Category Archives: Education

Governor, that ain’t rain

Do you feel that warm, wet substance on your leg? You got to feel it when someone suggests the state of public education in Mississippi is so fine that funding to equalize schools should only be increased by 2.7 per cent and taxes should be cut.

Is Mississippi 19th in Education?

19th in education,1 that’s what you were supposed to think about Mississippi’s education position, nationally, according to the conservatives (Governor’s State of the State Address 2015). But the number refers to spending as a percentage of “state taxable resources.” Misdirection is the conservatives’ forte. Speaking of spending as a percentage of “state taxable resources.” diverts attention from equality, the lack of adequately funding all school districts, an underfunding which in turn affects the need for college remedial efforts (in neo-feudal Mississippi college remediation has come under attack – read Bricks without straw) and workforce re-training (costlier to re-train workers with learning deficiencies), new business formation (“highly educated areas have above average entrepreneurship rates”)2etc. A state can’t deprive the people of equal education funding and not suffer the consequences in retarded economic growth and human potential, this exhibited in increased crime rates.3

A state can’t deprive its citizens and avoid these consequences, but groups within the state can deprive large segments of equal educational opportunities, profiting disproportionately in a way that shifts wealth upward. But what do you expect from a crowd determined to urinate on your leg and tell you it’s raining. A crowd so disingenuous that they crow about how well Mississippi’s economy’s is doing and never thank Uncle Sugar(see Mike Huckabee government assistance reference) No, they’ll never mention the $97 million in recovery funds to Rankin County, Ms. and the $67 million to Madison County, Ms., or that Mississippi’s economy received over $5 billion in stimulus funding. Despite the evidence, conservatives insist that the ARRA didn’t create any jobs. So when it comes to everything from public education to ObamaCare, who you gonna believe the neo-feudalists and their walking dead sycophants or your lying eyes and those darn numbers? But then again maybe the conservatives are right and what their trickle-down proposals work and the thousands of jobs we were losing when Obama came into office is the way things should be; maybe rain is warm and smells like pee.

1 Gov. Bryant’s full 2015 State of the State speech – Clarion Ledger
January 21, 2015
2 Local labor force education, new business characteristics, and firm performance
Mark Doms a,*, Ethan Lewis b, Alicia Robb c
a Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, United States
b Dartmouth College, United States
c Kauffman Foundation and University of California, Santa Cruz, United States

3. The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates,
Arrests, and Self-Reports
Lance Lochner
Department of Economics
University of Western Ontario
Enrico Moretti
Department of Economics
UCLA

Conservative assassination attempt on the Dream.

Thinking of the Republican response to President Obama’s state of the Union address, think of a bullet in a revolver aimed straight at the temple of the American Dream. What happens when there are not enough progressives to knock the gun down? Why should democracy lovers listen to Iowa U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, when if she had her way $285 million in aid to Iowans and $495 million in aid to Mississippians through the department of education would not have been available, thwarting an opportunity to climb the ladder in America. She, like recent Mississippi U.S. Senatorial candidate, Chris McDaniel who came within a whisker of winning, favors abolishing the Department of Education. How’s that for economic development considering Ben Franklin’s assessment; education pays the best interest. And then there’s the Department’s anti-discrimination duties which considering the Republican party’s attraction to racist (See Steve Scalise and Chris McDaniel speaking engagements) reveals the true nature of the conservative attack on public education even on the state level (see MAEP in Mississippi), an anti-egalitarian attack which has been in the bloodline of conservatism for some time and has been a particular attraction for southern conservative whites since Nixon because of it’s extreme virulence for minorities. If the conservative bullets find their mark, democracy suffers and a Neo-Feudalism takes it place.

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You’d think Bible-belt Mississippi would know its Genesis.

Mississippi’s gotta-have-it-now attitude is kinda like Esau’s in the book of Genesis, willing to trade the future for immediate gratification. For those of you who might have forgotten the story, Esau comes in starving from a hunt and decides that he wants to have some of the stew that his brother, Jacob, is cooking. He then proceeds to trade his birthright for a meal. Those taxes that the Mississippi Republicans are talking about cutting could be used for public education. But no, some anti-public-education-conservatives are determined to make certain that the public trades the investment in tomorrow for tax-refunds, cruelly using wage poor Mississippians to strengthen the state’s wealth disparity. Looking at things like the GI bill we know how much a society gains from giving itself education and should adequately fund public education.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest,” Ben Franklin said.

