your Constitution and let’s go!

Monday, July 23, 2012

a fantasy ... saving JFK's life

The older I get the more I believe I witnessed a coup; The United States of America was taken over by the military industrial/secret agencies complex on November 22, 1963. If only I had been there with My Magical Horse. Hear it here.
We fought a Civil War to just BEGIN the process of putting slavery in out past - America's original sin. Now, I believe we have a new sin and that is the mute acceptance of EVERYTHING OUR GOVERNMENT SAYS ABOUT VIOLENCE AND WAR without question. Who will ever tell us the truth? Are they ALL dead now? I don't think so, but the USA is. It's the HOMELAND. As George Carlin said, "America is a club, and you and I ain't in it." See his great three minutes on YouTube here. Foul language alert. Truth alert.
Here's something gentler, My Magical Horse and I save JFK here.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Eminent Domain

I'll never forget my schoolboy surprise when I learned that "private property" was not sacrosanct. I had been taught it was the backbone of American freedoms. Ha. This song was written as my response to Kelo v. City of New London wherein a couple were forced by a Supreme Court decision to accept the offer buying their home against their will. and it was done by the city to offer up for the use of PRIVATE BUSINESS.
You never hear enough about the use of eminent domain when Republicans (you know the ones who believe in freedom) call out for the Keystone Pipeline which would force many private land owners to give up all or part of the control OF THEIR OWN LAND. And Rick Perry wants a one-mile wide stretch from Mexico to Canada for highways, train tracks, power lines, and, no doubt HUGE KICKBACKS from corporations. Makes you want to turn outlaw and monkey wrencher.
Big John Mills counted us in and I wonder: is this the first protest song Texas Two Step? Catch it free here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

about who to Fear

When Ron Paul talks about blowback from US military actions overseas people often laugh and accuse him of thinking we deserved 9/11, etc.
This song could hold true about anyone anytime who is so angry they might do anything: become an outlaw, a suicide bomber ...
Fear the Man is a jaunty song with an upbeat feel. warning: it's full of the F... word - but sung jauntily.
Really. Here is here.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Getting even...

Folks, I'm rafting the San Juan River for a few days so I'm trying this scheduling of posts. I'm linking to political songs I have written. These are free listens.
Check out "Tattooed With Regret" here.

"about student loans and credit"

Student loans were the first credit I received in my life. I couldn't get anything else because of having no credit history. When I graduated and got my career job on a reservation, I discovered that the local Indian Health Services Hospital was largely staffed by doctors whose student loans were forgiven after a few years service on the rez. Some left on the very day their loans were forgiven. I checked up the line all the way to the US Dept. Of Ed. and found there was no way my loans would be forgiven for serving in the SAME remote, needy location as the doctors served in. You see, the AMA is an active lobby, protecting their own, and gaining concessions through lobbyists. Students, as Ronald Reagan proudly proved while he destroyed the California college system of education are just trouble-makers. And I hope they stir up one hell of a lot of trouble. To the corporations and institutions of America, we the 99% are merely cash cows.
My daughter not only got all the student loans she asked for, she also got a credit card WITH NO CREDIT HISTORY and a car loan. She proceeded to go into huge debt before waking up, and thank God, is now in a position to get out of debt before the age of 40. The Congressional system, funded by lobbyists, and the media, funded by political ads and merger approvals, are DESTROYING the American dream and they don't give a damn about us. The only answer I see is, this time make damn sure Obama gets reelected. Then, we must take over the Democratic Party from the ground up and the next President can get the Congress necessary to turn up the speed of turning things around.
Firstly, it is an absolute travesty that we have to PAY for the Democracy WE and our parents and grandparents fought and DIED for. The idea that money is speech is ludicrous, and that Citizen's United ruling did not come out of nowhere. I first heard about it as a Republican goal in the '80s and I'm not a news geek. Democrats helped usher it in by caving in from the beginning, yet Democrats are our only answer right now.
So Paris Hilton and her ilk are BORN with more free speech that your or I can ever earn! Hey she's a job creator, ahh?

