Newark

State Superintendent for Newark Schools Indefinitely Suspends Four Principals, Reportedly Over Publicly Opposing Her School Reform Plan; Newark Mayoral Candidate Says Superintendent Not a Military Dictator, Unlike a General or Police Chief

Plan opponents say is pro-charter school not welcomed by every charter either

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Newark's school superintendent, Cami Anderson, a Chris Christie appointee because the school district has been run by the state since 1995, reportedly suspended five principals indefinitely. A local opinion journalist says the principals were suspended for comments they made at a community meeting opposing Anderson's reform plans, which include closing or repurposing up to a third of the district's schools.

The local report was picked up by the Education Week's blog, which made sure to frame the story, as opponents of Anderson's reform proposals have, as an extension of Christie's "bullying" tactics. In this narrative, Anderson suspended the principals not because they were subordinates who openly challenged a proposal by their school district's chief, but because Chris Christie is a bully and so is Cami Anderson.

Comments by one of the principals, transcribed by Ed Week, that they are not allowed to speak to the press, however, suggest the suspension could be related to that, given that the principals spoke at a public forum. That forum was organized by Ras Baraka, a city councilman who also happens to be a fellow principal, on leave because he is running for mayor in this year's election.  Baraka, who unsuccessfully fought the attempt to be put on leave even though the idea that you can run a school and a mayoral campaign in a major city seems untenable on its face,  has been a vocal opponent of the plan. Baraka's comments about the suspension, meanwhile, suggest he believes some government employees can act like "military" dictators, just not Anderson (or, presumably, Christie). His statement, via Bob Broun's Ledger:

Ms. Anderson's action in suspending the four principals is the last straw in a chain of inept, and horribly out-of-touch decisions. The people of Newark need to hear the views of those within the school system who disagree with Ms. Anderson. The four principals have a constitutional right to speak out. The Newark school district is not a military dictatorship, and Ms. Anderson is neither an army general nor a police chief. Her behavior must be governed by the principles of our democracy.

Whether Baraka believes a police chief can act like a military dictator isn't hard to divine; two years ago the councilman proposed requiring food service establishments open late to hire armed security guards, while almost every candidate for mayor has come out in favor of more police and more aggressive policing in Newark.

As to Anderson's reforms, they revolve around closing some public schools, and replacing others with charter schools, which have exploded in popularity in Newark over the last decade or so. While opponents of Anderson's plans claim they don't represent the community, the high level of enrollment and demand for charter schools by Newark parents belies that claim. The plan, too, is not immune from criticism by supporters of charter schools. One component, which would subsume local public and charter schools' application processes under one unified district-wide application process, has been rejected by a a number of local charter schools who wish to preserve their ability to select their populations, as the city's magnet schools (of which, disclosure, I'm a graduate) also do.

Opponents to Anderson's plan, however, have not appeared to provide many alternatives of their own. Despite calls for more "resources" at school, the FY2013 budget for the school district (whose enrollment is about 30,000) was north of $1 billion. High school graduation rates are under 70 percent, while the the number of murders in Newark hit a 24 year high last year. Insofar as opposition to Anderson's plan translates to support for the status quo, it's not likely to gain much momentum, the attempt to fit it into the "bullying" narrative emerging around Chris Christie notwithstanding.

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  1. maybe worth noting =

    Mark Zuckerburg Gives Newark Schools $100m = *Because He’s a Nice Guy*

    http://mashable.com/2010/09/22…..c-schools/

    actually, its because they suck so bad. which is something no one seems to bother to point out. I posted some stats here a while back, and they were no where near the “under 70%” (weird statistic, no?) suggested graduation rate… the numbers had more like 50% finishing school, and those with barely 8th-9th grade level reading/math skills. I believe the numbers they like to cite only account for those that even *finish* four years. they finesse the data constantly.

    1. If I were to donate that much it would certainly come with some stipulations.

      Any idea how much the Newark School System spends in a given year? It will be an interesting experiment to see if simply throwing money at a problem actually solves the problem (yeah, I know).

      1. Well, if it were me, and let’s face it, this will not ever be me tossing around $100m… But if it were I would open a private school right next door to the crappiest government school and see how things go.

