Why America needs Elizabeth Warren to run for president

Elizabeth WarrenI love Bernie Sanders Bernie Sanders, but the politician that completely awes me is Elizabeth Warren. These progressives both speak powerful truths that America needs to hear, so maybe it’s a style thing – Warren is a bit more polished than Sanders – or, maybe it’s Warren being a woman. All I can tell you is that this lady has become very special to me. And I have a dream … that this outspoken advocate who believes in and champions decent values, dignity and living wages for working Americans, honesty and integrity in the business community; truth in politics and the media and students not being forced into a lifetime of debt in order to get college educated and protection of social security and other social safety nets … will run for president in the 2016 Election and win.

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Do you know that a cop murdered Mr. Walter Scott and has been charged?

NYT video of Scott being shot
Walter Scott was a South Carolina man who owed child support, and the car he drove had a broken taillight, which 33 year old Police Officer Michael T. Slager stopped him for on April 4 2015. It’s possible that slightly overweight Mr. Scott ran slowly away from the officer to avoid being arrested for his unpaid child support – we’ll never know, because Slager decided to pull out his gun and shoot Mr. Scott 8 times. One of those shots entered Mr. Scott’s heart and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Wisconsin may be 1st US state to completely end justice

Protest beyond the law, ZinnMonied interests in Wisconsin have been systematically working to eradicate justice in their courts in order to make it legal for court decisions to be bought by the mighty and the monied. By pushing through a change in this spring’s election to the way the state’s Supreme Court Chief Justice is selected, Wisconsin conservatives may have finally reached the tipping point they’ve been working towards for several years.

They’ve made it legal for money to buy court decisions and for court oversight to be removed – accomplishments they were able to make law because America is not voting, and we don’t seem to know what democracy means.

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Democratic citizens have obligations, not just rights

dismantle corporate powerI don’t know why this important US Department of State document is housed on a Taiwanese website. but I like how it lays out the Citizen Responsibilities in a Democracy. Some of the juicier exerpts are:

Citizenship in a democracy requires participation, civility, and even patience.

Democratic citizens recognize that they not only have rights, they have responsibilities. They recognize that democracy requires an investment of time and hard work — a government of the people demands constant vigilance and support by the people.

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This is not a VW bus, it’s a tent – how cool!

VW Bus TentThis is not a Volkswagen Camper Bus! It’s a to-scale replica that is actually a four person tent. How cool is that?

If you want one, they sell for $500 :-)

VW Camper Bus Tent

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White House & famous actors take stand against sexual assault (1 min video)

1 is 2 manyThe White House just released a very well-done video with major actors, President Obama and Vice-Prez Biden taking a stand against sexual assault. They say men need to be part of the solution to stop it from ever happening, “Because 1 is 2 many.”

Mic.com reports, “Vice President Biden introduced the PSA during the official release of “The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault” Tuesday afternoon in Washington.” Biden tells us, “This is about respect. It’s about responsibility.”

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I’m going to miss Jon Stewart but Noah is looking pretty good

I know you’re going to miss this face as much as I am.Jon Stewart

But after watching this clip I’m looking forward to more of Trevor Noah‘s commentary on The Today Show. Not only does Noah come out of South Africa, the land where everyone rides lions and wears leopard skin suits. But he’s got a cool, straight man presence, very subtle and titillating. And Noah’s biracial – a heritage that was impossible during the days of apartheid, not so very long ago. So this should be a fun adventure.

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NJ Court rules insurance co must pay PSEG for Sandy’s damage

downed wires on highway - sandyNew Jersey property insurance holders were fortunate that Superstorm Sandy was downgraded by the National Weather Service to the classification of a post-tropical tornado shortly before it made landfall. Had Sandy been classified as a more severe weather event, insurance companies might have been relieved of much of their obligation to pay on the damage claims that were filed. Courts have made it clear to insurers that they must pay those claims.

But, it has taken until now for the question of whether PSEG’s insurance company must pay for the $500 million damages the energy utility incurred as a result of the storm. The insurer wanted to cap payout at $100 million but on March 23 legal judgement was emphatically entered in favor of the utility:

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Politico’s attempt to make fun of Baraka is an utter #fail

Ras BarakaMatt Bonamo tried pretty hard to discredit Ras Baraka in his March 19 Politico Magazine article. He failed, because Ras is good at being good – but not for lack of trying.

Ras with finger alongside noseFirst, look at the photo Mark chose as his lead: why is Baraka’s face contorted, and his finger laid alongside his nose? Only one logical answer: the photo is meant to be demeaning. In the article’s wrap-up, Bonamo quotes Ras using syntactically regional language. Again, why? Why list every one of Booker’s impressive educational credentials and then contrast that with a quote showing Baraka being loose with his grammar? Again, the reason is clear: Bonamo obviously meant to discredit Mayor Baraka.

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Newark students – heroes in spite of being deprived of books and food

Support Newark studentsThe Student Heroes of Newark is a phrase coined by Daniel Katz in a Huffington Post article on how Newark, New Jersey students are handling the challenges of being starved by the Christie Administration and Cami Anderson, Newark Schools superintendent for classroom books and even food.

One student explains that there may be four textbooks in a classroom of over 30 children. Another, that there isn’t enough food in the cafeteria for both lunch and breakfast: if the staff serve one meal, they run out of food for the other. Take a look for yourself at this 3 minute video – these young people are powerful advocates and know how to tell their story.

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One Newark concocted by Cami, Christie, BFF Cory Booker & Zuckerberg

The Newark-eteersLast year, the New Yorker magazine reported that the One Newark Schools plan – which was fully implemented this year and has wreaked tragedy and havoc on Newark students’ lives – is the brainchild of Cami Anderson, Chris Christie and their close friend Cory Booker … and was implemented with the suport of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

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Much more about Christie than he wants you to know

Christie and croniesWNYC Radio is keeping an eye on Christie. If you’d like to know if the governor is in New Jersey or the latest and greatest update on Bridgate (that rhymes), head over to their Christie Tracker project and find out.

Of particular interest to anyone who wants to see Christie go down, is all the juicy information just posted in Bridgegate Fall Guy Was Inside Man on March 12.

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Irish dancing flash mob

Irish folk dancingI love these expressions of pure joy! 40-youth flash mob takes over the Lakeside Shopping Center in Essex and what they do is spellbinding.

Thanks for the share, Judy!

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Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias: the tendency to search for, interpret, or recall information that confirms one’s beliefs. Also known as Myside Bias.

I always forget what this term is. Thanks Jeff Buffington for reminding me :)

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Blogger Bob Braun rips testing giant Pearson’s privacy invasion practices wide open

Creepy Parson spying on meWith amplification from Diane Ravitch (where you can also read the text of Bob’s original post if his website is still inaccessible), Washington Post, Daily Kos, a growing number of local news portals and now The War Report radio show, Bob Braun has busted wide open the practice of standardized testing giant Pearson Education to spy on and oppress students using Pearson Streamlines Social Media Listening and Monitoring With Tracx. It’s more than shocking.

Bob Braun’s Ledger reported the exclusive story that Pearson is monitoring students’ social media accounts during PARCC testing … and that both Pearson and the NJDOE called for the punishment of a student who had tweeted after taking the test, although school authorities knew – and had reported – that the student did not share any sensitive information. This Watchung Regional High School District Superintendent’s letter was leaked to Braun and started the snowball rolling.

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