Soviets hasn't been inside a school in 40 years, as evidenced by the characterization of school as a place where teachers switch on movies and proceed to fill out final four brackets and such -- that's a 40 year-old cliche, repeated by disgruntled curmudgeons who nurse severe grudges decades old. Comments such as those are embarrassing anachronisms, wholly inappropriate to discussions of contemporary conditions.
Matter of fact, those kinds of comments are merely generic attacks of the kind posted by single-issue trolls interested in hijacking every discussion in service to their own agenda, in this case the demise of all things publically funded in favor of privatization.
Can't take criticisms like that seriously.
April 25, 2015 at 11:03 a.m.
You're missing the point.
I'm not talking about the rich using their own money to bail out their own kind -- they can do whatever they want.
I'm talking about the fact that we psss and moan about student loans and Medicaid and food stamps and welfare, and yet we, as a society, we taxpayers allow the bailout of a failed company to the tune of $700 BILLION!
And then MO-reese Greenburg has the utter cheek, the audacity, the bllls, to complain that the government, which bailed out his failed company, then claimed ownership of 80% of it! And this was a company that had sunk, at the time, to a $15 Billion valuation!
That's not rich people bailing out their kids; that's more of the notion that American capitalists expect to be able to privatize profits (for themselves) and socialize liabilities (for the rest of us).
Sure, the bad behavior of profligate poor people is just as bad as the bad behavior of profligate rich people, but the rich who stumble have their family resources to fall back on -- I get that. That's nothing new.
But not all, or even most, poor people are bad; they're just poor. And being poor is not a crime or a sin.
We need the AIG's and GE's of the world to carry their own weight.
That's all I'm saying. It's not just the poor who benefit from the taxpayers, and 60's feminists certainly didn't invent poverty.
There was no golden age in place before Feminism trashed it all, as you seem to be implying.
April 24, 2015 at 12:52 a.m.
And don't get me started on this notion that funding schools is somehow akin to "throwing money at the problem." The individual who first used the ultra-cynical line "throw money at the problem" to describe school funding should be forced to spend a week shadowing a typical public school teacher in a typical public school, in any grade, just to watch that teacher constantly throw his or her own money at the problem if inadequate supplies, or at the problem of kids with no lunch money.
Those who object to increasing funds because they abhor throwing money at the problem of staffing cuts should be forced to shadow the teacher who crams 40 kids into a history class, or who faces an impossible stack of papers at the end of the day, or who endures back-to-back parent conferences into the evening for 6 hours straight.
And yes, teachers have pensions, which they paid for, and no, they don't have to worry, or even think about those pensions, because, at least in OHIO, they have a retirement system that is a completely independent entity, not connected to the schools, the taxpayers, or the state government.
And it is totally funded by teachers, administrators, and professional staff, through their own contributions, and through the contributions their employing school districts make in their behalf, as deferred income.
So there is another debunked notion, the notion that the state of Ohio, or the taxpayers, or the school boards, "give" or "provide" somehow pensions for teachers.
That does not happen.
April 24, 2015 at 12:30 a.m.
The difficulty of firing bad teachers is one of the biggest myths perpetrated on the voting public; the difficulty lies in the fact that administrators fail to do their jobs.
Of course you cannot just trot a tenured teacher into the office and say "You're fired," a la Donald Trump, because there are things like "fair dismissal" clauses, and "due process." There is a process to be followed, and when it is followed properly, bad teachers are fired. I t has to be that way; otherwise you have an entire staff working at the pleasure of whatever administrator happens to occupy the office at the time. The ability to fire at will, for no reason, at the drop of a hat, would wreak havoc on a school community, which always must rely on a stable core of seasoned professionals who are there for the long haul.
By the way, this notion that the way to improve schools is to hold the sword of Damocles over the heads of teachers, and that, somehow, the threat of firing will inspire teachers to perform miracles, is garbage.
And the notion that parents are stampeding to get their kids out of public schools is also wrong; all 4 of my kids attended public schools, precisely because they were the best available schools in the area.
I tend to look at school, any school, as an exercise in personal effort, such that you get out of the experience what you put into it. If you put strife and resistance and conflict and mischief-making and other negatives into your school experience, that approach will not yield effective results, but, rather, makes the whole situation a lot more difficult than it has to be.
And this notion that voters reject levies because they are unhappy with the job schools are doing is wrong, also; those who vote no do so to reduce their own expenses, period, especially if they don't think they have a personal stake in the levy's passage, such as they don't have school-age kids.
But a well-funded school benefits every property owner in that district, the same way well-funded police/fire protection, libraries, and roads benefit everyone, even if you never go to the library, have a fire, need police assistance, or drive on any given road. These things add value to a community.
April 23, 2015 at 11:57 p.m.
Nobody "gives" teachers' unions anything -- quit trying to sneak those false premises into the discussion.