          1. The part of my comment that got eaten was “Before you can open a new private school, the state must….”

          2. Black Panthers style is the way to go.

          3. Sort of a “certificate of need” for education, huh? I’d like Congress to flat-out ban such crap, though it might be hard to distinguish it legally from occupational licensing and other regulations that would be impossible to simply ban.

            1. If we got rid of government schools, this would not be an issue.

              1. If reference to your comment and Papaya’s, these are state laws that we’re dealing with here. I fear an initiative to support private schools at the Federal level by banning this shit would be as injurious to federalism as NCLB and Common Core.

                1. Heroic Mulatto, I think there are different kinds of federalism. I have much more objection to the “you must do X” kind of central control. The “you are not allowed to force people to do X” sort doesn’t bother me much.

                  1. Government shall not engage in X is a good formulation. Maybe when we get up to 14 Amendments or so that idea might pass muster in the seats of power.

                    If that happens, then the States would not be able to treat independent journalists any different than institutional journalists, they won’t be able to infringe on going armed, etc. Truly boggles the mind if we could only get the federal government to prevent States from violating our rights as American citizens with just a handful of magic words.

              2. Yeah, well, this is one of those tactical problems that I believe some libertarians often don’t fully grasp. Nobody will ever get elected if their solution to [small issue that many dislike] is to propose eliminating [huge programs that many do like].

                1. Nobody will ever get elected if their solution to [small issue that many dislike] is to propose eliminating [huge programs that many do like].

                  Demonstrating the causal link from one to the other is hard, whereas proposing to spend more money to fix it is easy.

      2. It will be an interesting experiment to see if simply throwing money at a problem actually solves the problem

        When it comes to public education, that particular experiment has been on-going since the Johnson administration at least.

        1. The new argument is that it has not been enough money. Just like with the stimulus schemes of late.

          1. New argument? That’s their argument for everything.

            1. Must… steal… MORE…

      3. Didn’t the article say more than one billion? That’s about $35,000 per student.

        1. If only they had tablets. Then they would learn goodly.

          It always amazes me that the people who whine about how expensive our health care is and how single payer is the only solution are the same people whose only solution to single payer education is even more spending.

      4. “Any idea how much the Newark School System spends in a given year?”

        According to the last article I perused, about $1bn per year.

        Which seems like a lot, but I don’t know the $ per pupil #

    2. Demographics might be the cause.

  2. So I think we’d all agree that a private employer can make conditions of employment, which are agreed upon contractually. Reason being that both individuals have rights. Employee has the right to free speech and the employer has the right to free association… they come to a mutually beneficial agreement, voluntarily agreeing to give up some rights for the perceived benefits of both.

    The question is, can public employers do the same. I’d say no, as the employer is the government and the government has no rights, only powers. A hard fast limitation on those powers is that they may not restrict speech. Furthermore, the government has no rights to protect and therefore no need to make conditions of employment.

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

    1. I disagree. Government is so powerful today could you imagine if regulators and government scientists started blurting out whatever they felt like? The media would lap up everything they say. Also, private investigations by police.

      1. Isn’t that how government is kept in check, by having the ability to question it at all times? EVEN when you’re working for it?

        I know that there are judgments disagreeing with my position and I understand the current reality of the situation, but I’m speaking more philosophically.

        Perhaps if government employees were free to yell bullshit, government wouldn’t be so powerful.

        I just never understood how the government could place conditions upon my employment when doing so would violate the rights they are obligated to tolerate (if not protect).

        1. I’m not talking about yelling ‘bullshit’, which is what whistleblower laws are for. I’m talking about using one’s position of authority to manipulate the media to your liking (“I’m a government scientist, and yes ChemDow’s chemicals ARE bending your gender!”….”Danny have you made the stock trade I talked about? The one about ChemDow?”)

          All organizations must have discretion. I think your idea would just make those at the top and even at the middle go nuts for people who are ultra-conformist and in total agreeance with the principles of TOP MEN. I totally see where you are coming from.

    2. The question is, can public employers do the same. I’d say no, as the employer is the government and the government has no rights, only powers. A hard fast limitation on those powers is that they may not restrict speech.

      The largest government employer, if I remember correctly, is the military. I don’t see them altering the UMCJ in line with your views anytime soon. Nor should they. Don’t you agree that a certain level of OPSEC is necessary for any military endeavor? Of course, when it comes to unethical and/or illegal actions, military “whistleblowers” (for lack of a better word) should be protected.

