You’re Fired, James B. Comey

Breaking News: I’m sitting at my iMac, and Wolf Blitzer announces that James Comey, Director of the FBI has been fired by Trump, the Authoritarian.  The last time something like this happened was in 1973, when Richard Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox.  The Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, who Nixon asked to fire Cox, resigned as AJ.  The Deputy AJ, William Ruckelshaus was called to fire Cox. He resigned.  Finally, Robert H. Bork did the deed (Nixon promised him a Supreme Court nomination). It created a Constitutional Crisis, and for the first time, the Watergate investigation led directly to the Impeachment of Nixon, and his resignation later.

Trump has done to the country what Nixon did.  His paranoia led him to fire acting A.J. Sally Yates in February because her interpretation of the Constitution which led her say that the Department of Justice would not support in court Trump’s Muslim ban.  Trump fired her.  However, she is back.  She testified, under oath, at the  Senate committee investigating the connection between the Trump campaign and the Russian hacking of the U.S. election.

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Letter to a Friend in Australia about the Serial Liar

Roger is a long time friend of mine.  We were colleagues at distant universities from 1992 on, and have remained in touch via email.  Roger was a prolific writer in the field of science education, and wrote a ground breaking book, Fallout! about an Australian scientist who spoke out against the British testing of nuclear weapons in Australia.  It was made into a film Silent Storm.

Last night I wrote in response to an email I received from him.  He had sent a photo showing him testing out a boat he had designed, with a llama looking on, and he also mentioned Trump in his note.

Here is my letter to him.

“Looks like a fun outing. How is the boat powered? Was this what you built for your son? It looks like the llama was your lookout (I assume it’s a llama). Many many years ago one of my PhD students & his wife raised llamas on a farm not far from here.

Last night President Obama gave his last speech in front of  a packed audience in his adopted city of Chicago. It was a wonderful speech as his usually are. Our country never deserved him. There will be no one close to him and his family. I consider him one of the best, if not greatest President in my lifetime, perhaps in our history.

And now we have Trump who I call The Authoritarian on my blog. He’s the worst we’ve ever had. But I’m concerned about his penchant for revenge, and his disdain for the press. He lies when he speaks.

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Let the Sunshine In

The new Congress assembled today in DC, and the Republicans already showed their devious hand meeting in secret to dump the Office of Congressional Ethics.  But if you think about it, their meeting could be construed as unethical, and I don’t know how they can assemble as a very large group of elected officials without some form of sunshine.  The don’t want to cast light on their shenanigans. They don’t want to “let the  sunshine in.”

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Now is the Time For All Republican Electors to Read Federalist Paper 68

There now is clear evidence agreed to by the NSA, CIA and the FBI that Russia*, with directives directly from President Putin, waged a cybercrime by interfering with the US Presidential election. The DNC and the RNC were hacked and millions of documents stolen and then given to others, including Wikileaks.  Emails of Hillary Clinton and John Podesta were released as retaliation by Putin against Clinton and to promote the candidacy of the Republican nominee.

The Federalist Papers are often used to interpret the constitution and provide judges and scholars insights into the founders thinking.

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Fighting the Good Fight: Georgia and Massachusetts Defeat Charters

For many of us, the 2016 election was a horrific and bitter defeat.  Although he was elected, he will face a powerful opposition from lots of folks.

On the other hand, the election for millions of people was a triumph.  In Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal’s plan to establish a New Orleans style recovery (Opportunity) school district was defeated solidly by a margin of nearly a million votes.  The defeat of the amendment was a blow to charter school venders who were chomping at the bit to set up at least 20 new charter schools per year around the state.

In Massachusetts, an authorization to enable charter schools to be expanded throughout the state went down to defeat.  As in Georgia this was a bitterly fought campaign funded largely by outside charter organizations especially those in New York who also were chomping at the bit to invade my home state.

In each case, Georgia and Massachusetts citizens,  led by state teachers, teacher organizations, and grass root groups fought a fierce battle to prevent further erosion of Public schools. 

Beware 

However, as you may know there will be a robust attempt to further dismantle public education in the U.S. by the new administration that takes hold of the Federal government in January.

Their plan is to force “choice” on American school districts by mandating that every child be allowed to use the dollars allocated to the local school district to attend any school: public, private, religious, and even home schooling. 

The fight to preserve public education is going to be a war fought between those who value public education, and those want to privatize education, and in so doing make huge profits off the backs of most families in the U.S., including the ones that voted for him.