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Please Riot Here

When riots happen in Wilmington, which i’m sure they will, I hope they will learn from Ferguson Missouri’s mistake.

That mistake is to riot in your own neighborhood… That is just plain silly. Did we attack ourselves when the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor? Or did we wage war with Japan?

Why people would loot and burn in their own neighborhood, is beyond me. I write this now, so when the opportunity to riot does occur, those with above average intelligence will have a plan to move the crowd out of their impoverished neighborhood, and instead riot in neighborhoods where the a) the loot is much better, and b) those responsible for the policy that has kept you down since Clinton left office, are directly affected. If you are going to riot, you should do in on the enemies home turf. Republican Country.

A riot has a purpose. It is to change things. To make things better by creating a situation that is worse than doing nothing, therefore something has to be done. Blacks didn’t protest on the back seat of the bus. They sat in the white section. Black students didn’t do their sit-in at the black counter. They did it at the white. Black students didn’t march into Tuskegee Institute with the National Guard. They marched into the all white University of Alabama. Martin Luther King didn’t do his marches within all black neighborhoods. He marched across the bridge into downtown white Selma….

So battling police in your own neighborhood, looting your own corner store, burning out yours and your neighbor’s houses, kind of double hurts you. Not only are you being oppressed by Republican Policies, but you are also setting those who support you, back even more….

So I’m writing this to tell you where to protest so it will do you some good.

It is called Westover Hills. There aren’t many people living there, but those that do are rich and very old and feeble. They couldn’t stop a crowd breaking into their house if they tried. Plus, when you loot, you could actually get something you could sell. Whose going to buy all the banana flavored Laffy Taffy you stole from the corner market? But you could easily swipe a Bose Stereo, or maybe find a safe with a couple of hundred thousand in it.

And instead of hurting mom and pop, or Uncle Joe and Aunt Alice, you would be hurting those whose money is directly responsible for you not having a good job, a good house, a good future. Those in Westover Hills vote Republican and it is Republicans who have allowed all the money to go to the top 1%… and none to you…

If you remember the Clinton Democratic years, it was different. You, or your mom and dad, did get richer every year and if that had only continued, you would have been doing rather well by now. But you got lazy and enough of you didn’t vote for Democrats in 2000 and now, we are stuck with the rich getting richer, and you and your neighbors, getting poorer…

So take the number 20 bus from 10th and Market side of Rodney Square and in 8 minutes and 15 stops later, you will be just north of the riot zone. Do your peaceful protests there, in the middle of the streets, and shout how Republicans have ruined everyone’s lives but those of themselves… When the riot police arrive with their single tank and tear gas, make them fire it at you so all those rich billionaires have to breath it too. Then when all hell breaks loose, break into the houses and rob yourselves silly. Don’t even worry. Unlike those corner stores, everything you take here is fully insured… Destroying their property, will in days, put all Delaware’s construction workers back to work. These guys are rich. They don’t dilly-dally around.

The main point is this? When you riot in your own neighborhoods which these Republicans never venture into, it only serves to reinforce their notion of you as a sub-human race. “Look at those pathetic people”, they will say over their Maker’s Mark and Hennessey, “they’re tearing up their own neighborhood. Maybe we should keep them doing it so they move and haul their sorry asses elsewhere.”

They will not be in any hurry to lift one finger… “make them suffer more” will be their outcry. But … if you do it in THEIR neighborhood, they will at least wonder why? In their asking around, what’s the real cause of these people rioting, they will come to the conclusion that they, with all the money, need to invest more, need to hire more, need to pay more, and that if they had previously invested more in our people, this riot would never have happened. That is your key… Getting them to call their out-of-pocket legislators and say, “raise my taxes; we can’t afford any more riots like these, even if we are insured. It’s the third time this year. I’m too tired for another round of tax free shopping!”…

You can even walk there. So forget the bus. Just send the coordinates out on social media, and anyone with a phone app can get there…. It is pointless for you to have to bear the cost and trauma of what THEY caused. It makes such great sense for them to bear that cost, and after doing so, quickly create the changes you need to pull yourselves out of poverty…

So pastors and neighborhood watch leaders. Start talking your kids to riot in Westover Hills, instead of your own street. Isn’t it about time, the real criminals get to feel the heat?