Now would be a good time to take Franklin’s advice and resist the temptation to which Esau succumbed.

Don’t you dare force us to adequately fund education in Mississippi.

That’s the word from the Mississippi legislature, at least from “the second-highest leader of the Mississippi House (of Representatives).” Mississippi House Speaker Pro Tempore Greg Snowden in response to an initiative drive to adequately fund public education says, “Don’t change the constitution.” The progressive initiative would bring constitutional pressure to bear on a disobliging conservative party which seems to be willing to do anything to keep Mississippi last in the nation, keeping downward pressure on wages in their neo-feudal paradise. And to show their (tough) love for the less fortunate some Mississippi Republicans were even willing to charge the costs of remedial college courses to Mississippi’s underfunded districts. Conservatives have been against integrated public education from the start and will do anything from sabotaging funding to offering competing proposals through the initiative process to derail progress. Those who dare to adequately fund public education are existential threats to the survival-of-the-fittest paradise conservatives are banking on. The payoff: a portion of charter school profits could be kicked-back to conservatives through campaign contributions and you give them a job or supplier contract when they live office and “forget about it.”

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If you have in anyway thought this content to be useful, thought provoking, or entertaining, please feel free to contribute to the author’s fund. Your support would be greatly appreciated and aid in providing more time to provide more of the same. And thanks for reading.

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NEO-FEUDALISM 101

“Republicans are very willing to fund things that work in education,” the Mississippi neo-Feudalists say.  And “[we] are unwilling to put money into a formula that has not proven to be effective and that appears to increase the administrative expenditures more than the classroom, they continue.  And how do we know that adequately funding public education doesn’t work in Mississippi? “It [The Mississippi Adequate Education Program] has been fully funded only twice since being put into law in 1997.”

How do you make certain that the underclass remains entrenched and grows and the wealth disparities are hermetically sealed within your society?  Simply, underfund public education or use a divide-and-conquer strategy known as Charter SchoolsNeo-Feudalists (conservatives) never believed in integrated public education,* voting rights, or Civil Rights, these things are anathema to the old hierarchy.  To these practitioners of the old-time religion, government is the problem for which sabotage is a suitable remedy, like putting Michael Brown over FEMA or Clarence Pendleton over the Civil Rights Commission.  And now we smell of a new anti-democratic weapon masquerading as a gift to the people, a competing public education initiative.  Oh, that the Progressives were as proactive as the Regressives are reactive, we could at long last take one step forward without taking two steps backwards in Mississippi. 

 

*”In the Hollow Hope, Gerald Rosenberg points out that between 1961 and 1970, there was a 242 percent increase in the number of non-sectarian private schools in the Southeast. Theses academies were particularly prevalent in the Deep South, but they existed all over the country. The private academies throughout the South have more in common than racial makeup and founding purpose. Many of them have school mascots that reference the Civil War: the Rebels, the Generals, and the Colonels. These academies operated outside the scope of the Brown ruling. Since the ruling did not apply to them, the creation of these academies was a way to keep segregation intact.  Today, of course, almost no American would openly embrace what was once the reigning ethos of segregated schools. Unfortunately, though, everyday thousands of children in America are educated in classrooms that are just as racially homogeneous as classrooms were prior to Brown.”

- “Brown 60 Years Later: Segregation Academies in the Deep South” by Regina Moorer 

The Village – The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.’s official blog

Clowns? Jokers? You ever feel like you’re stuck in the middle?

It’s the distraction (our entertainment) that has us stuck!!! The jokers and clowns are empowered by our collective ignorance.

 

As I watch the city government in Richmond Virginia, lead by an African-American mayor, disrespect the memory of the American slave in a way that Holocaust descendants would never disrespect the memories of their ancestors, I think. This is the fruit of a collective ignorance which facilitates comparison of American slavery, in grand acts of public trivialization, to mandatory health care access (in the case of Dr. Ben “Americans-use-too-much-healthcare” Carson) or to the national debt (from Sarah “you-can-actually see-Russia-from-land-here-in-Alaska” Palin). In the minds of “I-built-this” American, the self-made person (I mean who needs God or grace anyway?), it is perfectly logical, in the minds of the history-illiterate, to link slavery to health care or to say slavery is like the national debt. American history, as we are taught it, plays up the image of colonial America as the land of the persecuted-taxation-without-representation Christians even as it down plays the foundation of the independence America felt compelled to declare from Great Britain, an independence borne aloft on the scarred backs of black men and women. Peering back at the past would show how ludicrous the notion of unassisted-by-government wealth creation like comparing health care or the national debt to slavery really is. It was government which made wealth accumulation possible.  Without laws and the apparatus (can you say government) to ensure their application and maintenance the following would not have been possible.