      1. I do agree, but I cannot square it. Been told a thousand times that by joining the military I’ve given up “some of my rights” yet haven’t had one person claiming this be able to tell me which ones. The correct answer lies in the UCMJ, which essentially makes military commanders absolute dictators (quite literally). The UCMJ is, however, constitutional and falls under A1S8. But leave the military out of it, for the moment…

        The first amendment exists so that the government is limited in being able to stifle speech that happens to disagree with the government’s position. The UCMJ is the “exception” to that rule for the military. Where is the 1st amendment exception that allows the government to tell a citizen what he can and cannot say about the government, when the citizen happens to be in the government employ? Doing so, violates the first amendment, BY DEFINITION.

        1. I’m not sure how I feel about it. If the position is elected, then yes, I certainly believe subordinate employees should be free to criticize whomever holds that position.

          However, if I am a manager trying to implement much needed reforms in an organization, I’m going to suspend the fuck out of any subordinate who undermines me.

          1. I don’t necessarily disagree, I’m more pointing out the “paradox”.

            I agree there needs to be one decision maker in charge and all that. Also agree there are some things that need to be classified.

            But it really used to piss me off with their PC bullshit. Directives telling me I couldn’t say anything “offensive” in the office… What does that even mean? Offensive to whom? Isn’t someone, somewhere, going to be offended by anything I say?

            Here I am in a government building, the public square if you will, and this asshole from the government is telling me I’m not allowed to say anything that might be “offensive” to another government employee…

            I think about shit like this.

            1. You can thank modern employment law for directives like those.

              I would imagine that pilots are a high risk group for lawsuits.

              1. In a commercial flight, the captain announces that there is turbulence and that the passengers should buckle their seatbelts. After the announcement, he turns to his co-pilot and says, “I sure could use a nice cup of coffee and a blow-job right about now,” not realizing that the intercom is still on.

                A stewardess dashes up the aisle to tell him that the intercom was on. Just before she reaches the doorway, a guy in back yells, “Hey babe, don’t forget the coffee!”

                -Good Will Hunting

                There are millions of pilot open mic jokes.

                F-16 pilot at night in the weather accidentally keys the mic- “I’M FUCKING LOST”

                Controller- “Whoever made that last transmission, identify yourself immediately.”

                Different voice- “He said he was fucking lost, not fucking stupid.”

            2. Yet another reason government shouldn’t be doing things that can be done by the private sector. In order to function effectively as an employer, a governmental organization must limit the behavior of its employees. To function as a market participant, it must take actions that can harm private companies that participate in that market.

              If the governmental organization is doing something called for in the Constitution, then everything’s peachy. But when the organization is doing something that isn’t constitutionally mandated, then it’s violating people’s rights unnecessarily.

              Just another reason the regulatory state has no business existing.

        2. Where is the 1st amendment exception that allows the government to tell a citizen what he can and cannot say about the government, when the citizen happens to be in the government employ? Doing so, violates the first amendment, BY DEFINITION.

          I get what you’re saying; unfortunately, thanks to the Supreme Court, current legal precedent is the exact opposite. In short:

          The Court ruled, in a 5-4 decision, that because his statements were made pursuant to his position as a public employee, rather than as a private citizen, his speech had no First Amendment protection.

          So, yes, we are now living in Bizzaro world.

  3. This is bizarre.

    Writer for Grantland is doing a piece on a putter that was supposedly invented by a genius physicist who used to work on stealth bombers for the government. He discovers that the woman never graduated from any of the institutions she claimed to work for and could not provide any substantiating proof that she ever worked for the government. She conned investors out of tens of thousands of dollars, including taking $60,000 from a retiree who thought he’d never see any of the money again.

    This woman also happened to be transgendered. She killed herself before the story was published, probably because it had turned out she was lying about all of her credentials and the physics behind her putter. Even the woman’s brother said that she had been a conman and intimated that she got what was coming to her due to her cruelty.

    Predictably feminists are now claiming that the journalist was ‘transbashing’ and forced this woman to kill herself.

    We have now reached the point where you aren’t allowed to write a story about an actual and provable con-woman if that person happens to be a ‘protected minority.’

