Buying Endorsements: Rep. Huizenga and Betsy DeVos | Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

By Jeff Smith

On Thursday, Michigan Republican Congressman from the 2nd District, Bill Huizenga stated on the House floor that he endorsed Betsy DeVos as Donal Trump’s choice for Secretary of Education. MLive reported on Friday that Huizenga was endorsing DeVos.

The MLive story has the GOP Congressman as saying that DeVos was, “passionate and dedicated servant with a big heart for kids” who has made it her life’s mission to ensure access to education for all children.

However, there was no concrete evidence provided by Huizenga to support such a statement and MLive didn’t bother to verify the claim either.That Huizenga endorses Betsy DeVos as Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education is in no way a surprise.

You can see in the graph below that over Huizenga’s career as the 2nd Congressional Representative, he has received more money from DeVos Family-owned entities (Amway & Windquest Group) than any other source as a candidate, at a total of $128,200.

Read more of this post here: Buying Endorsements: Rep. Huizenga and Betsy DeVos | Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

“Beyond Vietnam.” April 4, 1967, New York City.

Mike The Gun Guy™

mlk

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, I need not pause to say how very delighted I am to be here tonight, and how very delighted I am to see you expressing your concern about the issues that will be discussed tonight by turning out in such large numbers. I also want to say that I consider it a great honor to share this program with Dr. Bennett, Dr. Commager, and Rabbi Heschel, some of the most distinguished leaders and personalities of our nation. And of course it’s always good to come back to Riverside Church. Over the last eight years, I have had the privilege of preaching here almost every year in that period, and it’s always a rich and rewarding experience to come to this great church and this great pulpit.

I come to this great magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I…

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Mercedes Schneider Searches for Betsy DeVos’s Writings

Mercedes Schneider Searches for Betsy DeVos’s Writings
by dianeravitch
Mercedes Schneider has inexhaustible patience as a researcher. She tried to locate the “publications” that Betsy DeVos submitted to the Senate committee reviewing her qualifications. Some were letters to the editor. Some were press releases (did she write them?). Some were unavailable. Some were about her. It is not clear whether she or an aide wrote the opinion columns attributed to her.

A scholar she is not. A lobbyist is what she is, with a narrow and unlovely perspective on education.

Most of them reflect De Vos’ preference for any type of schooling except public schools. She doesn’t like them. There is no evidence that she ever sullied her shoes by stepping into one.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Mercedes Schneider has inexhaustible patience as a researcher. She tried to locate the “publications” that Betsy DeVos submitted to the Senate committee reviewing her qualifications. Some were letters to the editor. Some were press releases (did she write them?). Some were unavailable. Some were about her. It is not clear whether she or an aide wrote the opinion columns attributed to her.

A scholar she is not. A lobbyist is what she is, with a narrow and unlovely perspective on education.

Most of them reflect De Vos’ preference for any type of schooling except public schools. She doesn’t like them. There is no evidence that she ever sullied her shoes by stepping into one.

View original post

Save Martin Luther King from Obsolescence | BustED Pencils

Save Martin Luther King from Obsolescence

by Rebel Teacher

The Real King

Image and ownership of image are a trip. Especially on Martin Luther

King Day. What is Dr. King’s image, vs. what he really represented in his life. If we are to believe the dominant institutions, we may think that his main contribution was reconciling with white people or turning the other cheek. Local communities organize a day of service in his name. I want to remember a different King. Not the sanitized, ‘Santa Claused’, market driven version of Martin Luther King. Martin told us that an unjust law is no law at all, he criticized our system as approaching spiritual death for spending more money on war than uplifting the people, he spoke against imperialism and white supremacy, even connected our struggle here at home to the world struggle. Martin fought for justice, he gave the greatest sacrifice one could give for the movement and sacrificed every day until he was cut down prematurely.

King was no chump. He stood on his principles like no one else i know of. He went to jail, he was stabbed in the chest, his home was blown up, he was slandered in the public and he never budged and it killed him in the end. What sacrifice, what courage. What a savage American government that murdered him. If King’s death teaches us anything, it is that this system has no regard for freedom, justice or equality. We are appealing to a system for justice and freedom that waged a war on freedom fighters. We cannot appeal to a system for justice if it is diametrically opposed to it at its very core.