“Slavery led to great wealth not only in England but in the

Chesapeake as well: “In the middle of the seventeenth century … the

richest 10 percent of the families owned roughly 40 percent of the

wealth, a figure that was to approach 70 percent by the eve of

independence.”80 Studying inventories of planters’ estates, Menard

notes that “slaves accounted for only 20 percent of inventorial wealth

in the seventeenth century … but nearly 60 percent by the 1720s and

65 percent in the 1740s.”81 Slave labor was the central source of

Chesapeake wealth and capital. The best-known Chesapeake

entrepreneur, Thomas Jefferson, owned about 200 enslaved workers

in the year of the Declaration of Independence; fifty years later, in the

year of his death, he owned more than that.82 Howsoever some leaders

of the revolution might philosophize about the Rights of Man and

liberty for all, they took care not to apply such doctrines to the

enslaved workers they owned.”

~ A Short History of American Capitalism

by Meyer Weinberg

 

 

It is the nation’s collective, seemingly hermetically-sealed ignorance which gives us a middleclass and underclass enslaved by miseducation and sedated by entertainment. We just don’t seem to get it. While the CONNINGservatives are telling us that government is the problem, they are using the government to write rules that increase their wealth even while they call many who vote for them lazy 47%ers, takers. How do you know that our government, that is to say the structure given to us by the lobbyists who write the laws while I play fantasy football or keep up with the Kardashians or attend a Tea Party rally carrying an Obama-is-a-socialist-witch-doctor-from-Kenya poster decrying government hands on my Social Security, our government (a system of laws with the apparatus to ensure their application and maintenance) is committed to doing things which have as a by-product, the maintenance and increase of a permanent underclass? In the latest regression, the corporatists sold the public a bill of goods called NAFTA and watched as Mexicans, pushed out of farming at home by American agri-business, fled their country for work in America even as they, the corporatists, exported middle-class jobs and kept profits offshore. And somehow we believe that baseball diamonds in Richmond, Va. and, in the case of Mississippi, outlet malls are the answer to our economic woes.

Of course the corporatists, the Citizens United crowd, would have you believe that these are the forces (producing job exportation and profit offshoring) of globalization at work, the forces that have Americans scrambling for jobs at baseball stadiums or outlet malls and for foreign investment for manufacturing by Siemens and Toyota and Yokohama as defined benefit plans disappear and conservatives seek to cut food assistance programs and resist Medicaid expansion. The narrative says that we, the American public, just need more education so that we can profit from the globalization trends and that Obamacare is ruining our economy. The irony is those foreigners from whom we beg for investment subsidize education better (Japanese doctors don’t have nearly the education debt that American doctors have) and have excellent universal health care. Contrary to what the CONNINGservatives preach, I guess that stuff, universal health care, doesn’t kill jobs after all. The jobs don’t die; they multiply because of the foreign facsimiles of Obamacare; Universal healthcare countries even send jobs all the way overseas to America. What they, the American corporatists, make sure we never hear much about or at least what that attempt to make sure is crowded out off our consciousness by their Think Tanks and talk industry, when we aren’t trying to see who gets voted off the island next or wins the Amazing Race, what is pushed from our field of vision, what is flooded from our cognizance is how the Germans have 200 insurance plans (nonprofit entities that pay medical bills not dividends) and they have insurance even when they are unemployed. While attacking the Affordable Care Act, you’ll never learn that Germans, to whom southern governors go begging for plant investments, make certain that their workers have great input into corporate decisions with works councils, the co-determined board, and wage-setting institutions. Of course the lethargic, infantile American Labor movement would finally grow up and do the American public a great service if it adopted some of these concepts.  But even the American Labor Movement appears to be as trickle-down, top-down oriented, and untrusting of truly democratic functioning with real leadership rotation. 

