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Open Thread - 12/28/2013

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Open Thread, video )

- 1575 days ago -
Personal news, a Jig Zone puzzle, 3 short takes, and a homemade cartoon (shown).

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Patricia H. (440)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 6:12 am

Mitchell D (104)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 7:47 am
The conservatives do not want the people educated, they might, then, be able to see through the propaganda, through the Faux News BS, through the creationist BS, be able to vote with their cerebral cortexes, rather than alligator brains!

Robert B (60)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 8:25 am
The only education the extreme conservatives want is history that has been rewritten to fit their political aims. Truth and hard facts are to the Faux Noise crowd like the bright light is to cockroaches. .

Pat B (356)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 8:30 am
Excellent piece from UpWorthy from the educational standpoint regarding students/teachers/schools in the US. I'm passing that one on to others.Good cartoon too. Hope that you have a leisurely day, take care, and Thanks, Tom.

Winn A (179)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 8:51 am
Thanks Tom. Republicans and tea baggers don't want to bother people with education. It will only get in the way of promoting their own agendas.

Kit B (276)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 9:22 am


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

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

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


Arielle S (313)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 9:40 am
"Keep politics out of education, keep political and religious ideas out of public education. " Amen to that, Kit!
Between the holy-roller do-gooders and the Gotta-have-control-of-everything-Republicans, kids today don't stand much chance. I thank the goddess for some great teachers in my lifetime - way back then... ha... it was about learning and not about standards or tests or making politicians look good.

Past Member (0)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 10:24 am
Thanks TC. Take care of you.


Malgorzata Z (198)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 11:34 am

Gary L (138)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 1:02 pm
thanks Tc unfortunately to many democrats lie down with the republican dogs and we all get fleas

Joanne Dixon (38)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 1:20 pm

5:01 Frozen out.

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

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

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

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

Birgit W (160)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 1:31 pm

barbara C Horban (56)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 1:42 pm
Having been a teacher in both public and parochial schools and retiring after 29 years I can sat the face of education has changed dramatically. I taught because I loved watching children absorb and utilize information. Slowly year by year the politics of education came into play. More time on data collection and teaching to a state mandated test. Anyone worth common sense knows that's not how children learn. Statistics can be manipulated. There are just too many variables to accurately score these state mandated tests. Leaving public for parochial school cut may salary almost in half but I had the freedom to teach and my students did learn.

Lona G (80)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 6:56 pm
Great posts today, TomCat. I'm happy to see you're comfy in your new digs and getting enough energy back to dig up some new nastiness by the GOP.

The video on education and COED Pisa results hits the problems right on the nose. My husband is actively involved in Pisa and agrees with every point discussed in the video. One of the main problems when analyzing the data is that America wants to be compared with other rich countries, that is on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is indeed very high compared to most other countries, but which doesn't take into account the rather extreme inequality in income in the US. As we at Care2 already know, most money is hoarded by the 2%, which renders the general comparison of educational levels in the US with those of other countries moot. The video does an excellent job on debunking several myths based on these false comparisons. The Republican rich are the only ones profiting from these myths and their proposed 'solutions' as the rich can afford to send their children to private schools, so their children's education will not be influenced by cuts, less teachers and larger classes. And Barb Horban has touched upon another problem that is also becoming more to the forefront in other countries: too much focus on federal and state mandated tests.Children no longer learn how to learn, but learn how to give the correct answer to a given test.

If the US has 25% of the worlds prison population behind its bars, and at the same time has one of the highest excecution rates in the world, how can it be maintained that prison and the death penalty are good deterents? Given the inherent injustice of the system, being a deterent is last on the list of excuses.

Excuse me, I must be getting the prescription of my glasses checked: Israel is given the power to decide if America will go to war against Iran. That can't possibly be constitutional, can it? But how can anyone in his right mind even propose to empower another nation to decide what America does in terms of war? I'm not American as you know, but to me it sounds like treason!

Good cartoon, TomCat. History seems to be the favourite lesson in school for Republicans during which to fall asleep.

Sheila D (28)
Saturday December 28, 2013, 8:13 pm
Thanks for the post, TomCat. I know several people who work in corrections or the penal system, and all seem to think everything is just fine. Of course, they are also Republicans (what can I say?).
I have long believed the "elite" Republicans would be happy to make all schools private. Then only the wealthy would be able to send their children to school and the rest of the people would be illiterate. However, their plan would never work, as even illiterate people will find a way to learn if the interest is there.
It has become quite clear to me that Iran WILL decide if we go to war with them. If Congress is stupid enough to continue sanctions, then everything Obama has worked for will be moot. And no one will ever trust us again. The rabid Right will be committing treason right under our noses, and, as they have done over these past several years, they will do it without consulting with "we the people".

TomCat S (129)
Sunday December 29, 2013, 12:25 am
Thanks to all but the damn spammer. Kudos tp Lit, Lona, and Barb.

I received a better high school education in the 1960s than the college educations most get today.

Karen Chestney (112)
Sunday December 29, 2013, 6:55 am
Tx TC, another good article & The VID. We need to get the politics out of the school system. ...No politics, no religion. pay Teachers fairly and stop working them to death....burn-out rate is high.. Where as our students are very bright...& should be given Free Quality Education.
On Iran....Congress...Shut-up.!!!

TomCat S (129)
Monday December 30, 2013, 12:26 am
Amen Karen!
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