Education

Misplaced Referendum


POST 1064


First, A Solution to Campus Protest Violence

It’s simply intolerable that what we’re seeing on college campuses now looks just like the conflicts we faced in the 1960s. We should have learned something in all this time, like that when we send in people who only know force that violence is what we get. I think we can do better.

The Scene

Monday, April 29, 2024, 8:30PM

We know that the terrorists who started this war by murdering, dismembering, raping and terrorizing so many Israelis and taking hundreds of hostages are hiding within the civilian population in Gaza. They’ve left Israel nothing but bad choices for protecting itself and for punishing the bad guys.

As a consequence, we’re all seeing the unspeakable horror of innocents being injured and killed in Gaza. Grannies, children, babies – it’s gut wrenching and our students, empathic, idealistic and impassioned as they rightly are, are powerfully moved to act on their outrage and do something they hope will make things better.

In the midst of this disorienting angst on campus are Jewish students who are torn over the anguish and at the same time are the recipients of slurs, physical attacks and calls for them to die.

And those are just some of the complications.

Tensions are high and university presidents and state governors are calling in riot police and National Guardsmen carrying riot gear. That, of course, is what Mayor Daley did in Chicago in 1968. That didn’t work out too well then and there is no reason we should expect it to work better now.

A Solution

Instead of riot police advancing in an intimidating phalanx zeroed in on unarmed kids, how about they ditch the shields and the clubs and instead hand out bottles of water to the kids on all sides of this conflict. They could bring in porta-potties and recycle bins for empty water bottles.

How about setting out long tables and chairs and inviting kids to sit and talk with one another? In other words, how about the cops, instead of being Officer Thug, show up as Officer Friendly?

What if they were to invite these impassioned kids to talk with one another instead of yell at one another? What if these kids actually heard one another (you know: like listening) and learned that the person across the table isn’t the devil they imagined? What if university administration personnel (I’m looking at you, university presidents) took to the quads and listened to the kids instead of issuing orders and threats? What if the administration folks, the cops and the Guardsmen – even governors – were to model being constructive and respectful adults?

Crazy, right?

Many thanks to son Scott Altschuler for thinking through this with me.

UPDATE: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 8:45PM

Negotiations broke down long ago at Columbia University. Protesters now occupy Hamilton Hall. It isn’t known how many are in there or whether these are students or outside agitators or just chaos loving, order hating anarchists.  It isn’t known if they want the university to divest its holdings from Israel or if they deeply care about the plight of Gazans or if they just want attention.

Police in riot gear are entering the building. It is certain that nothing good is going to happen for the protesters tonight.

This situation screams into the void,”We failed. Again.”

Now, About That Referendum

The Chicago Bears are angling for a new stadium. Soldier Field was remade for them just 22 years ago at a cost of $400 million and now, gosh, that stadium is so yesterday that they have to have new digs. They bought the old Arlington Race Track property, but apparently cannot work out a deal for someone else to pay for a glitzy new home for da Bears.

Mayor Johnson of Chicago is drooling over keeping the Bears in the city and having them in a showplace home in a showplace location. He’s promoting a referendum that will fund the project, leaving a financial burden for the city of roughly $4.7 billion. That will secure the land and build a state-of-the-art football stadium in a high profile location, perhaps on the lakefront. Cities across the nation have done that sort of thing, but wait just a second.

First, full disclosure: I’ve been against cities subsidizing privately owned sports businesses since that lunacy dramatically expanded in the 1970s. Note that the Green Bay Packers are an exception to the stadium building racket because the city owns the team. Besides, Lambeau Field is a much beloved venue.

I founded and ran my Illinois business for 25 years and no municipality ever tried to entice me to locate within its boundaries by offering a new manufacturing plant and first class offices. Like the Bears, I would have brought revenue to such a place. While my company’s contributions would have been minuscule compared to what the Bears could bring, the revenue point is important because tax revenue from sports teams and from all the ancillary services, like restaurants, hotels, taxis, entertainment venues and more is a primary argument for a municipality to pay for these overly extravagant facilities that benefit private companies. The other major argument for cities underwriting assets for private businesses is the prestige attendant to a professional sports team attached to the city.

But that’s stinkin’ thinkin’. I think it’s a severe case of mis-ordered priorities and a desperation for puff-up immediate gratification. I think the city should do something else.

Float that referendum for $4.7 billion, for sure, Mayor Johnson. But use that money to make Chicago the envy of the world for childhood education. Fix the broken schools, build more as needed, bring in an army of the best teachers (that means paying them well), feed the kids meals that will keep them healthy and mentally sharp, prepared to learn. Bring in the most effective technology and have books – all of the books – on the shelves of libraries. Educate our kids to thrive in and lead tomorrow’s world.

If we were to do that, people will come from everywhere to prepare their kids for success. Doubt that? What do you think caused the suburbs to grow and prosper as they have?

World leading education will cause families to begin to thrive, neighborhoods would experience a renaissance and kids would graduate and build their lives and their businesses where they started, producing a virtuous cycle of improvement. And the city would experience ever-increasing revenue from the urban renewal and financial growth.

Image that: An entire major city devoted to our kids and to tomorrow.

The payoff will take time – certainly longer than it would take to build a new stadium and the hot dog stands outside it – but it will grow and bless us with new technologies, medical breakthroughs, lower crime, mentally healthy kids with entrepreneurial spirit and a strong work ethic. It will reverberate for a hundred years and beyond.

Still need the prestige of a professional sports team, Mayor Johnson? Go wave a pennant.


Today is a good day to be the light

  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Something For Nothing


Post 1,053


Late Addition

.
NBC News Hires Former RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel
The GOP political veteran will become an on-air contributor to NBC News and MSNBC.
.

Yes, that Ronna Romney McDaniel. Be sure to click the headline and read the astonishing spin the networks put on this brainless move.

Here’s a piece of what Steve Schmidt said about this yesterday:

Ronna McDaniel is unfit to join any news organization because she is an inveterate liar. She is a chaos agent, who went fully along with Trump’s madness — right through the insurrection and beyond. She didn’t just show indifference towards Trump’s threats of violence, societal mayhem and revenge, she abetted them, aided them and raised money for them. A hard count of the documented lies she told during her tenure at the RNC would number in the tens of thousands.

I’m fine with MSNBC bringing former Republicans and traditional conservatives to their otherwise progressive team, people like Nicolle Wallace, Michael Steele, David Jolly, Joe Scarborough and more. I listen to what these honest Americans have to say because they are intelligent, insightful and worthy of my trust.