Monday, July 16, 2012

"about the knee-jerk support of Israel"

I am sick of U.S. taxpayer dollars propping up Israeli wars. I am sick of the idea that America, and therefore Obama, must pander to every single issue Israel's leaders bring up. And, in recent years, conservative, politically-minded "Christian" preachers have posited that each time America "neglects" Israel's desires, God has punished America. The Republican Party has taken over these "Christians'" point of view, maybe even the outright crazies who only want to use Israel to bring about Armageddon. Our over-close relationship with a country that has responded by spying on us and fanning the fires that burned America must change. Obama didn't make any mistake in getting tough with Israel; today's Washington Post article is based upon false assumptions. There are many Israelis who want peace and an end to the occupation of lands seized during their sneak attack on Arab lands. Those settlers share a disturbing attribute to Americans - both think that God favors us over all others and therefore we have the right to kill and dominate them. Those people are like the Taliban in Afghanistan - stirring up hatred in the name of God. And Republicans would rather kill Obamacare than take away one thin dime from war-mongering.
Of course, it's the money that corrupts U.S. politics. If we had debates instead of ads we could have a discussion about Israel instead of just one more lousy editorial posing as journalism.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"Jeb and Rand will face Obama"

I first thought this in late '09 when I read that Jeb Bush had attended a Rand Paul fundraiser. Everywhere I've posted it someone says,  "No way." Well, way.  This criticism of Romney from fellow Republicans is unprecedented. Republicans don't do that; they hold coronations. I still think that Romney is a dark-horse, willing or unwilling, for the next King Bush. I think he will incorporate just enough of the Ron Paul libertarianism for Rand Paul to accept the VP slot and to gather votes that Romney just can't get. If I'm wrong, I'm only wrong, but if I'm right I claim 2 years of braggin' rights!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

"about the corruption of "reporting" vs. blogging"

This morning Jason Linkins put up something on Huffington Post. You can read it here. From the headline on, Mr. Linkins is distorting reality which is what much of today's "reporting" and blogging are. Whatever Huffington or Mr. Linkins call it, it's a blog, but I know many or most people will read it as a "news story." I have seen the same things done in AP news so I'll be on the lookout for one to share because they do pretend to be a news outlet. I'm not sure what Huffington claims to be NOW, but they ain't much different from when what's-her-name ran it.
First of all the headline reads, "Ron Paul's Tampa Hopes Hinge On Cornhusker Convention Chaos," but NOWHERE  in the story does he describe anything except Ron Paul bakers USING THE RULES to support their candidate! You see, in America today, peasants aren't supposed to use the political system - that would be chaos! Here's the sinister description Mr. Linkins gives to the Ron Paul supporter's plan:

"First, meet up the night before to get everyone on the same page about who to vote for, including the convention chair. Second, get to the convention several hours ahead of everyone else to avoid being caught in line during registration. Third, vote for the convention chair.
The Daily Paul writer says “Stay sharp and show up in force!” The writer then orders (emphasis added) Mr. Paul’s supporters to make sure that the convention chair is put up for a vote, and tells them to make sure voting machines are not used to count delegate votes."

Mr. Linkins does not think smart, planned political actions from the peasants is a good idea. He also writes that, "...  it's been well known for some time that Paul's supporters plan to descend (emphasis added) on Tampa in force." How dare they? Anyway, everyone who FLYS into Tampa will descend, will they not? But, Mr. Linkins doesn't mean it that way. He means like a flock of vultures, like pickpockets will descend upon London during the Olympic Games.
Furthermore,  "... if it looks like Paul isn't getting the full measure of what he's entitled to in Tampa, trust me -- it will be hell with the lid off."  It would be HELL if the Ron Paul backers demand their legal rights! HELL?
"Of particular interest:," opines Mr. Linkins, "no matter what happens in Nebraska, Paul's supporters on the convention floor already have the leverage they need to force some chaos (emphasis added) in the process that officially nominates the vice president."

This shows the extent to which our nation has grown back to the Loyalist stance pre-1776. Much of the U.S. wants a king or a dictator. ALL the media bombard us with stories that imply that only the Presidential vote matters. ObamaCare is ALL Obama's fault. No, excuse me, it was passed into law by Congress and upheld my the Supreme Court. Oh, but all that is too complicated. Let's just focus on - OBAMA. 
And let's be dismissive of a democratic process that doesn't put money into media pockets. You know, like Ron Paul didn't spend the kind of money Romney did on advertising, so how can he possibly matter?
HP is neither a newspaper nor does it print objective reporting so why should it hire reporters? HP is "entertainment" and the articles are blogs, and that's the way it was under the previous owner, too. I just can't break away from it, though. I mean where else can I go to see all those "wardrobe malfunctions", and Miley's "too short" shorts, and sexy stuff without being ashamed of my browser history? And where else on Huffington Post does the PICTURE MATCH THE HEADLINE?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

... about a smart Republican Marijuana Strategy

I think it would be a smart move on the part of Republicans to embrace at least this one aspect of Ron Paul's libertarianism and state's rights fight even if goes against their grain - POT. The federal government, both parties, do not let go of anything they get their hands on whether it makes Constitutional sense or not. For instance, education IS CONSTITUTIONALLY A STATE ISSUE, but both parties are intent on federalizing it one way (forced privatization) or another (giving money with provisos that weaken local control). On THIS issue, if the Republicans were smart, they could take the truth and own it. The drug war is an expensive, catastrophic failure. Marijuana is everywhere and always will be. Let the states make their own decisions. You get 50 experiments that way and one of them will work. The Democrats are trying to appeal to the religious right and other punishment freaks, a VERY SMALL group for them that they can TRY to convince to vote their way. Forget about it! The Republicans outsmarted you on that LONG ago. Appeal to your young base AND libertarians who you have a chance of winning over and getting to the polls, fools (I mean this is the party that lost the Kennedy Senate seat). You don't have enough on your hands successfully fighting the war on terror, upholding voting rights, improving the economy, winning in November? Oh, ok, then, Dems. Bust the free the weed movement. Lose for another generation. The smokers will still get their pot and you will still be hypocrites because tobacco and booze are the real killers. And Republicans will have busted (pun intended) down the doors that lead to STATE control of education (very little), STATE health laws (don't get sick), GUN laws (pack some heat everywhere esp. to the polls), etc. Oh, and they will collect a LOT of tax dollars and create a new tourist industry. Go for it Mitt! Pick Rand Paul as your running mate.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

... About Education

The simple truth (from a retired teacher) is that those nations that continually outscore our kids are separating students by ability level. We put a non-reader-gang-banger bully in the same room with a kid with a genius IQ and call the teachers bad because they can't be everything to everybody. This country's definition of a "good teacher" is really the definition of a genius angel. Let's get real. I know that historically classification of students by "ability" led to discrimination - by sex, by race, etc. How about this as a start - let any kid take any class (even the high-level classes) as long as they TRY to learn! There will be some who achieve at lower levels, but that's when a good teacher can accommodate both the lesson AND the grade. Who decides who is really trying and learning at an adequate level? Well, the teacher of course, and if a teacher is discriminating it's an administrators job to catch it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

