|Progressive Calendar 05.15.08||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: David Shove (shove001tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Thu, 15 May 2008 05:33:00 -0700 (PDT)|
P R O G R E S S I V E C A L E N D A R 05.15.08 1. Plant sale 5.15 8am 2. Womens health 5.15 8am 3. Peace demo 5.15 4:30pm Rochester MN 4. War/Coleman 5.15 4:30pm 5. New Hope demo 5.15 4:30pm 6. Eagan vigil 5.15 4:30pm 7. Ntown vigil 5.15 5pm 8. Women/sex 5.15 5:30pm 9. Cavlan/impeach 5.15 6pm/7pm 10. Food forum 5.15 6:30pm 11. Sami/Iraq 5.15 7pm 12. CubaVenezuela 5.15 7pm 13. Godless/play 5.15 7pm 14. Uncounted/f 5.15 7pm 15. Sust books 5.15 7pm 16. Amnesty Intl 5.15 7:15pm 17. Wayne Madsen - It is definitely fascism when it happens to you 18. Barry Alford - George W Bush's other undeclared war: NCLB 19. Gerald Bracey - The mounting collateral damage of NCLB 20. Jim Lobe - School military recruiting could violate intl protocol 21. BernardWeiner - "Shock Doctrine" spin in US, Burma and beyond 22. ed - Same marriage sex --------1 of 22-------- From: Jeanne Weigum <jw [at] ansrmn.org> Subject: Plant sale 5.15 8am For all of 25 years I have been hosting a garage and plant sale at my home at 1647 Laurel. I start annuals, vegies and herbs from seed and divide perennials from my yard to create a mini-farmer[s market. I specialize in heirloom tomatoes, peppers, and have vast amounts of basil, 5 varieties, still under lights because it is still too cold at night for it. I have lots and lots of great marigolds, hosta (6 varities) blue bells, salvia, merry bells, turtle head, rhubarb, primrose, wild ginger, corydalis, penstemon, sedum lots more. Come on Thursday or Friday between 8 - 4 and after that I sell on the honor system (plants out front with prices, envelope to put the money in. All proceeds benefit the Association for Nonsmokers - MN. Yaall come. Just off Snelling west of the Fire Station. --------2 of 22-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Womens health 5.15 8am May 15 Deborah E. Powell Center for Women's Health, UofM. 3rd Annual Women's Health Nursing Conference. 8 AM-4 PM. McNamara Alumni Center. Includes topics such as cervical cancer, diabetes, and how to care for mothers and babies in disaster situation. $25 registration fee for faculty, staff and community members. Students register for free. CEU's and lunch will be provided. 612/626-1125. --------3 of 22-------- From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at] hotmail.com> Subject: Peace demo 5.15 4:30pm Rochester MN Thursday, 5/15, 4:30 pm, Southeastern Minnesota Peacemakers hosts peace demonstration at Broadway and 2nd St SW, Rochester, followed by SEMNAP meeting at the Rochester Public Library at 6:45 pm, 101 - 2nd St SE, Rochester. http://www.semnap.org/ --------4 of 22-------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: War/Coleman 5.15 4:30pm Protest: U.S. Economic Crisis Fueled by Iraq War Thursday, May 15, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. 2550 University Avenue West (Intersection of University Avenue and Highway 280), St. Paul. Protest in front of the office of Senator Norm Coleman. "Fund Human Needs Not War! End the Iraq War and Occupation! Bring the Troops Home Now!" The war in Iraq is currently costing U.S. taxpayers $12 billion each month. Soon the U.S. Congress will be considering an additional appropriation of up to $172 billion dollars for the continuation of the U.S. war and occupation. The reasons given by the U.S. government for the Iraq war have long ago been shown to be lies and deceptions. We must send a clear message to Congress that we want them to stop funding this illegal and immoral war, to bring the troops home now, and to let the people of Iraq determine their own future. Initiated by: Twin Cities Peace Campaign-Focus on Iraq (TCPC) and WAMM. FFI: Call TCPC, 612-522-1861 or WAMM, 612-827-5364. --------5 of 22-------- From: Carole Rydberg <carydberg [at] comcast.net> Subject: New Hope demo 5.15 4:30pm NWN4P-New Hope demonstration every Thursday 4:30 to 6 PM at the corner of Winnetka and 42nd. You may park near Walgreens or in the larger lot near McDonalds; we will be on all four corners. Bring your own or use our signs. --------6 of 22-------- From: Greg and Sue Skog <family4peace [at] msn.com> Subject: Eagan vigil 5.15 4:30pm CANDLELIGHT PEACE VIGIL EVERY THURSDAY from 4:30-5:30pm on the Northwest corner of Pilot Knob Road and Yankee Doodle Road in Eagan. We have signs and candles. Say "NO to war!" The weekly vigil is sponsored by: Friends south of the river speaking out against war. --------7 of 22-------- From: EKalamboki [at] aol.com Subject: Northtown vigil 5.15 5pm NORTHTOWN Peace Vigil every Thursday 5-6pm, at the intersection of Co. Hwy 10 and University Ave NE (SE corner across from Denny's), in Blaine. Communities situated near the Northtown Mall include: Blaine, Mounds View, New Brighton, Roseville, Shoreview, Arden Hills, Spring Lake Park, Fridley, and Coon Rapids. We'll have extra signs. For more information people can contact Evangelos Kalambokidis by phone or email: (763)574-9615, ekalamboki [at] aol.com. --------8 of 22-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Women/sex 5.15 5:30pm Thursday, May 15: Deborah E. Powell Center for Women's Health, UofM. National Women's Health Week. "Women's Sexual Health" by Bean Robinson PhD. 5:30 PM. Sabathani Center, 2nd Floor Banquet Center, 310 E 38th St., Minneapolis. More info: Sara 612/238-2391 or Lauren 612/626-1125. --------9 of 22-------- From: Doriandter [at] aol.com Subject: Cavlan/impeach 5.15 6pm/7pm The Cavlan Election Committee will meet tomorrow evening, May 15, 2008 beginning at 6:00 PM until 7:00 PM at the Wolves Den at 1201 East Franklin Ave. So. in Minneapolis. Then beginnning at 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM Iimpeach For Peace will meet at the same address. These are very important meetings -- hope to see everyone there. Cavlan campaign statement: You know that something is very wrong. You have demanded the end of the illegal, immoral, racist war and occupation of Iraq. You have demanded accountability of the Bush Administration. You have demanded Impeachment. You have demanded the restoration of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. You have demanded a new, independent investigation into the events of September 11th. You have demanded that corporate and other wealthy special interests be taken out of our democracy. You have demanded that our airways be given back to us. You have demanded that the media stand up, be a watch dog and stop being a lap dog. Instead, you have been given empty rhetoric and lies, over and over. Now, you have a voice. Someone with the moral integrity, courage and conviction to