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October 26, 2014

Open Thread — United Against the War on Women

We had our final meeting tonight before the March on Saturday…it’s now up to the Fates on how it goes.

We have fabulous speakers and performers – Shannyn Moore, Libby Roderick, Dr. Colleen Murphy, Diane Benson, Eric Croft, to name a few! The March begins 12:00 noon at the Delaney Park Strip (the flagpole) and ends at the rally in Town Square Park. I hope that we see all of you there.

(P.S. I thought the photo ironic in light of this evening’s disturbing Election Commission Report.)

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24 Responses to “Open Thread — United Against the War on Women”
  1. Debra Chesntu says:

    HELP! I signed up to receive your blog but it seems that ALL the blogs that ever were are inundating my email box. I am receiving blogs from 2009 and up. Will you please fix this so that I only receive the new posts? Otherwise I will have to unsubscribe.

    Sorry! We are still working at completing the transfer to the new server, and things have occasionally gone a little haywire. We’re looking into this particular problem now, and will hopefully figure it out. Thanks for the heads up! At some point, it will be self-correcting if you can tough it out. After you get all of them, you should only receive new ones… Sorry again! Jeanne

  2. Pinwheel says:

    Moose Pucky:

    Stand at your door/garden gate, lift your spirit to the wind: I am not alone .

  3. Moose Pucky says:

    All mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters are very important women. March on proudly, Anchorage. The rest of the State joins you in spirit.

  4. beaglemom says:

    And I just read on IM that the Tennessee legislature has passed a law making a miscarriage (or “spontaneous abortion”) illegal in that state. And this week John McCain pontificated that there is no war on women. The Republican Party is sending us down the rabbit hole so fast that my head is spinning.

  5. leenie17 says:

    One more day of state testing. I can make it…I think.

    We’ve already had at least two questions on the 4th grade math test that had more than one answer and one question on the eighth grade test that had NO correct answers. This morning it took four of us (including the assistant principal and the math specialist), along with our four master’s degrees, to figure out the answer to one of the questions on the THIRD GRADE math test. One of the other questions included a graph/table/chart(?) that I’ve never seen before and had no idea how to read myself, no less interpret for my deaf student. Once it was explained to me later on, I realized it probably would have taken me at least 5 minutes to figure out the answer. And we expect 8 year olds to answer it along with 30+ other questions in 90 minutes.

    One of my kids had a meltdown in the middle of an essay question last week and it took me 20 minutes, about 8 tissues, and a snack bag of Skittles, along with some fancy talking, to get her calmed down and working again.

    The state is patting itself on the back for giving the kids more time this year to finish the tests so they would be “under less pressure”. Sounds good except for the fact that the tests now have a lot more questions than in the past. Kids with IEPs, who often can’t sit still and pay attention for extended periods of time (which is WHY they have IEPs in the first place!), are now expected to sit quietly and work continuously for 2-3 HOURS, three days in a row, two weeks in a row.

    There are quite a number of people from State Ed and the testing company, as well as the federal Dept of Ed, who I would dearly love to meet so I could slap them silly.

    One more day…

    • psminidivapa says:

      Feelin’ your pain, Leenie17!!

      Just finished our 9 full days out of the last 3 weeks statewide testing. Wonder how my student who’s dad died of massive unexpected heart attack last week did? Wonder how my student who was made homeless on Tuesday and slept in his car Tuesday night did? Wonder how my student who ate a bottle of Tylenol and had to have her stomach pumped b/c her boyfriend dumped her 2 weeks ago did? Wonder how my student who had to move into a foster home last Saturday b/c her mom OD’d did?

      Hey kids, get over it! This test is IMPORTANT – to you (who will be in remedial classes instead of art, music and computers next year), to your teacher (who will get an “Unsatisfactory” evaluation because test scores go down), and to your school (which will be handed over to a “for profit” charter school when test scores go down, because current GOP Governor’s campaign was funded by charter school CEO).