 

No, you see if things like these were widely known and taught we’d laugh, the joker, John Boehner off the podium when he says that America had the best health care delivery system in the world before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and he would be forced to help improve healthcare access which is substandard instead of running interference for the health insurance industry. We’d laughed at the clown, the mayor of Richmond, and tell him to advocate for a national development plan where certain industries are nurtured the way the Korean’s and others nurtured industries to improve the living standards of their countrymen. But target the plans to the areas “left-behind” so that we can reduce the “takers” in America and increase the number of Americans participating in the production processes in the country. That would be true patriotism.

One thing is evident by the language and focus of these two “economic” leaders, the clown on the left and the joke on the right, is whether it’s the Mayor in Richmond Virginia or the Speaker of the U.S House of Representatives, offense is not easily achieved in America where it is entertainment which is truly the opiate of the people.

▶ Wont Get Fooled Again – YouTube

 

or will we?

“plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

“The more things change, the more they stay the same” –  Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Mississippi Republicans’ masterful utilization of the levers of power, i.e. being able to have U.S. Senators at their beck and call for Yokohama officials (Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.) reveals the true power structure, ancient and plutocratic in nature, of the state (see Jeff Pender’s story, “Landing Clay County tire plant was no easy task,” from the Clarion Ledger 4-27-13). The Governor of the state even gave the Yokohama representatives gifts “paid by private funds.” (Who were the private sector players who provided funds for the Japan junket and what were their motivations?; what did they get or do they hope to get for their investment, since we know that according to conservatives the only motivation for men is self-interest, this being the driver of the free-market?) On what do they get first dibs? What inside information do they get or fast track to supplier contracts will be coming their way. Is their identity a matter of public record? Funny how small government really means government by the few.

 

It looks like the supposed small-government crowd (at least those are the rank and file people who elected a Republican-dominated Mississippi state house, House of Representatives and Senate, and Republicans to every state-wide office except Attorney General believe they are) is now getting “big government” legislation. RepubliCons passed legislation which effectively bans abortion despite recent overwhelming defeat of a personhood initiative which would have effectively banned abortion. How’s that for the will of a few controlling “big government” so that government determines that a woman has no right to decide with her doctor what to do with her body? And now a few men have drawn up a plan to give millions of dollars to a Japanese company and presented it, fully developed, to the legislature for rubber-stamping (“The approach we take with confidentiality is tight-lipped, driven by the commitment we have made to the company with regard to confidentiality- remarked Sally of the Mississippi Development Authority of the secrecy involved before a “a closed and confidential briefing,” according to an article, “Tire plant seen as big jobs producer in the Clarion Ledger, 4-25-2013.

There is not one TEA (taxed-enough already) party scheduled to protest this “big-government” plan. And the Teabagger’s were the crowd that protested so loudly about not knowing what was in the Affordable Care Act. The levers of power in Mississippi are still controlled by a few Oligarchs or Plutocrats, the same as it ever was and the rank and file Republican is satisfied with merely carrying the Republican name.

Mississippi today bears a striking resemblance to Mississippi before the Civil War, where a few wealthy men dictated the course of government, with none-slaving owning lemmings following because of their possible slave-owning potential, 19th century trickle-down economics which also sustained the class structure. The average Mississippi Republican, like the Mississippi Democrats before the Civil War (blacks didn’t get the right to vote until after the war and the Redemption essentially eviscerated the black franchise in the south until the 1960’s), isn’t against big government if the “right” people are in positions of authority perpetuating the status quo, i.e. slow economic growth channeled through a private sector which segregates itself at every opportunity and deplorably under-funds the education system which militates against the development of a truly well-educated (economically and politically)citizenry. The reason you won’t see any TEA party rallies against the Yokohama tire plant “give-away” is because the Heritage clones at the Mississippi Public Policy Center couldn’t generate a whimper from the supposed anti-big-government Mississippi Republicans who are too poor and uneducated (economically and politically) to respond to anything but dog whistles (see my previous post on the dog whistle that kills bugs.)* The Mississippi Public Policy Center can only get a rise out of the racially-responsive population when that population can hear the dog whistle (say ObamaCare or Obama anything in Mississippi and you have blown the whistle)

