…the Bleacherman has entered the building…

It seems that the one thing that we can all agree on is that our nation’s educational system fails to properly educate far too many of our children. On the other hand, the one thing that we cannot all agree on is who is to blame for this outrageous and tragic failure.

Most people are quick to point the accusatory finger of blame at what seems to be the most obvious and accessible target: teachers and their unions. Prevailing right wing wisdom(?) believes that because educators are unionized and with unionization comes tenure and protection from termination for poor performance, then, almost by default, most teachers are either grossly ineffective or lack the willingness and conviction to do their jobs properly. These critics believe that if a teacher is not motivated by money or fear of being firing, then that teacher has no reason to work hard to properly and effectively teach the children in their classroom.

To which I say: BULLSHIT!

I will grant you that there are indeed a number of teachers who have for whatever reason lost interest in teaching and there are a number of teachers who just do not have the skill sets necessary to educate today’s students. And I agree that is incumbent upon all teachers and their unions to recognize and address this problem.

But many of today’s educators have been abandoned by a failing system. Teachers have lost faith in the process that is not really interested in teaching children to learn but is more focused on teaching children how to take tests.

It then comes as no surprise that teachers are frustrated when trying to work with dwindling classroom budgets in an environment where superintendents, administrators and armies of consultants are receiving very benefit and salary rich contracts.

There is always money for over-priced high tech gadgets that bring very little to the learning experience. There is always money for footballs and shoulder pads, basketballs and trendy new uniforms but never is there money for essential supplies like paper, textbooks, maps, pencils and bathroom facilities that actually work.

Teachers are tired of the new economic reality where there is always money for children of wealthy families who are eager to donate tens of thousands of dollars to neighborhood schools while lower economic communities are hard pressed to raise several hundred dollars through bake sales.

Teachers are tired of being dictated to by political bureaucrats who have turned the educational process into a massive exercise in test taking rather than instruction in the fundamentals of reasoning, cognitive thinking and learning how to learn.

They are tired of sociologists offering excuses on why some families just don’t have the time to involve themselves in their child’s educational process. They have heard the apologists and mitigators far too often: Parents have to work two and three jobs just to put food on the table, parents do not speak English or do not have any formal education of their own and do not understand the complexities of the English, math and sciences being taught their children. So how can they help?

Disruptive and continuously absent children are also neatly packaged and given a “get out of jail” card because of a host of environmental, sociological and economic influences. Even homework has been taken off the table. God forbid a child is not given enough time to play on their x-box or surf social media sites.

So America takes the easy way out. It blames the teachers and their unions. Such attitude only demonstrates that our society has become very well schooled on how NOT to accept responsibility for any of its own failures.

…the Bleacherman has left the stadium…

…the Bleacherman has entered the stadium

In the words of Bob Dylan, ..”the times they are a changin.”

Democracy and the rule of law has been hijacked. What was once was a free and independent news media now charges for the right to be read and there is no such thing as independent in today’s political mindset. You are or lean liberal or your are or lean conservative. There is no middle, there is no center, there is no integrity. It is all about the ministry of politics. It is all about preaching political ideology through the art and science of mass propaganda. The press and news media is no longer independent, fair, balanced and politically neutral.

On the left is MSNBC, the right, Fox News Network. Somewhere bouncing back and forth between the two is CNN, who seem to concentrate on broadcasting erroneous details of the day’s latest breaking news tragedy.

(How long do we have to watch CNN’s round the clock coverage of the missing Malaysian Flight 370. It seems as if their prevailing motto is now, “if there is nothing to report, let’s regurgitate the old and serve it in a different format.”

But I digress. I must focus on the nightly propaganda wars.

It is apparent that in the myopic eyes and feeble minds of the minions who blindly and ignorantly follow Fox News’ Sean Hannity and his crew of anti-everything liberal, mobocracy has now become their equivalent of patriotism. In their unique gospel of political science, if a law or government policy is not liked, citizens have an inherent right to simply ignore it. It really is quite simple;
label what government action is deemed unacceptable as being either unconstitutional and/or a gross and offensive over-reach by the Federal government. Assemble a few dozen like-minded gun carrying enthusiasts and call upon the new media to cover the story.

