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With God on Our Side

Dylan & Baez

Joan Baez & Bob Dylan in the 60s

I borrowed this title from the famous song by Bob Dylan in the 1960s because I feel it’s very appropriate in the context of this subject matter. Today marks the ten year anniversary of the tragic consequences of Hurricane Katrina & the impact it had on New Orleans in particular. My goal is to connect what may seem on the surface to be isolated phenomena or events. What happened to the poor residents of New Orleans, specifically the ninth ward reflects a much broader, national pattern of neglect, exploitation, & oppression by the government, the corporate cockroaches, & the so-called “Christian” right or fundamentalists in general.

In the first place we have what was dubbed the “Texas Miracle” by the George W. Bush NoChildLeftBehind-300x263team of handlers when he was running for the office of the presidency in the year 2000. I first heard of this “Texas Miracle” while watching a 60 Minutes expose many years ago. After watching the segment, I couldn’t believe that there was no national outrage or scandal over this because it led directly to the Bushwhacker’s “No Child Left Behind Act.”

Jeri at work

Jeri DeLoss, greatest teacher I’ve ever known!

Before I begin, I want to state that I have worked in the public education field for over 20 years & my dear, deceased wife, Jeri, was a Special Education teacher for over 32 years. Therefore, we have first hand experience regarding the harm, waste, & personal toll this fraudulent program has wreaked on students’ lives.

In brief, Houston’s public school superintendent, Rod Paige claimed and was given credit for this “miracle.” The “miracle” was that according to Mr. Paige, Sharpstown High School, on Houston’s West Side didn’t have a single drop out in the 2001-2002 school year. The assistant principal at this high school knew this to be patently false & so did the teachers and parents of the students who attended this school. “…I had seen many, many students, several hundred a year, go out the door. And I knew that they were quitting. They told me they were quitting.”

In short, the school’s principal in collusion with the school district’s superintendent, Mr. Paige, deliberately falsified the school’s records i.e. “…School officials hid the fact of all their dropouts by classifying, or coding them as leaving for acceptable reasons: transferring to another school, or returning to their native country.” (“Most of the 1,700 students at Sharpstown high are underprivileged immigrants—prime candidates for dropping out.”) And the scheme gets even more dastardly in that many students were deliberately held back in the 9th grade so they wouldn’t be able to take the all-important test required in the 10th grade upon which a student’s academic performance reflected on the school’s overall performance.

Moreover, this deliberate fraud was perpetuated throughout the entire Houston School District and the Coward from Crawford i.e. Georgie Bush who campaigned for the presidency claiming to be the “education president,” was so pleased with the “Texas Miracle,” that he appointed Rod Paige his Secretary of Education & enacted the No Child Left Behind Act which made it mandatory law in all public schools across America. And this is why teachers are now forced to spend the lion’s share of their days teaching their students how to pass these standardized tests for fear of low test scores which can result in a teacher not being rehired, etc.

In the long run, this type of teaching does irreparable harm to students because it takes what little bit of joy in learning out of the picture. I have been a lover of learning all my life & I’ve worked with hundreds of teachers & thousands of students & the “underprivileged” students in particular, are especially fragile psychologically & emotionally. Most of these students only stay in school because of the joy they get from subjects like art & music where they can excel because of their natural interest in these subjects. And to force them or any students to sit there quietly and cram all sorts of facts & figures into their brains is to kill their spirits intellectually. Einstein said something Einstein on curiositylike, “It’s a miracle if by the time a student gets out of our public school system there’s any of that holy seed of curiosity left in them.” Reflect on this for a few moments if you will. Think of how crippling this is to our young people across the land. And for what? So, lying politicians can boast of their successful educational policies in their attempts to fool the public as to how great they are & how much they care?

media corps

the Media Monopoly

Along with this brazen & deliberate act of fraud committed against our children is the fact that our national media has slowly & steadily lost its backbone and 60 Minutes is a prime example. In the same article I’ve been quoting from is this little gem; “…Correspondent Dan Rather reported last winter, it turns out that some of those miraculous claims which Houston made were wrong.” Talk about milk-toast reporting, “wrong?” No, it was clearly a pack of lies to hide the fraud they were committing. The founders of our country purposely included the press when they were framing our key documents because they knew how critical it is to have a well-informed citizenry. This is why the press was dubbed the Fourth Estate—meaning, an unofficial fourth branch of our government after the Executive (presidency), the Legislative (Congress), & the Judicial (Court system) because their purpose or reason for existing was suppose to be about keeping an eye on the three main branches of our government in case they became too powerful. To serve as a watchdog on them. Instead, today, these “watchdogs” are mere lapdogs.

