Category Archives: Leadership

New Vision for Schools Proposes Broad Role


Randi Weingarten, the New Yorker who is rising to become president of the American Federation of Teachers, says she wants to replace President Bush’s focus on standardized testing with a vision of public schools as community centers that help poor students succeed by offering not only solid classroom lessons but also medical and other services.

Ms. Weingarten, 50, was elected Monday to the presidency of the national teachers union at the union’s annual convention. In a speech minutes later to the delegates gathered in Chicago, Ms. Weingarten criticized the No Child Left Behind law, President Bush’s signature domestic initiative, as “too badly broken to be fixed,” and outlined “a new vision of schools for the 21st century.”

“Can you imagine a federal law that promoted community schools — schools that serve the neediest children by bringing together under one roof all the services and activities they and their families need?” Ms. Weingarten asked in the speech.

“Imagine schools that are open all day and offer after-school and evening recreational activities and homework assistance,” she said. “And suppose the schools included child care and dental, medical and counseling clinics.”

By laying out that expansive vision of government’s role in the public schools, Ms. Weingarten waded into a fierce debate among Democrats seeking to influence the educational program of Senator Barack Obama, their party’s presumptive presidential nominee. In an interview last week, she said the ideas in the speech amounted to “what I’d like to see in a new federal education law.”

In her 10 years of service as president of the United Federation of Teachers, which represents New York City teachers, Ms. Weingarten has defended teachers’ economic interests, raising her members’ salaries by 43 percent in the last five years. But she has also proved willing to accommodate the city’s ideas on improving schools. She has embraced charter schools, and last year — even as teachers unions elsewhere were opposing performance pay plans — negotiated an arrangement in New York that gives bonuses to teachers in schools whose poor children show broad gains in test scores.

With her move to the presidency of the national union, with 1.4 million members, Ms. Weingarten gains a broader platform from which to influence the nation’s education debates. Although the federation is smaller than the country’s other teachers union, the National Education Association, with its 3.2 million members, A.F.T. presidents have had an equal or larger political profile because presidential tenures in the bigger union are restricted by term limits.

Two previous presidents of the United Federation of Teachers, Albert Shanker and Sandra Feldman, also rose to lead the A.F.T.

“My sense is that Randi Weingarten is continuing Al Shanker’s tradition, clearly standing up for the interests of teachers but also trying to engage in thoughtful education reform that will be good for students,” said Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation whose biography of Mr. Shanker, “Tough Liberal,” was published this year.

On Sunday, Mr. Obama spoke to the convention by satellite feed from California, and he mixed criticism of the No Child law with praise for teachers’ contributions and an exhortation to Americans to meet the nation’s responsibility to educate all children. He quoted a young Chicago teacher as telling him that she had been annoyed by a tendency “to explain away the shortcomings and failures of our education system by saying, ‘These kids can’t learn.’ ”

“These children are our children,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s time we understood that their education is our responsibility.

“I am running for president to guarantee that all of our children have the best possible chance in life,” he said, “and I am tired of hearing you, the teachers who work so hard, blamed for our problems.”

Convention delegates gave Mr. Obama a standing ovation.

Ms. Weingarten takes national office with robust support of the rank and file. “The last eight years of the Republican presidency have really been a threat to the middle class and to public education,” said William Gallagher, a high school social studies teacher in Philadelphia for 33 years. Ms. Weingarten, he said, would “work hard to make sure the new president, whoever he is, puts education on the forefront of issues in this country.”

In Ms. Weingarten’s speech, she praised the ideas of a group of Democrats led by Tom Payzant, the former schools superintendent in Boston, who have argued that schools alone cannot close achievement gaps rooted in larger economic inequalities, and that “broader, bolder” measures are needed, like publicly financed early childhood education and health services for the poor.

Another group, headed by the Rev. Al Sharpton and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein of New York, issued a manifesto last month urging the nation to redouble its efforts to close the achievement gap separating poor students from affluent ones and blaming “teachers’ contracts” for keeping ineffective teachers in classrooms.

Ms. Weingarten said the nation needs a new vision for schools “that truly commits America to closing the achievement gap once and for all.”

