Ugly

WSJ:

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund and a presidential hopeful in France, has been arrested and charged with attempted rape, criminal sexual act and unlawful imprisonment, New York City police and the IMF said on Sunday.

[…]Mr. Strauss-Kahn allegedly forced a cleaning woman onto his bed and sexually assaulted her at around 1 p.m. Saturday inside his room at the Sofitel Hotel near Times Square, the official said.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn allegedly allowed the woman to leave and then departed for the airport, the official said. The alleged victim informed co-workers who then alerted authorities, the official said. […]

The Times report says that the police have DNA evidence.








“The Professor” is on the move…

Gingrich 2012_Liar, Grifter, Hack

Washington press/pundit coverage of the Republican Presidential race is all about the narratives told, sold and bought at cocktail parties inside the Beltway. You could pick any candidate and the arc would be the same: a narrative is formed, repeated, repeated again, and again until the fiction of the narrative trumps all facts. This is how Al Gore became fat and GW Bush became a Compassionate Conservative.

We are nine months away from the Caucus in Iowa and the GOP field is still sorting itself out. Over the next few weeks most folks will have to decide if they are in or out–and to help the process along, the media is busy creating über narratives about each of them. The other day Newt Gingrich formally entered the race and–almost as an unspoken rule–every time he is mentioned we need to be reminded that Newt is an idea man, an intellectual, a serious thinker and a serious man who just lacks “discipline”. Some have even taken to calling him “The Professor”.
Read more



Rand Paul: “People Who Believe in Universal Healthcare Believe in Slavery”

Libertarians? No, thank you. I’m full.

Uh-oh.  Here I go again with all my blackity black talk. I will endeavor to keep a cool head.  I do not want to offend anyone’s sensibilities, nor would I like to be seen as one of “those people” who takes the bait when “scooby snacks” are dangled in front of them by “the white wing.”

::ahem::

Apparently, Rand Paul, a Senator from the state of Kentucky (and also a physician), believes that those of us who believe in universal healthcare believe in slavery.

What I have just relayed is true information, as evidenced by the sources cited below.

During a Senate hearing, Rand Paul had this to say:

Read more








Hey Man, What’s The Plan, What Was That You Said?

Yesterday, breaking a self-imposed ban on reading Reason magazine, I popped over there briefly. I say briefly, because the first item I ran across pissed me off so much I thought “Why the hell are you doing this to yourself?” and immediately left. I didn’t even bother writing about it because what is the point? They’re all paid in full, bought and sold, so why even bother? But someone sent me something via email today, so I figured I’d bring it up. Here was the offending post:

So basically, their big plan to improve American education is gleaned from some idiot at one of Rick Berman’s (60 Minutes piece here) interconnected, self-serving, industry funded union bashing websites (EFAC, LaborPains, and the Center for Union Facts) regurgitated by some Daily Caller flunky passing himself off as a glibertarian until a better wingnut welfare writing position opens up. Peruse those sites for a bit and you can practically see the concern for education oozing out of every kerning. Or maybe that is just the slime of industry stooges.

I bring all of that up because of this post at the Great Orange Satan:

But then one Thursday, on the eighth day of my 35th year of teaching, I suddenly thought for the very first time ever, “I don’t want to be a teacher anymore.” It’s so weird how it just came over me like that. I don’t know if it’s like the challenges in Survivor where they keep adding water until the bucket finally tips over and the slow leak of problems finally made my bucket tip over. Or maybe this is how it happens for all older teachers.

It wasn’t a single thing that gave me this feeling. I’m hoping it doesn’t last. Maybe it was the severely autistic boy who showed up at my door the first day with no notice, but I don’t really think so. Maybe it was the rigid schedule the principal passed out for everybody to be doing the same subject at the same time of day, or the new basal reader we have to use that we aren’t allowed to call a basal reader.

Maybe it’s the look in my student’s eyes when we’re reading the newly required dry textbook when I’m used to wild and crazy discussions about amazing novels.

Maybe it’s that for the first time, our school didn’t meet AYP because two few English Language Developing students in the entire school didn’t pass their reading benchmarks.