The failures of large city public schools are not the failures of teachers or teachers' unions. Teachers and teachers' unions are not responsible for poverty, or unemployment, or the brain drain suffered by this so-called "valley" over the last generation.
Teachers' unions did not create the so-called "charter schools" movement, which sucks the financial life from the public school system, especially in poor districts, depriving them of needed funds.
Teachers' unions did not create the ridiculous system of high-stakes testing, the Catch-22 of public education, which is used, in an ironic twist of logic, to justify de-funding schools whether they perform or not.
(See if you can follow the underlying rationale implicit in the high-stakes testing movement -- If our schools are doing the job, as proven by acceptable test scores, they don't need any more funds, since what they get is, as proven by the numbers, adequate to provide the level of success society -- a represented by elected officials and appointed functionaries -- wants; if schools are not doing the job, as proven by UNacceptable test scores, they shouldn't get any more funds -- why throw good money after bad?
See? A perfect Catch-22!
And by designing curriculum around the high-stakes testing model, public education becomes complicit in its own demise. That is NOT a teacher union problem -- it is a political problem, created and maintained by demagogues using a straw-man argument to get themselves elected.)
But don't get me started . . .
April 23, 2015 at 12:01 p.m.
The thousands who show up to apply for scarce jobs gives the lie to those who blame the unemployed for their, well, unemployment.
Repeating stereotypical caricatures of the poor has gone beyond useless -- the ridiculous characterization of poor people as being lazy, shiftless, unintelligent leeches is totally and utterly hypocritical.; no one, ever, demeans the laziness and self-indulgence of those who, born into great wealth through the sheer luck of the draw, live lives of profligacy and debauchery.
But as soon as the subject of student loans, or Medicaid, or food stamps comes up, the hypocrites of the right-wing trot out their ridiculous stereotypes and start in with this cliché and that cliché, until you'd think there had never been a near depression, and that guzzillions in capital wasn't sitting on the sidelines, and that the top 1% hadn't sucked up 1/2 the wealth generated over the last 30 years.
And these arrogant bastards claim that they got theirs through brains and hard work, even as the American taxpayer had to bail them out.
And now we have the biggest arrogant bastard of them all, Mo-reese Greenberg, claiming that it was the government's fault that AIG had to be bailed.
$800 BILLION dollars in loans, and it's the government's fault.
Trillions in worthless -- no, worse than worthless, toxic -- assets were the government's fault.
Heavy investments in poofery represented by pieces of paper -- with no more connection to anything real than a wish and a hope -- were the government's fault.
Everything is the government's fault. Rich people trash their companies trying to make a killing in the market -- it's the government's fault. Poor people can't find work -- it's the government's fault. Five guys lean on their shovels while one guy digs -- it's the government's fault.
Bush and Obama should have left Mo-reese's company slide right into the shttter. Then the old coot could have whined about how the excesses of the '60's hippy culture caused his company to go belly-up.
April 23, 2015 at 1:23 a.m.
Only in the topsy-turvy, through-the-looking-glass world of the right-wingnut bubble does there exist such cloud-coo-coo ideas as "limousine liberals," "leftist fascists," and "the tyranny of the left;" these may be added to "trickle down," "death taxes," and the supreme fantasy that only actual dollars should be taxed, apart from transactions.
The entire "liberal" point-of-view is based on the fundamental notion that EVERYBODY should get a chance at "getting theirs," because society as a whole benefits when everyone has a chance to prosper.
The very term "liberal" implies inclusiveness, magnanimity, and a generosity of spirit that acknowledges the interconnectedness of us all -- to the benefit of us all. Rather than a "zero-sum game," the notion of an "economy" must be that your expense is my income, and my expense is your income -- an intricate, inter-related web of transactions constantly firing.
(I realize that this model is completely inconsistent with the fantasies of the zero-sum crowd, and way, way over the heads of the typical Faux aficionado, but we try . . .)
April 21, 2015 at 12:18 p.m.
Give it up, bill. Soviets can NEVER produce any support for outrageously partisan claims other than tired old warmed-over Faux Noise platitudes.
Soviets' jealousy, spite, and envy is never more apparent than when the subject is public service, especially teachers and schools.
The entire charter schools movement would collapse tomorrow under the weight of its massive fraud and incompetence if the Kochs (who aim to buy the American public education system for their own purposes) pulled their support.
April 20, 2015 at 11:18 a.m.
The prison system? ("Are there no prisons?") Again, the common. callous response:
""This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree; but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!” cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. “Slander those who tell it ye! Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse! And bide the end!”
“Have they no refuge or resource?” cried Scrooge.
“Are there no prisons?” said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. “Are there no workhouses?”
The bell struck twelve."
April 19, 2015 at 10:56 a.m.
Again, learn your numbers, and learn to read; your illiteracy is an embarrassment.
April 19, 2015 at 10:36 a.m.