I’m very not fine with the total undermining of trust NBC News and MSNBC do by bringing in this Trump toady, this spineless coward. In it’s utter contempt for viewers and disdain for professional journalism, they present us this assassin of truth and reality, this election denier, this enemy of democracy and serial liar.

Can you imagine Rachel Maddow welcoming McDaniel as a guest analyst to her program, calling her a valued colleague? Neither can I.

To MSNBC and NBC News Management:
.

You just lost me.


Something For Nothing

If things are to get better, we’ll have to stop doing what makes things worse and start doing what makes things better. We’ll have to face up to the fact that there’s no such thing as something-for-nothing. We’ll have to invest in ourselves.

Here’s a starter list, in no particular order of importance. For most items there will be no immediate benefit, but we’ll have a beginning for the cultural shift needed to make things better for all of us.

  1. Teach 1 – 2 semesters of civics to every high school student (we used to do that), with a passing grade required for graduation, for entry into higher education and for the check box on job applications. In a few years, maybe a generation, most adults will be able to name the three branches of government and more than one president. We might even return to believing in a peaceful transfer of power.
  2. Teach American history in high school – including the parts that aren’t pretty. Two semesters minimum. Our kids are strong enough to deal with truth. It’s the parents who need an infusion of starch in their spines, the courage to look at reality and accept it. Maybe they should be required to take two semesters of American history, too – including the parts that aren’t pretty.
  3. Universal public service – 2 years minimum following high school graduation. That will throw people in with “others.” Maybe they’ll learn to get along. Plus, they’ll have a personally earned investment in our country.
  4. Enact strict firearms laws. I care far less for the tortured, twisted NRA version of the Second Amendment than I do for keeping people alive. So do you.
  5. Create policies that reward jobs and growth and eliminate policies that reward only narrow enrichment of the few, like supply side economics.
  6. Expel elected officials calling for what’s best for them and instead elect leaders who call for what’s best for our towns, our states and our country, like preparing for the next pandemic and standing up to tyrants. That election job is on all of us.
  7. Reverse all legislation and Supreme Court decisions that give non-sentient beings (e.g. corporations) the right to influence our elections in any way, like Citizens United. Severely limit the amount of money individuals can contribute to candidates. In short, eliminate the influence of big money on our politics so that only the voices of We The People are heard and represented. Mitt Romney was wrong: corporations are not people, my friend.

Add your notion of must-do items in the Comments section below.

The Big Long-Term Item

We have to stop pretending this is an 18th century agrarian society so that we can overhaul education. We continue to shoot ourselves in the foot with our shortsightedness, financing education primarily with property taxes. That works great in affluent areas, where tax collections are robust and provide what is necessary for a fine education for kids. But in poor towns and in poor neighborhoods the kids get a comparatively lousy education, which dramatically limits their lifelong opportunities and cheats all of us of the contributions they might have made.

Think: When you are dying of cancer, how will you feel when you realize that the kid who would have grown up and developed a cure for your disease was instead left half-educated because we refused to fund his/her education? We’ve seen this craziness happening for most of the past century, leaving kids with poor or even destructive options. We don’t have to stay on this self-defeating path.

We can’t pay teachers a poverty wage and refuse necessary educational resources and also give our children the preparation they need to succeed in this century. There is no something-for-nothing.

Our kids need up-to-date text books; secure schools where the roofs don’t leak and the walls and ceilings aren’t mold and mildew breeding grounds. Kids need engaged, motivating teachers and proper nutrition to learn. And they need books in classrooms and on library shelves that are protected from the Nazi book banning/burning censors. If we fail at this we’ll have ignorant kids, clueless citizens and world class failure. Magical thinking won’t fix this.

Do you suppose we have a need for lots of educated people? I know the Chinese believe they do. Every year they graduate five times the number of students from 4-year universities than we do. We won’t be able to compete with them over the long term if things continue that way.

We have to stop acting as if we are both ignorant and dimwitted. We are neither. Rather, we are adherents of magical, wishful thinking or even no thinking – like the comments above about education. Here are some other examples.

  1. We can’t buy cheap consumer goods made in foreign countries and also have our living wage American jobs. Ref: Any town with a Walmart.
  2. We can’t ship our jobs overseas and also have the American Dream.
  3. We can’t allow legislators to undermine our democracy and prevent solutions to our challenges and at the same time keep our values and our way of life.

If we are to continue to be a version of America we believe in, we’re simply going to have to face up to reality.

A while back George Will said that Americans want about 1/3 of a billion dollars more in services from government than we’re willing to pay for. Adjusting for inflation, population growth and a rise in the “I want” factor, that number is probably well into the billions now. If we want better, we’ll have to pay for better.

What? You don’t like this message that there’s no something-for-nothing and we’ll have to pay to get what we want?

Of course you don’t like it! None of us does. That’s the first challenge to overcome.

Oops – I think I just disqualified myself from public office.

Coda to This Post

Kristi Noem, Republican governor of South Dakota, infamous for her dental infomercial (and here) recently, advanced her campaign to be Trump’s running mate with her declaration at CPAC saying:

“There are two kinds of people in this country right now. There are people who love America, and there are those who hate America.”

I am astonished that this airhead has at last said something to which I agree. Not in the way she means it, of course, as her notion of loving America is to renounce everything that is America and make this a Christo-Fascist theocracy. Still, she’s right – there really are two kinds of people in this country. It’s just that she’s the other, the hateful kind.

BTW: Kristi – Nice teeth!


Today is a good day to be the light

  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Seven Wonderings


Post 1,028

___________________________________

Wondering #1

Over 116 IDF troops have been killed and many injured in Israel’s efforts to silence Hamas in Gaza, in the West Bank and in fighting to hold back Hezbollah in Lebanon. Of course, these numbers are dwarfed by the number of Palestinian casualties. Still, where are the demonstrations of support for those brave men and women risking and some losing their lives to protect their country and their countrymen from terrorists? Same question regarding the Israelis being injured or killed by Hamas rockets that continue to rain down on Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and on other cities.*

Oh, right – the world has fallen for the Hamas trick of making victims of Palestinians in order to gain world sympathy. That allows Hamas to unleash terrorism on Israelis and effectively excuse it, or at least allows the world to ignore it. So, people demonstrate on college campuses in the U.S. and in European cities against Israel for the crime against humanity of Jews protecting themselves from murderous Hamas terrorists, the very people who set up civilian Palestinians for death.

Big surprise

There aren’t many protests against Hamas and the complicit Palestinians who are the true instigators of the death and destruction in Gaza.

The useful idiot demonstrators are demanding an Israeli ceasefire, as though they think that there would be no self-destructive consequences to Israel of that.

