White Privilege, Public Schools and Ugly Christmas Sweaters

gadflyonthewallblog

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This is one of those stories that’s been bothering me for a while.

I won’t say it happened recently or at my current district, but after teaching in the public school system for almost two decades, you see a lot that most people never hear about.

So it was almost Christmas break and my middle school students were shuffling in to homeroom.

One of the girls turns to me and says, “Mr. Singer, am I okay to wear this?”

Hold up. I teach English.

I am not a fashionista or even particularly clothes conscious. So this question took me by surprise.

In the split second it took me to comprehend what she was asking and focus my eyes on the girl, I was expecting she might have on something too revealing or perhaps had an inappropriate slogan on her shirt or a marijuana leaf.

But no. She had on…

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The Worst Tax Bill in American History: Written for Kleptocrats

I despair about the future of this country.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norman Orenstein of the American Enterprise Institute wrote about the tax bills passed by the Republican Party in the House and Senate, soon to be reconciled and signed into law.

“In the past three days, Republican leaders in the Senate scrambled to corral votes for a tax bill that the Joint Committee on Taxation said would add $1 trillion to the deficit — without holding any meaningful committee hearings. Worse, Republican leaders have been blunt about their motivation: to deliver on their promises to wealthy donors, and down the road, to use the leverage of huge deficits to cut and privatize Medicare and Social Security.

“Congress no longer works the way it’s supposed to…

“Mr. Trump’s election and behavior during his first 10 months in office represent not a break with the past but an extreme acceleration of a process that was…

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Wasteland

Living in the wasteland of the free…
We got preachers dealing in politics and diamond mines
and their speech is growing increasingly unkind
They say they are Christ’s disciples
but they don’t look like Jesus to me
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free
We got politicians running races on corporate cash
Now don’t tell me they don’t turn around and kiss them peoples’ ass
You may call me old-fashioned
but that don’t fit my picture of a true democracy
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free
We got CEO’s making two hundred times the workers’ pay
but they’ll fight like hell against raising the minimum wage
and If you don’t like it, mister, they’ll ship your job
to some third-world country ‘cross the sea
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free
Living in the wasteland of the free
where the poor have now become the enemy
Let’s blame our troubles on the weak ones
Sounds like some kind of Hitler remedy
Living in the wasteland of the free

We got little kids with guns fighting inner city wars
So what do we do, we put these little kids behind prison doors
and we call ourselves the advanced civilization
that sounds like crap to me
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free
We got high-school kids running ’round in Calvin Klein and Guess
who cannot pass a sixth-grade reading test
but if you ask them, they can tell you
the name of every crotch on mTV
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free
We kill for oil, then we throw a party when we win
Some guy refuses to fight, and we call that the sin
but he’s standing up for what he believes in
and that seems pretty damned American to me
and it feels like I am living in the wasteland of the free
Living in the wasteland of the free
where the poor have now become the enemy
Let’s blame our troubles on the weak ones
Sounds like some kind of Hitler remedy
Living in the wasteland of the free
While we sit gloating in our greatness
justice is sinking to the bottom of the sea
Living in the wasteland of the free
Living in the wasteland of the free
Living in the wasteland of the free

Iris DeMent wrote this twenty years ago. It’s still true.

A Historian of the Depression Warns that Republicans Are Recreating Similar Conditions of Late 1920s

Yes, and this should be a warning to us all.
Not that the Republicans understand this or believe this. The really sad thing is that they have convinced so many people to vote against their own economic self-interests.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Robert S. McIlvaine is a scholar of The Great Depression. He warns that Republicans are endorsing the same flawed ideology that produced that devastating economic collapse.

““There are two ideas of government,” William Jennings Bryan declared in his 1896 “Cross of Gold” speech. “There are those who believe that if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them.”

“That was more than three decades before the collapse of the economy in 1929. The crash followed a decade of Republican control of the federal government during which trickle-down policies, including massive tax cuts for the rich, produced the greatest concentration of income in the accounts of the richest 0.01 percent at any time…

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