Don't petition the White House, Use

Don’t petition the White House, Use

Nov 18, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
Secessionists. I first want to say thank you for finally learning something from history. The last time so many desired to rid themselves of a tyrannical president they declared war on the Union. Thus, your use of a peaceful means through petitions on the White House’s site is commendable. Furthermore, each state now finds themselves represented by a petition and signatures from people possibly wanting to secede from the United States. Texas leads the way with more than 100,000 people asking the White House to address the issue. This is the same state governed by Rick Perry who drummed up his base of supporters with calls for seceding prior to his Republican bid for President. The irony seemed lost on him. Governor Perry is obviously not a viable option to lead the cause. He hardly put up a fight against a weak group seeking his party’s nomination. I also question...
The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The Country Moved to the Left Last Night

The whole campaign season did not just depend upon the presidential race that finally came to an end last night. Yes, the country voted clearly to give Barack Obama another four years in the White House. He received more than 50 percent of the vote and won handily in the electoral college. Yet, it is what happened down the ballot that shows the nation’s move toward progressive values. It appears that Democrats will pick up a couple seats in the lower chamber but the real change happened on the senatorial level. Voters said no way to Republicans Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock after they attempted to scapegoat women and downplay the trauma of rape and sexual abuse. Furthermore, women won in Massachusetts, North Dakota, Hawaii, and Wisconsin for their first terms. All four of them will be more progressive legislators than their predecessors. In Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin will be the...
Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Republicans, Rape, Life, and Control of Women

Oct 24, 2012 Aaron Krager No Comments
During last night’s Indiana Senate debate the Republican candidate, Richard Mourdock, did more than stick his foot in his mouth. I believe life begins at conception. The only exception I have for to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother. I struggled with myself for a long time but I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen. Mourdock joined a club made exclusively of Republicans but a club that seems to be growing as the November election nears. Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh made a reprehensible comment about exceptions for the life of the mother following his debate. “There is no such exception. With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance.” Complete crap as this woman explains. Of course who can forget Missouri...

Rhee Uses False Quotation to Demonize Teachers

Sep 13, 2012 Aaron Krager 3 Comments

“I will advocate for the kids when they have the money to bankroll my luxurious traveling and speaking schedule,” said Michelle Rhee at a recent meeting with her wealthy Wall Street investors.

Okay, admittedly that quote is made up and Rhee has never made that kind of statement (as far as I can tell). Unfortunately, she does not admit to using a quotation against teachers unions despite its fictional existence.

Rhee told to a group of people that former American Federation of Teachers President Al Shanker once said, “When children start paying teachers unions dues that’s when we will start protecting students.”

The new film “Won’t Back Down” uses the same quotation and paints a picture of corrupt teachers unions. One’s out for themselves and not caring about the students they educate day in and day out.

Here’s the problem. The quote is a complete fake. The Washington Post took down Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s use of the quote a few months ago.

We went to the Library of Congress to search for the alleged quote in the Congressional Record since the free online database only goes back to 1989. Shanker is not on record as making the statement any time between 1979 and 1986. If the union boss uttered those words in 1985, or even a few years before then, as the Meridian Star suggested, it didn’t happen at a congressional hearing.

Shanker did mention something slightly related on Aug. 1, 1985. Here he is talking about trying to weigh in as a union representative on the need for education reforms:

“Typically the school board said this: ‘You’re a union. We’ll be happy to talk with you about the salaries and working conditions teachers want. But we will not talk to you about anything that’s good for children, because you weren’t elected to represent the children. Professional issues are not subject to negotiation.’ ”

Shanker was expressing frustration with the notion that teacher and student interests don’t go hand-in-hand. It’s quite possible that union critics twisted his words 180 degrees to claim that he doesn’t care about the needs of schoolchildren.

Guess what? Teachers unions typically do care about and represent the interests of the children they teach!

The Chicago Teachers Union is currently on strike against Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Public Schools’ Board of Education for reasons that pertain directly to the conditions in which they must teach and students must learn. They fight for a reinstatement of gym, art, and music classes. They want smaller class sizes so they can give more direct attention to students. They want heating and air conditioning in their classrooms so young kids are not passing out from 95 degrees or shivering because it is nearly freezing.

The local media might be focusing on the union’s desire to see laid off teachers brought back but they miss the point of the move. More teachers means more learning opportunities for the students. It means more options in school and more chances to engage. It means more mentors and positive role models while lessening the chances they will just be lost in the crowd.

But the bottom line here is for Rhee. The quotation is false. Stop using, apologize, get on with the facts. Or does that make it too hard for you to sell your corporate education reform agenda?

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