Saturday, September 22, 2018

Report: Home Schooling Is a Scam. Also, Water is Wet.

For pity's fucking sake.  People in Kentucky have been screaming this fact for literally decades.  Everybody knows home schooling is a fraud.  Always has been, always will be.

While acknowledging there’s quality education in many home schools, state public school officials worry that some families “who claim to be home schooling” are actually trying to hide truancy.

Eighty-two percent of state pupil personnel directors — those responsible for enforcing attendance laws — told researchers with the Kentucky Office of Education Accountability, they have observed families they believe are taking advantage of flexibility in home school laws to avoid legal consequences of truancy, Deborah Nelson, an analyst for the OEA told state lawmakers Tuesday.
Attendance verification was just one of the multiple issues with home schooling accountability that made an OEA report.
In Kentucky, parents are required to tell local districts annually if their children are being home schooled and they must maintain attendance and grade reports, but the OEA report said there is little guidance in how they should be monitored.
Home school parents have to teach the same subjects as public schools and to hold classes for the same duration of time as the public school term, but the teaching is not monitored, the report said.
And those charged with enforcing attendance are confused about the criteria they should use to monitor whether parents are providing adequate information to districts because there is no legal guidance or minimum standards, Nelson said. They often don’t know what to do if they are concerned about the quality of a home school, she added.
State officials have done nothing to establish and enforce regulations to ensure home schooling actually educates children for one simple reason: freakazoid political power.  The vast majority of homeschoolers in Kentucky are xianist fanatics who don't want public school to interfere with the pure religious bullshit they indoctrinate in their children. So they forced the legislature to keep home schooling entirely unregulated.

That's not in this report, of course. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Face of Cowardice

Down with Tyranny:

Massa Bevin: Slaves Were Just Apprentices

When your racism and White Privilege are so ingrained that you can't even pretend any more.

Joe Gerth at the Courier:

When Master Matt Bevin thinks of the “good ol’ days,” who knew he thinks about the late 1700s?

Marse Bevin — according to WFPL — went to the Kentucky Registered Apprenticeship Summit on Monday and extolled the virtues of indentured servitude as being something akin to an early form of an apprenticeship.

According to the radio station, Marse Bevin said that a couple of his ancestors came to America as indentured servants, learned how to make bells from their master and went on to form their own company after they were freed.

He hailed the harsh practice of keeping people in bondage as a way to give workers hands-on experience.

Well shackle me up and teach me to cast bronze.

Indentured servitude, of course, was the practice of paying one’s way across the pond by selling oneself into bondage for a prescribed number of years — essentially a form of slavery.

It differed from the enslavement of Africans practiced throughout the South, though, in that with Southern slavery, there was no contract and the prescribed number of years was the rest of one’s life, and the rest of one's children’s lives and the rest of their children’s lives, and so on.

So, slavery was far worse. But indentured servitude was no picnic, either.

Sure, a few indentured servants learned trades, but the vast majority of serfs were field workers and household servants, working alongside the African slaves, or doing the same jobs in lieu of the African slaves.

For Master Bevin, this is not to be thought of as a time we should regret and think “thank heavens we’ve gotten past that and don’t allow such a barbarous practice any longer.”

No, for Master Bevin, it is the age of enlightenment. A time of great learning.

(Someone should point out right here that labor unions, which Bevin has harshly criticized and pushed to neuter or kill with right-to-work and other anti-union legislation, run amazing apprenticeship programs that don’t require bondage or a period of servitude.)

Friday, September 7, 2018

Open Season on KY Toddlers: 3 Shot Dead in 3 Weeks

But of course toddlers and children within a country mile of a gun are always in season.

A 2-year-old child died after being accidentally shot by a sibling Tuesday in Western Kentucky.

The Barren County sheriff’s office said they were called to the home of an Amish family on Buck Creek Road after the shooting at about 8:45 a.m.

“The children had been sent upstairs to get some items for their parent prior to the incident taking place,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
The sheriff’s office said the juvenile sibling had been handling a loaded rifle when the toddler was shot. The child was pronounced dead at the scene.

It was the third fatal shooting of a small child in Kentucky in less than a month.

A 2-year-old boy died Aug. 15 after shooting himself in the head in Louisville.

A Herald-Leader investigation last year found that at least 36 Kentucky children had accidentally shot themselves or another child over the previous five years.

Monday, September 3, 2018

First, Let's Kill All the Bosses

This weekend I saw an NBC promo that featured some CNBC analyst purporting to advise people who are having problems with their boss.

Short version: stop forcing your boss to "explain your behavior to other people."

Fact: If your boss is spending even five seconds "explaining your behavior to other people," then you do indeed have a big problem.  Your big problem is that your boss is an asshole.

Your boss is an asshole because your boss is undermining and sabotaging you by publicly disparaging your skills and professionalism.

More broadly, your boss is an asshole because 45 years ago repug/conservative capitalism began to flip the New Deal system of powerful labor/worker that prevented owners and bosses from abusing workers to one that allows employers to treat employees as serfs without rights.

It's Labor Fucking Day, people. Let's stop giving bosses power.  Let's stop putting employers in charge. Let's stop pretending owners are "job creators."