The Laundering of King’s Image

I never once heard King advise people to plant gardens or pick up trash. Those things are great, but to honor Martin Luther King with a day of such a day of service is laughable. King went up against the system, he advocated civil disobedience, non cooperation even when facing the cops. He even recognized that he could not condemn the rebellions in the ghettos of America without first condemning the violence of the American government, who he called “the greatest purveyors of violence on the earth”.  They want to water his image down to where it means nothing. We have to reclaim his image and portray him as the lion he is. He wouldn’t be asking us to clean up or to provide free labor. He would be more likely to ask us to organize and fight for justice.

School children recite his words, but why do they never learn anything he wrote after 1965? Why do they not read “Beyond Vietnam” where King eviscerates the actions of this system at home and abroad, or his criticism of capitalism and materialism. Students are only allowed carefully picked excerpts from the ‘63, March on Washington, which is a piece of poetry as well as a call to action and maybe “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in high school.

These place King squarely in the civil rights box. He was bigger than that. He challenged the legitimacy of America’s foreign policy, economic system and fundamental values. Thanks to people like Dr. King, we have evolved to the point where we can all agree that basic civil rights should be accorded to all people. However, questions of war and peace, criticism of capitalism, and condemnation of America’s values as a nation are not so neatly agreed upon. A national figure like King calling them into question may influence students to ponder those questions themselves. They can’t give us the real King, he is too inspiring, too willing to put it all on the line again and again, too willing to face death, too unwilling to quit.

America vs. King

Students know Martin, not as a rebel, but as a cartoonish, smiling Santa Claus like figure that made some speeches and convinced white people to free black people. They know nothing of his more radical analyses or the danger he looked in the face until it ultimately claimed his life. They are unaware of the lengths the FBI went to track and discredit him or even how much of the youth and the media who once adored him, turned on him in his last days.

Let us not forget that it was this system that killed Dr. King. The US government was implicated as being involved in his murder in a civil trial in 1999. The King family does not even believe that James Earl Ray was guilty of killing Martin Luther King. His murder was part of a larger plan to dismantle the movement and stop its fractured parts from coalescing under the leadership of a “Black Messiah”. For a time, King was considered to be the most dangerous man in America, that possible messiah. This places American democracy as an institution squarely antithetical to Dr. Martin Luther King and what he represented.

If King is the dreamer, America is the dream killer. King was no fulfillment or representative of American Values, he was an opponent of them and every effort to wrap Martin Luther King in red, white and blue is a lie. Every attempt to water him down to four words, “I have a dream” or  pretending to honor him by divorcing him from the very principles he stood for, a blatant hypocrisy. Though he fits right in the pantheon of American dissent, he belongs to the people, even when we overlooked his contributions and we must fight to keep him from being coopted by his enemies.

Source: Save Martin Luther King from Obsolescence | BustED Pencils

Samuel Abrams, Expert on School Privatization, Condemns Business Strategy of Betsy DeVos

osted on January 13, 2017 by janresseger
President-elect Donald Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos are all devotees of the privatization of public education. That’s the reason it is so fascinating to read Samuel Abrams’ analysis of their ideas about federal education policy. Samuel Abrams is the director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. And just last year he published Education and the Commercial Mindset, a book about the failure of Edison Schools and the challenges faced by KIPP along with some other charter school networks.
Read more of this post: https://janresseger.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/expert-on-effects-of-school-privatization-condemns-the-ideas-of-betsy-devos/

janresseger

President-elect Donald Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos are all devotees of the privatization of public education. That’s the reason it is so fascinating to read Samuel Abrams’ analysis of their ideas about federal education policy.  Samuel Abrams is the director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. And just last year he published Education and the Commercial Mindset, a book about the failure of Edison Schools and the challenges faced by KIPP along with some other charter school networks.