At the heart of attacks on government, for southerners, and the reason it has a special appeal in the south, is that the attack is an ancient appeal to racial supremacy. It was “Big Government” intervention in the south, interfering with the southern way of life through first trying to maintain the Union and then through Reconstruction, which necessitated the Redemption (In the 1870s, the Southern Democrats exercised power through paramilitary organizations such as the White League and Red Shirts, especially in Louisiana and Mississippi, respectively. The Red Shirts were also active in North Carolina. These paramilitary groups turned out Republican (who were affiliated with the north and freedmen rights) officeholders and terrorized and assassinated other freedmen and their allies to suppress voting. –see Wiki entry on Redeemers). To this day, the flag which was adopted after a massive, horrifically violent post-Reconstruction disenfranchisement period (in 1894) remains as the symbol of white supremacy.  The Mississippi flag is a symbol of planned, structural exclusion.  Those responsible for maintenance of that structural exclusion responded to school integration with a Sovereignty Commission. That structural exclusion, today, has vestiges in schools that were formed as Seg-Academies. That structural exclusion did crack a bit when the University of Mississippi, recognizing the economic impact of not being able to attract many talented black athletes, got rid of the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia (Confederate flag) from its sporting events.  The racist superstructure (the underlying power structure) is part of the reason funds can never be found to sufficiently, continuously fund the Adequate Education Fund in Mississippi. The superstructure is a manifestation of the racial-purity philosophy which was the goal and legacy of the Klan in Mississippi. In keeping something pure (communities, schools, etc.) like keeping government small, something most be excluded, something must be kept out. Now this exclusion is in effect a shrinking of opportunity for training and economic mobility, which can be readily accomplished in a segregated (in terms of employment opportunities) private sector, which ideally you, as a small-government advocate, would want to expand while shrinking or “drowning” in a bathtub the government sector (with its more egalitarian proclivities and determination to monitor inclusiveness and insure diversity and access to opportunity). Of course the diminished or constricted educational funding will have some white, expendable, casualties as well but this simply reinforces the classism but using poor whites as a buffer and shock troops in the political battle to maintain the status quo.

Underfunding education (as in purposely siphoning some of its funding off to fund charter schools) gives the true ruling elite two obvious advantages. First the pool of people competing with them intellectually is constricted through access depravation which makes the dog whistle more effective as supposed racial inferiority becomes superficially evident. The distraction of race allows for a concentration, a concentration facilitated through trade agreements which eviscerate the middle class, of resources into fewer hands. These resources are channeled away from un-educated and under-educated whites through trade agreements which ship jobs overseas depleting the tax base and with it funds for education. The un-educated and under-educated whites don’t know that they have the power to affect these decisions and accept their plight as just a matter of markets at work and are vulnerable to appeals to “entitlement reform” as minorities are viewed as the principal recipients of their tax dollars and that they are Taxed Enough Already. Playing up the notion that the wealth of the nation is being greatly dissipated by entitlement programs or by “welfare queens” is a perfect distraction like the Jesse Helms sponsored Harvey Gant commercial, all the while corporations and wealthy individuals stash billions off-shore and companies, sitting on trillions of dollars display the true blue-smoke-and-mirrors essence of trickle-down economics. Secondly, they, elite white men, the upper-class, firmly in control of the bulk of the capital, can dole out resources (through campaign support and jobs) in the private sector to re-enforce and animate their political views about school funding, abortion clinics, state-approved prayer, etc. The South’s economic drag on the American economy is the price the country must pay for turning its back on the American South for almost 100 years after the Civil War, and allowing a class of white southerners to resist changes that would have enriched the region far faster by keeping a lot of talent here to bloom and ripen. So when you think Yokohama, think how that could have been an American plant with union labor years ago if certain men had not been so successful in fanning the flames of white-hot white supremacy which enriched the upper echelons, retarded labor development and contributed not only to a brain and talent drain which continues to this day but to the under-development of so many of the minds that remained.

*According to Sam R. Hall of the Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Ms., the Milliman study is

“a Dec. 7 report prepared for the Division of Medicaid by Milliman Inc. The report, of course, looks at the costs to the state for expanding Medicaid

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant sent the report to Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Speaker Philip Gunn on Friday, according to the letter attached to the report.”

