Super Quill-ian Blog

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Oh Mitch, still a whiny little terrapin.

Mitch McConnell (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Awww Mitchy wrote a whole ass rambling Op-Ed in the Courier Journal because he was totally, definitely not affected by being confronted by local protesters. Not at all.

“If the mean old socialists who yelled at me, had their way, America would be safer, still have borders, and wouldn’t allow their president to lock up babies.”

Oops, that’s not what he said.

Let’s dissect (in our own rambling fashion) what he actually said behind his computer, totally, definitely not affected by being confronted by local protesters. Not in the least little bit.

“The far-left has started a campaign to heckle government officials throughout the country — something I’ve recently experienced first-hand,” says Mitch, totally, definitely not affected by being confronted.  “The self-described socialists who confronted me proudly admitted that they are not concerned with persuasion or having a discussion about public policy. They are only interested in intimidation.”

Mitch McConnell who is totally, definitely not affected by being confronted, wants you to know that the mean old folks who yelled some questions at him don’t want to have a discussion.

How many town halls has Mitch held? Oh he’ll tell you that it’s because he knows that protesters will interrupt. Protesters don’t interrupt every town hall because every politician doesn’t hide from their constituents. Mitch does. He’s in the weeds with Trump and Russia, but look over here Kentucky, “I’m totally, definitely not affected by being confronted.”

Mitch, good try buddy. We get it. Your whole career of being the political equivalent of an non-consensual enema is being torn apart in front of your eyes and now the American public realizes that you’ve sold them out for power and dirty rubles. For those who don’t know what a ruble is, ask Mitch. He does.

“I’ve dealt with criticism before,” says Mitch, still totally, definitely unaffected. “It’s a part of holding elected office and to be expected as Senate Majority Leader. But I don’t know what about my career has given these socialist extremists the idea I will be intimidated by them. My office wall is covered with political cartoons — many from this paper — skewering me. I have stood up to the fringe-left my entire career, and I am proud to continue to do so.”

Here’s the giveaway. We’re not on the fringe. Not at all. There are more of us than he’s comfy with so he has to let us know that we’re not really all that important.

He’s wagging his crinkly old fingers at the bad, bad left because he needs us to know that he is (repeat after me), totally, definitely unaffected.

Mitch has reached his expiry date. He either doesn’t know or is flat out lying when he describes what groups are doing to deal with his government’s bad policies. Also he equates all social activist groups with socialists. Hey Mitch, you might wanna check your facts.

“Instead, their calls to “Abolish ICE” have a troubling motive: to no longer enforce our immigration laws and thereby open our national borders,” says Mitch who is… (you already know).

Mitch has Mijente confused with the DSA and other socialist groups. Furthermore, all socialists aren’t the same. You know this, Mitch. It’s kinda like how the GOP tries to tell us that all of you right-wing bowel empties aren’t the same, except true.

“If these self-described socialists had their way, we would have no immigration laws and our borders would be meaningless. The result would effectively erase our national boundaries and destroy the principles of law and order.”

Holy shit balls. Did he really say this?  Because we’ve watched the GOP president travel to Russia and commit actual treason in real time but now Mitch wants to whine about law and order. Wow.

First, socialists don’t want to “end” borders.That is a fiction, like Mitch’s marriage. We’re also highly uninterested in living in an evangelical fundamentalist protectorate of Russia.

“Our state and local law enforcement system would lack the resources to effectively prevent terrorists and criminals from walking into our country to commit heinous crimes against our families” says Mitch.

Check the crime stats on crimes committed by foreign people. Not because I know Mitch is lying, which he is; but because I want you and all of the folks who think they support Mitch to know he’s not being truthful at all. Let me add that this op-ed and these claims are uncharacteristically messy for Mitch. I’m kind of shocked.

One last thing. Mitch says, “Put simply: without borders, there can be no security.”

We’ve always had borders, and as the nation grew, colonizers expanded those borders over other folks borders. Borders let a lot of uninvited guests gain a nearly 300-year sense of security that, in actuality, was never real.

Borders didn’t stop Timothy McVeigh from blowing up a building, didn’t stop Dylann Roof from shooting up a black church, didn’t stop an American soldier from shooting up the Dallas police force. It certainly didn’t stop planes from flying into the Twin Towers on 9/11. Borders are a fiction. The best protection for the United States and any nation isn’t imaginary lines. Good relations and diplomacy serve the best protection.

You can still draw your little lines and loosely, just as its always been, people will respect them but only if they respect you.

I bet people walk on your grass a lot, don’t they Mitch?

The GOP has been eroding our security for years and yet they want you to watch the lines on the ground.

  • Ask the farmers how the lines on the ground will affect their soybean and corn crops this year, Mitch.
  • Ask steelworkers in America how those lines on the ground next to Canada will affect their production.

Mitch, instead of asking American citizens to be up in arms over imaginary lines on the ground,  perhaps your efforts would be better spent on protecting the real production of American working families by corralling the bright orange village idiot that the GOP unleashed.

