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Luminous Animal

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Current location: San Francisco
Member since: Thu Jul 24, 2003, 01:06 PM
Number of posts: 27,310

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Ack! For some reason, the entire body of my post disappeared!

So you can get off the floor and stop laughing now.

It started out with something like this...

"But even if I were to feed subpar food to my family, I couldn't do it for $1.50 per meal per person."

Then I presented a comparison of Safeway prices in the city to Safeway prices in the suburbs. It took me about 2 hours to research and write my post and I will have to stay an hour later at work to make up for it. (One of the hours was during my lunchtime.)

I am actually so frustrated right now I could cry that all of that is lost.

I chose Safeway because I don't have a car and there is one two blocks from my house so, if I were to shop at a commercial grocer, Safeway would be have to be the one. Grocery store prices in the city are 10% - 25% higher than in the suburbs.

There is the civic center farmers market (often cheaper than Safeway) that sells commercially produced food and is on the subway line but it is only open on Wednesday afternoons during my work hours. The only other farmers market on the subway line that is open on the weekend is sooooo expensive that I will only shop there if I am looking for a specific specialty item.

I also talked about things that I would have to give up in order to eat as healthful a diet as possible while still sticking to the cheapest items. I'd have to give up things like bread, corn, tofu, soy milk, soy beans, etc.

I also talked about my daughter's gargantuan appetite.

Oh well, I can't get it back and at least you got a good laugh and an opportunity to mock someone.

Posted by Luminous Animal | Thu May 17, 2012, 06:58 PM (0 replies)

Actually, we will still be an overwhelmingly white country. 74% in fact...

Non-Hispanic whites @ 46%
Hispanic whites @ 28%

Hispanic whites are people like Carmen Diaz, Emilio Estevez, Andy Garcia, Christina Aguilera, etc.

Who are white Hispanics? They are white people who trace their origins to Spain (often via other countries in the Spanish-speaking world) just as Italian Americans are white people who trace theirs to Italy. Some are descended from Spanish missionaries who were present on the continent long before the United States was formed. (At one point in our history, we distinguished between lighter “European” Italians and swarthier “Mediterranean” ones, but that distinction is long in our past, just as the distinction between white Hispanics and the rest of the majority will surely fall by the wayside before 2050.)


http://www.alternet.org/media/151421/why_are_conservatives_scared_of_cameron_diaz/?page=entire

Posted by Luminous Animal | Thu May 17, 2012, 02:13 PM (1 replies)

The worst eighth-grade math teacher in New York City

It's difficult to simply pull four paragraphs to really understand what is going on here so the article is well worth reading in full.

The title of the piece accurately reports that Ms Abbott is rated the worst teacher in NYC based on the ludicrously inaccurate teacher rating system. The article is explains how she ended up with that humiliating and public title.

She is leaving teaching.

http://eyeoned.org/content/the-worst-eighth-grade-math-teacher-in-new-york-city_326/


Using a statistical technique called value-added modeling, the Teacher Data Reports compare how students are predicted to perform on the state ELA and math tests, based on their prior year’s performance, with their actual performance. Teachers whose students do better than predicted are said to have “added value”; those whose students do worse than predicted are “subtracting value.” By definition, about half of all teachers will add value, and the other half will not.

Carolyn Abbott was, in one respect, a victim of her own success. After a year in her classroom, her seventh-grade students scored at the 98th percentile of New York City students on the 2009 state test. As eighth-graders, they were predicted to score at the 97th percentile on the 2010 state test. However, their actual performance was at the 89th percentile of students across the city. That shortfall—the difference between the 97th percentile and the 89th percentile—placed Abbott near the very bottom of the 1,300 eighth-grade mathematics teachers in New York City.

How could this happen? Anderson is an unusual school, as the students are often several years ahead of their nominal grade level. The material covered on the state eighth-grade math exam is taught in the fifth or sixth grade at Anderson. “I don’t teach the curriculum they’re being tested on,” Abbott explained. “It feels like I’m being graded on somebody else’s work.”

