Friday, April 29, 2016

Buffalo Board of Ed Submits Shartifacts for 2016

In what could become an annual rite of Spring that doesn't involve 9 year olds puking on Pearson products I give you the 2016 edition of the Buffalo Board of Education's Shartifacts duly submitted to NYSED and the powers of the night  mere minutes before the Chernobylesque crash of TrueNorthLogic's server that we expect to occur sometime around the middle of your 30 minute uninterrupted lunch break. All in one breath... whew.

After reviewing a page of Board President Sampson's signatures I have to wonder how he didn't notice something was amiss. Closer inspection of the signatures on his petition shows only two women's names on the sheet. I am not an election inspector but I have to say that would throw up a huge red flag if those were the signatures I was counting on to continue my nebulous reform mission.

Board President Sampson's Dog Signed His Homework

That the heavy bad powerful unions have been pantsing and dutch rubbing and Indian burning all of the "reform" candidates -- even crying foul over the fraudulent signatures on their petitions -- has been the source of much angst and agitas for the Buffalo News Editorial Bunker. While these tender souls are technically not part of the Board Majority we understand they serve as the print media wing for the Board Majority on a daily basis. Since Diamond Jim Sampson and multiple cronies were bounced from the ballot the Editorial Bunker has gone into a lockdown. These traumatized opiners exist in a state the world hasn't witnessed since The Siege of Grozny in 2000. Random plumes of smoke can be seen wafting from the stack of the bunker at odd times of the day and night. It has been rumored they are subsisting on canned Beefaroni, Ramen and Honey Nut Cheerios with Almond Milk. Pictured below are relief supplies delivered by Commissoner Elia's personal black helicopter this morning sometime before dawn. There are tears and there is excrement. Anyone doubting this need look no further than today's edition. Or yesterday's. Or the day before that,.. Truly a tragedy for these crusading seraphs of privatization. Won't someone please think of the millionaires? 

Kleenex, Toilet Paper and Depends

Never one to make a statement  --unless one of the boys has already made it somewhere else-- The Board's lone Auxiliary member, Patti Pierce, has reduced her carbon footprint to the point that we're not even sure she's still in the country. With not a lot happening these days -- unless you're out beating the barstools for fake signatures -- Patti appears even more disappeared than usual. Unless you're Larry Quinn waiting on her to bring you another Cape Codder this isn't much of an issue but she was after all elected to do as she's instructed and if that means stepping and fetching drinks for the boys then dammit where's her community spirit? 

Patti's Keeping it on The DL for Serious

The ice boom is off the lake and the Sabres are out of the playoffs again so it must be Spring. And what does that mean to a seafaring bon vivant like Lars Quinn? Let's just say Topsiders and Izod might have something to do with it. Throw in some Perrier and a splash of Ralph Lauren too while you're at it and you've got a fashion recipe for nautical disaster on the shores of Lake Erie. Here's a peek into some of the get ups our man with the chronic case of couch head* will be strapping on amidst the high seas. 
* it has been noted by one Board Watcher that the stern side of Sir Lars' domepiece often appears flattened out as if he's been sleeping on a couch all afternoon. Not my observation but one I felt compelled to include. 

Captn Ahab's Got Nothing on Our Boy Lars

Rain's Not the Only Thing Purple, Right Lar?

This may not even qualify as a true "shartifact" but maybe a relic of these dark and troubling times. By next year we can hope and pray that this billionaire bigot and racist and his dreams of a Mexican funded wall will have faded into the obscurity he deserves. As for his pal the millionaire bigot and emailer, I look forward to his resuming his place on the Board Minority where he can resume blaming women and the unions for all of his woes. 

