Sunday Night TV and Open Thread

Harry's Law is back from hiatus. There's a new episode of Shameless and The Good Wife.

Bravo launches a new reality show tonight about rich young Iranian-Americans in Los Angeles called "Shahs of Sunset." It's being compared to Jersey Shore and Real Housewives. Whose dumb idea was this? Ryan Seacrest Productions. Who recently acquired a $300 million stake in Seacrest Productions? Clear Channel. Sorry, Ryan, I'm not watching, no matter how many tweets you send out about it.

The stars of “Shahs,” which begins on Sunday on Bravo, are members of the reality tribe, defined not by ethnicity, nationality or religion, but by preening, boastfulness, obsession with appearances, crassness, conformism, thin skin and a tendency to violence.

...The one really unfortunate thing about “Shahs of Sunset” is the way it exploits, and will in turn amplify, a previously localized phenomenon: the longstanding stereotyping of Los Angeles’s Iranian-Americans as vulgar, materialistic show-offs who don’t fit in among the city’s supposedly more cultured elites.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Still not releasing the Staff Sergeant's name (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:07:13 AM EST
    yet.  He has a wife, I feel horrible for her.  The Army said that they are looking into his history, did he have PTSD issues?  Was he having a problem abusing alcohol? (Weird they would bring alcohol up specifically like that at this point.....I would almost consider that a leak of some kind).

    I'm watching General McCaffrey on MSNBC this morning.  Nobody knows how his command could miss that he was snapping like this.  In my opinion, it would almost be impossible for them to not know.

    Reading Jim White at Emptywheel (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:56:14 AM EST
    this morning, I learned that:

    ...although this was the soldier's first deployment to Afghanistan, he had been deployed three times previously to Iraq in a military career that appears to be at least 11 years long.


    Second, we have learned that the soldier is from a unit based at  Joint Base Lewis-McChord. This particular base has been especially troubled and was also the home of the infamous "kill team":

    Four soldiers from a Stryker brigade out of Lewis-McChord have been sent to prison in connection with the 2010 killing of three unarmed men during patrols in Kandahar province's Maiwand district, which is just northwest of Panjwai.

    They were accused of forming a "kill team" that murdered Afghan civilians for sport - slaughtering victims with grenades and powerful machine guns during patrols, then dropping weapons near their bodies to make them appear to have been combatants.


    Jorge Gonzalez, executive director of a veterans resource center near Joint Base Lewis-Mcchord named GI Voice-Coffee Strong, said Sunday's killings offer more proof that the base is dysfunctional.

    "This was not a rogue soldier. JBLM is a rogue base, with a severe leadership problem," he said in a statement.

    He cites the "kill team" incident, multiple suicides among base personnel and spousal abuse by soldiers as more symptoms of problems at the base.

    And rounding out the picture, there seem to be some problems at Lewis McChord with respect to PTSD diagnoses - as in, "it costs too much:"

    An Army ombudsman reported in November -- in a memo obtained by the Los Angeles Times - that an Army physician at Madigan cautioned colleagues at a forensic psychiatry lecture that a PTSD diagnosis could cost the Army up to $1.5 million over the lifetime of a soldier.


    Matt McAlvanah, who has investigated the issue for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who chairs the Senate's veterans affairs committee, said the senator has received reports of "derogatory language" used by Madigan physicians about PTSD complaints.

    "They were making comments about them not having PTSD, or sort of faking it. They used the word malingerers," McAlvanah said in an interview.

    Add to that reports from villagers that this was not the act of one soldier, and I think we have - again - more problems than we can or will admit, and it's possible that one soldier could be the fall guy/scapegoat for others who participated.

    Hard to know what to think, or whom to believe; that's getting to be my reaction to almost everything the government tells me these days...


    Here you go Anne (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:39:39 AM EST
    This seems to be what we are probably going to be mostly focused on with what happened.

    The forensic psychiatry unit at Madigan Army Medical Center had come under fire for reversing diagnoses of PTSD for nearly 300 service members during the past five years. The head of Madigan Healthcare System was recently placed on administrative leave.

    The Army initiated an investigation following an Army ombudsman's memo indicating that hospital officials were encouraging psychiatrists to limit diagnoses of PTSD in order to reduce costs.

    I wonder if they had something to do with reversing the diagnosis on the kill team members too outside of their bang bang shoot em up commander in Afghanistan?  Those guys were on so much stuff drugwise (serious antipsychotics along with both Trazodone and Ambien because they could no longer sleep ), the branch of the Army that we are in was astonished that they were ever deployed.  It was practically unbelievable that any of them other than one I think could have even been thought to be deployable.

    Who was the head of Madigan Healthcare Systems?  Who were the hospital officials that were encouraging psychiatrists?  


    It was Col. Dallas Homas, a West Point graduate (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:56:35 AM EST
    That was relieved of his command at Madigan, but he had only had that command since March of last year.  Was he only administering the policy of previous command though or administering the policy he was commanded from higher up to administer?  Or was this reversing PTSD diagnosis approach all his baby?  

    Oh crap, this is really bad (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:02:57 PM EST
    See, when you get me digging.  Anyhow here's more from LATimes.

    An Army ombudsman reported in November -- in a memo obtained by the Los Angeles Times -- that an Army physician at Madigan cautioned colleagues at a forensic psychiatry lecture that a PTSD diagnosis could cost the Army up to $1.5 million over the lifetime of a soldier.

    "He stated at the rate we are going that the Army and the [Veterans Administration] will be broke," the ombudsman wrote. "He stated we have to be good stewards of taxpayers' dollars and we have to ensure we are not just 'rubber stamping' a soldier with the diagnosis of PTSD."

    The room was "exceptionally quiet," the ombudsman wrote, adding that he was unsure whether it was because listeners were surprised at the $1.5 million estimate "or why we were talking about dollars in relation to our soldiers."

    The existence of the memo was first reported by the Seattle Times. Since then, members of Congress have demanded to know how big a role cost-cutting is playing in decisions to provide treatment to stressed combat veterans.

    Fall on that sword West Point Col, and we'll try to shoot something decent to you down the road so your life isn't destroyed utterly by falling on this sword.  Service to "country" first...Hooah


    Well, c'mon.... (none / 0) (#58)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:10:31 PM EST
    The ombusdmean is only pointing out that the pentagon is being diligent about protecting the country from defenders of the country, isn't he? :-(

    $1.5 million each could buy a lot of bombs, I'm sure... and what is Panetta's yearly salary as Prime Defender anyway?


    Well, this soldier did this in Afghanistan (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:12:01 PM EST
    But any of them suffering like this can come home and do this.  Some of them will, particularly if they aren't even being properly diagnosed and cared for.

    Soldiers from Lewis-McCord have (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:18:57 PM EST
    been going off the rails here at home as well. Something is seriously wrong with the way that base is being run. And, once again, I must ask when are we going to hold the command, the colonels and the generals, to account? These soldiers are not acting in a vacuum.

    How long have you noticed this? (none / 0) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:23:04 PM EST
    Has it been longer than a year?  Homas took command in March, has this been several years of the community observing and trying to survive the soldiers having deep unaddressed emotional problems?  I am betting that someone who is a big GS working at Madigan is behind this policy and its implementation if this has been long term and "the kill team" had also been run through Madigan.

    We've heard stories about (none / 0) (#67)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:32:04 PM EST
    Lewis-McCord for, at least, 2-3 years now. And it seems likely that what we hear and what we know is just a small part of what goes on there. Bureaucracies are usually very skilled at hiding their sins.

    I know that there had been returning service members from a number of bases who have cracked up when they get home. Suicides and spousal abuse and murders have happened all over the country.

    The thing about Lewis-MCCord is the number and variety of violent acts committed by soldiers from there. Maybe there are military bases with worse records in this rearguard, but I haven't heard of them.


    It sure helps when you are closer (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:43:21 PM EST
    to the base too.  Local papers will have small reports of different daily happenings that national papers never pick up, and in general when the soldier population behavior becomes aggressive or irrational on a few occasions with the civilian population - the people talk to each other about that and the concern stories make their way around.

    In my experience too, the mainstream press may overly blow something out of proportion, but usually the local people will make some small attempts to cover for the soldiers and minimize a little bit for them, because they care.  Usually the stories from the locals about their run-ins with soldiers having problems will be just a tad minimized.


