Category Archives: Hilary Clinton

Time Magazine Vs Teachers

My educational background is somewhat different from that of Time magazine writers or millionaires seeking to alter the manner in which schools operate. I taught junior and senior high school for ten years ranging from positions in a Harlem all boys junior high school to a suburban school in a wealthy district and a high school in a small town. After that experience I taught 10,000 teachers about how to teach. It is so ironic that people with my background sit in the back while men and women who never taught a day in their lives now are prepared to explain how to improve teaching and learning. Heck, the US Secretary of Education, Mr. Duncan never taught a single day in his life! Imagine an Attorney General who had no experience in law! The American Federation of Teachers is furious at this week’s Time magazine cover which depicts how wealthy millionaires will end the rule of “rotten apples” in our schools. Time believes the problem in schools stems from an inability to fire incompetent teachers.

1. If Time and wealthy millionaires are concerned about incompetency how about firing those in Congress who passed the fewest laws in history?

2. The real problems in schools stem from an outdated curriculum which has nothing to do with the needs of young people. They are presented a boring curriculum which has no relevance to what they need in modern life.

3. There is not a single program in any college in America that provides training for department chairmen in schools on how to provide leadership in schools.

4. Principals are controlled by state mandated testing which hampers their ability to stimulate teachers to come up with new ideas.

5. The most successful schools in the world such as in Finland give teachers control of what they teach. There are no government tests to control teaching.

Yes, there are incompetent teachers. My estimate, after working with 12,000 is that ten percent do not belong in schools. This is the same percent as who work on Wall Street or as cops or doctors or lawyers.

Justice Bader Ginsberg Was Right!

I am the child of immigrants and was raised by my American public school teachers to respect the Supreme Court of this nation. I obtained degrees ranging from a Master to a Ph.D in American history and studied the development of this important American institution. The past few years have caused me to lose all respect for this Court. It is the most reactionary Supreme Court in over seventy years. Justice Ginsberg warned the Court that ID laws such as in existence in Texas were depriving Americans from their right to vote, but Scalia and his buddies like Roberts and Alioto refused to accept reality since it would prevent them from allowing their fellow Republicans to lose an election. Latest reports from Texas indicate hundreds of thousands will not be able to cast a ballot next week.

1. Many elderly people do NOT have a state issued driver’s license nor a state issued license to fire a gun.

2. Students are deprived from using their college ID, but a weapon ID is OK!!

3. Many disabled people do not have state IDs nor can they get to state offices for one.

The Supreme Court of this nation has restored the Poll Tax!!

Jihadists Come Running

A recent United Nations report indicates that over 15,000 Jihadists have arrived in the Middle East over the past few years. These are young men from countries as diverse as Russia, Ireland, Chile, France and the United Kingdom. They share a desire to hate and kill. There is no doubt this group of haters represent a 21st century phenomenon. Select any nation in the world, and you will uncover those who believe to be engaged in a fight against forces of evil. Heck, in the United States of America even our Supreme Court contains jihadists who intend to ensure that our wealthy folk once again rule the nation. What else is the Tea Party other than a band of jihadists filled with hate and anger. Jihadists in the Middle East seek to return to olden days, and American Jihadists want the good old days when “real Americans” ruled the land to become the new norm.

The common element in all these Jihadists is a sense of hate against anything that resembles modernity. Check out the Republican Party in Congress whose members boast of not believing in “science.” We now have throughout the world a rejection of modern thinking, and a felt need to return to those times when ignorance ruled the waves of government. Heck, poor al-Qaida is now considered too modern by these Jihadists. Perhaps, it is time to send Tea Party folk to the Middle East to fight. At least it will provide them a sense of doing something to alter all this nonsense about science and climate change.

