Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Teachers good and bad (I name names)


Trina has been noting the teachers who are striking.  And that is an important issue.  We all deserve fair pay and what would our country be without our good teachers?  Can you imagine?  I’ve been lucky enough to have many good teachers.  My worst teacher – and I’ve had a few of those – was Mrs. Cordell?


She was a total b.  She hated me.  I had just started at the school.  She taught English or something and all the kids thought she was so wonderful and so cool.  She was best friends with the math teacher.


So one day Mrs. Cordell (and that was her name) decides she hates me.


I have finished lunch and it’s 10 minutes until English.  I walk in and she’s kissing her husband.  She gives me the dirtiest look and then she bad mouths me – I end up not even on honor society that year despite having the grades.  And she and Mrs. Dees treat me like crap.  And, yes, Dees was the awful woman’s name.  I have done nothing but now I’m picked on in class and I better know the answer when called on because otherwise they are going to have some smart remark.


And because they pick on me, the other kids aren’t rushing to be my friend.  It was sixth grade and the worst year I ever had at school.

I'd made the mistake of seeing her and husband kissing so she went after me.

It made no sense.  Until 7th grade when I had her husband as a teacher.  Her ex-husband.

The guy I'd seen her kissing?  A senior in high school that she was having an affair with.

That's why she hated me and tried to destroy me.  I'd walked in on her affair.  And not just any affair, but an affair with a high school student.  (He was a senior when I was in 7th grade.  So he was a junior when her affair with him began.)

So there are rotten teachers and let's not kid ourselves that there aren't.

But Mr. Cordell (who transferred from the high school to be the middle school principal and also teach a subject or two) was a great teacher.  And he made sure I got in the honor society.  We never spoke about what I saw but I do think he knew that his wife had persecuted me -- his then ex-wife when he was my teacher.  And he believed in fairness like good teachers do so he righted her wrongs.  We need our good teachers and we need to stand with them.

Our government won't stand with them.



In an appearance before the US House of Representatives’ Education and the Workforce Committee on Tuesday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the Trump administration would help state governments accelerate school privatization schemes, standardized test-based performance pay for teachers and other attacks.

The billionaire heiress also said it was up to individual schools to inform US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if they suspect their students are undocumented. “That’s a school decision. It’s a local community decision,” DeVos said in comments that invite ICE raids in violation of constitutional protections guaranteeing all children, regardless of their immigration status, the right to a basic education.

In her opening statements and answers to questions, DeVos pushed the administration’s plans to funnel public money to private and parochial schools and further starve public education of vitally needed resources. She palmed off this naked transfer of public assets to private corporate interests as protecting the “rights of students” and “empowering parents, teachers and local leaders to identify the best ways to meet the unique needs of the students they serve.”

In interactions with Republican congressmen from Florida and Indiana, DeVos spelled out the administration’s plans for schools across the country. “Parent-choice schools in Florida are a prime example of the hard work of reforming education meaningfully,” she said. She praised “multi-pronged choice tax credit scholarship programs, grading schools and merit pay to award teachers doing an excellent job.”

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, May 23, 2018.  The Hobby Lobby of 'journalists' is in a bit more hot water.

Can we get a MeToo! going to defend the people?  We really need one.

Completely in awe of the work does on her podcast, Caliphate. Equal parts chilling and eye opening. If you haven’t checked it out, you should.


Are you in awe, Joshy?  Well what a piece of trash you must be.

Continue to be fascinated by and her podcast. Certainly someone to emulate as an journalist.

Dylan, at your university, do they not teach that theft is wrong?

Just finished listening to the most recent episode of (#6). Any hope that I had that Abu Huzayfah might be lying is slowly disappearing...although I'm ready for a potential plot twist. Great reporting, riveting story. Just wish I could binge it!

We can't expect JM Davis to worry about theft, she's too busy seeing a war as something she wishes she could "binge" on -- yes, she truly is that stupid.

Now we warned you, for over a year, we warned you that Rukmini Callimachi was trash, that she was a thief and that she was worse than Judith Miller.

We warned you.  And we mainly did so because antiwar Glenn Greenwald couldn't stop slobbering over her at his Twitter account.

Well Glenn-Glenn's moist mouth may have finally dried up.

Today his publication, THE INTERCEPT, is finally finding the issues others of us have already spent time on.

Her theft which is at the basis of her wowie podcast that trash like Tommy Vietor can't stop praising.

  • There is only one problem. She is accused of stealing those documents.

  • From fleeing terrorist oppressors? That's not theft, that's called "investigative journalism."

  • How about from the Iraqi government? 'Investigative journalism' just got a new definition. To Steal important documents of a terror organization without the permission of the "democratically" elected local government.

  • Except:

  • Except, "there is no record, Oral or written, of any Official permission from the Iraqi Army or defense ministry to give these documents away".

    Here is how your "investigative journalist" responds when she has no proof to defend her claim.

    We warned you.