    This from Seattle Times (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:59:34 PM EST

    Some of the Madigan staff is upset and saying that the Colonel is being scapegoated, and that many of the PTSD diagnosis that were reversed were done so long before he took command.  Who was Madigan's forensic psychiatry team, and this almost has to be a civilian who has pushed this because active duty does not have the longevity in one location to push a policy like this this far along before exposure or reversal by a new command coming in and their policy changes.


    Forensic psychiatrist Juliana Ellis-Billingsley (none / 0) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:16:46 PM EST
    resigned.  In a letter she claimed that their diagnosis on so many had been found at fault by Walter Reed because of "political" reasons.  Col. Homas was aware of the investigations by Walter Reed though, and seemed to be the bearer of good news after a visit to D.C. that they were all in clear until suddenly he was fired and nobody was in the clear.  This is a heap big mess, and Walter Reed holds the keys to understanding what Madigan and Juliana Ellis-Billingsley were up to.  Fortunately they aren't a part of the Army chain of command so the covering of the a$$e$ was not easily acquired nor of the highest priority.

    "Each day we awaited the release of the information," Ellis-Billingsley wrote. "Then on 18 February 2012 Col. Homas was administratively relieved and Col. (Mike) Heimall, a medical service officer, was named the interim commander. On 22 February 2012, we met with Col. Heimall and Col. (Karen) O'Brien. Col. Heimall announced that Walter Reed forensics concurred with the diagnoses on only 8 of 14 cases.

    "It became patently clear to me that some force above Western Region (Medical Command) came to bear on Walter Reed forensics and they changed their diagnoses. This is professionally unethical. It is now my opinion that all the investigations are a charade as the outcome has been predetermined. Forces will come to bear on the investigators to meet political expediency."

    This is the question I asked Army Medical Command last week about Ellis-Billingsley's letter:

    "I have a resignation letter from a Madigan forensic psychologist. It says Col. Porter from Medical Command at early February's MHS conference advised Madigan leaders that the Walter Reed reviews supported Madigan conclusions in 12 of 14 cases. This psychologist seems to believe those results were changed for political reasons. `It is now my opinion that all the investigations are a charade as the outcome has been predetermined,' the psychologist wrote. Was Col. Porter speaking too soon? Will there be an investigation into the Walter Reed diagnoses to see if they were influenced for political reasons?"

    Some Force above Western Regional Medical Command came to bear?  What does that mean?  Is this about correctly diagnosing people who are suffering horribly mentally/emotionally and can be very dangerous to themselves and others, or is this about Commands coming to bear?


    And here is a post on the blog from (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:25:50 PM EST
    someone under the name HorseshoeCat...

    BOO-HOO for Ellis-Billingsley. She gets her just desserts finally from MAMC. It is to bad she is probably drawing a military retirement check and now blasts her employer of at least the last 10-15 years.

    I was a patient of Ellis-Billingsley back in January - February, 1995, having been hospitalized for a suicide attempt while under "investigation" for a supposed act of misconduct.

    I refuse to address her as Doctor in this statement because I know she is something less than an ethical doctor. The first day in Madigan (5-North) she came into my room and grabbed my rank located on my collar and shook it while stating your General is going to bust you in rank. I thought "OMG", is this the type of care I am going to receive? I was already paranoid enough, not sure who to trust, and just generally scared. I felt terrified by Ellis-Billingsley. Who could I complain to about her conduct? The MEDCOM IG? Who would believe a psychiatric patient in a closed room with a "stellar" doctor assaulting a patient? She put misinformation into my psychiatric records that has never been substantiated by any other doctor or mental health professional.

    In the meantime, the DOD-IG was conducting a review of an IG complaint that I had filed and which was later substantiated that a BG and several of his colonel cronies had engaged in ethical misconduct. They were stupid enough to put certain informtion in writing and as an NCO, I felt obligated to report it. Of course, the BG and his cronies were never punished in any way for their ethical misconduct, which in my opinion was pretty serious.

    Now, so many years later to see she has resigned is great news for the military community.

    She now has the shoe on the other foot and sees that "all the investigations are a charade as the outcome has been predetermined." If she had one ounce of personal self-worth, she would have stayed and fought the battle. Instead of continuing to milk the system, thank goodness she ran and cried like a little baby.

    Luckily, I finished my military career, but ended up rated as totally and permanently disabled by the VA. Her lack of soldier care, lack of concern for my mental health, and her unbelievable misconduct by physically grabbing my uniform and shaking me remains with me to this day. How she ever reached the rank of LTC is beyond me, although I have my ideas.

    It is sad to see so many years later she is (was) impacting the lives of soldiers. I can only wish my fellow soldiers the very best and to let you know the experiences I had under her care. Yes, I think the "system" is definitely flawed and only takes your personal resolve, persistance, and patience to obtain the desired outcome.

    Good riddance Ellis-Billingsley for all that you did to me and other mental health soldiers.

    I'm sorry soldier, very sorry


    And Dr. William Keppler seems to be (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:46:38 PM EST
    the head of the forensics team and he was relieved along with the commander.  He is a retired military officer too along with Ellis-Billingsley, and seems to be author of the memo on how many dollars a PTSD diagnosis was going to cost so should be avoided.

    Yup. Him and all the other (none / 0) (#64)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:19:02 PM EST
    drunken soldiers that the Afghanis witness saw killing people and burning the bodies.

    Bu the "official" story is "lone nutcase" and that's their story and their sticking to it, dammit.

    Any Afghans who did this would be terrorists, but this guy was American so he's just a lone nutcase.

    Maybe they ran out of Korans to burn?


    Who is running that base right now? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:17:07 AM EST
    If I start digging I'll be here all day though.  Command rotates out every year, so I can't connect this to the kill team outside of MAYBE the constant stresses the soldiers serving in that region are under.  The commander overseeing "the kill team" was a commander brought in by Holbrooke during the Petraeus/Holbrooke wars.  Holbrooke wanted nothing to do with COIN, and he sought out and brought in some commanders who were the bang bang shoot em ups.  But those commanders have a big weakness in that their sole understanding of their job is to destroy and kill things, and when they have soldiers who have aggression problems they tend to believe that that plays out in their favor as they go down the road killing things.  That is a better prepared soldier, and doesn't need to go home to get some help.

    Those kinds of soldiers though can't really be in combat with a COIN strategy where soldiers must be in a constant state of moral responsibility to the citizens of the country they are in.  Who is the current commander of that base?  That's the key to beginning to understand how this happened.


    Oh...sorry (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:10:45 PM EST
    You already had the memo in your post.  I took off on trying to find out who the command was.

    The way the chain works, you are deployable if the Army doctors say you are deployable.  Your command can be concerned about you and send you in for evaluation, but if your evals are all coming back that you are fine they have to send you, and you have your job and your rank and your responsibilities that the book says you have.  It is all about the paperwork and manuals in the military and the "chains".

    How long has Madigan had this policy though?  Just because they were revealed recently doesn't mean that they haven't been running with this policy for a long time.  Were they responsible for "the kill team" being deployed on so many drugs it was unfathomable anyone would have deployed them?


    After reading all over everything I could find (none / 0) (#115)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:21:34 PM EST
    Obviously Keppler and Ellis-Billingsley had themselves a little deny PTSD clique going.  They were both high ranking retired officer doctors, they had big pull.

    I want to know how long both of them have been at Madigan and exactly what are ALL OF THEIR responsibilities?  Do they set wide policy or influence overall policy for the healthcare department at Madigan?  Has the "kill team" and this Sergeant in Afghanistan who went on the murder spree been subject to their policies?  Are the fingerprints of Keppler and Ellis-Billingsley on the mental health screenings and evaluations that were done on those active soldiers?  Did Keppler and Ellis-Billingsley have something to do with allowing soldiers who were taking all the drugs that the kill team members had prescribed to them being classified as "deployable"?

    Just things I want to know, along with why it was never an issue what those guys had been prescribed and were taking to war along with their weapon once America was told what most of them were legally prescribed and on in a war zone?


    You've done a lot of work today, MT; (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:34:19 PM EST
    thanks (I think - the more I know the worse I feel), but good luck ever getting answers to your questions.

    I just don't see how you can keep sending men and women into places like Iraq and Afghanistan, over and over and over, and expect even the most mentally healthy of them not to need - and get - help, and I worry that we haven't begun to fully appreciate the extent of the military's abuse of those serving.  And it is abuse, in my opinion.  

    The phrase, "first, do no harm," keeps popping into my head, and I don't understand the mindset of a doctor who would knowingly approve for deployment those who are being held together with little more than medication - and some probably aren't even getting that.