“Imagine if schools had the educational resources we have long advocated, like quality pre-K, smaller classes, up-to-date materials and technology and a nurturing atmosphere, so no child feels anonymous,” she said.

Ms. Weingarten, whose mother was a teacher in Nyack, N.Y., is a lawyer who was union counsel during the 1980s and 1990s. In the last decade, Ms. Weingarten taught high school history for six years in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.

In the interview, she said: “We all have to work tenaciously to eliminate the achievement gap and to turn around low-performing schools. But the folks who believe that this can all be done on teachers’ shoulders, which is what No Child tries to do, are doing a huge disservice to America.”

Teacher instills a love of words, but the lesson is about life

Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Phil Holmes has taught English for decades, first to the privileged but lately to the disadvantaged. His method and his intensity make a solid connection with both extremes.
By Mitchell Landsberg
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Phil Holmes, one of the great English teachers of his generation, is standing before a class of high school seniors, trampling all over their self-esteem.

It is a Thursday in October, not long into the school year. Holmes gazes out at his class, his proper prep school face set off by white hair and rimless spectacles, and tells his students, all of them black kids from South Los Angeles, that the first grading period is ending “and most of you will be getting Fs.”

The students stare, dead silent. For perhaps the first time today, he has their full attention.

“This is not a good start,” Holmes continues, his tone stern but even. “But on the other hand, it’s not unusual.”

Class dismissed.

Holmes spent 35 years building his reputation at Harvard School for Boys and its successor, Harvard-Westlake, which attracted some of the best, the brightest and the richest students in Los Angeles. His teaching methods, his curriculum, his empathy, his intensity, his relentless demand for clear, well-ordered thought, changed kids’ lives.

More than that, he shaped wave after wave of young teachers, many of them now working at some of the most influential educational institutions in America.

But when he and a colleague wrote a book describing their teaching method, publishers scoffed. Of course their method worked! Their classes were filled with bred-for-success overachievers! Who couldn’t teach them?

So in 2002, at a time when most people his age were sliding toward retirement, Holmes accepted a teaching job at View Park Preparatory High School, at Slauson and Crenshaw boulevards.

A public charter school founded by Mike Piscal, one of Holmes’ Harvard-Westlake colleagues, View Park wanted to find out if high-quality teaching could make a difference in the lives of underperforming black students.

Holmes offered the school a gold standard. If a View Park student got an A from him, Principal Robert Schwartz figured, it would mean they were ready to compete with the best of the best.

But what if they got only Fs?

Watching Holmes teach over the course of the school year — which would be the last in his 41-year career as a classroom teacher — the answer came slowly into focus.

That Thursday in October began with students filing into the 12th-grade English composition classroom that Holmes shares with a younger View Park colleague. He was dressed in a suit, green dress shirt and tie, black loafers, his hair neatly trimmed, his bearing attentive.

Just before the bell, one of his students poked her head in, hoping to get excused from class. “We’re taking a makeup test in AP history today,” she said. “Do you mind?”

“Yes, I do mind,” Holmes said. “We’re doing something very important in here.”

Read the story here.

Blackstar Project: taking back the community

On Saturday, June 7, 2008, at 11:00 am C.S.T, seventy-five courageous, principled and hardworking men–ministers, former gang members, law officers, fire fighters, teachers, construction workers, business owners, social workers, retired elders, community members, and students–will bring this movement of Black men to the community where the mass arrest occurred. Men will come together to walk the streets, talk to the people and bring hope to a community that has not seen much hope.