His destruction of alliances around the world is a bigger threat to our safety than any Mother crossing the border with her babies looking for a better life.

Mitch, we know that being confronted didn’t scare you and that you were totally, definitely unaffected by it. We get what you’re trying to say.

We’re just not believing you. Not at all. Not in the least little bit. We’ll see you at dinner.

P.S.

Mitch, we know that you’re totally, definitely unaffected by being confronted so we’d love to invite you to a conversation. I’ll talk to you. I’m sure that many reasonable folks would be willing to talk to you. Name the time and the place, dear Mitchy. We will be there and we will even listen to you talk but bottom line, you have to also listen to us.

Wait, you don’t have to listen to me, I live in Indiana, now, but you should listen to all Kentuckians, even the socialists. Who wants to sit down with Mitch?

 

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Mayor Milquetoast thinks “Sanctuary” is just a political term

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (Courier Journal)

Today, members of Mijente, Black Lives Matter Louisville, SURJ and Stand Up Sundays and others set up camp outside of the Immigration building on Seventh street.

“Our vision of the future requires people to take direct action,” they said in a statement released Sunday evening. “We are in a state of emergency, and calls for civility, for asking permission, securing the right permits, and politely debating policies that are deemed “pragmatic” will not save us. These passive actions actually put Black and Brown communities in harm’s way. Our liberation is tied to dismantling the police state, not asking permission from it.”

The group erected tents that were removed by LMPD. They scattered toys in the driveway of the building to symbolize the innocence lost and the many young lives being interrupted  by the Trump administration’s policies. LMPD cleared the toys. LMPD has been omnipresent since the occupation began this morning. ICE was not. Immigration court was canceled for the day.  

“These young people saw last year when they were pushing for Louisville to become a Sanctuary city that we would get to this point,” said KY House Rep. Attica Woodson Scott, who is planning to visit the occupation,spoke at both rallies this weekend at Metro Hall and in front of the ICE building. “If we had listened before it maybe it wouldn’t have softened the ground for children to be in cages.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer failed to declare Louisville a Sanctuary city last year when asked. He’s taken the bare minimum of measures to protect immigrants in our community, supposedly preventing Louisville Metro Police from working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Fischer also says that sanctuary is “a political term.” The Trump Administration has separated children from their parents, some of whom may never be reunited with their families.

I guess, to Fischer, these removals are just political posturing. Certainly, no actual children or people are adversely affected. Eyeroll.

And Fischer, after all of the months of being asked by local immigrant community leaders and activists to make Louisville a sanctuary, still doesn’t appear to get it. He still thinks it’s about playing politics.

That isn’t exactly the truth.

I believe that Fischer does get it. He just doesn’t give a damn and refuses to do anything that might mean loosening his necktie and rolling up his sleeves to protect vulnerable people in our community. He wants to claim Sanctuary is just a term because he doesn’t want to have skin in the game.

Sanctuary is” just a  political term” like “vote” is just a term. It has action at its root. Fischer doesn’t want to take any real or bold action.

Fischer expects Louisvillians to come to his aid at the ballot box this fall and my gut says that because his opponent is Republican Angela Leet, he feels that he’s already won in Liberal Louisville.

Because of this, he won’t do anything. For him, nothing is at stake.

Scott warns against Fischer feeling too comfortable, “That’s a comfort that should not be taken for granted,” she said.

“What we’ve seen time and time again, whether it’s the gubernatorial or the senate race, is that people will make a conscious decision to vote but not to vote for the mayor’s seat in november if they feel like neither one of the candidates represents their best interest but they will vote for every other seat on the ballot.”

Fischer shows up to rallies and events, waves his hands, mumbles a few words of empty rhetoric then scoots away in his black car, off to the next fundraiser or event where he inevitably repeats the same thing.

“That’s not something he should take lightly or take for granted,” says Scott.  “We’ve just seen where taking for granted the votes of black people can result in your not winning a race. If you’re taking us for granted, you’re probably also taking for granted poor people and people who feel like the foot of government is on their necks.”

Not much has been asked of Fischer in Louisville but mediocrity and he’s very good at being minimally acceptable. He’s done the minimum to prevent LMPD from working with ICE. He’s done the minimum to address the concerns of and to protect communities of color and immigrants, which are often in the same community. Fischer’s propensity toward the most milquetoast of actions is contagious.

Milk Toast or Mayor Greg Fischer’s actions on anything. (Wikipedia)

Typically one of our more outspoken voices, U.S. Representative John Yarmuth was asked today if he supports abolishing ICE by a protester at the #OccupyICELou event.  

Yarmuth said, “I was on MSNBC saying exactly the same thing.”  

When pushed further about his position, he said, “First we can’t abolish ICE right now. We’re in the minority,”  alluding to the fact that Democrats are in the political minority in the current government.

In the cell phone video posted to Facebook, someone off camera says to Yarmuth, “We can’t pass Medicare for All right now.”   

