UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

June 23, 2009

READER COMMENTS

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT DENIED DIPLOMA FOR BLOWING KISSES

--- It is the function of school administrators to punish. To punish randomly, without reason and above all, without mercy. This provides the children with their most important lesson of life -- that it is arbitrary and unfair. - m

--- If you let one American high-school graduate stand up after a dozen years of schooling, take a quick bow, blow a kiss to their mom, and point at their friends in acknowledgement, then pretty soon every graduate in America will take a quick bow, blow kisses to their mothers, and acknowledge their friends - and then where would we be? Obviously, this principal and superintendent have narrowly averted total anarchy and both should be receiving the nation's grateful thanks and Wall Street-size bonuses and medals of freedom.

THE GOOD & THE BAD IN OBAMA'S FINANCIAL REGULATORY PLAN

--- Barack Obama's regulatory plan is considered to be one of the most innovative and mature plan. In the UK for example they are trying to patch the old system whereas Obama want to redo the whole financial system. Especially the way the banks and brokers leverage and capital requirements.

THE CORPORATE CURSE

--- Thank you so much for this refreshing view on the ever growing majority of MBA students and their much anticipated "superiority". It's good to know that the word is out and I can only hope real action, rather than fluff talk, begins to transform the few untouched remains of non-corporate America.

FLOTSAM & JETSAM: END OF AN AFFAIR

--- Consumer Reports is crap. For almost thirty years they've been saying Jeep is no good while the Japanese brands have been mimicking them. I drive a 1990 Jeep Comanche four-cylinder four-wheel drive six-foot bed pickup with four hundred thousand plus miles that runs like new. Incidentally, I believe Obama and his capitalist masters are thrilled to have destroyed so many union jobs. Washington's policies have for decades been about reducing workers to slaves . That's why they love the Japanese business model so much,

GREAT MOMENTS ON CAPITOL HILL

--- Since my name is Charles, which is awkward to pronounce due to 3 consonant sounds in a row, people frequently presume to call me Charley or Chas, so I can understand her irritation to a point, but Elizabeth B. has taken the issue past any reasonable level. Clearly she either has some serious emotional problems or is a little too full of herself and her insider status. I gave up worrying about it years ago. I simply refer to myself and introduce myself as Charles and can then easily distinguish fools and jackasses from reasonable people by what they choose to call me.

UNRESOLVED ISSUES OF OUR TIMES

--- The older I grow, the less important the comma becomes. Let the reader catch his own breath. - Elizabeth Clarkson Zwart

WESTERN MISCONCEPTIONS MEET IRANIAN REALITY.

--- It's sad watching so many Democrats talk about fraud in a possibly legitimate election in Iran when they stayed so silent during two illegitimate elections here.

--- "It is difficult to see how he could have stolen the election by such a large margin." If you steal the election, that means the margin is false. Therefore, how large it is has no bearing. What's difficult to believe is how an incumbent who failed on all his campaign promises in the previous election could be elected by a wider margin than he one with the first time. If he did not steal the election, why doesn't Ahmadinejad invite all the journalists in the world and Jimmy Carter to count them? I admire your tendency toward counter-intuitiveness and constant debunking, but this post is balderdash. Iran is 70% under 30 and well-educated. Would anyone else on earth meeting that description vote for the likes of Ahmadinejad in such numbers? All this, of course, leaves aside the fact that the election was stolen before a single vote was cast because the mullahs choose the candidates. - Paul Tullis

OBAMA & EDUCATION

--- President Obama has split the difference on many policy issues, building bridges between the center-left and center-right. While conservatives have characterized him as another big-spending liberal, much of his budget increases have gone to prop up failing banks and corporations. The President appears to be solidifying the centrist and well-financed coalition that Bill Clinton pursued, but at some cost to the ideas and interests of his party.

On education policy. the President and his Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have taken school reform ideas incubated during the Bush administration and largely funded and endorsed by corporations and ideological conservatives, and embraced them with more enthusiasm than Republicans did.

During his campaign, candidate Obama often praised charter schools. Now Secretary Duncan is strong-arming state legislatures into removing existing caps on the number of charter schools they allow by suggesting they are hurting their chances of receiving part of the $4.35 billion in federal stimulus grants.

Secretary Duncan has also called on city mayors to abolish elected school boards and take direct control over school districts. He recently intervened in New York state politics, asking legislators to extend Mayor Michael Bloomberg's one-man rule over New York City schools

While both charter schools and mayoral control have achieved some positive results, they both have limitations. The best charter schools raise test scores but only accept students who agree to go above and beyond what would be expected of them in neighborhood schools. Mayoral control, as practiced in New York City, has rallied business leaders to help support public school reform, but has produced only incremental student progress despite having increased school spending by $5 billion in only five years.

