Left In Lowell

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December 5, 2011

Open Thread: Doldrums Edition

by at 3:29 pm.

It’s been slow blogging since the election. LiL and Nutter output is down, along with commenting. Dick Howe’s blog is on pace, even with the namesake listed as ‘day to day’ due to an eye injury. (btw, Dick’s prognosis is good) The stand out Lowell blogger is Cliff Krieger. That blog is grinding out post after post. I suggest, especially as we head in to a national election cycle, you give Cliff more of your mouse clicks.

There are a few things worth glancing over. The CM is looking for the Council to shit or get off the pot, re: plan design. The Council’s multitasking skills will be challenged, as they also have to pick a new City Clerk. Will they reinforce the “Townie Turnstyle?”

Also, some folks are looking to set up another Charter School. Er, put me down as a NO! Lowell has enough school choice, especially K-8. I don’t want no stinkin’ vouchers & no ’scab hiring, for profit, cherry picking all the brightest kids to pump your test scores, using retreads from a failed board‘ charter schools, neither. :vP”’

The holiday charity industry is in full swing. I always feel so joyous as the Lowell Brahmin come down to mingle among us. It’s a hoot as they compete to out ‘good karma’ each other. I wasn’t the only one paying attention when Bill Clinton said, “To the truly enlightened, altruism is the purest form of self-preservation.”

Shame on me for poo pooing. Don’t I always look for a ‘Win-Win?’

Leave the pooing to me, on this Open Thread.

12 Responses to “Open Thread: Doldrums Edition”

  1. Prince Charming Says:

    I have much better things to do than listen to the radio howevah… it seems like nobody does a better job of blowing smoke up someone’s ass than WCAP. In the few days run-up to Simon’s b-day bash (He is a great guy I might add), Baldwin, Shaw et al just wouldn’t quit. It’s sickening. I had hoped that Poulten would shake things up a bit - like cut the afternoon call-in show that nobody calls. Rabid Republican weekend has to go. Shaw, Burns, Duggan and Golnik are enough to make me puke. He’s got a moneymaker there if they do it right but so far, he’s not appealing to the masses.

  2. Jack Says:

    PC, Golnik is paying to be on air. Does anyone know how far WCAP carries into the far reaches of the new “MA-03?”

    There is a lot to like about Shaw. The “accessories” he keeps around? Not so much. AM radio isn’t something I bother with, but I am happy to have WCAP doing what it does as part of the mix. We need “full spectrum media.”

  3. C R Krieger Says:

    (1)  Thanks for the hat tip.

    (1)  I think vouchers violate the Commonwealth’s Constitution.  It is a hold-over anti-Catholic thing.

    (1)  The WCAP fan depends on the time of day.  I am told that at night it goes as far as the Cape, but is limited to the north to protect (respect) a Canadian station on the same frequency. Otherwise it goes further north in daytime.  I have picked it up on the I-90 (Turnpike), but as I recall, it faded after dark.)  If you want details, drive your kids down Gorham Street into Chelmsford and buy them some Icecream cones (or some chili) and ask the proprietor.  Gary has the ‘ge

  4. C R Krieger Says:

    That would be “‘gen”. The problem with fat fingers and an iPad.

    Regards  —  Cliff

  5. Jack Says:

    Naughty Cliff!

    (1) I think vouchers violate the Commonwealth’s Constitution. It is a hold-over anti-Catholic thing.

    At a minimum, you should cite, embedded via hyperlink, the part of the Commonwealth’s Constitution you mean to accuse. Then, you may want to explain how the US Constitution is of the same bend or has been interpeted that way.

    What ills “Public” schools is citizen apathy. Private & Charter schools are ponds for which the less apathetic parents can puddle together. It should be hard to walk away from public schools. There should be a sting. If not, it will be abandoned. Then what?

