Sunday posts, pics and tweets.

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“I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.”  – Clarence Darrow.

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Nearly 500 former transit executives or their survivors collected a total of more than $7 million from the “CTA supplemental retirement plan” in 2014, the most recent year for which records were available. Originally intended to supplement CTA executives’ regular pensions with modest additional benefits, the CTA board — then chaired by Carole L. Brown, who’s now the chief financial officer in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration — changed the supplemental plan in 2008 to allow dozens of those employees to retire early. Sun-Times

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IMG_2225 Friday night at the Uri-Eichen Gallery.

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As in the majority of the 21st-century cases of police shootings in the North, no one was prosecuted in the death of Tamir Rice. Late last December, a grand jury declined to indict the officer who killed him. Decades ago, in the Jim Crow South, Emmett Till’s killers were acquitted by an all-white jury, but at least they had gone to trial.

I asked Michael Petty, Tamir’s great-uncle and a retired chaplain’s assistant in the Navy, how Millie, his mother, would have borne what happened to the great-grandson she never lived to see, in the place she traveled so far to reach. It would have crushed her, Mr. Petty said. “My mother would have carried that hurt,” he said, “and felt the pain of the generations.” Isabel Wilkerson

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The numbers tell the story. Let’s start with expulsions. Can you believe that not one white student was expelled from CPS last year? Compare that with black students who account for 39% of CPS students (district-run and charters) but 68% of 61,349 suspensions and 81% of expulsions in the 2014-15 school year. Michael Klonsky

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A lawsuit that aims to prevent Massachusetts voters from weighing in on the controversial Common Core educational standards has backing from people connected to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major sponsor of Common Core. Since 2010, the year the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to implement Common Core, through last year, the Gates Foundation donated $776,431 to the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education. The Alliance, a strong supporter of Common Core, is currently coordinating the lawsuit, filed last month, to block a citizen initiative that would allow Massachusetts voters in November to decide whether the state continues to use the federally approved Common Core standards or revert to its own pre-Common Core standards. New Boston Post

6 thoughts on “Sunday posts, pics and tweets.

  1. Interesting that Scalia passed away on the same weekend that Michael Moore’s new film opened. Moore shows us how other countries value dignity, education, celebration of life, and compassion, over greed, individualism and competition.

  2. Articles on extraordinary pension payouts unfortunately paints all public worker retirees with the same brush. No wonder the public is up in arms. How much does the “average” CTA retiree receive?

    • The fact that cronies holding executive positions get huge bonuses that they choose to call pensions shows the hypocrisy of the critics of our pensions. I will always expose the hypocrisy of those in power. It is the politicians who are up in arms. Working people, by every poll and measure, support pension fairness and pension justice.

  3. I’d like to know how we ever sent a man to the moon and back without Common Core Standards?

    Just some thoughts about Scalia…
    MSNBC and other media outlets are tripping over each other to eulogize one Antonin Scalia. It’s almost comical how they’re putting lipstick on a pig (my sincerest apologies to all four-legged, pink porkers). I’m truly baffled by the attempt to put a positive spin on a guy who devoted his 30-year career to making the lives of tens of millions miserable.

    I heard a number of times about Scalia’s supposed “intellect.” If one considers twisting oneself into ideological pretzels to reach predictable decisions that have nothing to do with “original intent,” being a “strict constructionist,” or any established legal precedents, then Scalia is a brilliant “intellect.” That contradicts what most of us were taught about the meaning of “intellect.” In truth, Scalia was a small man who based his decisions on personal whims or narrow, sometimes flimsy, ideological constructs devoid of constitutional principles. Never forget Bush v. Gore, Citizens United, McCutcneon v. Federal Election Commission, Shelby County v. Holder, and most recently a stay on “the clean power plant plan.”

  4. The Sun-Times was a bit misleading in their pension article, intentionally or not. They kept comparing only the amount the employee paid into the supplemental retirement plan with the amount the employee has collected from both their supplemental retirement plan PLUS their regular retirement plan. They did not mention the amount the employees put into the regular retirement plan, sometimes 35 years or more.
    If they can’t keep their numbers straight, I suggest they consult ANY MATH TEACHER!
    Sometimes teachers “buy in previous public employment time” usually a couple years in order qualify for retirement a bit earlier, and they pay dearly for it. If the Sun-Times then compared only what the teacher paid in to “buy in previous public employment” to their entire TRS pension it would give the same distorted, inaccurate, untrue impression to people who read the paper.

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