The math that she teaches is more advanced, culminating in high-school level algebra and a different and more challenging test, New York State’s Regents exam in Integrated Algebra. To receive a high school diploma in the state of New York, students must demonstrate mastery of the New York State learning standards in mathematics by receiving a score of 65 or higher on the Regents exam. In 2010-11, nearly 300,000 students across the state of New York took the Integrated Algebra Regents exam; most of the 73 percent who passed the exam with a score of 65 or higher were tenth-graders.
Posted by Luminous Animal | Tue May 15, 2012, 06:25 PM (21 replies)

Shedding light on Toni Morrison's characterization of Clinton as "our first black President."

Because nearly everyone gets it wrong.

First, her own explanation in 2008:

Do you regret referring to Bill Clinton as the first black President? --Justin Dews, Cambridge, Mass.

--People misunderstood that phrase. I was deploring the way in which President Clinton was being treated, vis-à-vis the sex scandal that was surrounding him. I said he was being treated like a black on the street, already guilty, already a perp. I have no idea what his real instincts are, in terms of race. (Emphasis mine).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/08/toni-morrison-on-calling_n_100761.html

The original from 1998:
http://ontology.buffalo.edu/smith/clinton/morrison.html

In a quite baffling and frustrating manner, it was not a "story" but a compilation of revelations and commentary which shied away from the meaning of its own material. In spite of myriad "titles" ("The President in Crisis", what the public has been given is dangerously close to a story of no story at all. One of the problems in locating it is the absence of a coherent sphere of enunciation. There seems to be no appropriate language in which or platform of discourse from which to pursue it. This absence of clear language has imploded into a surfeit of contradictory languages. The parsing and equivocal terminology of law is laced with titillation. Raw comedy is spiked with Cotton Mather homilies. The precision of a coroner's vocabulary mocks passionate debates on morality. Radiant sermons are forced to dance with vile headlines. From deep within this conflagration of tony, occasionally insightful, arch, pompous, mournful, supercilious, generous, salivating verbalism, the single consistent sound to emerge is a howl of revulsion.

But revulsion against what? What is being violated, ruptured, defiled? The bedroom? The Oval Office? The voting booth? The fourth grade? Marriage vows? The flag? Whatever answer is given, underneath the national embarrassment churns a disquiet turned to dread and now anger.

African-American men seemed to understand it right away. Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black President. Blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children's lifetime. After all, Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single-parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone-playing, McDonald's-and-junk-food-loving boy from Arkansas. And when virtually all the African-American Clinton appointees began, one by one, to disappear, when the President's body, his privacy, his unpoliced sexuality became the focus of the persecution, when he was metaphorically seized and bodysearched, who could gainsay these black men who knew whereof they spoke? The message was clear "No matter how smart you are, how hard you work, how much coin you earn for us, we will put you in your place or put you out of the place you have somehow, albeit with our permission, achieved. You will be fired from your job, sent away in disgrace, and--who knows?--maybe sentenced and jailed to boot. In short, unless you do as we say (i.e., assimilate at once), your expletives belong to us." (Emphasis mine.)


While it is true that Clinton had huge support from the African American community, Morrison wasn't claiming that Clinton was the first black President based on his policies but rather, she was commenting on his victimization from the elite in DC and the consistent slap-downs directed towards his "uppity" self.




Posted by Luminous Animal | Mon May 14, 2012, 10:04 PM (9 replies)

"Looking Back at Huey Newton’s Thoughts on Gay Rights…

In the Wake of Obama’s Endorsement"

From: Davey D's Hip Hop Corner-(The Blog)
http://hiphopandpolitics.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/looking-back-at-huey-newtons-thoughts-on-gay-rights-in-the-wake-of-obamas-endorsement/

This was a speech given August 15 1970 by Huey Newton co-founder of the Black Panther Party..here he addresses the issue of Gay Rights… Its serious food for thought coming in the aftermath of President Obama endorsing Same-sex Message…

During the past few years strong movements have developed among women and among homosexuals seeking their liberation. There has been someuncertainty about how to relate to these movements.