The report refers to Mississippians or people who currently quality for Medicaid but are not covered as if they were insects or bugs who would come out of the woodwork when it refers to a Woodwork affect as follows:

Woodwork effect
Milliman’s study also includes what he calls the “woodwork effect,” an allusion to people who currently quality for Medicaid but are not covered and will “come out of the woodwork” to qualify because of new changes affecting people without insurance.
Milliman predicts the following costs over the seven-year period, regardless of the state’s decision to expand Medicaid:
• 60 percent: $319 million
• 80 percent: $413 million
• 100 percent: $474 million

AP analysis: U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Voting Rights Act alters Mississippi election dynamic | gulflive.com

Did you ever get the feeling that the members of the dominant culture had a conversation of which you weren’t aware? Reminds me of the old SLN skit. It’s like the people who voted for the photo ID had a convention and determined that action must be taken to prevent someone from doing what there is not evidence anyone has been doing, voting as someone else in-person at the polls. Why would you spend the time and the money to force already registered people to effectively re-register if they lose their driving privilege in Mississippi, a driver’s license being the only photo ID that many people have or force newly eligible voters to access birth records as a part of registration when you never did before minorities formed such a substantial part of the population? Why would you increase “government” costs by putting in a photo ID regime, when there is not evidence that people are showing up to the polls and voting fraudulently? According to Mississippi’s Secretary of State, “Based on Fiscal Year 2010 information, the Department of Public Safety issued 107,094 photo IDs to U.S. citizens of voting age. The individuals were assessed $14 per ID to offset a portion of the $17.92 cost per ID. The cost is estimated to remain the same, but the assessment will no longer be allowable under the provision of Initiatve 27. Therefore, the Department of Public Safety is estimated to see a loss of revenue of approximately $1,499,000.” And this in a state where conservatives say they can’t afford Medicaid expansion. Complicating the matter is Mississippi’s law won’t let you use your old driver’s license, forcing already registered voters to re-register and go through the birth-certificate hoop. This means that when your road privilege expires, your original voter registration is null and void and you now have to go thru the process of re-registering because you now have to access birth records. This means that you have to show exactly what ID to get your birth record to get your photo ID? The law doesn’t say. And actually the law is a far cry from the photo ID initiative that the “white” voters approved, a point that the media conveniently misses,thus operating as the PR arm of the conservative legislature by giving the impression that the fiendish details enacted are the same as the initiative, when it regurgitates the approval percentage which mirrors the racial breakdown of the state. One of the devilish details in the trap: to make matters more intimidating, the legislators made no provision in the law or budget for outreach and education about the law(A very conservative figure for a Mississippi education and outreach program would be $200,000. Georgia’s costs $840,000 and featured radio and TV public service announcements, direct mail, and packages to government agencies). So no one knows what kinds of proof you have to provide, to get the birth record to prove that you are who you say you are. But the vote-Nazi, appointed thru law by the crypto-fascists(the conservative Republican, corporate shills), will tell you. By now everyone should know that the American Fascists, the corporations and their shills who are lead by the Koch brothers and the philosophical descendents of Paul Weyrich, would prefer a smaller electorate.

Mr. Hosemann, or as he should be called the vote-Nazi because of the degree of autonomy he has in determining voting in Mississippi like Mississippi is his personal property(like the Soup-Nazi from the Seinfeld episode), has the audacity to talk about trust (“our relationships and trust in each other have matured” Herr Goebbels, I mean Mr. Hosemann ridiculously remarks) when the law that the neo-feudalists have enacted is the very embodiment of the presumption of guilt. The system in place before the laws enactment had a penalty for falsely completing registration, like the penalty for a witness being sworn-in in a court of law who commits perjury. Now, all of a sudden, as the country’s demographics change, people are suddenly less trustworthy. The law is racist from the core and was only enacted at the will of a white majority apparently afraid of elections being stolen because at the party (in the bubble) to which minorities were not invited, (essentially informal gatherings after essentially segregated church services and private academy PTA meetings and probably many of the neighborhood gatherings and conservative talk radio), it was decided that the less trustworthy darker-skinned people were not to be trusted so everybody should provide photo IDs at the polls. You would think with the busy lives we all lead, working people would not want the additional hassle of new, unjustified voting requirements. But somehow white-majorities have been convinced that the deviled-faced-two-horned unicorn, the fraudulent-in-person voter, is coming to still our elections. Eventually these guys, the corporations-are-people crowd, with all their disproportionate access to legislators with their lobbyists and limitless ability to advertise, are going to overplay their hand. But we’ve probably have to get to the part where collecting rainwater, cutting into profits and earnings per share, is outlawed because the water system has been privatized before It happens.
But unfortunately for the crypto-fascists I have some bad news. “”The weight of scholarly legal and historical opinion appears to support the notion that ‘natural born Citizen’ means one who is entitled under the Constitution or laws of the United States to U.S. citizenship ‘at birth’ or ‘by birth,’ including any child born ‘in’ the United States, the children of United States citizens born abroad, and those born abroad of one citizen parents who has met U.S. residency requirements.” Simply put, a birth certificate is not needed in America to assert citizenship and in the absence of proof to the contrary you will not be able to deny the rights of a citizen to Americans based on the absence of a birth certificate. If a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, then you will not be able to deny people the rights of American citizenship without due process of law.
And furthermore, how is it that the state of Mississippi will be allowed to engage in taxation without representation for Mississippi law says(with no mention of a birth certificate)that: “An individual who maintains a home, apartment or other place of abode in Mississippi, or who exercises the right’s of citizenship in Mississippi by meeting the requirements as a voter or who enjoys the benefits of homestead exemption, is a legal resident of the State of Mississippi and remains a resident although temporarily absent from the state for varying intervals of time. An individual remains a legal resident of Mississippi until citizenship rights are relinquished and a new legal residence is established.” So how is it that Mississippi will now deny the right to vote to legal residents?