Such action is eagerly and passionately embraced by the propagandists on the right. Anarchy is not only alive and well over at Fox, but is praised and even worshipped.

And since this is the appropriate time for such considerations, I think that it is time to resurrect the likes of Emma Goldman and Sasha Berkman.

Case in point: Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who owes the Federal government hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for having his cattle graze on federally owned and controlled land for over twenty years, decided to confront the government when federal authorities engaged in efforts to seize his cattle to satisfy part of the debt he owed the government.

It seems that Cliven, whose own 160 acre ranch is too small to sustain his large herd of cattle, decided to just unilaterally use Federal land to feed his cattle. Where other ranchers paid a fair price for the use of other federal land to graze their herds, Cliven Bundy, who does not recognize the authority of the Federal government, just ignored prevailing law and went about his business and let his cattle graze on land that was legally not his. For free! And now he has the audacity to complain about Federal government’s over-reach.

Bundy’s endless trash talk focuses it vitriolic rhetoric on the all powerful, all ominous, all evil and overtly tyrannical government that resides in Washington, D.C.. Yes, you know the one. The one that is comprised of one President, one Vice-President, one-hundred Senators and four hundred and thirty-five House of Representative delegates all of whom were elected by a vote OF THE PEOPLE.

So this past weekend, rancher Bundy decided to get together a bunch of similar thinking white folks, armed them with lethal automatic weapons, megaphones and video cameras and sent them out to defy federal authorities. Bundy made sure that the media was out in force to record the anticipated confrontation.

So sure that the Federal authorities would not just react but violently over-react, Bundy, a coward and a crook to the very core, made sure that the women of his little army of insurrectionists were in front of the line as his group assembled so that when the government -as they hoped -react to the growing defiance the cameras and news media would broadcast and forever memorialize a scene of battered and bleeding women lying on the ground. Bundy and his militia could then turn and produce a fund raiding video filled with a plethora of sympathy (and fund raising) images of a tyrannical government at work.

Can you imagine what the commentators at the Anarchy News Network would have done with THOSE pictures. Sean Hannity would be walking around with a hard on and a wicked smile plastered on his face for weeks. Gretchen Carlson would be in orgasmic heaven. Fox News would double its viewership and increase its advertising rates. On the radio, Rush Limbaugh would get so exited that he would start having oral sex with the golden microphone that is always positioned but inches from his fat face.

I want to know exactly what did the government do that reflected an over-reached its authority. I want to know what is tyrannical about charging for the use of federal government land. I want to know how one simply disavows the existence of a federal authority that has been around for two hundred and thirty eight years.

And how does Grand Wizard Hannity shout about the constitutionality of Obamacare and then goes out and advocates a doctrine of “if you don’t like the law, ignore it.”

But I guess a man like Hannity is simply the idiot racist that he says he is not. I mean, when he sees one old black man, dressed in black, wearing a black beret and sunglasses, carrying an old shotgun as a national terrorist threat but when he sees dozens of white guys, dressed for a square dance and carrying quite lethal automatic weapons while confronting sworn law enforcement officers he considers them liberty loving patriots. Something must be askew ad not right in Hannity World.

Hell, in the sixties when people marched in the streets of American cities armed with signs and flowers in their hair, they were called Communists and anti-American.

So whose America is this? Sean Hannity’s? The Anarchists?

…the Bleacherman has left the stadium…

…the Bleacherman has entered the building…

Once again, America gets to sit in the grandstand and watch so-called politically motivated and manipulated Christian values be outed for what they are?

For far too many politicians, Christian values makes for great conversation, motivates people to believe in a candidate and of course prompts a “vote for Christianity” appearance at the polls. But beyond the utility of electoral gamesmanship, such anointed and holy values have little meaning in the everyday conduct for some of these deceiving pols. To men like GOP Congressman and practicing Baptist Vance McAllister, what happens in the dark should (and must) stay in the dark. Hypocrisy is a way of life, a code of conduct, a vow taken behind close doors. Christian values stop at the door of one’s house or church. They are not meant to be applied in the “real” world.