ask the tough questions. Someone who will stand up for you and your loved ones. Someone who will not back down. That person is Michael Cavlan. He is willing to stand up for you. Will you stand up with him? Together we can end the corporate corrupt political culture. Together we can demand and get accountability. Together we can get the truth. Yes, We Can! Si Se Puede! Go to the website www.michaelcavlan.org Contribute what you can. Join us. Help us build a better tomorrow. We have had enough of empty promises and rhetoric. We have had enough of lies. We have had enough of cowardice. The Time For Courage Is Now. The Committee to Elect Michael Cavlan to the US Senate 2008 --------10 of 22-------- From: foodforum <foodforum [at] eastsidefood.coop> Subject: Food forum 5.15 6:30pm Mark your calendars for next Thursday, May 15th, to get your yard and garden off the chemical treadmill. Students from the U of MN's student run and initiated Cornercopia Organic Farm will share aspects of community and backyard gardening and take questions about the challenges, joys and benefits of growing your own food and flowers. Cornercopia Organic Farm is a project of the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA). The Food Forum will be on Thursday, May 15 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in Eastside's meeting room at 2551 Central Avenue NE. --------11 of 22--------- From: "wamm [at] mtn.org" <wamm [at] mtn.org> Subject: Sami/Iraq 5.15 7pm Sami Rasouli: "Iraq: Five Years of War and Occupation" Thursday, May 15, 7:00 p.m. Church of St. William, 6120 5th Street Northeast, Fridley. Sami Rasouli is an Iraqi American who has spent the last three years living in the city of Najaf, Iraq and traveling throughout Iraq in his work with the Muslim Peacemaker Teams (MPT). Sami, who lived and worked for many years in the Twin Cities before going back to live and work in Iraq will talk about "the surge" and the on-going U.S. military occupation, his work for peace and national reconciliation, and the projects of the MPT. He will also share stories of the people he has met and give a first-hand account of conditions in Iraq today. Sponsored by: The Social Justice Committee of St. Williams. --------12 of 22-------- From: Joe Schwartzberg <schwa004 [at] umn.edu> Subject: Cuba/Venezuela 5.15 7pm THIRD THURSDAY GLOBAL ISSUES FORUM Free and open to the public Thursday, May 15, 7-9pm Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis (at Lyndale & Hennepin) Park in church lot. CUBA, VENEZUELA AND THE BOLIVARIAN REVOLUTION Recent events in Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia and other Latin American nations have made world headlines, while being virtually ignored by our presidential and congressional candidates and the US mainstream media. These events will be discussed by our two speakers. Professor Nimtz will focus largely on the transition from Fidel to Raul Castro and the Cuban understanding of global governance and Professor Kennedy on the contextual background for the emergence of the Bolivarian revolution and on the movement's achievements. Presenters: AUGUST NIMTZ and BARBARA KENNEDY. Dr. Nimtz is a professor of political science and African American and African studies at the University of Minnesota and a member of the U's Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He came of age in Jim Crow New Orleans and has long been engaged with issues of civil rights, Black nationalism and Third World revolutionary upheavals. His most recent book is entitled Marx, Tocqueville, and Race in America. Professor Kennedy teaches Spanish at Century College in White Bear Lake and has developed courses in Latin American culture and civics, global studies, and women in a global perspective. She lived for six years - three as a Peace Corps volunteer - in Ecuador. She spent ten weeks in Venezuela in 2006 and 2007 and led a group of activists there in 2007 to observe and report on its constitutional referendum. --------13 of 22-------- From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at] visi.com> Subject: Godless/play 5.15 7pm Thursday, May 15. Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, Minneapolis. "Godless" - a new work by Jaime Carrera. A show about atheism from the point of view of someone raised in a strict conservative Catholic environment who, at age 13, began to reject his own family's faith, organized religion in general, and eventually, the notion of god. Also Thursdays, May 22, and 29. Doors open at 6 p.m., Show time 7 p.m. Admission $15 ($13 with Fringe button) Call 612-825-8949 for ticket reservation. --------14 of 22-------- From: t.wulling [at] earthlink.net Subject: Uncounted/film 5.15 7pm SAP Neighbors for Peace and SAP Library present a free screening of the controversial film: UNCOUNTED Challenges to the integrity of US elections Thursday, May 15, 7 pm Refreshments 6:30 pm, discussion 8:15 pm Auditorium, St. Anthony Park Library Carter Ave. and Como Ave. This controversial feature length film by Emmy award-winning director David Earnhardt examines in factual, logical, and yet startling terms how easy it is to change election outcomes and undermine election integrity across the U.S. Learn more at: www.ParkPeace.org --------15 of 22-------- From: Erin Parrish <erin [at] mnwomen.org> Subject: Sust books 5.15 7pm May 15: Women's Environmental Institute's Sustenance Book Club. Discussion Deep Economy: The Wealth of Community and Durable Future by Bill McKibben. The Sustenance Book Club meets at Scout and Morgan every third Thursday of the month. 7:00-8:30 PM at Scout and Morgan Bookstore, Cambridge, Minnesota. --------16 of 22-------- From: Gabe Ormsby <gabeo [at] bitstream.net> Subject: Amnesty Intl 5.15 7:15pm AIUSA Group 315 (Wayzata area) meets Thursday, May 15th, at 7:15 p.m. St. Luke Presbyterian Church, 3121 Groveland School Road, Wayzata (near the intersection of Rt. 101 and Minnetonka Blvd). For further information, contact Richard Bopp at Richard_C_Bopp [at] NatureWorksLLC.com. --------17 of 22-------- It is definitely fascism when it happens to you By Wayne Madsen Online Journal Contributing Writer May 14, 2008, 00:20 WMR -- In Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's world of an "Israelized" America, the terms SPOT (Screening Passengers by Observation Technique) and BDO (Behavior Detection Officer) are the new acronyms of Stasi-like control of the American citizenry by a government that treats anyone as a suspicious person in the same manner that Israel mistreats its own Arab citizens and Palestinians. Sunday, this editor and his colleague faced the Chertoffian menace at Washington's Reagan National Airport while heading to the gate to board a flight to Houston. It is now clear from a review of the