If every boss, employer, owner disappeared tomorrow, the work - the actual work of keeping the economy humming - the work would continue without a hiccup.

Workers create jobs. Workers build and run the economy.  Workers are irreplaceable.

What would a worker-centered economy look like?  Let's start with what we lost 45 years ago and build on that.

  • Criminalize non-worker interference with organizing and collective bargaining. Every workplace that votes to unionize gets a union. Every unionized workplace requires collective bargaining.
  • Repeal all pro-rentier, anti-worker legislation, regulations and tax breaks.
  • Permanently bar from all government contracts, tax breaks and subsidies all corporations that take anti-worker actions (not just layoffs and off-shoring but also a worker-management pay ratio of more than 50 to 1). 
  • Ban all future and reverse all previous mergers/acquisitions that give any entity control of more than five percent of any economic sector. Criminalize anti-trust behavior.
  • Minimum wage of $25 per hour, indexed to inflation.
  • Social Security equal to minimum wage, and available at age 55.
  • Medicare for All or Single Payer medical insurance.
  • Universal Child Care.
  • Construct 100 million new units of affordable housing.
  • Build mass transportation that gets every worker to their workplace.  
This is fun!  Let your imagination run wild!  No pro-worker policy or program is too much!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Friday, August 31, 2018

Repug Trumpies Trying to Swift Boat Amy McGrath

C/mon, Herald: Don't fall for this shit.  Just because these critics are "veterans" doesn't mean they are not partisan shills doing the bidding of Cheeto Twitler.

Not to mention the extreme hostility of old white male veterans toward any vagina-haver who dares to  tread on "their" turf

From the Herald:

It’s where Democratic candidate Amy McGrath, a former Marine Corps fighter pilot, was inducted into the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame two years ago. It’s near where she filmed campaign ads that drew national attention last year. And it’s where a group of veterans who support U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, a Republican, rallied for more than two hours Wednesday night to say she shouldn’t be elected in November. 
“McGrath’s commercials accuse Andy Barr of being scared,” said Travis Cassidy, a retired Marine Corps sergeant. “I am here to tell you Andy Barr has no reason to be scared. U.S. Marines know war is won on the ground, not by the air.”

Um, Sergeant? You do know that Candy Barr has not spent a single minute in the uniform of his country, right?  You do know that Candy's response to 9-11 was to suck up to Kentucky repugs even harder, right?  You do know that Candy has yet to say a word against the "president" who has publicly confessed treason, right?
McGrath, a retired lieutenant colonel, has made her military service the bedrock of her candidacy. She calls her campaign her 90th combat mission and has featured fighter jets in each of her ads. In her stump speech, she often talks about how her experience in the military will help her cross party lines to fix the nation’s problems.
Mostly, the event served as a way to diminish the importance of McGrath’s military experience, her largest strength as a candidate.
Precisely.  These are the same mindless repugs who libeled genuine war hero John Kerry  to promote a Vietnam War draft dodger who deserted his post in wartime.

The same blind partisans who cheered the Pumpkin Traitor - another Vietnam draft dodger - when he slandered John McCain as a "loser" for getting captured and surviving 5 years of torture.

Read more here:

Veterans can support any political candidate they choose.  But when they use their veteran status to lie about another candidate, it is the duty of reporters and editors to call them out for it.

Candy Barr and Cheeto Twitler don't give a flying fuck about you, veterans. Stop doing their dirty work.

Read more here:

Bevin's Fucking With Medicaid Costing Kentucky Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

Gov. Steve Beshear's expanded Medicaid brought billions of dollars into Kentucky. Not just direct federal payments, but the economic growth of saved regional hospitals, retained doctors and nurses, and healthy residents.

But Gov. I Got Mine Fuck You destroyed that, and now the bill is coming due.

From the Herald:

Warning of a nearly $300 million potential shortfall in Kentucky's Medicaid program, officials say they could eliminate health coverage for more than 480,000 people to balance the state's budget.
This is the same old repug shit they're been pulling for 40 years: Sabotage a successful Democratic program then claim it doesn't work.  Use that lie to demand more massive cuts to successful social programs in order to shove more tax dollars down the gullets of the obscenely rich.

That's not a Medicaid shortfall: it the result of repugs stealing the state Treasury.  The chief thief is a billionaire: make him pay the $300 million.

Read more here:

Hands Off Social Security, Motherfuckers

Killing Social Security is the repug holy grail.  Once the social program that allows workers disabled by destructive corporations and exhausted by decades of unpaid overtime to retire with dignity is dead, then the billionaires can force everyone who is not filthy rich to work literally to death without relief, and the New Gilded Age will be permanent.

Ddown with Tyranny:

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Normalizing Crimes Against Humanity

These people are not bumbling goofs to laugh at.  They're not political incompetents in need of adult supervision.  They're not even anti-government idiots determined to burn the house down around themselves.

They are war criminals, turning their sick fantasies into atrocities.

No, the real crisis is an upsurge in hatred — unreasoning hatred that bears no relationship to anything the victims have done. And anyone making excuses for that hatred — who tries, for example, to turn it into a “both sides” story — is, in effect, an apologist for crimes against humanity.