Then another voice interjects, “ but you support it. Why can’t you support abolishing ICE.”

Yarmuth said he doesn’t feel like that’s the answer right now then says perhaps defunding the organization might be a solution.

What’s the difference? Defund it or end it. Just spit it out. Dancing around the topic serves no one. Yarmuth’s political position is as safe as Fischer’s. Neither has an excuse to tiptoe around these topics and neither has anything to lose if they boldly stand against ICE and the actions of this administration.

Both of their responses speak to larger issues and is emblematic of the fact that these two men, white and wealthy, have nothing at stake. Their lives, bodies, and potential are not at risk. They have security and the security of others is secondary.

Fischer is unique in that he not only does the bare minimum, he also tries to temper the language and reactions of others.

“Fischer continues to try to tell people of color what language is best for them to use,” says Scott. “That’s something that a colonizer would do. That’s how someone who has absolutely no real authentic relationship with people of color and communities of color would do.”

Fischer’s inaction is unacceptable.

Yarmuth might need clarity but Fischer’s needs a major overhaul. He needs to step up and serve those that elected him to office. He needs to understand that his position is not secure and that even if he is re-elected, he will still need to answer to the voices of his community.

In this America where confrontation is commonplace, Fischer should expect that his dinners may not be as quiet and his appearances may not go as he plans. Every time he speaks or mumbles nonsense into a microphone, he needs to be checked and reminded that the people he’s supposed to protect and to work in the service of are still in danger and their children are still having their babies locked in cages. No Justice, No Peace. The letter “D” by your name doesn’t protect you from answering your citizens.  

The Occupying Coalition made it plain, “Rallies are not enough, it’s time to put our bodies on the line. To all of those who are ready to act: The time is now.”

What are you waiting for, Greg?

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Trouble the Water: to shame or to shun

 

Christians believe in shame. It is the first fundamental principle one learns from the bible. If you do something that you aren’t supposed to do, shame might be a consequence. It was for both Eve and Adam, if you believe that story. Christians claim they do. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a Christian.

For those of us who avoid the ecumenical world and realize that perhaps we have been conditioned to dislike nudity, not because of Eve, but because of Christian Puritans, we still understand that shame has power.

First, let me say I think that using shame as a tactic to seek out a moral or sympathetic response is the worst and least effective use. Begging for people to feel ashamed for reprehensible behavior doesn’t work. In fact, it has been shown to create a wider division. The person will dig into their beliefs and lash out, sometimes violently. Most of the time, the response will be much like Donald Trump’s tweets. Short, snippy and full of petty small insults because no, he doesn’t give a shit about your morality. He only wants you to fall in line to his whims.

Some months after the election, Joy Ann Reid tried shame when she tweeted, “Last November, 63 million of you voted to pretty much hand this country over to a few uber wealthy families and the religious far right. Well done.”

Nice try Joy. Who are you trying to convince, the 63 million? They voted for this douchebag and don’t give a shit about your Twitter shaming.

However, I’m not saying to stop. It might not work but goddamn, it needs to be said.

Recently, in light of the administration’s separation of families at the border, thousands of tweets from citizens and the media asked where the moral center of the country has gone, mistakenly assuming that America has a moral center. Sure, America pretends to possess a magical morality and yet has been one of the greatest offenders against humanity over its 240 years as a nation.

The truth is, America has no morality to beam about. America has been the site and cause of atrocities innumerable: slavery, native assimilation policies, police killings of black and brown citizens, the Trail of Tears, ICE separating families at the border, etc. It is a nation where sexual violence gets you less time in jail than stealing a cigarette. America can’t wave a morality stick anywhere.

What seems to work, and has been proven to mold behavior, is the fact that bad behavior has social consequences. This shame, the shame of knowing that your behavior or your participation in something morally reprehensible, means that you are ostracized and unwelcome, will change behavior. It is the civil way to mold and shape behavior. It works better than force (someone tell the cops), and it has lasting effects. In the case of Huckabee-Sanders, it has nothing to do with race, color, sex but everything to do with her association with behavior and policy that actually hurts people. The recent negative social consequences experienced by her and others in the Trump administration directly forced them to respond to the American people about family separations.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders has lied and tap danced around Trump’s policies for a year. And now, because her association with Trump and his bad policies, she isn’t welcome in certain places.

The Red Hen was right!

Here’s the thing. It isn’t only Harriet Hee Haw Huckabee who can’t eat at the fancy restaurants where immigrants and gays work. Stephen Miller can’t do it, Kristjen Nielsen can’t do it and now 

Mitch McConnell can’t go about his day without being confronted with the consequences of his behavior, policy-making and association. Good.

Wait til those soybeans prices bottom out because of Trump toying with China. We’ll see how welcome Republicans might be on family farms in Indiana that depend on those crops for their livelihood.

The policies created by Trump and his cohorts have tangible physical, social and health impacts.