events that unfolded that I was pre-selected for an intensive search and battery of questions even before arriving in line for the security screening. A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screener was overheard saying, "the guy with the beard." Since I was the only person in line who also had a beard, it was evident that a red flag had earlier been raised. What followed, was worse than anything I had previously encountered while leaving Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, itself a revolting display of ingratitude to citizens of the country that bankrolls Israel, or the Israeli-run screening process at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport. First, I was instructed to enter a glass isolation chamber and point out my belongings that were exiting the X-ray machine. Anyone with claustrophobia would really enjoy being placed in such a chamber and have to speak to the screener through small holes in the glass. I was then led to an area where all my carry-on bags were emptied. I was also forced to empty my pockets of everything. A bevy of screeners then proceeded to go through my wallet examining everything: cash, credit cards, VA medical benefits card, National Press Club card, voter's registration card, and driver's license. Then came an examination of my press credentials and related IDs: Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) card, Society of Professional Journalists card, National Archives research card, Library of Congress card, three press credentials, and membership card in Association for Intelligence Officers (AFIO). In a blatant violation of the First and Fourth Amendments, my reporter's notebooks, containing names of contacts in Houston and around the world were paged through by the screeners. Another screener asked if I minded being probed in "certain private areas." He then asked if I'd like the examination to be conducted in private. I replied, "No, let everyone see this." He then proceeded to examine my groin area. Then came the battery of questions. 1. Are you feeling okay? 2. Where are you going today? 3. How long will you be there? 4. Why are you going there? 5. What story are you covering/ 6. Who do you write for? 7. When did you move to Washington? 8. Where did you live before that? 9. What did you do for a living before? 10. Who was the most famous person you ever met? 11. What was the most famous event you ever covered? 12. What type of things do you write about? 13. What type of politics do you cover? 14. What is your place of birth? My colleague, who had successfully passed through screening and was waiting for me, was then asked to step into the holding area so she "could see and hear what was going on." It was a ruse. She was also subjected to a full carry-on bag examination, frisking, and a series of personal questions: 1, Are you with him? 2. Where are you going? 3. What is the purpose of your visit? 4. What story are you investigating? 5. How long were you in the US Air Force? 6. Where were you stationed overseas? 7. Why were you not overseas in the military? 8. When are you returning? 9. Who do you work for? 10. What is an independent journalist? 11. How long have you been working with him? 12. Do you find your job fulfilling? 13. What is your place of birth? After this Gestapo-like of questioning, I was told that a TSA screener was writing details in a notebook for the "paperwork." My colleague was told TSA was going to file an "incident report." The nature of WMR's coverage is that our sources are our lifeblood and anything done to compromise them is a direct attack on the freedom of the press and our rights as journalists. The notion of press freedom does not exist in Chertoff's worldview of police state tactics and total surveillance but his worldview is a distinctly un-American one, something that is more properly relegated to the history books of his ancestral Czarist Russia. When our investigations take us beyond the Washington Beltway, it is not within Chertoff's purview to find out details about the purpose of the trip, even though it may shed an unwelcome light on his network of Mossad operatives and Russian-Israeli gangsters and scam artists who are now running rampant in these United States of America. The antics at Washington Reagan National are not unique. Foreign journalists have been subjected to similar invasive screening either at US embassies when applying for the required journalist visas to visit the United States or at immigration screening at US entry points. The corporate media will not report on these cases as they are part of the problem in allowing Chertoff and his American Gestapo to continue to turn the United States into one big West Bank-style checkpoint. One other note. This editor visited the USSR and draconian nations such as Paul Kagame's Rwanda, Yoweri Museveni's Uganda, Hun Sen's Cambodia, the former military junta's Thailand, surveillance society Singapore, and Muslim monarchy Brunei Darussalam. Nothing compares to what occurred at Washington National Airport. It is yet another sign of the fact that the United States has entered a phase of fascist control. There's only one question that remains: Is the slide reversible? Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report. Copyright 2008 WayneMadenReport.com Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report. --------18 of 22-------- George W. Bush's Other Undeclared War: NCLB by Barry Alford / May 14th, 2008 Over the last few years many Americans have come to rue the decisions of the Bush administration that lead to the war in Iraq. Much of the distain for the conflict involves the lies that were told and the incompetent execution of the war effort. While the tragedy that is Iraq has its own as yet unknown costs in lives, treasure, and the good name of the country, there is another war that this administration is fighting against schoolchildren here at home. It is marked by the same disdain for honesty and integrity that Bush brought to foreign policy. It is called No Child Left Behind. What is shocking is that both efforts share so many trademarks of what this administration calls policy. Both the war in Iraq and NCLB are based on a "big lie". In Iraq it was WMD and the linking of Iraq to the terrible events of 9-11. Even long after these claims were exposed, the administration continues to repeat and amplify them. The cause was wrapped in the patriotic rhetoric of "Operation Desert Freedom" and talk of liberation and political freedom for Iraq. The outcome, of course, has been much different. In the case of NCLB the arguments were based on the "Texas miracle," long since discredited, and the rhetoric of "failing" schools and "accountability". As with "democracy" in