They are the ones who put you there…. Make THEM pay, not those who are poor like you. And pick up something nice for me while you are there… A nice oriental carpet would be cool… blue and white if you find one.

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Photo courtesy of the EPA.

That would be my advice.  Truth is, we quickly make Russia into a demon.  They do the same to us.  If there is anything we have learned over 100 years since the Great War started in August 1914,  it is that going to war, should be the last resort…

Back in the early ’90’s upon being given the privilege to look over the Soviet’s intelligence when Communism fell,  we were shocked that all their aggressive actions were seen in their eyes as defensive moves against possible aggression being planned by us….It is best represented by a young officers story from the cold war.  I’ve long forgotten the source, if it comes up later I’ll tag it in…

But a young officer was in charge of a section of the German fence, and on his first shift, received a request for orders and told the reconnaissance  brigade to go 5 more miles along the fence past where they usually turned around.  They called back to say they’d stumbled on fresh movement of troops being maneuvered to that gap on front line we never had bothered to inspect..  After finding our troops were now outnumbered  by their new response, this young officer ordered another brigade to move up from the south.   That brigade also discovered another large number of troops moving in from the eastern reserves to that same point… The officer began to sweat. Was he witnessing on his watch, in his territory, the beginning of the long-feared invasion of Western Europe by the Soviets?  He called up two more brigades and ordered them to dig in around that point.  The Soviets brought up tanks, and lined them up for an invasion… The young officer then picked up the phone…  Far away, the head of command looked over all the evidence… Finally he gave this advice… Pull your troops out, by ten miles…. he did, and the Soviets pulled theirs back as well.  Ok, came the next order. Resume normalcy.  And soon, everything again was routine….

For those that don’t understand war,  the point of the story was, that the young officer caused the crises.  The whole Russian buildup, was because of him.  He made a move the Russians didn’t understand, and since they didn’t understand, they prepared for an attack. As we brought up more, so did they. They were simply matching our moves… Fortunately someone wise enough to understand that he Russians really didn’t want to go to war, stepped in and averted a possible WWIII start-up incident…

As if on cue, already dumb John McCain is rattling swords and demanding we nuke Moscow.  Soon Lindsey Graham will follow as Tweedle Dumb always follows Tweedle Dee… Likewise, Putin will also have his exact same crowd (probably riding Harleys), his group of idiots, clamoring for war as well…

The Western press has already begin its war talk, leading with the condemnation of the Russian Government…  But really, isn’t that a bit premature?   No one has died.  Far less than anything that happened in Kiev earlier this week….

Let’s wear Putin’s shoes for moment….

What if the predominantly Mexican population of San Diego wanted to be aligned with Mexico instead of the USA, all because we couldn’t get Republicans to pass immigration laws.. What if they gathered en masse in San Diego to protest, stayed, burned down government and private buildings.  What if we tried to make them stand down, and it roused up even more Mexicans to their defense.  What if the Mayor fled to Yuma, and camped out in a sanatorium. …   …

What would the US do.  OUR entire Pacific Fleet rests in San Diego… We would probably act prudently. and move outward to expand our perimeter.  We would probably commander all airports and ship docks in that area in order to be able to land reinforcements if necessary.  We would probably park a couple of gunboats facing the city as an intimidating force reminding the Mexicans we had forces they couldn’t get to, so their behavior should keep that in mind.  We’d probably block access roads leading into the port, so an invasion army wouldn’t be able to charge in unannounced…

Just to play devils advocate, what might happen if we took no action to defend ourselves?  As most Americans are asking the Russians to do? We saw the Mexicans had little respect in town for law and order.  There are a lot more of them than there are of us… What if 10,000 of them just walked on to the base, armed with shotguns, hunting rifles, and a few semi automatics.  What if they boarded all our ships, our subs, and put our sailors at gunpoint into the brig, and announced they were in charge of the Baja Mexican Navy… Now the 2nd largest navy in the world.   What would the US do?  Would we sail into our own harbor as did the Free French and blow what used to be our own ships up out of the water?