Do You Want Your Face to Get Stuck Like That?          Trumpadino 2016 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Right Wing Radio Blowhole Mocks High School Student Running Against Paladino

Rightie Radio Blowhole Sandy Beach Claims He Was Not a Wimp in School 

The other day someone made the point that in any other city a high school Senior running for a seat on the Board of Education would surely enjoy a little sympathetic "David vs Goliath" media attention. And when you consider Austin Harig the Hutch Tech 12th grader is running against a millionaire developer with resources, connections and a self financed run for governor under his belt you almost wonder if the David and Goliath metaphor is sufficient to express the disparity between Paladino's heavy clout and the home printed signs fresh from someone's desktop that can be seen tacked on porches on Austin's street.

 However you look at it Ausin Harig showed for a debate put on by a local Black Journalist's group but Carl like Dick Cheney during Viet Nam had other things to do. Since then Paladino's campaign manager filed to have Austin's signatures scrutinized in the hope of throwing him off the ballot. No luck. Austin did his homework -- unlike Board President James Sampson, DPCC officer Patricia Elliott and Carl's handpicked choice for the East District Colleen Russell, who were all three tossed from the ballot for having ineligible signatures. For all of the time guys like Carl and Sampson spend screeching about failing schools it's pretty amusing that a kid from a Buffalo School is schooling them on how to take care of business in a Board of Education election. 

As I've noted previously, The Buffalo News didn't think to describe a millionaire Buffalo developer with close ties to Donald Trump as "powerful." Nor did they trot out the word "powerful" to describe recently ballot booted Board President James Sampson even if he was the chair of the Fiscal Stability Commission, the CEO of Gateway Longview -- a position in which he was chastised for splurging with taxpayer funds on fresh flowers and social clubs as well as handing no bid contracts to cronies -- and he's a Trustee of West Buffalo Charter School. Nope, neither Jimbo nor Carl earned the News label "powerful." NYSUT was the only entity deemed worthy of that description and it was used in the headline as well as the lead paragraph an inch below. So much for that simpatico media attention... 

Sunday on  local Trump media arm --WBEN Radio -- Carl Paladino was being interviewed by professor Kevin Hardwick about his involvement in the Trump campaign. In the middle of the interview  candidate Austin Harig called to challenge Paladino to an on the spot debate. I guess not everyone's as interested in hearing Carl extoll the virtues of the Trump campaign as Carl is. So they traded a few pleasantries and went about their business. I am not sure it exactly fits the bill of what I referred to earlier as sympathetic media attention but I think Austin calling to interrupt Carl's Trump spiel has a nice David Goliath angle to it. Kind of a "Little Brother is Watching" theme.

Early this afternoon I was messaged and told to listen to the first hour of Sandy Beach's show this morning by a friend who'd heard the whole thing. When I asked why I should punish myself thusly I was advised that about the 11:20 mark of the first hour I would hear the aging, doughy host say  -- in referring to how tough he and his buddies in "radio school" were -- 

"We weren't like the wimps they have now... "Oh Missster Paladino, I'm jussst pro-sssstudent...  Oh please..." 

The elongated sibilance, of course, is intended to imply a feminized voice at very least and in the case of this radio host and this station I'd nudge it a little further to say he was really aping a gay man's voice just to show what a hateful angry old white man he really is. And in classical dog whistleese, the way bigots and racists communicate with each other, the host avoided naming the person he was belittling or feminizing or whatever it was he was doing. But to use that hissy/lispy stereotypical voice in a comment directed at Carl Paladino leaves nobody wondering who the host is ridiculing. 

Very classy stuff from a senior citizen with the backing of a nationally ranked right wing talk show to take a run at the masculinity and manliness of an 18 year old who's dared to challenge a guy that blew through ten million of his shits and chuckles fund on a failed run against Andrew Cuomo for Governor. And lest I forget, when Austin called Paladino out for ducking the debate, Carl's response was about as contemptuous as Sandy Beach's impression: "I've got better things to do than debate you," Carl snarled. People like Sandy Beach and Carl Paladino  think they know what's best for the Buffalo Schools. They couldn't be any more wrong if they tried. 