    I guess I don't like to think that the reason for it is that it works for the military when men turn into killing machines - no encouragement needed! - do they think that these men will just one day get their humanity back and go on to live happy and productive lives?

    Just one more thing I don't get, I guess.


    I had one bad experience with (5.00 / 3) (#126)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:22:30 PM EST
    mental health care and the Army.  It makes you wonder where the push to minimalize what happens to soldiers comes from?  Is it everywhere?  Is there a secret 'Ways to Deny' manual some place?

    My husband came home different, not sleeping, flying off the handle over every small thing, finally broke a bunch of stuff when he had a meltdown and attacked his own mind by putting his head through some drywall.

    There wasn't screenings at all then, it was only the first year of the Iraq War out, and his symptoms really didn't blossom fully until he had been home about six months.  His home environment just would not match all the alarms going off in his head all day every day.

    I was put in touch with someone who was going to be handling these things for Fort Rucker, he was a retired military psychologist working for a private shrink here called Meghani, who since then has been busted for so many unethical practices it isn't even funny.  Truly a shrink outfit that is for sale to the highest bidder.

    When I told Mr. retired military psychologist (can't remember his name anymore or I would share it) what my husband's symptoms were that I was experiencing, he was a complete a$$hole to me and tried to make me feel like it was all my fault and I was an unsympathetic wife......as if sympathy will help your husband sleep when he's been flying low to the ground in a war zone for a year.  The guy isn't sleeping with or without a nice dose of sympathy, he flatout isn't sleeping.  Time has worn on though, my husband has a generalized anxiety disorder now after it has all shaken out.

    Funny thing though, so does just about every helicopter pilot after their first year war zone tour and a few shoot downs happen around them.  Turns out that flying a helicopter is challenging, but doing it while in the back of your mind the whole time you know that someone with an rpg could be trying to line up with you can make you batty.  And even if you are a fully mature adult it will change your brain, just probably not full blown PTSD.  And in time most of them learn to compensate, but some do not....particularly those on the ground who are also very young.

    From day one though I have felt this very subtle push to deny any long term mental/emotional problems that any of them would have.  And I will never forget what an a$$hole that psychologist was to me when my family really needed someone to hear what was happening and give us a little help.


    Thank you for being brave (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by sj on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 05:39:59 PM EST
    enough to share this.  It must have been difficult to do that.  Not as difficult as living through it, but still difficult.

    Peace to you.


    And even though I have noticed that (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 05:18:24 PM EST
    treatment has dramatically improved at Fort Rucker, could they give some more information to the soldiers themselves?  Josh went a bday party recently and my husband ended up over there for hours.  The bday party dad is experiencing this for the first time.  Nice that they give him everything he needs to sleep so he can reset, but they are so ashamed of what is happening to them.  They are soldiers, or in this case soldiers that were then told they were so superior that now they could be pilots.  They are used to being in control, then they go to war and find out exactly how much you may or may not control anything when other people really are trying to kill you and their whole being must reset.

    Tell this poor guy though that some of this will likely shake out.  Let him know he is not the first pilot to go through this and as things sit right now he won't be the last.  Give him some people to talk to about this, even if it is 2:00 am....he won't need that forever but even if he does so what?

    They just give them a bunch of drugs it feels like and they want that shame to stay right where it is so that they are compelled to not stay this way I guess.  It seems like torture to me though.

    My husband is different, and it isn't all bad.  He has seen people really fight and he's seen people really die, when Republicans talk about the next war we need he knows them for exactly what they are....people who could never show up for it but at this rate will have to be so get them a uniform :)  When my husband hugs his kids and his grandkids he really means it from his toes to his nose.


    Senator Nina Turner from Ohio (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:56:35 AM EST
    Is the best!  I love her.  I will die loving her.  She is concerned about men like they are concerned about us, and when you need some Viagra she is no longer willing to abdicate her loving responsibility in guiding you.  You need to see a sex therapist too in order to understand if this problem is physical or mental (because we care and this is important), and men need to understand too that celibacy is always an option as well as natural remedies :)

    This woman is soooooo awesome!

    Does She Mention (none / 0) (#24)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:13:55 AM EST
    That most insurance covers Viagra ?

    I think the whole going after men 'in the same way' is silly.  They are trying to equate the issue and it simply not possible.  In Oklahoma there is a state congressional woman doing the same thing with vasectomies and it just... it doesn't work.

    We are not the same.  But then again maybe an unreasonable approach will work with unreasonable people.  But I doubt it.

    I don't know what to do, but these legislative ideas are petty and laughable.  But that is the issue I guess, there simply is not an example that is plausible for men, something that we can wrap out heads around that is the equivalent to these archaic laws.

    Start talking about rectal exams for men and the tide will change, but relate in a way that makes sense.  We can relate to that violation.


    I absolutely disagree (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Towanda on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:09:07 PM EST
    which is unusual, as I so often agrew with you.

    Stagecraft is significant in politics, with a long history of such strategies and tactics succeeding for us, and these women legislators are performing brilliantly.

    Of course, for those of you who require absolute parallels, even though our lady parts are  unparalleled (read: boy parts simply cannot compare to our glorious equipment), look forward as I do to the next act:  Scientists just reported great progress on a male oral contraceptive.

    Yes, just wait 'til The Pill is only A Pill, because there will be The Pill for Boyz, Too -- and they will want insurance coverage, youbetcha.  Accustomed as they are to over-the-counter contraception aka condoms, they also will not want all of the extra costs mandated by the AMA upon wimmen, such as having to have a prescription, meaning having to see a physician again and again, with all of those medical bills.  So I also look forward to seeing men try to defend continuing these impositions on for us.  

    Then you will see stagecraft again!  Just, y'know, sit back and enjoy it . . . and think of England.


    I Was Speaking for Males (none / 0) (#83)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:19:41 PM EST
    ...that are for this non-sense, which I guess makes no sense, since I am against it.

    I think all of it, the invasive laws and slanderous/misogynistic attitudes are complete non-sense, they are tired, and if I am not mistaken, issues that have already been resolved.

    But the GOP is down and needs to excite their base.

    But I don't think their 'Stagecraft' is effective from a male point of view and that is who I would think these stunts are meant to influence.  Spilled Semen Amendment, Sex Therapy for Viagra, or a sign that reads "If I Wanted the Government in my Womb, I'd F-ck a Senator."  And although the sign is awesome theatrics, that isn't the goal, the goal is to change people attitudes, to change men's attitudes.  And all the above fail IMO.

    I have read that the Anti-Shariah Laws are being examined closely to outlaw the invasive laws, because apparently violating women for one reason or another is part of Shariah Law.


    Doonesbury (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:07:20 PM EST
    has brought the return of cartoon censorship this week as they introduce a new character. Some papers are showing an old replacement strip. Some are printing most but not all. And if you're lucky your paper will print all of them this week.

    For those (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:16:20 PM EST
    that wish to follow along, you can see it unfold this week


    It should fit in well at TL


    Saw this is my paper this morning - (none / 0) (#71)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:47:17 PM EST
    Doonesbury appears on the editorial page of the Baltimore Sun, not the comics (which beats it not appearing at all) - and thought to myself that if this was going to be a series, it was going to be a real doozy...

    Love (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:08:06 PM EST
    the scarlet letter on the clipboard. Nathaniel Hawthorne would be proud.

    Trudeau is a master of the concise. (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:12:02 PM EST
    So much packed into one small day's worth of comic strip.

    NY Daily News... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:09:09 PM EST
    will be publishing, just read today's...way to go Trudeau!

    Shame on the papers that are pulling the strip...how lame.


    From my local (none / 0) (#82)
    by CoralGables on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:19:40 PM EST
    fish wrapper..

    "This week, The Miami Herald will run all but one of the Doonesbury comics in the newspaper. Garry Trudeau has a long history of political and social commentary, but one panel goes beyond the evolving political notion of the comics pages.

    We will run this week's series in its entirety on our website. Given the nature of the topic, some readers may find it offensive and inappropriate for children."


    The Miami Herald... (none / 0) (#95)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:06:13 PM EST
    must have no DC correspondent then, talk about offensive and inappropriate content! ;)

    The Washington Post (none / 0) (#84)
    by Zorba on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:20:52 PM EST
    has published the strip (at least, today's).  Kind of surprising, actually, since in the past, they have pulled some strips temporarily (most notably Boondocks, when it was still around).

    They are Running All Week (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:19:20 PM EST
    hard hitting stuff:

    Monday: Young woman arrives for her pre-termination sonogram, is told to take a seat in the shaming room, a middle-aged male state legislator will be right with her.

