“Democracy”: The Attack on Our Democracy, Hidden in Plain Sight

Diane Ravitch's blog

A blogger who identifies as “democracy” posted this comment, with which I agree.


The bottom line is that Trump has lots and lots of Russian “mob” money, in Russia, the mob and the state are one and the same.

Trump has tapped tons of Russian moola, which is one reason he’s refused to release his tax returns, and in all likelihood, why Republicans in Congress refuse to force their release. Those returns would prove definitively the financial ties. But even without them, the ties have been well-established. The Financial Times did a deep look into the building of the Trump Tower in Toronto:

“Legal documents, signed statements and two dozen interviews with people with knowledge of the project and the money that flowed through it reveal that the venture connects the US president with a shadowy post-Soviet world where politics and personal enrichment merge…”

“it has become increasingly clear that…

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The Taste of Joy and the Sound of Winning

The Taste of Joy

The taste of joy depends on where you were and if you were alone or with someone else.

This didn’t happen to me, but if you were a teenager at the beach with your first love interest as the sun was setting and you kissed her for the first time on the neck right below her sexy little ears that would likely be the taste you’d remember, the mixed taste of her warm skin mingled with the sweet smell of the sunscreen she was using that day and the lingering scent of the shampoo she used the last time she washed her hair.

For the rest of your life, every time you smelled a similar scent or visited that beach, you’d remember and feel the joy again but probably not as intense as the first time.

The Sound of Winning

I was seven years old the first time I heard the sound of winning. It happened at Santa Anita Race Track when my dad took me with him for the first time. Dad went to Santa Anita almost every day when the horses were running.

That was the first time I bet on a horse and won.  The sound at the end of each race was the roar of the winners. The winning roar from thousands of voices is a powerful force.

On the next race at Santa Anita that day, I bet all my winnings thinking I was going to win again, and again, and again and become rich, really rich. What I was feeling is called greed. I lost all that money and more on the second race.

I never made a bet on a horse race again.

And when the horse races were too far away to go, dad placed his bets through illegal bookies. Mom hated dad’s gambling but it was hard for her to complain because he always won more than he lost. When he died at 79, she lived off his accumulated winnings for a year, but bookie bets don’t come with the pulse pounding roar of a crowd.

I did bet again decades later but only at cards, not horses, after I taught myself to become a card counter and was winning repeatedly at the 21 tables in Las Vegas, and the only sound I remember was the sound of the hundreds of noisy casino slot machines for suckers.

Slot machines were good for killing time but not for winning so I don’t think of that as a winning sound.

I wonder what losing sounds like — curses, sobs, maybe?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Where to Buy

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Thank You, Wealthy Robber Barons, for the Freedom to be a Free Rider!

gadflyonthewallblog

 

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Wow! I now have a real choice when it comes to my union!

At least, that’s what the email I got from the Mackinac Center says!

Now that the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the Janus vs. AFSCME case, I don’t have to pay any of my hard earned cash to my union!

I can be a free rider! I can get all the advantages of belonging to a union – higher salary, better benefits, better safety precautions – and I can leave it to the rest of the membership to pay for me!

That’s amazing!

And what’s even more amazing is who is sending this email to me!

I mean the Mackinac Center is funded by Betsy DeVos and her family, the Koch Brothers, Eli Broad, the Scaifes, and the Walton family!

Who would have ever thought some of the richest people in the world would take…

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It’s Not Rude to Refuse Service to Sarah Huckabee Sanders. It’s the Height of Respect

If Trump’s people and members of the Alt-Right can refuse service to anyone they don’t approve of, we can do the same thing to them. Remember HobbyLobby and don’t serve extremists you do not agree with and do not respect.

gadflyonthewallblog

 

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We’ve all heard the story by now.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders went to the Red Hen restaurant and was refused service because she works for the Trump administration.

But while many far right and mainstream media outlets are decrying the restaurateur’s decision as discourteous, they seem to have missed the point.

Discourteous?

It was exactly the opposite.

There was no greater way to show Sanders respect than to deny her service.

After all, she defended the Supreme Court’s recent ruling for a conservative baker’s right to refuse to make a cake for a gay couple’s wedding.

If Sanders thinks it’s a good thing for this baker to be able to deny service to someone because this potential customer’s lifestyle violates his moral convictions, then she should also support the owner of the Red Hen denying her service because her lifestyle violates the owner’s moral convictions.