    1. But the point is, you are allowed to write a story about an actual and provable con-woman if that person happens to be a ‘protected minority.

      You just need to tell the fuckhead feminists at Salon and Slate to fuck off when they demand an apology for doing so. These idiots have no real power. Their only power is that which people freely give them by complying with their idiotic demands.

      Prime example was Steve Martin the other day. His comment wasn’t racist, yet he knuckled under to the pressure of idiots, rather than stand up for his right to make a joke.

      1. Their only power is that which people freely give them by complying with their idiotic demands.

        This. Be more of an asshole. The other side wins by bullying and if they can’t do that they can’t do anything. Plus, women love it.

      2. “These idiots have no real power.”

        In my estimation there is a huge amount of mental illness/ emotional imbalance/ personality disorder amongst that crowd.

        Keep in mind that in the UK, Canada, etc. they do have power and people are prosecuted, fined and/or jailed all the time for being offensive. The inmates will run the asylum here too if we let them.

        1. Or, as David Thompson likes to call it, psychodrama.

    2. Even the “Why include the fact that the subject was trans? It’s not relevant!” part of the criticism of the article is bullshit.

      This con artist had assumed a completely false identity, built of multiple false degrees and extravagant claims.

      If you by your own admission have such profound gender identity issues that it requires you to undergo surgical transformation and a name change, that’s relevant to a story about other issues surrounding your identity.

      Sorry.

      “I wanna be a physicist even though I’m not one!” is actually not that much different in principle from “I wanna be a woman even though I’m not one!”

      “Buh – buh – buh – BUT MY FEELINGS!” Tell somebody who cares.

      1. A lot of the “OMG Transphobia!” seem to be typical female (sorry) complaints about tone of voice. The article wasn’t empathic enough, etc. But a good writer does not have to write “this is sad” when writing about a suicide. As long as they aren’t flippant, which I don’t think the article was, the writing will create empathy in the reader. The writer need not hold up cue cards to the reader to tell them what to feel.

        And much of the rest of the outrage has to do with the writer considering transpeople “strange.” Well, sorry, but by any reasonable definition of the term, they are strange. That doesn’t mean “bad,” just “unusual.”

        I also enjoyed the explanation about not doing replies in Disqus: accessibility issues! So some people have trouble reading indented text?

      2. Should we also mention dyed hair or nose jobs?

        I don’t think they’re the same scale or degree, but I’m curious where we draw the line on what is relevant in this case?

        She didn’t like being a Jew and got her schnozz reduced to something less Semitic. She used a straight iron every day to hide that she was a quarter black. She believed that blondes have more fun and got it from a bottle!

        1. She didn’t like being a Jew and got her schnozz reduced to something less Semitic. She used a straight iron every day to hide that she was a quarter black. She believed that blondes have more fun and got it from a bottle!

          Just how did you get the transcript to next week’s episode TMZ?

          Are you a warlock?

        2. I think the line at least starts to be crossed when someone is changing their official identity. If Jane Doe dyes her hair, it’s not really an issue, unless she publicly proclaims her devotion to natural beauty or whatever. But if Jane Doe becomes Mary Smith and tries to cover up her past as Jane Doe, dying her hair is part of the story.

          In this case, the mysterious background of someone who appears to be a con artist makes it all relevant, because the question was “Who is this person, really? Where did they come from?”

        3. Courts say that withholding a sex change operation from a trans prisoner constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

          Has any court ever concluded that about hair dye?

          And you know why the court concluded that?

          Because trans advocates themselves argue that the distress trans people experience from being “trapped in the wrong body” is so profound that it’s like torture.

          The article subject herself would have had to get psychologists to certify her distress in order to get the procedure performed, as far as I am aware.

          Sorry, but once you argue that, I am entitled to take you at your word. I am entitled to conclude that you have significant issues with your personal identity.

          1. Fair enough. I think judging an individual trans person based on what trans activists have gotten their dander up about might be less than ideal, but your point about court involvement is a sound one.

            1. Yes, it’s less than ideal.

              But in this context, we have a person who was apparently conning investors into thinking she was someone’s she’s not.

              The question isn’t, “Do all trans people have unstable identities?”

              The question is, “When you know someone is crafting a fake and deceptive identity for themselves, should you explore whether they might have been in some way driven to do so by profound personal identity issues, such as their trans status?”