    Tuesday: He asks her if this is her first visit to the center, she replies no, that she's been using the contraceptive services for some time. He says, "I see. Do your parents know you're a slut?"

    Wednesday: A different male is reading to her about the transvaginal exam process.

    Thursday: In the stirrups, she is telling a nurse that she doesn't want a transvaginal exam. Doctor says "Sorry miss, you're first trimester. The male Republicans who run Texas require that all abortion seekers be examined with a 10″ shaming wand." She asks "Will it hurt?" Nurse says, "Well, it's not comfortable, honey. But Texas feels you should have thought of that." Doctor says, "By the authority invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape."

    Friday: Doctor is explaining that the Texas GOP requires her to have an intimate encounter with her fetus. He begins describing it to her. Last panel, he says, "Shall I describe it's hopes and dreams?" She replies, "If it wants to be the next Rick Perry, I've made up my mind."

    Saturday: Back in the reception area, she asks where she goes now for the actual abortion. Receptionist tells her there's a 24-hour waiting period: "The Republican Party is hoping you get caught in a shame spiral and change your mind." Last panel: She says, "A final indignity." Receptionist replies, "Not quite. Here's your bill."


    The guys (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:40:12 PM EST
    who vote this kind of sh*t into law should spend the rest of their lives TRYING to get laid.

    What I Hate... (5.00 / 3) (#109)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:55:55 PM EST
    ...is somehow in the conservative mind the law isn't offensive, but then magically, a cartoon depicting the law in practice is.

    Kill the messenger, so to speak.

    I will never understand that thought process.


    Taliban thought(sic) process (none / 0) (#110)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:00:46 PM EST
    Above (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:18:45 PM EST
    I mentioned that Oklahoma's anti-Sharia Law seems to conflict with their invasive female laws.  Now it seems Oklahoma is actually down with Sharia Law, at least in theory.

    Looks like (none / 0) (#116)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:29:44 PM EST
    a little more than "theory".

    I think they call it "intelligent design", though they can't seem to find a designer.


    Pretty Sure... (none / 0) (#122)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:03:53 PM EST
    ...all the dead upside June Bugs outside my friends door this weekend would strongly argue against an 'Intelligent' designer.

    The theory part is because the anti-Sharia Law has already been stuck down by a Federal Judge, who I might add is a female.  So in theory she could change her interpretation and allow it to proceed? the abortion laws.

    * My recollection of something I read last week that I can't find today.


    anti-Sharia Law struck down (none / 0) (#131)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 05:00:51 PM EST
    Hunh. So people can live by their own religion without imposing it on others, just like christianist fundies do?

    SPOILER! (none / 0) (#98)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:34:13 PM EST
    What's in that Southern water? (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:01:58 PM EST
    PPP poll

    GOP voters in in Alabama were asked, "Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?," 45 percent said "Muslim," 14 percent said "Christian" and 41 percent selected "not sure." In Mississippi 52 percent said Muslim, 12 percent said Christian and 36 percent claim that they aren't sure.

    In addition, only 26 percent of likely Republican voters in Alabama believe in evolution, with 60 percent saying they don`t and an additional 13 percent claiming they aren't sure. In Mississippi, 22 percent believe in evolution with 66 denying it and 11 percent saying they are uncertain.


    What's in that water? (5.00 / 0) (#77)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:04:19 PM EST
    Fox pi$$. It's Green.

    Ditto on the Wow (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:28:46 PM EST
    But I wish they would have polled all republicans to see what the difference are, if any.

    And I wonder if the answers are really what they believe or what they want people to think they believe.  How can anyone think Obama is anything but Christian.  I get that like 15% of the population believes aliens live among us, aka off their rockers, but nearly half believe Obama is Muslim.  

    Just seems more like a slur then a belief.


    That poll also showed (none / 0) (#106)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:50:25 PM EST
    that  change is hard.  Alabama and Mississippi Republican voters are still working out their feelings on the legality of inter-racial marriage.  Although the Supreme Court overturned bans on inter-racial marriage in 1967, 52 percent were OK with it, but 29 percent felt it should still be banned, and 17 percent were unsure.
    Alabama was more progressive: 67 percent felt it should be legal, 21 percent felt it should be illegal, and 12 percent were unsure.

    Double "wow" (none / 0) (#112)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:09:04 PM EST
    Was going to suggest they join us in the 21st century, but it sounds like many haven't arrived in the 20th, yet.

    I Would Never Think to... (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:29:49 PM EST
    ...even ask the inter-racial marriage question, though that was a no brainer.  Once again, the cavemen have proven me wrong.

    And how do you not know, or does that mean they are just ashamed of their views.


    Psst. Want to buy (none / 0) (#119)
    by KeysDan on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:41:44 PM EST
    burqa futures?

    As always Mississippians are slightly (none / 0) (#130)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:58:49 PM EST
    superior Southerners to Alabamians :)  And they propaganda talked Alabama out of gambling too so that Alabama would have to spend their gambling money in Mississippi, and they do :)

    Oh, man - the details on the foreclosure (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:46:57 PM EST
    settlement appear to be out, via the court filing, and in terms of the liability the settlement releases these banks from, I think it's even worse than I thought. Or maybe it's just that, seeing even this much of it listed, it's hard to come up with any rationale for why this should be considered a good deal for borrowers.

    Here's some preliminary detail via David Dayen; remember, this is stuff the banks will not be liable for:

    First of all, as we've been documenting, these are larger releases than at first contemplated. It's not just a "robo-signing" settlement. Among the elements released in the settlement include foreclosure fraud, numerous instances of varied servicer abuse, violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, whistleblower claims of fraud in HAMP, origination errors, false documentation in court, violations of the False Claims Act, appraisal fraud at Countrywide, fair lending violations, underwriting inaccuracies on FHA loans, and more.

    Here's just one list from the complaint of servicing abuses found by the government:

    a. failing to timely and accurately apply payments made by borrowers and failing to maintain accurate account statements;

    b. charging excessive or improper fees for default-related services;

    c. failing to properly oversee third party vendors involved in servicing activities on behalf of the Banks;

    d. imposing force-placed insurance without properly notifying the borrowers and when borrowers already had adequate coverage;

    e. providing borrowers false or misleading information in response to borrower complaints; and

    f. failing to maintain appropriate staffing, training, and quality control systems.

    And here's another list on loan modification noncompliance (which in the case of FHA and other loans, is mandatory):

    a. failing to perform proper loan modification underwriting;

    b. failing to gather or losing loan modification application documentation and other paper work;

    c. failing to provide adequate staffing to implement programs;

    d. failing to adequately train staff responsible for loan modifications;

    e. failing to establish adequate processes for loan modifications;

    f. allowing borrowers to stay in trial modifications for excessive time periods;

    g. wrongfully denying modification applications;

    h. failing to respond to borrower inquiries;

    i. providing false or misleading information to consumers while referring loans to foreclosure during the loan modification application process;

    j. providing false or misleading information to consumers while initiating foreclosures where the borrower was in good faith actively pursuing a loss mitigation alternative offered by the Bank;

    k. providing false or misleading information to consumers while scheduling and conducting foreclosure sales during the loan application process and during trial loan modification periods;

    l. misrepresenting to borrowers that loss mitigation programs would provide relief from the initiation of foreclosure or further foreclosure efforts;

    m. failing to provide accurate and timely information to borrowers who are in need of, and eligible for, loss mitigation services, including loan modifications;

    n. falsely advising borrowers that they must be at least 60 days delinquent in loan payments to qualify for a loan modification;

    o. miscalculating borrowers' eligibility for loan modification programs and improperly denying loan modification relief to eligible borrowers;

    p. misleading borrowers by representing that loan modification applications will be handled promptly when Banks regularly fail to act on loan modifications in a timely manner;

    q. failing to properly process borrowers' applications for loan modifications, including failing to account for documents submitted by borrowers and failing to respond to borrowers' reasonable requests for information and assistance;

    r. failing to assign adequate staff resources with sufficient training to handle the demand from distressed borrowers; and

    s. misleading borrowers by providing false or deceptive reasons for denial of loan modifications.

    Am I the only one who thinks that not only is $25 billion not enough money to cover this kind of wrongdoing, but that this kind of lying, cheating and - possibly - stealing ought to be punishable as crimes?

    Heckuva job, there, everybody...and buckle up - I think the more we find out about this, the worse it's going to get.