You can fast fwd to about 11:15 and listen for yourself HERE or thank me for listening do you didn't have to. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Is James Sampson The President or The Prince?

In yet another of their "news stories" the other day the Buffalo News managed to describe NYSUT as a "powerful teacher's union" once in the headline and again in the lead paragraph essentially abdicating any pretense of journalistic integrity in their feverish slant to demonize the statewide teacher's union affiliate. 

Some teachers represented by NYSUT have had occasion to be critical of NYSUT lately. Those of us airing our grievances against the practices and policies of NYSUT would be slow to agree with The News' assessment of them as especially "powerful." Our gripes will keep for another day though as we have far better fish to fry in this post. It's safe to assume we all realize the game the Buffalo News plays in describing NYSUT and/or BTF and/or Phil as "powerful." It's yet another attempt on the part of The News's ever creeping editorial miasma to befoul another "news" story with images of Phil Rumore, smoking a Cohiba while riding Putin-like, shirtless on the back of a Grizzly Bear  through the desolate streets of B-Lo like some Uzbek warlord out for a postprandial flex. You know because Phil's just so damned powerful and all...

 In beating the "powerful union" drum meme The News hopes to draw out teacher haters and others, in particular those curiously self hating types who, instead of demanding better pay from their own employers, find it more satisfying to stone anyone else whose union has negotiated for them something better than a starvation wage. If you have the stomach for The News comment section I submit "joe" as exhibit A of the latter. I guess in some small way the trick must work or The News would actually just report, well,  you know... the "news." And I seriously doubt for one second that anyone hunkered down in that airless, soulless Editorial Bunker actually believes that NYSUT or BTF actually  IS powerful as much as they believe in the Machiavellian tactic of creating a giant straw monster of your opponent that can be easily dispatched by torch when the moment is right. 

The punchline nobody at The News is finding half as funny as people did at the BTF Council of Delegates meeting last night however is that powerful NYSUT has flexed its own postprandial tris, bis and lats and in so doing Diamond Jim Sampson and DPCC Officer Patricia Elliott have been scrubbed from the Board of Ed ballot for lack of legit signatures on their petitions. In a converse flex, young Austin Harig's name will remain on the ballot as NYSUT and Co. worked diligently to help him verify his signatures. Austin's candidacy was challenged by local zillionaire developer Carl Paladino whom The News never thought to describe as "powerful" in his attempt to kick Austin an 18 year old Senior at Hutch Tech from the ballot. Odd that a guy with the money, connections and clout Paladino has accumulated over the years trying to prevent an 18 yr old student from running against him in South Buffalo doesn't conjure up any David and Goliath imagery in the fetid imaginations of The Buffalo News. 

Of course Sampson can still challenge the ruling in court or he can  run as a write in candidate as Ralph Hernandez did unsuccessfully against him last election. Nobody's sounding as optimistic about Elliott's chances but we know better than to assume she's just going to pack it in. The real victory for now is that so called the reform candidates appear to have shot themselves in the foot with sloppy prep work and NYSUT was on the scene to point it out and take the necessary action. 

Let me said loudly, unequivocally and on the record: Nice job NYSUT! 

I have heard more than a few people asking how the President of the Board of Education didn't take care of business and get his paperwork done right. My Freudian friends are quick to point out that it probably wasn't an accident at all as much as his subconscious saying enough is enough. Carl did after all demand Sampson's resignation a while back for some infraction or other. Carl told Sampson he didn't know how to lead and described a district in chaos. And in yet another classic Paladino mantrum we read this on WGRZ's website: 

As for Paladino, he gave no official comment to 2 On Your Side. When we called him he used profanity and hung up.  

You have to wonder if Diamond Jim somewhere deep down didn't decide to let the bully have his way. And what better way to stick it to a former brother in ed reform arms who's questioned your leadership and told you to quit than by stepping out of the race and handing your board seat to a AFL-CIO, NYSUT and BTF backed West Side Mom with strong ties to PUSH? If you asked me what Diamond Jim's up to I'd say the Buffalo News editors aren't the only ones carrying a dog eared copy of The Prince in their back pocket. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Just How Angry Are Americans Really?

