Chicago Teachers Still on Strike, Want the Ability to Suck and Still Get a Raise.

The Chicago teachers union decided Sunday to continue its weeklong strike, extending an acrimonious standoff with Mayor Rahm Emanuel over teacher evaluations and job security provisions central to the debate over the future of public education across the United States.

Union delegates declined to formally vote on a proposed contract settlement worked out over the weekend with officials from the nation’s third largest school district. Schools will remain closed Monday.

Union president Karen Lewis said teachers want the opportunity to continue to discuss the offer that is on the table.

“Our members are not happy,” Lewis said. “They want to know if there is anything more they can get.”

She added: “They feel rushed.”

She said the union’s delegates will meet again Tuesday, and the soonest classes are likely to resume is Wednesday.

“We felt more comfortable being able to take back what’s on the table and let our constituents look at it and digest it. We can have a much better decision come Tuesday,” said Dean Refakes, a physical education teacher at Gompers Elementary School and a delegate.

The walkout, the first in Chicago in 25 years, had instantly canceled classes for 350,000 students who just returned from summer vacation and forced tens of thousands of parents to find alternatives for idle children, including many whose neighborhoods have been wracked by gang violence in recent months.

Read more here.

The Controversial History Surrounding Muhammad & Islam

Islam is one of the world’s most popular religions, but it’s also among the most complex and misunderstood faith systems. This fact remains, despite its prominence in terms of the number of adherents and its prevalence in mainstream news media. When considering an overall analysis, there are a wide variety of reasons why the Muslim faith is so difficult to pin down.

To begin, political events (September 11 and international terror incidents) have helped to color the public’s sometimes negative perception of the faith. As a result, there’s an overwhelming tendency to view the Muslim religion as a singular entity — however, this oversimplifies the dynamics both within and surrounding the faith.

Considering Islam’s wide reach into diverse territories, there are a multitude of traditions, beliefs and customs that can be found within the Muslim umbrella. Many times, media report about the Islamic faith as though it is overwhelmingly linear. But, like many other religious traditions, the customs and practices that are undertaken by adherents greatly differ — as do the interpretations of its central commandments.

Operating as though all Muslims are coequal in terms of theology and outward expression is akin to claiming that all Protestants and Catholics believe in the same worship mechanisms and doctrine. Just as there are multiple denominations within the Christian and Jewish realm, so are there in the Islamic sphere.

Exploring the Muslim faith, then, can’t be done using a cookie-cutter approach. One must contextualize and consider all of the attributes that lead to the multitude of interpretations that exist within the religious structure.

After all, context is key. This is the same ideological construct one would use when exploring differing Christian ideals. There are specific historical and cultural happenings that led to different Christ-centric denominations. This is the same ideal governing Islam. While the majority of Muslims are people who would never subscribe to violence to advance a cause, many groups and, subsequently, individuals who embrace more radical interpretations of the faith would — and, in fact, do use horrific tactics.

Today, 1.6 billion individuals around the world call themselves Muslims (23.4 percent of the overall global population). The BBC has a list that helps to frame the faith’s central components in some quick-and-easy bullet points:

Read more here.

Portland Schools Spend $500k to Deem PB&J Sandwiches Racist

Dr. Verenice Gutierrez, a principal with Oregon’s Portland Public Schools, has become convinced that America’s “white culture” negatively influences educators’ world view and the manner in which they teach their students.

For instance, last year a teacher in the district presented a lesson that included a reference to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Gutierrez says that by using sandwiches as an illustration, the teacher was engaged in a very subtle form of racism.

“What about Somali or Hispanic students, who might not eat sandwiches?” asked Gutierrez, according to Portland Tribune. “Another way would be to say: ‘Americans eat peanut butter and jelly, do you have anything like that?’ Let them tell you. Maybe they eat torta. Or pita.”

Gutierrez is not the only Portland administrator who has become obsessed with identifying such forms of alleged racism. Almost all Portland school leaders have gone through “Coaching for Educational Equity,” a week-long seminar on race that’s conducted by the Pacific Educational Group.