    Started reading that (none / 0) (#105)
    by sj on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:48:21 PM EST
    and stopped.  I just can't take it today.

    If you have the opportunity, see (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:50:32 AM EST
    The Separation."  Iranian film.  

    Show some courage (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:56:18 AM EST
    Do one brave thing today, then run like he!!.

    Civil rights (none / 0) (#3)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 08:31:06 AM EST
    Soooo, I'm supposed to understand (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:01:23 AM EST
    that Glenn Beck suddenly cares about the plight of black children in America?  Completely laughable, but he'll get some interest out of this.  If he is ever in the "in crowd" again he will switch right back to saying evil racist horrible things.

    Good for Jada Williams finding a vehicle and an avenue to encourage a few Conservatives to fight for her for a change, for the few moments that they will trying to get Glenn Beck some ratings.

    I mean, that is literally what those of us who aren't white and male now have to resort to to get what we need too to live, finding ways to exploit the weaknesses and needs of the pasty self centered forever self serving must always be "the power structure" male Conservative.


    cui bono (none / 0) (#85)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:25:12 PM EST

    Well who really gives a rats patoot about what Beck thinks?  Why let the facts matter if the messenger is unattractive.  

    It is interesting to consider who benefits from the system that courageous girl faces.   When schools with a failing student population gets more money at least for some (non-students) there is a silver lining.



    Look in the mirror (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:37:10 PM EST
    It's not just about Beck being "unattractive".  It's about those who would impugn the entire public school system and teachers based on this incident, based on their agenda to use public funding for private schools.

    Sound familiar?


    Just the facts (none / 0) (#89)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:32:39 PM EST
    "Of our time"? - heh (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:06:04 AM EST
    What the teacher did was wrong (although almost any teacher would be offended by being called a racist).  That being said, it's not remotely the "civil right story of our time".  More like a chance for the wingers to attack public schools while at the same time appear concerned about racism.

    A two-fer!


    Not for nuthin'... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:23:21 AM EST
    that school deserves all that scorn, and then some.  

    Sure teachers can be offended like anyone else, but they're supposed to be the professionals, and the adults...to withold the essay from the contest was truly shameful and childish.  And if it is true the "offense" taken affected the grades they were giving the girl, that is childish and petty to the point where they have no business teaching children.

    Seems to me the girl is the kind of student any good teacher would want in their class...motivated, perceptive, and passionate about learning.  


    Used to be a teacher ... (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:40:04 AM EST
    ... and I couldn't agree with you more.  That said, I couldn't disagree more with the wingers' crocodile tears and attempts to attack the entire public school system based on this incident.

    Would it make you feel better... (none / 0) (#23)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:59:38 AM EST
    if Rachel Maddow brought this injustice to our attention?

    Probably (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:24:47 AM EST
    Somehow, when wingers like Beck start crying "racism" - particularly in the context of using it to attack one of their favorite bugaboos (i.e. public schools)- I question their sincerity.



    I don't know if it is racism... (none / 0) (#31)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:38:12 AM EST
    or just petty childishness on the part of the teacher and administration, but I think it's a good idea to find out and fix it, for the sake of the next bright student who writes an essay the admin. doesn't agree with.

    I think "Public Schools Right or Wrong" is just as retarded as "America Right or Wrong".  Beck might not know nuance, but we do...keep the right and fix the wrong....in our schools and in our country.


    it is most certainly (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by CST on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:48:26 AM EST
    an egregious abuse of power at the least.

    Putting her on a kind of academic black list is the most atrocious part.


    Again, couldn't agree more, except (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:52:22 AM EST
    I think "Public Schools Right or Wrong" is just as retarded as "America Right or Wrong".

    No one's saying that.  Of course this issue should be dealt with.  But when a winger cries "racism!" and starts talking about educational opportunities, it's not because they've suddenly become interested in the plight of poor, black children.  They simply want to use it to attack public schools/teachers as a whole and push their agenda of publicly funded vouchers/private/religious schools).  Moreover, as bad as this situation sounds, this unjust disciplinary action is hardly "the civil rights story of our time".


    Consider the source. (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by caseyOR on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:55:29 AM EST
    The link for this story is the National Review. So,  already I am skeptical that what we are getting is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    If, if, this story is true, then those teachers behaved egregiously. And if that is what occurred, the superintendent of that school district needs to bring the hammer down on the faculty at that school. And that principal should be removed.

    I can believe that Jada wrote the essay. I can believe her teacher took offense. I can even believe her teacher kept Jada's essay out of the contest. Where it gets hard for me to believe is the claim that the whole faculty united in a conspiracy against Jada, started falsely grading her down and refused to deal with her mother.

    So, grain of salt for me.


    Sure, the school needs to be looked at (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:31:43 AM EST
    and needs to be held accountable on the public stage if they have done these things.

    But the Conservatives will use this as an argument against supporting the public school system.  But a Staff Sergeant going on a spree and murdering 16 completely innocent people can never be an argument against supporting a war or the military industrial complex....that argument is unAmerican.  


    F*ck the conservatives... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:46:07 AM EST
    Beck making hay out of it is not what we should be concerned with...we should be concerned about a public school doing a good student so dirty, especially because we believe in public schools.

    Making it about Beck is a deflection...don't shoot the messenger.


    It is okay to be concerned about both (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:48:28 AM EST
    And tell the truth about both situations

    But surely you agree... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:57:00 AM EST
    the actions of the school are more concerning.

    I mean wingers are gonna rag on public schools regardless, if anything we should be double-p*ssed at the school...for wronging a student and lending creedence to the winger arguments about public schools.  


    Really? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:22:32 AM EST
    Only focus on her today and not the manipulation of the Wingers, and when she has no public school to go to at all next year, then what?

    C'mon.... (none / 0) (#29)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:27:58 AM EST
    they've been talking about abolishing public schools for over 50 years...it's a minority fringe opinion, and will be for the next 50 years as long as we are quick to fix problems such as this when they arise.

    abolishing them (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by CST on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:42:18 AM EST
    may be a fringe opinion, but you can die from a million cuts the same way you can die from an axe to the head.

    We are dying from a million cuts (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:03:27 AM EST

    I don't see it that way kdog (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:02:52 AM EST
    Because Josh just got through raising $1500 for his school.  He did that boosterathon funrun again, this is his third year in a row.  His teacher gets NO MONEY AT ALL for classroom supplies, and before they started doing the funrun Josh's school didn't even have two computers per classroom.  The only money they get for such things comes from fundraising now.  Public education in some places IS IN SHUTDOWN CRISIS right now.

    Josh had a big write up in the local paper too about his participation and how seriously he takes it when his teachers have to spend their pittance of salary on their classroom supplies.  The crippled kid with clubfeet runs for them, and he gets people to pay too because how can you not sponsor that kid.  He made $50 dollars a lap this year, but his dad had to carry him for about five and everyone allowed it because he is failing badly in the cardiopulmonary department right now...until this surgery and this halo traction helps him.  The public education system is in deep monetary crisis right now and Conservatives are only looking for more ways to unfund it further.  It is frightening right now to have a young child in the public school system and to know how bad things really are.


    I hear ya sister... (none / 0) (#45)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:31:37 AM EST
    is having public schools worth funding not the best way to gain support for increased funding of publis schools?  Hard to argue for giving a school that spites an A student with D's for criticizing her school more money...is it not?

    it's a chicken and egg proposition (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by CST on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:34:14 AM EST
    it's hard to have public schools worth funding before you fund them

    I don't think her public school is getting off (none / 0) (#48)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:41:37 AM EST
    the hook for this.  But everyone needs to be aware of why Glenn Beck is going to bat for her, and it isn't because he cares about her.

    I guess I just don't think... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:53:26 AM EST
    Beck's motivations are all that relevant.  This time it just so happens his spiel is not without merit...we'd be wise to do our best to make sure it doesn't happen again, and force Beck to keep trotting out the Saul Alinsky garbage.

    Sh*t I'm just glad somebody has gone to bat for her and publicized her story.  When a school fails such a bright student, imagine how they're failing the difficult kids.

    Which was kinda the point of her essay...the school system failing black children.  


    Seems like bureaucracies, no matter how (5.00 / 0) (#68)
    by Anne on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:37:52 PM EST
    big or how small, have a problem with the truth-tellers, the people that threaten the status quo, put people's jobs at risk, expose what's under the surface.

    School systems are no different.  

