Rage. Probably political rage. Maybe just personal rage. Lots of sarcasm and cynicism. Also pretty pictures.

How about increase the teachers’ salaries (which is in this budget) but don’t cut the 3000 filled positions/jobs (600+ are vacant positions for 180+ days) and forget about the corporate tax cuts that are already being enjoyed? How do we need more corporate tax cuts in this state? We’re already the most Business/Corporate-friendly state in the US. How is eliminating State Jobs good for job creation - i mean, i know public employees are the devil and all, but they are still employed! This is ridiculous. I cannot wait until we can vote you out of office.


Birds of Paradise

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology brings you a jaw-dropping look at the gorgeous evolutionary miracles that are birds of paradise. Their colorful dances are are one of the pinnacles of biological art.

(via Science-Based Life)


Back in September, the Congressional Research Service released a report that found no evidence that tax cuts for the wealthy spur economic growth. Republicans objected to the wording and findings of the report. It ended up being quietly pulled in mid-September. From the NYT article about this:

Congressional aides and outside economists said they were not aware of previous efforts to discredit a study from the research service.

“When their math doesn’t add up, Republicans claim that their vague version of economic growth will somehow magically make up the difference. And when that is refuted, they’re left with nothing more to lean on than charges of bias against nonpartisan experts,” said Representative Sander Levin of Michigan, ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee.

Maddowblog points out that this is not a new tactic for Republican lawmakers:

This was consistently one of the more offensive hallmarks of the Bush/Cheney era. In 2005…after a government report showed an increase in terrorism around the world, the administration announced it would stop publishing its annual report on international terrorism. Reality proved problematic, so rather than addressing the problem, the Republican administration decided to hide the reality.

Soon after, the Bush administration was discouraged by data about factory closings in the U.S., the administration announced it would stop publishing information about factory closings.

When Bush’s Department of Education found that charter schools were underperforming, the administration said it would sharply cut back on the information it collects about charter schools.


And now, we’re seeing a similar problem. Republicans have adopted trickle-down, supply-side economics as the foundation for their entire worldview. The Congressional Research Service used reliable, objective information to report what most mainstream economists widely accepted — if the goal is boosting economic growth, giving people who already rich a tax break doesn’t do anything except make the gap between rich and poor more dramatic.

This is all part of a pattern: if conservatives don’t like the facts, they not only dispute them, but try to bury them. So we have climate change deniers in government. More recently, they’ve attacked Nate Silver for using math instead of his gut to predict the outcome of the 2012 election and made paranoid, unsubstantiated claims that national polls are all skewed against Mitt Romney.

The GOP is a party that stands for the denial of reality, obstructionism, and bullshit. No wonder the GOP nominated a blatant liar like Romney to be president. I cannot believe these mendacious assholes are the only other major political party in this country.



Under Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher program, considered the most sweeping in the country, Louisiana is poised to spend tens of millions of dollars to help poor and middle-class students from the state’s notoriously terrible public schools receive a private education. While the governor’s plan sounds great in the glittery parlance of the state’s PR machine, the program is rife with accountability problems that actually haven’t been solved by the new standards the Louisiana Department of Education adopted two weeks ago.

For one, of the 119 (mostly Christian) participating schools, Zack Kopplin, a gutsy college sophomore who’s taken to Change.org to stonewall the program, has identified at least 19 that teach or champion creationist non-science, and will rake in nearly $4 million in public funding from the initial round of voucher designations.

Many of these schools, Kopplin notes, rely on Pensecola-based A Beka Book curriculum or Bob Jones University Press textbooks to teach their pupils Bible-based “facts,” such as the existence of Nessie the Loch Ness Monster and all sorts of pseudoscience that researcher Rachel Tabachnick and writer Thomas Vinciguerra have thankfully pored over so the rest of world doesn’t have to.

Some of the ‘facts’ pointed out in the article:

  1. Dinosaurs and humans probably hung out
  2. Dragons were totally real
  3. “God used the Trail of Tears to bring many Indians to Christ.”
  4. Africa needs religion
  5. Slave masters were nice guys
  6. The KKK was A-OK
  7. The Great Depression wasn’t as bad as the liberals made it sound
  8. SCOTUS enslaved fetuses
  9. The Red Scare isn’t over yet
  10. Mark Twain and Emily Dicksinson were a couple of hacks
  11. Abstract algebra is too dang complicated
  12. Gay people “have no more claims to special rights than child molesters or rapists.”
  13. “Global environmentalists have said and written enough to leave no doubt that their goal is to destroy the prosperous economies of the world’s richest nations.”
  14. Globalization is a precursor to rapture

Louisiana survived Katrina and had the nation and the world rooting for it.  Not sure it can survive a decade of this kind of education. 

