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Savage Sentences for Test-Altering Atlanta Teachers


In mid-April a Florida superior court judge handed down harsh prison sentences to 10 former school administrators, principals and elementary school teachers because of a citywide test cheating scandal within the Atlanta public school system.

What these educators did was inflate 2008 test scores. Read more about Savage Sentences for Test-Altering Atlanta Teachers

In the garden: One hot day makes a difference

Here's the clover in the front yard (below the little white fence) The sprouts were hard to see a couple of days ago. After yesterday -- 77°F -- they're easy to see!

Above the white fence are the wildflowers. They too were heavily sown, but they will sprout and flower continuously through the season. So there are fewer to see now. Read more about In the garden: One hot day makes a difference

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Larry Sanders running as Green Party Candidate in Oxfordshire

Larry Sanders, Bernie Sanders’s Brother, Is Running in Oxfordshire

Larry Sanders, is running in the British parliamentary election, as a Green Party candidate in Oxfordshire.

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TPP: The Fascism Issue

If the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement will, if implemented, and as I've argued elsewhere, result in the death of national and state sovereignty, constitutional separation of powers, and democracy, then what system and what principles will replace these things? Read more about TPP: The Fascism Issue

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House parties for Bernie

I stumbled upon a tool that lets you find a house party for Bernie Sanders. It is a great example of how the Web has leveled the playing field, Bernie supporters can find each other and organize without campaign staff, and more importantly, campaign expenditure. It also demonstrates that Bernie has support all over the country,

It is not clear to me if the campaign can harvest the data from this tool, and the data is everything in a campaign. Read more about House parties for Bernie

In the garden: Spotting the growth

This is the time of year when it's hard to spot the green in the vast expanse of brown (at least in my patch, because I don't rake the leaves in the fall, preferring them to rot, have abolished my lawn, and don't load up anything not lawn with bags of bark mulch from the "landscape" -- ugh, what an inappropriate word -- people at the first sign of spring).

So what I end up with is brown bare earth, brown rotting leaves, and brown/beige/dirty white disintegrating sheet mulch from the previous year. As you can see! Read more about In the garden: Spotting the growth

Time to Play Lucy and the Football with Sanders, Progressives?

Patrick Martin in “Bernie Sanders to seek Democratic presidential nomination” takes a much needed CLOSE look at the history and realpolitik behind Bernie Sanders.

In the kabuki that is America’s corporate-captured political establishment’s and corporate media’s greased slide to fascism, US Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont has stepped onto the stage to do his bit for the continued confusion and manipulation of us, the bewildered and fleeced herd of citizenry. Read more about Time to Play Lucy and the Football with Sanders, Progressives?

In the garden: Happiness!

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Fast/Track/TPP: The Death of National Sovereignty, State Sovereignty, Separation of Powers, and Democracy

Most of the critical attention given to the Fast Track Trade Agreement legislation and to the associated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Congressional – Executive Agreement on mainstream corporate media and by politicians and establishment interest groups interacting with them in the beltway echo chamber, has focused on the likely or possible economic impacts of these. But relatively little attention has focused on sovereignty, constitutional separation of powers, or democracy impacts, which however are being covered increasingly well in alternative social media. See here, here, here, and here. Read more about Fast/Track/TPP: The Death of National Sovereignty, State Sovereignty, Separation of Powers, and Democracy

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Torybots on Twitter

Strong Commands From HQ Send Tories Into a Spin Over Cameron

As David Cameron bounded off the “Question Time” stage, Jim Messina, the former Obama staffer now advising the U.K. prime minister, gave his verdict. Read more about Torybots on Twitter

In the garden: Come ON!

OK, spring is here. Because look! I've got an entire forsythia bush with four (4) blossoms on it! (To be fair, this is in the sunniest spot.) Come on!

And then there's the clover seed: Read more about In the garden: Come ON!

Ratios and the rational

The Marshall Project, an excellent site on what we are pleased to call criminal justice, has a great interview with The Wire's David Simon on current events in Baltimore. These vivid paragraphs on Martin O'Malley ("Marty") caught my eye:

The second thing Marty did, in order to be governor, involves the stats themselves. In the beginning, under Norris, he did get a better brand of police work and we can credit a legitimate 12 to 15 percent decline in homicides. Again, that was a restoration of an investigative deterrent in the early years of that administration. But it wasn’t enough to declare a Baltimore Miracle, by any means.

What can you do? You can’t artificially lower the murder rate – how do you hide the bodies when it’s the state health department that controls the medical examiner’s office? But the other felony categories? Robbery, aggravated assault, rape? Christ, what they did with that stuff was jaw-dropping.

So they cooked the books.

Oh yeah. If you hit somebody with a bullet, that had to count. If they went to the hospital with a bullet in them, it probably had to count as an aggravated assault. But if someone just took a gun out and emptied the clip and didn't hit anything or they didn't know if you hit anything, suddenly that was a common assault or even an unfounded report. Armed robberies became larcenies if you only had a victim’s description of a gun, but not a recovered weapon. And it only gets worse as some district commanders began to curry favor with the mayoral aides who were sitting on the Comstat data. In the Southwest District, a victim would try to make an armed robbery complaint, saying , ‘I just got robbed, somebody pointed a gun at me,’ and what they would do is tell him, well, okay, we can take the report but the first thing we have to do is run you through the computer to see if there's any paper on you. Wait, you're doing a warrant check on me before I can report a robbery? Oh yeah, we gotta know who you are before we take a complaint. You and everyone you’re living with? What’s your address again? You still want to report that robbery?

They cooked their own books in remarkable ways. Guns disappeared from reports and armed robberies became larcenies. Deadly weapons were omitted from reports and aggravated assaults became common assaults. The Baltimore Sun did a fine job looking into the dramatic drop in rapes in the city. Turned out that regardless of how insistent the victims were that they had been raped, the incidents were being quietly unfounded. That tip of the iceberg was reported, but the rest of it, no. And yet there were many veteran commanders and supervisors who were disgusted, who would privately complain about what was happening. If you weren’t a journalist obliged to quote sources and instead, say, someone writing a fictional television drama, they’d share a beer and let you fill cocktail napkins with all the ways in which felonies disappeared in those years. Read more about Ratios and the rational

Getting a new account workaround

A few months ago, Drupal revealed a horrible bug, which at Corrente made itself visible by people (or bots) being able to set up new accounts and log in without my approving them. The same bug also enabled people (or bots) of ill intent to actually corrupt or destroy the server itself. So far as I know, no actual damage was ever done, but the bug was scary enough that I took the site down, fixed the bug, and had the ISP roll the server back to the point in time where the bug actually appeared.

Now, fallout from that bug is that I turned off the New Accounts function -- and have not been able to turn it back on, for reasons I don't understand! In the near future, I'll upgrade the site again, and I'm hoping this glitch goes away then.

So, if you want a new account, here's the work-around: Read more about Getting a new account workaround

In the garden: Emergence


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