    But if anyone thinks that privatization is the answer, they might want to think again.  Because no matter whose hands schools are put into, it doesn't change the underlying socioeconomic problems that have a lot to do with whether students will be successful.  Children who don't get enough to eat don't learn the way well-nourished kids do.  Children who are living in homeless shelters don't get the continuity of education that other kids do.  Children living in homes with drug or other substance abuse issues, where domestic violence is present, where one parent or the other may be incarcerated, live with stress that isn't conducive to learning.  Children who don't have a strong parent advocate to speak for them can get lost in the shuffle.  Teachers who don't have resources can't give students the tools they need to succeed.  Schools in high-crime areas have to expend time, energy and resources on dealing with crime in the schools - which is bad for the learning environment.  And when the teachers burn out on what they have to deal with every day, it just goes from bad to worse.

    How simple it all would be if public schools only had to educate the best and the brightest, a choice private schools can and do make.  

    It's true that the public system has been under attack for years, but it's also true that slowly, the anti-public forces have made inroads in their mission.

    Every child deserves a good education.  But they also deserve enough food in their bellies, a safe place to call home, and quality medical care - and a lot of them aren't getting any of those things.  The Glenn Becks of the world don't think the government should have any role in improving the quality of people's lives, so I don't for even a nanosecond trust that Glenn Beck's motives have much to do with this particular student as much as they have to do with an opportunity to demagogue about the evils of public education.  


    No, Kdog (none / 0) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:07:26 AM EST
    Some here aren't going to agree.

    And that's sad because any problem that attracts support from both sides has the potential of showing both sides that they must work together to solve the problem.

    I mean, being a democracy and all that stuff.


    I'm not getting the Beck fixation... (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:26:17 AM EST
    Newsflash, Beck has an agenda! I am shocked! ;)

    Here's a link to a local Rochester paper, maybe that'll help us keep our eyes on the ball, a public school epic failing a child.


    It's not a "fixation" (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:47:29 PM EST
    Beck's motivations are relevant because they're trying to use this incident to paint public school teachers and schools with the same broad brush in order to push a privatization agenda.  No one disagrees that (if the allegations are true) what was done to this girl was wrong and the people involved should be disciplined.  But the larger issue - that this is somehow reflective of public schools or teachers as a whole and justifies defunding public schools in favor of private schools - is what makes Beck's (and Abdul's, Jim's etc.) motives relevant.

    Beck can try to do whatever he wants... (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:31:46 PM EST
    it ain't gonna work with you, it ain't gonna work with me, it ain't gonna work on nobody with half a brain.  

    And we have a golden opportunity to highlight one difference between a private school and a public school. A private school could get away with treating a student this way...or just expel them for getting uppity.  A public school cannot, they must answer to the headmaster...the community, the people.  Score one for public schools, thank you Mr. Beck for pointing it out.


    No, a private school could (none / 0) (#100)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:39:38 PM EST
    not get away with such unfair treatment. The parents and child do not leave their rights at the door.

    This is complete untrue, Jim (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by sj on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:47:15 PM EST
    No, a private school could (none / 0) (#100)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:39:38 PM EST

    not get away with such unfair treatment.

    No school should be able to get away with this type of behavior.  But the truth is, it is MUCH easier for a private school to get away with it than a public school.  Private schools hide lots of things under the rug using the "standards" argument.  If the headmaster is honest the school is honest.  If not, well...


    If the private school... (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by kdog on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:52:38 PM EST
    receives no federal funds, they can expel or deny admission to a student for any reason.

    If they get federal funds, then the line gets fuzzier.


    Actually there is a board that reviews (none / 0) (#136)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:06:50 PM EST
    so what you are saying is if the board and the principal are dishonest...

    And yes, private schools have a more strict discipline regime. The rules are spelled out very explicitly and if you don't want your child subject to them, then you should not enroll the child.

    For example, at the private school my grandson attends Chapel is required and Bible is a required course. Licks for certain offenses are doled out by a male assistant to the Principal. Uniforms are required and it is "Yes mam and No sir."

    So, are private schools for everyone? No. But that has nothing to do with a voucher system.


    You are talking about (5.00 / 0) (#138)
    by sj on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:00:57 PM EST
    a specific private school.  Don't you see the difference?  A private school is just that -- subject to its own rules without outside oversight.

    And I'm not going to follow your change of subject to a voucher system.  If you are discussing it with someone else, take it there.


    The use of vouchers morphed around (none / 0) (#139)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 07:50:45 PM EST
    to the private side. My comment re private was in response to Kdog and you chose to respond.

    Yes, my comment was anecdotal to 1 school but I am very familiar with three more so it's as least as informed as your claim.


    Follow your conversations more carefully (none / 0) (#140)
    by sj on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 08:30:02 PM EST
    Your comment may have been meant for kdog but it was in response to me.

    The Kdog response was up stream hours ago (none / 0) (#141)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:11:37 PM EST
    I responded directly to you:

    No, a private school could (none / 0) (#100)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:39:38 PM EST
    not get away with such unfair treatment

    No school should be able to get away with this type of behavior.  But the truth is, it is MUCH easier for a private school to get away with it than a public school.  Private schools hide lots of things under the rug using the "standards" argument.  If the headmaster is honest the school is honest.  If not, well...

    you need to keep your conversations in order (none / 0) (#142)
    by sj on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:40:19 PM EST
    Look. (none / 0) (#143)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:52:32 PM EST
    I responded directly to your comment.

    I even provided a copy of your comment.

    You need to keep up, not me.


    Lordy, Jim (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by sj on Tue Mar 13, 2012 at 08:13:30 AM EST
    Follow the uptrail.  When I declined to accept the subject change to vouchers you declared that you were talking to kdog but I "chose to respond" to you.  And now you want to insist that I can't keep up with you.  Cripes.

    Can you just admit one time -- just one time -- that you made a mistake?  Just one time?  It's not a big mistake but it's a mistake.  And admitting it is good practice.

    And maybe take a debate class.


    Apparently, ... (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Yman on Tue Mar 13, 2012 at 09:06:41 AM EST
    ... he can't.

    Look, you came in to the middle (2.00 / 1) (#146)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Mar 13, 2012 at 08:46:59 AM EST
    with your comment 104.

    I responded with my 136....

    The school debate started way earlier.

    It is a minor point, but I don't appreciate being snarked at. Especially when the snark is wrong.


    BTW - It's also the reason ... (none / 0) (#73)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:55:11 PM EST
    ... why the wingers are completely silent when a private school wrongly disciplines a student.

    School suspends 7th grader for speaking her native language.


    Boy Jim is just itching to defund (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:44:08 AM EST
    some more of them horrible pathetic public schools that don't deserve one more penny for anything!  That's how you make them accountable, make them disappear all together.  Women got too much education in this country anyhow.  It's causing them problems now as we can all plainly see.

    MT, you know better than that (none / 0) (#69)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:40:16 PM EST
    so why the fit?? Why the false claim? Is it because I said it would be good if everyone worked together to fix the problem? Is that it? Is it because you will not even think that the other side might have some good ideas and a compromise would be good?

    Remember, you are snarking at someone who has advocated feeding all students breakfast, lunch and a late afternoon snack, free! (You can't teach a hungry child and too many children come to school hungry.) I have also advocated a longer school day. That would increase time for instruction and reduce the cost of child care for working moms and dads.

    And yes, I'd give vouchers to all and let them be used for all schools that are accredited. Would some schools be left out? Yes. But what's wrong with shutting down a failing school? Would ALL students be able to get into the school of their choice? No. But then ALL students aren't able to get into the college of their choice.  Perhaps a early real life demonstration that success is rewarded would be helpful.

    So have a nice day, MT. But please try to be factual when you make claims.


    no need for vouchers (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by CST on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:57:51 PM EST
    to give school choice.

    We actually have a system that is somewhat similar to that here, minus the vouchers, due to the court-ordered bussing.  Basically parents give the school district a list of schools they want their child to go to, and the school district makes assignments.  Sometimes you get your choice, sometimes you don't.

    The reason that this was first implemented was due to the racial segregation present in the public school system that was based on neighborhoods before bussing was introduced.  The general consensus these days is that the solution didn't work.  It didn't work for the schools, it didn't work for the students, and it didn't work for the neighborhoods.  Many white students abandoned the public school system for catholic schools when bussing was introduced, and now people who do stay in the system get sent all over the city.  It is harder to foster a sense of community and neighborhood involvement in the individual schools, since parents don't live near by, transportation costs are significantly higher, and there is a high level of uncertainty and disappointment in the entire school assignment process.