They will knock on doors, visit youth in schools during the week, take youth to churches on Sundays, play basketball and baseball with young males, teach teenagers how to “hustle legit,” encourage young fathers to take care of their children and encourage young men who have had a brush with the law to finish school, secure gainful employment and remain law-abiding. These Black men will be role models for other Black men around the country to launch a similar Movement of Black Men, while standing up for their communities, their families and their children. Chicago’s Roseland, Woodlawn, Englewood and Uptown communities are also scheduled for this effort

Organizations collaborating to do the work that needs to be done to stop the violence among our youth in Chicago are ABBA Church of Renewed Faith, Afrikan American Council of Islamic Brotherhood, Black Souls Organization, Block Club University, Blyden Delany Academy (Milwaukee, WI), Center for Community Development Initiatives, Citizens for a Safer Community, Hip Hop Detox/L.E.A.R.N Charter School, Kidz Off The Block, P.E.A.C.E., Peoples Army, Ministry Network Coalition, No Limit Ministries, TEECH Foundation, Williams Youth Services, 100 Black Men of Chicago and The Black Star Project.

This effort has no funding. Although funding would help the Movement of Black Men with its overall mission, these organizations are not waiting for foundation or government money before they start their work. We are simply the laborers doing the work that is necessary in the vineyard of Chicago’s mean streets. We are not the police. We will not arrest anyone. Our communities don’t need more policing; they need more strong, positive Black men. And we will not try to be tougher or more macho than the men with whom we will speak in these communities. We want to work with them as we replace the violence and fear in Chicago communities with hope and promise.

Please join us. If men want to participate in this effort or if you want to bring the Movement of Black Men to your city, please email, call People Acting Responsibly Empowering Neighborhoods Together (PARENT) – 773.285.9600 or visit

Boondocks’ creator Aaron McGruder to BET: %@*$% ^ & !

Animated episodes that never aired, which take swipes at black cable network executives, will be included on next Tuesday’s DVD release.

By Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The battle between “The Boondocks” creator Aaron McGruder and Black Entertainment Television is about to get a lot more animated.

Two second-season episodes of the biting cartoon series that attack the black-themed network but were never aired — possibly because of corporate pressure — are slated for DVD release Tuesday. The pair of shows take aim at BET’s top executives and lampoon what it views as the cable network’s harmful negative imagery and stereotypes that work as a “destructive” force within African American culture.

The episodes amplify a familiar chord struck by McGruder, who has regularly targeted BET, first in his politically and culturally charged comic strip, published in more than 300 newspapers, and subsequently in the TV adaptation on Cartoon Network’s edgy late-night Adult Swim.

But these particular installments, which like many in the animated series feature violence, foul language and frequent use of the N-word, apparently went too far in mocking BET’s top brass. In “The Hunger Strike,” a main character refuses to eat until BET is off the air and its executives commit hara-kiri.

And in “The Uncle Ruckus Reality Show,” a foul-mouthed black man who hates African Americans gets a show on BET. The hot-button series centers on two young black boys, militant Huey Freeman and his gangsta-wannabe younger brother, Riley, who live in the suburbs with their grandfather.

When BET executives learned of the shows, they complained to Turner-owned Cartoon Networks and Sony Pictures Television, which produces “The Boondocks,” and urged that they be blocked from broadcast, according to sources close to the program who requested anonymity for fear of network reprisal.

Initially, Cartoon Network resisted, but when legal action was threatened, the episodes, written by McGruder and co-executive producer Rodney Barnes, were yanked, according to sources. Both McGruder and Barnes declined to comment.

Executives at Turner and Viacom-owned BET, however, deny there were any discussions about removing the programs between the two companies. Still, Turner officials would not explain why the two installments were eventually withheld.

Both episodes are highlighted by fierce satirical attacks on two top BET executives, portrayed in thinly disguised caricatures.

Chairman and Chief Executive Debra L. Lee, who succeeded the network’s founder, Robert Johnson, is shown as Debra Leevil, patterned after “Dr. Evil” in the “Austin Powers” films. Leevil declares in a staff meeting: “Our leader Bob Johnson had a dream, a dream that would accomplish what hundreds of years of slavery, Jim Crow and malt liquor could not accomplish — the destruction of black people.”

And BET President of Entertainment Reginald Hudlin is depicted as Wedgie Rudlin, a culturally insensitive buffoon coasting on his Ivy League education. Hudlin, a former friend of McGruder, is ironically credited as an executive producer on the series, the end result of a professional partnership that ended bitterly over creative differences before the series premiered in 2005.

