Wednesday, November 30, 2016



Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Trump and Resistance

Hillary Clinton won the election by 2 million votes, but Donald Trump won the Presidency in the Electoral College.  What’s that you say about democracy ?
During the last year the according to the Southern Poverty Law Center the militant, fascist, militarist, racist terrorist group Storm Front has grown to over 300,000 members.  ( one of several such groups).
These and parallel developments may require that we reconsider and adjust our basic  political strategy as developed in the strategy document.  We need a serious new analysis because the terrain of our struggle and our activity has shifted significantly.
Some 2 -11 million immigrant workers in the US now face terrorism and possible deportation.  Over 2 million U.S. citizen children face the possibility that their parents will be deported and they will be placed in foster care.
I had a piece on the Democratic Left blog on the possible consequences of a victory by Trump and Trumpism.
If you prefer video, here is a good piece  Hate Rising.
This video is also up on YouTube.
The labor movement faces its most difficult assault since the passage of the Taft-Hartley act which changed the nature of organized labor in the U.S.
 Labor will be shaken to its core.  Harold Meyerson has a good piece on this on the DSA blog, Talking Union.
The Trump administration’s chief military advisor advocates siding with Asad and Putin in Syria, and usually recommends U.S. military interventions in troubled areas.
This militarist approach could well set us back to the decades of U.S. intervention  from 2000- 2010. The U.S. anti war movement , or what remains of it, will have their backs to the wall.
The ecological justice movement now faces a regime that take us back to the 1970’s on ignoring climate change. – while the environmental crisis grows.  As Nomi Klein said, “This Changes Everything”.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Trump and School Privatization

Diane Ravitch. NY Review of Books. Nov.27,2016.
In early September, Donald Trump declared his commitment to privatization of the nation’s public schools. He held a press conference at a low-performing charter school in Cleveland run by a for-profit entrepreneur. He announced that if elected president, he would turn $20 billion in existing federal education expenditures into a block grant to states, which they could use for vouchers for religious schools, charter schools, private schools, or public schools. These are funds that currently subsidize public schools that enroll large numbers of poor students. Like most Republicans, Trump believes that “school choice” and competition produce better education, even though there is no evidence for this belief. As president, Trump will encourage competition among public and private providers of education, which will reduce funding for public schools. No high-performing nation in the world has privatized its schools.
The motives for the privatization movement are various. Some privatizers have an ideological commitment to free-market capitalism; they decry public schools as “government schools,” hobbled by unions and bureaucracy. Some are certain that schools need to be run like businesses, and that people with business experience can manage schools far better than educators. Others have a profit motive, and they hope to make money in the burgeoning “education industry.” The adherents of the business approach oppose unions and tenure, preferring employees without any adequate job protection and merit pay tied to test scores. They never say, “We want to privatize public schools.” They say, “We want to save poor children from failing schools.” Therefore, “We must open privately managed charter schools to give children a choice,” and “We must provide vouchers so that poor families can escape the public schools.”
The privatization movement has a powerful lobby to advance its cause. Most of those who support privatization are political conservatives. Right-wing think tanks regularly produce glowing accounts of charter schools and vouchers along with glowing reports about their success. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing organization funded by major corporations and composed of two thousand or so state legislators, drafts model charter school legislation, which its members introduce in their state legislatures. Every Republican governor and legislature has passed legislation for charters and vouchers. About half the states have enacted voucher legislation or tax credits for nonpublic schools, even though in some of those states, like Indiana and Nevada, the state constitution explicitly forbids spending state funds on religious schools or anything other than public schools.
More: Read it on line. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Trump : The Privatization of Public Schools

It is hard to find anyone more passionate about the idea of steering public dollars away from traditional public schools than Betsy DeVos, Donald J. Trump’s pick as the cabinet secretary overseeing the nation’s education system.

For nearly 30 years, as a philanthropist, activist and Republican fund-raiser, she has pushed to give families taxpayer money in the form of vouchers to attend private and parochial schools, pressed to expand publicly funded but privately run charter schools, and tried to strip teacher unions of their influence.