    The Boston globe has an entire section that was devoted to this process last year.  Removing children from neighborhood schools does not necessarily benefit the child, school, or neighborhood.  No matter what the original intentions were.  Think of how much money you are spending on transportation alone that could be spent on actual learning.

    Also, it's not that simple to shut down a failing schol.  You need to send those students somewhere - which requires either expanding other schools and their facilities, or improving the ones they are in.  In many environments expanding existing schools is a major challenge, because without significant funding and space for additional facilities you just can't do it.  And when you do expand those schools you may lose some of the culture that made them successfull in the first place.  What "success" early in life would you reward?  Kindergarten grades?  By the time you reach the later grades you have already been greatly impacted by the assignment process.


    Of course it is not simple to close (none / 0) (#99)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:36:02 PM EST
    a failing school. Neither is brain surgery but when it is necessary you do it.

    If funding is a problem then do what is done now. Go to the taxpayers.

    And if you want to worry about transportation costs, then do so. But millions are being spent now, so I say, so what?

    And the success is easy for the child to see. They want to go to school A but school A is full. So they don't get to go. Maybe because they didn't apply soon enough? Maybe their grades aren't good enough to meet the average level for the grade they would enter.

    And letting some bureaucrat decide will lead only to bad feelings and claims of favoritism, etc. We have too many bureaucrats soaking up dollars. We don't need more.

    And bad segregated schools existed before integration, on both sides, although black schools were historically under funded thus more likely to not have enough resources to do the job.

    The point is that our public school system is failing and parents are opting out by sending their children to private schools. Often accepting  a real strain on their budgets to do so. This leads to resentment and opposition to providing more dollars for the public schools.

    I see vouchers as a solution. I think it is time to use some creative destruction and change the system.



    I see charter schools as a solution (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:40:17 PM EST
    for some kids.  Depends on the charter school and the kid, but there are a couple excellent charter schools here, much to the kids' benefit.  

    I'm not sure what you mean by this (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by CST on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:55:14 PM EST
    "And the success is easy for the child to see. They want to go to school A but school A is full. So they don't get to go. Maybe because they didn't apply soon enough? Maybe their grades aren't good enough to meet the average level for the grade they would enter."

    How do you assign to elementary school?  Pre-school grades?  And it's not about applying "soon enough", everyone can apply at the same time but if you only have a certain number of spots how do you make it work?  The answer is usually lottery based.  Which isn't particularly useful, nor does it teach any lessons.  You are attempting to create a merit based system for people at an age that is way too early to measure merit.

    You think beurocrats are soaking up dollars but you don't worry about bussing students all over the place?  That costs millions of extra dollars every year that could be used for things like supplies.  Tax dollars aren't infinite.

    The school system is looking at eliminating this in the coming years, because it's a huge headache for parents and a waste of money.  But we are still working at changing the system.  I'm actually a bigger proponent of charter and pilot schools than most people here - because I've seen them be somewhat successfull ways of reforming individual failing public schools.  But they don't work in a vaccuum or if you use them as an excuse to shortchange the rest of the system - which is what vouchers would do.


    Our public school system is not ... (none / 0) (#111)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:06:52 PM EST
    ... "failing".  There are some schools, often in poor, urban communities that are "failing" in the sense that their student achievement is much less than wealthier/private school districts.  Overall, however, public schools perform just as well as private schools, despite the fact that they can't pick-and-choose their students, and they are required to spend a great deal of money on special education (unlike private schools).  Unless you're talking about private, conservative, Christian schools, which significantly underperform their public school counterparts.

    I recently saw a chart (5.00 / 3) (#124)
    by NYShooter on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:06:59 PM EST
    listing the 50 States, and the average IQ of their respective citizens. I wasn't surprised to find that Massachusetts, mockingly referred to as "Taxachusetts,"  scored higher than Mississippi, but I was surprised, shocked really, at the spread: 30 points.

    My point is not to make fun of the bottom quadrant, virtually all Red, Republican States, nor to brag that the top quadrant are almost all Blue, Democratic States.

    I don't believe that blue State people are better, nor inherently smarter, than red State folks. But, I do believe in the cyber term, "garbage in, garbage out," is at play here. You can't consistently under fund, under appreciate, and under emphasize the importance of education, followed by enacting policies promulgating that philosophy, and expect good results.

    So, I guess my question is, why don't Progressives utilize this proven phenomenon to further the cause of quality education? Why do we constantly surrender to Jim's "both sides/two sides of the same coin," type of nonsense?

    Are the parents in states like Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana aware of what their "leaders" are doing to their children?


    IMO, the reason why we can't is (none / 0) (#125)
    by vicndabx on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:17:47 PM EST
    people don't like to be called dumb.

    Note, I agree we should be able to leverage these simple facts, but, unfortunately, we have to pretend there is some equivalence that doesn't really exist so as not to offend and likely shut off further discussion.

    Example: elitist


    Sadly, I have to agree with you (none / 0) (#128)
    by NYShooter on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:36:34 PM EST
    But, there seems to be no shortage of funds for lobbyists to swarm all over Congress bribing our "leaders" on how to screw our children's  futures. Certainly, there must be experts, steeped in psychology & marketing,  available to promote education as a way to make children more competitive in this global economy.

    It's all about "framing." Frame it as a national security issue, make it about Patriotism.

    Unfortunately, I have to conclude that it's not a Democratic/Republican issue. Since both parties are infected by the corruption virus, neither has an incentive to push for better education.

    The last thing our Leaders (Wall Street) want, is an educated populace.


    I'm not sure (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by CST on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 05:11:46 PM EST
    I'd describe my educational experience in MA as patriotic.

    The first book I ever had to read about World War 2 was Farewell to Manzanar - in elementary school.  Not to mention reading authors such as Upton Sinclair, Richard Wright, and Maya Angelou.

    And yes, I learned about that dreaded topic evolution in science class.  For what it's worth, I also had to read "the bible as literature" - which basically means we read part of the bible as a study of historically significant literature.

    My point being that part of the problem is that education isn't always pretty, or convenient, or particularly patriotic.  And in some casis there's an active attempt by the population to exclude information, rather than simply a lack of incentive to improve education.

    Education is about more than just teaching you how to read, write, or do math.  It's about teaching critical thinking.  But in order to teach it, we have to accept the results of it.


    I don't know,... (none / 0) (#127)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:25:18 PM EST
    Are the parents in states like Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana aware of what their "leaders" are doing to their children?

    ... but I think part of it is the fact that they (as a whole) like low taxes and prioritize taxes over public services, including education.


    Sigh, I don't know (none / 0) (#129)
    by NYShooter on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:40:10 PM EST
    if they "like" low taxes as much as treasonous scum like Limbaugh have brainwashed them into believing they "should " like low taxes above all else.

    Interest5ing (none / 0) (#137)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:09:03 PM EST
    Care to share that chart??

    Yes, it a great opportunity to ATTACK (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:24:15 AM EST
    all public schools and the system that makes that possible while pretending to champion our underprivileged black children at the same time.  What a Conservative win/win

    And if The Girl Ever Runs for Office (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:59:23 AM EST
    ...surely these same fools who have her back will use this very story to imply she is a black radical hell bent on taking down whitey.

    And if you think this is the 'The civil rights story of our time' you clearly don't understand the meaning of those words.  A kid blackballed for writing against the administration is pathetic, but certainly not the anything of a lifetime.


    The right (none / 0) (#30)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:29:06 AM EST

    The right to a decent education is routinely denied to a population that is largely poor black children.   On top of that this happens in school districts where per capita spending is often the highest in the area.  

    This is a system that benefits the employees more than the students.  Of course this is a civil rights issue.  



    Funny how you changed his response ... (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:41:32 AM EST

    And if you think this is the 'The civil rights story of our time' you clearly don't understand the meaning of those words.  A kid blackballed for writing against the administration is pathetic, but certainly not the anything of a lifetime.


    This is a system that benefits the employees more than the students.  Of course this is a civil rights issue.

    Almost like you're doing it intentionally.


    BTW - Pretty much everyone agrees with the concept of every child being entitled to the opportunity for a good education.  Some of us have even led that fight and taught in those schools.  That being said, don't expect anyone to believe the crocodile tears shed for "civil rights" when it's simply an excuse to attack public schools and (just a wild guess, here), push for public funding of private and religious schools.


    hoo boy (none / 0) (#41)
    by sj on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:05:58 AM EST
    The right to a decent education is routinely denied to a population that is largely poor black children.   On top of that this happens in school districts where per capita spending is often the highest in the area.  

