Sandy Kress, the controversial testing lobbyist, is leading a new raid on school taxes. This month he registered to lobby for Amplify, the company that wants to replace textbooks with tablet computers, positioning him to grab some of the hundreds of millions of dollars Education Sec. Arne Duncan is offering to create pre-K tests. Despite a nationwide backlash against high-stakes testing, your tax dollars are now going to developing standardized tests for 4-year-olds, and Kress is ready to cash in.
While many Americans shake their heads at the feckless backsliding of our current congressional Republican leadership, legislators in a handful of states across this nation are bravely taking a stand against the National Security Agency, a behemoth of unconstitutional breaches of privacy currently recording and logging every one of your calls, emails, text messages and online chats without warrants.
No matter who you are or where you live or what you drive or whether you thought "The English Patient" or "Anchorman 2" the funnier movie, it is time to take a stand on plastic bread. Here's a hint: most of us are against it. Formaldehyde rinsed coffee beans? Not big fans. Flame retardants in our cupcakes? That's a big old negativo, Breaker One. And pink slime should be featured in horror films, not meat.
We thought the big controversies in the Sochi Winter Olympics would be toothpaste terrorism or government-sanctioned homophobia. Then the press tried to check into their hotels and discovered a comical array of foibles that will do nothing to boost the Russian tourism industry. But what shocks the traveling press corps-lost hotel reservations, uncovered manholes, unsafe tap water-is nothing new to those of us who have lived in Russia.
"Income Inequality" is the current marketing slogan for rallying voters to the Democratic Party. It just isn't "fair" that some people make millions of dollars a year "doing nothing" while millions of people work hard and struggle every day to put food on the table and afford HBO.
Note: A version of this column was originally published shortly after 9/11. Since then, from time to time, it has seemed appropriate to submit it again as a way of expressing the frustration of a populace whose leaders simply will not listen to their will. I offer it again in that spirit.
In the darkest recesses of our minds we have always known that monsters exist. It is only when we are involuntarily thrust into an unfolding human tragedy that shocks our senses and devastates our hearts that we truly acknowledge their presence.
February 09, 2014|
Michael Reagan and Jerome Elam