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Sunday links.

May 6, 2012

Cairo, Egypt. May 4th.

John Dillon’s Pension Vocabulary Word of the Week: Misinformation. “Working as a hand puppet for the Illinois Policy Institute, ABC’s Chuck Goudie, the crack investigative reporters for the “I” Team (Eyewitness News) on Channel 7 Chicago, announced that he and the IPI had uncovered a “brand new and improved” pension scam as Illinois face “a financial cliff.” Goudie’s sober delivery and impeccable report would have made William Randolph Hearst Proud. I found  my own heart racing and anger escalating toward the local high school, but then I wondered if there were other sides to this perceived theft. Why would Channel 7 run such a story?”

Robert Reich. “With only 115,000 jobs in April, the hole is getting even deeper.”

In five years, after billions of dollars down the drain, they will conclude that the Common Core, like NCLB and Race to the Top, is a failure. 

The most successful tactic in destroying the effectiveness of ALEC has been simply showing what it is up to.

I’ve been saying this for years. The Dibels test, where students are tested on how fluent they are by reading nonsense words, “is conceptually flawed and harmful to students.”

The Taliban is now stronger in Afghanistan than before the surge.

Town squares, community centers and even streets were named after political figures who sacrificed their lives in the struggle against Pinochet’s police state. On one corner, I looked and found myself on an avenue called Los Mártires de Chicago. That stopped me cold. Even the most-Spanish language deficient among us would know the translation: “the Chicago Martyrs.”

Despite a basic knowledge of US labor history, my first thought was that this street must be a tribute to the thousands “disappeared” by Pinochet’s secret police. The dictator’s economic blueprint was authored by a group of right-wing Chilean economists trained at the University of Chicago and known to all in frightened whispers as “the Chicago Boys.” Mass torture and execution of radical and labor leaders were preconditions for the Chicago Boys’ Chilean economic laboratory. This street, I thought, must be for those who gave their lives to fighting gunpoint-austerity.

But I was told with a surprised laugh that Los Mártires de Chicago had nothing to do with the University of Chicago and the fevered fantasies of Professor Milton Friedman. The avenue was in fact named after Albert Parsons, August Spies, Adolph Fischer and George Engel: four Chicago socialist/anarchists executed in Illinois in 1887 for the crime of being leaders of the mass labor struggle for the eight-hour work day. They are the men remembered the world over on May 1, otherwise known as May Day. Dave Zirin

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