      Each year, the focus of the tests change – so comparing scores from year to year is like comparing apples to oranges to peaches to hot dogs. One year, lots of questions about figurative language and poetry, the next year: prefixes and author’s purpose. One year, lots of questions about finding volume and probability/statistics, the next year: box-and-whisker plots and finding square root. One year, electric circuits and gravity of the moon, the next year: watersheds and pulleys. Our school curriculum has gotten so wide and so shallow – in order to cover any and every concept that might “be on the test” – that our students are not mastering ANYTHING!

      And bless the hearts of the kids with IEPs. All year long, federal law requires that they be taught on their individual levels – and they are successful! Suddenly – YIPES – the kid who really “gets it” with curriculum/assessment adaptations, is totally lost because she is expected to perform on grade level.

      What happens to our country when all public schools have been taken over by for-profit corporations, when public school teachers are minimum wage/hourly rate/not-necessarily-highly-qualified workers (because they are cheaper and not in the union), when students only know how to pick the best answer out of four ambiguous choices?

      Leenie17, I’m ready to slap somebody,too!!

      • leenie17 says:

        I’m convinced that the people who are promoting this idiotic and damaging standardized testing craze hail from one of two groups: the test creators who makes money hand over fist from all the materials they sell, and people who think children are the same as transmissions coming off an assembly line – identical and built by machine to conform to uniform standards.

        The tests are designed to measure one brief moment during the school year and something as simple as a chilly room or as complex as the death of a parent can have a profound impact on that moment. To use one test (as long and excruciating as it may be) to judge the achievement of an entire year, or to evaluate a teacher’s career, is simply absurd.

        In the Title One program in kindergarten, the students are expected to name as many letters or sounds as they can in one minute. They are tested by a stranger they’ve never met before and, if they sneeze, cough, yawn or freeze mid-test, there are no do-overs. Therefore, an entire school year is judged based on what a five year old can do in ONE MINUTE under pressure. FIVE year olds!

        And, even worse, to publish all of these test scores to humiliate and punish teachers is simply evil and bordering on criminal. The saddest and most frightening prospect of using these scores as the main criterion to evaluate teachers is that, eventually, no high quality teachers will be willing to work with the very students who need them the most – the special ed students and the kids living in poverty. They know they will never get a raise or be given merit pay, and they will be publicly condemned as inferior because their students struggle even more than others to achieve grade level.

        I recognize that there needs to be accountability (the favorite buzzword of the politicians), but this is so NOT the way to do it. I keep waiting for the day when someone realizes that the way to get valid accountability measuring systems requires the input of the very people who stand in front of classrooms every day, NOT someone who works for a testing company or wins an election. In no other profession are the people who perform the job given so little respect and opportunity to create policy and procedure.

        There’s GOT to be a better way!

      • thatcrowwoman says:

        “There are quite a number of people from State Ed and the testing company, as well as the federal Dept of Ed, who I would dearly love to meet so I could slap them silly.”

        Me, three.

        Today was the penultimate day for students to use the library this school year.
        Tomorrow afternoon, we close for the year.
        When is a library not a library?
        When it is a testing center.

        We’re through the F-CAT, but now we have 3 weeks of state End Of Course Algebra, Geometry, and Biology exams all on computer, no bubble sheets and number 2 pencils allowed. Then Final Exams (paper and pencil) and school’s out for the year early in June.

        Sometimes I feel like just another brick in The Wall…

        Occupy the Library, anyone?
        Free the Books!

      • I truly love you women…truly…

        And I hope my daughter starts high school next year with teachers as wonderful and caring as you!

  6. Zyxomma says:

    VERY important! There’s not just a war on women, there’s a war on bees. Without honeybees, my friends, we are doomed. Bayer shareholders meet tomorrow. Please sign this petition, so shareholders will see how much public support there is for banning nicotinoid pesticides, which are killing honeybees and making them lose their memories (they can’t even find their way home to the hive):

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/bayer_save_the_bees/?cl=1761757546&v=13897

    Thanks so much for signing!

  7. UgaVic says:

    I hope there is a huge turn out for the march!! Wish we could join you all!

  8. COalmostNative says:

    Piece on CPR this morning about big money hiding their contributions to Romney through shell companies, this one discovered through journalistic digging in Utah- supposed publishing companies that were set up by one multi-millionaire Mormon. I hope all of this goes mainstream- another reason everyone needs to get off their respective butts and at least vote this fall!