    Because schools that teach poor black children have the most funding, amiright?  Especially when local dollars are added to federal dollars.  right?  right?  

    Frankly, this kind of story is perfect for an open thread.  In that regard, thank you.  But weren't you embarrassed to try to present it as a major story?  And aren't you further embarrassed to be arguing ... whatever it is you're arguing about public education?

    I know that I'm embarrassed for you.


    Perhaps you don't understand. (none / 0) (#61)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:14:13 PM EST

    Because schools that teach poor black children have the most funding, amiright?

    Perhaps you don't understand the difference between "because of" and "in spite of."  


    Is that anything ... (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 12:21:53 PM EST
    ... like the difference between not "a civil rights issue" and not "the civil rights story of our time"?

    "Our Time" (none / 0) (#94)
    by jondee on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:04:33 PM EST
    in wingerese, means five minutes ago, just after Rush, Beckerhead or, Michael Savage finished their broadcast for the day..

    Our time..lol That someone's could write that unembarassedly just underscores again what morons we're dealing with here

    Dang public schools.. undermining our freedoms again..just like that progressive Woodrow Wilson and the U.N and their secularist one-world-government agenda..


    Maybe these "Shahs" (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:21:15 AM EST
    are aspiring to become Wall Street Investment Bankers, or worse, politicians?

    They might as well be (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:24:34 AM EST
    It is what everybody who is anybody is doing (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:26:26 AM EST
    hah! (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:31:38 AM EST
    I guess I'm a nobody? :-( ;-)

    Me too (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:33:18 AM EST
    You're (none / 0) (#16)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 09:40:59 AM EST
    fresh out of bootstraps too?

    I Wonder if the Shahs... (none / 0) (#26)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:19:35 AM EST
    ...collect the fine art paintings similar to Saddam, those velvet portraits were truly spectacular.

    And how is this not like the Jersey Shore ?  People being entertained by oddity and difference.

    The Grantland (none / 0) (#32)
    by CST on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 10:39:09 AM EST
    Wire bracket is now down to the final two, Stringer and Omar.  We all know Omar is gonna win, especially since he's been endorsed by the president himself.  I like Omar just fine, but he's not even close to my favorite.  That's the thing with a show this good though, there are so many good characters that the consensus "best" may not even crack your top 5.  That being said, I still haven't seen all of season 5, and Omar taking the stand is one of my favorite scenes in the show.

    Still - Team Stringer!  The man who saw the games behind the game.  Omar is cast as the robin hood of the game.  But all Omar ever did was give away drugs and money.  Stringer would have changed the face of the city, and the game itself.

    Meanwhile the actual "good guys" never stood a chance in this bracket.  McNulty, in some ways the least good of the good guys, was the only one to even make it to the final 4.

    I voted for Stringer too (none / 0) (#40)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:03:39 AM EST
    In reading the post about the final matchup, the author is painting it as a duel between two of the the archetypes of the show - Omar's rogue autonomous approach vs. Stringer's desire for legitimacy (albeit extra-legal), and calls for people to vote based on that rather than as a popularity contest. But I don't think people are going to give it that much thought. Omar lasted all five seasons and was entertaining as heck.

    But why have you not finished Season 5 yet? (none / 0) (#91)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:39:01 PM EST
    I wouldn't be able to sleep!

    the first two (none / 0) (#93)
    by CST on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 01:53:15 PM EST
    netflix dvds for season 5 arrived in the mail on Friday.  I was away all weekend, but I managed to sneak in the first 2 episodes when I got home Sunday night.  Unfortunately, I do have to get up in the morning, and netflix won't send us the entire season at once ;)

    I also took a pretty long mental health break between seasons 2 and 3.  I needed to watch something lighter and more uplifting, like modern family or parks and rec.


    Letting real life interfere with your TV.... (none / 0) (#113)
    by ruffian on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:16:01 PM EST
    good for you!!!

    with the wire (none / 0) (#121)
    by CST on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:43:17 PM EST
    it can be hard at times.  But frankly I also just don't have the attention span to watch a lot of TV.  I routinely fall a season or two behind on my "favorite" shows.  Here's to netflix!

    The Wire is so relevant though to many of the themes discussed on this blog.  Talking about the public school systems - that's an excellent depiction of what exactly the schools and teachers and students are up against on a daily basis.  On the episode I just saw they were arguing at the newspaper about whether or not to use "context" for the expose on the public school system, or just take pot shots.  It's hard sometimes to remember it's fiction, because the issues are not.


    Walking Dead (none / 0) (#37)
    by Yman on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:01:10 AM EST
    Kind'uva shocker.  Don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't watched it yet, but "wow".

    spouse just filled me in (5.00 / 0) (#135)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 06:01:56 PM EST
    on the "shocker"

    sheesh - there went the only character i could still tolerate

    i can't stand that obnoxious kid or his stoopid parents

    his stoopid mother: it makes so much sense for her to be pregnant (instead of not pregnant, especially after sending somebody else into town for the abortifacient), & so much sense for her to do the pregnancy-test peeing in an open field with walkers all around instead of in the protected bathroom of the farmhouse

    his stoopid, stoopid, father: it makes so much sense to bring a crippled hostage back to the farm, & then so much sense to change your mind & drop the crippled hostage off 18 miles away to be eaten by walkers, & then so much sense to change your mind yet again & bring him back to the farm & then have a f^cking house meeting about whether to kill him, meanwhile fashioning a f^cking noose in the barn instead of thinking in terms of a quick bullet

    glad i missed last night's episode & glad i am done with that terrible show


    I would say that it was a "double wow"! (none / 0) (#120)
    by StephenAG on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 03:42:00 PM EST
    Especially if you look at what happened the PREVIOUS week. I like the show and I am glad it is not some "Dawn of the Dead" rehash.

    ugh (none / 0) (#123)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 04:04:29 PM EST
    didn't see it

    i finally had to throw in the towel a week ago (i was giving it one last try) because i think the show is SO STOOPID & could have been great

    this is not to say that those who are still enjoying the show are stoopid

    but i'm done


    We watched it tonight (none / 0) (#144)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:23:12 PM EST
    Good shaker upper

    Just for the record I HATE HOARDERS (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:15:46 AM EST
    There will be no forgiveness today either.  I had to make a short run and I have returned home with a speeding ticket.  I deserved it, but I don't think I had a snowball's chance in hell.

    See, I live with a hoarder....but hoarders are very disorderly too.  So I place our vehicle registration and our proof of insurance in special envelopes in our vehicles and when people don't put those items away properly when they get them out they get in big trouble with the authority around here.  Yes.....I created a special envelope of deep respect for authority for the hoarder in this house, and he drove my car for about six months.  I just got it back.

    So I just now get pulled over and I hand the nice officer my special envelope fresh out of the glove compartment.  He comes back to my car and hands it back laughing, and handing me a ticket too. YOU WILL NEVER GUESS IN A MILLION YEARS WHAT ELSE WAS IN THE ENVELOPE OF AUTHORITY THAT WILL BE RESPECTED!!!  Two traffic warnings with HOARDERS name on them.  One from the MPs for rolling through a stop sign, and one from some local nice police officer for speeding.

    I just want all you hoarders out there to know right now, hoarding is a serious illness!

    Funny (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:51:36 AM EST
    I have my own special envelope as well, it contains insurance and registration and I keep in the pocket behind the passenger seat.

    It's a habit I picked up in my partying days, so I could get the pertinent info out quickly and hide, without looking like, anything a police office might not need to see in the glove box, locked.  Never been tested.

    But last week I got pulled over in a friend's car, no envelope anywhere and wouldn't you know it, forgot my wallet.  It was for inspection, which I later found out was fine, she forgot to add the new sticker.  Funny thing is her special place for the special envelope is above the drivers side visor.  Now I got a court date and even though it's not my car, I get to go across town to a court house (State Trooper) and waste half a day showing the paperwork that was 6" from my face.

    Anyways I just think it's funny how we all have our little special deal with car documentation; knowing that we need to be prepared for the inevitable.  If only we prepared for everything like the traffic stop.


    I failed my first driving test (none / 0) (#97)
    by CST on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 02:27:04 PM EST
    because I couldn't find the "special envelope" in the car I'd borrowed from a friend.  It was also behind the driver's side visor.  After that I usually remembered to ask.

    Let's Roll (none / 0) (#50)
    by Dadler on Mon Mar 12, 2012 at 11:50:57 AM EST