Voices Raised

Here’s coverage of the worldwide March Against Monsanto.  Common Dreams. Twitter March Against Monsanto.

On the twitter account is a tweet from Brian Dunning (infactvideo.com/episode/03/01/) whom has put up his own video on how great GMO is…and how we’re just poor, confused individuals who just…don’t…understand…science and how good it is for you.  The video is condescending, to say the least.  It also ignores the problems that GMO food creates not only for humans, but for the animals, as well.  It does not explore the problems of inflammation that GMO food creates in the body, especially for Celiac’s.  It does not discuss the lack of a gene that creates an enzyme that can digest the GM organism.  Our bodies have specific enzymes created to absorb nutrients from food…this video blatantly ignores that.

It also ignores that Bt corn has an effect not only undesirable caterpillars, but also on butterflies, which emerge from caterpillars.  As I noted in previous blogs about last August, when willy worms should be crawling all over the place…I saw only a few while driving country roads.  And not only that, but the bug population has also dwindled, as I had only one bug hit my windshield as I drove.  Normally, it would be plastered with them and I would be grumbling about having to clean the windshield….

Note the irrelevant question he keeps asking–that a person shouldn’t ask if GMO is good or bad and comparing that to typewriters and computers.  It’s condescending  and it’s a bait and switch communication technique…ask questions that lead the viewer away from the real questions…such as is this garbage harming me, the animals, and the ability to keep heirloom seeds free from modification via pollen from GM crops?? Note that he again using a condescending tone when making the blanket statement “they don’t know what they’re talking about…”  Asking if a book is good or bad is an opinion of the reader…which is irrelevant when talking about food–the reactions caused by GM are not opinions–they are direct reactions to the inability to digest a food due to a lack of a gene for such digestion.  We cannot digest when we don’t have the correct genetic makeup to do so.

(Note that he and his brother were indicted on wire fraud charges. And apparently plead guilty.  Yeah, not exactly an ethical person.  Can you say Big Pharma toadie?  I knew that you could.)

 

 

Ten Things Charter Schools Won’t Tell You; and the Modern Day Witch Hunt

(**edited to fix  links. Oops.)

Diane Ravitch has a link up to this piece on the dirty little secrets of charter schools.  Everything that parents want in education is not in these schools.  They’re all fluff and no substance.  They’re not there to educate, but to collect funds. (it is so arrogant to think that you don’t have to be audited…you’re using the public funds for your endeavor–you better have your books open to the public. Gah…where have we heard this before?  IRS, anyone?)

They dump the learning disabled and behavioral cases.

I also clicked on the link to the “Ten Things Your School District Won’t Tell You” and have a few quibbles with the writer.  One is the licensing thing–Indiana has required licenses from teachers and not only that, but that they further their education into Master’s degrees–at least they used to.  I can’t say whether that is still true–I haven’t checked it lately…and with Governor Daniels’ assault on the public education in Indiana, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if that standard has lapsed. )

Another thing I have a quibble with is the student-teacher ratio.  People want to have smaller class size?  Then you better be prepared to spend more in tax dollars towards the amount of teachers in the school.  But no…we can’t spend tax money on schools…we need to spend it on the military industrial complex because of a boogey-man enemy….meanwhile, our society crumbles all around…

~~~~~~

Ravitch also has another blog up with this link to the continuing meanness of the Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley,. whom uttered the line:  “Only the little people pay taxes….”

(gotta love the snarky style of the writer…heh.)

~~~~~~~~

Courage and ethics.

…something tells me that you won’t see this with Charter school teachers. Nope.  Nor would I think they would lay down their lives for their students, as we saw with the Oklahoma tornado.  I’m sure there will be exceptions to the rule, but as a general application…I just don’t see that kind of caring about the kids.  It’s hard to care about something when you’re looking at it with $$ in your eyes….

speaking of which.