About Sin and Crime

This post is a prelude to a series of postings I have planned for years about religion and the American Constitution. When I begin that I will refer to the Bible and the Constitution for exact quotes. Today, I'm working from memory.
Jesus said, "As a man thinketh, so is he." Yes, I believe that. I believe it on a religious level and on a psychological level, but I do not believe it on a legal or criminal level. Mental sin is between you and God. Acting out a sin is often, not always, a crime. For instance, the making and selling of cigarettes and booze may be a sin, but it is legal as hell. Masturbating MAY be a sin - certainly, though, it is one we are all guilty of. Should we go to jail for it? Of course not. It is a more of a sin against our children that we keep secret auto-erotic asphyxiation and every year talk about "mysterious" suicides-by-hanging.
Being in a gang may be a sin, but it is the ACTIONS of the gang that can be crimes. Murder is a sin and a crime, but is it more of a crime if it is done out of sheer hatred than if it is done "in a moment of passion?" I think not, because NONE of us can see into another's head. Dylan wrote, "If my thought dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guilloine." That's true of all of us at some time or another.
The latest items I read about possible sin and "crime" deal with marijuana. It is wayyyy over-criminalized and we, as taxpayers, pay to lock up people who are as harmless as a man with two beers in him walking home. If one is not driving and not giving pot to minors I argue that there is no crime. If a tipsy man is walking or being driven home, he is no criminal. We cannot afford, as a nation, to lock up every drunk or pot smoker unless their ACTIONS are harming OTHERS overtly. We should be ashamed to be the foremost nation on earth when it comes to the percentage of our population behind bars.
Gov. Christie recently said it would cost 1/2 as much to "treat" marijuana smokers as to incarcerate them. So what? That's still too much to pay and I know that, since Christie is a Republican, that he would count that very treatment as a reason to take away that person's right to vote!
That's what the "drug war" has always been 1/2 about - the demonization of people. Nixon ginned it up along with the "Southern strategy" as a way to bring voters to the GOP. (Those anti-war protestors are just high on drugs.) The CIA joined the government of England (opium in China) as drug pushers. England just wanted the money. The CIA was out to demonize people, mainly people of color. The other 1/2 of the drug war is an excuse to prop up right-wing dictators with military equipment and to "militarize" our local police forces. These actions go unpunished on earth although they are criminal. They'll see what God thinks later on.
I like the ballot proposition that will be voted on in November in Colorado. Basically, it says, we'll distribute, tax, and control pot like booze. The federal government has it's hands full, so how about letting go a little, Fed, and let states make a few decisions? The horror that has gone on in Mexico is a reflection of what the U.S. should have learned during prohibition. And that horror is blood on the hands of the U.S. government. It's a crime. Let people grow weed in a locked greenhouse or home, along with state-controled sales and save Mexico!
Three things have grossly distorted American politics: the media - deregulation of our media ownership laws, the abandonment of the Fairness Doctrine, and the fact that we PAY for democracy; the usurpation of religion by politicians; and the jailing and government murder of innocent people. I know so many people who feel it unfair, or would feel it unfair, if THEIR child went to prison for a joint. But that black boy...  'First they came for the pot smokers, but I was not a pot smoker, so I paid no mind.' "Money doesn't talk, it swears (Dylan)." So money is speech? Then why was Paris Hilton born with more freedom of speech than Fannie Lou Hamer? That's a crime. The Constitutional view of media, esp. broadcast media is that the medium belongs to the People and the same should hold true of the entire electromagnetic spectrum (internet). So WE the People shouldn't pay a dime for political commercials. We should protest the giving away of huge amounts of money to TV and radio and MAKE them set aside debate time, no commercials. "Next they came for the protestors, but I was not a protestor..." And what the hell is with the Morman Church OWNING Marriot, etc., etc. and other denominations OWNING businesses? Take that away! That's a crime against small business owners having to compete with tax-free institutions. And tax churches - we did until the Johnson administration. Some of them or more country clubs, with gyms and movie theaters, than the instrument of God.
WE pay too much for locking people up for things that are sins, not crimes.

Friday, July 6, 2012

... About Education

I was a teacher before the No Student Left Un-Recruited Law. The Bill was a Republican plan. What do think was supposed to happen? The quickening of privatization, that's what. 100% of ANY nations' students are not going to be proficient in school; can we have some common sense, please? The famous support of Edward Kennedy of this law is a shame. He played the role of rich kid invited to the neighborhood game only because he owned a ball. Democrats must begin to care more about justice than they do about trying to get the "middle" (read right-wing) vote. After the law passed there was a huge increase in the use of consultants (teachers tired of teaching students) and a decrease in the amount of money spent directly in the classroom. Education is, Constitutionally, a STATE issue, and the fed needs to butt out, if only because EACH new administration is going to change the policy of the previous administration. It was justice to integrate the schools and it took the federal government to do it, but education in and of itself is not a Civil Right. The movement to declare it so is a Republican move to further discredit PUBLIC schools so that they can reward their buddies with privatization. The first violators of the "Civil Right" to education are always PARENTS (for the first five or six years) and they set the stage for that child's future. But no parent will ever be accused of the violation; unionized teachers will.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

CIA Whistle-Blower on Torture Prosecuted

Huffington Post reports that , "... the same month (CIA whistle-blower) Kiriakou was indicted, former CIA officer Jose Rodriguez, who oversaw the interrogation program, was on a book tour, proudly defending waterboarding and his own decision to destroy videos of interrogations in which it was used." I understand the outrage. A man who did not torture might go to jail, while a man who did torture and destroy the evidence is free. And of course the blogosphere is full of condemnation of Obama. So many people raise the specter of an America gone awry: buy guns, stock up on food and water, dig a shelter...

