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Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Number of posts: 31,869

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The most violent element in society is ignorance. Emma Goldman

Journal Archives

Are We a Nation of Line-Cutters, or Are We the Line?

Please forgive me if this has already been posted - did a search and could not find it. This is nearly 2 weeks old from Esquire, take a look and I think you'll agree it's very much worth a minute of your time -

The Water-Park Scandal and Two Americas in the Raw: Are We a Nation of Line-Cutters, or Are We the Line?
By Tom Junod

9/5 at 1:44PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. A few days ago, I took my daughter to the big water park in Marietta, Georgia, just outside Atlanta. It's called Whitewater, and I take her there every year, on Labor Day weekend, at the end of summer. I take her there not just for the "rides," which in most cases aren't really rides at all, but slides that combine water and gravity in varying proportions, and so pack a pretty elemental wallop.

I take her for the lines.

See, you have to wait in line when you go to Whitewater or, for that matter, any other water park. It's like Disney that way, or any of the other big amusement parks that traffic in the ability to wring screams from even the most jaded customers. The distinctive thing about waiting in line at Whitewater, however, is that you have to wait in line without any clothes on. You have to wait in line wet and semi-naked, in close proximity to hundreds of other wet and semi-naked people. That's why the lines at Whitewater are not simply preludes to the Whitewater experience, not simply inconveniences to be endured before you go down a big blue slide that calls itself a "flume": The lines at Whitewater are the experience. They're a vision not just of democracy in action but democracy unveiled, a glimpse of what the last line is going to look like, when all is revealed, and we're waiting for our interview with Saint Peter.

And let me tell you, it ain't pretty ... <snip>

... It sounds like an innovative answer to the problem that everybody faces at an amusement park, and one perfectly in keeping with the approaches currently in place at airports and even on some crowded American highways perfectly in keeping with the two-tiering of America. You can pay for one level of access, or you can pay for another. If you have the means, you can even pay for freedom. There's only one problem: Cutting the line is cheating, and everyone knows it. Children know it most acutely, know it in their bones, and so when they've been waiting on a line for a half-hour and a family sporting yellow plastic Flash Passes on their wrists walks up and steps in front of them, they can't help asking why that family has been permitted the privilege of perpetrating what looks like an obvious injustice. And then you have to explain not just that they paid for it but that you haven't paid enough that the $100 or so that you've ponied up was just enough to teach your children that they are second- or third-class citizens ...

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/whitewater-flash-pass-12403562#ixzz26klV5UQK

Chicago Teachers are Fighting for all of Us

The teachers' fight in Chicago is part of a larger struggle to save public education.
September 12, 2012

The 26,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union are leading the fight for our schools (CTU)The 26,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union are leading the fight for our schools (CTU)

FOR TOO many years, public school teachers and their unions have had to endure a bipartisan attack on their rights, their working conditions, even their competence and commitment--all in the name of what's supposedly "best for the children."

In Chicago this week, teachers have taken a stand for what's really best for children--fully funded public schools and qualified, well-compensated educators to teach them. The 26,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) are saying "no" to the smears against educators, "no" to the neglect of public schools, "no" to transforming education into a business venture.

Their courage and determination has won them widespread sympathy and support, according to public opinion polls. Though it isn't always represented in the corporate media, with their cozy relationships with city officials, the spirit of solidarity with the teachers is palpable to anyone who has walked the picket lines with teachers or joined the massive rallies that now paint downtown Chicago CTU red on a constant basis.

In this sense, the Chicago teachers strike represents another in a series of upheavals that have crystallized the bitterness with a system ruled by the 1 percent--from last year's occupation of the Wisconsin Capitol building in defense of union rights, to the Occupy Wall Street movement that spread from New York City around the country, to the angry anti-racist protests this year over the murder of Trayvon Martin.

While these struggles may have different sources and aims, they are tied together in fundamental ways. They represent a new resistance to the status quo, where corporate power reigns supreme, and where political leaders try to divert the blame while making working people sacrifice ...

More here: http://socialistworker.org/2012/09/12/teachers-fight-for-all-of-us

Something good from Texas

at least I'm hoping that's what y'all will see when Julian Castro speaks at the democratic convention tonight. He is our rising star and very popular mayor of San Antonio. Be sure to tune in or set your DVR for 10:00 EST tonight. Details in this article:

(CBS News) CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Democratic National Convention officially gets started Tuesday with a keynote address from San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and a speech by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Here's a look at what to expect from the festivities, which will be streamed live on CBSNews.com.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro's keynote address, 10 p.m. ET

Castro, 37, is in his second term as mayor of the nation's seventh-largest city after easily winning re-election in 2011 with nearly 82 percent of the vote. The Obama campaign notes that his life story in many ways mirrors President Obama's: He and his identical twin brother Joaquin Castro came from modest beginnings and relied on scholarships, grants and loans to attend Stanford University and then Harvard Law School.

A senior campaign official told CBS News that Castro's keynote address will share that personal story "and reflect on the things we need to do as a country to create more Julian Castros, more Barack Obamas to ensure that every young person across this country can achieve their dreams."

Castro's star is rising within the Democratic party at the same time that Democrats are starting to see potential to turn Texas into a blue state, due to the growing Hispanic community. While Texas is for now a solidly Republican state when it comes to presidential politics, the Hispanic community will play a key role in swing states like Colorado and Nevada this year ...


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