A daughter of privilege, she also married into it; her husband, Dick, who ran unsuccessfully for governor of Michigan a decade ago, is heir to the Amway fortune. Like many education philanthropists, she argues that children’s ZIP codes should not confine them to failing schools.

But Ms. DeVos’s efforts to expand educational opportunity in her home state of Michigan and across the country have focused little on existing public schools, and almost entirely on establishing newer, more entrepreneurial models to compete with traditional schools for students and money. Her donations and advocacy go almost entirely toward groups seeking to move students and money away from what Mr. Trump calls “failing government schools.”

Conservative school choice activists hailed her on Wednesday as a fellow disrupter, and as someone who would block what they see as federal intrusion on local schools.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, where Ms. DeVos helped push legislation establishing tax credits for scholarships to private schools, called her an “outstanding pick,” a “passionate change agent to press for a new education vision.”

“Her allegiance is to families, particularly those struggling at the bottom of the economic ladder, not to an outdated public education model that has failed them from one generation to the next,” he wrote on Facebook.

Frederick M. Hess, the director of education policy studies for the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, called Ms. DeVos a “smart, principled small-government conservative who’s experienced in politics and versed in the relevant policy.”

But to teachers’ unions, she is anathema.

Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, called Ms. DeVos “the most ideological, anti-public education nominee” since the secretary of education was elevated to the cabinet level four decades ago.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

antiracismdsa: Crossing The Line - Immigrants

antiracismdsa: Crossing The Line - Immigrants: by Laura Carlson The weather is undecided. One day is winter and the next day, spring. Today, fortunately, it is springtime in New Y...

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sacramento in the Trump House

Sacramento outgoing   first lady Michelle Rhee and  outgoing Mayor Kevin Johnson met with President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday as Rhee is in contention for education secretary for the incoming Republican administration.
Associated Press photos show Rhee and Johnson departing from the meeting at a Trump-owned golf club in Bedminster, N.J., smiling and shaking hands with the President-elect. Crystal Strait, chief of staff to Johnson, could not confirm if the mayor was in the room during Trump’s discussion with Rhee. See Bee article and photos here.

Johnson was unavailable for comment, Strait said. According to the Bee, 
"Rhee gained prominence as an education reformer while she was chancellor of schools in Washington, D.C., from 2007-10. In 2010, she formed StudentsFirst, a states-based education reform organization that advocates for school-choice initiatives and has been active in elections." She has been an ardent opponent of teachers unions and a supporter of efforts such as the defeated Vergara   decision.  ( see prior posts on this blog). She was a significant advisor to the Broad Academy for school leadership which trains and places school superintendents including a former Sacramento Superintendent Jonathon Raymond. Graduates have  advanced a corporate view of school "reform"  in Sacramento, Los Angeles, and around the nation.