Which Presidential Candidate Is the One Connected to Goldman Sachs? I forget...

Americans are angry. Americans are fed up. Americans are demanding change. If you've had access to a tv or a radio or the internets in the past year you've been hammered repeatedly and incessantly with these dramatic pronouncements. Angry? Fed up? Demanding change? 


I agree there is a louder grumble rolling across break rooms, dinner tables and gym saunas -- my personal favorite-- than we've heard in quite a while. God knows we've got no shortage of issues to be pissed off about. But when I keep hearing the same old drumbeat from Dumbocrats -- that Bernie is definitely on the right track, that he's got his finger on all of the hot button issues Americans want addressed and that nothing short of a complete revolution will get us out of this nightmare, but if Hillary ends up getting the nomination I'll vote for her -- I don't think Americans, so called Democrats especially are really angry enough. 

If you insist that you need to go to the moon but settle for Lackawanna when the moon trip falls through it's pretty hard to take you seriously. Voting for Hillary Clinton is the exact antithesis of voting for Bernie Sanders. To say that voting for her is almost the same as voting for him is walk right into the trap set by establishment Democrats of the 21st Century. There exists a fallacious myth about this party that dates back to the last century. The idea is that Democrats are the party of the working people and unions, of the poor and the minorities and the oppressed and the liberals. 

That myth has flown the course of Icarus and had its feathers melted off by the ultraviolet rays streaming through gaping holes in the ozone layer facilitated by the oil and gas corporations who've donated more to Hillary Clinton than any other Democrat in American history.  To call yourself a Democrat in 1980 is another thing completely from calling yourself one in 2016. And in case you don't know what that means The so called Democratic Party these days is the party of Corruption CessmasterAndrew Cuomo, of Corey -- watch me and Zuckerberg fail to fix Newark schools -- Booker and of Rahm -- Fuck the UAW -- Emanuel who said the same of Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teacher's Union. This crew has as much in common with your old school Democrats as I do with George Clooney. And being bamboozled into voting for their 1%er friends with Democratic Party humbuggery is only going to embolden and enable them. They do this shit because they are counting on you to put up with and ultimately to cave in and go along with it. To vote for Hillary is to say I Approve This Message and I look forward to more of it in months and years to come. Well I don't and I'm not. 

Back to things we can all agree we are angry about: Did you hear the one about BP paying $20.8 Billion in fines for destroying the Gulf of Mexico but they will be allowed to write it off $15.3 Billion of it on their taxes? I guess what really got me was the outrageous notion that BP even pays taxes. Are GE, Verizon and ExxonMobil laughing at them saying Pay Up Bitches? Goldman Sachs lately agreed to pay $5 billion in fines for misleading investors on the run up to the financial meltdown that devastated the American economy and cost taxpayers $700 billion. Seth Meyers painfully points out in his video piece above: To date, the number of people arrested for neglecting to return Tom Greene videos exceeds the number of Wall St. executives who've been arrested for criminal behavior in the financial crisis. Oh and in case you wondered why BP would get preferential treatment over Hillary's friends at Goldman Sachs, have no fear, Goldman Sachs is also going to write off their fine as a deduction. 

As long as we're on the topic of the bank bailout it should irk, annoy and irritate you to know this: 

Most people think that the big bank bailout was the $700 billion that the treasury department used to save the banks during the financial crash in September of 2008. But this is a long way from the truth because the bailout is still ongoing. The Special Inspector General for TARP summary of the bailout says that the total commitment of government is $16.8 trillion dollars with the $4.6 trillion already paid out. Yes, it was trillions not billions and the banks are now larger and still too big to fail. But it isn’t just the government bailout money that tells the story of the bailout. This is a story about lies, cheating, and a multi-faceted corruption which was often criminal. From Forbes, July 2015 In case you skimmed that it said the total figure of the bailout wasn't the paltry $700 Billion we've been told about. It's more like $16.8 Trillion. Are you angry now? 

