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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

June 1, 2008


Them Kids Need Learnin'

"The deplorable status of preparation for our children, particularly in comparison with the rest of the industrialized world, does not allow us the luxury of eliminating options in our educational repertoire. John McCain will fight for the ability of all students to have access to all schools of demonstrated excellence, including their own homes."
-From the "Education" link on JohnMcCain.com

Just like the Republicans have done beginning with Ronald Reagan, John McCain's answer to education is to blame the parents, the children and the schools for failing our children. But that's not really the case, is it? Much in the same way former Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate John Edwards informed us of the "two Americas", there are also two Americas as they relate to our education systems, as well.

In a time when class size is increasing and teachers are forced to teach to a standardized test without the resources to prepare the students for that testing, John McCain wants to put more "choices" into our education system. That's GOP code for taking money from public education and putting it into the pockets of private schools. And those schools will still be too expensive for those who live where real education reform is truly needed.

It was once joked that if President Ronald Reagan had his way, all of the students in New York City would be put into Shea Stadium for their daily lessons with one teacher standing on second base with a blackboard, chalk and a pointer. McCain appears to not be far off.

School vouchers will, no doubt, be a part of the McCain plan for our students. This will allow the already rich an additional tax break at the expense of the American middle class. Those who choose to send their children to private school certainly have the right to do so, but they should do so at their own expense, not at the expense of the children who, even with the institution of vouchers, will not be able to attend the "better" schools.

If truth be told, the Republicans would prefer to have all schools privatized and subsidized with our middle class taxpayer dollars. The plan would probably go something like this: Vouchers issued would be just enough to have poorer children attend crowded, less equipped schools while those in the more wealthy suburbs would pay a little extra to send their children to better schools. The only difference from today to McCain-McBush's tomorrow will be the profit that these new private education companies would reap while the schools and the student suffer in their inadequate surroundings. There can be no doubt that the good teachers will opt-out of the urban schools, where they are really needed, and opt-in for the better suburban schools.

But the real gist of the McCain website's education section is the focus on the school systems' failures rather than the lack of support given to them by the federal government. McCain-McBush is more interested in his new "base of haves and have mores" profit than the well-being of the middle and poorer classes. Nowhere is there any mention of the inequality which exists between the children of those "haves and have mores" and the children of the middle- and poorer-classes because, in the world of the elitist Senator from Arizona, equality is in the eye of the beholder.

And it's short-sighted.

As the party of the pachyderm seems to believe, it's out of sight and out of mind.

After reading McCain's education proposal, which is no more than rhetoric and blame pointed directly at us, the middle class, and the education system, I decided to view Senator Obama's website. Believe it or not, there were actual proposals printed right there on the page. They included the necessity which McCain and the GOP ignore. For example, there is actually a plan about what to do about poorer children who don't live in McCain's perfect world.

Obama's site talked about what to do with students who have no place top go after school; have not had a nutritious breakfast to begin their day; zero-to-five education, which so many in the upper classes take advantage of but the poorer classes cannot; and believe it or not, teachers, a group all but ignored by McCain, other than to place blame upon.

Not to be left out, I also checked Senator Hillary Clinton's "In Our schools" section. Like Obama's site, she too had real proposals to fix our ailing education system.

And what was missing from both Democratic candidate's sites were more taxpayer money going to McCain-McBush's "base of haves and have mores" in the guise of education reform.

There is a choice to be made this November, and on every front, McCain-McBush is just term number three for the administration of Diminished Responsibility.

-Noah Greenberg

Pat Thompson Replies to...

"Perhaps we should look back into nazi Germany for the answers Or am I being too cruel?"

You are so right. It's a very apt comparison. Funny that they turn that era around and talk about "Chamberlain being weak and appeasing the Nazi regime" when they accuse people who want to talk to Iran, etc. of appeasement. Of course the current cute little Press Propagandist had no answer when asked just what that meant and what appeasement was being cited.

"against Democratic stepping-stool John Kerry,"
We Democrats don't eat our young, we just vilify our past candidates who didn't win. John Kerry is a very honorable man, and if his actual background story ever got any press coverage, and if there were no "dirty tricks" in Ohio and other black box voting states, and if the American people were not so fearful of terrorists and anyone who is "different" (doesn't bode well for Obama, now does it?) he would be our President right now. Can anyone say President McCain??? Get used to it.

"You'd better hope Hillary decides to leave gracefully or this could turn into some interesting fireworks."

