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One of the greatest tragedies the exposure the NSA has given America abroad, is its loss in the dream… We all have a dream losses in our lives.  For some it is experienced when as the fathers we idolized growing up, somehow over the course of 4 years in college or the workforce, matriculate from being the source of all wisdom and goodness, into becoming just regular people struggling along like everyone else….

The USA experienced the same disillusionment under the Snowden leaks.

Our nation always propelled high ideals, and usually we were willing to back them up…  Iraq could not take over Kuwait, (though we tarnished that  ten years later when we tried to “take over Iraq” but now are out.)

The Soviets always tried to paint us as a capitalist nation, an imperial power using economics as opposed to force, but the power of our good people always thwarted that message and annulled it’s impact… We couldn’t be as bad as the Soviets said, because “look at all the good America was doing, and how richly everyone lived over there… Factory workers over here could afford cabin cruisers for heaven’s sakes.

What Snowden showed was that the We, The People are no longer in control of this government’s policy OR actions…   Instead we had a government saying one thing, and a shadow government doing the opposite… and all that it did,  was not just for its self protection… It was for its corporate protection….

Listening in on German chancellor Merkel’s phone conversations really has no solid reason inside our relationship. We are good friends.  However it does have great importance in the worlds of investing or competing with trillions of dollars of European money… What are her plans?  How can our investment community turn that into cash?  These are extremely useful pieces of information, and investing in the obtaining of such, would be a very wise course of action if takenwith in the limited context strictly inside that frame….

One can trace the chilling of the warmth of the US-Soviet relationship to Snowden’s defection and asylum in Russia, June of last year.  These things are done on a quid pro quo basis, and everyone is well aware that  Snowden is only in Russia, because it is better for the Russians to keep him safe there, than turn him over to the US authorities….

The true picture of the NSA’s release and further actions they took after that release, does indeed cast truer fears that the American nation is not being controlled by it’s people… That a cabal inside the government is operating freely on its own, using the conduits of information as its unlimited fiscal source and to create situations out of manipulating that medium…   The idea that this could exist were rare and ethereal before the initial Snowden releases.  But since, the possibility has become real.  And the cabal would never have to become known.  By creating the context of events, they could control the outcomes… By making dissent invisible, they could corral popular opinion to follow their whims…

All I can say to anyone detracting this as a complete impossibility, that propaganda is incapable of bottling up truth for any length of time,  is to remind them that when Stalin died, everyone (still living) in Russia thought he was a god.  A wonderful, loving, benevolent and caring man.  Don’t believe me?  Look it up…  Controlling information can do amazing things.

But to the shock of Putin and the Chinese, the Snowden releases showed that the President, and Congress, and our bureaucracy were wimps at the hands of corporate dollars.  That a illegal request to infiltrate computers of a Brazil oil company in order to find the high yield offshore oilfields prior to the official bidding, would be fast tracked.  That listening on Merkel before a bond deal for Greece, would be done to satiate the whims of the big investors.

That our entire Federal governmental structure is pawned to big money is something our Supreme Court just made even more believable with its bizarre McCutcheon agreement lifting caps on unlimited campaign spending. further benefiting those responsible for all these international illegal actions, and hindering further progress by Americans set against such behavior…

It is really hard to hate the American people… Not even Muslims can do that effectively.. But it is every easy to hate American corporations that have no qualms with devastating a third world nation, then when money is gone, pulling out with no sense of responsibility for the damage done.

What Snowden did, was to expose that was really the truth behind the American dream… So much that when we say America is for democracy, …  around the world, the global audience says…. yeah, right…

Taken from within this context of inside knowledge, Putin’s moves in Ukraine now make a great deal of sense as a solely defensive action… What if the entire Ukraine disturbance was indeed pushed forward (in Reichstag fashion) to create a crises punishing the Russians in the East?  Put it this way,…. before Snowden, that would have been deemed preposterous….   Now it has to be interpreted within the context of:  “wait a minute, these are the people who listened in on Merkel’s cellphone.”….

The real global problem in the world today, is this unlimited wealth against which no one is safe…  Would anyone of us turn down a billion dollars for one or two seconds of work?  Especially if done in secret and no one , no one could or ever would even know?