Abrams is not an ideologue and in the book as he concludes his in-depth examination of KIPP schools, he doesn’t reject the idea of charter schools out of hand—nor, unlike many other critics, does he reject the punitive, behavior-modification discipline that dominates many of these schools. But he cautions there are no…

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Why We Need Independent Media

Why We Need Independent Media
by seattleducation2010
Posted with permission from TurningPointNews.org. About the author: Elizabeth Hanson M. Ed. Is a college instructor from Seattle Washington and co-founder of turningpointnews.org . She is also a co-author of the book, “Weapons of Mass Deception, The War against our public schools.” https://weaponsofmassdeception.org/ Elizabeth can be reached at ehansonwa@gmail.com In this article I compare the headlines […]

Read more of this post …
https://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/why-we-need-independent-media/

Seattle Education

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Posted with permission from TurningPointNews.org.

About the author:
Elizabeth Hanson M. Ed. Is a college instructor from Seattle Washington and co-founder of turningpointnews.org. She is also a co-author of the book, “Weapons of Mass Deception, The War against our public schools.” https://weaponsofmassdeception.org/

Elizabeth can be reached at ehansonwa@gmail.com

who-controls-the-past

In this article I compare the headlines of mainstream news to the headlines of independent news as an example of why we need independent news. I also give suggestions on how to ascertain the truth when reading news articles on the Internet.

In November of 2016, the Washington Post published a blacklist of 200 websites which they deem as promoting Russian propaganda and thus dangerous to U.S. consumers of news. It was published by a group called “Prop or Not”.

Here’s the link to the Prop or Not list –http://www.propornot.com/p/home.html

The Washington Post has many excellent reporters and has published some…

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Friday Fun – What’s your starting point?

Live to Write - Write to Live

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

QUESTION: 

If you don’t daydream and kind of plan things out in your imagination, you never get there. So you have to start somewhere.

Robert Duvall

We’ve talked about goals for the coming year and the importance of breaking them down into steps and discrete actions – what is the starting point of your writing goal this year?

***

wendy-shotWendy Thomas  – I’ve polished up my manuscript and my query and I’m working my way through the Guide to Literary Agents 2017. My starting point is to send out at least 5 queries a week until I’ve either gotten a nibble or run out of agents’ names (at which point I will revise and…

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Sunday morning coming down.

On CNN, David Axelrod, Barack Obama’s former campaign manager, said he was “not comfortable” with Lewis’ words, making an argument that echoed Rubio’s. “The greatest triumph for Russia would be to legitimate their charges about our democracy,” he said. “I worry about our institutions. I worry that we’re in this mad cycle of destruction. I understand the outrage. But where is this all going?”

This is a legitimate fear: Nobody knows where this is all going. Democrats particularly are in a difficult position, because they want to uphold basic political norms, but doing so alone, while the other side shamelessly flouts them, puts them at a constant disadvantage. The peaceful transition of power is a cherished value of our democracy. But it’s not the only value, or the highest one. It should not require us to sleepwalk into authoritarianism. If the price for preserving our democracy is pretending that our would-be god-king-emperor has clothes, then it’s already rotted beyond repair. Michelle Goldberg, Slate

READ MORE OF THIS POST… https://preaprez.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/sunday-morning-coming-down/

Fred Klonsky

Other Democrats as well as anti-Trump Republicans are reluctant to acknowledge the scale of our crisis, because our institutions may not be strong enough to cope with it.

On CNN, David Axelrod, Barack Obama’s former campaign manager, said he was “not comfortable” with Lewis’ words, making an argument that echoed Rubio’s. “The greatest triumph for Russia would be to legitimate their charges about our democracy,” he said. “I worry about our institutions. I worry that we’re in this mad cycle of destruction. I understand the outrage. But where is this all going?”

This is a legitimate fear: Nobody knows where this is all going. Democrats particularly are in a difficult position, because they want to uphold basic political norms, but doing so alone, while the other side shamelessly flouts them, puts them at a constant disadvantage. The peaceful transition of power is a cherished value of our democracy. But it’s…

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