By the way, that brave soul, Robert Kimball, the assistant principal at Sharpstown High School who first blew the whistle on this mammoth fraud, was denounced by school officials as “incompetent” and was transferred to a primary school for kindergarten through second grade where he was the second assistant principal hoping he’d be humiliated after having taught at the university level. He, to the contrary loved it and filed a whistleblower suit against the district for retaliating against him. The school obama & whistleblowersdistrict dropped the reprimand and paid him $90,000. A few weeks later, three top school board officials, including Superintendent Kay Stripling, resigned their posts. Kimball resigned and is now teaching at a local university. But again, I am flabbergasted at how this clear case of fraud wasn’t denounced from every town hall across America and was allowed to become the law of the land and still is to this day?

Continuing on, you may be wondering, so where does God come into all of this? I might come across as a conspiracy theorist in this next section but please bear with me as I attempt to make my case. By now, most Americans have heard of the “Charter School Movement,” but may not know very much about it or the forces behind it?charter schools

Approximately 30 years ago, I began to be concerned about the growing, “Christian” Right political movement because of their vicious verbal attacks on Secular Humanism. In a nutshell, they basically believe that secular humanists have taken over the U.S. and that we’re satanists determined to stop them from spreading the word of God. They have completely rewritten U.S. history in their attempt to prove that we’re a nation founded on Christianity or Christian principles. Now anyone who hasn’t been brainwashed by these people knows that our founding fathers feared what might happen if we didn’t separate Church & State. There’s a long, bloody history of what happens when Church & State are one or work together i.e. the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, the Crusades, the Hundred Years War, etc.humanism

Basically, the Charter School Movement originated with the Homeschooling movement which was mostly “Christian” parents who feared the influence of secular humanism in our public school system & were angry about things like not being able to pray in school. Eventually the home schoolers got together and formed the Charter School Movement. This is not grand conspiracy imagining because these people have been very vocal over the past few decades as to exactly what their agenda is i.e. they want all American school children to accept their religious views.

So, I spent a summer making copious notes from various books on the rise and threat, as I see it, of these “Christian” fundamentalists. And just recently, I have at last had my first book on this subject edited. Those notes sat on my bookshelf for many years because I was too insecure about my writing abilities/talents but with age I have learned to silence my inner critic. Okay, I believe it’s very interesting or an amazing coincidence that Bush who passed into law, the No Child Left Behind Act, also passed—and within ten days of taking office in January 2001, his “Faith-Based Initiative.”

obama the black knight

Obama, the Black Crusader of “Change”

In short, this “Initiative” set up offices in our federal departments of; Health & Human Services, Labor, Justice, Education, Housing & Urban Development, and more recently in the Age of Obama—remember, the knight in shining armor who was going to bring us “Change,”—the Departments of Homeland Security, the Agency for International Development, & the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Small Business Administration and they were established by many states.

robertson

Pat Robertson whose favorite charity is himself!

Now ostensibly, these “offices” are not suppose to discriminate against people of other religious beliefs/faiths in the doling out of federal tax dollars to various charities and again, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that “…98.3% of all Bush administration grants to faith-based agencies from the Office of Faith Based Initiatives were awarded to Christian groups….Grants to faith-based charities during the Bush years averaged over $2 billion annually.”

naomi klein

Naomi Klein at the Vatican

Furthermore, if my memory serves me right, during the so-called “debates” when Bush was running for the presidency, one of the “moderators,” asked each of the candidates who their favorite philosopher was & when it came to Georgie’s turn to respond he said, “Jesus.” Food for thought? And what troubles me more is that I didn’t know until I was doing this research today that Obama has carried on the Bushwhacker’s legacy and he too, signed an Executive Order continuing on the faith-based initiative. Some of my Facebook “friends,” feel that I’ve been too hard on Obama but again & again I see that he’s basically carried on the same illegal & immoral policies & practices of the Bush administration and in some respects has even surpassed them in terms of clear violations of both international law (Drone warfare program) and domestic law (war on whistleblowers, etc.) And just like the Bush cabal, they’re “cooking the data” i.e. manipulating the statistics to prove the success of this “initiative.”