Screwing American Soldiers

There are moments in life when one wonders as to the manner in which we treat those who serve in the armed forces. Let’s get one thing clear, over 90% of the American people do not wish to serve in the armed forces of this country although this country is quite willing to become involved in wars that someone has to fight in. OK, let’s really get honest, would you believe that 98% of the American people mighty want the country to get into wars, but don’t summon them to fight in these conflicts. There is a Servicemembers Civil Relief Act which allegedly provides loans to soldiers and veterans seeking further college education. The Sallie Mae and Navient Corporation have been charged with charing troops additional money for the cost of their loans which comes to $60 million. They agreed to pay the money, but deny any wrongdoing. I assume they don’t mind paying out the money, they are decent nice folk.

So, we have organizations which over charge those who are fighting to them. What most angers me is the interest rate charged these men and women is capped at 6%. First of all, anyone who served is entitled to free education, just like those who served in WWII and Korea received. At worst they should not be charged anything.

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

We offer samples of headlines that appeared in the world press along with our comments.

South Africa, Mail & Guardian: “I Was Fooled”

The complaint of Americans who will vote for Republicans next week.

Sweden, Local: “Doctor Puts Patient In Taxi”

If this is my doctor, the taxi is probably a safer place than his operating table.

Norway, Norway Post: “Homeless Get Rides In Police Cars”

At least they will have a warm bed tonight in the jail!

Russia, Moscow Times: “Stop Crimes Against Journalists”

This is Putinland, print the wrong story, then you committed a crime!

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Firemen Launch Damage Claim”

I didn’t know you could sue fire!

Whatever Happened To Barack Obama?

There is no longer a mystery about the behavior of Barack Obama in his role as President of the United States of America. The last time we Americans elected a college professor to the presidency was in 1912 when former Princeton University Professor Woodrow Wilson gained the White House. Just like former Professor Barack Obama, Wilson had some excellent ideas and did get important laws passed. But, like all college professors he much preferred giving lectures to the students who were the American people rather than engaging with them in an interactive debate. Wilson spoke TO people and he spoke Down to people. Barack Obama has the mind of a college professor, he gives the lecture, students take notes, and feed back to him what he said. If they fail to grasp what he said, tough luck, he always speaks clearly in his lectures and failure to understand what he said lies with the listener.

The one lesson we Americans who want a just society can learn from electing a college professor is never to do this again. Barack Obama never grasped the symbolism which is part of being President. He proceeded on HIS program regardless of whether he had persuaded Americans it was the right program. Instead of simply extending Medicare to all Americans, he invented a convoluted program known as the Affordable Care Act which even today, most do not understand. A great President is a great POLITICIAN. This was never understood by Obama. He, like most young Americans, regards POLITICS as something dirty. America comprises vast space and vast numbers of people. They must be organized and that includes compromise and paying attention to diverse needs and goals. College professors are always in charge and if you do not do what they want, the letter grade, F will ensue. In Politics, the letter grade, F, is given to the professor!

Surprise! Tensions In Jerusalem

Another shooting in Jerusalem, another source of hate and violence. It was simply a matter of time before an important Jewish leader in Israel was shot by a fanatic whose heart was filled with hatred and anger. On one side in Israel is a government which has only one goal–to enhance the presence and power of Jews in Jerusalem and seize more and more areas in that city. On the other side are Palestinians who resent their lack of power, and will engage in violence in order to express that emotion. The shooting of anyone is a crime, and shooting of people is NOT acceptable behavior. However, in American when some kids shoot other kids, we devote enormous time exploring why people suddenly break out with violence. So, what happened in Jerusalem is NOT a surprise. It was bound to happen.

Rabbi Yehuda Glik was attending a conference in Jerusalem which was organizing Jews to pray at sites where previously, the Israel government had made clear that only Muslims could pray. The Temple Mount includes the Dome of the Rock and a mosque. Of course, the current Israel government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argues that Jews have a right to pray anywhere they desire. I doubt if a similar right is accorded Muslims. There is no excuse to justify shooting people, I realize such an attitude is not shared by most Americans or by most Israelis.