              1. The question is, “When you know someone is crafting a fake and deceptive identity for themselves, should you explore whether they might have been in some way driven to do so by profound personal identity issues, such as their trans status?”

                You ever read about the Dale Car? The fraudster hid from authorities and previous charges by becoming trans.

                Odd fact: She named her company 2oth Century Motor Company, as in the one from Atlas Shrugged.

                I actually thought that was what this story was about at first.

    3. aphra_behn Moderator ? 2 days ago
      Note to new commenters: As clearly stated above the comment box, you must read Shakesville’s Comment Policy and Feminism 101 before commenting. If you cannot abide by the commenting policy (which explicitly forbids transphobia), then your comment will be deleted. We don’t do 101-level “debates” here.

      What transphobia? Who knows! You’re not permitted to read the offending comments?they’ve been memory-holed for your own protection. I am willing to bet, given the pretentious absurdity of the author’s contentions, that somebody made the imminently reasonable and therefore unforgiveable suggestion that transgenderism does not excuse fraud or criminality, and that paternalizing women and minorities does more harm than the phantom hoards of transphobic internet bigots.

      1. ^hordes

        😛

      2. Melissa McEwan Moderator ? a day ago
        I have to run out to do some errands this afternoon, so I’mma close the thread again while I’m away and will reopen upon my return.

        Classy, Mel. Really showcasing your ruinous need to control the dialogue. It’s not enough that grievance groupie progs invent a specialized insider language to signal affiliation, a culture eschewing internal criticism or dissent, and a commenter policy primarily geared toward shutting down outsider voices, but you can’t even allow the possibility that someone might say something critical (or did I mean “triggering”?) while you’re distracted with life outside your fantasy world.

    4. I’ll do you one better:

      Dr. V Is Dead, Caleb Hannan Is Celebrated: Why We Can’t Accept Lazy, Transmisogynistic Journalism

      It’s difficult to understand how Hannan, or his editors at Grantland, could have thought that any of these ethical requirements were being met. It’s technically possible that Hannan could have not understood the gravity of what he was doing by outing Dr. V to her investors and to the entire American public ? the degree to which she would be “affected adversely” and would without doubt experience “harm and discomfort.” But the only way that could be true is if Hannan hadn’t bothered to do even the barest minimum of research into trans* experiences and realities, and the real danger that trans women deal with from cultural stigma and transmisogyny. He would have to have looked for literally zero information about the lives of trans women and the challenges they face. Given that Hannan was willing to devote almost a year of his life researching every private detail of Dr. V’s, ranging from her interpersonal behavior at previous jobs to her personal financial history, it strains belief that he was unable to do the basic level of research that would have brought him to something like this National Transgender Discrimination Survey.

      1. Comments:

        This article is so reprehensible for so many reasons. Not the least of which is that the premise for delving so deeply into Dr. V’s life is that Hannan (ostensibly) wanted to make sure that everybody was aware of the credentials of somebody who invented a golf putter. A GOLF PUTTER. If Dr. V hadn’t been trans*, would Hannan still have published the article, or been so indignant about the fact that she didn’t graduate from MIT or Penn? (As an aside- if the putter works, does anybody care if the inventor’s credentials are fabricated? It isn’t medicine. It’s a piece of metal on a stick.)

      2. And:

        Whenever I read an article that criticizes something else, I always read/watch/listen to whatever the item is in question so I can form an opinion before reading someone else’s opinion. Reading that article was super dry and boring at the beginning. But when he started looking into Dr. V’s personal life, something she explicitly told him several times to not do because it was NOT okay, it felt like I was also violating her privacy. It was like reading a diary. I still can’t get over that. Just the description of her highly personal and private suicide attempt made me have to walk away for a little while.
        I honestly believe that as soon as he found out that she was a little quirky, he decided to make the article about her right away. But with the details he acquired without a scant of basic human sympathy, he then decided to turn it into a sensational, gossipy piece. He treated her like she wasn’t even human. But not only that, he treated her then partner Jordan with only disrespect for revealing such private details about their lives. She also had two children so he also spat in their faces and gave her a reason to attempt suicide again, taking her away from her loved ones.
        And he called this a eulogy? I am far beyond merely disgusted by this. Seriously, thank you Audrey for sharing this with us.