Just ask fellow Louisianan Senator David Vitter who could talk the Christian values talk but when push came to shove and the truth surfaced it was apparent that he had walked a far different walk.

So it seems that Baptist McAllister was caught in a sexual transgression. I guess he was fooling around with someone else’s wife. The shame of such God fearing folk.

So for this man of the Republican Party, this man who loves to talk about his love of and commitment to God, the truth really is that Christian values are nothing more than articles of clothing that are hung in the closet until needed again to mask the truth.

So like David Vitter, Jimmy Swaggert and the horde of hypocrites before him, Christian values McAllister will humbly walk up to a microphone, smiling wife dutifully at his side and with contrition and sorrow painted across his face, he will ask his voting constituents, and his merciful Christian God for forgiveness and absolution.

And, without a doubt, Christians will accept his request for forgiveness and flood his office with political donations so that McAlllister can continue his Christian-values campaign against homosexuality, woman’s reproductive rights, the poor getting food, the sick getting health care, the undocumented a chance for redemption and the unemployed any help what so ever.

I say, “Hell, no, I will not accept your apology. It is cheap. It is insincere. It is yet another lie.” Your Shakespearian effort of contrition may work will in the Duck Dynasty Kingdom but not in a world that takes religious values seriously.

Resign! Now!

…the Bleacherman has left the building

the Bleacherman has entered the stadium..

Fox News host Megyn Kelly, while commenting on the recent Ft. Hood shooting, said that she would not be saying the suspected Ft. Hood shooter’s name because it was her policy not to do so. In her mind, mass killers seek infamy and she would not be a party to their deranged effort to seek fifteen minutes of fame and broadcast time.

Ms. Kelly’s refusal to name names may have be a noble (yet feeble) gesture, but one must wonder if such act of nobility was misplaced or misapplied. If Ms. Kelly’s job was to report the news concerning the shooting at Ft. Hood, then she needed to report the news – not her edited version of what she felt was relevant and worth broadcasting. How did she know what was in the mind of the shooter? How did she know that it was fame that the shooter was seeking? To her, it was good enough just to say that the shooter’s name sounded “Hispanic or Latino.”

(I’ll leave for discussion at a later date Ms. Kelly’s passing reference to the ethnicity of the shooter’s name. Just let me say that the shooter was an AMERICAN soldier; not someone with a hispanic or Latino name dressed in a uniform. He was an AMERICAN soldier; ethnicity notwithstanding. Period.

By not mentioning the shooter’s name does not change the facts. Innocent people are dead and they are dead whether the shooter is named or not. The vile and vicious nature of the act gives the story its place in infamy. So get real, Ms. Kelly; step down from your throne of values and do your job. Report the news.

What you missed in your shallow display of a false and misleading bravado was that there was so much more to this story than just the shooting. If you could step beyond the self-promoting and self-aggrandizing, you would have understood that there was so much more that needed to be examined and reported on.

The first is the shooter’s mental problems and whether or not this solder was being given the level of treatment that he deserved. The second issue reflects the fact that the shooter was being treated for mental issues and yet was able to legally purchase a weapon. Could there have been some process or procedure that would have challenged or impeded his ability to walk into a gun store and buy a gun?

I know conservatives hate to discuss either of the above referenced issues but they do warrant some discussion. They are more relevant than on your theory that the gunman was seeking some form of fame. Give some lip-service to your profession – or what your profession once was. At least ask some relevant questions. Report the news. Don’t edit it to fit a specific political agenda or present it in a way that just polishes your image – whatever that may or may not be.

…the Bleacherman has left the stadium…

the Bleacherman has entered the stadium…

The other  morning,  as I do on most mornings, I woke up at the ungodly hour of 3am (Pacific Time Zone) to watch Morning Joe.  By now I am used to the rants of Joe Scarborough whose small government, conservative values pour over the show’s early dialogue like syrup on hot pancakes. 

