Archive for December, 2008

Dept of Census is hiring

The 2010 Census offers excellent opportunities for people in many walks of life

The situation in Gaza

Siun has excellent coverage at FireDogLake.

Convergence of financial crisis and Middle East politics?

1000’s of Americans now have their pension funds in Israeli private investment firms:

If those funds are lost it will be so poisonous on so many levels, I don’t even want to think about it.

Edit –
This map of Elliott B. Broidy relationships is interactive.

The latest in class warfare

No play time for poor kids.

Selling anti-terrorism short

What did the Benazir Bhutto assassination and the latest Israeli attacks in Gaza have in common?

There was a strong move higher on gold immediately preceding both incidents, which were spaced one year apart, to the day.

Why Children need teachers with tenure redux

Which brings us to the other warring camp. Administrators can behave just as nastily as the unions.

The new star general in the union-opposition army is Michelle Rhee, chancellor of the D.C. schools for the last year and a half. Dressed in black, she scowls from the cover of a recent Time magazine. She clutches a broom to symbolize her intention to clean house by sweeping away all the terrible teachers she credits for D.C. school’s abysmal performance. The cover’s headline reads: “How to Fix America’s Schools.”

Oh, please. More war.

Such administrators are the reason so many good teachers believe they still need unions, and need them badly. Hyper-authoritarian administrators storm the beaches, guns blazing, not much caring what dies in the crossfire. Schools may improve, but at the cost of human misery. And miserable teachers cannot foster a love of learning.

See also Education Notes’ tribute to Bob Somerby

DC Gov to citizens: Stand & Deliver

A map of DC’s photo enforcement cameras

I am so pleased our government spent money on this rather than parks, libraries, and special education.

The case for single payer health care reform

States continue to cut back on Medicaid.

Rhee’s egomania

A dose of tyranny

But the other side of the coin is that the very public accountability standards that she wants to pin on schools, principals, and teachers don’t apply to her. Mayor Fenty of course is free to fire Rhee, but the community she serves will have little input or recourse to air their grievances.

What I don’t understand is why so many are willing to take Rhee’s word for it that the schools that she closed down were more under utilized than most or that teachers were fired because they were ineffective. If it waddles like a union busting operation, and it quacks like a union busting operation, it is a union busting operation. The fact that Fenty has failed to reach a contract agreement with the firefighters and police is a sure fire indicator that Fenty’s agenda is union busting, not building a better city.

I hope Vincent Gray runs against Fenty and crushes him.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing