proud2BlibKansan's Journal - Archives
Kansans say “NO” to Walker’s radical brand of politics.
In the wake of mass protests of his attacks on working families in his home state, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has cancelled a high-priced Wichita fundraiser with Governor Brownback and RNC Chair Reince Priebus.
Thousands of Kansas workers led by the Wichita / Hutchinson Labor Federation and the Working Kansas Alliance had planned to protest Walker’s policies and his appearance at the fundraiser. Several busses full of protestors were set to arrive in Wichita from all corners of the state.
“Obviously this is a victory for working Kansans,” said Wichita / Hutchinson Labor Federation president Judy Pierce, “Governor Walker’s anti-worker policies have made headlines across the country, but Kansans are facing some of the very same attacks here courtesy of Governor Brownback.”
“The fact that our own Governor would stand with Governor Walker sends an appalling message to Kansas working men and women. We are Kansas workers trying to make a living, put food on the table and pay our bills. But there are people in powerful positions in this state who would just as soon make that harder to do.”
more . . . http://www.whlaborfed.org/updates/victory-...
Anders Behring Breivik, detained in the deadly Oslo bombing and shooting that has left 92 dead, has links to Norway's anti-government political group the Progress Party, according to the LA Times:
On social media forums, he claimed to be a disgruntled former member of Norway's anti-tax, small-government Progress Party, according to the Norwegian Nettavisen news service. His postings reflected strong anti-Islamic views and a deep skepticism about the mixing of different international cultures.
As if turns out, Tim Phillips, President of the Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity, spoke at a Progress Party event in 2010. According to an article published in the Norweigen paper Aftenposten on April 24th, 2010:
Phillips was invited by the Progress Party leadership to talk about grassroots organizing. But he talked mostly about how his organization is fighting for a weaker central government and lower taxes, to health reform and climate change.
Moreover, he spoke regularly Democrats in the U.S. as the "left side".
Read about Phillips' appearance here.
Congressman Kevin Yoder Hides from Constituents
Yoder Cancels Secret Town Hall Meeting
Overland Park, KS -- This morning, at the Mills Farm Clubhouse in Overland Park Kansas, Congressman Kevin Yoder cancelled a hastily arranged town-hall meeting to discuss his recent vote for the “Cut, Cap & Balance” bill. Over 40 constituents of Yoder’s were denied entry into the meeting with staff citing a lack of ‘pre-registration.’ After constituents, elected officials and members of the media waited for over an hour in the heat, members of Yoder’s Congressional staff turned people away and said the meeting was cancelled.
In response to Congressman Yoder’s actions this morning, Kansas Democratic Party Executive Director Kenny Johnston released the following statement:
“Mr. Yoder can run but he can’t hide. His vote this week was political grandstanding at its worst. If I’d voted to pay for handouts to the rich by eliminating Medicare, stood up for the Tea Party instead of common-sense Kansans and put our economy at risk while slashing Social Security, I’d probably run away, too.
“Kevin Yoder needs to act like a Congressman. He needs to stand before his constituents and explain his extreme voting record. His votes for big oil and the wealthy few and against Medicare and Social Security have left everyday Kansans wondering, ‘When is this guy gonna stand up for us?’
“There was a 90 year old woman in the crowd today who came to hear from her Congressional Representative about his votes on important issues. She braved the heat to be there. Unfortunately, Congressman Yoder wasn’t brave enough to listen.”
Yesterday we heard Kevin was having a town hall this morning. So we quickly spread the word, a few of us went to his website and registered and about 40 Democrats from the KS 3rd district showed up at the event. We were refused entry. First they said you can only come in if you are registered. So the ones in our group who had registered walked to the head of the line, only to be turned away and told it was a private event.
We waited. The police came. They got in. We kept waiting. Finally one of Kevin's people came out and told us the event had been cancelled because "Democrats have invaded" and he shut the door.
I'm NOT making this up. We were invaders. Not constituents. Not citizens Kevin represents, but invaders.
The venue was the clubhouse of this development. (Out in the middle of nowhere)
Horses guarded the entrance
It was 95 degrees but these Democrats stood patiently and waited to be allowed entrance to the event
You can tell they are trouble makers, can't you?
This veteran was upset he couldn't get in
We called the media. They were too busy to come.
The guy in the Royals shirt - he's a reporter with the KC Star. They wouldn't let him in either.
Let's play a game, shall we? As I was waiting in the heat, I took pictures of the cars in the lot that had bumper stickers. See if you can figure out which ones belong to people who got in and which ones belong to people who were refused admittance.
I could actually write a book listing my concerns about education and why I think it's important to go to DC and join fellow teachers marching to Save Our Schools. But yesterday I saw a graphic example that gives me all the reason I need to participate in this event.
There is a public school in Chicago - Whittier Elementary.
Last fall, the CPS (Chicago Public Schools) decided to sell the field house and the playground at Whittier to a nearby private school that wanted the property for a soccer field.
Mothers at Whittier didn't want their children to lose their playground. So they asked CPS to cancel the sale and CPS refused. So the mothers decided to occupy the field house to prevent the demolition. This is the field house:
It's not air conditioned, so the mothers improvised:
The mothers take turns sleeping there at night:
Several years ago, CPS took out the library at Whittier and converted the space into classrooms. So the mothers asked that the field house be converted into a library for the Whittier students. And to prove the space would work as a library, they all donated books and set up a library in the field house. They named it La Casita:
Their library also has a bathroom:
After several months of the sit in, CPS said ok, we'll convert classroom space in the school into a library. The mothers said no, that's a special ed classroom and those children deserve classroom space. CPS eventually agreed not to demolish the school so the mothers stopped their sit in.
Several months went by, the superintendent of CPS resigned and a new superintendent was hired. The mothers decided to meet with the new superintendent and ask him to honor the agreement made by the previous one not to tear down the school. So CPS set up a meeting with the mothers. While they were at the meeting on June 27, CPS sent a demolition crew to Whittier to begin the demolition. They put up fencing:
The mothers found out about the demolition crew, rushed back to the school and resumed their sit in. The demolition crew left. The mothers have occupied La Casita once again.
I visited La Casita yesterday. The mothers were very welcoming, enjoyed showing us La Casita and were incredibly proud of their library. They also shared the latest plan by CPS - close Whittier School, relocate the children and sell the entire property to the private school for their soccer field.
The mothers told us over and over that CPS claims to want parent involvement but has refused to allow them to be involved. There was a police car in front of the school; the mothers said the police are there frequently.
I'm marching on July 30 because parents are entitled to a voice and they deserve to be heard.
I'm marching because our children deserve libraries in our schools with brand new books instead of books that should be in children's bedrooms for bedtime stories.
I'm marching because children deserve playgrounds and shouldn't have to look out of their classroom windows at a soccer field that is private property where they are not allowed to play.
I'm marching because mothers should be sleeping at home instead of in a field house.
I'm marching because in the United States of America, schools should be caring for our children instead of competing for diminishing resources managed ineptly by dysfunctional bureaucracies that do NOT place what's best for kids above all.
Back in the mid-Nineties, devious right-wing activists at the Bradley Foundation, in Milwaukee, hit upon a “wedge” issue designed to wreck the alliance at the core of the Democratic Party’s urban base. Blacks and public employee unions – particularly teachers – were the foundations of Democratic power in the cities. Aware that African Americans revered education but were often in conflict with largely white teachers unions over issues of racism and community control, the Bradley gang, under president Michael Joyce, created out of whole cloth a “movement” for publicly-funded vouchers for private schools. No such Black community “demand” had ever existed, but well-aimed infusions of millions of dollars among opportunistic politicians like Cory Booker, a first term city councilman who aspired to become mayor of Newark, New Jersey, grafted Black faces onto a Hard Right corporate scheme to divide key progressive constituencies: Blacks and unions.
By the turn of the millennium, the Bradley outfit solidified its position as George W. Bush’s “favorite” foundation when it invented “faith-based initiatives” to funnel millions of public dollars to churches to provide social services. Faith-based funding and private school vouchers comprised the totality of Bush’s first term outreach to Black America. Neither program drew masses of Blacks into the Republican Party – even the wealthy social engineers at Bradley can’t perform miracles. But Bradley and its far-right sister funders – the Walton and DeVos Family Foundations, Olin, Scaife, Freidman and other troglodytes – had succeeded in penetrating Black Democratic politics, where the real action would unfold. Cory Booker, Harold Ford, Jr., the 29-year-old who inherited his father’s congressional seat in Memphis, in 1996, and other hustlers were the “new Black leaders” ready to embrace “pro-business” solutions to inner city
problems, said corporate media boosters. The Democratic Leadership Council, the party’s corporate money bagmen, launched a frenzied, and quite effective, recruitment campaign among Black office-holders and aspirants.
“Cory Booker and other hustlers were the ‘new Black leaders’ ready to embrace “pro-business” solutions to inner city problems, said corporate media boosters.”
This is the national stage onto which Barack Obama stepped with his U.S. Senate campaign, in 2003-2004, as the very embodiment of the “new” Black politician, full of phrases like “public-private partnerships” and other codes for corporate penetration of the public sphere. By this time, the wealthy foundations were directing much of their money and attention to hawking charter schools as the cure for what ails education in the inner cities. Not that the Waltons and Friedmans and Scaifes give a damn about ghetto kids, but because they understood that Black parents were desperate for anything that might save their children, and would be receptive when fellow Blacks made the pitch. From its inception, the purpose of the project was to drive a wedge between teachers unions and Black constituencies. In addition to being unencumbered by sticky constitutional considerations, charter schools are technically public schools, and African Americans remain broadly committed to the concept of public education. Most importantly, from the rich man’s point of view, charter schools are the gateway to corporate access to the public education purse, a “market” worth hundreds of billions a year in which the public takes all the risk – a capitalist’s paradise!
The Hard Right foundations now had even bigger company as boosters of charter schools: the institutional weight of Wall Street, huge hedge funds, and individual billionaires, all out to make a financial killing, knock off teachers unions, and mold the world views of new generations. After more than a decade of corporate cultivation of ambitious “new Black leaders,” a large cadre of business-friendly African American politicians was in place – including, by 2008, in the highest place of all.
more . . . http://blackagendareport.com/content/how-c...
The day began with a rally at a local park overlooking the MO River.
There were lots of wonderful signs. This was my favorite:
There was a film crew from a Japanese TV network recording the events.
This is Bradley Manning's dad being interviewed by a local reporter. He had gone up to the base with the Japanese film crew early Sat morning and was detained for 45 minutes.
Code Pink being interviewed.
Cops were EVERYWHERE. This helicopter flew overhead about every 15 minutes all day long.
A group of activists who had been at Camp Casey with Cindy Sheehan gathered for a picture.
Leaving the park for the march to the base.
On the way we passed by a Sonic and the employees took pictures. One of them told us it was the first protest he had ever seen.
Approaching the base.
At the gate.
Across the street.
Counter protesters. Note the police protection. No cops ever joined our group or stood by us or walked with us. But they were there to protect the group across the street.
This was the strangest thing I saw all day. A guy dressed like a knight in armor was escorted up the street by cops and stood with the counter protesters. He had a sign on his shield that said FRY BRADLEY MANNING. The funny part is that in the 95 degree heat, he was the one who was going to fry.
Standing in front of the base.
A couple hundred in attendance. Cops everywhere. A helicopter has been following the rally all day. Started in a park and marched up to the base. Standing in front of the base now.
About 10 counter protesters across the street. Signs calling Manning a traitor. And a guy dressed like a knight - armor suit and all - with a sign that says 'Fry Bradley Manning'. He'll probably die of heat exhaustion. Idiot.
The DeVos Family: Meet the Super-Wealthy Right-Wingers Working With the Religious Right to Kill Public Education
By now you've surely heard of the Kochs. Meanwhile, the powerful, wealthy DeVos family has remained largely under the radar, while leading a stealth assault on America's schools.
May 6, 2011
Since the 2010 elections, voucher bills have popped up in legislatures around the nation. From Pennsylvania to Indiana to Florida, state governments across the country have introduced bills that would take money from public schools and use it to send students to private and religious institutions.
Vouchers have always been a staple of the right-wing agenda. Like previous efforts, this most recent push for vouchers is led by a network of conservative think tanks, PACs, Religious Right groups and wealthy conservative donors. But "school choice," as they euphemistically paint vouchers, is merely a means to an end. Their ultimate goal is the total elimination of our public education system.
The decades-long campaign to end public education is propelled by the super-wealthy, right-wing DeVos family. Betsy Prince DeVos is the sister of Erik Prince, founder of the notorious private military contractor Blackwater USA (now Xe), and wife of Dick DeVos, son of the co-founder of Amway, the multi-tiered home products business.
By now, you've surely heard of the Koch brothers, whose behind-the-scenes financing of right-wing causes has been widely documented in the past year. The DeVoses have remained largely under the radar, despite the fact that their stealth assault on America's schools has the potential to do away with public education as we know it.
It was wonderful. About 1000-1500 there supporting workers and 3 teabags. Very cold but the crowd was enthusiastic. We heard from wonderful musicians, labor leaders and several elected officials. And of course, the signs were great! In the Koch's home state!
First the teabags. Loved this first sign. Look closely at the last word. Looks like he changed his mind about spelling? LOL
KS House Democratic leader Paul Davis. He's a member of AFT
I went to get my haircut and they were very busy so I had to wait quite awhile. While I was waiting my phone rang and it was the robo caller telling me we are back at school tomorrow - we've been out for 3 days due to the blizzard. There was a young man about 30 years old also waiting for a haircut. When I hung up my phone, I told my son who was also there that I had to go back to school tomorrow. The young man said to me "Oh are you a teacher?"
My first reaction was oh no, this guy's going to say something nasty about education or teachers and I am just not in the mood. So I said yes and then made some lame comment about the weather. Turns out this young man had just moved here from the south and was trying to get used to a midwestern winter. So we talked about that for a few minutes and then he asked me what I teach. So I told him I was a sped teacher and he asked what grades and I told him. And I was still just not wanting to have this conversation.
Then he tells me when he was 8 years old, he was diagnosed with ADD. And I'm still having negative thoughts - so I gear up getting ready for the mean 3rd grade teacher story. And he asks me if I have ever taught kids with ADD and I say yes, quite a few in fact. He tells me he just hated school, especially elementary school. He doesn't remember much but he just couldn't sit still and was very unhappy. But about the same time he was diagnosed ADD, he started going down the hall for an hour a day to Mrs Simpson's class. And he said he thinks she was a sped teacher, like me. And his face just beamed while he was telling me how much he loved Mrs Simpson. He couldn't remember the names of any of his other elementary teachers or most of his high school teachers but he will never forget Mrs Simpson.
And then he says "You teachers are getting beat up bad these days, aren't you?" And I said yes we are. He said that every time he hears anyone criticize a teacher, he remembers Mrs Simpson and how much he loved her.
And I start to cry.
Then he feels bad. And I feel bad too. Plus I'm embarrassed.
So he asks me if I think Mrs Simpson would mind if he tried to call her. I said oh of course not, call her, she'd probably be thrilled to hear from you. He says he doesn't even know if she is still teaching but he wonders if he calls the school if they will put him in touch with her. And I say yes they can probably do that. And I tell him that one of my former students recently found me on Facebook and I loved hearing from him. So he said he would look for her on Facebook.
Then we chatted for a few minutes about what he does for a living and how it's still hard to sit still but he remembers to get up and walk around for a few minutes like Mrs Simpson taught him to do in the 3rd grade. He says he can't imagine that all of these people who criticize schools and teachers never had even one teacher they loved as much as he loved Mrs Simpson. Or one who taught them as much as she had taught him. And he wonders why people don't remember that one teacher they loved before they open their mouths and start trashing teachers.
And then they called him for his haircut and he asked if he could shake my hand.
And I cried again.
He was a Catholic priest. And the most liberal person I have ever known. He helped write Head Start law and was active in implementing early Head Start programs here in Kansas back in the 60s.
There was never a Thanksgiving dinner during my childhood when he didn’t come walking in with a guest. Sometimes it was another priest and sometimes one of his parishioners with nowhere to go on Thanksgiving. He said the holiday was meant to be shared. And he never called my grandmother to tell her he was bringing a guest. She just always set an extra place, knowing he would invite someone.
He was the first member of that generation I knew who admitted the Vietnam War was wrong. My dad was the second, after a Thanksgiving afternoon spent discussing The Pentagon Papers with my uncle. When my sister and I joined the local anti-war movement, my uncle congratulated us at a family mass.
In the 1960s, he grew his hair long - a radical move for a priest in the midwest. He began referring to God as “She” when he said mass. He was assigned to a rural parish where he set up a community garden and gave away everything he grew. He also raised chickens and kept honey bees.
In the 1970s, his bishop transferred him to a new parish and my uncle’s parishioners went nuts. They demanded he be allowed to stay. When the bishop refused, my uncle quit the diocese and moved to the Maryland shore, where he lived in a house with no electricity or running water. He got together with other exiled priests and formed an organization called Priests for Equality. Their goal was to convince the Catholic Church to ordain women. They also promoted the ERA, equal rights for homosexuals and the removal of the US from Central America. I believe PFE still regularly attends School of America protests every November in Georgia.
PFE also rewrote the New Testament using inclusive language. http://www.amazon.com/Inclusive-New-Testam...
About 5 years ago, my cousins went to visit my uncle and found him in such poor health they brought him home. He was diagnosed with Alzheimers and has been in a nursing home since. One of the last conversations I had with him was about the war on Iraq and how wrong it was.
We’ve lost a great American.
Posted by proud2BlibKansan in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Wed Nov 17th 2010, 09:39 PM
When a child named Curtis Bowen was slapped by his teacher at Martin Luther King Jr., Elementary School, no one really heard about it. Except for President Obama, Vice President Biden, their wives, three senators, and more than 20 other officials.
They all were CC'ed on the whopping 40-page letter that Curtis' mother, Lisa Henry Bowen, sent to school district superintendent John Covington. In it, Bowen makes mind-boggling demands for reparations. One recipient called the letter "one of the craziest things I've ever seen" and leaked it to the Internet. And Lisa Henry Bowen even created her own web site for the occasion: www.CurtisGotSlapped.com .
Lisa Henry Bowen, who copyrights her name and her son's name throughout the letter, kicks it off by identifying herself as the "intellectual property owner" of fourth grader Curtis Bowen (C). She alleges that Curtis was caught horse playing and was slapped by a teacher named Ms. Curry. Lisa Henry tried to report the teacher to social services for child abuse, but was denied as Curtis' skin wasn't broken.
That sent Lisa Henry into a spiral of outrage. She calls Ms. Curry "one audacious white bitch with 'balls'", and then conducts some informal gonad comparisons. "I happen to have some big 'balls' too. And I ain't afraid to use them." (All emphasis hers, throughout.)
more . . . http://blogs.pitch.com/plog/2010/11/curtis...
Some of her demands:
A trip to Disneyworld for Curtis and his classmates
A personal audience with President Obama
$13,500 worth of WalMart gift cards
A job ("Independent consulting contract position with the Kansas City Missouri School district, for the next nine years. My consulting fee begins at $15,000 per month, minimum 6 months contract.")
I am in no way condoning what this teacher did. But this list of demands is coming from a parent who obviously has a few 'issues'.
This is one of the most bizarre things I have seen in a long time.
Posted by proud2BlibKansan in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Oct 30th 2010, 02:36 PM
How very interesting. The tea party planned a rally in a local park today from noon to 2. Meanwhile a local group planned a Rally to Restore Sanity in the SAME PARK. I got both emails last night. I had already committed to canvass today so I got up and out early and was finished in time to get to the competing rallies.
And on the good news front, the Carnahan office was PACKED. Literally standing room only, so many canvassers they had to run back to back training sessions.
First thing I saw when I pulled up to the park was a cop. Then another cop. Both had lights flashing and pulled up on the grass. Didn't look good. I saw a lady walk up to them so I rolled down my window in time to hear her tell them she had called. Traffic then moved and I couldn't hear what else she said.
Found out later this was the woman who had organized the Sanity rally and she had actually paid for a permit. She was asking the cops to tell the tea partiers to leave since they had no permit. She was also collecting donations to recoup her $100 and was giving any extra funds to the local food pantry.
The cops were just standing there talking to leaders of both groups. Didn't look like they were going to force anyone to leave but I set about counting the participants on each side before there was a mass exit. It was easy because the tea party folks were gathered in a small (very small) circle off to the side listening to candidates. There were exactly 15 of them. I am including their speaker. The lady who was speaking was hard to hear because the Sanity rally folks were so loud (they were singing) but she was saying she had never run for office before. And I'm thinking well that's obvious because if you knew what you were doing, you would be out knocking on doors today instead of standing here talking to 15 people who probably can't vote for YOU anyway since they don't live in your district.
Then this nicely dressed African American man came up to me and introduced himself. He said he was there because he was tired of hearing there were no black people at tea party events. I said "Well congratulations, I've been to a lot of tea party events here and you are the very first person of color I have ever seen in attendance." He walked away. I couldn't tell if he heard what I said. It was pretty loud.
Then I walked over to the Sanity rally group. I tried counting and stopped at 100. So my unofficial report is
Tea Party = 15
Sanity Rally = 100+
My friend was there serenading the Sanity rally.
Lots of great signs.
Posted by proud2BlibKansan in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Oct 04th 2010, 09:41 PM
I tried to find some that I hadn't seen posted. There are also a few that are just so good they need to be reposted. I know there are a lot here but it was such a wonderful day.
I took mainly pictures of signs. And with one exception, they are all spelled correctly. That's something! LOL
First the one sign I saw all day that was spelled wrong. Still wondering if this is a republican or just a crazy person. Oops, those would be one and the same, eh?
The other side of his sign:
Lots of other interesting signs:
This guy was fascinating. When we walked by him, he was having a very heated argument with several people. Not sure what it was all about. There were cops standing close by watching him. I felt sorry for him. Lots of anger in these signs.
On the back of his sign:
I met this woman at Camp Casey 5 years ago. So sad to see her again but I so admire what she does.
Hard to know what to say to this.
During the National Anthem.
This gets my vote for best sign of the day.
And lots of great t-shirts
I'm a proud member of NOW so I couldn't resist this picture.
Nashville in the house!
This group came marching down the sidewalk chanting. Nothing beats a good union march.
I took this to show the bizarre fencing they had all over the grounds. They had areas set up and several spaces were fenced off so no one could hang out there. Too odd. Never did figure it out.
Not from the rally, but just loved this sign in a restaurant. BTW, their fried fish was fantastic! My son saw this place featured on the Food Channel so we decided to check it out. Yummy!
And another not from the rally. This sign is on the FBI building. A prize to the first one who can identify this DUer.
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