"Often criminal" yet because we are dealing with well heeled and well connected criminals none of them will receive the same rough treatment as the sad sack North Carolinian who forgot to return "Freddie Got Fingered" to Video Shack on time. I wonder if he rewound it at least? This is the stuff Bernie is railing against. We need to break up the Too Big to Fail banks who've strangely grown even bigger since they came whining for their bailout in 2008. We need to jail the motherfuckers who perpetrated trillions in fraud and walked away at the end counting their millions in bonus money that they skimmed off the top of the bailout funds explaining that it's just part of their culture to get bonuses. Even though the rest of us who paid that money out live in a culture that throws you in jail of you break the law, somehow these scumbags managed to take bonuses for ruining their companies instead of improving them. 

Far from going after any of these criminal enterprises Hillary Clinton has taken bushels of money from them including quarter million dollar speeches that she doesn't think she needs to explain to anyone. She won't even allow us to know what she said in these special talks and seems to think it's none of our business. Every Hillary supporter you know must agree too that it's really none of our business what the important people say in private we just need to STFU, donate and vote for more of the same. 

Watch Dirty Wars by Jeremy Scahill and tell me how proud you are of the Democrats and of Barack Obama who pressured Yemeni heads of state into keeping a Yemeni journalist in prison to keep him from disclosing the errant killings perpetrated by JSOC's unlimited array of weaponry. A family, a village, some kids and their mom... shit happens I guess when you've got the green light to kill anyone, anywhere at any time including American citizens. And if you think your "I'm voting for the Democrat, cause Democrats are the good guys" mentality is going to address any of this any time soon you can keep dreaming. 

Between our foreign policy misfires, environmental disasters, financial meltdowns and the shrinking potential for anyone but the wealthy to enjoy a reasonable quality of life, Americans have more than enough to be pissed off about. But when they tell me they're so pissed off they plan on voting for the candidate who promises nothing but more of the same -- with tweaks -- I can only say it again: 

You're angry? 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Would You Rather Have a Revolutionary in the White House or a Tweaker?

Since my post about NYSUT inviting the pantsuited Republican to lecture teachers on Andrew Cuomo's sterling leadership garnered about 500 more page views than usual I guess I'm going to go to that well one more time. The fact that Hillary Clinton was handed union endorsements of NEA and AFT with virtually no input from rank and file is odious enough in itself. Pair that with NYSUT's spineless acquiescence to said endorsements and you have a mini lesson on the troubling democracy free paradigm that currently disconnects many union leadership types from the will and the wants of the dues paying rank and file. This glaring disconnect allows so called leadership to make large scale decisions like Presidential endorsements that do nothing to benefit the vast majority of dues paying members but are sure to reward a small handful at the top with career advancements, financial gain and other perks those of us at the base of the pyramid will never enjoy. How many comments have you read from steaming pedagogues who've suggested Weingarten will be the next Arne King if and when Hillary is returned to the White House? What plum lies in store for Lily? Or for any number of the tuned out NYSUT hacks in their hideous Educators for Hillary t-shirts? If and when that dark day should come to pass what can the rest of us expect from Randi and Lily and Karen McWho's gal Hill?  If you don't know you should and if you do you should not be very happy about it.