NOT SO BREAKING NEWS!
.

A ceasefire would allow Hamas to rearm, regroup and resume killing Israelis. They’ve promised repeatedly to do exactly that, to attack Israel over and over.

To the street protesters and to the appeasement spewing world leaders: Do you still think a ceasefire is a good idea? What would your answer be if you lived in Tel Aviv and every day you have to dodge incoming rockets?

Important safety tip

You don’t have to be Israeli or Jewish to be killed or gravely wounded by a Hamas rocket.

It’s so easy to manipulate people who want simple solutions to complex problems, people who cannot fathom that there is something other than whatever propaganda and manipulation has been put before their eyes. Hamas is very good at that manipulation.

Steve Sheffey offered this worthy challenge:

A New York Times investigation uncovered new details showing a pattern of rape, mutilation, and extreme brutality against women in the Hamas attacks on Israel. Read this article if you support a ceasefire that would allow Hamas to remain in power, armed and dangerous.

Many people have been duped into believing that Israel is some sort of devil, the bad guy perp, and that Palestinians are hapless good guy victims of Israeli cruelty. That simple binary view sells well. But what if things are not as as simple as you’ve been made to believe?

Just wondering.

Wondering #2

From The Tennessean:

“There are 1,582 Americans still unaccounted for [from the Vietnam War], according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.”

I’m wondering if the words on the POW/MIA flag are still true: “You are not forgotten.”

Wondering #3

I’m wondering something else about our military people.

The Wounded Warrior Project provides support for our wounded and disabled veterans. It is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is sustained solely by donations. That’s what started my wondering.

We send our military people into harms way. They stand a post for us all over the world, protecting our nation and our national interests. They are volunteers – every one of them – who knew when they put on the uniform that they were putting their lives on the line for the rest of us.

Some of them return to us terribly damaged. These are the people who are served by that private organization. The thing I wonder about is why we send our people into harms way, perhaps to be killed or become wounded and beset with long term disabilities, but then we make them have to rely on private organizations and donations to get the treatment and support they need.

Why isn’t full support a standard that We The People provide as part of our obligation to those who protect us?

I assume the VA is helpful, but apparently what they do isn’t helpful enough. Said another way, we train our military men and women to fight and when they come back to us damaged we give them their first Band Aids and then abandon them. Are our military people no longer of value to us after they’re wounded, so we refuse to fund their rehabilitation?

Just wondering.

Wondering #4

There is something similar going on in our schools.

We always under-fund some of them. That isn’t a problem in affluent areas, where property taxes provide plenty of money for schools, teachers and various support services. But that doesn’t work so well on the other side of the tracks, where property taxes are small. That’s where our “under-performing” schools can be found. How come we abandon those kids to a mediocre education?

Oh, right – the parents on the poor side of town aren’t big donors to political campaigns and they aren’t reliable voters, so we leave kids in lousy buildings with half the number of teachers they need, learning from beat up, 20 year old textbooks. We abandon these kids just like we do our wounded military.

For the moment, never mind the injustice in that. Instead, be selfish. If given the schooling s/he needs, one of those kids on the other side of the tracks might find a cure for the cancer you’re going to get in a few years. Maybe we should provide him/her the same great education that the kids on the affluent side of town are afforded. Doing that would be good for your health.

I’m wondering if that might be a good idea.

Wonderings #5 & 6

Here’s another couple of wonderings.

I received an email call for help from Moms Demand Action for their Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service. The local MDA is soliciting donations of basic hygiene products and assembling them into kits to be “distributed to over 80 schools facing economic challenges in the Chicagoland area.”

I’m Wondering (#5) how it is that we have to hold metaphorical bake sales for these kids to have basic hygiene. And I’m Wondering (#6) why Jeff Bridges has to go on TV and beg for money to feed hungry kids. **

Wondering #7

I’m wondering who we are.

________________________________

* From Haaretz:

Instead of fireworks, air raid sirens inaugurated the new year for a swathe of central Israel. Launched one minute after midnight, the rockets from Gaza were a crude if salient reminder that Israel and Hamas are heading towards three months of war.

** From Annie Gowen of the Washington Post on January 10:

Republican governors in 15 states reject summer food money for kids

Republican governors in 15 states are rejecting a new federally funded program to give food assistance to hungry children during the summer months, denying benefits to 8 million children across the country.

Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont and Wyoming

States in RED also “.  .  .  have not fully extended Medicaid eligibility to low-income individuals.”

Do you suppose making kids go hungry is what people in those 15 states really want?

Just wondering #6


  • Today is a good day to be the light
  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA

 


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Or Not


Civics – Or Not

In order to graduate from my public high school I was requried to take a course in civics and pass the exam. That education was required in nearly every public high school in those days. In the 1980s this course often became optional or, in many schools, civics classes weren’t available at all. We had switched to a more market oriented view of education and citizenship and we have suffered from that ever since.

The National Education Association recognizes the loss and its effect can be seen in the regular occurrence of students shouting down presenters offering differing views. That isn’t about freedom of speech. It’s about temper tantrums and a refusal to learn.

Perhaps the shout-downs are a symptom of our increasing national incidence of mob brutality, as students see adults doing the same thing in school board meetings, at political rallies and in our Capitol Building on January 6. Maybe they are influenced by the non-stop torrent of lies, false accusations and online screeds that pollute our culture. Call it “Citizens Gone Wild.”

Lack of civics education hurts us all. It robs us of any sense of obligation to the commons and a respect for others. It robs us of our democratic principles.

None of us knows if education in our civil rights, responsibilities and limitations would affect any of the brutality that goes on daily. But in this era when a majority of Americans can’t name three presidents, don’t know the branches of our government and many think that enforcing our laws is “weaponizing” the Department of Justice, we have a problem.

From an essay by Debra Satz and focused on shout-downs on college campuses entitled By Abandoning Civics, Colleges Helped Create the Culture Wars:

It is our responsibility as educators to equip students to live in a democratic society whose members will inevitably disagree on many things. To strengthen free speech on campuses, we need to return civic education to the heart of our curriculum.

Jim Nathan is a long time friend, a former health system CEO, co-founder of Floridians For Democracy and Adjunct Professor of Health Services at Florida Gulf Coast University.* Here’s what he had to say after reading a draft of this post.

Sadly, students in my university classes have not seen or experienced national American unity and pride. Instead, their formative years have been influenced by two decades of unexplained wars; massively uncivil politics; the Great Recession; divisive and uncivil expressions and actions throughout society; degrading and marginalizing of racial, LGBTQ+, and ethnic diversity.