The xenophobia, homophobia and gynophobia reflected in the speech, behaviors and policies of this administration cause damage to and creates danger for real people.

In Southern California, 10-year-old Brandon Nichols reportedly told his family that he was gay. Within days, the child was dead, a victim of homophobia and neglect.

Maybe making people believe members of the LGBTQ community are bad had nothing to do with young Nichols being killed but maybe his death is a direct result of the fear of his difference.

It doesn’t stop with this baby.

Right-wing shill Milo Yiannopoulos called for journalists to be killed. A day later, several journalists and other staffers at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland were murdered.

Perhaps it had nothing to do with the call to murder writers by Yiannopoulos, who now is claiming he was joking. Maybe, just maybe, the constant rhetoric from folks like Milo and Trump deriding the “fake news” written by the “enemies of the American people” creates a dangerous environment where American citizens get shot for acting in accord with the First Amendment and doing their jobs.

Bad things happen when people are told that difference and disagreement is evil.

If you don’t fit Trump and his supporters’ narrow brand of white, stupid and frightened American, you just ain’t in their club. You ain’t really American and they don’t want your kind around here.

And yet, they want to sit at your tables and visit your theaters.

If someone hurts my friends, my family or me, they aren’t welcome at my house or in any social environment with me. This isn’t rocket science people. Bullies aren’t welcome.

If the hurtful party comes to a place of public accommodation, a place where I am also allowed, they can expect to be confronted about the harm they’ve caused.  

Assholes know when they’ve been assholes and the only reason Huckabee-Sanders, Nielsen or Miller are acting shocked is because they were too comfortable thinking their actions had no consequences.

We try to teach our children that bullying is wrong and that they should confront the bully, demanding that the bully cease the bad behavior.

Why then are we expected to let Sarah, Mitch, Stephen, Kristjen, or any other Republican who bullies in the name of Trump, be in public without confrontation? They aid the bully-in-chief.

To act in the conscience of the public good, for the citizens of the country and the values we claim to hold dear, is what it means to be civil. So any calls for civility need to be met with that refrain, We are already being civil.

Bad behavior has social consequences. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t have crime report newspapers or sex offender registries. We do not want to associate with bad people. Politicians who hurt the American public and the values we claim to care about are bad people. They are little different than the offenders in the crime pages or sex offenders on the registry.

Until they change the hurtful policies — the hurtful and dangerous rhetoric — Republicans who support and stay silent for the bully aren’t welcome and they should never feel comfortable anywhere, especially in places where the people they hurt have to work, worship or exist.

 

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Breaklines: Not an Epiphany

 

There is a line as you’re walking across a beach where the water meets the sand and it gets very flat. It feels one-dimensional and hard but not uncomfortable. The sand is warm, sometimes hot under your feet but it’s steady. As you continue walking, the water nips at your toes and climbs over your feet to your ankles. Then you reach the breakline where the shells begin to hurt your feet and you hesitate because you’re not sure if walking farther into that line will continue to feel like this. But, If you keep walking, the water gets deeper, the sand gets soft again and sometimes it gives away under your feet and you lose your balance. The waves don’t help, they are pushing you over at the same time they feel like a massage with 1000 hands. You feel confused, supported and off-balance.
 
But you trust the ocean and you let yourself fall and slip on the sand. You let your body be tossed by the waves. You listen as the ocean burps, gurgles and the waves crash. You look back to the beach, watching your child build his first sand castle with no hangups just pure focus. Your husband smiles at you out of pure love and doesn’t care that he’s wearing your beach hat. He’s just enjoying the people he’s chosen for his life.
 
You realize that this is exactly what you needed even in its brevity. It’s what your best friend needed after losing his partner before finding a new one and this is why he’s begged you to come visit.
 
It’s what you needed because you’re at a crossroads and don’t know what direction to take. You’re stuck in a loop of meeting breaklines full of sharp edges that used to be whole shells and you’re feeling completely off your game and out of ideas.
 
There is no epiphany but you understand that it’s time to trust the water, dance against moving sand, and listen to the ocean. You understand you need to SEE the people who love you and know that the shrinking bank accounts, the decrepit car, the depression that creeps up yearly — the breakline– is only temporary if you keep moving forward.
 
You need to write this down and remind yourself when it comes up in your yearly feed that it’s important and share it again.
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Bevin wants to control JCPS.

two stooges

Mayor Fischer says he’s opposed to a state takeover and he let Bevin’s newly appointed lackey, errr…education chief know it, according to the Courier Journal. In his 46 second video statement released Friday, he said, “I really appreciate all the passion in the community about JCPS.” He finished by saying, “I’m opposed to a state takeover.” He says that the changes implemented including the appointment of Marty Polio as SuperIntendent should be given a chance. But is that all Fischer will do? A video statement? Probably. It’s Fischer. He’s as fierce as a Purell wipe. Snooze.

