Valerie Plame

She had something to do with a major, really major scandal that was related to the Bush administration lying to the country in order to conduct a war that helped to put a lot of money into certain people’s pockets while killing hundreds of thousands of human beings.  She was married to a guy named Joe Wilson and a very interesting movie about the two of them called Fair Game tells a story that should not be forgotten–but probably has been.  The announcement below showed up on Facebook today.  I think I would vote for her if I lived in NM!

I have big news, and I am not going to be covert about it. I just filed papers to run for Congress in New Mexico’s open 3rd District for the 2020 election. That’s right! I am running for Congress because like you, I cannot sit idly by and watch our president diminish our values and standing in the world. Chip in $5, $10, or whatever you can afford now to help start my campaign strong.

Space and greed

Landed on the moon and it didn’t help to feed a single hungry person or improve the educational system or cure disease.  The endeavor did make companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin,  and Northrop Grumman and stockholders wealthier with major assistance from tax dollars.  But it was fun to watch and it diverted attention from such other aspects of American society the abject poverty of some and the nation’s rampant racism that caused some to feel so disenfranchised, so marginalized, so dehumanized that they took to the streets to let loose upon the state the anger they felt for their ill treatment.

The dynamics of then are the dynamics of now except that the very wealthy are making themselves into heroes to cover their thievery and the mask the vast inequities in both wealth and power, wealth and power they use rather freely to manipulate both the economic system and the political system to suit their desires at the expense of most others.

We need a hell of a lot more socialism and a hell of a lot fewer diversions from the shithole reality so many face on earth.  If we cannot feel all of the people well, provide them with good health care and good education, we cannot afford rocket ships even if they are being built by so generous a private sector, a private sector that knows how to get a lot of government help be it massive tax breaks, ability to pay low wages, or exploit the resources that belong to all and should be used wisely and not for the sake of the greed of a few.

It should be mentioned too that much of the incentive for a space program was to build more lethal weapons.  The bulk of what has been learned has been applied mostly for such purposes.

 

Bernie Sanders:

Three people, including Jeff Bezos, own more wealth than the bottom half of America. While the rich continue to get richer, 40 million live in poverty and 40% of our people cannot afford basic needs. The level of inequality we are facing today is an emergency. Instead of allowing people like Bezos to hoard more and more wealth to spend on space travel, we must make the wealthy and massive corporations like Amazon pay their fair share in taxes and invest in our people.

 

White (upper class) “liberal” lies undone.

Interesting, I think, that people with opinions different enough from mainstream, centrist democratic party leadership’s and, instead of discussion that incorporates new ideas taking place in a meaningful way, argumentation becomes ‘war.’  It does seem that those most adamantly opposed to the left-leaning find the left positions threatening rather than helpful and why they are threatened deserves to be considered because it reflects a critical problem this country has suffered from for a long time, the absence of an opposition to a system that becomes more and more problematic, more and more harmful, more and more toxic because it is allowed to grow ever stronger for lack of proper criticism.  Really, the reason for this is that centrist democrats like things the way they are.  They live well by the system.  They and theirs do get good education and excellent health care.  The police protect them (from those harmed who they fear will do them harm) and the justice system treats them fairly, sometimes more than fairly.  They do worry about pollution and violence and the educational system because they breathe the same air, don’t want to get shot, and need people who are skilled enough to do the work that helps them live the good lives they live.

These new voices are particularly dangerous because what they are saying does make sense, answers questions many who are not on the inside, beneficiaries of the system, have been afraid to ask for fear of retribution by the self anointed “sensible ones,”  those “realists” who, for many, many years have been able to quiet rebel tendencies with kind words, false charity, and promises of a better that never materializes.  These new folk know the rouse and others are hearing what they already know to be true spoken to power.  That power is base in falsehood, false concern, false empathy, a false humanity and now false is being properly translated by some who are willing to speak the truth.

Support them.

Conversation with the superintendent

I am about to meet with the superintendent for our local school district and I plan to discuss with her the possibility of refashioning educational programs to reflect what should be the purpose of schools that exist to serve a democratic society.  I will ask that she consider growth of individual thinking abilities that serve to make possible informed and thoughtful decision making possible to be the primary goals of school curriculum, teaching methods, school and district organization, hiring practices, and all else that affects the manner in which instruction takes place.  I will say that it is the patriotic duty of those involved in education to make the schools work to develop in students the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will allow to and cause them to want to participate in the democratic process so that they can exercise citizenship in the way that truly good citizens should.

That is my agenda.

My notes:

Teacher control: Engaged individuals who study and think a lot and can share with students the results, their existence as informed and highly thoughtful people.

Student engagement as measure/growth of abilities such as critical thinking, desire to be informed, willingness to take on problems, ability to find paths to solutions, ability to interact productively with others to figure things out, get things done, growth of respect for self and the worth of others, mentally active, appreciation for mental activity and desire to grow intellectually……..

Employment skills

Individual student as focus rather than aggregated test scores to show how well the district is doing.

Make a case, offer bold alternatives with strong rationale

DEFINE THE PURPOSE OF EDUCATION PROPERLY

Schools in a democracy, schools that are created by a democratic government exist to serve the purposes of the democracy, to develop students’ ability to participate effectively in the democratic decision-making process.

The purpose of public schools in a democracy is not making employers happy.  It is to develop the abilities allow for effective decision making on the part of the individuals that make up a democratic citizenry.

Play patriotism!  Not to have decisions made for them but to participate in making decisions, one amongst many contributing to the goal of figuring out what is right and getting it right, for the sake of individual well being which ultimately defines societal well being.

SCHOOL SHOULD BE INVIGORATING, CONSTANTLY MAKING CURIOUS THE WORLD SO THAT THERE IS DESIRE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT IT, LEARN TO USE THE TOOLS—THE DISCIPLINES—TO DISCOVER AND MAKE SENSE OF THINGS.

Teachers = human beings deeply involved in making sense of the world who invite students into the process, invites students to become fellow voyagers always respecting their potential to contribute to the quest.

Aim at what good evaluation would evaluate for rather than at success on the test.

Re-orient schools to meaningful intellectual goals and understand the tests to be of minor concern in comparison to intellectual growth, growth achieved, valid tests not a problem.

 

 

 

Simple truth made complex with deadly consequences

A simple truth, common sense solutions rendered impossible by absurd political system that exists to serve an inhumane economic system.

Our dysfunctional system is designed not to provide health care in the most cost-effective way, but to make as much money as possible for insurance and drug companies, investment banks and real estate firms. That’s wrong. That’s immoral. And we are going to change it.