Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Banality of Ed Reform

Local "News" outlets are having themselves a Paladinopalooza lately now that Carl's declared his desire to "destroy all nine" Board of Education members, left a "troubling" voicemail on Board member Wreck It Ralph Hernandez's machine and been ignominiously booted from a Board meeting by Mary Ruth Kapsiak the titular President of said Board. Oh yeah, shortly after announcing his desire to "destroy all 9 of them" Carl Paladino expressed a desire to become one of them and is currently rounding up the paperwork to get himself elected as Park District representative. Should be about as hard as strolling into Doc Sullivan's at 11:30 on a Friday and offering to buy everyone in the place a shot of Jameson's. 

And anyone who read the B-lo Nooze's shoot out last Sunday between Congressman Brian Higgins and Carl, who happen to have both married Hannons who happen to also be first cousins, it's clear that Paladino and Higgins hate each other's guts. Carl even has a cartoonish looking mural on one of his buildings downtown with a marionette of his first cousin in law being manipulated by Nancy Pelosi, the alpha she bitch California liberal whose grizzled visage prowls the trembling landscape of  all good conservative's nightmares. It's also clear that Carl has no use for Phil Rumore the BTF President. Nor did he spend Little Christmas slipping lettuce under Ralph's bunk to celebrate the Epiphany in Hispanic fashion. The mural adorned building once had a checklist of Carl's nemesi including Andrew Rudnick of Buffalo Niagara Partnership as well as Stan Lipsey the recently retired publisher of the B-Lo Nooze. During his campaign for Governor we mostly heard his manager and Roger Stone protege, Michael Caputo's sharp barbs -- Prince Andrew and Status Cuomo were two of my favorites -- but what Carl lacked in Lettermanesque quick wit, he made up for in balls to the wall hostility telling Fred Dicker of The Post he was Cuomo's stalking horse and promising Dicker he'd "take you out." This in reference to Carl's suspicion's that Dicker had sent photographers to snap pics of Paladino's young daughter by a woman other than his wife. Loyalty to your daughter plays pretty well in this town and don't forget it was Paladino who got rid of those loathsome Ogden Street tollbooths. So threatening Dicker if anything built his cred rather than hurt it.

All this aside and I admit it's quite a bit to put aside, especially here in gossip crazed B-Lo, what really drives anyone in a position to jump on the charter school bandwagon is almost without exception, nothing flamboyant, outrageous or menacing. It's actually quite banal. It's money. Call it the banality of ed reform folks, but when the cameras cut and the campaign staffers are sent packing, it's not about Freedom or School Choice or The Civil Rights Issue of our time. It's none of those sappy fucking platitudes the Rock Stars of "Rheeform" roll out to disguise the true depthlessness of their lousy schemes. 

It's always about somebody with money who stumbles into a wide open market. They remind me of unchecked and voracious predators like the brown snakes of Guam, the Zebra mussels of the Great Lakes or those hideous snakehead fish who clean out entire ponds then waddle across land to the next. The banality of ed. reform can get lost in the non stop rhetoric of its armies of lobbyists, spin doctors, pimps, prostitutes and snakeoil salesmen. They put on quite a show and they make outrageous claims but in the end they haven't improved education a damned bit for the ten years they've been strutting and fretting their hour upon the stage. In the end it's, as we've seen, a tale told by An idiot,

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Idiot.

 full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. 

And it's not about anything more meaningful than another Lear jet or Aspen condo for someone who doesn't know what to do with the ones he has now.  Ed reform is another stinking racket, nothing more. 


  1. Michael FiorilloMarch 7, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Yes, racket is exactly the word, and wouldn't it be lovely to one day see some of these characters given a perp walk in front of the cameras, on their way to an appointment with some RICO indictments?

    A fellow can dream, no?

    1. With an invertebrate like Eric Holder in charge we can only dream that's fo sho. I think Michelle and hubby the kiddie fiddler would look cute in horizontal stripes.

  2. Yep! It would be an a welcome sight.

    I wonder who will be first when it happens.

    There will be a lot of jobs for the legal system, due to the long perp lines in every state.
    The picture of Mr. Duncan makes him look like a scary guy.I'd feel like running if he approached me on the street. I feel like running anyway,just thinking about the State and Federal Education Departments.

    His absurd ideas about education make him certifiably dangerous and obviously "seldom swift".

    1. I think Duncan's pic shows why they put him in charge. Dumb as a bag of flattened basketballs but able to hold a pen and sign what they put in front of him without getting too much drool on the paper.