When I heard this, I instantly thought of the two English Language Learners in my class who hadn’t passed their reading tests last year and how unfair I thought it was that they even counted on our test scores when they came to our school in January and were absent at least twice a week from that point on. I was wondering how I could possibly have gotten them to benchmark level in three days a week for three months. I was thinking how if only those two students hadn’t counted on our scores, we would’ve met AYP as a school. When I mentioned it to my principal, she just said there are no excuses. We aren’t allowed to have any excuses. We have to get kids to the level they need to be no matter what the circumstances. I thought of the little boy I had with an IQ of 87 who could barely read. I thought of the little girl in a wheelchair who’d had 23 operations on tumors on her body in her eleven years, and the girl who moved from Mexico straight into my class and learned to speak English before my eyes, but couldn’t pass the state test. Somehow it doesn’t feel like making excuses to acknowledge that they had good reason not to pass their benchmarks.

Maybe it was the e-mail I got saying that the department of education in Oregon has raised the cut scores again this year by six or seven points per grade level, even though they just raised them a couple of years ago. I found out that if they would have used these new cut scores last year, over half of the students in grades 3-8 who passed their benchmarks wouldn’t have passed. That led to a realization that as a school we have very little chance of meeting our adequate yearly progress this year, but of course I’m not allowed to say that because there are no excuses. It’s hard not to feel discouraged.

Maybe it was one of the two parents who contacted me in the first few days of school to tell me that their child doesn’t particularly love my program this year. I’m so not used to that. I’ve always had kids achieving highly and loving my class. I’m just not sure how I can use the mandated materials in the required time periods, focusing on the required skills and still get kids to really love it.

Maybe it’s the fact that I lost a third of my retirement when they reformed our Public Employee Retirement System a few years back and now I keep reading about how they want to slash it even more because of the greedy teacher unions and how this is the main reason for the budget problems in our state.

Maybe it’s that I haven’t gotten a real raise in a really really long time, or that we had to cut eight days again this year to solve our state’s budget problems. So I’m taking a big hit again, and nobody seems to notice or care.

Anyway, whatever the reason, for the first time in 34 years it hit me, I don’t want to be a teacher any more. I want to sit on a rocking chair on my porch and drink tea instead. Maybe if they offer $20,000 for me to retire next year, I’ll take it. It’s so weird because never in my wildest imagination did I think I’d feel this way. I wonder if I’ll still feel this way when I close my classroom door tomorrow. I sure hope not because it makes me really sad.

Clearly, the problem with education is that that person has too much job security.



If I Didn’t Know You Better, I’d Swear You Had Some Class

He really is a Republican:

Over the last few years, according to interviews and hundreds of pages of court documents, the real estate mogul has aggressively marketed several luxury high-rises as “Trump properties” or “signature Trump” buildings, with names like Trump Tower and Trump International — even making appearances at the properties to woo buyers. The strong indication of his involvement as a developer generated waves of media attention and commanded premium prices.

But when three of the planned buildings encountered financial trouble, it became clear that Mr. Trump had essentially rented his name to the developments and had no responsibility for their outcomes, according to buyers. In each case, he yanked his name off the projects, which were never completed. The buyers lost millions of dollars in deposits even as Mr. Trump pocketed hefty license fees.

Those who bought the apartments in part because of the Trump name were livid, saying they felt a profound sense of betrayal, and more than 300 of them are now suing Mr. Trump or his company.

“The last thing you ever expect is that somebody you revere will mislead you,” said Alex Davis, 38, who bought a $500,000 unit in Trump International Hotel and Tower Fort Lauderdale, a waterfront property that Mr. Trump described in marketing materials as “my latest development” and compared to the Trump tower on Central Park in Manhattan.

“There was no disclaimer that he was not the developer,” Mr. Davis said. The building, where construction was halted when a major lender ran out of money in 2009, sits empty and unfinished, the outlines of a giant Trump sign, removed long ago, still faintly visible.

Mr. Davis is unable to recover any of his $100,000 deposit — half of which the developer used for construction costs.

Another casualty: his admiration for Mr. Trump, whose books and television show Mr. Davis had devoured. “I bought into an idea of him,” he said, “and it wasn’t what I thought it was.”

“It’s called a confidence game. Why? Because you give me your confidence? No. Because I give you mine. “