Archive for bully

New Jerseyan: "We all know what a disaster Gov. Chris Christie has been... What were Dems thinking?"

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what's the matter with new jersey

My Twitter friend @marieann66 gets a big hat tip for sending me this link:

Here are excerpts from that must-read letter to the editor at NJ.com:

We have fought and died in the civil rights movement, we have fought for unions and a living wage, we have fought for the rights of women and choice, and we have fought for equal opportunity regardless of gender, sexual orientation, color and religion. Democrats have just re-elected to the governorship of this state someone who is anti-choice, against public education, against raising the minimum wage, against gay marriage and is dedicated to enriching his wealthy friends and patrons.

Real estate taxes are up, unemployment is among the worst in the nation and federal funds for Superstorm Sandy relief have thus far benefited mainly business (as homeowners twist slowly in the wind). This is a giant administrative mess.

I could go on, but we all know what a disaster this governor has been for the state. And let’s not forget that he is trying to pack the state Supreme Court with conservative Republicans.

She started the letter by reminding Democrats that they inexplicably voted against their own interests. She ended the letter, in part, with, "What were Democrats thinking?" What indeed? I have asked the same question over and over and over again:

This is the person who New Jerseyans should have elected to be their governor:

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VIDEO: Hurricane #Sandy "could be Chris Christie's Bain Capital."

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chris christie hurricane sandy fundsbain_capital

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I've been describing Chris Christie as "Noun, verb, Sandy" as a snarky but accurate riff on Vice President Biden's 2007 description of Rudy Giuliani as "A noun, a verb, and 9/11, there's nothing else":

Chris Hayes did America a huge favor last night by explaining what a self-serving, abusive (photo) opportunist Chris Christie really is. Now let's hope people listen, because the New Jersey governor did a great job of pulling the wool over many eyes on election day last Tuesday.

It's shameful how many people admire manufactured optics, cosmetics, and style over policy, character, and substance.

Chris Hayes:

Chris Christie spent the day basking in the glow of his resounding victory last night. But before we get caught up in what he called "the spirit of Sandy" it is worth actually taking a look at the man's record....

The spirit of Sandy that Christie evoked so many times last night is one thing. But the facts of the recovery are something else entirely.

New Jersey received billions of dollars in federal aid to rebuild, and 1.8 billion of that came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to get people back in their homes. To get that money, Christie promised that 60% of the funds would be reserved for low to moderate income households. Right now, it appears that Chris Christie is breaking that promise...

The Christie administration has released no information on how the federal money is being spent. What we do know came out of a lawsuit that alleged the Christie administration was "improperly withholding data on the funds."

In response to that suit, Christie's government released information on where just a fraction of it all went. Of that money, only 36.9% went to the people Christie promised he would give it to.

The whereabouts of the rest of the billion of dollars remains a total mystery.

We do, however, know where an additional $25 million in Sandy aid went: to a very well produced ad campaign. In fact, a whopping $7.4 million federal dollars paid for this one commercial.

Turns out the firm hired to run the campaign had been chosen over an advertising firm that had bid 40% less, but did not propose using the governor's family in the spot...

Right now, there are thousands of people still out of their homes a year after the storm hit....  Mortgage defaults are up over the past year in the Sandy-hit areas. 75% of New Jersey residents affected by the storm say people like them have been largely forgotten in recovery efforts.

For many people in New Jersey, Sandy was the worst thing that ever happened to them. For Chris Christie, it could be the best....

Chris Christie is not just benefiting politically from a natural disaster, he is benefiting politically from a natural disaster made more disastrous by his own administration's failure to prepare.

During his first term, Christie de-funded the state's Office of Climate Change and Energy. After Sandy, when reporters filed public records requests to New York and New Jersey, they found that New York City's transit plans for severe storms is detailed in five binders, each three inches thick. New Jersey's transit plan? Three and a half pages with everything blacked out.

chris christie sandy victims forgottenJoy Ann Reid:

Chris Christie has perfected this performance of being sort of the great man of the people. That entrances reporters, it enraptures and almost hypnotizes reporters, because it's so "gosh darned everyman," but his actual performance as governor doesn't marry up with the image. Last night he talked about almost as if he was a Marine, not leaving people on the beaches of Normandy. He talked about his big, substantive achievement.

Well, darn it, he hugged people, and people hugged him. It is a minimum standard for a governor to accept federal aid. He didn't do that. And he didn't hate Barack Obama in the process. He gets credit for being able to do that in a Republican party that punishes you for not hating Barack Obama.

Chris Hayes:

That is a low bar....

He is stoking it in his sort of narcissistic fashion. I think Sandy has a potential as a political issue to be his Bain Capital. Because at of end of the day, did you do your job?

More about who Christie really is here.

chris christie sandy money for ads

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Chris Christie to teachers: "I am tired of you people!" Teacher: "If you vote for this man, shame on you." Her letter.

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chris christie yells at teacherH/t: Blue Jersey

VIDEO ADDED:

Teacher basher Chris "Photo Op" Christie is at it again. Jersey Jazzman has the exclusive interview: @GovChristie to Teacher: "I Am Tired Of You People!"

I asked him: "Why do you portray our schools as failure factories?" His reply: "Because they are!"  He said: "I am tired of you people. What do you want?"