The only way we're going to get any of this crazy train derailed and rebooted is by way of what Bernie Sanders is calling a Revolution. Not by tweaking anything in the hilariously clueless argot of Madame Secretary who, like the farmer in the A.A. book emerges from his basement to a scene of complete devastation and chaos as far as the eye can see only to holler "Aint it grand Maw, the wind stopped blowin?"  Hillary Clinton likes the notion of "tweaking" things. I once worked for a notoriously inept Principal whose capital in City Hall was so low she read about her own transfer in the Buffalo News. She too was a huge fan of both the phrase and concept of "tweaking." Things you can tweak usually include stuff like throwing your steak back on the grill for a few more minutes or wedging in one more shim on that pre-hung door you're installing. You can tweak that little strip of growth along the driveway with your weed whacker and you can probably even tweak your crappy home brew by laying off the yeast next time around. In short tweaking is the kind of thing we can just as easily blow off but we do it because it's easy and it seems like we've accomplished something. Does Hillary have even the slightest clue that tweaking is what meth heads call their favorite activity? You know -- the one that burns up the enamel in their teeth and causes their vitamin deprived skin to give way to those hideous mugshot ulcers we see on Mobil Patrol pics from the county lockup? 

Which Would You Rather Have as President? 

No Hill we don't want to settle for tweaking. Not this year or next year or the year after. And when you hear the Clown Prince of UFT's Unity Caucus Punchy Mike Mulgrew bloviating about all of his "victories" you can see how these disconnected union people would like the sound of "tweaking" some shit too. They embrace nothing radical-- nothing that would actually demand union activism beyond wearing a sticker or a button, clicking a selfie or mouthing some crappy new slogan while mousily suffering every  outrageous sling and arrow Cuomo and his heavy hearted legislators care to fling at us. They will countenance nothing as outrageous as a strike or anything remotely resembling a job action. Those kinds of things can get them errr you in trouble. And they don't want trouble these effite union leaders. They are so busy trying to downplay and ignore all of the trouble our psychopath Governor has created for teachers to date that it would simply shatter them to stand up and fight for anything but the most ridiculously immaterial issues. One can visualize Mulgrew exiting the stifling negotiation bunker with his chest puffed out, storming into a crowded holding pen filled with anxious  nail biting teachers announcing "They're going to start hanging teachers after 3020a hearings -- but we ARE NOT buying the rope!" To be met with raucous applause and chants of Mike! Mike! Mike! from his zombie goggled Unity Caucus trucklers.

So many teachers I talk with and interact with online seem to grasp the difference between a Revolutionary and a Tweaker. Yet those entrenched in the very power cone of our union pyramid have the unmitigated balls to tell us that we need to stand down with all of our hopes and dreams revolution talk to embrace their Goldman Sachs funded tweaker. Why? Because Hillary purposely screwed with us at the RA in mentioning Beelzebub Cuomo's name then grimaced and said C'mon, C'mon when met with a wall of boos and raspberries and possibly a dead cat or two? I agree with the commenter who said it was all scripted because Hill the Tweaker has a lot of donors watching what she says and where she says it and looking too cozy with a teacher's union could cost her. So she brought up Cuomo, drew on the pre-existing hostilities she knew the crowd harbored and let that be the headline, instead of the one where she was warmly greeted by her friends in organized labor. 

Can I ask what strain of Stockholm Syndrome plagues our union leadership in their pigheaded insistence to give money and support to politicians we know are trying to bury us? That John Flanagan was ever given a nickel of VOTE COPE money borders on an impeachable offense by the jackasses who cleared the way to make serial donations to the cause Flanagan.

John Flanagan, the senate majority leader in the New York State Senate, and the former education chairperson in the senate has been another friend of Unity Caucus.  Yes, the same John Flanagan who has declared opt-out parents a problem, claimed that charter school parents are the best parents there are, and whose highest campaign contributor is an ed deform group.  While NYSUT did not vote to endorse Flanagan when he last ran in 2014, that didn’t stop Unity Caucus’ Andy Pallotta from giving Flanagan money anyway.  Flanagan, who has received over $40,000 in VOTE COPE dollars over the years, received $7,750 in 2014.  (from PJSTA blog)

So why is it then when we say we want Revolution -- knowing nothing short of it will make a damned bit of difference--  do I get browbeaten and lectured when I say "Come hell or high water I am NOT voting for Hillary?" 