A BET spokesperson said that the network was aware of the episodes and did not, as a network that runs its own satirical content, begrudge those who made fun of its programming.

The DVD release features stinging commentary from McGruder and Barnes about the episodes, which are uncut. In the introduction, McGruder said he went after BET because network executives, in his view, failed to elevate the network’s standards — something Hudlin had pointedly promised to do when joining the network three years ago.

“I was looking for changes and improvements, and I didn’t see any,” McGruder said on the DVD. “I didn’t see them. So I said, OK, it’s fair game. It’s hard not to address it. It really was an important part of the strip.” Because of legal reasons, he adds, he cannot mention the real names of the people satirized in the episodes.

Barnes added: “You expect white television to present black people in a particular way. The anger comes from black television portraying us in a particular way. That brings out a different sense of frustration, and at the heart of these episodes is that frustration.”

Press hails Obama the ‘giant slayer’

(CNN) — History in the making was how many international newspapers viewed Barack Obama’s emergence as Democratic presidential candidate, with the focus on his status as the first ever African-American to win the ticket.

Newspapers described Obama as a “political giant slayer.”

Even before Hillary Clinton admitted defeat in the hard-fought contest, some publications were already dissecting her failed campaign, analyzing where it went wrong and what the future has in store for her political dynasty.

Tuesday’s win “confirms Obama’s reputation as a political giant-slayer, who after less than four years in the U.S. Senate brought down the couple credited with creating the Democrats’ most powerful political machine,” the Guardian newspaper wrote.

The Chinese Xinhua news agency marveled at how “one year ago, it was very hard to imagine that Obama, a young politician without a strong political base and little known to the public can defeat Hillary Clinton, the heir-apparent of the Democratic Party.”

The Times of London saw Obama’s victory as evidence that “the United States remains a land of opportunity.”

“This moment’s significance is its resounding proof of the truism about America as a land of opportunity: Mr Obama’s opportunity to graduate from Harvard and take Washington by storm,” it wrote.

It said his victory also demonstrates “the opportunity that the world’s most responsive democratic system gives its voters to be inspired by an unknown; the opportunity that outsiders now have to reassess the superpower that too many of them love to hate.

“Win or lose in November, he will have gone farther than anyone in history to bury the toxic enmity that fueled America’s civil war and has haunted it ever since.”
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The Financial Times opened a post-mortem on Clinton’s campaign, indicating that her defeat was not about her shortcomings but about Obama’s political potency.

“Analysts will spend years poring over the reasons for Mrs Clinton’s failed bid and probably never reach consensus,” it wrote.

“But almost everyone, including some members of her own staff, would agree that the former first lady’s campaign looked old-fashioned next to that of Barack Obama.”

The Independent newspaper, however, placed the blame on “loyal husband” Bill Clinton who “more than anyone sabotaged his wife’s chances by airing too many outspoken opinions on the way.”

But the paper hinted the Clintons may still have another shot at the White House — although it could be a few years away.

“Hillary has been beaten. Bill has dishonored himself. And Chelsea? Chelsea need have no regrets. She may be the candidate that brings the family back to the campaign trail again. But that drama is for another decade.”

The French newspaper Le Monde also examined Bill Clinton’s role in Hillary’s failure. The former president was both her greatest asset and her worst, the paper said, delivering a blunt assessment of her campaign with an emphatic: “C’est fini.”

Obama Claims Nomination; First Black Candidate to Lead a Major Party Ticket


Senator Barack Obama claimed the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday night, prevailing through an epic battle with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in a primary campaign that inspired millions of voters from every corner of America to demand change in Washington.

A last-minute rush of Democratic superdelegates, as well as split results from the final primaries in Montana and South Dakota, pushed Mr. Obama over the threshold of 2,118 delegates needed to be nominated at the party’s convention in Denver in August. The victory for Mr. Obama, the son of a black Kenyan father and white Kansan mother, broke racial barriers and represented a remarkable rise for a man who just four years ago served in the Illinois State Senate.

“You chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears, but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations,” Mr. Obama told supporters at a rally in St. Paul. “Tonight, we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another — a journey that will bring a new and better day to America. Because of you, tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.”