Believe it or not, the global  solution is to raise their taxes…  When any excess money earned  is going to be sent to  some government somewhere, the incentive to use all this unused money in illegal actions to make more, disappears…  Instead of gambling big money on a price’s rise and fall,… hiding it as an expense by investing in real physical capital becomes the prime option to maximize wealth, one which will benefits us all…  Raising tax rates marginally to higher heights on very, very, very big money, is a policy change that turns the wealthy from being the bad guys, into the best human beings possible…..

 

 

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Although it is too complex to delineate here, after crunching numbers and possibilities there is dominant weight towards the idea that more Russian intrusions are planned for Ukraine…

In the terms of pure power, a language Russia understands, sanctions will not do the trick…Sanctions didn’t work on Saddam. Sanctions didn’t work on Syria.  Both were under Russian influence. Therefore in language they understand, we will need boots on the ground in Ukraine.

  • It is time to pull the A-10’s back out of retirement and put them in place inside of Ukraine.
  • As soldiers return from Afghanistan, we will need to extend their tours a little longer and put them in Ukraine.
  • We need to be clear our armies are defensive and not offensive.  We can do that thorough our logistics which they can read.
  • We need Americans on the ground inside those Russian territories most prone to invasion, and they will need to be on their best behavior to win friends and influence people…. Since they will no longer have to abide by Shari Law , I don’t think that will be a problem…

If the orders or plans have not yet been drawn, they need to be done ASAP.

This should be seen as a non aggressive force, but a deciding one.  Sort of like how bouncers gather around a shouting match in numbers to help convince both parties that they really, really, really, really, don’t want to come to blows….

But if left alone as two voices in a vacuum, the fight will break out and it becomes much harder to then establish the peace.. Which is why , right now, we need boots on the ground somewhere in Ukraine’s Russian Territories…   It is past time to realize the verbal assurances we have been given simply could be a stall for time… That is usually how it is done when you hear words but fail to see the actions accompanying them, in this case, the backing down of troops along the border.

As with a bar fight, the fastest and quickest way to ensure a lasting peace, is to have a solid physical threat close at hand, very visible to the perpetrators, so the fallout from their actions is readily assessed both scaring them and giving them the will to back down…Bringing in the Chinese would again, be the smartest thing.  It is time for China to become a world player and with their future economic status briefly on shaky ground, I imagine they would appreciate the gesture and opportunity….

Plus it would take their eye off the China Sea for a while as well.

Finally, we can use this as a reason to ram higher taxes past the Republicans, by appealing to the patriotism of the American people, they won’t pay, the top 1% will… We earmark the tax increase to the military, and we paint all those Republicans who balk as being weak and  unpatriotic Americans, willing to squander our troops in the face of a Russian threat….  If we play our cards correctly, we can pass that high rate of taxation, by calling it a war tax, sunset it after 10 years, and slip in marginal rates as high as up to 90 or 100%… We did the last big war… Tell America that this time, they won’t have to fight a war on a deficit.  Our wealthy will happily pay our way in advance….

Domestically we should see great economic movement as we race to restaff defense plants, and get those contracts passed and rolling to upgrade our defense force, perhaps before October of this year…

But it all starts with boots on the ground in Ukraine…  This we must do quickly.

It appears that Obama’s plan is working.  Even with T-90 tanks on the border the economic sanctions against Russia are taking effect.

If you only follow America’s three lettered media… here are some things they have kept from you:

Global finance is more frightened of the US Securities and Exchange Commission than Russian T90 tanks

  • Hope of recruiting Beijing as an ally to blunt Western sanctions looks doomed
  • China did not stand behind Russia in the UN Security Council vote on Crimea, as it had over Syria.
  • Its foreign ministry stated that “China always sticks to the principle of non-interference in any country’s internal affairs and respects the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
  • Turkmenistan’s gas used to flow North, hostage to prices set by Gazprom. It now flows East.
  • in Kazakhstan, where Chinese companies have taken over much of the energy industry.
  • It is surely unlikely that imperious Xi Jinping will throw away the great prize of G2 Sino-American condominium to rescue a squalid and incompetent regime in Moscow from its own folly.
  • Enough of Europe’s gas pipelines have been switched to two-way flows since 2009 to help at least some of the vulnerable frontline states
  • Officials have been ordered to draft plans within 90 days to break dependence on Gazprom… Imports of Russian may be slashed by half within a decade.
  • Russia’s central bank cannot defend the rouble without tightening monetary policy, driving the economy deeper into recession in the process.
  • Russian banks and companies must roll over $155bn of foreign debts over the next twelve months in a hostile market, at a premium already over 200 basis points.
  • Any sanction against any oligarch linked to any Russian company could shut it out of global capital markets, potentially forcing default
  • The price of oil is poised to fall — ceteris paribus — as Iraq’s output reaches a 35-year high, the US adds a million barrels b/d a day this year from shale, and Libya cranks up exports again. The International Energy Agency says global supply jumped by 600,000 b/d last month. Deutsche Bank predicts a glut. So does China’s Sinopec. Mr Putin needs prices near $110 to fund his budget. He may face $80 before long.