I don't want to live in that world. They're playing a kid's game of Cowboys and Indians with real weapons and they're the Indians. If that nightmare scenario comes true it's because it's already too late and the police and the military will kill you.
But ... imagine ... Maybe Obama HAS to do certain things in order to convince the majority of America's secret agencies and high-level military that Democrats CAN and HAVE kept America safe from outside attacks, whereas the Republicans did NOT.
I, too, have been deeply disappointed, but stop blaming the one person - the President. WE the people have foolishly sat back and let Congress become a home for fools and let the Supreme Court pick our President. THAT was the day for Al Gore to become a hero for all time. On that day we should have flooded the streets in protest!! This is America of course we're going to do a recount, even a new vote, if necessary. THAT'S what I wish Mr. Gore had said. Of course, he would have been assassinated.
Who is most likely to engage in "mass incarcerations" - Obama or ANY Republican President? I'm voting for Obama. He yanked us from the brink of the cliff of full-blown fascism. He is leading us back to the center, opening the door for a future wherein the American people wake  up to the fact that we have been robbed by the rich. Unfortunately, he has not yanked us all the way to Disneyland, but with Obama we have a chance to regain sanity. The Republican Party leaders are insane.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

England growing - How about US?

Imagine ... living in a country where the leader can say the equivalent of "I want to establish a full parliamentary inquiry involving both houses, chaired by the chairman of the Commons Treasury Select Committee."
UK prime minister Cameron said people "want to see bankers who acted improperly punished, and they want to know we will learn the broader lessons of what happened in this particular scandal". I say re-elect Obama AND support the Ron Paul move to audit the Federal Reserve. It's our money.
Imagine ... living in a country where the leader can say, "This committee will be able to take evidence under oath, it will have full access to papers and officials and ministers 
including ministers and special advisers from the last government." The USA cannot come to grips with the enormous danger in our Empire-seeking secret agencies, wasteful wars that create more danger to us than they do to protect us and an economy that rewards bribing cheating speculator/gamblers more than real workers until our leaders can speak openly about Wall Street crime and wrong-doing in former administrations.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Save Kids - End the War on Drugs

Kevin Sabet, supposedly a "drug expert" said, "The scientific consensus is that legalization (of marijuana) would increase use, especially among kids, and I think that is not something the President wants to happen under his watch." Only sorta-half true, the second half. The real issue is that a national politician who wants to win can't afford to endorse legalization, but s/he could byGod leave the states smart enough to legalize the hell alone! And if the U.S. really gave a care about Mexico, they'd (the U.S.) legalize it. An increase in use among kids is a concern? Ha! Make tobacco products and alcohol illegal and I might believe about concern for kids. But America wised up about alcohol, after essentially creating a market for gangsters. Take the market away and save Mexico - if you are concerned about Mexican kids.
I taught 7th and 8th graders on an Indian reservation and I caught them with pot. The "War on Drugs" has merely served as a front to give military weapons to foreign dictators -it's a part of the military/industrial complex. It's just one more way to separate poor and middle-class Americans from our money and send it overseas. Just like our jobs.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Seen a Christian lately?

I was brought up Southern Baptist, and I still remember some sermons and Sunday School lessons. Damn right. Our/your Republican leaders are not Christians. They say the government can't do any good. Right, THEY are not capable of running the government to do good, only to waste money on wars. The demonization of government begun by Ronald Reagan is feeding the fires of hate groups in America. The Constitution is our guide for how to run government, and it's done by politics, so they are demonizing our Constitution as they demonize government. It's all about the SUPERrich robbing the poor and it's done with a flag in one hand and a Bible in the other. Right-wing Christians can't even recognize Christian behavior when they see it. I see it - in Barack Obama.