Mrs. Clinton paid tribute to Mr. Obama, but she did not leave the race. “This has been a long campaign and I will be making no decisions tonight,” Mrs. Clinton told supporters in New York. She said she would be speaking with party officials about her next move.

In a combative speech, she again presented her case that she was the stronger candidate and argued that she had won the popular vote, a notion disputed by the Obama campaign.

“I want the 18 million Americans who voted for me to be respected,” she said in New York to loud cheers.

But she paid homage to Mr. Obama’s accomplishments, saying, “It has been an honor to contest the primaries with him, just as it has been an honor to call him my friend.”

Mr. Obama’s victory moved the presidential campaign to a new phase as he tangled with Senator John McCain of Arizona in televised addresses Tuesday night over Mr. Obama’s assertion that Mr. McCain would continue President Bush’s policies. Mr. McCain vigorously rebuffed that criticism in a speech in Kenner, La., in which he distanced himself from the outgoing president while contrasting his own breadth of experience with Mr. Obama’s record.

“The American people didn’t get to know me yesterday, as they are just getting to know Senator Obama,” Mr. McCain told supporters. Mr. Obama’s victory capped a marathon nominating contest that broke records on several fronts: the number of voters who participated, the amount of money raised and spent, and the sheer length of a grueling battle. The campaign, infused by tensions over race and sex, provided unexpected twists to the bitter end as Mr. Obama ultimately prevailed over Mrs. Clinton, who just a year ago appeared headed toward becoming the first woman to be nominated by a major party. The last two contests reflected the party’s continuing divisions, as Mrs. Clinton won the South Dakota primary and Mr. Obama won Montana.

The race drew to its final hours with a burst of announcements — delegate-by-delegate — of Democrats stepping forward to declare their support for Mr. Obama. The Democratic establishment, from former President Jimmy Carter to rank-and-file local officials who make up the ranks of the party’s superdelegates, rallied behind Mr. Obama as the day wore on.

When the day began, Mr. Obama needed 41 delegates to effectively claim the nomination. Just as the polls began to close in Montana and South Dakota, Mr. Obama secured the delegates he needed to end his duel with Mrs. Clinton, which wound through every state and territory in an unprecedented 57 contests over five months.

Every time a new endorsement was announced at the Obama headquarters in Chicago, campaign workers interrupted with a booming round of applause. They are members of Mr. Obama’s team — a political start up — that is responsible for defeating one of the most tried and tested operations in Democratic politics.

While the Democratic race may have ended, a new chapter began in the complicated tensions that have defined the relationship with Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton.

On a conference call with members of the New York Congressional delegation on Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton was asked whether she would be open to joining a ticket with Mr. Obama. She replied that she would do whatever she could — including a vice presidential bid — to help Democrats win the White House.

In his speech on Tuesday evening, Mr. Obama paid respect to his rival.

“Our party and our country are better off because of her,” Mr. Obama said, “and I am a better candidate for having had the honor to compete with Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

Before she arrived at her rally on Tuesday in New York City, Mrs. Clinton and a few close advisers huddled at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., to discuss the timing of her departure from the race. In the afternoon conference call she conducted with fellow New York lawmakers, she asked their patience as she decides upon her next move.

Representative Nydia M. Velásquez, Democrat of New York, asked Mrs. Clinton whether she would consider teaming up with Mr. Obama. “She said that if it’s offered, she would take it,” Ms. Velásquez said.

Mrs. Clinton said she would do “anything to make sure a Democrat would win,” according to several participants on the call. While her advisers played down the remark’s significance, the Democrats on the call said that by not demurring or saying she would simply think about it, they said they were left with the impression that it was an offer that she wanted to at least consider.

“If Senator Obama asked her to be the V.P., she certainly would accept that,” said Representative Carolyn McCarthy, Democrat of New York. “She has obviously given some thought to this.”

Neither Mr. Obama nor his associates commented on the speculation, and he made no reference to it in his speech on Tuesday evening in Minnesota, which was delivered at the same arena in which Mr. McCain is expected to accept the Republican nomination at the party’s convention in September.