AP analysis: U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Voting Rights Act alters Mississippi election dynamic | gulflive.com

GOP constituents demand hard line | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

The Tea-baggers want to “deny money for implementing Obama’s health care law even if that means not financing core government functions at all after Sept. 30Now, it’s easy to cut power to the ventilator when someone else is on it and not you. These supposed liberty lovers don’t mind destroying a law liberates consumers by compelling insurance companies to refund some of the premiums to customers and the freedom the customers would have in using those refunds. These supposed pro-lifers don’t have a problem with repealing a law that prohibits insurance companies from denying life-saving and life-enhancing coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or channels more Americans into affordable medical check-ups and treatments. No, at the risk of endangering things like military operations and social security they are willing to force their representatives to cast meaningless votes to de-fund a law which sets up healthcare-accessibility-enabling insurance exchanges. What would be interesting is how the Tea-baggers who receive Social Security and Medicare

Americans love good socialism.

and other essential government services, which were created because capitalism has limits in meeting the needs of people even in America, what would be interesting would be to see how these suddenly awakened Tea-baggers, awakened from a slumber which caused them to miss the part of their American government class in which they would have learned that it takes a two-third vote of congress to override a Presidential veto even if Tea-baggers held a majority in the Senate and that funding bills only begin in the House, what would be interesting would be to see how those Tea-baggers would respond if they realized that they had pulled the plug on their own ventilator and their government pensions, like those of maybe retired FBI agents, were a couple of months late. (“And a crowd at Lincolnton City Hall erupted in applause when a retired FBI agent from McHenry’s [Rep. Patrick McHenry, R, N.C.] hometown declared that “money is oxygen in Washington” and told McHenry that Republicans should “use the power of the purse” to extract what they want from the executive branch.” Unlike those districts which voted for Tea Party candidates most of American voted for the head of that “executive branch,” a fact that Tea-baggers seem to want to ignore as they rush to suffocate America.) It would be such a wonderful thing to dispel the Tea-bagger illusion of detachment. That would cause people like Mitt Romney, who are truly detached, with their Cayman Island and Swiss bank accounts, to fight their own battles and not have so many working-class people who are really shouldering the government and would be much more likely to be called upon to defend the country from aggressors with their lives, or sent on miss-adventures like Iraq, running interference for them, the one-per-centers. You have to give Romney and his ilk credit for exploiting the self-devaluing mentality of the masses of people in America. For we have internalized a degraded self-value (receiving compensation many times less than the job-creators who are really exporting jobs) while accepting notions about the advantages of “free-trade” which have given us less freedom even as productivity has increased with corporate profits soaring while wages remain low, defined benefit plans disappear, and the destruction of Mexican farmers by massive American corporate farm interest fueling immigration, placing further downward pressure on American wages.