Iraq, these sound like laudable goals. But just as "mission accomplished" turned into quagmire, the quest for accountability has lead not to better and more accurate assessment of student learning and the resources to improve, but the scapegoating of public education and the implementation of a testing regime more similar to Halliburton's managing of the Iraq oil fields than a model for sustainable educational practice. The reliance on the textbook and testing industry to "guide" education also represents the same wasting of resources we have seen in Iraq. Instead of spending on programs that have proven to help students succeed, we have "invested" in more tests. This is money, like the lost billions in Iraq, which will never lead to a solution to the underlying problem. In both cases, the exposure of the underlying error has done nothing to slow down the right wing noise machine or offer cause for reflection. The stalemate over the policy in Iraq is clear, but people not familiar with NCLB are still being mislead by politicians of both parties (yet another similarity) about the consequences of the current assessment schemes in American schools. There can be no accountability if the measurements are not accurate and the goals are not realistic, any more than there can be "victory" in another country's civil war. In both cases, this is policy in search of a reality to validate it and not a policy based on reality. The standardized tests that make up NCLB have been widely discredited as single point measurements of student's knowledge or ability. They replicate existing socio-economic patterns, and most debilitating over the long haul, they rob teachers of the formative feedback to inform their teaching and improve their schools. NCLB represents the same simplistic policy movements made in Iraq. Instead of heading expert warnings about how complex and difficult the project of assessing learning and subsequent school reform might be, the Bush administration pushed on with a policy long on bravado and short on money, thoughtful strategy, and achievable goals. Just as in Iraq, when the policy proved ineffective and detrimental the Bush administration "stayed the course" and continued, with mounting consequences. Both of these policy initiatives mark the cost of letting poorly informed ideologues run amuck. It was easy to take Iraq apart, but who really believes we will ever be able to put it back together again? It was easy (and justifiable) to call for accountability and reform in American schools, but the real impact of NCLB has been the destruction of real learning at precisely the moment when schools and teachers need more flexibility, more creativity, and more resources. To complete the cycle of comparison, both the war and NCLB ignored the input of seasoned and competent experts for the ideological incompetence of appointees whose only claim to their office was their willingness to follow George W. Bush off a cliff. There were plenty of people in the diplomatic corps that warned about the eventual calamity in Iraq, and there were and are experts in the educational field who warned about the simple minded and reductive approach of the Margaret Spellings lead education initiatives. One of the administrative traits evident in both disasters is the unwillingness of this administration to listen to anyone or anything not in synch with the predetermined ideological positions taken by Bush. The schools in America may look the same from the outside, but like the prospects for civil society in Iraq have been damaged by Bush's Iraq policy, they have been profoundly damaged by the short-sighted goals of NCLB. A generation of young teachers has lost the initiative to teach creatively and use local classroom research to improve their students. learning by the "one-size-fits-all" approach taken by this administration's education policy. Students leaving high school are less and less able to solve problems and read critically (which is the real lesson we should be taking from the research showing declining test scores for American students in international comparisons) because they and their teachers are forced into complying with NCLB. This damage may be close to being irreversible for this generation of students and teachers. Finally, both Bush's Iraq and educational policy are marked by a less than honest rationale. NCLB is no more about improving schools than the Iraq War is about WMD. In both cases the policy advances long held ideologies of Republican strategists. The neo-cons in the Bush administration were going to war with Iraq whether there were WMDs or not. The motivation behind NCLB is the culmination of over 25 years of right wing attacks on public education. If the goal were really to level the playing field of educational opportunity, the research was there to point the way. We would have invested in smaller class sizes and developmental pre-school programs to prepare the students who are at risk. Instead we have cut those programs and invested in a testing regime that ensures that the economic inequities of this society are replicated in its educational system. As was the case in Iraq, Democrats who should know better were bullied into submission and abandoned the very segment of society they claim to represent. It is time for opponents of NCLB to draw the connections between the war on Iraq and the war on education. This administration doesn't care about the Constitution and it doesn't care about education. It is incapable of formulating policy that is competent, fair, or effective. It is time to give schools back to the people who work in them and care about them, to fund the initiatives that really could make a difference and to rescue educational policy from a group that clearly could have used a better education. Just as the solution for Iraq is held by Iraqis, the solution to the future of American education is held by teachers and parents working to implement what we know would work. At some time in the future America will leave Iraq and an accounting of the horrible costs for this protracted failure will begin. The cost being paid in this country for the equally disastrous policies that constitute NCLB will be harder to calculate, and it may already be too late to save a generation being tested into oblivion. Dr. Barry Alford is Professor of English and the Humanities at MidMichigan Community College. He has published extensively on teaching in the community college, postmodernist theory, assessment, and literature by the working class. Read other articles by Barry. This article was posted on Wednesday, May 14th, 2008 at 9:03 am and is filed under Activism, Democracy, Education, GWB, Iraq. Send to a friend. --------19 of 22-------- The Mounting Collateral