  6. joe from Lowell Says:

    Jack,

    They’re called the “Blaine Amendments.”

    http://www.blaineamendments.org/states/states_files/MA.html

    Mass. Const. art. XVIII, � 2: “All moneys raised by taxation in the towns and cities for the support of public schools, and all moneys which may be appropriated by the commonwealth for the support of common schools shall be applied to, and expended in, no other schools than those which are conducted according to law, under the order and superintendence of the authorities of the town or city in which the money is expended; and no grant, appropriation or use of public money or property or loan of public credit shall be made or authorized by the commonwealth or any political division thereof for the purpose of founding, maintaining or aiding any other school or institution of learning, whether under public control or otherwise, wherein any denominational doctrine is inculcated, or any other school, or any college, infirmary, hospital, institution, or educational, charitable or religious undertaking which is not publicly owned and under the exclusive control, order and superintendence of public officers or public agents authorized by the commonwealth or federal authority or both, except that appropriations may be made for the maintenance and support of the Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts and for free public libraries in any city or town, and to carry out legal obligations, if any, already entered into; and no such grant, appropriation or use of public money or property or loan of public credit shall be made or authorized for the purpose of founding, maintaining or aiding any church, religious denomination or society.” (Passed 11/06/1917)

    Really terrible history there.

  7. Jack Says:

    Thanks Joe. Hmmm …

    The Blaine Game: Controversy Over the Blaine Amendments and Public Funding of Religion

    What are the Blaine Amendments?

    The Blaine Amendments owe their name to James G. Blaine, who in 1875, as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, proposed a U.S. constitutional amendment prohibiting states from funding religious education. After Blaine’s proposed amendment failed to become part of the U.S. Constitution, 36 states passed their own constitutional amendments barring state funding of religious organizations, including religious schools. These state constitutional amendments are collectively known as the Blaine Amendments.

    Why was public funding of religious organizations such a big issue in the 19th century?

    Funding of religion was such a contentious issue because of the increase in Catholic immigration in the mid-to-late 1800s. Public schools at this time led students in reciting Protestant but not Catholic prayers and reading from the Protestant but not the Catholic version of the Bible. As more and more Catholics immigrated to the United States, Catholic Americans began to resent sending their children to schools that were effectively Protestant. So they decided to start their own schools, where Catholic children could recite their own prayers and read from their own version of the Bible. The creation of these schools made many Protestants worry about whether the government would start funding Catholic schools. The Blaine Amendments arose from this concern about the “Catholicization” of American education.
    -snip

    How did this Amendment get passed in MA on 11/06/1917? You’d think that 1st term Mayor and prominent Irish Catholic, James Michael Curley, would have put the kibosh on that. Oh! Maybe, Curley, and the rise of the Boston Irish, precipitated it’s passage?

  8. C R Krieger Says:

    Jack says:

    What ills “Public” schools is citizen apathy.
    I sort of agree, but I would characterize it as lack of Parent and Public involvement.  The current educational paradigm is exhausted.  We need parents to be doing all the right things before Kindergarten—reading to kinds, helping kids learn the alphabet, sounding out words, learning to count and learning simple science.  Maybe we need fewer organized sports and more scouts.

    One thing we need is more discussion.  Just throwing more money is not going to do it.  We need to think about how the next dollar will be spent.  But, first we need a Comments Preview.

    Regards  —  Cliff

  9. joe from Lowell Says:

    Oh! Maybe, Curley, and the rise of the Boston Irish, precipitated it’s passage?

    Ding ding ding!

    Compare it to the passage of anti-gay-marriage amendments and laws by the states in the 2000s, when they’d never bothered before that.

  10. joe from Lowell Says:

    Jack,

    Just to be clear: my statement “Really terrible history there” was meant to express, “The history of the Blaine Amendments is really terrible,” not your understanding of history.

    I just reread that, and it could be read as a swipe. It wasn’t.

  11. Jack Says:

    No worries. I was picking up what you laid down. That’s why I hit Teh Google.

  12. Renee Says:

    Cliff, But they are doing that in the public schools, such as a social workers that can focus on prevention/parental stress. We even have ‘early intervention’ for children under 3 and are not making their developmental milestones, until there were budget cuts. Some children are not making their developmental milestones, despite all the efforts of parents.

    If parochial schools went to voucher, my children probably wouldn’t be in a Catholic. My children just are too average academically, despite being quite faithful, and the administration would pick up students over them.

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