No, dear Tea-bagger, ObamaCare is not your problem. The decline in your living standards has come at the hands of the corporatists which you defend by attacking ObamaCare. ObamaCare goes against the interests of giant insurers. What you should be attacking, Mrs. Tea-bagger is the attempts at evergreening by pharmaceutical companies and the high costs of prescription medications and the anti-trust exemptions of insurance companies.

GOP constituents demand hard line | The Clarion-Ledger | clarionledger.com

Mississippi to Drown Public Schools in a Bathtub or How to use the Charter Trojan Horse to attack Public Schools

The anti-labor minions of the oligarchs say you fix education in Mississippi by making sure teachers aren’t part of the state retirement system (effectively reducing the return on their education) and that they don’t have to meet licensing requirements (two-features of the recently passed Mississippi Charter-School bill), right? Wondering how paying teachers less and removing licensing requirements help children in public education? The thing is they’re not really meant to. These two standard subversions, probably produced and spoon-fed to Mississippi’s Legislature by ALEC or Better Education for Mississippi or FreedomWorks (they’re really indistinguishable enemies of public education and truth be told would rather have the whole department abolished), reduce costs for any future privatization and more immediately increase the amounts available for payment to the “education service provider,” “governing board members” and “leadership and management team” incarnated in the Mississippi (Cherry-Picking) Charter School law. And to further entrench the power in Republican hands the law removes some rather pesky regulation. So that they and their buddies can suckle un-harassed at the government tit and funnel money back into Republican election campaigns through donors who favor less regulation the RepubliCons injected this: Charter Schools are exempt FROM REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO PUBLIC PURCHASES. How’s that for avoiding any chance of Operation Pretense-styled investigations or PEER investigations? The RepubliCons have become masters of evasion and avoidance by changing the rules so that Voodoo economics prevail. They change the laws to avoid having to do what “ordinary” people must do so that they can make fortunes while holding or running for public office like Mitt Romney with his Cayman Island bank accounts. They set the stage by simply shaping the rules to allow trillions in revenue to be kept off-shore and personal funds in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands. Funny how that less-regulation thing dovetails so nicely with the lobbyist-created loop holes to produce Midas fortunes for so few, i.e. the way the Commodities Modernization Act ultimately benefited AIG and Goldman Sachs. But what the benefit that the public got from the Collateralized debt obligations could hardly be described as a trickle. It was a trick demonstrating the true wine into sewer water magic which is the mark of Voodoo economics. The appeal is to the greed of the poor and middle class people like me who are susceptible to the notion that if the wealthy have more we all stand a chance of being wealthy like them. It’s an appeal to our greed.

You see the same Voodoo economics at work here in Mississippi where the populace has been convinced that by siphoning off a few kids (in Charter Schools) from the rest while using the same money or funding(simply subdividing the under-funded Adequate Education Funding program), everybody will be better off, Voila! Trickle-down (Voodoo Economics) applied to education.

FYI: Shanghai China (population 20 million) went the opposite direction of small select groups with “development of a more inclusive system in which all students are expected to perform at high levels; greatly raising teacher pay and upgrading teacher standards and teacher education” and their students out performed the world.

The truth is that in everything from the flag that was adopted to dis the Union after the Civil War to the Seg Academies that were formed in the wake of a court decision to the Charter School movement, there is a strong element in Mississippi which is anti-union of any stripe and would prefer separate but equal. Failing that, they can maintain their preferred stratification by operating two public education systems, one of which they control by crafting a rule which says that

“Each member of the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board must have demonstrated an understanding of and commitment to charter schooling as a strategy for strengthening public education.”

Of course that is a hand-crafted, cushy position for someone from Heritage, K12, or any of the other proponents of privatization. Oh, by the way the Authorizer Board gets paid government funds and there is nothing to prohibit a member of the board from going to work for the “education service provider” after leaving the board. And of course they can all contribute to RepubliCon campaigns. Here comes the Education-Industrial Complex, created and controlled by the RepubliCon Party.

The really funny thing is how they get so many poor and working class people to vote with and for them. Maybe the RepubliCons are employing a sense of inferiority among some Americans embodied in the notion that both Gordon Gekko (“Greed is good” – at least for the Oligarchs) and W.C. Fields (“You can’t cheat an honest man” – the RepubliCon deception only works on poor people and the middle class if they approve their ill-treated as deserved, as the way things ought to be in a survival of the fittest society and thus sympathize with the Romney types who never give a sucker an even break) were right.