  • Well it's the Trump. No 
  • It's the Supreme Court. 
  • No it's the Congress. 
  • No it's because you aren't showing loyalty to The Party -- sorry Harris -- 
  • Or we will never survive the Trump. 
No matter what Vote for Hillary excuse people give me when they say they will vote for her if Bernie doesn't win the nomination I will argue just as forcefully that voting for Hillary is voting against Revolution and voting to continue bloated CEO salaries, off shoring jobs, attacking unions and workers, growing income inequality and proliferation ofCommon Core.  What makes the de facto Hillary camp think Hill is going to install Supreme Court justices who are a damned bit better than what a Republican would appoint? And when they tell us Bernie will have Congress against him do they realize what they're saying when they tell us Hillary will be able to cajole them along? The Trump? Do they honestly think the GOP -- who we're learning just today has been quietly funding a Super PAC that's already blown through over $200 million working specifically against Trump-- is ever, ever going to allow him the nomination? I don't get it. And I hasten to remind them we survived 8 years of Kennebunkport's worst fratboy run wild so I doubt there's much left in the GOP chamber that can scare us. 

If you've read anything about Revolutions you know they are messy. Switching your allegiance from the Revolutionary to the Tweaker isn't messy. It's lazy. It's also as myopic as Mr. Magoo. If they're out of Prim Rib do you ask for salisbury steak? Do you trade in your high mileage Porsche for a Lada just to make sure Toyota doesn't get the sale? Focus, people, focus. And remember nothing short of a revolution is going to get us where we need to go. Expect to be uncomfortable. Expect pushback from the establishment. Be willing to eat rats if you gather my drift.  As they say in AA Half measure availed us nothing, we stood at the turning point... I'm voting Revolution over Tweaking every damned time. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Corporate Ed Reform High MisTakes Testing Stooges Are Losing Their Minds

As we pause for a breath during the eye of the test and punish hurricane here in The Empire State, the advocates of High Mistakes Testing appear to have completely lost their minds. Commissioner Elia's lame, half-hearted attempt to charm parents and kids into the test and punish trap has failed miserably for obvious reasons. Elia's game is not the carrot but the stick. It's why you never saw Rob Ray skating on the power play. Enforcers don't score goals and goons don't sweet talk people with specious evidence of a Kinder Gentler Test and Punish paradigm. Hell hath no fury like a Commissioner scorned and like Caesar's murdered ghost, Elia has given the order to "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of ed reform!"

B-Lo's very own DPCC front man Sam Radford, fresh from what had to be an excruciating morning last week of listening to Bronx Principal Jamaal Bowman speak on the Opt Out movement, is tweeting some off the hinges stuff that is so childishly racist that it's almost hard to be offended by his nonsense. The fact that Principal Bowman is not white and works in the decidedly urban setting of NYC should have given our friend Sam some information to contradict the racial profiling he embraces in his tweetery. But alas...

Now if a white suburban Opt Out activist tweeted "It's that time of year again when urban non whites collaborate with the corporate ed reform machinery..." Can you imagine for one second the shitstorm that would ensue? The outrage and the offense would be off the charts. #Hashtaggery and uproar would surely ensue and possibly even a call for porta potties and medical staffing. But Sam knows he is safe to throw all of the incendiary racial bombs he pleases. He's made a pretty successful career of it and nobody wants to wade into the trap of calling out the Angry Black Man no matter how racist and lacking in credibility his remarks are. The fact remains however, you can smell the desperation of the pro testing camp as they sink lower and lower in their attempt to stomp out the momentum of the Refuseniks. 