Of course the Mexicans would say we are invading their new country.  Of course every Spanish tonged nation South of our border would be condemning us for invading Mexican California… despite the fact that a lot of gringos, maybe even a majority, live around San Diego and support our American troops being there and keeping the masses of Mexicans from turning on them….

Point is, we would ourselves, do what Russia just did...

So how can we condemn them, when we have contingency plans to do exactly the same thing?

There is further evidence this is not like Sudetenland, . One, no one has died. It was a smooth peaceful quiet takeover, textbook by American Standards.   Two, action is isolated to the port and Crimea.  Three,  all evidence points to these actions solely for the purpose of controlling access to the base.

As Americans we would laugh at Europe, Russia, and China telling us to abandon San Diego.  There are a lot of similarities between that and the Russian base. The number one move now appears to be: for the Kiev Ukraine government to insist that the base will forever stay Russian, and guarantee the safety of all Russians living on Crimea… Second, it should state that the current administration insists  there will be no change for those who like having Russians close by. For that select group, there will be only two options.  Life goes either goes on the same; or it gets better.  The third option that it may get worse, is forever off the table.. .

It would be the equivalent of that American young officer calling off his men, and telling them to retreat backwards 10 miles..  it would be the opposite of what happened 100 years ago, where threats begot threats and soon rigid plans took effect and not one leader had the chutzpah to stop it from going forward.  6 million soldiers died, 15 million civilians died, and a whole generation of young men was wiped out.  Girls had to marry men their father’s age.. and in the end  Western Europe’s borders were right back where they were before the whole event started.

Cool heads must prevail.  Of course the McCains will spout off.  They don’t matter.  What matters is that we treat the Russians with respect just as we would like them to do for us, if the shoe were on the other foot and we were fighting the battle of San Diego…..

The bill entering law this session is very different from that of last session.

Here is the original bill:

This Act would increase the minimum wage to not less than $8.00 per hour effective July 1, 2013, and not less than $8.75 per hour effective July 1, 2014. If the federal minimum wage becomes higher than the Delaware minimum wage, the Delaware minimum wage would increase by $1.00 above the federal minimum wage….

Here is the amended version that passed the Senate last year…… which dropped the rates by a half a dollar, and excluded the possibility that Delaware could be over the Federal Minimum Wage…

“(a) Except as may otherwise be provided under this chapter, every employer shall pay to every employee in any occupation wages of a rate i) not less than $7.75 per hour effective January 1, 2014 and ii) not less than $8.25 per hour effective January 1, 2015. Upon the establishment of a federal minimum wage in excess of the State minimum wage, the minimum wage in this State shall be equal in amount to the federal minimum wage, except as may otherwise be provided under this chapter.

The House Amended it this year, primarily to update the dates by 6 months.

AMEND Senate Bill No. 6, as amended by Senate Amendment No. 2, by deleting on line 3 of Senate Amendment No. 2 the text “January 1, 2014” and substituting in lieu thereof the text “June 1, 2014”. FURTHER AMEND Senate Bill No. 6, as amended by Senate Amendment No. 2, by deleting on line 4 of Senate Amendment No. 2 the text “January 1, 2015” and substituting in lieu thereof the text “June 1, 2015”.

Then came the first Republican torpedo, later stricken…. to poke multiple holes in the minimum wage, thereby making it a minimum seive. Allowing for the payment of $5.81 per hour to the following….

(e) A wage no less than 75-percent of the minimum hourly wage required under § 902(a) of this Title shall be paid to the following:

(1) employees under the age of 18; and

(2) employees during their first 180 consecutive calendar days of employment with the employer; and

(2) employees employed in a seasonal capacity.”

Here is the real Republican torpedo. (Defeated naturally like everything Republican in this wonderful state) to extend implementation by half a year.

“(a) Except as may otherwise be provided under this chapter, every employer shall pay to every employee in any occupation wages of a rate (i) not less than $7.75 per hour effective January 1, 2015; and (ii) not less than $8.25 per hour effective January 1, 2016. Upon the establishment of a federal minimum wage in excess of the State minimum wage, the minimum wage in this State shall be equal in amount to the federal minimum wage, except as may otherwise be provided under this chapter.”

