Putin & Netanyahu Are Similar?

PutinNetanyahuI meant to post Andrew Sullivan’s piece last week where he proposes some eerie similarities between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  It’s a week late, but still worth a look:

Both have been riding nationalist waves of xenophobia – and have done their best to inflame it some more; both believe that military force is the first resort when challenged; both have contempt for the United States under its current president; both regard Europeans as pathetic weaklings and moral squishes; both use a pliant mass media to instill the tropes of paranoia, wounded pride and revenge; both target “infiltrators” in their midst, whether it be African immigrants and Palestinians or gays and Westerners; and both have invaded and threatened their neighbors. Perhaps most important of all: both have lost control to the even more enraged extremists to their right.

As I said today on WSGW’s The Art Lewis Show, religious zealotry is running the show on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides.

Who wins that fight?

I’m also happy to see at least some of the American press catching-up with the rest of the world, and finally questioning Israeli strategy.

Watch this interview with the BBC’s Jon Snow.

We’ll never get that kind of journalism from Sean Hannity or Wolf Blitzer.

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Poorly Played, NFL

ESPN’s Keith Olbermann delivered a tight, blistering critique on the NFL’s decision to levy a measly two-game suspension on Baltimore Raven’s running back Ray Rice for beating his wife.

As I noted yesterday–and Olbermann stated last Friday–the NFL has a major problem as they give a wife-beater a lesser sentence than some player pulled-over for marijuana possession.

And I’m glad to see Keith call-out Tony Dungy, too!

The Dungy Fumble

I used my write-up on the Tony Dungy/Michael Sam issue as this week’s “Pat Political Point” on WSGW’s First Day with Pat Johnston & Hilary Farrell.

TonyDungyI made a couple of modifications, which you can hear for yourself on the link below.

It’s still amazing how Dungy would rather have players like the wife-beating Ray Rice than Michael Sam on his team.  Sam would serve as a “distraction,” but not Ray Rice.

Uh-huh.

“Pat Political Point” on Tony Dungy & Michael Sam.” From the 7/27/14 edition of WSGW’s “First Day.”

 

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Monday Music Minute–Courntey Barnett

Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett is having a fantastic year, and it keeps getting better as “Pickles From a Jar” serves as this week’s “Monday Music Minute.”

CourtneyBarnettHilary Farrell played this song on our WSGW Sunday morning show yesterday, and I like how Hilary described it as a “backward love song.”

I posted Courntey’s first single from her debut album a few months ago as a Wednesday Indie Music Pick.  At the halfway point, I think “Avant Gardner” remains one of the best indie songs of the year.

Enjoy!

Monday Music Minute with WSGW’s Hilary Farrell. Courtney Barnett’s “Pickle From a Jar.”

Suck It Up, Teachers

So, why would anyone want to choose teaching as a profession in Michigan?

TeachersBrian Smith from MLive.com reports:

new analysis of teacher salaries by the progressive think tank Center for American Progress found that 19 percent of Michigan’s teachers have second jobs outside the classroom.

That percentage exceeds the national average of 16.1 percent, although the $5,000 a typical Michigan teacher brings in from an extra job is only slightly more than the national average.

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The analysis argues that part of the reason for teachers working second jobs is that teacher salaries grow at a lower rate than other industries and do not grow as fast as teacher pay in other countries.

We need qualified, competent people to teach our future generations.  What incentives do math or science majors have to want to teach?  Not only have wages slowed, but teachers are paying more for their own medical care.  Naturally, they’ll just go be engineers or accountants where they can earn more money.

Now, some may argue that teachers don’t work three months a year, and they should have to work a second job.  If it’s such an cushy little job, then please, be my guest and stand at a chalkboard.  Have fun dealing with parents who refuse to push their kids to succeed, or administrative staff who take your concerns “under advisement.”

Just so you know, I’m an advocate of starting the school year a couple of weeks earlier, but that would entail two things to happen: Paying teachers more money and repealing the stupid law preventing public schools from starting before Labor Day.  We were told when that law passed how it would be a boon for the tourism industry, or something like that.

You get what you pay for.

Michigan should be proud of herself.