They have seen and experienced attacks on public education telling students what they are not allowed to learn about history.  They have been taught that the “other side are the worst people on earth!”

Their lives have been shaped by the near daily use of weapons of war in schools, churches, synagogues, groceries and they’ve done active shooter drills even as some honor people like murderer Kyle Rittenhouse.

They are presently witnessing American politicians revering autocratic leaders like Hungary’s Orbán and Turkey’s Erdoğan while stealing our freedoms under the guise of “freedom” and “liberty.”

In class, I share with these impressive students that the good news is they have learned to be resilient, that they have the opportunity to reverse these culture wars. We are beginning to see that young generation making the decision to speak up and speak out. They truly are our hope for the future.

Perhaps they will be the ones to restore civics education to our nation. Perhaps they will be the ones to take action on Thomas Jefferson’s words,

An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic. Self-government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight.

Fentanyl Treatment- Or Not

It appears that if any of the Republican candidates for president gets their hands on power that there won’t be much attention paid to treating those addicted to this killer. From STAT:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has pledged to “use lethal force” by sending troops to attack cartel operations in Mexico. [That’s called an invasion of a sovereign nation. Of an ally. Our second largest trading partner. But it’s a splendid, brain-free chest thumping.]

Former President Donald Trump has called for convicted drug dealers to be sentenced to death. [That’s called unconstitutional.]

Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina pledged to finish constructing Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. [That’s stupid.]

Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy suggested a different tack: Decriminalizing nearly all drugs, including ayahuasca and ketamine. [That’s called useless bombast.]

Note the total lack of any help at all for those who need it. Oddly, these self-puffers think they should be sitting at the Resolute Desk charged with promoting the general welfare. You know: that Preamble thing.

These schemes are how we typically “help” our addicted, with tough guy proclamations, preventionless preventions and cureless cures. Sometimes we paper over the issue with a blizzard of words, often sounding very fancy and scientific in multi-syllabic self-importance. However, there is no scientific or medical data indicating that a blizzard of words cures drug addictions.

Quote From Somewhere Else That Applies

From Jeffrey Goldberg, Editor in Chief of The Atlantic, referencing a proposed cage match between two high tech genius-idiots:

From the standpoint of being a human, the Musk-Zuck cage match is an offensive waste of time—the result of a broken media system that allows those with influence and shamelessness to commandeer our collective attention at will.

Wait – was that about two high tech egomaniacs, or about flamboyant, hypocritical, conspiracy addled, democracy hating politicians and a media addicted to “If it bleeds, it leads”?

A Terrible Anniversary

Friday was the 60th anniversary of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL that killed four little girls: Denise McNair; Cynthia Wesley; Carole Robertson; Addie Mae Collins; and severely injured Addie Mae’s sister, Sarah Collins. It took until 2002 to at last prosecute and convict three of the murderers. By then the fourth had already died. The three spent the rest of their lives in prison.

This is a terrible and heroic story that includes former Senator Doug Jones and former Attorney General of Alabama Bill Baxley, who put the murderers in prison. I urge you to watch the presentation they gave in 2017 telling the story of how justice was at last done. And there’s one other thing.

This story is one of virulent White supremacist hatred. What we know is that it didn’t go away after 1963. There’s yet another generation of haters now. As then, they are doing and threatening violence and are led by haters and power cravers. We can allow that to go on  .  .  .

.  .  .  or not.
.
Note the first 3 words of the Constitution:
.

We The People

_____________________________________

* Jim teaches “History of the American Health System from Economic, Social and Political Perspectives.” The course is colloquially called, “How did the American Health System, with the best technology and best trained clinicians in the world become the most expensive, highly fragmented and under-performing for the overall investments made by the American public?”

Good question.


Today is a good day to be the light

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Facing the ‘mare-ca In America


We’re Right and We Know It

Let’s drop the pretending for a minute and honestly say that while George Floyd’s murder was not okay, it really wasn’t a big deal because, hey, he was just a Black guy. Plus, we stand by our police, except the ones at the Capitol Building and you know why. And we heard that Floyd’s past was sketchy, although me and my posse don’t know what that was about.

And those kids snatched from their mothers at the southern border – I mean, boo-hoo. Gimme a break. Those kids would have grown up to be Brown adults and not so cute anymore and they’d probably be on welfare with me payin’ for them. Glad they’re gone. And their crying moms? Too bad. Nobody invited you. Besides, you’re Brown. Just go away.

Let’s get serious about all those homos demanding rights like they’re so important. Hey, you want a website for your homo wedding, go do it yourself. Don’t try to make a God-fearing, straight, White Christian woman do anything for you. And get that damned rainbow flag out of my face.

And Affirmative Action? Everybody knows that’s just a way to discriminate against White guys, to keep us down. You other races can do that bootstrap thing like we did. Otherwise, just shut up and stay in your place.

We don’t go for no Department of Education. That’s gub-mint telling us what our kids should learn and turning over their future to a bunch of elite coastal bozos and sketchy teachers. We got parents rights, you know. It’s right there in the Constitution. I forget where.

Anyway, don’t go shoveling no lib-ral, anti-‘mer-can crap at us or our kids. We’ll home school ’em and make sure they learn the right stuff, not the lies in your history books. You can’t chop our freedom.

You know this is true: the Founders of this country were all White men – every one of ’em – and they set up this country to be run and owned by White men. That’s a fact. Deal with it, socialist.

The Constitution allowed for slavery, which is why we want to keep those Confederate statues and have our military bases and schools in the South named after Confederate generals. They were great heroes, especially Robert E. Lee. It’s why we honor the Confederate battle flag and do everything we can to make sure only White people can vote and have their votes mean something. It’s the right thing to do because we’re patriotic ‘mare-cans.

You bleeding heart lib-rals make me sick. That lib-ral crap is an insult to the spirit and meaning of our country, so you can take your woke and stick it. If you don’t like that, go someplace else. Maybe back to where your people came from. They sure didn’t come from here like we White people did.

Until then, just remember that most of us are doing concealed carry. Best if you stay in your lane. It would be a shame if something were to happen to you, you know?

We’re right and we know it.


Take a Breath

The above is satire, of course. It’s a caricature of the closed-minded and the willfully ignorant, those intolerant of everything that isn’t just like themselves.

