For any of you interested in educational reform, The Death and Life of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch is a must read. It effectively lays out the many misconceptions and false starts our national education reform movement has made. I finished the book today and it has strengthened my already substantial pride in the Massachusetts public education system. I thought I’d use this space to lay out a few sources of this pride
A friend sent this to me. I do not know if it is genuine, actually from the Ise Shrine and oracle, but the sentiments are real and, as with chicken soup, it couldn’t hurt.
A Japanese Monk Sent this Prayer Request
The damage of the earthquake in Japan is devastating. Unable to cool down the reactor, we are facing a possibility of nuclear plant explosion [hydrogen explosions, not nuclear like a bomb]. Please join our prayer. Feel free to forward this prayer request to anyone. It would be great if more people can pray.
Here is a translation of a message/oracle from the Ise Shrine in Japan:
After sunset we need strong power of prayer.
Please let me deliver the message to as many as possible.
We can stop this earthquake with our prayers, but right now the nuclear
plant is in danger.
Please heal the suffering, sadness, anger, worry about nuclear plants.
Please do not think that this accident will bring justice.
Please care for each other.
The energy toward conflict and fight is also fueling the things happening right now.
Please stop the conflict and stop the fight and change the worrying voice to the power of prayer.
Please pray that as many people as possible can be saved.
We will be O.K.
If our hearts start connecting with each other the earth will be healed.
There are the sounds/vibrations that can release the karma of earth.
Anyone who can make a prayer sound, anyone who can do reiki,
anyone who can do long distance healing,
please direct your energy to the center of Japan .
The exact location is above the Hachiro gata, Akita Prefecture .
If you can sing, please sing.
Humming is fine too.
Let the earth listen to the sound.
Please send gratitude to the earth.
If mother earth wakes up, everything will stop.
The word Song/Sing writes in Japanese Kanji – small possibilities
support a big lack.
Please send your prayer to the Earth to wake up the Spirit.
I will be in meditation after the sunset.
I will pray for the light shining in the sky even in the darkness.
May everyone be safe.
Thank you for supporting my heart at this very difficult time.
Gratitude for our life.
Diligent reporter that I am, I got up Thursday morning to do a bit of fishing for a story, and as so often happens, I’ve caught something a bit unexpected.
Now what I have for you today starts out as a bit of insider information that came to me on background-but it turns into a chance for those of us who support Social Security to very much get in the faces of our members of Congress, for two whole weeks.
And to make it even better, I’m going to throw out a few direct action ideas “for your consideration” (as they say in Hollywood during Awards Season) that would absolutely make good street actions and YouTube videos, both at the same time…and even more importantly, we’ll absolutely make some great Spring Break fun.
And it must be a crisis! You can tell because Mike Widmer from the business backed Mass Taxpayers Foundation and Noah Berger from the non partisan Mass Budget and Policy Center agree on one thing anywayl
From the Telegram, which focused on the severe cuts in local aid in Worcester,
Michael J. Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed budget watchdog, said that even a return to economic prosperity may not bring back the state money that cities and towns have watched evaporate from their budgets in recent years. “I think we're seeing a permanent readjustment in local aid,” Mr. Widmer said, later adding, “In the next decade, there is a new reality here in which cities and towns are just going to have more limited means. We're not going back to previous levels of local aid anytime soon — if ever.”
Widmer and MassBudget's Mr. Berger both attribute the budget crisis in part to major state tax cuts in the boom times of the dotcom bubble in the late 1990s.
Reductions in corporate tax rates and the voter-approved state income tax rollback in 2000 have depressed state revenues ever since, Mr. Berger said. The loss in revenue proved to be a double hit during the recession, he said, because it also had lessened the amount of money the state had put aside in its reserve account during good times.
MassBudget argues that the state might be better served to repeal some of the dotcom bubble-era tax cuts than to continue chipping away at local aid and other spending. On Beacon Hill, however, it's a moot point for now.
Mr. Binienda and Mr. Widmer said tax increases are a political nonstarter this year and for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, the vigorous jobs recovery that would pull the state out of its financial spiral remains elusive and the infusion of federal stimulus money that lessened local aid cuts this fiscal year is coming to an end.