  9. JaneE says:

    OMG, that was great!

  10. Zyxomma says:

    Ready for a little parody of West Side Story’s Officer Krupke? For Occupiers everywhere:

    and here are the lyrics:

    http://keroscenerecords.tumblr.com/post/21066612889/officer-winski

    Enjoy.

  11. OMG says:

    Murdoch throws most of her staff under the bus to protect himself and his favorites:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/26/murdoch-admits-phone-hacking-coverup

    Since the conservative goverment in the UK is also implicated, I hope that the inquiry proves fatal for News Corp there. And while I’m at it, I hope that the federal investigation that is currently taking place in the US results in stiff penalties for his empire on this side as well. Of course, Murdoch will lie to protect Fox New’s Ailes because Ailes likely has information that could help put him away. We can always hope that the truth will come out and that the gov. has no choice but to throw the bums in jail.

  12. thatcrowwoman says:

    Women: the Moral Majority.
    What might the world look like, eh?

    this calls for a song (doesn’t everything?!), but not Helen Reddy…

    Music is My Ammunition

    this calls for another song, also, too, but I just don’t hear it yet…
    not to worry, though, I’ll find some and get back to ya ;)

  13. jimzmum says:

    The best of weather, of luck, and community to those who will be attending. Thank you.

  14. OMG says:

    Obviously I have too much time on my hands this am… I wanted to make sure this piece ‘We Are Not Stupid’ By CHARLES M. BLOW got attention because it relates so well to the “United against the War on Women” theme. What is happening in the US (and what has been happening for the last few decades) is truly the conservatives “Trojan Horse Platform”

    ‘And, if they can keep framing it as a failure, they can push for, and maybe even push through, their brutal budgets, which cut programs that help the poor and struggling and benefit the rich.

    ‘And while they push their budgets, they make savage attacks on a broad range of issues: voting rights, women’s rights, gay rights, immigration, etc.

    ‘This is the trick: Run on fiscal conservatism; bring social conservatism along for the ride. The Trojan horse platform.’

    http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/we-are-not-stupid/

    • ISeeVillagesFromMyHouse says:

      We know this. We all do. We see it every election cycle. I remember when newspaper magnate John Lindauer ran for Governor of Alaska as the Compassionate Conservative. I think your party has a pretty bad reputation when you have to plug in “compassionate” as a virtue to counter your party affiliation.

      Check out the logo for Tennessee State Rep. Jerry Faison – http://www.jeremyfaison.com/ Looking all Mr. America with the flag and with the macho movie title “The Conservative” next to his face.

      The Conservative will keep his rights intact while taking away others, and blaming you for your poor moral fabric as a reason why your children get bullied to the point where they may commit suicide.

      http://blogs.tennessean.com/politics/2012/east-tennessee-rep-argues-suicide-caused-by-values-not-bullying/

  15. OMG says:

    The right-wing is propagandizing again…this time about farm “chores” for youth vs. hired farm youth labor. Of course they blame President Obama for this rule change that began 10 years ago. And, of course, they have either misread or lied about the proposed rule changes that are designed to protect children from ‘dangerous’ farm chores that contribute to 75% of the deaths of young farm workers like pesticide spraying. And, of course, they have incorrectly claimed that children of farm owners, which are exempted from the ruling, are actually being targeted by the ruling. Heavy sigh.

    http://themoderatevoice.com/145244/is-the-obama-administration-intervening-in-farm-chores/

    I hope sanity prevails this election season for the sake of the country, the world and the future of debate. If these crazies can be squashed, or at least seriously set back, then the future will be a bright one. If, however, progressives and independents and even sane conservatives do not rise up and vote I shudder to think what the future will look like.

    • jimzmum says:

      Thank you. Shared the link. This is a hot topic around here.

    • Pinwheel says:

      Isn’t that the ultimate quandry “progressives and independents and even sane conservatives do not rise up and vote I shudder to think what the future will look like”.

  16. OMG says:

    Ladies, the time is yours!

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