The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Digest for August 27th through August 28th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for August 27th through August 28th:

  • How to Kill Student Curiosity in 12 Easy Steps | Alternet

    "Killing a learner’s natural curiosity doesn’t happen overnight. It can take as long as twelve years, and in rare cases even that isn’t long enough.

    Public school learning environments focused on standards, assessment, and compliance allow for the implementation of research-based teaching strategies in pursuit of streams of data to prove that learning is happening.

    Curiosity is nice, but it’s a monumental challenge to measure.

    And who has ever been accepted to college or qualified for a job by demonstrating how strong their curiosity is, anyway?

    Below are twelve tips to help stifle learner curiosity and keep the learning nice and tidy in the classroom this school year. And please share any we missed in the comments below or on the "

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  • Daily Kos: White dudes talkin’ rape

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  • Convention: Lies and Dog Whistles – The Daily Beast

    "Well, here we go. The week has begun in Tampa, report Adele Stan and Peter Montgomery, with Ralph Reed, that great Christian casino gambling enthusiast, rallying the troops, advocating that the fall election be dedicated to "the Lord." This invocation comes in advance of what promises to be a toxic waste dump of hate and lies and race-baiting for the next four days.

    Tom Edsall said it without quite saying it this morning in the Times, that this Romney-Ryan campaign is becoming among the most racist we've ever seen. The two key lies so far are totally about race–that Obama is soft on welfare recipients, and that he's "robbing" $716 billion from Medicare (77 percent of recipients are white) to "pay for Obamacare" (that is, to extend health care to black and brown people who don't deserve it, havent earned it, etc.).

    Commenter Omegadon asked last week: "Michael: Is there any element of the GOP that you don't consider loathesome?" I've been thinking about this over the weekend. Having trouble coming up with much."

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  • Race and the 2012 election

    "Beyond being flatly false, Romney’s ads are puzzlingly anachronistic. Welfare is a shrunken program. Where it helped 68 of every 100 families in poverty in 1996, it only helped 27 of every 100 families in poverty in 2010. Meanwhile, few think the problem in this country is that the poor don’t want to work. Rather, it’s that millions of Americans — the poor and undereducated most of all — can’t find work no matter how hard they try. It’s as if a political strategy from 1992 slipped through a wormhole and began playing out in 2012.

    In modern politics, however, when a campaign begins doubling and tripling down on an unusual line of attack, it’s because it has reams of data showing the attack is working. What’s worrying is why this ad might be working."

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  • Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm: Republicans: What About Children Outside the Womb?

    "Republicans are definitely pro-birth (they'll do everything they can to make sure that that baby comes out, regardless of how it got in), but are they pro-life?

    Can you be pro-life and vote to cut funding that supports the life of a child? Paul Ryan's cut-at-all-costs budget and philosophy, which 100 percent of the pro-life Republicans voted for, would gut the funding that supports at-risk babies and children: food stamps, temporary assistance to needy families, day care, Head Start, early childhood education, children's health care."

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  • Making the Election About Race – NYTimes.com

    "The Republican ticket is flooding the airwaves with commercials that develop two themes designed to turn the presidential contest into a racially freighted resource competition pitting middle class white voters against the minority poor."

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  • If Isaac Blows Through Tampa This Week…. – Jack & Jill Politics

    " don’t want to see, in the aftermath, one Tea Party type in line for federal emergency aid.

    Not one.

    They should reject state—and municipal—aid too.
    So their house or trailer is blown away, leaving them homeless, or it has stood, but the windows are smashed and debris replaces the furniture."

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  • Joseph A. Palermo: The Republican National Convention: Where Social Darwinism Meets Theocracy

    The Romney-Ryan Republicans are giving us Rand's Social Darwinist economic prescriptions, which hold that if an individual lacks the wherewithal to thrive in a "free" capitalist society that person deserves to die in a gutter somewhere, merged with Falwell's social diktats banning abortion (even in cases of rape and incest), gay bashing, a militarized foreign policy, and a continuation of the "War on Drugs."

    If they advocated only the Randian side of the equation there at least would be no restrictions on abortion, gays could go their merry way, and everybody could smoke weed. Things like school prayer, the 10 Commandments in public buildings, abstinence-only sex "education" would be laughed out of court. Conversely, if they gave us a truly "Christian" set of governing principles, (as opposed to the Falwell strain), omitting the Randian Social Darwinism, we'd at least get a government that cared a little bit about the poor, took care of the weak, and might not be so quick to go to war.

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  • Romney’s Racism: In the Gutter with Gingrich | Common Dreams

    The sixteenth anniversary of TANF hit this week, and the Republican presidential candidate spent his time lying about the president’s position on it. President Obama, Mitt Romney insists, stripped the work requirements out of the temporary assistance program that replaced welfare for poor families under Bill Clinton in 1996.

    Although every fact-check has shown he’s wrong, Romney and the Romney-phile propaganda groups keep pounding away at their message with ads like this one…

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  • Mitt in the Mud

    Given the large likeability gap between Obama and Romney, as well as Obama’s lead on every issue of character measured by the most recent Gallup poll, it’s no surprise that he wants to minimize any discussion of personal popularity. But likeability—or “favorability” in polling terms—provides a boost for candidates who want to win credit for walking the high road. The public tends to believe those candidates it likes, and if Romney were running high on favorability, he could hammer Obama on his negative attacks and open a genuine advantage.

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