From the Herald story featuring a list of cuts to higher education and children’s services,, we see again that new revenues are being dismissed as a way to ameliorate some of these awful cuts.
Broad-based tax increases have been virtually ruled out on Beacon Hill and the billions in federal stimulus funds that have softened the blow over the last three years will disappear in the next fiscal year.
The center’s report did not suggest specific solutions for the state’s fiscal dilemma or call for tax increases, but Berger said in an interview that everything, including ways to raise new revenues, should be on the table.
“These will be serious choices about maintaining what have been very deep cuts in local aid and the rest of state government, or making revenue reform part of the solution,” he said.
What’s the problem? The facts in the Mass Budget’s report add up! We need new revenues to maintain the level of services that will keep our communities strong and safe.
Here is a conservative joke (one of four in existence, I believe): Two right-wing dudes are flying to China. First Dude asks second Dude, “Have you ever been to a socialist country before?” Second Dude replies, “No, but I’ve been to Massachusetts.” Har, Har, Har! But, of course, in the right-wing pantheon of values, Massachusetts has always held a place somewhere below France. So it is depressingly obvious that the path former governor Mitt Romney is taking to squirm out of the paradox he has constructed on health care reform is going to be: demonize Massachusetts. Steve Benen puts it concisely: Romney’s pitch, in effect, asks Republicans to focus on one small problem rather than his larger problem. His argument boils down to, “That radical, communistic health care policy you hate so intensely? Don’t worry, I only did that at the state level.” I’m still not sure how or why GOP primary voters would find this compelling. Jonathan Chait explains in TNR: the logic that this entails: So the argument here is that health care policy, like real estate, comes down to three things: location, location, location. Some states will choose health care systems that promote freedom, and other states [...]
After reading the story in the Globe the City of Boston and or the State should sue the State Line Gun Shop. and Nashua Deputy State Clerk. The name of the gun shop says it all. They are directly marketing to people to cross the Mass state line and make an easy buy. The notary assisted in a crime by their total lack of judgement and due diligence. It is funny a smart guy like Markoff did not go to a gun show that is even easier to make a buy but I guess he correcly assume going through formal chanels would be lax as well. sue them- create some for of downside by this behavior.
Here in MA, if you hang out in certain circles you might hear things like how the leader of the Boston Tea Party one day had bruises all up and down her shins from being kicked by union thugs at some rally, but since that doesn’t really make news (and who wants it to, really?) we can focus on the BMG hot spot du jour, WISCONSIN! So as we all know the progressive/union alliance went completely berserk when democrats quite literally fleeing the state failed to prevent the end of collective bargaining on benefits (note: not pay), exactly the thing which is currently dooming so many blue states. So what was the reaction of the left? Oh well, you know, just the usual – protests, chants, recalls, death threats… Death threats? No way! Only right wingers do that crap, as we all know from the intelligent analysis of the [ed note: utterly abhorrent and FYI not right wing] Giffords attack. But wait, what’s this? A leftist has just been arrested for vile death threats against republicans in WI. (Except that she hasn’t actually been taken in – weird huh?) MADISON (WKOW) — Authorities say 26-year-old Katherine Windels sent disturbing emails [...]
I was just on the Herald’s web site reading about the Scott Brown medical records flap, and noticed an article about Jay Severin being suspended at WTKK, and possibly gone for good. Dear God, let it be true! Apparently, the former James Severino was boasting on-air about hiring women so he could shtup ‘em. Severin was suspended Wednesday, two days after telling listeners that as a former company owner, he had hired “mostly attractive young women” and had sex with nearly all of them over a 20-year span. “I slept with virtually every young college girl I hired to be an intern or an employee for my firm,” Severin said, according to audio obtained by the Herald. “That’s not the purpose for which they were hired, but it certainly was an ancillary dimension of the job,” Severin said. “I don’t think of myself as a monster or strange in any way because of that. All I was was a young man who was the boss and I did it because I could.” And this line from another article: “All I was was a young man who was the boss and I did it because I could.” Marvelous. Hope he’s [...]