Surprise, it seems the new interim commissioner for Kentucky Department of Education Dr. Wayne Lewis doesn’t give a fuck what milquetoast Mayor Fischer has said nor does he seem to care what teachers and parents of Jefferson County want. Today, he released a letter that says exactly what he thinks. Basically Lewis thinks the state needs to take over the management of Jefferson County Public Schools.

According to his letter responding to an audit initiated by state leaders, Lewis says he will personally manage the JCPS system with the assistance of associate education commissioner Kelly Foster who would be assigned to meet JCPS superintendent Mary Polio on a weekly basis. He also claims that he has no plans to remove the elected school board but would destroy their power.

“During the period of state management, I have no intention of removing elected members of the local board of education,” Lewis stated. Instead, he would have them act as ‘advisors” to Polio and to him.

The school board was democratically elected and do not work for Bevin. Their job is to protect and serve the interests of students, educators and families of Jefferson County Public Schools.

What Lewis and the Kentucky Department of Education is suggesting flagrantly disregards the will of the people of Jefferson County both the largest school system but also the largest city in the state. More than that, because Bevin has appointed the entire 11 member board for the state, guess who gets the final vote on taking over the school system of Jefferson County? They do, or more accurately, Bevin does since they belong to him. This all will happen within 30 days.

This plan is just part and parcel of a national Republican strategy funded by these wrinkled old scrotum bags who fund so many terrible projects that hurt the regular American citizen.

The Koch brothers want to dictate how your America works for you.

In short, the Kochs don’t want to improve America. They want to control it, pollute it and all its politicians and you know what….basically they do and Bevin is just one of the foot soldiers enjoying their dollar bills to ruin the state of Kentucky.

But, this isn’t about the Kochs. Fuck them. We know they need to be cut off at the knees and that means to take out their minions like Bevin and including the pods of flunkies he’s installed around the state, now.

We can’t simply wait for elections. That is never a guarantee.

Why is this plan scary?

One of the first orders of business for this state takeover is to do away with the student assignment plan. This will hurt students of color the most.

excerpt from Lewis’ Letter

The reason we have a student assignment plan is to ensure that our students can get quality education and in schools that are diverse and well-funded. I remember the tales of “separate but equal” schools that my mother told me. Her books were the cast outs from white schools and sometimes didn’t even have covers. This is exactly what the “neighborhood school” argument likes to pretend that it is not and yet it very much is that same thing. It is damaging to a quality education that should be predicated on diverse experiences and exposure to diverse points of view.

Another reason is this:

KDE is also looking at the collective bargaining agreement for our educators too. From today’’s letter, “an analysis of the JCPS collective bargaining agreement for certified employees is ongoing and will be provided to the JCPS board on its completion.”

How did we get here? Well Jefferson County hasn’t performed well for a while. This is true. It has moments of shine but with poor leadership under Donna Hargens, the former Superintendent and the audits that exposed the vastly overpaid staff across the district, there are some big things to fix. Marty Polio has begun that work.

When pension talks were happening, teachers tried to play hardball with a feather by not striking or taking the extended sick out option. Not to blame the teachers for this mess, parents and the public were also too quiet. And now, here we are. Trying to dig out from under a mess that had warning signs dropping like meteors.

How might this turn out, considering the pension fight and today’s takeover letter? Bad.

So, should we all wait until November? Absolutely not.

All of this shit will be over within about 30 days and the jobs of our local educators and the lives of our children could fundamentally change.

Fighting for what is right is no place for timidity. Go big or just get out of the way.

There needs to be a full force attack that includes calling, showing up where politicians are, going to the capitol, writing op-eds, taking to social media and basically being the biggest asses you can be until Bevin backs down, croaks from the stress or packs his little carpetbag and leaves to ring his family handbells elsewhere. Ask him about his taxes.

Maybe the plan includes teachers and kids staying home. There is no easy solution.

Teachers, lead the charge. You know what kids need for education.

Don’t look to Fischer because Fischer ain’t got the spine that god gave him to stand up for you. He’s as timid as a mouse and too busy trying to appease Republican dollars at the state level. He might as well join them.

Maybe your city council could help. Perhaps Beshear can and will…but you should take the first step. Your community is right behind you.

If you’re ready to watch Bevin take selfies at Vanhoose Education Center and lower the mic to announce his pleasure in tap dancing on the grave of your hard work, then wait til November. If not, be bold and do not give the state what it wants, control of you and of our children.

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Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin gets seriously bizarre with child sexual abuse rant

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin thinks that teachers, who went to Frankfort to preserve their pensions, are at fault for any and all things that happen to children when school is closed.

“I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them”

Bevin, you obtuse little ape.

On Friday when teachers showed up at the state capital and got in his face over his inability to protect teacher pensions, Bevin went on a bizarre media rant about children beer bong-ing poison and being sexually abused. I wish I were lying.

“Do you know how many hundreds of thousands of children today were left home alone?”  Bevin inquired.

He didn’t stop there.

