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De Blasio Proposes Changes to New York’s Elite High Schools

  • New York Times

“In the face of growing pressure to tackle New York City’s widespread school segregation, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Saturday a proposal that would change how students are admitted to eight of the city’s specialized high schools, a group of highly sought-after institutions where students gain entry based on a single test.

Black and Hispanic students, who make up 67 percent of the public school population, are grossly underrepresented at the specialized high schools, which include Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx High School of Science.”

It’s another conundrum. The specialized schools are the best in the city? You can’t get a better education in any other high school? It’s a choice. You take a test and then if your score is good enough, you may choose to go. Or not. Level the playing field or dilute the talent. Even in a school like Stuyvesant you have a hierarchy. There was a student (whom I knew) who was number 708 in our class. Is it about status, or about education, or the ability to move with a faster crowd? Talent? Opportunity? Equality. A level playing field you say? I went to Stuyvesant. We were average guys (all male student body then). There was talent. Nobel? Ummm, no, I don’t think so. Better teachers? No! There was more incompetence because with seniority, a teacher could become assigned to Stuyvesant where the students were pre-selected and motivated self learners. Auto pilot! And in many cases we were – left adrift. We were once graded in English by writing our own grade on a piece of paper. Yes, you pick. like strawberries. I don’t know the answer. But, it ain’t easy. And politics should not be a measure of trying to make things better. There are quotas. They exist at Harvard. They existed at my NY state medical school. It’s unspoken. Legislation will always be circumvented. I count myself lucky that I survived education and benefited in spite of it all. Right place right time and darned lucky. At my last glance, Asians dominate the student body. When I attended (’60’s) it was Jewish. The conundrum is how to make a level playing field. Should we mandate that basketball teams have short players too? Or we should truly have overweight beauty contestants? The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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Fog

The funny thing is that less than half a mile away on US 1 it was bright and sunny. We went down to say “Hello” to the ocean. I haven’t really realized how much this means to me until now. Thanks.

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And there was fog. It’s like London without the crowds. Okay, so don’t fall down laughing. I can’t think of another analogy. But, it’s neat. I’m glad we went.

 


I don’t tweet

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I’m a democrat. Even if I weren’t I would be now. What’s this asshole doing? I am ashamed that he is president. I am ashamed that he has a forum. I am aghast that he has an avid following. The rest of the world shakes a collective finger (middle) at his antics. Enough is enough. Vote! Vote to impeach his sorry ass. I’m not very conflicted. You were an ass before you were elected. You are still. It might be better to remain quiet and let history disgrace you. Infamous? You bet. No more neutrality. You know where I stand. And, no, you don’t get to break the law!


What the …?

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We drive a two lane (road) in Maryland. We were about tenth in line behind a truck that took forever to pass… as in we didn’t… until it (road) became a four lane. In NYC a two lane is two lanes on my side or four lanes on my side. Everywhere else it seems that two lanes mean one lane in each direction. Oh boy! What the…! It’s a tank? Covered with canvas. Entry hatches. Driving along in Maryland. “No idea”, as Harry Potter would say. It took forever to pass the thing.


Technical Thoughts

I can shoot one cat. But two? That’s a more difficult issue. It’s the eyes. Four eyes, two sets. The rest doesn’t fit neatly in the picture. The tail was a plus. But for me the it’s the eyes. The other interest is that it’s darned hard to get two cats in the same photo. I can’t direct a pose. I don’t speak cat. I’m good one on one. Elle? Even she has given up. It used to be that she’d run as soon as she saw my camera. Now? Call it, “resigned to her fate.”


It’s not ok anymore

It’s not ok!! I don’t care what your political persuasion is any longer. It’s never right for a kid to die. Imagine? Another group of kids are dead in America. This group is dead right before graduation. This group didn’t deserve to die. I don’t care to whom you wish to assign blame. You can blame anyone. You can blame guns. I’m so beyond rhetoric. Enough is enough?! Can we just try something else? The news plays the platitudes –  “thoughts and prayers.” Instead of graduation, someone is attending a funeral this weekend. There will be empty seats at their high school graduation. There is an empty seat in college next year. Why? Can’t we stop with the wishing and hoping and do something? Each time they shoot another kid – it’s someone else’s son or daughter – I am (selfishly) thankful that mine are no longer in school. Another moment of silence, listen to the politicians spout? I say no more. I attended the Washington rally on March 24. “Vote them out!!”


Side By Side

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Look close. Side by side. I see this in retrospect as I view the edit. The ladies chose to take stand not by chance but by determined design.

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They are in front of Trump International Hotel. On the margin… things played out. There will always be someone to try to change the dialog and shift the argument. It’s magic. Watch one hand while the other does magic. 800 demonstrations around the world. One purpose and one voice. For once, I am encouraged. Hopeful. But it ain’t over till it’s over. I’m voting. Another republican announced he would retire. Reason: He couldn’t win with Trump as president. A republican would have to deal with Trump’s base versus an aroused moderate base repulsed by Trump.

 

 


Orchid

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This is the orchid that came with the Valentine’s cacti. In my home it’s a desert. I forget to water. So, cacti and orchids should be very happy. We’ll see if it survives. Years ago I had an orchid that lived long. The bloom lasted long. Then the petals fell off and the plant died.

Currently my poinsettia and pines (mini/small trees) are surviving the Christmas season. Soon it will be spring. We got one horrible snowstorm this year. Otherwise there has been no inconvenience. Okay!


Pence’s gay rabbit

 

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Here’s a big joke (if you’re not a Republican). Mike Pence, yes, that one, has a new book out. It’s about his bunny. Yup, his bunny. This is the man who supports anything against gay rights and against abortion and is generally not a friend of free thinking. True, all true. Sorry. He’s a sorry character. And he got f’d today. Last night John Oliver on Comedy Central wrote and announced his new counter-book parodying the soon to be released Pence book. Yes, same bunny – Marlon. Only, Oliver’s bunny is gay. Yup, total antithesis of the Pence family rabbit. Today, Oliver’s book has more pre-orders than Pence’s book. And Oliver’s urging even resulted in pushing Comey’s tell all from the top spot on Amazon.

Oh! By the way Amazon. Listen up. Pay attention! You still show the NRA channel. Yes! That channel! So, be aware that I’m going to Washington DC this Saturday to advocate for gun control. And I will refrain as much as possible from using Amazon till you respond in kind.

I’m a lone voice. But you start somewhere. I  keep wondering where all the pissed off Democrats have been? There is a lot of anti-Trump sentiment. If your job as a congressman or senator is to be re-elected, then consider that it might just about be time to stand up.

’cause I’m mad as hell and I ain’t taking it anymore.

I got kids. I got kids who are teachers. I know a lot of kids and teachers. They deserve to be safe. The NRA does not deserve to force it’s conservative views upon the safety and health of my daughter and son. Sorry, your poor reasoning doesn’t wash anymore. Let’s start with the premise you can not shoot someone if you don’t have a gun.

See you all in Washington DC on Saturday.


Wait…some more

It’s been an ill kept secret that I have to go back and forth to Long Island for legal issues still pending. No details. I’m waiting for a conclusion before I spill. Nope, not malpractice. I had high hope. Dashed! I got to see the latest progress in building the Goethals Bridge. That’s about all that went well. Did you ever stop to consider how many two word seven letter curses there are? I will start with F-Y and E-S. You take it from there.