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So in attacking Ukraine, Putin has lost China, lost middle Asia, lost Merkel, and unless it is immediately taken by force, lost all attempts to woe Ukraine back into the union.

He’ll attack shortly for domestic consumption.  if he doesn’t he is done at home.  The US should announce 20,000 troops are headed to Ukraine, and they should be stationed in reserves for military reasons; … to prevent them from being taken out in an opening sneak attack.  If we could convince the Chinese to join us, we could quite possibly have decades more of peace in our times…..

That will depend on Obama.

 

 

one Russia

Dear fellow members of the Human Race.

I speak to you now from the heart.  People are people.  Some have good souls and some do not.  You know as well as do I that no nation is composed of all of one type or all of the other… Each of our nations have both good and bad people in them.  With every choice of direction taken, we must analyze if either of our nations are making a correct or incorrect step…. In fact across every life, each person must daily battle over whether what they are doing, the course of action they are pursuing, is indeed the correct one they should be upon….

This is coming to you from the heart.  Your nation’s course of action is puzzling to me, to my nation, and to your fellow members of the human race now scattered across the planet.  Your nation has come so far since the 1992,  You are a highly respected member of the international community.  You recently awed us by your mastery in hosting the entire world at your Olympics in Sochi.

With all that behind you today it is puzzling that your nation is embarking on a course of action that negates all that.  One that makes you appear to be less of a great power in this world.  Instead of greatness one would expect from  the pageantry of Sochi, the very nation that beget Tchaikovsky and Tolstoy,  we are getting the behavior of a warlord existing in a land in which there is no law and there is no order.

Among our species, there will always be disputes.  There will always be disagreements between nations for as long as there will be disagreements between individual people. But civilized people have forged a means that deal with such.  We have institutions that we respect and that we trust will not side with either one or another solely because of personal favoritism, but decide what they do, because they honestly think their decision will make the world a better place.  For one to take a course of action because one has a superiority of force, is not conducive to a better future for anyone.

For it will cause my side to react.  It will cause your government to  react to our reaction.  It will cause us to react to that new threat imposed on us by your reaction to what we did…. in all regards, further continence on the current path will be a step backwards for the world community, and for the entire species of man… It will be a return to the Cold War Days, where as one of your diplomats stated, “our tanks are again on your front lawn.”   I hope you can see that if your nation’s current threat of force is continued, and that if this old retired idea that taking sovereignty from other nations were again to become the norm of Russia’s international behavior, then our nation and allies will have no recourse but to implant ourselves on the soil of those nations bordering next to your great country, for only the sole purpose to keep each of them from becoming the next Crimea.

This will of course intensify an arms race for both our nations.  A race of resources that will have great negative economic consequences for your country, as well as ours.  We are prepared and capable of undergoing it again, and you the Russian people should not doubt, that based on a comparison of our two economies, all global experts predict our side will win, again.

I hereby ask you to challenge your ruler, who seems bent on pursuing this destructive action.  And one can make no mistake that it parallels a course our nation chose a decade ago when we wrongly under the guise of protecting our national interests, did something similar. However there are vast differences between our past, and this present.  We tried diplomacy first; we used the UN weapons’ inspectors; we took our case before our own people, then to the United Nations, and from both we got a consensus of support.  Unlike us, your nation just moved in.

To your nation’s credit, there has not yet been violence. You have acted far more civilized than did ours.  There is still time for your nation to chose to return to the previous status quo of two weeks ago, then make your case to the UN, the US, and the EU.  As is all diplomacy among civilized human beings, nothing will be dismissed out of hand.