The question that remains to be answered is: what is the policy of the Israel government to ensure peace between Jews and Palestinians? The former Jewish leader, David Ben-Gurion once said, “but we Jews are also Palestinians.” Yes, both Jews and Muslims and Christians are all Palestinians and should respect each group’s rights in the land of Palestine. If not, someone will get shot.

Kurds Enter Kobani

The Turkish government has finally allowed Kurds from Iraq to send troops into surrounded Kobani, and hopefully, end the prospect of mass murder and shots of heads being chopped off. Turkish President Recep Erdogan has finally bowed to international pressure and allowed those from his hated enemies to send armed troops who will fight against ISIS. There is something ironic that after the famed invasion of George Bush in 2003, the only Iraqis who want to fight for democracy are the Kurds. This is one group of Muslims who hate ISIS and will not flee from armed encounters with the fanatics of hate. Hopefully, with additional troops, bombings of ISIS forces, and more weapons of war, a Muslim army will fight, and defeat ISIS. The question remains as to why is this group of Muslims ready to fight against ISIS, while other Muslim Iraq soldiers ripped off their uniforms and fled for their lives when ISIS appeared?

The answer is simple. Kurds have a government which is supported by the population. Kurds believe in their right to have such a government and will fight for it. Most Iraqis only have the government that was installed by former President Bush, a government of kleptomaniacs whose only thought was money and power. The government of Nuri al-Maliki spent its time making life miserable for Sunnis and turned them toward the only alternative of ISIS. Get a government in Baghdad that seeks honesty and respect for all Iraqis, and ISIS will shortly disappear.

Whatever Happened To America?

The evidence is quite clear, Republicans will gain more seats in Congress, and most probably may secure control of a majority of seats in the US Senate. The most interesting question is: why will Americans reward a party with victory which seeks to make life harder for the average American? Frankly, this phenomena has occurred in the past, and will happen in the future. We live in interesting times. We live in an era in which those under age, forty, lack any sense of their economic needs, and prefer fiddling with fingers than fiddling with their minds. OK, blame Barack Obama for his failures to understand how Presidents must lead, but the alternative to Barack Obama is not the Koch brothers.

In the past when most American engaged in hard physical labor, they understood the boss was in his office and they were out on the assembly line. They did not need to go to college in order to understand their economic interests were not similar to those of the boss. Today, our young people lack a sense of CLASS. They do not understand there IS a Working Class, and they are in it. They do not understand that when one is in the Working Class, one must vote for their economic interests. And, they certainly are not those of this Republican Party.

The disaster will come. Americans will learn the goals of Republicans are not their goals. Hopefully, in 2016 there will be another change in attitudes by Americans.

Whatever Happened To Capitalism?

The collapse of the Soviet Union, the decision of Chinese Communist leaders to embrace market economies was thought to signal the end of Communism, and the birth of a new world in which Capitalism was the new economic norm. That was then, and today is now. European economies are stagnant, right wing nuts blaming immigrants for the failures of capitalism are present in just about every European society. America has become a nation in which 1% control 22% of the wealth, and our top 5% control 44%. The gap grows wider between the average working stiff in America and his beloved suffering boss who devotes his time and money ensuring the election of conservatives who pray before the altar of the wealthy. Raising minimum wages is the first step on the road to communism, but lowering taxes on the wealthy is the best guarantee they will have more and more money. So, what is the story of modern Capitalism?

1. The number of low income people able to become middle class is falling. If you are born poor, so will your children live a life of poverty.

2. Capitalism is NOT producing jobs that pay a middle class wage for the average person.

3. The number of part time employees rises each year which ensures these workers will never enter the middle class.

To put it bluntly, Capitalism has failed to create a society in which each person, in reality, has a chance to economically advance. This basic claim of capitalism simply no longer is true.

Perhaps, it is time to revisit other forms of economic theory such as Socialism. Perhaps, we need a new economic system that incorporates the best ideas from Capitalism and from Socialism?

I await the ideas of a new Economic system that is designed to empower each person to rise to some higher economic status. Of one thing I am certain, this will NOT happen under a Capitalist system!!