Then the third Republican attempt at poking holes in the minimum wage to allow businesses to exploit child and migrant labor by paying them $5.81 an hour….

e) A wage no less than 75-percent of the minimum hourly wage required under § 902(a) of this Title shall be paid to an employee satisfying any of the following:

(1) is under the age of 18; or

(2) is within the employee’s first 180 consecutive calendar days of employment with the employer; or

(2) is employed in a seasonal capacity.”

As it stands now, the minimum wage will rise to $7.75 per hour on June 1, 2014, and then again one year later.  On June 1, 2015, the minimum wage will be $8.25.. unless the Federal wage is passed at a higher amount:  $10.10….

But the real question is this:  how is it remotely possible that we still have 16 people in the civilized world, much less in our Delaware legislature, who still think it is ok to pay $5.81 for minimum wages therby putting Delaware in a slot between Slovenia and Greece on a chart of international minimum wages….

How is it possible that Blakely, Briggs-King, Dukes, Gray, Deborah Hudson AGAIN!!!!, Q. Johnson, Kenton, MIRO, Outten, Peterman, Ramone, D. Short, Smyk,  Spiegelman, Walker, Wilson, are still living in the 1990’s back when $5.81 was considered the barest acceptable minimum wage?  Roll back time 20 years… Sure, no problem say these 16.

Greece.  These people want us to be Greece…. GET RID OF THEM!  GET RID OF THEM ALL….. 🙂   (it is an election year, you know?)

It amazes me how quickly we forget. Our lives are so busy… Things blur by, pass in a moment to be replaced with a long line of new things to take their place… Did you know today was the 10th anniversary of Johnny’s passing?

I was curious an looked it up over the summer because my memory too had faded and I couldn’t remember which year it was. He passed September 12, 2003... The official cause was diabetes; however those who knew him, all knew he’d been in a hurry for some time to join June, who passed 4 months earlier….

As one watches the video, those of you old enough see an America we all knew as a child. Even if we weren’t country music fans at the time. That America is long gone, but one very similar has replaced it… full of economic hardships, angst, and self pursuit at the expense of inner peace. His music is more relevant today, perhaps than when we knew him.

I am surprised by the number of younger generation who live his songs, and know them, far better than those of the Beatles, Who, or Stones… His lyrics are simple, direct, and reach out to grasp that humanity that sometimes escapes us all.

it is ironical we were all talking about the VMA’s last week. For ten years ago, Johnny Cash was nominated and actually won, the VMA award for best cinematography for this video posted…

They called his name… And the winner is………………………………… Johnny Cash……….
All waited for his speech, but no one came up… Uncomfortable chatter as everyone looked around… After minutes someone came out from the back stage and said, Johnny is in hospital tonight and needs all of your prayers…. This award will be sent to him…..

Those prayers were answered just 15 days later…. He was in June’s arms before the night was over…..

“Watching you watching me / It’s so easy to see…/ Watching me watching you / It’s so obviously true”  Lyrics by Bill Withers… 

If there is anything one can gather from the Snowden release, it is that American media is severely compromised.

Here is the news we are constantly being given:

  • Interest and speculation on what Snowden must feel.
  • Speculation on where he might or might not go.
  • Speculation on what it must be like to live in an airport.
  • Breaking news of what Snowden’s father thinks and feels.
  • Reports on who back in Washington, feels he needs or needs not to be punished.
  • Accepting without question, the US Government’s case he is a spy, not a whistle blower.

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So here is what is not getting told.

A) Internet freedom is over.  Revelation that the US has the ability to read everything passing through the US, means that this connection is no longer trusted by the Chinese, the Russians, our economically competitive nations, those pirate sympathizers or people like you and me, who don’t want strangers accessing what we like to do when we have stripped off our professional skins and get down to being ourselves.

B) The Chinese have moved to seal off their own system. The Russians will have theirs up and running shortly. There will be soon be private enterprises who will set up secure connections that guarantee that no records will be given out based on the  model of the Swiss system of financial secrecy.