You are a great nation. one that has come far.  I ask the Russian people to consider whether going backwards in time, returning again to a Cold War, is truly the best option available to your nation… Isn’t cooperation, as was seen in the Olympic games held on Russian soil, a far more productive, a far more fruitful enterprise of action, than exerting one’s will through military occupation?

The stakes are not high.  Yet your leaders hold them much higher and stress them far more important than most others think they seem to be.  We simply ask that your nation returns to your rightful bases; that the referendum is postponed and allowed to be done properly with adequate international observation solely to provide credibility to its results.  Our intelligence tells us the outcome is not in question; the numbers seem to be in your favor.  However by rushing the referendum and having it take place in occupied territory, certainly will cast a shadow over many decades to come, of whether or not those results were indeed legitimate.  As Russian people you should have no fear of legitimacy..  You have spawned many new nations since 1992, because those people chose through elections to be independent from Russia.  It would certainly be fair in the eyes of the international community, if a nation or part of one, wanted to come back in…

But there needs to be legitimacy.  It needs to be done in a certain way, under certain guiding principles, with the approval of the global community…   Being wrong in the international community’s eyes is a costly endeavor; one of wasted investment.  Again, many in the world community likewise disapproved of my nation, the United States’ military intervention into the Mideast now over a decade ago. Many Russian people were among them…   I ask you now, speaking from the heart, if it was wrong for us, and it was, why would it not be wrong for Russia to do exactly the same thing?

There are many commonalities between the Russian people and those of the United States of America.  We both have children, and grandchildren.  We both want what is best for them probably more than we care about ourselves…  The collision course our two nations are headed towards now, is not good for either of our progeny, no matter where they call home….

We have no quarrel with where Crimea itself wishes to end up.  My only concern is how that gets determined, and whether I have to expend expensive resources to make sure that no other nation with a border touching Russia, ever has to worry about the same thing happening to them…  Western Europe is thriving and prosperous today, because of actions that the US took 70 years ago.  Indeed our investment back then has paid off handsomely.  We are prepared to do it again if we must.  However our doing so, does not help your children or our children, have the better future which they could have, if our two nations were to always work within the structure and framework provided by, for and to the global community, in order to achieve our interests and build to better future…

I ask all Russian people to make their will known, that they as we suspect, would also prefer a peaceful world, a civilized world, a world whose future is based on the best intentions of mankind, to one day hand over to both our children…

There is still time for Russia to act magnanimously; if there is the Will. …By the grace of the God present in us all on either continent, we pray for the sake of the civilized future of both our nations, that deep within every Russian, that Will is still there….

It’s a job for Dad.  The girls are upstairs fighting over who knows what but it is in the stand off stage and like little girls, no blows have been thrown.  But the bigger, older sister has taken the stuffed animal and is holding it,…  You walk into the room….

That is Obama’s predicament.  How do you solve, diffuse, absolve a pie fight without far more serious ramifications stretching as far as the eye can see, from bubbling out from your best attempts?

Like a Dad, you have to realize they are just kids.  They are looking at you to solve the problem…

Like a Dad, it is what any dad of girls has to do from time to time……

A) First take control…   Ok, Give me the bear….

Obama with the world community behind him, needs to take temporary control of the divisive issue.  In this case, it is Crimea, or more particularly, who controls Crimea.  The US and international arbitrators need to take control over Crimea.  It can be handled like this… We put a neutral nation’s troops between the Ukrainians and the Russians. Second step is we ask both sides to stand down.  Russians to their side of the room, Ukrane’s to theirs.

B. Now we begin the talk…  Ok, Russia, you go first, Ukraine, you’ll have your chance, Don’t interrupt.  

Russia talks…

Now, Ukraine.  Your turn, Russia?  You got to say what you wanted without interruption, Now it’s Ukraines turn. If you have questions we will discuss them later…  Go Ukraine.

C.  Ok. we say.. Here is a list of what you disagree upon.

Recognize you agree on a lot, This is a small list.  Looks like we can do something here….

D. Discussion.

Are we agreed now on rules to keep the bear?

Yes?  OK, here it is….  follow the rule.