Even as things are exaggerated here to make a point, we as a country rarely care enough about Black, Brown or LGBTQ people. New laws and extremist Supreme Court decisions are ensuring that we care even less. Harm to these people makes the news only because it’s spectacular and brings eyeballs to advertisers. We don’t do much to right the wrongs, so the hits just keep on coming.*

I’m sure it’s comforting to some to deny that there is systemic racism in this country. It’s a relief to some that service can be denied to LGBTQ people on the basis of an impromptu claim of religious beliefs designed to be inflicted on others. All that takes are just a few key words, like God, Jesus, Christian, freedom, liberty and ‘mare-ca. But what you know is that it’s just performative, faux patriotism.

Land of the free, home of the brave? Where’s the bravery that makes sure that all of us are free?

All men are created equal? How equal are we now?

I’m just wondering what it is we really stand for. It’s a terrible shame that we as a nation have lost our ability to feel shame. Maybe we can bring it back. That would help.

About Your Rights and Our Democracy

For a must read satire about the state of our nation that should wake up your blood, read Diane Roberts’ commentary, We’re the Mommies for Liberty and the future belongs to us. It’s focused on the outrageous rights violations going on in Florida today. With that model in mind you’ll see what could be coming to all of America if we don’t set things right. It will give you the shakes, because Roberts’ satire feels frighteningly close to reality.

Another take on democracy and the pummeling of our rights comes from an essay by Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead, his best-selling 2003 memoir about being a Marine in the first Gulf War, later made into a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal. His essay in Daily Beast is about book banning, which the vocal extremists in Ottawa County, Michigan did to his book. He ends his post this way:

Make no mistake, they are banning books, but really they are restricting access to ideas. And when one small group of people ban[s] a larger group of people access to ideas, we are in for a closing of the American mind. What begins with banning books ends with a firescape of constitutional rights ablaze. But the fire is already here on your block. [emphasis mine]
 

That stunning image is the threat that faces us, which is why you and I are going to do something about that, like get elected people who believe in democracy and who will stop the ones torching the Constitution.

Quotes of the Week

From David Corn of Mother Jones:

So when the pundits scratch their heads about DeSantis’ attempt to out-flank Trump on the right, they miss the point. He is trying to out-hate Trump. That tells you a lot about the guy and what he thinks of Republican voters.

You could say much the same for Republican politicians who tacitly condone extremism by refusing to speak up.

Thinking more about the not-extreme Republicans who have refused to speak out against the vile lies for these terrible years of political venom, read this, paraphrased from Harlen Coben’s 2023 novel I Will Find You:

Morality is subjective. They could have done the right thing, but they only do the right thing when it doesn’t cost them.

Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger excepted, of course.

Just Sayin’

Monday, July 3 was Earth’s hottest day in the last 125,000 years. Tuesday was hotter.

It’s possible the climate science nerds have been right all along about looming climate catastrophe, even as know-nothing elected officials have denied both the science and what’s right in front of their own noses. Maybe it’s time we elect officials who can see past their noses.

Just sayin’.

______________________________

* Watch Jon Stewart’s explainer here.


Today is a good day to be the light.

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

What It’s Really About – Part One


The Diabolical Debt Ceiling

Everyone knows that if the U.S. defaults on its debt obligations that the sky will fall all over the world. We will sink into a recession that lays off over 8 million American workers, leaving them without a way to support their families. Interest rates will soar, making everything way more expensive and we will lose our place of leadership in the world.

All of that and far more is waiting for us right around the corner due entirely to the threatened Republican catastrophe scheme. Why would Republicans be taking us there? They want the same things for our country as you want, right?

Wrong!
.

As Jaemlle Bouie wrote, they don’t hate big government, at least not big government that benefits themselves. I’ll add that they really hate big government that they don’t control dictatorially.

Democracy is all that’s stands guard between us and a dictatorship.

And the Republicans prove to us every day that what they and what their cruel minority wants is absolute control. Dictatorship. They don’t want you to have a voice or power of any kind.

They worship at the feet of dictator Viktor Orbán in Hungary, holding their conferences there, and some of them even cheer Putin. Yes, Republicans are championing Russians who attack the freedom of others.

They gerrymander our voting districts to benefit themselves and to eliminate Democrats from legislative bodies, all the while taking power from those they don’t like.

They attack our press, our schools, teachers and knowledge itself.

They take rights from you time after time, including taking away your right to safety, to not be gunned down in a mass shooting.

They attack our justice system and call for impeachment of our pubic officials for no reason other than to undermine your faith and confidence in our institutions.

They manipulate the system to put ever more guns into private hands, including people who have known mental health issues.

And they work every day to dis-empower women. See the last quote in this post.

What all of that tells us is that what this terrorist minority of haters is working toward is to

bring down our government!
.

They tried and failed (barely) on January 6. But what do you suppose will happen if our economy and our place of world leadership are in tatters because we decided to stiff our creditors?

The thugs will shout from the rooftops that democracy – our government – has failed us and that only they can save us. Then all will be lost. Our delicate experiment in self-rule will be over and we will descend into a hundred years of darkness.

Kevin McCarthy isn’t bluffing when he threatens you, our country or our world. He and the crazies want a very different America than the one you want and they don’t care what rights and freedoms you lose, who gets oppressed or even killed or what injustices torment us, all in their pursuit of all the power and all the money. They want to subjugate We The People. They want Nazi Germany in America. Marjorie Taylor Greene, AR-15 in hand, will be the head of the American SS.

It is all about grabing and hoarding
all the power and all the money for themselves.
.

And that is what it’s really about.

Special note for skeptics: If this seems hyperbolic to you, I urge you not to take my word for any of this. Just look at the easily found historical models and compare them with what is happening in plain sight right now.

On-Point Must Reads

Thom Hartmann lays out with great clarity what the GOP really is, what it is doing to America and what it’s doing to you. His essay is subtitled, It’s time to call a fascist a fascist.” Hartmann references FDR’s Vice President Henry Wallace and his article about fascism published in the New York Times in 1944. It could have been written today. You can read it here.

Dana Milbank’s Washington Post essay, The Day Free-market Republicans Became Soviet Economic Planners is a fine exposé of Republican efforts to subvert our nation.

Quotes of the Week

From David Corn of Mother Jones:

“These days, Republicans have intensified their efforts to rig the system to help them gain and retain power, even when they attract the support of only a minority of voters. In Missouri, they are trying to pass a measure that would require a 57 percent majority to approve a ballot initiative [same in Ohio, except theirs would require a 60% majority] .  .  . a condition that favors the GOP. Republicans throughout the country are scheming to make it harder for college students to vote. In Texas, Republican state lawmakers are pushing legislation that would allow an appointee of the governor to overturn elections in Houston. And there are many other ways the GOP is striving to stack the deck in its autocratic [read: dictatorial] favor.”

