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Open Thread - 4/21/2014

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

- 1492 days ago -
Personal news, a Jig Zone puzzle, 3 short takes, and a homemade cartoon (shown).

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Arielle S (313)
Monday April 21, 2014, 6:36 am
Good thing you told us it was satire, Tom - seemed pretty realistic to me.

Kids having to actually learn things? How dare anyone suggest such a thing!

Lona G (80)
Monday April 21, 2014, 7:05 am
Good luck with your medical appointment, TomCat. They are necessary, but a bother nevertheless. Good to check-up on new meds, it might explain why you felt so tired lately.

Upworthy: Yes, you are absolutely right, TomCat, by voting this right wing government to power last year the Australians have imported the worst of the Republicans, turning back the clock for immigration, CO2 emission, wildlife protection and protection of World Heritage - the Great Barrier Reef. But all's not lost. Video's like this, with it's very subtle irony for Aussie standards, and a growing opposition to the corporation sell-out of this government give me hope that Australia will come to its senses before American style Republicanism has taken Oz fully in its grip.

Daily Kos: I just can't get enough of these Fox News Items which whine about Obama being a jerk for not being able to repress the need to rub the Republicans noses in their defeat. Of course Obama's not bashing the GOP, he's just getting the facts straight on his own bashing by the Republicans. And the more they know Obama is right and the more it hurts, the more they whine. Music to my ears. I hope the Democrats make them whine a lot more in the next elections.
And your idea of some cheese whit that whine, TomCat, is great. I've got some Limburger here for them that is so ripe the French won't even approach it.

NY Times: The Republicans are really getting desperate if this ObamaCore, which was in fact something they have helped introduce themselves - just like the ACA), is the only thing they can find to fight the Democrats on. Again it's already done and dusted and taking the Common Core out again, would give the American educational system a death blow. But that is of course what they're after: dumbing down the masses, giving the Talibangelists full reign of reinstating medieval biblical curricula and leaving any real education to private schools for the 1%.
Get them out of government as fast as possible to prevent that, America!

Cartoon: Nice piece of historic accuracy there, TomCat. This legendary date actually seems to be a rather good estimate. The hills of Rome had been build upon before this time, but the first signs of any communal activity stem from a little after 750 BC.

Carlene V (202)
Monday April 21, 2014, 7:15 am
Might have been a satire Tom but surely on point with what it's really like inside those companies.

Common Core - Our grand daughter's teacher told me it's really insanity at its best. Someone dressed in fancy suits selling a "new" way for kids to learn how to multiply and think. Really? Teachers having to teach kids to test is a waste of time. Danielle's teacher had to spend untold hours reteaching the 4th grade class the "new" way to multiply when they all knew how to multiply already. Little squares all over the classroom floor, adding 10's, 100's, etc. when if you give them a problem they simply did it without all the little pieces and time wasted. My impression thus far is that Common Core is simply a new way to confuse kids who already know how to think.

Kit B (276)
Monday April 21, 2014, 7:32 am

Time - 3:20 Hoppy Easter

Good satire always always cuts close to the bone. Very well done, and no doubt exactly the message many corporations are sending out to all of us, just with a slightly different vocabulary.

We are creeping towards total privatization of public schools, just as with prisons this will happen by eroding the current system so that people will believe the only answer is to privatize. Once that is complete, people will find that like the many functions of government public education will collapse under a private system.

If the US wants good schools and better education, get the government and politicians out and allow the educators to do their jobs.

Rome had a darned good run, but ultimately collapsed under the weight of the 1%.

Thanks again. TC

Joanne D (38)
Monday April 21, 2014, 9:13 am

Upworthy - Aw, I knew it was satire. In the real world, they wouldn't tie their thoughts up in all those pretty rationalizations. They'd just cut to the chase. And not one of them would have the imagination to see that they might one day want to switch sides.

Daily Kos - Ah, but he is black. Black boys are suppsed to take whuppings in silence. If he were white we wouldn'y hear this double standard crap, or at least not so obviously. Say - one group is sending logo'ed robes to SCROTUS and another is sending aluminum cans to the Federal Reserve to protest banks dealing directly in commodities - could we get up a movement to send Fox some cheese? Like the Limburger Lona has? Lots of it?

New York Times - This is an old, old argument. I've read comments on it written in the 1930's, and we have essentially the same two positions today. The truth is somewhere, of course. Certainly some testing is necessary for the benefit of the teachers so they know what is working, if nothing else. But I personally have a deep distrust of standardized tests for cultural reasons. I also went to school in the 50's and 60's, and I never had a standardized test that affected either my grades or the reputation of the school. Yes, I took a standardized test in 8th grade, but it was for admission to the National Merit Society, so I doubt it was even requird. I also took the PSATs while a junior in high school - that was a courtesy offering on the part of the school to help kids who wanted to go to college know what to expect when they took the real SATs, which were NOT administered by the schools but by the ETS which designed them. I didn't know then but I do now that all those tests were extremely culturally biased. But the problem is that it pretty well passes the wit of humans to produce standardized tests that are NOT culturally biased. Please read carefully what Charlene V has to say on this. It appears to me that standardized testing can be and often is another weapon in the crusade to privatize public schools which Kit B describes so well.

Cartoon - Yup. And if you are ever reading about early Rome and come across an A.U.C. date, that (753 BC) is the U.C. (urbe condita, or date of the founding of the city) that the date is A. (ab = from)

Deb E (63)
Monday April 21, 2014, 10:24 am
They "just don't understand why he can't help himself to just lead and say I have some good news to share with you ... and then leave it at that but ... why is he such a jerk ALL THE TIME?" WHY????? Are they serious? Or are they reading from scripts? They vote 50 some odd times to repeal the law and then this news station has to ask WHY he would bash the Party? He bashes them because anyone who is still voting Republican is against bringing this country forward out of the dark ages, where white ruled supreme and women stayed at home being good little girls, obeying the every whim of their husband. He has every right to bash the Republican Party, but you know what? It doesn't matter what this President ever says or does because they only see one thing about him, and that is that he is a black man in power, and they can't stand that fact.