E. If I have to come here the next time, neither one of you are going to like it ….

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There are certain ways things should be handled. Even then, they don’t always work out to plan.  But if you execute the plan, knowing the plan works 95% of the time, and they still spiral beyond you, you did everything you could…

That is all that matters…  If it spirals outward, we then will deal with it, consequences be what they may….

In any regards, the absolutely wrong approach is to barge into the room screaming and yelling, throwing out idle threats with pure abandon, pointing fingers before anyone has a chance to talk, or picking sides without finding facts and feelings out first.  Yet a lot of parents act like this.  It is sadly why we have so many kids who act that way as well.  The United States should not be taking directions from our Conservatives and act like Ghetto mom.  The United States needs to continue to act like the Super-Dad it is….

navy-sandiego-large

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…..

And the US has become the Stazi, first detaining Greenwald’s partner, then destroying hard drives in the Guardian’s basement.

My how hard core capitalists have flipped things on their ears in 12 short years!

Close you eyes and just say this out loud:  A Western government just destroyed hard drives in a newpaper’s office.  A Western government  just detained the lover of a journalist to coerce that journalist into silence!

Makes one ashamed, doesn’t it?

It means… they are worried.  We’ve only heard the beginnings.  Wait until they start leaking how we undercut foreign businesses…..

If a Russian intelligence officer published reports explaining how the KGB was monitoring every Russian’s phone call and storing it for future reference,… then showed up in the United States, .. would we send them back to certain torture and death?

The Soviets would try every tactic we just did.  In the end, they would look like the repressors, and our government looks like it stands for truth and justice for real people.

So learn the lesson.  We can’t win.  Let’s simply say we’d like to try him, but it’s no big deal, and therefore the summit, will continue forward.

After all, even after much posturing and and diplomatic sanctions against us to appease their more rowdy internal factions, the Russians have always played ball.  I know the White House has a green advisory staff right now, but we should take a lesson here from the Russians.

Re-convene the summit.  Not doing so makes us look just like the Cheney Administration, carrying grudges.  In 2008, we said that was the totally wrong approach.  We voted instead for hope and change.

As we recommended here, in Providence Rhode Island, the testing being done in schools was done on adults.  The idea is to test if the problem is our students, or our tests.  The adults were all college graduates or higher, and all had either public or corporate leadership positions…

Out of fifty of our most successful adults: list comprised of elected officials, attorneys, scientists, engineers, reporters, college professors, and directors of leading nonprofits—

4 of these 50 people would have scored ‘proficient with distinction,’ 7 would have scored ‘proficient,’ 9 would have scored ‘partially proficient,’ and 30 individuals—or 60%—would have scored ‘substantially below proficient,’ meaning they did not get a high enough score to receive a diploma.”

The problem with low test scores are not the fault of the students or teachers… The test are design so those taking it fail….

When questioned the test maker responded with this…

“The original goal of NECAP was to evaluate schools, and, to some extent, students within the schools. In order to make a reliable ranking among schools, you need to ensure that the differences between one school and another are statistically significant. To do that, the statistics demand that you design it to ensure that a significant number of students will flunk. If every student passed this test, they would redesign it. That’s what it means to be a diagnostic tool. To attach high-stakes to such an exam is simply an abuse of the tool, and one that will have real consequences for many young people.”

One of the legislators who sits on Rhode Island’s Corporations committee put it thusly….

“My eyes have been opened,” said Teresa Tanzi, a State Representative from Wakefield and a participant in Saturday’s “Take the Test” event. “As one of the many capable and relatively accomplished participants who scored substantially below proficient on this exercise, I do believe this points to a problem with our state’s new diploma system. The fact that a majority of very successful adults—nearly all of whom have completed college and many of whom have advanced degrees—cannot meet this requirement should make us reconsider whether a NECAP score, on its own, is an appropriate arbiter for a high school graduation decision.”

Those following the issue are aware that overwhelmingly across this nation, reports of tests with purposefully impossible questions, are putting otherwise good students, into the also-rans of life…  Honors students are being refused by colleges of their choice because of these scores.

It can easily be fixed.  Just allow the sole guide of whether a student should move up a grade or not, be determined by the teacher….  We all did ok back when that was policy….. And we were competing with the Soviet Union for heaven’s sake…  Not some joke of a North Korean…

They had centralized education.  We had local school boards, unionized teachers, and PTA’s.

So who won?

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