Joe is a Republican and I accept his crying and complaining without comment or criticism because in most cases his views are to some degree generically rational and reflect a reasonable political ideology.  I have always been someone who enjoys and encourages the polemic of political discourse.

But the zeal and passion of his defense of Chris Christie has gone a bit too far.  He has joined many of his friends who gather in the gutter of a Palinesque residue which demands blame for the world woes be squarely placed on the media. 

So it’s okay for Fox News to run around like slaughtered chickens chasing stories about Benghazi and an anti-Republican IRS but when MSNBC seeks the truth, Joe and his cohorts yell and attack the liberal media.

It is the job of the nation’s press to seek out the truth on important stories of the day.  Sometimes they find the truth, sometimes their efforts prove nothing. But their goal, their duty and obligation is to seek out the truth.  If we left such efforts to the likes of Daryl Issa and his witch hunts; truth would be only what a partisan wants it to be.

Even the most ardent and passionate supporter of Christie must acknowledge that something about the GWB scandal just does not pass the smell test.    There is a foul odor and whether it is emanating from the Governor’s office directly or the desks of his staff; the origin of the smell must be located.

Do you not agree, Joe?  Should we not seek the truth?  Should Christie’s innocence or guilt be proved by the facts, not by emotions and dictates of friendship?

Both you are the likes of Ms. Nicole Wallace are too good, too professional, too smart to revert to the Palin fairytale of lame street media attacks.

…the Bleacherman has left the building…

…the Bleacherman has entered the stadium…

Yet again we read that some retailer’s computers had been breached and confidential information accessed. What is troublesome to me is that the accessed information did not belong to the retailer; it belonged to (the collective) ME. It was my personal information that was breached. And it was my life and livelihood that was put in harm’s way.

If my data was accessed, stolen and used illegally, it is not the retailer who has to bear the blunt of the consequences. Their credit rating is not going to be ruined, they will not have to spend years fighting with no responsive credit reporting agencies nor will they have to pay higher interest rates on mortgages and car loans because of actions taken on my credit card that I did not initiate.

I will be punished for actions that were not my doing.

Congress must stop protecting corporations with little or nothing to lose but some temporary loss of business by angry customers. Congress must act in order to protect those, who through no fault of their own, become victims of those who exploit corporate America’s willingness to minimize costs and not take to heart their fiduciary and moral responsibility to protect their customers most personal and important data.

I want something more than a half-hearted mea culpa and three years of paid credit monitoring. After all, credit monitoring does NOT STOP my life from being ruined; it just lets me watch it happen in front of my eyes.

…the Bleacherman has left the stadium…

the Bleacherman has entered the stadium…

Once again the eminent professor of nonsense and gibberish, Rush Limbaugh, has vomited pure, hateful bullshit all over his lectern.  Once again, the hubba-bubba man mixed his ignorance and all loathing hatred of everything into a brew of science-denying, caustic, reality-denying stupidity. 

Now the fat man with the sewer mouth and non-functioning brain claims that the term “polar vortex,” used by meteorologists and other scientists as an explanation for the recent surge of cold weather, is a liberal conspiracy to “support their claim of global warming.”   

Absurd!  What more can I say?  How does a grown man fear a meteorological label?  

By definition, a polar vortex… is a circulation of strong, upper-level winds that normally surround the northern pole in a counterclockwise direction — a polar low-pressure system.  These winds tend to keep the bitter cold air locked in the Arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It is not a single storm. On occasion, this vortex can become distorted and dip much farther south than you would normally find it, allowing cold air to spill southward. 1

Global warming is not mentioned.  There is no reference to any liberal agenda.  There is nothing sinister or political about the term or its meaning. 

Bu the Godfather of hate cannot accept science because science is centered on facts while Rush’s world is a conflagration of lies, distortions and all-attacking hostility towards anything and everyone that does not bow down and concede his greatness and Godly omnipotence.

And the sad part of this commentary is an acknowledgement that the throngs of people who listen to Rush religiously will actually believe his word to be the equal to the word of God.

…the Beacherman has left the stadium…

1 Frigid air from the North Pole: What’s this polar vortex? By Alan Duke, CNN