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Stealth Charter School Attack Repelled.

Remember our article on Chris Jacobs? He's kind of like the character of Michael in The Godfather. He'd probably like to just get out and enjoy the fruits of the Jacobs family empire, but he keeps getting pulled back in. He got elected to the Buffalo Board of Education after an expensive campaign, and now it's time for the dirty work. Chris Jacobs and his pro-charter school allies on the Buffalo Board of Education tried to pull a quickie and push through a charter school expansion proposal package while two opponents were absent. These must be passed by the end of September or they will be pushed back another year.

The hidden agenda was met with hostility by members who thought they were supposed to be discussing the budget like it said on the dance card. The naysayers on the school board don't seem to appreciate the urgency of the privatizers’ hostile takeover of the education system. The King Urban Life charter school, for example, has received dismal grades on standardized tests. The half-life of the charter school experiments already under way is rapidly approaching, and with the bloom off the rose, so to speak, Chris Jacobs and the red suspender crowd will have a tougher sell as time goes by. The democratic process of the school board seems to be getting in the way. Hmmm, what would our president do in this situation?

Privatizing Protection for Bloomberg

Speaking of privatization, it's interesting to note that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg now has a beefed-up private security detail. It seems that some of New York City's finest have not been shy about letting the mayor know how they feel about working without a contract for the last two years. Here the mayor is trying to be everywhere at once, promoting the GOP convention and what a great job George Bush has done for New York and these cops are running him down in public. Sheesh! We know that New Yorkers are pushy but come on! Don't be surprised if some of those nice folks in riot gear are wearing corporate logos as opposed to shields. Once we're able to privatize AND militarize our cops, we'll really be in the new era that our neocon visionaries dreamed of, and every precinct in this great nation will be like a mini Abu Ghraib. Breathtaking, isn't it? Nut Job: $100 mill for Richardson Complex Is Craaaazzzyyy!!! The state budget is in and guess what? One hundred million is going to a pork project for the State Dormitory Authority. It proves that our lawmakers in Albany are insane in the membrane. Meanwhile, the public schools get forty million, the cops win a Pyrrhic victory in a court case, and the firefighters get their Homeland Security bonus money stolen. The twin towers of the Buffalo Psychiatric Center are an architectural masterpiece that should probably be mothballed. Then again, some people think that they're haunted and should be torn down. One thing for certain is that the priorities of our politicians these days are scary – very scary! By John McMahon

The one-year anniversary of one of the worst blackouts in U.S. history passed, and it seems that nobody noticed. Certainly, it was the focus of a great deal of political commentary at the time. The president was going to get to the bottom of it. Congress was going to take swift action. The blackout exposed vulnerabilities to our enemies. Now that a year has gone by, legislation has languished in Congress, and it’s quite apparent that we seem to suffer from a collective short attention span. The issues raised by the blackout have gone off the radar politically, even in this election year.

Although we know now that the blackout was a by-product of privatization's tendency to generate profit at the expense of investment in infrastructure, nobody seems to care. Welcome to the world of “acceptable risks.” After all, we are at war and there's a lot of other stuff on which we should focus our fear. Besides, who reads yesterday's papers?