Saturday, February 23, 2013

Got a Bead on him JimBob??? FIRE!

From the 'You can't make this shit up files.'

Officials in Texas announced on Thursday that State Troopers would no longer be allowed to open fire on suspects from helicopters after the recent killing of two immigrants.

"Why Rhett I do declare!"  "That's mighty fucking white of you boys!!"

The Gadfly is not surprised that prior to this new legislation, Texas was the only state in the union that allowed law enforcement officers to shoot fleeing immigrants from a helicopter.  Big game is big game right?  An immigrant's head blown off is the same as a nice set of antlers right?

The Gadfly knows that there are a great many good people in the south - and yes - even in Texas.  Hopefully they will multiply and at some soon future time the good people will outnumber the fucking hateful assholes and this country can get on with the business of being a model democracy that the rest of the world aspires to emulate.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Republican-to-be in training . . .

The Gadfly rarely states 100% certainty about anything, but in this case it is simply a no-brainer.

The Gadfly most definitely sees a bright future as a GOP politician, or just as likely - a Fox News pundit, in this cute little bugger's future:


Birth of the Aper Movement . . .


The Gadfly cannot express his thankfulness deeply enough to comedian Bill Maher for his relentless crusade to publicly humiliate one of the biggest assholes and most smug pricks to ever disgrace the face of the planet - Donald Trump.

Watch the beauty of seeing The Donald quartered and drawn and then his torso less head hoisted on a pike by Maher - - and marvel at the skill with which it is done:



Friday, February 8, 2013

America - Teach Your Children Well . . . For Democracy's Sake

The Gadfly is in no way surprised by this and in fact, along with other observers who saw the writing on the wall years ago, more or less predicted it:

The charter school movement gained a foothold in American education two decades ago partly by asserting that independently run, publicly financed schools would outperform traditional public schools if they were exempted from onerous regulations. The charter advocates also promised that unlike traditional schools, which were allowed to fail without consequence, charter schools would be rigorously reviewed and shut down when they failed to perform.
With thousands of charter schools now operating in 40 states, and more coming online every day, neither of these promises has been kept. Despite a growing number of studies showing that charter schools are generally no better — and often are worse — than their traditional counterparts, the state and local agencies and organizations that grant the charters have been increasingly hesitant to shut down schools, even those that continue to perform abysmally for years on end.
If the movement is to maintain its credibility, the charter authorizers must shut down failed schools quickly and limit new charters to the most credible applicants, including operators who have a demonstrated record of success.
That is the clear message of continuing analysis from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University, which tracks student performance in 25 states. In 2009, its large-scale study showed that only 17 percent of charter schools provided a better education than traditional schools, and 37 percent actually offered children a worse education.

The Gadfly always saw the push for the privatization of education as nothing more than an ideological attack from the right wing on the constitutional mandate of a secular (no religious interference) taxpayer funded education system.

The right wing fundamentalist crowd are not satisfied with the idea of a secular public education system having a say in teaching America's children.  Ironic considering that they do have the choice of enrolling their children in religious institutions of their choice or home schooling them.  But since their goal is to proselytize every aspect of American culture and society to conform to their own right wing Christian world view, secular education in their eyes is a monstrosity that must be destroyed and thus the rapid rise of the privatization profiteers in the arena of K-12 education.

One look at the backgrounds of the people at the core of the movement to privatize K-12 education will reveal an unsurprising amalgamation of fundamentalist religious organizations and corporate entities, who not wanting to miss out on a chance to snatch up government (state and federal) subsidies that are (wrongly) being handed out like candy, have snuggled up to the religious right with the vision of dollar signs dancing in their heads - yet with nary a concern for the quality of education being provided to the children being funneled into these schools.

Unfortunately many Americans, convinced by the hackneyed religious nuts and the hucksters in the right wing media that the bad old public educators are reeling in $100k salaries and living high off the union hog, have uncritically and unthinkingly bought into the lies and the privatizing schemes hook, line and sinker.  The problem is - and one need not be a rocket scientist to arrive at this conclusion - that if the statistics borne out in this study have any degree of accuracy to them, it does not bode well for the long term economic prospects of the dumbed-down alumni that are being churned in an assembly line manner out of these severely deficient "learning" academies - which in turn does not bode well for an expanding American economy trying to compete on an intellectual level with up and coming economic powers like China and Europe in the global economic arena.

The Gadfly believes the solution is two-fold and straightforward - if the privateers want to keep their schools as viable alternatives to public education institutions that is fine, however, they then must be held to the same rigorous testing and and performance standards as public schools are.  The privateers need to demonstrate their seriousness in this area by quickly identifying the failing schools under their purvey and either correcting the problems at those schools or closing them down quickly.

In addition - on the public education side of the coin - adequate funding of public education must take precedent in our national spending priorities.  Take some of that tax payer money that is being gambled away on unnecessary wars, corporate welfare, and wasteful defense spending and shift those funds to shoring up the foundation of our free public education infrastructure as well as streamlining and standardizing testing and performance goals nationwide.

If the leaders of this country believe that the wholesale destruction of one of the crown jewels of the greatest democracy experiment in the history of mankind -free public education - and the privatization of that noble enterprise - is going to allow America to continue competing at the top of the ladder among other emerging economic powerhouses around the world -- they better pull their collective noodle heads out of their asses and start talking to people who do not have a for profit self interest in such matters -- such as public educators and people at high levels of American enterprise who are products of our, admittedly flawed, but overall very successful public education system.