“I guarantee you somewhere in Kentucky today a child was sexually assaulted that was left at home because there was nobody there to watch them. I guarantee you somewhere today a child was physically harmed or ingested poison because they were home alone because a single parent didn’t have any money to take care of them.”

I’m personally not sure whether to laugh or cry at this statement. It is utterly ridiculous and amazing that Bevin can button his shirt much less govern a state. Alas, he is where the Republican party has gone. Blame the teachers  (read: anyone) for problems that he and his party created.

Perhaps kids are home alone, Bevin. Maybe if parents had adequate access to childcare for before, after and in the event school is cancelled, less children might be home alone. Maybe those parents would have some options. You know which parents I mean, Bevin…the ” because a single parent didn’t have any money to take care of them” parent. The ones who keep getting their services and pensions cut because of you.

Also, Bevin, your budget proposals put the Poison Control Center at risk of closing. Perhaps it if were well funded and could do adequate outreach, kids might certainly know better than to ingest poison.

I’m sorry, I can’t even take that statement seriously. Kids do get into poisons, but I don’t think being in or out of school is going to shift those numbers dramatically. I’m thinking that kids sipping cordial glasses of Drain-O is not happening at the rate, Bevin wants folks to think. If he’s concerned about poison, perhaps he should reflect on the 1.2 million United States children who have lead poisoning. Many of those exposed by the Republican slack on regulation of businesses who dump chemicals in water systems. Bevin is welcome to visit Flint, Michigan and have a glass of lead water or visit the schools in Portland, Oregon where they had to shut off water fountains because of lead contamination. Hell, it’s happened in Kentucky.

It isn’t home that’s the risk, it is Republican policy — again.

More to the point and fully shaking my head at this, perhaps if Bevin would stop slashing funds for children and families in crisis, and would not only raise social worker pay but decrease their caseloads, at-risk children could be better served by therapeutic and prevention services.

What Bevin said is emblematic of several things. Republicans have run out of logical shit to say. It isn’t that they are just now saying ridiculous shit, they always have but it is the fact that what they are saying has jumped the shark into crazy talk so completely made up and silly that even their base is listening with wrinkled foreheads.

via GIPHY

Bevin is also the poster boy for carpet-bagger politicians who only run for office to seek a financial payout on the backs of the people in a community to which they have no attachment.

When teachers began discussing their days off, they were first worried about their children. They understand that many of these children come from complicated background and that many of the kids (and their parents) face significant hardships when school is out.

Teachers know this better than Bevin.

Teachers also know that being an educator is a profession and one that comes with certain responsibilities and expectations. It is also a job. For any job performed, particularly in a capitalist system like the one that Bevin so strongly supports for himself, when you work, you receive pay. That pay can be in the form of hard dollars on the paycheck, but also in the form of benefits to be used for medical and retirement. These benefits are part of the agreed-upon exchange. You work, you get paid. Whatever form that might be.

So the bottom line is this, Kentucky educators have the right to be fairly compensated for their worth. Teachers do and any other American worker does.

Whether a teacher cares for his students or not shouldn’t matter. Teachers are employed and financial compensation is the currency of that continued relationship. Love can’t pay the bills or feed an educators own children. “Love of the job” certainly won’t pay for care and medications in the senior years.

Kentucky, stop letting folks tell you they deserve something that you don’t. Stop listening to politicians like Bevin who try to villainize workers for standing up for their rights to be compensated fairly. Bevin is on notice. He is aware. Keep up the pressure.

Buy him a new suitcase and find out why he’s so obsessed with kids sexual assault. It’s kind of creepy.

UPDATE: (bish, please edition):

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Kentuckiana’s five most innovative high school classes

 

Kentuckiana’s five most innovative high school classes

All over the country, school systems realize that students are living in a new era. This is no different in our local schools. All over the Metro, schools are changing the way students approach their studies. To meet the demands of the changing world and to prepare the next generation to take the reigns or the flight controls, these five high school courses challenge students with next level education, offering them a chance to change the narrative of education.

Biomedical Science (Mercy Academy)
“We had a course called Advanced Biology II for years and years, and it was kind of boring. But with this big STEM focus we’re really trying to bolster our science, technology and math, so we shifted that course into something called Biomedical Science,” says Mercy Academy (5801 Fegenbush Lane) faculty and Science Department Administrator Patrick Burton.

Burton took his experience from a stint in medical school and updated the advanced biology course to meet the interests of the students and demands of their potential careers.

At Mercy, an all-female Catholic school, the introduction of STEM-style courses broadens the focus from regular science to something that can be applicable in a later college or career decision.

Students in the Biomedical Science course are provided the chance to discover biology through the fields of medicine and applied technology. They are given the opportunity to explore minor diagnosis, symptomology and, in the process, gain valuable patient interaction and interview skills. Students are also taught to build medical models and develop biomaterials to mend simulated broken bones.

“I gave groups of students a patient case, and they got a patient profile and some x-rays that showed some broken bones,” says Burton. “They had to design a biomaterial that would fix that. In the end, I felt like they learned more about the structure and the surgical process than I thought they would starting out.”