Damage of No Child Left Behind by Gerald Bracey Published on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 by The Huffington Post Common Dreams Those who are trying to stoke the presidential candidates' interest in education as an election issue aren't having much luck. Referring to No Child Left Behind, Hillary has said "scrap it" at least three times. Obama's website mentions "shortcomings in the design of the law". McCain favors vouchers and accountability and Lisa Keegan who, as an Arizona state legislator wrote laws both for vouchers and charters, has signed on as an advisor. Other than that, they haven't said much. Not that the public would be paying attention. We dumb, recalcitrant Americans insist that the single most important issue in the upcoming election is the economy (40%), Iraq (23%) and health care (8%), "other" 18%, according to today's (May 13) Washington Post. Only three percent pick education, same as pick oil prices. In a way, that's too bad, because like the body count in Iraq, it continues to mount from NCLB as well. I think, though, that the dead and wounded are seen only by others inside schools, not by the general public. Bush keeps the body bags out of sight; school folk put on brave faces. An article in the September, 2007 issue of the American Education Research Journal showed the mounting casualties. Researchers watched for four years as one district's schools changed under the pressures of NCLB. The researchers put the changes in teacher roles in five categories: 1. Curriculum pacing. Before NCLB, teachers had considerable control over the speed at which they presented the curriculum. After a new curriculum was adopted though, they had to move at a one-pace-fits-all because district tests had to be given at a certain time. 2. Curriculum alignment. Teachers aligned what they taught with what they thought would likely pop up on the state's test. Administrators talked about alignment at staff meetings and had teachers match textbook content with state learning expectations and bought test prep materials from commercial publishers. 3. Teachers spent more and more time looking at data, something they weren't particularly trained for (and which I doubt provided much useful information). They objected to the time spent analyzing statistics because it took away time for interacting with the kids which they thought was at least as good as source of information as the formal data. 4. ESOL instruction. Before NCLB, regular teachers left most of the instruction of English to non-native speakers to designated ESOL teachers. But NCLB made them the teachers of record for all kids in their class so they felt obligated to work more with English language learners. 5. Tutoring. Always an informal part of the program, tutoring now became institutionalized and burdensome. Said one teacher "I tutor in the mornings, I tutor after school. I tutor at lunchtime. Whatever it takes". Whatever it took, it took a lot out of teachers and administrators alike. High-poverty schools had the toughest time making AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). At one high-poverty school, the principal lamented that she had not been able to hire a tenured teacher in 5 years and when her staff attained tenure, they left for lower poverty schools, leaving her with a chronically inexperienced faculty. "The stress was so palpable that one of us felt compelled to step out of her researcher role to reassure a first-year teacher who, leaving a planning meeting in tears, said she did not know if she could keep doing this for another year". Given that these stresses were not observed by the researchers initially, it means that they came from workplace conditions, from trying to cope with the utterly unrealistic demands of NCLB. Sharon Nichols and David Berliner wrote a book about the impact of high-stakes testing in general. They called it Collateral Damage. The above exemplifies some of it. Gerald W. Bracey is currently an associate of the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, a fellow at the Education Policy Studies Laboratory at Arizona State University and a fellow at the Education and the Public Interest Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Copyright 2008 HuffingtonPost.com, Inc. --------20 of 22-------- School Military Recruiting Could Violate International Protocol by Jim Lobe Published on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 by Inter Press Service Common Dreams WASHINGTON - Pressed by the demands of the "global war on terrorism", the United States is violating an international protocol that forbids the recruitment of children under the age of 18 for military service, according to a new report released Tuesday by a major civil rights group that charged that recruitment practices target children as young as 11 years old. The 46-page report, "Soldiers of Misfortune", which was prepared by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for submission to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, also found that the U.S. military disproportionately targets poor and minority public school students. Military recruiters, according to the report, use "exaggerated promises of financial rewards for enlistment, [which] undermines the voluntariness of their enlistment". In some cases documented by the report, recruiters used coercion, deception, and even sexual abuse in order to gain recruits. Perpetrators of such practices are only very rarely punished, the report found. "The United States military's procedures for recruiting students plainly violate internationally accepted standards and fail to protect youth from abusive and aggressive recruitment tactics," said Jennifer Turner of the ACLU Human Rights Project. The increased aggressiveness of military recruiters is due in major part, according to the report, to the increased pressure to meet enlistment quotas caused by ongoing U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to which nearly 200,000 soldiers and marines are currently deployed. The pressure created by current military commitments has not only translated into enhanced recruitment efforts among children under 18. The armed forces have also lowered their standards for minimum-intelligence tests, made it easier to enlist individuals with criminal records, and increased re-enlistment bonuses for soldiers who might otherwise be tempted to leave the service. The report, which also detailed Washington's failure to protect foreign child soldiers being held by U.S. forces at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and elsewhere around the world as part of its submission to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, assesses Washington's compliance with