In the politics of education, Obama has pulled off a coup by dividing charter-school advocates from their pro-voucher allies. In Washington D.C., Mayor Fenty and his handpicked Chancellor Michelle Rhee dropped their advocacy of vouchers when President Obama and Congressional Democrats decided to end the city's experimental program. In return, they have his support for charters-a pillar of D.C. reform-and for mayoral control.

The cost of the President winning these new allies may involve alienating old friends-teachers' unions, teachers in neighborhood schools, and parents who prefer elected school boards-and abandoning some fundamental ideals of his party-stable employment, protection from arbitrary firings, and participatory democracy.

As a teacher in a traditional neighborhood school I hope I am wrong about the direction of local school policy, and as a citizen who voted and volunteered for President Obama, I hope he eventually develops school reform ideas more respectful of local control, career teachers and neighborhood schools. - Jesse Alred, teacher, Houston, Texas

LIFE & HEALTH INSURERS INVEST BILLIONS IN TOBACCO

--- Only a non-smoker would fail to appreciate that the smokers pay truly huge taxes that pay for the care others live to use far longer than most smokers. If the smokers stop smoking, the non-smokers will have to start ponying up for their own expenses - so be careful what you wish for.

DUNCAN OUT TO KILL LOCAL PUBLIC EDUCATION

--- Where in the Constitution does it say the feds can usurp every facet of state and local government? Seems to me, it says the opposite. I for one am sick of rule executive fiat.

--- Is the point of our educational system to produce reams of data that can be tabulated and sorted in an Excel spreadsheet or is it to produce thoughtful citizens? I think I know where Obama stands on the issue now. Thanks Arne. - Lars

3 Comments:

Anonymous Paul Tullis said...

I resent your associating me with Democrats who stayed silent in 2000 and 2004. For one thing, I am not a Democrat; I was registered Green in both those elections. Secondly, I did not stay silent; I used multiple media platforms to provide evidence of fraud, decry it, and urge protest both times. You owe me an apology.

June 23, 2009 2:12 PM  
Anonymous THE GOOD & THE BAD IN OBAMA'S FINANCIAL REGULATORY PLAN said...

Obama's Financial Reform Proposal: A Stealth Scheme for Global Monetary Control


by Stephen Lendman

"When politicians plan reform, it's wise to be skeptical and hold on to your wallets. So fixing the economy by bailing out Wall Street is wrecking it, and Obama's proposed health care reform taxes more, provides less, places profits above human need, avoids the most vital solutions, and leaves a broken system in place.



Now there's "Financial Regulatory Reform, A New Foundation: Rebuilding Financial Supervision and Regulation" - announced June 17 with Obama saying he'll send Congress a plan to create new government agencies, give the private banking cartel Federal Reserve more power, and address five major problems needing regulatory and legislative measures to fix.



Addressing business executives in the White House East Room, he said:



"A culture of irresponsibility took root from Wall Street to Washington to Main Street" with no mention that months of it worsened on his watch. "A regulatory regime basically crafted in the wake of a 20th century economic crisis - the Great Depression - was overwhelmed by the speed, scope and sophistication of a 21st century global economy." In fact, 30 years of deregulation since the late 1970s, not technology, caused speculative excesses, market bubbles, and inevitable collapses that always follow. "...

There appears to be no mention that corporate governance within these large banks failed totally. How on earth can you expect these banks to operate in a responsible manner unless and until you address the reckless manner in which they (a) compensate themselves, (b) destroy shareholder value, and (c) treat boards of directors as toothless wonders? The profound silence on this point from the administration - including some of our finest economic, financial, and legal thinkers - is breathtaking...."



"Based on what we see so far, there is little reason to be encouraged. The reform process appears to have been captured at any early stage - by design the lobbyists were let into the executive branch's (planning process), so we don't even get to have a transparent debate or to hear specious arguments about why we really need big banks."

June 23, 2009 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LET US DIDDLE AND PARCE DAINTY WORDS UNTIL THE PROVERBIAL COWS COME HOME...IT STILL WON'T CHANGE THE FACT THAT THE MIDDLE-CLASS HAS LOST ALL REPRESENTATION, FINANCIAL BACKING, AND HAS BEEN BACKED INTO A BOTTOMLESS PIT WHERE INVESTORS OF THE THE INFRA-STRUCTURE OF US CAPITAL HAVE WITHDRAWN FOR PARTS UNKNOWN TO FURTHER ENSLAVE PITIFUL WORKERS WHILE PROMISING THEM SEVEN CAMELS AND 142 VIRGINS IN PARIDISE. DOES THAT SOUND LIKE RETIREMENT, SOCIAL SECURITY AND YOUR 401 K PLAN ARE GONNA BE THERE IF MOHAMMUD IS GETTING 10.00 AN HOUR IN TURBANSVILLE? the powers-that-be, and all the false-flag and terrorist diversions are running people around the MAY-POLE!WISE UP, DON'T LISTEN; AND LOAD-AND-LOCK..WE GO TO REVOLUTION SOON, FELLOW PATRIOTS!

June 25, 2009 12:28 AM  

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