Good video about the FY corporate policy. While it is satire, sadly, it is truth. And the one thing that I keep remembering is that these corporations could not be as successful as they are at destroying this country, at destroying the planet, without the help of all the millions of shareholders all over the world who continue to participate in the buying of shares on the stock market ... "investing" in their retirement through portfolios. Every time a generation gets to actual retirement age and begins to draw on that retirement package that sits in a portfolio, it seems that a crash on Wall Street takes place ... and ... oh ... look at that ... everyone's portfolio's are worth ... nothing. When are people going to catch on to their game?? Talk about a ponzi scheme. But, they couldn't do this without participation of the masses. The 1% are not getting richer all on their own, that's for sure.

Sorry you got "bumped". Not quite sure what that means, but I do know that it didn't make you happy, so sorry that happened, TC. Isn't it fun to have to spend an entire day dealing with medical stuff? I often wonder how people who still work manage to fit in a visit to their doctor's office? When I was working, there was no way I could have taken 3 to 4 hours off for a doctor appointment but, anymore, that seems to be the norm.

Pat B (356)
Monday April 21, 2014, 10:25 am
Upworthy: Their philosophy, and policy of 'You' hits a cord of truth. Well done.
Daily Kos: Calling the President of these United States a jerk is not going to help the Repugs or their cause at all. The numbers speak for themselves.
New Yorker: We have a lot of great educators in our schools, who do care. Leave politics out of it, and let them do what they do best...Teach.
Good luck with your medical appointment, not only lengthy time wise, but exhausting afterwards. Do take care, have a good day, and Thanks, Tom.

JL A (281)
Monday April 21, 2014, 12:03 pm
Congress has had the chance to fix the Bush legacy testing problems of NCLB with reauthorization legislation for two years now-and there was the start to a bipartisan effort to do so until the GOP made that a dirty word. This at least tests on ability to think and solve problems and other actual skills education is supposed to develop rather than on rote memorization like past exam standards of NCLB. The growth of the private testing industry has grown incredibly via these education taxpayer dollars setting the stage for privatization. Some states have done a better job than others at ensuring that a lot of charter schools are public.

CA had major legislative action on testing cultural biases back in the days of Willie Brown--and some of those biases were also economic like questions using a comb with missing teeth.

Indeed much of the AU enviro news about issues sounds much like in the US. Sometimes it is helpful to see how the opposition thinks and speaks about issues to prepare your best strategies.

Too bad no one can count the number of people who are alive due to ACA that wouldn't be with the old systems. Also too bad SCOTUS doesn't notice how alive and well racism still is with so many issues related to the POTUS.

Glad you see the end of the iffy exclusion dynamics with how prison access works for you. Hope all turns out AOK with the test results.

Joanne D (38)
Monday April 21, 2014, 1:05 pm
One more thing about Common Core - read this article and you will see EXACTLY what worries me so about it.

Birgit W (160)
Monday April 21, 2014, 1:52 pm

Jonathan Harper (0)
Monday April 21, 2014, 3:20 pm

Yvonne White (229)
Monday April 21, 2014, 4:28 pm
I don't know Exactly what the Common Core tests involve, but hasn't Everyone in America done yearly testing since the 19th century? (okay, Maybe not that far back).. I remember taking the Scholastic Tests (if I remember the name correctly) to see what grade level you're reading at, and math, and Social Studies, and Science…so how is Common Core Different? Is it Harder? Did they do away with the Bell Curve? Sounds like too many (RepubliCON) school districts have invested in Junk Education, like cheap pseudo-science, and don't want to be caught Ignorant!

Yvonne White (229)
Monday April 21, 2014, 4:33 pm
OMG Joanne, thanks for the link - "close reading" is too much like Cherry Picking! It certainly looks as if Political Lobbyists are trying their hands at "education"! No wonder this country, especially the RepubliCON parts, is so lacking in understanding of History & Social Studies..I'm afraid "common core" is exactly what they've Been Doing!

Katie & Bill D (107)
Monday April 21, 2014, 5:57 pm
They have wasted the people taxpayer's dollar trying to repeal it how many times and they pick at him all of the time for any treason, they sure don;t like to hear that it work's!! Why sure!! All Idiot's!!
Thank you TomCat

Edith B (146)
Monday April 21, 2014, 10:07 pm
NY Times: Polarization and paranoia are what the Republican party is basing itself on these days. I hope it bites them in the butt. that old, I was for it until I was against it thing is rampant with them these days.

Daily KOs: Faux news is passe' these days. They keep ranting the same junk about Obama, no matter what he does. The American people are realizing this, too. Their ratings are going down down down.

Hope you get your volunteer card soon. Good luck with your dr appt tomorrow.

P A (117)
Monday April 21, 2014, 11:11 pm

Panchali Yapa (26)
Tuesday April 22, 2014, 11:30 am
Thank you

James Maynard (84)
Tuesday April 22, 2014, 2:35 pm
Love the satire.......
An Austin group, the Geezinslaws,
will tell you "We've got a $5 dollar
fine, for whining."
Even a paper bunny's too fast for

Past Member (0)
Tuesday April 22, 2014, 3:49 pm
We who hesitate are lost..:)

Charlene Rush (79)
Wednesday April 23, 2014, 1:39 pm
Repetition is the key to learning. It always has been.
I still remember my multiplication tables and most, hopefully, of the English grammar I was taught.

It's astounding how many kids today, can not manage simple math without a computer.
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