        1. Oh, there’s also an insanely long comment which is the classic definition of projection, written by a trans woman. Here’s a snippet making my point:

          Here’s what actually happened: He destroyed a trans woman’s life.

          As a trans woman myself, nearly everything this woman did makes perfect sense. All she ever wanted was to be treated like a human being. She knew what would happen if anyone started “digging into” her past. She knew what happens to trans women in this culture. She knew what Caleb Hannan’s little report would become if he focused on the scientist instead of the science. But she took a risk and agreed to a story, evidently extending the hope, the fucking pure hope that for once, FOR ONCE what happens to trans women in our society wouldn’t happen to her.

          She was wrong.

          The piece as it was published was exactly the kind of story she was afraid would result from Caleb Hannan’s curiosity. A shameless expos? of the private life of a private citizen, one that paints her as a liar and a deceiver, a confused and sad “man” who lived a fake life.

          The reason why I feel so helpless is this. Dr. V. spent nearly a decade trying to build a life where she would be safe. She kept her old identity to herself, she kept out of the spotlight.

          1. She only lied about her product, education, qualifications, etc because the inherent violence of the system!

        2. It’s funny that only a day ago someone linked to a HuffPo article here that argued it was a reporter’s duty to out people regardless of the harm that would come to their lives…

          …if they were republicans. Because hate crimes, or something.

          Wonder how this author would feel about that argument.

          1. I’m going to post that to her site. That was last night’s late links wasn’t it?

          2. I put the HuffPo article on the Shakesville site. We’ll see how long my comment stays up?

            1. Boom Gone in under 5 minutes.

              Please note that off-topic comments, as well as bigoted comments, will be removed from this thread.

              Please also note that the Commenting Policy and the Feminism 101 section, conveniently linked at the top of the page, are required reading for new commenters.

              Carry on.

              Here is what I posted:

              So I can assume that everyone here will equally condemn Chris Sosa?

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..50604.html

              1. Will you please ask her to stop being a stupid cunt for me? Exact quote please.

            2. How long?

              It’ll never see the light of day.

              1. That Shakesville woman is a classic case of political insanity. A while ago she was enraged about a black temporary mailman who was murdered. The news article quoted a neighbor as saying he hadn’t seen the guy before, and hadn’t responded when he’d called out to him. Well!! So black people are required to respond when white people talk to them?? And if they don’t belong in his neighborhood, it’s OK to murder them?? RACISM!!

                I politely pointed out that there was really no racial content in what the neighbor had said, that it was just the sort of thing that a bystander would say to police or a reporter after such an incident. (“Had you seen him before?” “No, he wasn’t the regular mailman.” “Did you talk to him at all?” “I called out to him, but maybe he didn’t hear me, because he didn’t respond.”)

                My comment was deleted, too.

    5. “Silence of the Lambs” was so *hurtful* to Buffalo Bill.

      1. That movie is Example Number 1 in the anti-transphobia scripture.

  4. And the Broncos put some points on the board. Good.

  5. the last straw in a chain of inept, and horribly out-of-touch decisions.

    Not running the school system solely for the benefit of the unionized “educators” = out of touch, I suppose.

  6. It’s hopeless. Newark is Detroit on the Hudson. Camden, Trenton, and Jersey City are beyond anyone’s capacity to govern or resuscitate.

    1. Fatboy has not performed some Reaganesque miracle there?

    2. You have to visit Jersey City and take a look at what’s been done along the waterfront and the downtown area. It’s unrecognizable from 15 years ago. After 9/11, development boomed in the area.

      1. Jersey City /= New Jersey. Like Hoboken, its de-facto NYC territory.

    3. That’s Detroit on the Passaic, Ms. Bertrum.

      /geography pedant

      Downtown Newark was in the early throes of gentrification when the housing bubble popped. It’s a good location (20-30 mins by train from Midtown; plenty of financial and government offices) where rents are cheap and space is abundant, and the finishing of the arena keeps it secure at night 40 times per year. It’s got potential, but like most places with potential they need to get the hell out of their own way and let things happen.

      Newark can get better. Jersey City already is (basically every neighborhood is in better shape no than it was 15 years ago). Camden and Trenton are definitely hopeless though, and you can add Irvington and Paterson to that list.