  • Our Land Newsletter, May 9, 2023

In reaction to the recent spate of mass shootings (we have 2 every 3 days), Sheila Markin writes,

“Wanna Stay Alive? Don’t Vote For Republicans”

“Mother’s Day isn’t dying—mothers are.” – click here and here

  • Watch for What It’s Really About – Part Two this Sunday, May 21.

Today is a good day to be the light.

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

I’m So Old


I’m so old that I remember when passing the debt ceiling was just a box that Congress checked each year to ensure the full faith and credit of the United States. There was no conflating future spending with payment for past spending. There was no threatening of our economy. We just paid our bills.

I remember when abandoning world leadership, as well as abandoning our allies, was unthinkable, when Republicans insisted on muscular foreign policy and would never advocate for Russia or China.

And I remember when foreign autocrats, dictators and bullies were scorned and it wouldn’t even occur to a red, white and blue American to praise or emulate them, much less invite these thugs to deliver a keynote address.

I’m so old that I remember when promoting child labor or child marriage or defending statutory rape were unthinkable.

I distinctly recall a time when one country invading another nation’s territory, threatening its sovereignty and committing war crimes were universally abhorred, especially by Republicans, who would never condone, much less praise such actions.

I remember clearly when lying about voting fraud and election results were bad things and when actively promoting such lies was seen as treachery.

I remember a time when making death threats against fellow citizens was unacceptable.

I’m so old that I remember when there were profiles in courage to write about in books. And books were good things that only evil despots banned and burned.

I’m so old that I remember a time when having more rights was a good thing and something to defend and protect.

I remember when Supreme Court justices were held in the highest esteem by the entire country, this because they earned that esteem.

I’m so old that I remember when a president of the United States would never deny the reality of a deadly pandemic for months, then prescribe treatments that had absolutely no efficacy and some which would kill patients immediately. No president would accuse and ridicule our dedicated public health experts or reduce testing in order to make his numbers look better, all leading to over a million dead Americans.

There was even a time when a politician accused of crimes and about to be indicted for several more couldn’t possibly collect endorsements for his candidacy for the next election for president. And the notion of running for the presidency from a prison cell would have been universally considered absurd.

I distinctly recall when a mass shooting was murder, as were shooting someone who rang the wrong doorbell or who got into the wrong car or who pulled into the wrong driveway. It wouldn’t have occurred to anyone then that such shootings were someone exercising Second Amendment rights or that “stand your ground” meant that it’s okay to just blast away. Back then private citizens possessing weapons of war was unthinkable.

I remember when both major political parties had clearly stated policies and program ideas to implement those policies and they negotiated to find a way forward. It was all based on agreed upon facts and observable reality. How quaint.

I remember when the American people weren’t so disgusted with politics that 41% refused to declare a party affiliation.

Click me for the story

I’m so old that I remember when committing business records fraud, making illegal campaign contributions, stealing government records, some highly classified, leaking top secret documents to adversaries, committing rape, defamation and numerous episodes of adultery, inciting a mob to riot against our nation in an act of sedition, soliciting vote count fraud and committing tax fraud were universally believed to be illegal and worthy of prosecution. Except for adultery, which is a civil violation.

I must be really old.

Quote of the Week
  • “Clarence Thomas has got to fall back. He is the definition of a cuck, which, if you don’t know, is someone who lets another guy pay for his mom’s house.
  • “Or, I know a lot of people are, like, isn’t a cuck a guy who watches his wife screw America? Either way, he’s gotta go.
  • “And I don’t think there will be justice on the Supreme Court until Clarence Thomas steps down and is replaced by Anita Hill.”
  • – Jena Friedman on The Beat with Ari Melber, April 28, 2023
Betcha you laughed at that last one.

Today is a good day to be the light.

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Scheming


Here’s Some Of What Decades of Far Right Scheming Have Brought You

Voter suppression through:

extreme gerrymandering;

voting rights suppression;

throwing out voter registrations for obscure reasons – especially in poor and minority areas;

eliminating voting places;

restricting ballot drop box access;

School vouchers for private and parochial schools that starve public schools of money and violate the freedom of religion guarantee of the First Amendment;

Attacking and eliminating healthcare rights;

Cheating on Supreme Court confirmation hearings to get a polarized Court;

Cultivating a power base by appealing to racism and hatred – no more need for dog whistles;

Book banning and book burning;

Stoking fear of the “other;”

Promoting supply side “voodoo” economics for over 40 years, which has served only to make the wealthy wealthier and more powerful and make all others poorer and less powerful;

Packing the Supreme Court to engineer the Citizens United decision into a grotesque monster that allows enormous sums of money from hugely wealthy individuals and corporations to control our elections. This was accomplished by expanding the original case into something not in contest – in effect, making up a new case to ensure power for the wealthy;

Denial of truth and embrace of cruel fictions that stick a spoke into the wheels of progress in Congress and state houses, then complaining that government can’t do anything. Example: spouting lies about the safety and efficacy of the coronavirus vaccines and demonizing public health officials, while well over a million people died and our healthcare infrastructure (hospitals) failed, leaving millions without healthcare at all – and at the same time complaining that the government grossly mishandled the pandemic;

A Trump appointed Texas judge overruling the FDA to eliminate Mifepristone, this on a foundation of boundless ignorance and vacuous reasoning. That compliments what appears to be his whitewashing of his extremist views that he hid during his lifetime appointment judgeship confirmation process;

Challenging election results on the basis of absolutely no facts or evidence – but the false claims have accomplished the undermining of citizen confidence in our elections;

Stoking fear and hatred of LGBTQ citizens and inciting violence;

Ignoring the overwhelming public will on issues like gun safety, abortion, healthcare and more. Here is an example in a chart from the April 11 STAT report, based on a Kaiser Family Foundation study.

These are shocking numbers and the story is actually worse than it appears. Read the full Kaiser Family Foundation report. This is what happens when a minority is in control and they ignore what the rest of us want. It’s deadly.

The extremists have been at this for decades, applying billions of dollars and enormous political pressure and their scheming has paid off in their minority control and their fantastic self-enrichment. Decide for yourself if this stuff works for you. If it doesn’t, then perhaps we should be scheming to set things right.

DNC: I don’t hear a thing from you except solicitations for my money. Is that your best shot?


Today is a good day to be the light.

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.


    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    JA

 


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

New AP Class in Florida; Ukraine; The Key Word


Caution: The first section of this post contains infectious snark. It is contraindicated for those not yet vaccinated against the current virulent right wing strains of BS-2022 and BS-2023. Note that constitutional virologists are predicting an exceptionally deadly strain next year. Subscribe here (⇒⇓) to stay up to date on this threat.