the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. The Protocol, which is attached to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is designed to protect the rights of children under 18 who may be recruited by the military and deployed to war. Among other provisions, the Protocol sets an absolute minimum age for recruitment of 16 and requires that all recruitment activities directed at children under 18 be carried out with the consent of the child's parents or guardian, that any such recruitment be genuinely volunteer, and the military fully inform the child of the duties involved in military service and require reliable proof of age before enlistment. While the United States is one of only two countries - the other being Somalia - to have never ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the U.S. Senate ratified the Protocol in 2002, making it binding under U.S., as well as international, law. Unlike most other industrialised countries that set their minimum recruitment age at 18, the Senate decided on 17 as the absolute minimum for the United States. According to the ACLU report, however, the U.S. armed services "regularly target children under 17 for military recruitment, heavily recruiting on high school campuses, in school lunchrooms, and in classes". The army's own Recruiting Programme Handbook, for example, instructs its more than 10,600 recruiters to approach high school students as early as possible, and explicitly before their senior year, which, for most students, starts at age 17. "Remember, first to contact, first to contract - that doesn't just mean seniors or grads", according to an excerpt quoted in the report. "If you wait until t hey're seniors, it's probably too late". Once recruiters are inside their assigned high schools, the Army's Recruiting Command instructs them to "effectively penetrate the school market" and "(b)e so helpful and so much a part of the school scene that you are in constant demand", with the goal of "school ownership that can only lead to a greater number of Army enlistments'. That includes volunteering to serve as coaches for high school sports teams, involvement with the local Boy Scouts, attending as many all school functions and assemblies, and even "eating lunch in the school cafeteria several times each month". The report documents a number of specific cases, mostly in New York and California - the two most populous states with the largest number of minority high school students - in which recruiters clearly followed these instructions. In a survey of nearly 1,000 children, aged 14 to 17, enrolled in New York City high schools, the ACLU New York affiliate found that more than one five respondents - equally distributed among the different grades - reported the use of class time by military recruiters, and 35 percent said military recruiters had access to multiple locations in their schools where they could meet students. The report also noted that the Pentagon's central recruitment database systematically collected information on 16-year-olds and, in some cases even 15-year-olds, including their name, home address and telephones, email addresses, grade point averages, height and weight information, and racial and ethnic data obtained from a variety of public and private sources. The explicit purpose of the database is to assist the military in its "direct marketing recruiting efforts". As the result of a 2006 ACLU lawsuit, the Pentagon agreed to stop collecting data about students younger than 16. But recruitment efforts even dip below 15-year-olds, according to the report, which found that the Pentagon's Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), which operate at more than 3,000 junior high schools, middle schools, and high schools across the country, target children as young as 14 for recruitment. The report cited recent studies that found that enrollment in some JROTC programmes was involuntary. JROTC "cadets", of whom there were nearly 300,000 in 2005, receive military uniforms and conduct military drills and marches, handle real and wooden rifles, and learn military history, according to the report, which noted that the programme is explicitly designed to "enhance recruiting efforts". African American and Latin students make up 54 percent of JROTC programmes. JROTC also oversees the Middle School Cadet Corps (MSCC), in which children ages 11 to 14 can participate, according to the report. Florida, Texas, and Chicago schools offer military-run after-school MSCC programmes in which children take part in drills with wooden rifles and military chants, learn first-aid, civics, military history and, in some cases, wear uniforms to school for inspection once a week. The Army also uses an online video game, called "America's Army", to attract potential recruits as young as 13, train them to use weapons, and engage in virtual combat and other military missions. Launched in 2002, the video game had attracted 7.5 million registered users by September 2006. "Military recruitment tools aimed at youth under 18, including Pentagon-produced video games, military training, corps, and databases of students' personal information, have no place in America's schools," said Turner. 2008 Inter Press Service Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water Jack fell, to recruiter shill Jill came tumbling, he got her. --------------------- Uncle Sam wants YOU to fight & die for the US ruling class --------------------- --------21 of 22-------- "Shock Doctrine" Spin in US, Burma and Beyond by Bernard Weiner / May 13th, 2008 Suppose you have a controversial project you wish to push through, but you're afraid that if you come right out and say what you're up to, there will be so many objections from other officials and ordinary citizens that you might never get a chance to implement your agenda. But you're savvy about how influence-molding works and you know that with the right kind of massive publicity and P.R. campaigns, you probably can "spin" public perception in your direction. So, on a foundation of lies and deception, you decide to launch your project, careful to keep absolutely secret the most controversial aspects. And then, under the table, you hire (a.k.a. "bribe") numerous journalists, opinion pundits and respected "consultants" to speak on behalf of your product. It works! The public is snowed by the P.R. momentum and by the overwhelming consensus of the "experts," and your project takes off. This is how such things are done every day in the business and advertising world. What's the big deal? THE LIES & DECEPTIONS Well, as you've probably figured out, I'm talking about the way the CheneyBush Administration sold the Iraq War/Occupation to us citizens. We've known for a long time about the various