  7. Sounds lke double-secret probation, with a press release.

  8. “Baraka, who unsuccessfully fought the attempt to be put on leave even though the idea that you can run a school and a mayoral campaign in a major city seems untenable on its face”.

    Cities are run by career bureaucrats.

    It’s just like with the federal government.

    If no politicians were elected for the next 20 years, most government agencies would continue to function as they have on autopilot. The politicians are just figureheads.

    They’re there to to give the bureaucrats some legitimacy. See, you get some say! You get to choose our bosses, and we work for them! Oh, we’re so scared of them!

    Believe me, it doesn’t matter who the mayor of Newark is or will be; 98% of everything that happens over the next 20 years in Newark will happen with or without any mayor’s input.

    1. I positively love the debates in the media when there’s an assassination, or the president goes in for surgery…

      WHO’S RUNNING THE COUNTRY?

      The Congress, POTUS and SCOTUS could be kidnapped by aliens and the country wouldn’t notice until the funding ran out.

  9. That’s one long, bad ass title.

  10. Pats are done I’m afraid.

    So much for the showdown. Broncos simply better.

    Onto 49ers/Seahawks.

    1. It’s looking like it, but the Patriots are dangerous as hell. We’ll see.

      1. Yup.

    2. Brady isn’t yelling the name of a small midwestern town enough.

    1. Boy, that Myerson guy is one stupid individual.

  11. Let’s nationalize Fox News: Imagining a very different media

    1. BOOOSSSHHH!

      (the “nationalize” craze here in the USA ended about five years back)

      1. The level of evil/stupid in that article is worthy of another subthread.

        It’s not like Salon is some rinky dink student rag, though it is written like one. This deserves all the scorn we can muster.

        1. Even worse, it’s an excerpt from an upcoming book.

    2. I came across that one last night and my jaw dropped. Even the commentariat at Salon were confused – lots took it as satire. It’s a truly unbelievable read. The guy sounds like he’s 19 and just listened to his first REM record.

      1. Why do you people see some lone dumbass write some idiocy and presume the entire “other team” is wholeheartedly endorsing that stupid idea?

        1. Like GBN said, Salon is a fairly well-known online news and opinion source for the left. It’s not some obscure website with no history of note.

          So I do wonder why they would publish something so insanely idiotic. That article and presumable the book it is excerpted from essentially advocates the US adopt the Soviet model of government: a centralized command economy, quotas, political commissars, etc.

          They deserve scorn for publishing communist drivel and giving it some veneer of legitimacy.

        2. What makes you think we presume the entire “other team” wholeheartedly endorses your ideas?

          1. Here’s the thing, I’ve never heard anyone on the left say how far that government should go. What are the limits?

            No matter how large and intrusive government gets they always insist on more. Eventually you end up with a Marxist dystopia.

            I mean, these guys won’t bat an eyelash at nationalizing our health care system or whole industries, what progressive ideal is keeping them from taking the whole pie?

            Maybe, I just haven’t listened well enough and some lefty writers and intellectuals have given end points to their plan, but I don’t think so.

            1. Good point. They attack libertarians for not defining ‘small government’ yet don’t feel it necessary for them to explain what they mean by ‘big government.’

              1. Which is odd, because most libertarians will tell you exactly what they’d have government do.

              2. They attack libertarians for not defining ‘small government’

                Being a leftist requires a certain amount of doublethink. That requires lying to themselves. Then when they lie to others they believe they are telling the truth.

            2. Here’s the thing, I’ve never heard anyone on the left say how far that government should go. What are the limits?

              Their end game is equality, and equality is not the natural state of things. It can only be arrived at by force. So I don’t see how the left can place any limitations on government, so long as that increased government involvement in our lives is intended to making us all equal.

              Force is their ideal, while liberty is ours.

              The left are evil. There’s no sugar coating it. Organized violence through government is their preferred solution to everything. That makes them evil. Period.

  12. Here is a very interesting article regarding police and their attempts to punish pols who are trying to make them not bankrupt their cities. The era of quid pro quo is ending.

    http://www.reuters.com/article…..KR20140116

    1. As was mentioned above, bureaucrats run governments local and centralized in this country and as we run out of money those with the real power will have to make themselves known to battle for their positions.