I was about to post this and sarahlee310 beat me to it. haha

Awesome that public tax money will go to teaching evangelical Christian revisionist history. 


For two months last fall, Eric Simons secretly took up residence inside the Internet giant’s Palo Alto, Calif., campus, eating free food, enjoying gym access, and building a startup in the process.







This morning my parents read an article from the Baltimore Sun about lawmakers in the Maryland General Assembly pushing to raise the dropout age to 17 by 2015 and 18 later on. Maryland Reporter writes: “The House of Delegates voted to increase the mandatory age Maryland children are required to…

Reasons are varied and may include: to find work, avoid bullying, family emergency, poor grades, depression, unexpected pregnancy, bad environment, lack of freedom, and boredom from lack of lessons relevant to the world of work.” 

Also: “It seems that the educational system in America is deeply flawed, so raising the drop out age won’t help. Students are forced into complacency as they must obey the teachers or be punished, follow the annoying bell schedule, have “patriotic” slogans pushed into their heads. Every student is almost peer-pressured to stand up to “pledge allegiance” to the flag of the United States of America. This is absurd, as people are pledging to false values (the country to does not stand for liberty and justice for all). These measures rob people of their individuality, making them like robots. The educational system must be democratized and then other problems could be solved.”

"WHEREAS, our nation’s future well-being relies on a high-quality public education system that prepares all students for college, careers, citizenship and lifelong learning, and strengthens the nation’s social and economic well-being; and

WHEREAS, our nation’s school systems have been spending growing amounts of time, money and energy on high-stakes standardized testing, in which student performance on standardized tests is used to make major decisions affecting individual students, educators and schools; and

WHEREAS, the over-reliance on high-stakes standardized testing in state and federal accountability systems is undermining educational quality and equity in U.S. public schools by hampering educators’ efforts to focus on the broad range of learning experiences that promote the innovation, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, communication, critical thinking and deep subject-matter knowledge that will allow students to thrive in a democracy and an increasingly global society and economy; and

WHEREAS, it is widely recognized that standardized testing is an inadequate and often unreliable measure of both student learning and educator effectiveness; and

WHEREAS, the over-emphasis on standardized testing has caused considerable collateral damage in too many schools, including narrowing the curriculum, teaching to the test, reducing love of learning, pushing students out of school, driving excellent teachers out of the profession, and undermining school climate; and

WHEREAS, high-stakes standardized testing has negative effects for students from all backgrounds, and especially for low-income students, English language learners, children of color, and those with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the culture and structure of the systems in which students learn must change in order to foster engaging school experiences that promote joy in learning, depth of thought and breadth of knowledge for students; therefore be it

RESOLVED, that [your organization name] calls on the governor, state legislature and state education boards and administrators to reexamine public school accountability systems in this state, and to develop a system based on multiple forms of assessment which does not require extensive standardized testing, more accurately reflects the broad range of student learning, and is used to support students and improve schools; and

RESOLVED, that [your organization name] calls on the U.S. Congress and Administration to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as the “No Child Left Behind Act,” reduce the testing mandates, promote multiple forms of evidence of student learning and school quality in accountability, and not mandate any fixed role for the use of student test scores in evaluating educators.”

Click the link to endorse this resolution -PerSe1010


“I’m President Barack Obama. And I too want to slow-jam the news.”

PerSe1010: Holy Shit.

It is our responsibility as lawmakers and educators to make this system work. But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it. And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American. That is why we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

Barack Obama

Notice he’s not talking about just four-year college. What a snob.

(via soupsoup)

It’s a Biblical principle. If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren’t called to teach. To go in and raise someone’s child for eight hours a day, or many people’s children for eight hours a day, requires a calling. It better be a calling in your life. I know I wouldn’t want to do it, OK? And these teachers that are called to teach, regardless of the pay scale, they would teach. It’s just in them to do. It’s the ability that God give ‘em. And there are also some teachers, it wouldn’t matter how much you would pay them, they would still perform to the same capacity. If you don’t keep that in balance, you’re going to attract people who are not called, who don’t need to be teaching our children. So, everything has a balance.


Science FTW.


Science FTW.

The evidence is clear, as in a February 2009 Gallup Poll, taken on the eve of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday, that reported only 39 percent of Americans say they “believe in the theory of evolution,” while a quarter say they do not believe in the theory, and another 36…

American principal vs. Dumbledore.

American principal vs. Dumbledore.

(Source: vishnufish)