C) What this means, is that we revert back to the library system.  If you want to look up something in China, you will send a query, it will be approved as it leaves the US, it must be approved by the Chinese in order to enter, and it then gets directed to your party.  This requires human oversight, and will slow queries to weeks, instead of nano-seconds.  Same if you wish to find out something in Russia.  Heaven help us if a Chinese satellite breaks off course and drifts towards collision with the International Space station manned by Russians and Americans…  We’d never get the message.

D) We are hoping the US will be one monolithic entity under this, but imagine if it wasn’t.   Imagine if nothing liberal could be searched up in Texas?  Or nothing Conservative in Connecticut?

E) This is being effectively done, right now, and no news service in the US is reporting it.

F) Without Snowden we would not know that the NSA has been able to bend nine US internet companies to its demands for access to their users’ data.

G) Without Snowden we would not know that analysing data was not done by the NSA< but was  turned over to un-vetted private operators, such as employees of Booz Allen Hamilton.  Their employees had access to every email, every phone call,  every facebook account.   We would not know that half a million fellow citizens have high security clearances who shouldn’t.

H) Nor would there be a debate between Europe and the US over where the line between Freedom and security should lie.

i)  Control of the internet is about to get very contentious.  Knowing how the US and its internet corporations abused their control, certainly means the US cannot be counted on to oversea almost all of the junctions upon the net.   Google instead of being world wide, independent of the US government, is now seen as an express arm of that same government.  Yahoo, Verizon, AOL, Time-Warner, Microsoft, Comcast, all certainly cannot be trusted either…

J)  These revelations also damage the Obama administration’s credibility to its core. Proclaiming internet freedom in words, to cover up deeds on this gigantic scale, was an attempt to mislead.  Fully aware of the extent, and arguing for full internet freedom is equivalent of George Bush arguing for gentleness and amnesty towards Iraqi prisoners  to cover the atrocities of Abu Ghraib.

K)  Snowden’s revelations tell us that NO United States- based internet provider can be trusted with your privacy.  Nothing that is stored in their “cloud” services can be guaranteed to be safe from surveillance or from illicit downloading by employees of the consultancies employed by the NSA.  If you are a company thinking of using a US company for servicing your IT needs, you now know that all your trade secrets will be up for sale.

This means the golden years for US internet companies may have come to an end.  If not their end, then at least these companies must now scramble to quickly evolve into different entities if they wish to survive.

Perhaps Swiss law might be tweaked to allow secure servers to set up camp somewhere in the beautiful Alps, who for NO reason, will give out any information….

More jobs going overseas.

Why is this not being mentioned in American media?  Are our reporters really that stupid?  Is our press truly nothing but Luddites who blindly go where authority directs them to go and look for clues?

That could explain why we constantly hear about  speculation about Snowden’s travel plans, asylum requests, state of mind, physical appearance, etc. The “human interest” angle over here, has trumped the real story.

The real story is that the NSA revelations expressly tell us how our networked world actually works and they portend the direction to which it is heading.

I hope you enjoyed your freedom while you had it.  The internet is through,.. Welcome to the Age of Internets…..   That is the real story.

The sub-story is that the NSA lied in March and emphatically said: this program flat-out did not exist.  So when they say they only see phone numbers… ?

cough, cough…

Just read that the NSA is pressing for a Justice Dept. probe to find out who leaked the PRISM plan to the Guardian…   I’m slightly befuddled.  Why don’t they just look in their files?  They have the records.

Conservatives in an attempt to stave off making their guns illegal, have put together a rather good bill.  One that treats guns like we treat cars….

The idea is simply that by making gun owners more financially responsible for the outcomes their firearms may or may not produce, would make them better citizens….

Here are the salients.

The insurance should follow the gun not the owner…

Insurance should continue to cover guns that are lost, stolen or diverted…

The insurance should be No-Fault….

There should be a means to find the insurer of a gun…

Just when I think Conservatives are toast, they come through in a clutch. Private control of weaponry can achieve the same results as government control, without flipping on the libertarian switch existing in many of our backwoods residents…..