Burton finds the course revitalizes the material, and the students agree. Senior Jessie Nalley says of the course, “Coming into the class I was really interested in the medical field. I’m interested right now in going into radiology. This class allows you to look at everything outside the box.”

Philanthropy (Kentucky Country Day)
Nestled on 85 acres in Northeast Louisville, students at Kentucky Country Day(KCD) (4100 Springdale Rd.) get the chance to give back to the local community. In fact, they are taught how to give back through a unique course called the Philanthropy class. Juniors and seniors are given instruction on the history of philanthropy, serve as the board of the school’s Artemis Fund, host a fundraiser, solicit, and award grants to local nonprofits. The course is an elective for juniors and seniors in regular courses but mandatory for juniors in the Honors program.

The course was the brainchild of former KCD parent, Judy Miller whose Miller Family foundation funded the original Artemis Fund with $10,000. The original endowment has grown, according to the Artemisfund.org, to more than $130,000. Each group of students enrolled in the Philanthropy class replenishes and awards new monies to grantees.

The students gain valuable insight not only into the importance of stewardship to their community, but they learn skills necessary to make their giving effective and sustainable. Past grant recipients have included Dare to Care, Americana Community Center, The Lincoln Foundation and Visually Impaired Preschool Services.  

KCD Director of Development and course instructor Gentry Easley says of the students’ experiences in the Philanthropy class, “I think it’s very eye opening to them when in a very short period of time we get upwards of 20 grant applications for a couple thousand dollars. It’s important for the students to see how much of an impact they can make with a small amount of money.”

National Air and Space Education Institute (Assumption High School)
Dr. Tim Smith, pilot, educator and founder of the Air and Space Academy, believed that helping kids apply STEM knowledge in the field of aerospace would deliver a well-trained workforce and help students discover a field they might never have considered. Assumption High School students have the exclusive opportunity to enroll in the Academy.

The program extends past Assumption High School to several high schools in Kentucky and Tennessee. Students from all of the programs get the opportunity to expand both their STEM knowledge and experience the world of aerospace. These students are in grades 9-12 and join a yearly academy-wide competition hosted in Somerset, Ky. Students can participate in flight training, design and engineering, restoration, and mechanics—all skills that will transfer to advanced aerospace learning or the workforce.

The operations base of the academy is at Bowman Field on Taylorsville Road, which is just a short drive from Assumption High School (2170 Tyler Lane)—an all-female Catholic learning environment.

Freshman, Alayna Breslin says of her experiences, “I have learned a lot about flying and engineering. I feel like it is a good program. I am really wanting to continue this program and learn as much as I can.”

The program is tough, and some of the students find learning so much new material complex but are eager to try new things. When asked what she’ll take away from her experience, Freshman Carly Crawford says, “I will remember how this has prepared me or at least exposed me to the tasks I will hopefully be performing in my future career.”

Theatre Program (Community Montessori)
“Montessori philosophy asks the adults to follow the child, wherever possible, and to nurture their independence,” says Hannegan Roseberry.

With that in mind and the knowledge that theatre exposure in children is, like many arts, key to unlocking intellectual curiosity in young people, Community Montessori’s theatre program does this a bit differently. Because of the nature of Montessori learning, this program is led by the students with guidance from Roseberry and Debi Cline both instructors at Community Montessori (4102 Saint Joseph Rd) in New Albany, Ind.

“We have learners ages 12 – 18 involved with these productions, and we rehearse a fraction of the time that you would in a traditional program; they are asked to work as independently as possible until it’s time to pull the show together as opening night approaches. This is their theatre program, and they are expected to lead onstage and off,” says Roseberry.

Community Montessori students get experience in all the areas of theatre production.  This includes the marketing, set design, lighting and costuming. Students are given the opportunity control and decide how each performance should be presented. This offers them a unique opportunity to develop a good sense of their capabilities and maturity.

“The thing about theatre is that it is full of constant surprises. It’s always interesting for me to see how shows will play out because you never really know until it’s actually happening,” says Sophomore Lily Barnett, who has participated in the program for four years, acted in five productions and been part of the technical crew in two. She has spent her life at Community and hopes to take her experiences forward.

“Something I would take with me, after leaving, would be the friends I have made and the ability to go out into the world and inspire,” she says.

Manufacturing Technology Program (Doss High School)
Preparing young workers for future careers in manufacturing is at the core of a new partnership between Jefferson County Public Schools and Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT), with Doss High School (7601 Saint Andrews Church Road) as its home. The Manufacturing Technology program at Doss High School is part of a regional effort to cultivate individuals in nearby communities to fill a void in the more than 32,000 skilled technician positions that have been posted.

Students in this program learn valuable skills in machining and industrial technology. They are trained in a four-course major and provided hands-on learning experiences while working with local industries such as GE Appliances, Ford-Louisville Assembly Plant and Amatrol.