Gov. DeSantis proudly displays his signature on his “Don’t Say Gay” bill on March 28, 2022, while proudly using unknowing children as props.

There has been a nagging sense of incompleteness since Florida Governor Ro DeSantis courageously ended AP African-American studies classes in Florida’s public high schools. His high minded and heroically placed stake in the ground is a good first step, but it’s clear that something is missing. What Florida high schools need to finish the noose is a class in AP White Supremacy.

This will be a two semester senior level course designed to send students into the world on the far right path and with the tools, the knowledge and the attitude for successful superiority.

Topics included in the syllabus for this course are:

Racial superiority, specifically including the identification of differences in intellectual potential and work ethic

The truth about BLM, the NAACP and other organizations that seek to take money from hard working Whites and distribute it to lazy, shiftless “others”

The truth about the War of Northern Aggression

The proper “place” of non-Whites

Northern lies about poor treatment of the Negro in the south

Clarity about gender identity: “hetero is the way to go.” This issue is included in this program because Gov. DeSantis let us know that gender issues permeate AP African-American studies classes to indoctrinate impressionable students. This is the one arena in Florida public education where the existence of LGBTQ issues may be briefly discussed without indictment of teachers on a 3rd degree felony violation. Otherwise, such discussion would be a violation of the “Don’t Say Gay” law. No texts will be used in this module, lest they filter to other students who are incapable of learning of such things without experiencing trauma or, worse, conversion.

Education on how to purchase, handle and fire semi-automatic weapons

The title of the books in the box is “Black History.” Click the pic

The beauty and pride of the Confederate battle flag and of pickup trucks, especially when used together. Students will be taught how to run lefty campaign buses off the road and also how to overwhelm streets in cities both large and small. Tactics for shutting down lefty rallies will be included in this module.

Training on the appropriateness of violence to enforce White supremacy, including subtleties like how to make anonymous death threats to those who would undermine White position and power

Hands-on training in disruption of school board meetings and socialist lefty protests, plus training in state capitol capture while wearing camo, face masks and carrying semi-automatic assault rifles with high capacity magazines. Role play will be a critical part of this module, so students should arrive in appropriate clothing and be prepared to yell for long periods of time. Foul language will be encouraged.

Students will be trained to register for concealed carry and will be advised to bring their guns to class in case some bad guy with a gun shows up.

This is a lot to cover in just two semesters, yet it is crucial that these Florida students be prepared to move to what’s next, whether it’s an occupation or further schooling or pursuing elective or appointed office. It is imperative that they make the White choices.

Gov. DeSantis, we await your signature.

End of snark

——————————–
Ukraine

We are a primary supplier of weapons and ammunition to aid Ukraine in prosecuting their defense against Vladimir Putin’s reign of terror to re-establish the Soviet empire. Indeed, some of his pals are publicly calling for Russia to annex Poland and the Baltic States after Ukraine is conquered.

President Biden has been careful to avoid tweaking Russia into WW III, a wise caution. However, that avoidance has repeatedly left Ukraine with insufficient armament and training to do what must be done, this because of delays in deliveries. It appears that’s about to happen again.

We recently committed to deliver M1A2 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. These are the most advanced and capable tanks in the world and quite obviously would be of great benefit to the Ukraine fighters. There’s just one problem.

These tanks, ammunition and spares won’t arrive in Ukraine for months, perhaps not until the end of the year. Ukraine doesn’t have months. At best they have weeks.

The Russians are amassing troops and weapons in the east of the country and possibly in Belarus to the north, clearly preparing for major offenses. They may wait until late spring when the ground has dried. Either way, if Ukraine isn’t ready with overwhelming force, they will be overwhelmed.

Putin is using formerly imprisoned conscripts and providing nearly no training to them. He’s prepared to throw a nearly limitless number of bodies at the Ukrainians who can’t possibly win a war of attrition, especially an attrition of bodies.

That leaves us with the obvious: Ukraine must be prepared to counter Putin’s forces by using technical capabilities, firepower and logistical superiority. Translation: M1A2 Abrams tanks, massive supplies of ammunition for artillery and automatic weapons, missile and drone shoot-down rockets and the rest. And a gaggle of F-16s would be enormously helpful to stop rocket attacks on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure. The children and grannies left in their cities would appreciate that.

Now would be a really good time to make all of that happen. Otherwise just a few weeks from now could see the entirety of Ukraine both leveled and an annexed part of Russia.

Key Word – Government Acronyms

First, there was a Chinese surveillance B (Balloon) at 60,000 feet. It posed no BITN (Bump-In-The-Night) threat because not a lot of folks are hanging out at that altitude, but it was a spy vehicle. So, after deciding that it was too big to drop on Great Falls, Montana, the RSPs (Royal Smart People) let it drift to just offshore SC (South Carolina). That’s when our President’s orders were acted upon by an F-22 pilot with a Sidewinder missile. They bravely caused the B (Balloon) and its P (Payload) to make a BS (Big Splash).

BPP (Balloon Payload Pieces) are incrementally being vacuumed from the floor of the ocean by our heroic NOBSS (Naval Ocean Bottom Suck Squad) personnel The EGs (Electronic Geniuses) are mapping out what can be learned from the pieces as they arrive in their Ls (Labs).

NOTE: As of this writing, no telltale SFs (Smiley Faces) have been found on any part of the balloon.

Three more Fs (Floaties) were found between 20,000-30,000 feet. That’s where civilian aircraft fly every day, so the Fs posed a BITN threat. That’s why our President called upon a group of F-22 pilots to slam their Sidewinder missiles into each of the Fs. They made the floaties AFDAGB (All Fall Down And Go Boom).

We didn’t know what those floaties were or why they were at the locations where they were discovered. We didn’t even know if they were balloons. They were much smaller than the Chinese spy balloon, and there was so much ignorance that they were designated UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects).

Our keen and razor sharp press corps and our highly educated and insightful public sped into action immediately to ask key questions, like, “Are these alien space ships?” and “We must have tracked them, so what part of our galaxy did they come from?” and, “What are the aliens like?” and, “Has ET (Extra-Terrestrial) been consulted?”

The thing is that the answers to these questions and more can be found in the first word of the designation for the Fs (Floaties): “Unidentified.” I mean no offense when I say that the very word means that we have not identified them. As in: “I don’t know.” It doesn’t mean AB (Alien Being).

Not being able to identify them immediately does not mean that they came from across the vastness of OS (Outer Space). It doesn’t mean that God sent them as a W (Warning), either. It means – I think I already said this – that we don’t know.

