Saturday, August 19, 2017
School Scope: A Barrage of News
The WAVE - August 18, 2017 - www.rockawave.com
School Scope: A Barrage of News
By Norm Scott
There are so many things to write about. Here are just a few.
Events in Charlottesville: The new Brown Shirts, Free Speech and the Antifascists --- Are we echoing the pre-Hitler phase of Germany c. 1920s and early 30’s when a thug army rose up to intimidate people opposing the Nazis during their rise to power? Those interested should review the history – can it repeat itself here? The Nazis were always a minority in Germany and used street thug tactics to shut down opposition.
Also google “antifascists” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-fascism#Twenty-first_century -- the response, sometimes violent, to these rallies – a relatively small group that can be confrontational. People on the left who contend that the Nazis were able to operate more freely because there was not enough of a counterforce against them. Trump’s initial statement was targeting the people who stood up against them, a false equivalency. As one who generally backs free speech, I’ve had issues with the antifascists when they try to keep speakers on campuses out --- but what happened in Charlotte called for a response – and in fact most of the demonstrators were peaceful. In Germany today a fascist rally would be illegal – you can get arrested for a Nazi salute. France too has many limits on what we would view as free speech but they view as hate speech. If we saw the new brown shirts holding torches and shouting white supremacy slogans marching in Rockaway how would we react? Sometimes I’m afraid of the answer.
Trump is for democracy – except when he isn’t. Saudi Arabia, Egypt - Si, Cuba, Venezuela Nay! Yes, we must have elections in only certain countries. It is always about the so-called left dictatorships – unless they are too big to battle. How about China? Trump bogus threat to send troops to Venezuela is just a part of our interference in the affairs of other nations. How about Regan invading Grenada to murder the elected president as recently as 35 years ago? Bay of Pigs anyone?
Ferry across the mercy – Ferry complainers, please have mercy on us. We are in only our 3rd month of a low-cost ferry, highly subsidized - real cost is over $6 a fare. Yet we hear so many beefs about small ferry boats, which work well most of the time. Imagine the costs of running bigger boats that are half empty all the time that would require even bigger subsidies? The company running the ferries have been responsive and have tried to add more runs --- we need to see what happens in non-summer months to get a read. In January we may find these small boats are even bigger than we need for most runs.
The WAVE proclaimed a few weeks ago that B. 116th St unanimously supports de Blasio Republican opponent Nicole Malliotakis. Really? We know that de Blasio is very unpopular, especially on the west end of Rockaway. But I don’t view that report as good journalism without some facts to back it up. De Blasio blasting is certainly well-deserved but at times it goes too far. Just as in the presidential election outcomes we will find the breakdown between east and west end voting patterns will be stark and point to Rockaway as a tale of two cities. How about a report on where Mott Ave stands on Nicole Malliotakis?
Hurricane season is upon us: Climate change and deniers: People tell me there will one day be another ice age – normal cycles throughout earth history. What historical cycle had millions of cars spewing CO2 into the air?
Single payer: pushback from Democrats --- my recent articles on single payer in The WAVE should be seen in the context of gradualism. There are many ways to get there – there are quite a variety of single payer programs in Europe that differ from each other. A major issue here is losing the employer option for so many people – something that people deem so risky that some hybrid plan – ie, a public option – would be necessary.
Note from the World Bank: Cuba has the highest investment in education worldwide (13% of GNP vs USA 5.4%). Just sayin’.
Charter supporter Daniel Loeb, who is board chairman of Success Academy charter, has come under attack for comments about Democratic NY State leader Andrea Cousins in which he said the African-American had done “more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood.” Coming a few days before events in Charlottesville. Loeb is a hedge hog billionaire out to destroy the teacher union and along the way, the teaching profession and the end of pensions for teachers. Success Academy may soon be granted massive exemptions from having to hire any certified teachers by being able to have their own, private, certification programs to counter the massive turnover of their own teachers, who often leave in droves. The NY Times on August 12 had an interesting story on this split in the Democratic Party over charters: Comment on Race Reopens New York Democrats’ Split Over Schools. My blog has more on the story with an article by Matt Taibbi on Loeb’s public employee pension hijinks where Loeb makes loads of money on pension plans while supporting groups that call for an end of such plans. After all, charters don’t want to have to compete by offering pensions so let’s get rid of all pensions. https://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/2017/08/taibbi-dan-loeb-simultaneously-solicits.html.
Norm has recovered from his exhausting role in RTC’s The Producers and is back blogging in force at ednotesonline.com.