The bill is HR 1369…

“If you deprive the military of the ability to train, the ability to have flight hours for our pilots and air crews, the ability of our people to have the right kind of equipment to fight with, then you are putting us in danger in my view,” John McCain said.

Here is a clip of McCain speaking with Lindsey Graham alongside, correctly assessing the harm the sequestration will cause our armed forces… No repairs? Mothball fleets? 20% pay cuts for all military personnel? What will that do to morale?

So, dude, why didn’t you do anything to stop it?

All you had to do was vote for an additional tax of one single penny on every dollar earned over $1 million…..

This sequester then would never have happened? Why did you singlehandedly cause this sequestration by your own inaction, when you and your party could have so easily prevented it?

And then you go on television to say it is really bad? America is looking at you like you are the dumbest person alive….

This erupted on a right wing blog here in Delaware and for future historians who may wonder how Republicans collectively lost their minds, I preserved it right here….

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“Excuse me. Federal spending in 2008 was $2.9 trillion.

For 2011 it was $3.8 trillion.

For 2012 it was $3.7 trillion…..

Even if we cut $85 billion that still leave $700 billion we are over spending!!! “

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Of course, it certainly makes a difference in what is being overspent and what therefore needs to be cut.

In 2008, our defense budget was $671 billion. (Includes $190 billion for two wars not listed in budget but funded outside by appropriations).  This year it is $670 billion, including the two wars.. In 4 years there has been some creep downward of $1 billion.

Back in 2008, our non military discretionary budget was… $488 billion    Today it is  $615 billion.   The breakdown is below.

2008 ———-(+ or – 2007)—–  Cabinet Department——-(2013 budget)

$69.3 billion (+0.3%) – Department of Health and Human Services  ($81)
$56.0 billion (+0.0%) – Department of Education  ($68)
$39.4 billion (+18.7%) – Department of Veterans Affairs  ($60)
$35.2 billion (+1.4%) – Department of HUD  ($41)
$35.0 billion (+22.0%) – Department of State and Other International Programs  ($56)
$34.3 billion (+7.2%) – Department of Homeland Security  ($55)
$24.3 billion (+6.6%) – Department of Energy ($36)
$20.2 billion (+4.1%) – Department of Justice ($24)
$20.2 billion (+3.1%) – Department of Agriculture ($27)
$17.3 billion (+6.8%) – NASA  ($18)
$12.1 billion (+13.1%) – Department of Transportation ($24)
$12.1 billion (+6.1%) – Department of the Treasury ($14)
$10.6 billion (+2.9%) – Department of the Interior ($12)
$10.6 billion (-9.4%) – Department of Labor($13)
$51.8 billion (+9.7%) – Other On-budget Discretionary Spending ($53)
$39.0 billion – Other Off-budget Discretionary Spending  ($31)

A four year creep of $127 billion.

And we are proposing to cut $85 billion of that per year….  how much is 85 billion?  Well if you parked 85 billion cars, bumper to bumper, it would stretch to the sun and back, and back again as far as Mercury….

Imagine that huge amount instantly disappearing from our economy?

That is a pretty big worry.

Now we know where $100 billion of that $700 billion difference  came from.  Granted, it costs more to run our government now.  We have tighter security in our airports than we did in 2008.  We have tighter border security than we did in 2008.  We have a lot more people on food stamps than we did in 2008.  We have a lot more baby boomers retired or retiring… than we did in 2008…. We pay more in servicing our debt, than we did in 2008….

None of these can be cut.  Therefore we must cut out of our military.  We must cut out of our non military discretionary services…

Republicans have underestimated how painful these will be.  CBO says 700,000 jobs will be lost.  Regional pockets of unemployment could cross 40%.. Northern Virginia and Bethesda Maryland, will be very hard hit.  For when government workers get laid off, it is a  little different than if one closes a plant that makes widgets for the Chinese.  People in government facilitate other peoples lives.

Our food is safe, because of government.  Our planes are safe, because of government.  Our roads are safe because of government.  Our schools are safe, because of government.  Our neighborhoods are safe, because of government.  Our health is safe, because of government.  Our retirement is safe, because of government….