Oh sure, Hillary has been told since January to leave gracefully. While she racks up 70 to 30% wins in states recently like West Virginia and Kentucky, and has won Ohio, California, New York, , Pennsylvania -- the big states. What good is winning Wyoming or Idaho, South Carolina, etc. or other securely Red states with few Democrats? I have no confidence that Obama can win in November. And concerning fireworks, almost 50% of the votes have gone to Hillary. Don't think for a moment that women who support Hillary can't make as much noise as the +90% of blacks who support Obama. That is reverse racism. And the tone and words used against Hillary have been such overt sexism. The issues facing this country are many, varied and extremely complex. Someone with 2 years in the Senate before he started running for President -- well, that is the same mentality that gives us more people voting for American Idol than for President. We need someone with the experience of a Joe Biden, or Chris Dodd. And Hillary had one six year term completed before she ran, and had spent 8 years as an advisor and confidant of the President. Not to mention the many years she spent working for family and children's rights, health care, etc. Chris Matthews tells people that ":the Clintons" are evil, in his tone dripping with sarcasm, and the people go along like sheep. We had a pretty good 8 years with the Clintons, his penchant for interns notwithstanding. No one has any idea what kind of administration Obama would have. He certainly has an experienced organization behind him, and his backers are adept at grabbing power. He is no different than any other politician. I'm tired of hearing that Hillary would do anything to win. He doesn't want to win??? He isn't a politician?? He's going to change the tone in Washington? How? Will he put tape over their mouths and make them sit in the corner? I don't even want to watch the comedown when they start to take him apart. and I am a political junkie. Or how disappointed everyone may be when the Right wing dirty tricks department gets moving, and the majority of stupid, stupid Americans vote for McCain. After 2000 and 2004, I can't even get too excited about this election.

"John Kerry lost in 2004 because he ran one of the worst campaigns in American history. His out-of-touch arrogance was distasteful to Democrats and Republicans alike, just as Barack Obama's is beginning to be to at least half of Democrats."

In case you may have forgotten, Kerry was leading in the polls, and in the exit polls. He was not distasteful to half the American electorate, and would have won if the Republicans hadn't done what they did in Ohio. Have you forgotten the hacking into the black box voting machines? And why do exit polls work in other countries but not here any more? And the Republicans will do it again. The media will go right along with "Swiftboating". The awful truth is that most Americans have no time to actually delve into the candidate's background or learn about the issues. Kerry was not a wealthy elite, who went to private schools in Europe. His father was a low level diplomat, posted in Europe, and his kids had to go to school there. After his return from Vietnam, he worked hard to end that war. There was a point when he had no home in Washington, while he served in the Senate. He was sleeping on friend's couches, as his income only allowed for a home in his home state of Massachusetts and providing for his daughters. Obama has a million dollar income and a million dollar plus home due to book sales. Just like to point out that when Robert Kennedy was shot on June 5 just after winning the California primary, Obama was in first grade in Indonesia. The point was that campaigns have historically gone on into June. Accusing Hillary of suggesting that Obama might get assassinated was pure bullcrap, and Obama "change the tone" allowed that to go on.

"He can start with voters like me--informed, dedicated, well-educated, passionate supporters of Hillary Clinton. Because if Obama is the nominee, I will be switching affiliation to the Green Party and campaigning for Cynthia McKinney for president."

That is something that a lifelong Democrat -- me -- might be doing as well. I voted for the first time for Hubert Humphrey in 1968 -- while holding my nose, and got Nixon as my president. After my candidate Robert Kennedy was shot to death. The Democratic Party can really pick the right candidate!

"In the rush to judgment in the most media driven election in my lifetime, the very same people who are now saying Clinton should run as an independent--the right wing pundits--are the very same people who promoted Barack Obama to get Hillary out of the race."

The big news organizations, such as MSNBC, owned by GE, who also owns war manufacturers, wants to continue this war for profit. And they shamelessly promoted Obama to lemming-like Americans. The women of this country who back Hillary have been insulted so continuously during this campaign, that many won't vote at all, or will vote for McCain or the Green Party candidate. Obama is a currently chic brand, that the educated elite think they are so cool to be for. And us "older women", and uneducated blue collar low income workers, as Hillary supporters are called, have somehow contributed millions of dollars to her campaign. That so-called demographic -- the poor, dumb, older women is surely something no one in their right mind would want to join. Who thought that one up?

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-Noah Greenberg