“You can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country, she will be central to that victory,” Mr. Obama said. “When we transform our energy policy and lift our children out of poverty, it will be because she worked to help make it happen.”

The competition between Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama has been sharpening for weeks, but the close of the Democratic primary formally raised the curtain to a five-month general election contest. The race, as their respective speeches foreshadowed on Tuesday evening, will unfold against a backdrop of an electorate that is restless about soaring gas prices, mortgage foreclosures and the Iraq war.

It is also a generational battle of personalities and contrasting styles. Mr. McCain staged an evening event in Louisiana, so he would be included in the evening’s television narrative that otherwise belonged to Democrats.

About two hours later, Mr. Obama responded in a speech before a thousands of supporters.

“There are many words to describe John McCain’s attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush’s policies as bipartisan and new,” Mr. Obama said. “But change is not one of them.”

Michael M. Grynbaum contributed reporting.

Where are the heroes of today?

“WHERE ARE THE HEROES OF TODAY? ” a radio talk show host thundered.

He blames society’s shortcomings on education. Too many people are looking for heroes in all the wrong places. Movie stars and rock musicians, athletes, and models aren’t heroes; they’re celebrities. Heroes abound in public schools, a fact that doesn’t make the news. There is no precedent for the level of violence, drugs, broken homes, child abuse, and crime in today’s America. Education didn’t create these problems but deals with them every day.

You want heroes?

Consider Dave Sanders, the schoolteacher shot to death while trying to shield his students from two youths on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Sanders gave his life, along with 12 students, and other less heralded heroes survived the Colorado blood bath.

You want heroes?

Jane Smith, a Fayetteville, NC teacher, was moved by the plight of one of her students, a boy dying without a kidney transplant. So this woman told the family of a 14 year old boy that she would give him one of her kidneys. And she did. When they appeared together hugging on the Today Show, even Katie Couric was near tears.

You want heroes?

Doris Dillon dreamed all her life of being a teacher. She not only made it, she was one of those wondrous teachers who could bring the best out of every single child. One of her fellow teachers in San Jose, Calif., said, “She could teach a rock to read.” Suddenly she was stricken with Lou Gehrig’s Disease which is always fatal, usually within five years. She asked to stay on job … and did. When her voice was affected she communicated by computer. Did she go home? Absolutely not! She is running two elementary school libraries! When the disease was diagnosed, she wrote the staff and all the families that she had one last lesson to teach …. that dying is part of living. Her colleagues named her Teacher of the Year.

You want heroes?

Bob House, a teacher in Gay, Georgia, tried out for Who Wants to be a Millionaire. After he won the million dollars, a network film crew wanted to follow up to see how it had impacted his life. New cars? Big new house? Instead, they found both Bob House and his wife still teaching. They explained that it was what they had always wanted to do with their lives and that would not change. The community was both stunned and gratified.

You want heroes?

Last year the average school teacher spent $468 of their own money for student necessities … workbooks, pencils .. supplies kids had to have but could not afford. That’s a lot of money from the pockets of the most poorly paid teachers in the industrial world.
Schools don’t teach values? The critics are dead wrong. Public education provides more Sunday School teachers than any other profession. The average teacher works more hours in nine months than the average 40-hour employee does in a year.

You want heroes?

For millions of kids, the hug they get from a teacher is the only hug they will get that day because the nation is living through the worst parenting in history. An Argyle, Texas kindergarten teacher hugs her little 5 and 6 year-olds so much that both the boys and the girls run up and hug her when they see her in the hall, at the football games, or in the malls years later. A Michigan principal moved me to tears with the story of her attempt to rescue a badly abused little boy who doted on a stuffed animal on her desk .. one that said “I love you!” He said he’d never been told that at home. This is a constant in today’s society .. two million unwanted, unloved, abused children in the public schools, the only institution that takes them all in.

You want heroes?