After March 1st, that safety provided by the government disappears….  the safety net has developed holes all through it…

Now when flying on the trapeze  through private sector jobs, flitting from one to another,  one must add the worry that if one misses his timely catching of the next bar,  he may just fall through one of the many gaping holes scattered across that net so far below….

MSNBC just put up a critique of Texas education.. Texas  was the instigator of No Child Left Behind which when Obama took over, became Race To The Top.

It started in Texas.  It is about to end, … in Texas.

A coalition of parents nicknamed  Mothers Against Drunk Testing has taken the fight to the Texas Legislature.   Soon, it appears Texas will lead the nation again on education,… by banning the role testing plays in analyzing the competency of education.

The problem underlying both No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top is not in its philosophy. It is not in its intent.  It is not in its principles.   It is … the test.

There is a reason these tests are top secret.  Here is the story of one that leaked out…   The Hare and the Pineapple…..

Subsequent inspection showed….” On the fourth-grade exam, one question has two correct answers, the department warned. The eighth-grade test contains one question with no correct answer at all.”

Needless to say, both came out of a firm, Pearson,  receiving a 5 year $32 million dollar contract from New York State….

Grown ups are now taking the tests.  Florida school board member with a bachelors degree and two masters degrees made national news when he flunked his state’s 10th-grade math test.  Seattle teachers boycotted the giving out of their tests based off the faults inherent in their texts.

Then, we got the results.

Texas started to lose 70,000 kids a year, most dropping out before they had to take the 10th-grade tests that would count against the school.

A third of kids in Texas who started high school never finished.

Scores on the Texas test rose, but SAT scores for prospective college students dropped.

The Texas tests designed by Pearson primarily measured test-taking ability, researchers discovered.

National Assessment of Educational Progress scores were cherry picked to show progress, but Texas lost ground to the rest of the country.

According to Julian Helig, who released this report to examine the education for the Texas Legislature,

“The reason why we’re seeing, well, what we’re seeing, after ten years of No Child Left Behind is the fact that we didn’t close the gaps, the fact that our graduation rates haven’t gone anywhere, our dropout rates haven’t improved, because Texas never did that in the 1990s,” said Heilig. “Over the last ten years now that we have Texas-style accountability and policy in the whole United States, the reason why it didn’t deliver is because it never delivered in Texas.”

Texas revolted back in 2009.  The parents and teachers that is.  But Republican Governor Perry refused to sign the bill banning standardized testing,  saying he would not sign it unless the legislation doubled down on accountability….

So instead of the testing being eliminated, kids in elementary school and middle school would be required to pass tests—or else. To get out of high school they’d have to pass not two, but 15 tests. Pearson got a new $468-million contract to write and administer all these new tests…..

Sandy Kress, a Democratic lawyer from Dallas, who first got Texas Governor George W. Bush’s ear with the expression:  “soft bigotry of low expectations, has moved on to a high paying job with Pearon and was on Texas Governor’s Educational advisory committee when he doubled down on standardized testing.

Now, and only now, as a result of all this data, even the Republican Texas Chief of Education,  Robert Scott, is calling the fatuation with all this testing, … a perversion.

Speaking to the Texas State Board of Education late last month, Scott said that the mentality that standardized testing is the “end-all, be-all” is a “perversion” of what a quality education should be. What’s more, he called “the assessment and accountability regime” not only “a cottage industry but a military-industrial complex.” And he attacked the Common Core Standards Initiative as being motivated by business concerns.   It is the heart of the vampire, so to speak.”

It’s too soon to say whether a near-unanimity of opposition to high-stakes testing from school boards, superintendents, parents and education researchers will succeed against Perry and Pearson, but there’s a better chance than ever that the false education doctrine that Bush started in Texas and then spread across the country will finally meet its end in the same building where it started.

It can best be described by the Republican appointed Texas Commissioner of Education at a Dallas Board Meeting.

I say this all the time: Parents care about kids, teachers care about kids, individuals in this room care about kids.  “The system doesn’t give a damn about kids unless you make it care.”