In conclusion I’m going to cite the work of Naomi Klein. You may have heard—if you watch/listen to the alternative media—that she was invited to the Vatican recently by Pope Francis to share in the debate on Climate Change. In her book, “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism,” this brilliant, young lady lays out the game plan of the corporate cockroach elite succinctly and backs up her theory with plenty of evidence.

The Shock Doctrine in Action in New Orleans

hurricane katrina

victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans

By Naomi Klein – December 21st, 2007

Readers of The Shock Doctrine know that one of the most shameless examples of disaster capitalism has been the attempt to exploit the disastrous flooding of New Orleans to close down that city’s public housing projects, some of the only affordable units in the city. Most of the buildings sustained minimal flood damage, but they happen to occupy valuable land that make for perfect condo developments and hotels.

The final showdown over New Orleans public housing is playing out in dramatic fashion right now. The conflict is a classic example of the “triple shock” formula at the core of the doctrine.

– First came the shock of the original disaster: the flood and the traumatic evacuation.

mercenaries

Blackwater mercenaries in New Orleans

– Next came the “economic shock therapy”: using the window of opportunity opened up by the first shock to push through a rapid-fire attack on the city’s public services and spaces, most notably it’s homes, schools and hospitals.

-Now we see that as residents of New Orleans try to resist these attacks, they are being met with a third shock: the shock of the police baton and the Taser gun, used on the bodies of protestors outside New Orleans City Hall yesterday…..

….The news racing around the shelter [in Baton Rouge] that day was that Richard Baker, a prominent Republican Congressman from this city, had told a group of lobbyists, “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.”

To sum up, it seems abundantly clear that the “Christian” Right and their Corporate the corporation joel bakanCC logo lowerCockroach masters who easily manipulate them with their emotionally, hot-button issues of God, Guns, & Gays, actually have convinced themselves that God is on Their Side and that they’re waging a Holy War against everyone not of their persuasion.

The “Christian” Right keep claiming over the years in the national media as well as in their churches that they’re the victims who are being suppressed & oppressed by the secular humanists, the pro-choice people, gays, etc. The truth and the fact is that they’re the ones who are constantly trying to oppress & silence all the rest of us. As I state in the sub-title of my book, it’s the humanists who are fighting for our freedoms!

—Rob DeLoss, Port Orford, Oregon, August 28, 2015

Addendum

A thought came to me as I was researching this topic today i.e. Could Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act,” have been perhaps a Freudian slip? There’s a popular series of 16 books that have also been made into four movies, the last one of which, starred Nicholas Cage. They’re called the “Left Behind” series. They’re about Armageddon and the Rapture in short. Here’s a blurb about this series that I feel is very telling;left behind

“Other evangelicals object to the message of Left Behind because they say it is not a Christian message, though framed as a Christian series. Loren L. Johns, the Academic Dean of the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, writes: “At the end of the day, this series is ultimately a rejection of the good news of Jesus Christ. I say this because it rejects the way of the cross and Jesus’ call to obedient discipleship and a new way of life. It celebrates the human will to power, putting Evangelical Christians in the heroic role of God’s Green Berets. … Love of enemies is treated as a misguided strategy associated not with the gospel, but with the Antichrist.”[7]

and, “in the novels, those who take the mark of the beast cannot be saved, saving oneself and punishing one’s enemies are the only viable courses of action for believers… Working toward social justice is not necessary and might even distract believers from their steadfast focus on their own salvation and the salvation of their family, friends or community.” (824-5)[9] According to Kilde and Forbes, the books promotes a violent context for viewing and resolving social problems, one in which the only solution to social problems is to kill those who engage in any practices considered by the authors as “evil”.[10] While both the authors and the publisher have claimed that thousands of readers have experienced a Christian conversion due to the novels, scholars such as Frykholm have been unable to document even a single case in which a reader experienced a Christian conversion. When Frykholm requested evidence of conversion from the publisher, Tyndale submitted only seven cases; four were reportedly hearsay and three were reportedly readers that had reaffirmed their lapsed faith in Christianity.no child left behind

Sources cited:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-texas-miracle/ file:///Users/robd/Documents/Bush’s%20Faith-Based%20Initiative%20in%20the%20Age%20of%20Obama.webarchive https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_Behind_(novel)#Controversies_and_criticisms http://www.naomiklein.org/articles/2007/12/shock-doctrine-action-new-orleans P.S. “Less than ten days after taking office in January 2001, President George W. Bush gathered a host of religious folks at the White House and announced his faith-based initiative, the cornerstone of his compassionate conservative agenda.” And we all know how compassionate conservatives are, right?

 

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