Thoughts on the General Election.

In three weeks we will all put our cross against a particular name, we live in a democratic state.  This democracy was not the gift of kings and queens, nor of a powerful ruling elite.   It was fought and struggled for by agricultural labourers, factory workers working 12 hours a day, the match girls, men working a mile under the sea digging out the coal which powered the Industrial Revolution.  But something has happened to that hard won political power, behind closed doors, quietly in meetings not written down anywhere the extremely wealthy few have subverted the fairness achieved over centuries and restored power to the multi-national corporations, The CEO’s, the billionaires who put their money into political parties

Keeping it in Perspective.


Absolutely agree. There is no predictable future for any of us. Those who think there is are living with an illusion of certainty.

Originally posted on Dad Gone Wild:

kidsThis week Metro Nashville School Board Member Jill Speering wrote a Facebook post that started with the following question:

At last week’s meeting, an MNPS Board member suggested that there are 35,00o seats in Metro Schools that lack “quality” so I’ve been thinking about this language and what this term means. What do we mean by student “success”? What do we mean by “quality” seats?

It’s a question that I wrestle with on a regular basis. As I’ve previously mentioned, I have two small children. My daughter, Avery, is 5 and half, (that half is extremely important to her), and a four-year-old named Peter . Six years ago when my wife was pregnant, we had many conversations about how we wanted to raise our children. We both agreed that we wanted independent, intellectually curious, verbal children who would be equipped to stand up for themselves and navigate the uncertainty that is life. Well, guess…

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Sociology Paradox: Winning is Losing


This madness is so well put it almost makes sense. Lets give a certificate to everyone even when we have no idea if they have followed the course. Curiouser and curiouser.

Originally posted on tressiemc:

Oh we kid the MOOCs around here, what with their non-research based, pedagogically unsound, sociologically ignorant form and function. But, Udacity’s tacit acknowledgement today that credentials have to be descriptive to have utility is a hollow victory.

Oh, sure, I will still have a vodka martini at news that one of the largest MOOCs will no longer offer free no-identification credentialing. How can I not? The hype was that MOOCs would overturn a hundred years of social science with a modem and a functionalist dream. MOOCs were to end race, class, and gender bias in credentialing! It would be like the Civil Rights Movement and Feminist movements and union movements had always had it wrong. Surely, sociologists — who have studied credentialing for about 70 years now — would be wrong. And then today, from Udacity’s website:

We have now heard from many students and employers alike that they would like…

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I am a very disillusioned voter, as far as I can see democracy is not working. Democracy is not a natural development nor even a normal state of affairs. It took us in Britain nearly 900 years to reach one man and one woman one vote. It was 1928 before women got the vote at the same age as men. In historical terms that is yesterday. Men and women struggled, fought and died in order that the majority should have some say in how the country in which they lived, worked and died, in how it was governed. In the beginning votes were bought and sold in order that a tiny elite could continue to hold all the power in their hands. I don’t think that votes are still bought and sold but today David Cameron came very close to offering a bribe by reducing taxation for the poorest workers and a much bigger reduction for much better paid workers. There is absolutely no doubt we are still governed by a tiny elite, for goodness sake they all went to the same school, Eton, the most expensive school in the land.
Since 1979 the ruling elite has step by step removed accountability, from the banks, from the large multi-national corporations and allowed the media barons to focus our attention on celebrity life styles and the supposed wastefulness of those most vulnerable in society.
Owen Jones, in his book, “The Establishment- And How They Get Away with It.” Encapsulates our current madness:

” The status quo may be treated as common sense now, but future generations will surely look back with a mixture of astonishment and contempt at how British society is currently organised: the richest 1,000 individuals worth £520 billion, while hundreds of thousands of people have to queue to eat in food banks; a thriving financial elite that helped plunge Britain into a vortex of economic collapse, which was rescued by over £1 trillion of public money but continues to operate much as before; a reigning dogma that treats the state as an obstacle to be eradicated and shunned, even as the state serves as the backbone for private interests; a corporate elites, dependent as it is on state largesse, that refuse to contribute money to the state; a media that does not exist to inform, educate, as well as challenge all those with power, but which serves as a platform for the ambitions, prejudices and naked self interest of a small number of wealthy moguls. More startling to our descendants will be how this was passed off as normal, as entirely rational and defensible, and how institutions run by the elite attempted, with considerable success, to redirect people’s anger to those at the bottom of society.”