Incredible.  Just incredible.  The game is on, folks.  Be aware of anything that plays on your emotions…as these opportunists are doing…look how they have tried to using anger, outrage, and the ever effective “don’t be a dummy and let them get away with whatever it is WE say they’re doing”  and the “us versus them” divisional tactics.

~~~~~~~

And now we have the modern day “witch hunt” where it only takes a few disgruntled people to start a whispering campaign, or in this case, a petition drive, to disparage and ultimately permanently damage someone. (from Ravitch’s blog here.) (and the fact that it is once again a woman who is the target speaks volumes.)

I can’t get past this:

Parent leader Llury Garcia said that although her second-grade daughter has done fairly well at Weigand, Cobian was inaccessible and rude. She and other petition backers were assisted by Parent Revolution, a Los Angeles nonprofit that lobbied for the parent trigger law and is aiding overhaul efforts at several other Los Angeles campuses.

~~~~~~~~~~

…although her second-grade daughter has done fairly well at Weigard….mindboggling—just mindboggling….that this parent would start a drive to oust her because she wasn’t “accessible” and perhaps was curt with her.  No telling what Garcia did that would warrant a crisp reply.  It says more about Garcia than about Cobian, as you read that Cobian was very accessible to the kids and frequently popped into the classrooms.  And the parent whose child had academic and behavioral issues…well, I don’t know the parent or the child personally, but what I do know is that the parent has to take responsibility towards the child’s education and is perhaps responsible for the behavioral issues (not always, as there are other factors in behavior, but the ultimate responsibility is the parents’. )  I mean, I have seen children come to school without breakfast!  And the parent expects the child to learn on an empty stomach?  Or worse, blame the teacher because the child can’t concentrate because they’re hungry…?!! (Or perhaps with this economy, the parent is poor and not able to provide a good nutritious breakfast…)

I have seen parents who don’t want to take responsibility…and expect the schools to be miracle workers.  They won’t put out the effort towards their own kids…

~~~~

…and then there is the subtext–I can’t help but wonder if Cobian is a liberal/progressive and Garcia is a conservative….just throwing that out there…

Is Rape now okay….?

Every time I think things can’t get any more disturbing…something comes along that makes my heart sink even lower….(and the great irony of all ironies is that as I’m reading this article, a pop up slides out and asks me to “like” them on the social media site they’re writing about…nope not going to—don’t have an account and won’t have an account…)

This is not acceptable. Not acceptable.  Not acceptable in any way.  This is, in my view, part of the problem with p_rn.  It desensitizes one towards sexual violence.   And we live in a culture that already thinks of women as second-class…but this is going down a level beneath the basement of one’s soul.

How dark one must be to not only rape a woman, but boast of it with graphic display. A total lack of empathy for physically and psychologically hurting another human being…

God help us.

 

My other blog on Steubenville here.

In India here.

Sexual assault in the military.

More on Rosen and the attack on investigative journalism

I missed this from Glenn Greenwald.  It’s more in-depth on the specifics…and what it means to investigative journalists.  In essence, it is criminalizing the act of journalism.

From the article:

Under US law, it is not illegal to publish classified information. That fact, along with the First Amendment’s guarantee of press freedoms, is what has prevented the US government from ever prosecuting journalists for reporting on what the US government does in secret. This newfound theory of the Obama DOJ – that a journalist can be guilty of crimes for “soliciting” the disclosure of classified information – is a means for circumventing those safeguards and criminalizing the act of investigative journalism itself.

~~~~~~~~~

Our democracy depends on being able to inform the citizens of their government’s actions, so that they can make informed decisions towards that government.  As Greenwald points out—the media was silent with Julian Assange…and only now are they starting to squawk now that AP has been caught up in the assault on the freedom of speech and the press…

 

Worldwide Monsanto Protest

There’s a worldwide protest against Monsanto this Saturday.  Info here. You’ll need to scroll down to find your spot in the U.S.

(hat tip to commondreams.org)

This is so inspiring….people are waking up to the monster of genetically modified organisms.