Students are also given the opportunity to earn two certifications, the National Career Readiness Certification (NCRC) and the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council – Certified Production Technician (MSSC-CPT) credential. The on-the-job training and certification helps students get a leg up on entry-level manufacturing jobs.

The students are given highly desirable and employable skills that will help them as they go on to college and out into the workforce. “At JCPS our core mission is to prepare students to graduate college and career ready,” said Dr. Donna Hargens, JCPS Superintendent, in a news release. “Combining national certifications with local, work-based learning experience and regional partnerships will prepare tomorrow’s workforce for the high-skilled, high-tech lucrative manufacturing careers of the 21st century.”

From the arts to sciences and everything in between, students across our area are experiencing education in new ways. Embracing technology and deep analytical processes, these students are sure to be well prepared to meet the future needs of Louisville and our country.

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Menopause: A time to renew your spirit (Norton Healthcare “Get Healthy” magazine Jan-Mar 2016)

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Interview with Slash-World on Fire

One of the attractions I had to writing was the possibility that I might interview people that I admired. This was another of those full circle moments, much like being able to interview Rob Halford of Judas Priest. Originally meant to be published in the LEO Weekly but scheduling issues caused it to come in late. Nevertheless, here is the interview I did with Slash.

 

This weekend, October 3rd and 4th, Louisville’s Champions Park will be transformed into the headquarters of rock for the second year in a row. Don’t be deceived, the Louder than Life festival boasts more than just performances. It is an immersive and high-end experience. Aside from music, the festival promises first class dining and drinking experiences featuring some of our local food truck and bourbon favorites.

Former Guns and Roses and Velvet Revolver guitarist, Slash is performing on Sunday October 4th with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. I recently tracked Slash down to find out about his new music and his work as an animal activist.

Super Quill-ian: How does the festival experience feel in comparison to some of your other dates in clubs or casinos?

Slash: Different types of venues, they’re all very independent feeling of each other. Doing a festival date is very different than playing in a theater or even an arena because it’s an outdoor environment and also because of the large amount of people spread out over such a large expanse of space.

Quill: How did the collaboration between you, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators come together?

S: I met Myles when I was making my first solo record. He sang a couple songs on the album. I met Brent when I was looking for drummer and he introduced me to Todd Kearns. They were such a great rhythm section; I thought they needed to have their own name, so we came up with the Conspirators

Quill: Tell me about the new album, World on Fire? What themes do you explore in the new music?

S: It explores a lot of different themes. It goes from songs about love and relationships to poaching to politics.

Quill: There is an accompanying DVD. Tell me a bit about that and why you chose to release a hard copy version instead of an all-digital format?

S: I just like having a physical copy of anything recorded, whether it’s live or a studio recording. We did a tour of small clubs back in September of last year and recorded one of the shows, the Roxy show, so we decided it would be cool to memorialize us playing in a small, sweaty venue like that.

Quill: You are using proceeds from some of your new music to donate to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). How did you become involved with this organization?

S: I’ve been an animal enthusiast all my life and as soon as I got into a position where I could be somewhat of an activist, I met different organizations and IFAW is one of the ones that I’ve been supporting for a long time. Because we had this one song specifically about poaching, I thought it would be great if we got on board with IFAW and tried to do a music video to sort of raise awareness to our fans about what’s happening in the ivory trade.

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A&E Guide: Artist Profile – Kevin Warth

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“I’ve been reading a lot of Roland Barthes. I’m influenced by qu

His work heavily explores, through the language of portraiture, issues involving the body and “family-making.” Warth speaks with authority beyond his youth. His work is tied closely to his own experiences as a gay man in the Bible Belt where family values are on the lips of every preacher and politician. Warth examines these issues all the while intending to subvert the ideas of family and sexuality. “I see myself as a rule breaker, an academic and an activist. I strive to create meaningful sociopolitical commentary through my work and I believe one of art’s greatest strengths is the ability to create a dialogue.”

Growing up in Southern Indiana but based in Louisville, Warth became interested in photography through the influence of his father, also a photographer, and a high school media arts class. When he graduated, it seemed natural to continue at the university level, exploring his interests in both photography and ideas of the queer body in the language of the family.

His most recent body of work, “boy and his SIR: BDSM and the Queer Family,” explores these issues by placing couples or groups, often in BDSM attire, in situations akin to those of the hetero-normative idea of family. Vividly and sometimes quietly questioning what it means to be a family and how that family appears for someone exploring a varied sexuality. “I’m taking this language of family portraiture and photographing queer couples and groups. I wanted to present this alternate mode of family-making and that is reified through the photograph itself.”

Warth has participated in a few shows locally — his most recent solo effort at Gallery K & Coffeehouse on Story Avenue. “My work is more and more self-referential and talking about photography as a medium itself, challenging the way we think about that. I, of course, identify with [photographer Robert] Mapplethorpe to a degree. He paved the way in showing beautiful images of very sexual things which is something I do but in a very different way.”

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