The soul has greater need of the ideal than the real for it is by the real that we exist, it is by the ideal that we live

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

and we don't have enough sense to be ashamed

Two instances today of the state George Bush left us in when he escaped justice and exited office.

First we have a man in that ridiculous state of North Carolina where the characters from The Andy Griffith Show actually exist:

Man says he robbed bank to get health care

A man walks into a bank and slips a note to the teller.

The note reads: “This is a bank robbery. Please only give me one dollar.”

Then the man tells the bank employees, “I’ll be sitting right over there in the chair waiting for the police."

He perches himself on a chair outside the bank he just robbed and waits for the police to arrive.

That suspect, James Verone, who is from Gaston County, North Carolina, told CNN affiliate WCNC that he robbed a bank for $1 for the sole reason of getting in jail so he could get free health care. He was not armed during the robbery.

Verone, 59, told WCNC he doesn’t have health insurance, but has a host of medical problems: A growth on his chest, two ruptured disks and a problem with his left foot. Without a job and money, he reached the conclusion that going to jail would mean free medical care (although it's not free for taxpayers).

“I wanted to make it known that this wasn't for monetary reasons, but for medical reasons," Verone said. His jailhouse interview with the station is above.

The logic, he told the news station, was to get a three-year sentence so he can get out of jail then collect Social Security and then later live in a Myrtle Beach condo.

Verone told his local paper, The Gaston Gazette that he had worked as a delivery man for Coca-Cola for 17 years. That career ended three years ago, and he couldn’t find steady employment. Then the medical problems began. He lived off his savings and sought a part-time job.

The police charged him with larceny, not bank robbery, because of the $1 amount he demanded at the bank. Verone told his hometown paper if the jail penalty isn’t great enough, the crime will happen again.

Verone told WCNC, "I guess I am manipulating the courts to get medical care."

Then we extend the insult to olur children, the ignorant future of our country. When old people ask "what's this country coming to?" when referring to young people and their ideas, they can sim ply be handed a mirror so they can see who fucked it up.

Thanks to budget cuts, shiny new school sits unused
By Zachary Roth

A more striking symbol of the impact of cuts to education funding would be hard to imagine: A gleaming new Southern California high school that cost more than $100 million to build will sit empty and unused, because the local school district doesn't have enough money to run it.

In 2007, voters approved approved bonds to finance the building of Hillcrest High School in Riverside, which was intended to relieve overcrowding at a nearby high school. But thanks to major cuts in state education funding, the local school district can't afford the $3 million it would cost to pay administrators, teachers, and other staff, and to handle the other expenses that come with operating a school.

So when the school year begins in the fall, Hillcrest will sit idle. Its campus is currently fenced off.

Wendell Tucker of the Alvord Unified School District said the district's $130 million operating budget had been cut by $25 million.

"When the California budget goes down and income in the state goes down, funding to K-through-12 education goes with it," Tucker told USA Today. "We made a number of budget adjustments. Right now, we simply are out of adjustments, and it's not feasible … to open this school."

And it's not clear that things will be any different in 2012. "We'll look at it on a year by year basis," Tucker added.

As if all this weren't frustrating enough, even though the school won't be in use, the district will still have to spend $1 million to maintain the buildings and run air conditioning and other systems, to keep them from deteriorating. The library and sports fields will be made available for community use.

That's little comfort to students at nearby La Sierra High School, where some classes pack in as many as 37 kids.

"I wanted to go to that school," said Natalie Mercado, 14, who lives near the new campus. "I was really excited. … It looked really good."

According to Alvord school board member Ben Johnson, it was a choice between laying people off and keeping Hillcrest closed. "Choosing between people losing jobs and opening the school site, I couldn't in my mind justify one more person out of a job," he said.

Hillcrest's woes are just a symptom of a larger education funding crisis in the Golden State. To address a severe budget shortfall, the state has cut one third of K-12 funding over the last three years--$18 billion in all. California's once-vaunted education system is now 44th among states in terms of per-pupil spending.

Meanwhile, the state's economy is showing few signs of improvement. Its 11.7 percent jobless rate is the second-highest in the nation, and its housing market, hit hard by the mortgage crisis, has yet to recover.

The Hillcrest fiasco is a poignant marker of the bleak situation. "It's definitely a sign of the times," Tucker said. "This is a real-life example of what the current budget situation has done to K-through-12 education.''

Or perhaps a picture of this guy:

Will someone please explain to me how we can allow this to happen? The GOP has long intended to reduce taxes in order to starve the governments of funds so they can then privatize as much as possible. This is a terrible and greedy idea on its best day and has unconscionable results. Yet no one is ashamed enough to put a stop to it.

There is some good news, Sarah Palin went home.

And anecdotally, yesterday I overheard some guy telling another about the new cigarette labels. I said, well, it's just more "live in fear." and he said "Yeah that's the liberal party!" I almost laughed at his stupdity. But it made me too sad.

And so it goes:

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