Rethinking Globalization, Or Trumpism Prevails

Democracy, Trade, Globalization and Trump

 By Thomas Piketty
November 16, 2016
Let it be said at once: Trump's victory is primarily due to the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United States over several decades and the inability of successive governments to deal with this.
Both the Clinton and the Obama administrations frequently went along with the market liberalization launched under Reagan and both Bush presidencies. At times they even outdid them: the financial and commercial deregulation carried out under Clinton is an example. What sealed the deal, though, was the suspicion that the Democrats were too close to Wall Street - and the inability of the Democratic media elite to learn the lessons from the Sanders vote.
Hillary won the popular vote by a whisker (60.1 million votes as against 59.8 million for Trump, out of a total adult population of 240 million), but the participation of the youngest and the lowest income groups was much too low to enable key states to be won.
The tragedy is that Trump's program will only strengthen the trend towards inequality. He intends to abolish the health insurance laboriously granted to low-paid workers under Obama and to set the country on a headlong course into fiscal dumping, with a reduction from 35% to 15% in the rate of federal tax on corporation profits, whereas to date the United States had resisted this trend, already witnessed in Europe.
In addition, the increasing role of ethnicity in American politics does not bode well for the future if new compromises are not found. In the United States, 60% of the white majority votes for one party while over 70% of the minorities vote for the other. In addition to this, the majority is on the verge of losing its numerical advantage (70% of the votes cast in 2016, as compared with 80% in 2000 and 50% forecast in 2040).
The main lesson for Europe and the world is clear: as a matter of urgency, globalization must be fundamentally re-oriented. The main challenges of our times are the rise in inequality and global warming. We must therefore implement international treaties enabling us to respond to these challenges and to promote a model for fair and sustainable development.
Agreements of a new type can, if necessary, include measures aimed at facilitating these exchanges. But the question of liberalizing trade should no longer be the main focus. Trade must once again become a means in the service of higher ends. It never should have become anything other than that.
There should be no more signing of international agreements that reduce customs duties and other commercial barriers without including quantified and binding measures to combat fiscal and climate dumping in those same treaties. For example, there could be common minimum rates of corporation tax and targets for carbon emissions which can be verified and sanctioned. It is no longer possible to negotiate trade treaties for free trade with nothing in exchange.
From this point of view, Ceta, the EU-Canada free trade deal, should be rejected. It is a treaty which belongs to another age. This strictly commercial treaty contains absolutely no restrictive measures concerning fiscal or climate issues. It does, however, contain a considerable reference to the "protection of investors". This enables multinationals to sue states under private arbitration courts, bypassing the public tribunals available to one and all.
The legal supervision proposed is clearly inadequate, in particular concerning the key question of the remuneration of the arbitrators-cum-referees and will lead to all sorts of abuses. At the very time when American legal imperialism is gaining in strength and imposing its rules and its dues on our companies, this decline in public justice is an aberration. The priority, on the contrary, should be the construction of strong public authorities, with the creation of a prosecutor, including a European state prosecutor, capable of enforcing their decisions.
The Paris Accords had a purely theoretical aim of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. This would, for example, require the oil found in the tar sands in Alberta to be left in the ground. But Canada has just started mining there again. So what sense is there in signing this agreement and then, only a few months later, signing a highly restrictive commercial treaty without a single mention of this question?
A balanced treaty between Canada and Europe, aimed at promoting a partnership for fair and sustainable development, should begin by specifying the emission targets of each signatory and the practical commitments to achieve these.
In matters of fiscal dumping and minimum rates of taxation on corporation profits, this would obviously mean a complete paradigm change for Europe, which was constructed as a free trade area with no common fiscal policy. This change is essential. What sense is there in agreeing on a common fiscal policy (which is the one area in which Europe has achieved some progress for the moment) if each country can then fix a near-zero rate and attract all the major company headquarters?
It is time to change the political discourse on globalization: trade is a good thing, but fair and sustainable development also demands public services, infrastructure, health and education systems. In turn, these themselves demand fair taxation systems. If we fail to deliver these, Trumpism will prevail.
[Thomas Piketty is professor of economics at the Paris School of Economics. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including Capital in the Twenty-First Century.]
This piece was first published in Le Monde on 12 November 2016

Thursday, November 03, 2016

This Election Is About School Funding, Democratic Control of Education

This Election Is About School Funding, Democratic Control of Education
This essay is well informed about school funding in the nation.  It is not well informed about school funding in California.  The critical battle in California is Proposition 55.   See blog post on "Protect School Funding."  below. 

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Alicia Machado: Donald Trump Called Me Miss Piggy (VIDEO) Hillary Clinto...

Sacramento Progressive Alliance- Voter Guides

Hate Rising.  With Jorge Ramos
For those who do not watch Spanish language TV, Jorge Ramos is the preeminent TV anchor person on Univision.   Univision is the most watched Spanish language network in the world.  And, about the 5th most watched network ( English or Spanish) in the U.S.   They have recently added an on line bilingual  network Fusion which co produced this video.

Sacramento Progressive Alliance  Candidates:
Voter Guide: Propositions

Please vote.  It matters. 

Creative Commons License
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