lies and deceptions that took America to war - the supposed "weapons of mass destruction" that Saddam was supposed to possess but didn't, his alleged ties to al-Qaida that didn't really exist, his supposed but non-existent complicity in the 9/11 attacks, and so on. Eventually, even the Administration was forced to concede there were no WMD, no ties to 9/11, no relationship to Al Qaida, though it vowed never to let those inconvenient facts get in the way of continuing its occupation of Iraq. (And Cheney and his minions still continue to this day to hint at the old deceptions.) Also revealed some years back was that the Administration secretly put various conservative TV/radio/print journalists on the payroll to write/speak favorably about various programs and policies emanating from the Executive Branch. THOSE PENTAGON "EXPERTS" What we didn't know about until the New York Times broke the story a few weeks ago was that the CheneyBush Administration, to help sell the pending Iraq war to members of Congress and the citizenry at large, marshaled a huge phalanx of retired military officers and sent them out disguised as private, independent "experts" and "consultants" to deliver the pro-war spin the Administration wanted. The author of the story, David Barstow, used the term "media Trojan horse" to describe the impact of this deception. Because the media, always eager to curry favor with the Administration, did not vet the bona fides of these "private consultants," the public had no knowledge of the retired officers' deep and abiding connection to the Pentagon. These ex-military officers received special briefings, including by Rumsfeld himself, on the Administration's daily spin points, and they either had or would soon be receiving high-paying jobs with various defense contractors. What the public now knows is that the daily commentary and advice by the "military experts" - supposedly independent analysts, free of any conflicts of interest - helped "catapult the propaganda" (to borrow Bush's own term) in favor of war with Iraq. And it worked: CheneyBush and their neo-con ideologues inside the Administration got U.S. boots on the ground in Iraq, controlled the oil flowing out of that country, created chaos and catastrophe from which their huge private-corporation sponsors could make huge pots of money, built the world's largest new embassy in Baghdad, and constructed permanent military bases inside that country from where the U.S. will help control the geopolitics of the greater Middle East for generations to come, etc. etc. All this presents a perfect illustration of Naomi Klein's thesis of "shock doctrine" and "disaster capitalism". This use of hired guns - all those prestigious, smart-looking ex-generals and such - to do their propaganda work for them is further confirmation of the mendacity, duplicity and illegality Bush&Co. employ to get their way. LITTLE OR NO COVERAGE True to form, of course, the corporate mainstream media have paid scant, if any, attention to this story of how dozens of retired officers helped shape American military policy while secretly still attached to the Administration teat. In this instance, and many more that could be named, the mainstream press, by not mentioning or following up on such CheneyBush scandals, does democracy a dangerous disservice. Our political system depends on citizens receiving accurate information about what's being done in their names so that they can make intelligent decisions when voting for those who represent them. LIES & DECEPTIONS If they respond at all, Busheviks tend to say that even if these stories are true, how we wound up in Iraq is "old news," it's history, we're there, let's just make the best of it, "finish the job" and then go home. However, if your original reasons for invading a sovereign country were based on lies and deceptions, and a lot of incorrect assumptions and ignorance, then your occupation policies will never work and you will have alienated and angered the local population to the point of violent resistance against you. The result: You will be stuck in a quagmire of your own devising, where the most you can hope for is endless stalemate. This was the case of the U.S. screwup in Vietnam in the 1960s and '70s, and it's the case today with the its five-years-and-counting occupation of Iraq. Now, it can be argued that endless stalemate is of no great concern to the shock-doctrine practitioners of Bush&Co.; indeed, it may be the desired result as it guarantees prolonged chaos and thus more need for companies like Blackwater, Bechtel, Halliburton, KBR, et al. to help keep the broken society together. The US and Iraqi dead and maimed are but the inevitable "collateral damage". But, as CheneyBush have learned, domestically you can push the US military, and American citizens, only so far before both begin to push back and call for a new, more rational approach to political and foreign-policy adventuring. Key military officers within the Joint Chiefs of Staff (even, to some extent, Defense Secretary Gates) are watching their armed forces stretched much too thin around the globe. Because there is no military draft, the Pentagon is forced to use and abuse its existing troops to the point of near-rebellion, resulting in lower morale and increased psychological damage, including 300,000 Iraq veterans returning home with mental problems and a rising rate of suicides. '08 VOTE A REFERENDUM ON WAR This abuse includes overuse of the stop-loss policy of refusing to let soldiers go home after they've completed their Iraq rotation, constantly recalling troops who have been sent home after completing their extended service, lowering the army's physical, intellectual, psychological and moral standards in order to fill the recruiting gap when the services can't meet their enlistment quotas, returning physically or psychologically wounded soldiers to battle despite their doctors. recommendations, etc. etc. Moreover, the citizens appear to have had enough. Since two-thirds of polled Americans believe the Iraq invasion and occupation are outrageously expensive follies and it's time to start bringing the troops back home, the opposition party is about to nominate as its presidential candidate someone who aims to get the troops out within 16 months. The Republican Party is set to nominate someone who wants to continue the CheneyBush war even if it means keeping US troops in Iraq for a hundred years or more, and probably starting more conflagrations in the Greater Middle East. In a fair and open election, the Democratic candidate should win that contest easily. However, there is compelling evidence that in the past eight years, US elections have been corrupted through the use of hackable, unverifiable, paperless "touch-screen" machines, and vote-tabulating computers, which utilize secret software, manufactured and programmed by companies with Republican affiliations. BOMB, BOMB, BOMB IRAN All this isn't just "old history". CheneyBush are itching to bomb Iran's military installations and scientific laboratories while they are still in control of the Executive Branch, and are "catapulting the propaganda" for such an attack in ways eerily similar to how they deceived Congress and the American people into bombing and invading Iraq. There are reports that Secretary Gates has been trying to stop such attack-Iran moves, or at least to greatly reduce the scale of the operation. But other reports suggest that the decision to bomb already has been made, and the appointment of Gen. David Petraeus to take over at Central Command is a key sign that all the ducks are just about lined up in a row. (The former head of Central Command, Admiral William Fallon, said there would be no attack on Iran on his watch; he was forced out, and CheneyBush lackey Petraeus was moved over from Iraq.) BURMESE MILITARY'S "OPPORTUNITY" "The shock doctrine" is not employed solely by American governments and multi-national corporations. In Burma (Myanmar), the military junta ruling that country, having just put down a potential revolt led by Buddhist monks, clearly is terrified that a coup might be organized by individuals or organizations who want to bring aid into the country to help the residents in the wake of the cyclone disaster. And so they're keeping those aid workers out of the country, thus putting at risk the lives and health of hundreds of thousands of refugees pouring into Rangoon and elsewhere in search of medical care, food, shelter. The effect of the disaster and the Burmese government's insufficient response to it means that a good share of the junta's political opposition is now dead or dealing with the aftermath of the huge, rampaging storm. In other words, the disaster offers a great "opportunity" for the ruling elite to settle old scores by continuing to repress the opposition and to remake the affected areas as they wish. (There have been reports, unconfirmed, of bodies of monks being found in the cyclone rubble - burned in a suspicious manner - mixed in with the tens of thousands of other corpses found floating in the rice fields and ditches and rivers.) The long time-delay in getting food, water and shelter to the hundreds of thousands of displaced survivors of the cyclone is reminiscent of the way the Bush Administration dilly-dallied with regard to the post-Katrina period in New Orleans and Mississippi. In her book, Klein used the Katrina experience as a perfect example of "disaster capitalism" in the US: A government watches a natural catastrophe wipe out an entire population sector, and lets the catastrophe play out over days and weeks and months - with large numbers of citizens abandoning their homes, forced to go elsewhere for adequate assistance - and then giving no-bid contracts to Blackwater and Halliburton and KBR for the reconstruction phase, in accord with social planning as laid out by the ideologues in the White House. In Burma, the government may not be operating out of an exactly similar motivation, but the result appears to be much the same: using a natural calamity to reshape the economic, political and social future of the affected region for their own political and economic aims. NATURAL RESOURCE SHORTAGES As for the huge worldwide "run" on commodities - especially important staples such as wheat, rice, oil - already local greed-merchants and multi-national companies are salivating at the prospect of selling, at exorbitant rates, food and shelter and clothing and oil and the like. They will be literally "making a killing" on the backs of the starving, the poor, the dispossessed. In so doing, in line with Klein's "shock doctrine" and "disaster capitalism" theses, these elite forces will be re-shaping the politics, economies and social arrangements of these countries for generations, both to consolidate and expand their reigns of power and to benefit themselves and their rapacious, greedy supporters. In short, when catastrophes are being dealt with, it doesn't seem to matter what the operating governmental system is, be it fascist, communist, dictatorial, democratic, etc. By and large, the power/economic/political elites see the unfolding tragedies of their citizens as "opportunities" for expansion of control, for ways to eliminate or dilute their opposition, for fattening the bank accounts of their large-corporation supporters in rebuilding and reconstructing these devastated societies, in line with their own greed agendas. This is the world that only will change when these elites and systems are systematically confronted, changed, or overthrown by citizens operating under a different moral system, who decide they've finally had enough. It would be more effective, of course, if a strong progressive movement were to develop overnight in America to affect such wide-sweeping reforms in this country. However, removing Republicans from the White House in 2008 at least would be a significant sign of the beginnings of the public's strong desire for significant changes. Bernard Weiner has a Ph.D. in government & international relations, and has taught at universities in California and Washington, worked as a writer-editor with the San Francisco Chronicle, and currently is co-editor of The Crisis Papers. He can be reached at: crisispapers [at] comcast.net. Read other articles by Bernard, or visit Bernard's website. This article was posted on Tuesday, May 13th, 2008 at 8:05 am and is filed under Aid, Asia, Capitalism, Censorship, Corruption, Economy/Economics, GWB, Health/Medical, Human Rights, Legal/Constitutional, Media, New Orleans, Poverty. --------22 of 22------- Same marriage sex ed What with all the extra-marital affairs going on today, what time or inclination remains for same marriage sex? Why, it's getting so extreme that, if a married couple wants to have sex with each other, they first have to get divorced and marry others, just to stay within the norms of civilized society. In fact, most people in America are scandalized by the mere thought of same marriage sex. You wanna do the forbidden thing? Don't ask, don't tell, I say. Just because it's disgusting and perverted, doesn't mean we shouldn't be open-minded enough to allow others to do "it" even if they are (ugh) married to (yuck) each other. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ - David Shove shove001 [at] tc.umn.edu rhymes with clove Progressive Calendar over 2225 subscribers as of 12.19.02 please send all messages in plain text no attachments
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