Whatever your personal opinions and your insecurities about
homosexuality and the various liberation movements among homosexuals
and women (and I speak of the homosexuals and women as oppressed
groups), we should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion.
I say ” whatever your insecurities are” because as we very well know,
sometimes our first instinct is to want to hit a homosexual in the
mouth, and want a woman to be quiet. We want to hit a homosexual in
the mouth because we are afraid that we might be homosexual; and we
want to hit the women or shut her up because we are afraid that she
might castrate us, or take the nuts that we might not have to start
with.

We must gain security in ourselves and therefore have respect and
feelings for all oppressed people. We must not use the racist attitude
that the White racists use against our people because they are Black
and poor. Many times the poorest White person is the most racist
because he is afraid that he might lose something, or discover
something that he does not have. So you’re some kind of a threat to
him. This kind of psychology is in operation when we view oppressed
people and we are angry with them because of their particular kind of
behavior, or their particular kind of deviation from the established
norm.

Remember, we have not established a revolutionary value system; we are
only in the process of establishing it. I do not remember our ever
constituting any value that said that a revolutionary must say
offensive things towards homosexuals, or that a revolutionary should
make sure that women do not speak out about their own particular kind
of oppression. As a matter of fact, it is just the opposite: we say
that we recognize the women’s right to be free. We have not said much
about the homosexual at all, but we must relate to the homosexual
movement because it is a real thing. And I know through reading, and
through my life experience and observations that homosexuals are not
given freedom and liberty by anyone in the society. They might be the
most oppressed people in the society.


There's more....
Posted by Luminous Animal | Sat May 12, 2012, 06:37 PM (15 replies)

4 May Day Stories the Corporate Media Missed While Fixating On Obama's College Girlfriend

Just a few excerpts. The entire article is worth reading.

http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/155267

By Sarah Seltzer, AlterNet

Story #1: Income inequality is still here--and so are protests.
Media stories on Occupy suffer from the same "horse race" problem that provides a frequent subject for critique in mainstream coverage of elections. "Media coverage is so focused on headcount numbers, and police and protest clashes: 'is this a win or a lose? How many people got arrested? How many roads were taken over?'" says videographer and Occupy activist Kathleen Russell. When the focus is on the win/lose dichotomy, she says, no one is "talking about the reason people are out there, or what they are fighting against."

Story #2: Outsize police presence and infiltration, scary new police tactics.
-Preemptive arrests and intimidation: Gawker, and then the New York Times did cover the fact that a number of protesters' homes were raided under bogus pretenses the day before the May Day events.

.......

Overriding all these tactics was a huge police presence, completely outsized based on the number of demonstrators. Natasha Lennard summed up my feelings when she wrote, "The NYPD is the seventh largest standing army in the world, and on the evening of May 1, New York felt was a city under military siege — it was terrifying."

Story #3: Historic coalition between labor, students and immigrants.

But on Tuesday in New York City, organizers from OWS, racial justice, immigrants' rights groups, labor and elsewhere made one of the most concerted efforts I've ever seen to not step on each others' toes and embrace each others' issues. As Julianne Escobedo Shepherd noted in her report for AlterNet, in Union Square, organized labor and immigrants' rights group shouted each other out from the stage, warmly and genuinely.

Story #4: Organizing peacefully without hierarchy is not easy
If you've ever tried to organize a big event for your workplace, school, charity or religious institution, you know it's not easy. Now try imagining doing that--except organizing hundreds of events on the same day with a loose group of people who refuse to appoint leaders, don't have a hierarchy, and let everyone speak his or her mind. I've often thought that journalists don't understand the hard work of grassroots organizing, and the number of forces that have to triumph for it to be successful.






Posted by Luminous Animal | Fri May 4, 2012, 12:20 PM (3 replies)
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