As of the time of this writing our GP (Government People) have not released any information about the three UNIDENTIFIED Fs (Floaties), except that the RSPs (Royal Smart People) believe these are not CSVs (Chinese Spy Vehicles). What they do know for sure is that they are UNIDENTIFIED.

That’s your key word for today, boys and girls: Unidentified. It means, “I don’t know.” It does not mean SBFAP (Strange Being From Another Planet).

For further information on this topic, please consult your OB (Ouija Board).

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.


    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

The Best We Can Do


Disarming the Monterey Park shooter – Click me

Monterey Park, CA

After hearing an interview with Brandon Tsay, the man who disarmed the Monterrey Park shooter, Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action, said,

“We are asking everyday civilians to stand up to gunmen because our lawmakers are too cowardly to stand up to gun makers.” *

You know in your bones that she’s right.

Here Are The Totals:  January 1 – 28**

Click me

.
  • All gun deaths                 3,244 – 116 per day
  • Mass shootings                   43 – 3 every 2 days
  • Children killed                    128***
  • Children injured                  297***

Those aren’t just numbers; they’re people. Like granny. Like your kids. Like you.

Is this the best we can do? Really?

Speaking of Violence

You know that Tyre Nichols was beaten by 5 Memphis cops and that he later died from that attack. You may have watched the videos that were released Friday evening. You may be tempted to share your horror with others by inviting them to watch the video.

Before you do, read this from Bear Bellinger of Indivisible. In part, he writes,

“Sharing the video is sensationalizing violence while minimizing the pain that it imparts on Black bodies. Share solutions. Share actions. Share outrage. Do. Not. Share. The. Video.

So, hold on to your horror, your sadness, your rage. Your feeling that way and more proves that you are a human being with empathy, but that’s not enough.

We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”– MLK

Is this the best we can do? Really?

It Ain’t Over

Here’s a graph of total Covid deaths since the first, then-mysterious one in February 2020.

Click me

As you can see, we’re continuing to raise the death count, now at the rate of 543 dead bodies per day – and the rate is increasing. Weirdly, the pile up of bodies has faded into national background noise, as we seem to have forgotten the over 1.1 million already dead – roughly equivalent to everyone in Dallas, TX – the nearly 104 million total cases reported (likely, there are many more) and all the suffering. The point of showing you the graph is to help you realize that this isn’t over. The war isn’t won. Not all the boys are coming home.

  • I’m over 70 and my age alone makes me a pretty good target for any variant of this virus. And it found me. I hunkered down with Paxlovid and got better. Then Covid came back, laughing at me for my foolish belief that I had beaten it. I think it’s gone now.
  • I didn’t like having Covid, but the point is that I’m still here and able to say so.
  • Thank you, vaccine people!
  • Fie on vaccine conspiracy crazies!
  • The majority of us took one or two vaccines, but only about 16% of Americans have taken the bivalent vaccine for protection from the primary variants that are stalking us right now. You need to get it into your head that you need to get the updated booster into your arm. Not tomorrow; today, if you want to avoid being one of the 543 tomorrow.
  • Did I mention that only 16% of us have protection against the new viruses that are trying to take us down?
  • Is this the best we can do? Really?
  • Congress
  • Fifteenth ballot winner for Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy (R-Hypocrisy), is convening a new select committee, which means he gets to select its members. It is the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government (“HSS-WTF“).
  • Per Heather Cox Richardson,

“Yesterday in The Bulwark, Jill Lawrence explained that the true goal of the committee is ‘shoveling paranoia and distortion into the news stream’ to make right-wing voters distrust the government even more than they already do. David Jolly, a former Republican congressman from Florida who left the party in 2018, told Lawrence: ‘It’s a drug they’re going to put out on the street for conservative media and conservative voters.'”

No surprise there. No surprise, either, that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Rabies) will chair the WTF committee to ensure it is a circus of hateful delusion. It’s just what he does.

Plus, McCarthy has evicted Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) from the Intelligence Committee and plans to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the Foreign Affairs Committee. He falsely claimed that Schiff and Swalwell had lied to the American people and that allowing either of them on that committee would compromise national security. As for Omar, Republicans need to punish her because, as is quite obvious, she is a woman, is of color and is a Muslim. He didn’t say that part out loud.

So, he’s packing the Intelligence Committee with far right extremists who tried to overthrow our government on January 6. All this is a matter of integrity to McCarthy, he told us. Seriously, he said that.

I figure that removing Schiff and Swalwell and replacing them with brain-free extremists will significantly lower the overall intelligence of the Intelligence Committee. My recommendation is to have low expectations of it.

As for the Foreign Affairs Committee, clearly, we wouldn’t want anyone with foreign experience to have a seat there. Good thing they ditched Omar.

That’s where the Republican majority is focused, even as we face a debt ceiling debacle.

Is this the best we can do? Really?

Education

Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of Florida and 2024 presidential wannabe, is doing his best to keep kids in his state ignorant and to polarize his citizens. He recently removed AP (Advanced Placement) African-American studies from the high school electives offerings, claiming it is not education, but “indoctrination.” That was his word choice.

It’s interesting that De Santis doesn’t consider AP French to be indoctrination. Neither does he claim AP European History or AP American History or AP World History or AP U.S. Government and Politics or AP Spanish or any other AP course to be indoctrination. It’s only indoctrination if it’s about Blacks. Stoking culture wars in a “one up, all others down” society: does it get any better than that for any self-serving extremist?

This is his latest move to promote ignorance in Florida, following his book banning and the threat of 3rd degree felony charges against teachers or librarians who so much as whisper words suggesting anyone or anything that is not straight – the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law. This has led to a new state motto flapping above the capitol building in Tallahassee:

IGNORANCE R US

.

In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.

  • “1984”, George Orwell
  • Many thanks to my lifelong friend, Frank Levy, for the quote.

Is this the best we can do? Really?

Finally, a Chuckle

Of course you remember Hurricane Ian that devastated Ft. Myers, FL last September and threatened states all the way to North Carolina. I pinged friends there to see if they were OK – they were – and they sent the pic of Mar-a-Lago to the right.

Ian, was that the best you could do? Really?

_______________________________

  • * The only thing that stops a cowardly, bad lawmaker with a vote is a good lawmaker with a vote.
  • Elect good lawmakers.

** Source: www.GunViolenceArchive.org

*** Firearms are the Leading Cause of Death for Children in the United States, But Rank No Higher Than Fifth in Other Industrialized Nations – Kaiser Family Foundation

______________________________

  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.


    Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take a lot of us to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings, so don’t bug me about it.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

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