And make…

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Boredom

I can’t remember ever being bored. When I was a child, I must have been bored at least once. Maybe I said the word but didn’t mean it. After all, a lot of people talk about being bored, especially children.

In an interview, the teenage pop-singer songwriter I admire the most even mentioned being bored. I was surprised. How could anyone as talented as her be bored?

Looking for a reason why people get bored, I looked up the definition and the first one I found offered no help. The first definition was “The state of feeling bored.”

Huh?

I wondered if the person that came up with that one was bored when they wrote it, so I found another one, and Merriam-Webster at least tried to come up with a more interesting one.

“The state of being weary and restless through lack of interest – the boredom of a long car trip.”

I can’t remember ever being bored on a long car trip. My legs and back get stiff. I might get sleepy, but never bored. The scenery grabs my attention. It doesn’t matter if it is in the mountains, desert, farmland, a forest, there is so much to see that I’d rather let someone else drive so I’m free to explore with my eyes, and I always take audiobooks on long car trips and the stories keep me focused and awake because I want to find out what’s happening to the characters in the stories.

The video above mentions one writer who said, “Boredom has historically been an important source of creativity, well-being and our very sense of self.”

After hearing that I thought, maybe I’ve been bored but didn’t know it.

That’s where my overactive imagination comes in. When there is nothing else to do, my imagination fills the empty time with amazing or frightening stuff. Then I have my woodshop with all those tools and the house I’m renovating.

As a child, when I had nothing else to do, instead of sitting around complaining about being bored, I went outside and let my imagination carry me away to other places and times. I literally became a time machine where I could become anyone I wanted to be at any time in history, even the future.

Scientific American says, “There is no universally accepted definition of boredom. But whatever it is, researchers argue, it is not simply another name for depression or apathy. It seems to be a specific mental state that people find unpleasant—a lack of stimulation that leaves them craving relief, with a host of behavioural, medical and social consequences.”

The narrator in the video with this post also said, “People who are often bored are at greater risk of developing anxiety, depression, and drug or alcohol addiction; displaying anger, aggressive behavior and lack of interpersonal skills …”

After reading the last two paragraphs, I was glad I never feel bored.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

Where to Buy

Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

 

 

Anya Kamenetz: “A Nation at Risk” Cooked the Books

The conclusion to Reagon’s 1983 report on the nation’s public schools, a report that was called “A Nation at Risk” was written first and then the facts were cherry-picked to support that fake conclusion. America’s traditional public schools have never failed and were never a risk to this country’s future.

Diane Ravitch's blog

In this report by NPR journalist Anya Kamenetz, we learn that the famous 1983 report “A Nation at Risk,” we learn that the Reagan-era Commission “cooked the books.” Kamenetz interviewed two of the original commission members and learned that the commission knew its conclusion in advance, then cherry-picked facts to prove its claim that the schools were ”mired in mediocrity.”

She writes:

“In the context of declining resources and rising child poverty, maintaining steady or slightly improving test scores over decades could be described with other words besides “flat” and “disappointing” — perhaps “surprising” or “heroic.”

“But the narrative established by “A Nation At Risk” still seems to be the one that dominates how we think of the data.

“[Professor James] Guthrie, for one, thinks that’s been, on balance, a good thing, because it brought education to the front and center of the U.S. agenda.

“My view of it in…

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Queen Eva’s Gambit

The bucket of lies stops with Evil Eva Moskowitz because she is the CEO and it was her teacher-and-child abusing corporate charter school in NY City that lied about winning a national chess tournament that wasn’t a national chess tournament and was not a victory against one of the top chess playing public schools in New York City and the country.

Gary Rubinstein's Blog

In the New York Post today there was a headline that read “Charter school upsets juggernaut Stuyvesant HS on way to chess crown”

It began in dramatic fashion.

The US hockey team beating the mighty Soviets at the 1980 Olympics, Mike Tyson being knocked out by Buster Douglas 10 years later — and now this.

A Success Academy girls chess team upset perennial juggernaut Stuyvesant HS at a Chicago tournament over the weekend to claim its first national championship.

In winning the girls crown, the crew from the charter network’s Manhattan high school notched its first ever victory over what is roundly considered the city’s top academic institution.

As an avid chess player myself and also as a teacher at Stuyvesant High School and also knowing that one of our sophomore girls is the 38th highest rated female chess player in the country, I thought that this would be quite…

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