      Expect direct attacks by government forces on those groups and individuals that threaten the bloated bureacatsia. Think of the IRS attack on anti-tax tea party groups but with more state-sponsored violence and ferocity.

    2. As a sexy hot British babe once said, “The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.”

      And when that happens, former allies begin to eat each other.

      Socialism, ain’t it grand? Kumbaya!

      1. Thatcher was hot? How fucking old are you? Do you fart dust?

          1. She doesn’t make my eyes hurt, but she’s far from chubby inducing.

            1. But with her level of intelligence and political views I would have found her appealing at that age.

            2. From some angles (showing her left side, I think), she was a 7 or an 8. From other angles, a 4 or a 5.

        1. Oh, come one dude. She may have been butt ugly, but any chick with her passion for capitalism is hot by definition. I’d have done her!

  13. I am beginning to think that a memo went out from the DNC to the media (but I repeat myself) to tie Chris Christie (and by extension all Republicans) to the word “bully.” I think this is all 2014 mid-term battlespace preparation.

    1. Could be.

      The GOP has long favored an authoritarian Christo-strongman in power with no distributed decision making or democratic notion of leadership.

      IOW – if the shoe fits…

      1. Unlike the consensus-seeking, bipartisan, totally law- and tradition-abiding Democrats like Obama and Reid? Yeah, right.

        1. It’s called tolerance and inclusiveness. You see, when Democrats shower anyone who disagrees with them with contempt, they are being tolerant. Because disagreement is intolerant and tolerant people don’t tolerate intolerance.
          Likewise with inclusiveness. Inclusive people don’t have to tolerate those who are not inclusive, and anyone who disagrees is not inclusive.
          That’s because Democrats believe in equality. They and those who agree with them are equal to each other, and superior to anyone who disagrees.

          1. That’s right! We must not tolerate the intolerant, or be inclusive toward anyone who practices exclusion! To combat hatred, the haters must be hated! It all makes sense now!

      2. Palin’s Buttplug|1.19.14 @ 5:44PM|#
        …”IOW – if the shoe fits…”

        Yep, that’s your fave lying bastard.

      3. Authoritarian strongman isn’t necessarily a bully.

  14. 23-10. Onside kick in order. Fuck the Donkeys.

    1. Fuck the Donkeys.

      Ah, look how Shrikey tries to show he isn’t a Democrat shill.

  15. TOM BRADY SADFACE

    1. One of the most beautiful sights in football.

      (I’m an Eagles fan. All I have is the sorrow of other teams.)

      1. Now it’s time for Kaepernick frustrated face.

        1. Now it’s time for Kaepernick frustrated facetattoos.

      2. Yeah, same here. Fucking Eagles.

    2. That was the worst Brady football performance since Marcia got hit in the nose.

      1. Breaking that tackle for the last minute TD would have been epic if it had led anywhere. Sadly, not so much.

        Denver’s D is beastly. Hope they have an answer to Marshawn Lynch come Super Bowl Sunday.

      2. Thanks for making my wife laugh so hard.

  16. Philadelphia teenager Darrin Manning suffers ruptured testicle during police pat-down

    1. Covered ad nauseam.

      Archduke von Pantsfan|1.18.14 @ 10:52PM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

      What a shitty week.
      What did I miss?

      THIS! By one article.

      1. Didn’t realize it was the same d00d

        1. Or the same d0-d

  17. This site auto-generates “Internet of things” devices

  18. Not to condone their behavior but they are from New Jersey. New York’s smelly balls.

  19. Even worse, it’s an excerpt from an upcoming book.

    What are the odds that book shows up on a lot of college reading lists as soon as it hits the shelves?

    “It will open your mind to new ways of looking at things.”

  20. GO SF49s!

    I was in Vegas last weekend and went 4/4 ATS then rolled it all into moneyline dogs for this weekend. The Pats fucked my plan up!

    1. “GO SF49s!

      WTF who says that? SF49s?

      Are you fucking retarded, or eurotrash trying to sound like you’re a fan?

    2. Once again, you prove you are a financial genius!

  21. It’s the year of the bush ? time to rediscover all female body hair

    1. I will gladly rediscover whatever body hair Cameron Diaz makes available to be rediscovered.

      1. I will even go on exploratory missions, if that’s what it takes.

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