And just when you thought the Buffalo News couldn't get any more shrill or absurd who comes along but corporate ed reform's favorite sorority sister Tiffy Lankes with an editorial so ridiculously stupid and so fraught with the kind of lamebrain theorizing most of us remember from dorm room bong sessions -- it kind of reminds me of Badger and Skinny Pete arguing about the plausability of killing Zombie Nazis on Call of Duty. Tiffy theorizes the Opt Out movement is backed by those lousy non compliant Gen Xers who were all the scourage of American Society before these horrid millennials arrived on the scene late and unprepared with no work ethic and an entitled air. What's really priceless about Tiffy's Op Ed -- she claims to be a journalist but spends most of her so called professional life writing badly disguised anti teacher editorials -- is the accompanying photograph. As Tiffy points an accusing finger at Generation X her editorial butts up against a photograph of an Opt Out rally whose participants appear to be more members of the Second Greatest Generation or Baby Boomers than Xers. 

And if a real writer was going to play with this idea a little she might even consider that Baby Boomers, the former radicals who espoused Making Love Not War and Ending the Draft not to mention Dropping Out and Turning On might be genetically predisposed to jump at a chance to tell the man to kiss their ass cause my kid's not taking your filthy test. But Tiffy isn't wired that way or at least her editors aren't going to allow that kind of wiring to show up on their motherboard. Combine this foul ball with Rod Watson's pathetic attempt at humor in his "I am opting out of work letter to Warren Buffet" (hilarious too that a clown who writes one crappy column every 7 days has the balls to accuse anyone else of a shoddy work ethic)  and you have a pretty solid read on how little good news the corporate ed reform movement has. They have squat so in place of anything good to say about their cause they are inbreeding fiction with speculation in a desperate attempt to create a kind of disingenuous upbeat cant. But nobody's buying it. 

Round two is coming and we have already been promised there are more gaffes and errors ahead. Yeah in case you missed it Day2 of ELA was yet another case of a test corporation taking $30+ million to create tests and to date they have been unable to do so without screwing up.  If the ed reformers and their cheerleaders didn't like the Opt Out numbers for ELA tests they are really going to feel the agitas when the Math Refusal numbers come out. Keep those ipads charged Tiff and Sam, a bunch of billionaires and their lackey politicians will be counting on you to spin their angst away by the end of next week.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

In 27 Seconds Hillary Removed Any Hope of Me Voting for Her

In 27 seconds we see a politician nobody endorsed trying to pump up another politician everyone hates for pushing through a $15/hr minimum wage she never supported. 

And when the people in the room booed the guy everyone hates the politician nobody endorsed tried to browbeat them into going along with her because after all, the guy everybody hates stood up for the wage she said she wouldn't go along with. 

And in case everyone doesn't know, the politician nobody endorsed had a nice chat with Duncan E. Kirkwood, the local advocacy manager for the Northeast Charter School Network before she headed up to Ra Cha Cha to talk at all those people who didn't endorse her. 

I can't decide exactly if it was cluelessness, hubris or indifference that drove Hillary Clinton to think she could mention ne'erdowell shithead Andrew Cuomo's name in a roomful of unionized teachers and not get a negative reaction from them. I have no problem believing she is so tuned out and disconnected from the world people like us inhabit that she'd never imagine mentioning a punchbowl turd like Cuomo would strike a sour nerve. Then again I think she's also hubristic enough to believe that she owes these people nothing. And after all Cuomo is a powerful ally of hers if not ours so tough shit if we don't like it but she's going to give him some love and we can just deal with it. Finally, and I think this could really be it, she just doesn't give a shit what a bunch of losers who make $62K a year wiping other people's kids noses and teaching them times tables think. I mean really these are throwaways who can't do a thing for her or her prospects. 

And if I didn't already have enough reasons not to vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstances -- the Trump doomsday scenario included -- the fact that she cared so little about teachers that she'd mention a cretin like Cuomo to us then try and humbug us into hearing what a champ he really is just put me over the top.

Bernie will be in Alumni Arena this Monday at 7:00 pm. I've seen Talking Heads, The Clash, Sedaris and John Oliver there. I'll tell my grandkids how I saw President Sanders there. I hope to see you too.

Feel the Bern Hill. We Are!