Visit any special education class and watch the miracle of personal interaction, a job so difficult that fellow teachers are awed by the dedication they witness. There is a sentence from an unnamed source which says: “We have been so eager to give our children what we didn’t have that we have neglected to give them what we did have.” What is it that our kids really need? What do they really want? Math, science, history and social studies are important, but children need love, confidence, encouragement, someone to talk to, someone to listen, standards to live by. Teachers provide upright examples, the faith and assurance of responsible people.

You want heroes?

Then go down to your local school and see our real live heroes the ones changing lives for the better each and every day!

America’s fear of China

from ecrivain01 and The Manchurian Letter

Do you care about America and the future of the world?

If you do, wake up. Start paying attention to the fact that there’s a real world out there, and that strange things are happening in it. While the U.S. military is being battered to the point of nearly breaking in Iraq (where we are bogged down now over a war for oil that we can do well enough without — McCain just admitted this week end that we are there for the oil), CHINA IS PREPARING FOR A NUCLEAR WAR. Wake up and smell the coffee you people.

New Chinese SSBN Deploys to Hainan Island

China views us as an obstacle to world domination, as do the Islamic fundamentalists. (Too bad they can’t fight it out between them, but that would only happen once we were toast.) While we are fighting in the deserts of Iraq and our army is being stretched to the breaking point, China is arming for war.

McCain gave a speech recently in which he stated that China and Russia should be excluded from the G8 and isolated from the rest of the world. All that does is prove once again how isolated and insular the Republican Party is and how little they know about the world they want to play bully in. While the U.S. and Europe are preoccupied with oil in Iraq that we will never control anyway, China has been assembling a navy to rival any navy on Earth, and now has many nuclear subs which are completely untrackable by any technology the West has as of the present time. Time to wake up, people.

Armchair Sleuths Uncover Strange Military Sites in China

I would like to hear from people with a working brain who can see what is happening. I think we should be writing about this and contacting our Senators and Congressmen. Do you care enough about America and your own futures to read the articles I’ve listed here and respond?

Your own futures could well depend on the actions of China and Russia but particularly China. READ THE NEW FROM ASIA. This will undoubtedly be the Pacific Century but it would be nice if we were still here as a thriving country, not heaps of slag and decomposing bodies.

The response:

To presume as truth that which is speculative in nature is, to be frank, irresponsible. The links you posted to support your “theory stated as fact” rely heavily on interpretation and paranoia. What does China owe to the rest of the world – especially to the United States, in terms of transparency, when the U.S. Administration feels free to do what they please when they please. As leaders of the free world, isn’t this the example we set?

You incorrectly stated that nuclear war would effectively destroy anything “beautiful” anywhere. Japan was nuked twice. Nukes have been tested since then around the globe. Wouldn’t a superior strategy effect the same end as in WWII? While millions suffered the hell of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Americans still went to baseball games, picnics, and movies. Apple pies still found themselves in kitchen windows to cool off, and daydreamers still sat in lush fields chewing on a stem of wheat while basking in the sun. Beauty (which is in the eye of the beholder) was abundant in some areas of the globe, even while Jews were being incinerated in Germany, the Japanese massacred Chinese in Nanking, or millions starved in Russia under Stalin.

You may be correct in guessing that China is planning a nuclear war, or you could be 100% deluded. Time will tell. Whatever the case may be – war, the symptom of a deeper root, is not the answer. Shall America repeat its policy of pre-emptive engagement the way we did in Iraq and Afghanistan and are now pushing for Iran – under false pretenses?

If you really want to deter the threat of nuclear war, stop talking it up, don’t get a gun, get some understanding, take some lessons in conversation, and pick up the phone.

The Chinese have economic interests in the United States which far surpass any justification for nuclear engagement. Knowing the U.S. to have acted as international bullies (if not terrorists) I would suppose that China is merely getting its side of the board together in case the U.S. Administration decides to do anything foolish. History has discovered many non-violent ways to accomplishing national, political, and economic interests. I am sure China hasn’t missed those lessons.

Here are some links for you to read at your convenience:
Chinese City Partners with New York School
British to help China build ‘eco-cities’
China’s Military: A Second Opinion
Heeding Sun or Mao? Assessing China’s Military Thinking
Chinese firms bargain hunting in U.S