The Pacific Educational Group is the brainchild of Glenn Singleton, whose mission is to enlighten educators about how public schools promote “white culture” and “white privilege.” He argues that those conditions are responsible for the black/white achievement gap that exists throughout America’s public education system.

The Portland school district has certainly taken Singleton’s message to heart.

EAGnews discovered that since the 2010-11 fiscal year, the cash-starved school district has spent $526,901 for services provided by Singleton’s Pacific Educational Group.

That’s a serious “investment,” especially when one realizes the district is facing financial problems, and has been forced to lay off teachers and cut classroom resources.

What are Portland schools getting in return for all the money spent on PEG?

According to the Tribune, Portland educators are subjected to “intensive staff trainings, frequent staff meetings, classroom observations and other initiatives,” all based on Singleton’s premise that only by becoming aware of the pervasive “white privilege” can teachers change their classroom practices to reach minority students.

Read more here.

Society now criminalizing parents that allow children to play in the yard

A Virginia mother was recently interrogated four times by police, and visited twice by social services, after neighbors spotted the mother’s children playing in their own yard unsupervised, and decided to report the non-incident to local authorities.

According to Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids, such hysteria and Stasi-style paranoia are becoming the norm in America, where children are being excessively coddled, overprotected, and treated as though they are always in grave danger of being kidnapped or harmed.

During a recent interview with Alex Jones on The Alex Jones Show, Skenazy reflects on how the days when society’s youth could simply ride their bicycles to school or into the woods, climb their neighbors’ trees, or play at the local park by themselves without adult supervision are essentially gone. Today, it is practically considered abnormal in many areas for young children to even be outside at all, let alone to be exploring on their own or with their friends.

“What’s happening … is parents who let their children play outside, walk to school, or go to the grocery (store) for them often have neighbors who turn them in, supposedly out of concern … and what happens is Child Protective Services (CPS) is obligated to come and check out whether or not these parents are being negligent, or worse abusive,” says Skenazy, who receives calls all the time from parents that are being persecuted by law enforcement for allowing their kids to play outside.

“What has happened is that the parents are found wrong by the police or CPS for leaving their children in what CPS calls ‘a dangerous situation,’ which I would call a ‘normal, nice situation.’ In fact, less dangerous than just letting your kids sit inside all day getting fat and diabetic, you let your kids run outside or have some independent adventures, that’s considered bad parenting now.”

Read more here.

Left Wing Fascists demand Tommy Robinson be prosecuted if he screens controversial anti-Islam film

At the speciously-named website, ‘Hope not Hate,’ leftie heads are exploding because EDL Leader, Tommy Robinson, has threatened to broadcast the film, ’Innocence of Muslims,’ the trailer for which is being blamed for inciting rabid Muslims to go on a violent rampage of killing, burning, and destruction of private property.

Hope not Hate English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson is considering holding a screening for the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ film, an expression of free speech which has outraged the Muslim world…AGAIN! The Hopey Hatey folks argue that if he carries out his threat to show the entire film, he should immediately be prosecuted for incitement. They claim the film has been produced by rabid anti-Muslim haters in the US and is deliberately designed to whip up tensions, hatred and violence. (Not that they need any provocation)

Read more here.

‘New Standard for Human Stupidity’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed Iran’s nuclear ambitions during an interview with NBC’s David Gregory recently, and had some harsh words for those who don’t recognize the threat a nuclear Iran poses.

When Gregory asked Netanyahu why a policy of containment won’t work on Iran the way it did on the Soviet Union, the prime minister explained:

“I think Iran is very different. They put their zealotry above their survival. They have suicide bombers all over the place– I wouldn’t rely on their rationality. Since the advent of nuclear weapons, you had countries that had access [that] always made a careful calculation of costs and benefits. But Iran is guided by a leadership with an unbelievable fanaticism. It’s the same fanaticism that you see swarming your embassies…You want these fanatics to have nuclear weapons?

“I mean I heard some people suggest, David– I actually read this in the American press– they said, ‘Well, you know, if you take action, that’s a lot worse than having Iran with nuclear weapons.’ Some have even said that Iran with nuclear weapons would stabilize the Middle East…I think the people who say this have set a new standard for human stupidity.”

Read and see more here.