    Maryam Salem (THE INTERCEPT) reports:

    About a week after the piece was published, Farhan emailed Callimachi to ask if she got permission from Iraqi government officials to take the documents, and if she got consent from the people named in the files to publish their names. Farhan didn’t hear back, so she worked with two legal scholars to launch a petition calling on the Times to rethink its use of the documents. The removal of the documents violates international law, the petition authors wrote, calling for them to be returned to Iraq and warning that failure to do so would set a “dangerous precedent for the plundering of material and cultural heritage in conflict zones.” This wasn’t the only academic protest. In early May, Judith Tucker and Laurie Brand of the Middle East Studies Association published an open letter to top editors at the Times,  decrying the “myriad legal, professional, ethical, and moral issues” arising from Callimachi’s story.
    [. . .]
    In their letter to the Times, Tucker and Brand of the Middle East Studies Association said the Iraqi state alone had a right to the documents. “It is only legally designated representatives of the Iraqi state, and certainly not foreign journalists,” they wrote, “who should control the disposition of any documents found in circumstances like those in which Ms. Callimachi and her team operated, in accordance with Iraqi law and regulations governing public records.”
    [. . .]
    Tucker and Brand of the Middle East Studies Association in their public letter to the Times, wrote that the removal of the documents from Iraq with no clear plans to return them “once again empowers outsiders to unduly influence, or even control, the narration of Iraq’s history.” They accused the Times of having “no right to possess or retain these materials,” adding that possession of the files “is not a matter that you or Ms. Callimachi or any other non-Iraqi or non-Iraqi institution is entitled to decide. These materials belong to the Iraqi people.” Their letter also warned that it would be unacceptable for the Times to make the cache publicly available because doing so could endanger the lives of Iraqis named in the documents. This particular warning was in response to the Times publishing copies of about a dozen ISIS documents, including unredacted versions of a tax form, a citation for a teenage boy found to have violated ISIS rules, and a birth certificate.
    Callimachi told The Intercept that the Times is working with an outside partner to digitize and publish the documents online. She directed further questions to a company spokesperson. Danielle Rhoades Ha, the vice president of communications at the Times, did not specifically respond to The Intercept’s questions, sending a statement instead. “The New York Times recovered documents that otherwise would have been destroyed or simply abandoned,” she wrote. “Previously Iraqi security forces had been burning documents they discovered. … In every case, Times reporters were being escorted by Iraqi security forces who assisted in the collection and preservation of the documents.”
    But did those forces have the authority to give those documents away? Saad Eskander, the former director of the INLA, said they did not.

    “The 2016 Law on the Preservation of Records, which I personally drafted when I was the Director General of INLA, states clearly that all types of official and semi-official papers should be administrated by INLA,” he wrote in an email to The Intercept. “This Law also covers records made by Iraqi NGOs. So the above mentioned Iraqi Law does not grant any civilian or military entity the right to decide the fate of Iraqi records, let alone permitting their removal from the country.”

    Again, we warned you.

    Rukmini Callimachi is far worse than Judith Miller.  In fact, she's the Hobby Lobby of so-called 'journalists.'

    March 3, 2017, she typed, "Sometimes I feel embarrassed by the extent of Iraqi hospitality."

    She certainly should.  She certainly should.

    Today, NPR's MORNING EDITION reports that the US government is hopeful that the huge win in this month's elections by Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr will not mean that US troops.  The report plays Moqtada's spokesperson Sheikh Saleh al-Obeidi declaring, "If the American troops are here in order to train Iraqis, help Iraqis according to certain details accepted to both governments it is accepted by Moqtada al-Sadr."

    Now the US government always claims it was about training.  For example, here's the US Defense Dept this week:

    The coalition training effort in Iraq is all about “making a good force better,” said Italian army Brig. Gen. Roberto Vannacci, the deputy commanding general for training for Operation Inherent Resolve's Joint Forces Land Component Command in Iraq.
    Iraqi security forces continue to press the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria by rooting out and destroying pockets of ISIS terrorists in the country. From the nadir when ISIS was knocking on the gates of Baghdad, Iraqi forces have taken on the terror group and liberated almost all of the territory the group once held.

    The trainers of the coalition’s Operation Inherent Resolve gave Iraqi security forces the training they needed to expel the violent extremist group, Vannacci said during a video teleconference from Baghdad to reporters in the Pentagon.  

    But it is combat.

    Tom O'Connor (NEWSWEEK) notes:

    The U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) said Tuesday that it only planned on staying in Iraq as long as it was welcome after an opponent of foreign military presence won local elections.
    The remarks come after a political bloc—comprised of Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, communists and others—managed to secure the plurality of votes in last week's Iraqi election, raising uncertainties for the future of the U.S. and other foreign militaries helping local forces battle the remnants of ISIS in the war-torn country. Italian army Brigadier General Roberto Vannacci, who serves as deputy commanding general for training the joint land forces component of the coalition, said there has been no change in policy yet, but if there was, it would be up to political leaders at home. 
    "We are here by the request of the Iraqi government. And regardless of who won the election, I think that if this request will continue to be addressed to the coalition, the coalition will remain," Vannacci told reporters during a weekly press briefing at the Pentagon Tuesday.

    But for all the pretense of just waiting to see what happens, behind the scenes?  The US government is very anxious.  REUTERS reports:

    The United States has contacted members of a political bloc headed by former foe Moqtada al-Sadr after his parliamentary election victory put the Shi’ite cleric in a strong position to influence the formation of a new government, a top aide said.
    [. . .]
    Dhiaa al-Asadi, a top Sadr aide, said there had been no direct talks with the Americans but intermediaries had been used to open channels with members of his Sairoon alliance.
    “They asked what the position of the Sadrist movement will be when they come to power. Are they going to reinvent or invoke the Mahdi Army or reemploy them? Are they going to attack American forces in Iraq,” he told Reuters.
    “There’s no return to square one. We are not intending on having any military force other than the official military force, police forces and security forces.” 

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated:

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