"Failure factories"?

The Star-Ledger's Jenna Portnoy:

Christie cut more than $1 billion in state aid to schools in his first year in office.

Well, guess what, Gov, as a former educator and a past, current, and future American, I'm tired of you too:

Check out Jazzman's post, because it's the prelude to the following excerpts of the must-read Letter to Governor Christie from the New Jersey Teacher He Screamed At by the "public school teacher that works an average of 60 hours a week":

Apparently that question struck a nerve. When you swung around at me and raised your voice, asking me what I wanted, my first response “I want more money for my students.” Notice, I did not ask for more money for me. I did not ask for my health benefits, my pension, a raise, my tenure, or even my contract that I have not had for nearly three years. [...]

We cannot keep short-changing our children and taking away opportunities for them to explore and learn. [...]

What do I want? What do 'we people' want? We want to be allowed to teach. [...]

Are you aware that poverty is the biggest determination of a child's educational success?  [...]

Where is all of this money? To me it seems like it is being siphoned right off into the hands of private companies as they reap the benefits of the charter schools and voucher programs that you have put into place. [...]

You have portrayed us as greedy, lazy money-draining public servants that do nothing. I invite you to come do my job for one week Governor Christie. [...]

Has there been back-room meetings as you agree to divert public funds to private companies that are seeking to take over our public educational system? This is my theory. [...]

We want to be respected as we do this, not bullied.

BadAss Teacher,

Melissa Tomlinson

Please go read the entire letter here.

Melissa Tomlinson, you are my hero.

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Cyber-Bullying Claims 12 Y.O. The Parents Of Teen Suspects May Be Charged

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Rebecca Sedgwick

Let's think about this for a beat. A 12 year old girl, Rebecca Sedwick is cyber-bullied by two other girls, about her age, one 12, the other 14. She reports it to her mother, Tricia Norton, who then takes the issue to the school. So far, so good (in a relative sense as you'll see). The school, over ten months does nothing, at least anything that produced positive results.

Reported by Yahoo News and ABC News:

Rebecca was bullied online for 10 months and Norton said her daughter had been physically attacked five times before that, police say. Eventually, Norton pulled Rebecca from Crystal Lake Middle School in Pompano Beach to end the bullying and keep her daughter away from the two suspects, who also attended classes there.

"I made several, several reports to the school. I did an online bullying report because I thought nothing was being done by the school. And nothing was being done on that either," Norton said.

The young victim is so rocked by this continued abuse and no solution from the normal channels that she takes what she believes is the only step left. She rides her bike to an abandoned grain silo, climbs up to the top, then jumps to the pavement below, death greets her at the end of her fall.

But the tragedy doesn't end there. One of the two girls accused of the cyber-bullying continued the onslaught  after the suicide with Facebook postings including this:

Yes I bullied Rebecca nd she killed her self but IDGAF (I Don't Give A F***)

Now as distraught as Rebecca's mother is, she has joined Sheriff Judd in calling out the parents, placing blame on them. Despite their denials that their kids could have done this heinous activity, the parents are being met with a unified, "horsepucky."

One of they accused girls mothers claims she checked daily to oversee her daughter's comments on FaceBook and saw nothing wrong. Really?

"You should drink bleach and die!"

That isn't a warning sign? There's nothing wrong with that?

Are these fit parents?

Evidently Sheriff Judd doesn't think so. And he's taking bold steps. He's considering charges against the parents.

"Those parents haven't cared from the very beginning," Judd said. "After this initial event, after the initial interviews, why did they let her stay on Facebook any longer?"

Judd said he's only investigating the older suspect's parents, whom he described as being "in denial."

"When the parents don't take care of the children and it becomes criminal conduct, then it becomes my responsibility, and my deputies and I know how to take control," Judd said.

Sheriff Grady Judd

Well, taking control isn't meeting with everyone's comfort zone down in the hotbed of social and legal justice, the state of Florida. The Sheriff is taking heat claiming he's overstepping his bounds. Here's what Tampa defense attorney Jeff Brown says to Tampa's Fox Channel 13 of Polk Sheriff Grady Judd actions in arresting the two girls and giving out their identities:

"He went beyond his duties. He is just a sheriff. He is not a judge, he's not a lawyer, he is not the state attorney's office, he's not representing these girls. So he is doing an awful lot of pre-judging, he's bringing a lot of his side of the facts out there, and maybe these are the facts. But I don't understand why he can't let the system play out, why he can't let the people who are the lawyers -- not the sheriff -- investigate the case, look into what's going on here, and then have a judge decide what the appropriate penalty or sentence is, and see about the proper way to handle this in a courtroom.

Spoken like a true defense attorney.

Sadly though, there's another story today that goes up in the face of this tragedy -- and it comes from the NEW YORK TIMES:

Facebook SF headquarters

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook has loosened its privacy rules for teenagers as a debate swirls over online threats to children from bullies and sexual predators.

The move, announced on Wednesday, allows teenagers to post status updates, videos and images that can be seen by anyone, not just their friends or people who know their friends.

I'm not big on restrictions and regulations. But they do have their place. And in light of Rebecca Sedwick and so many others victims like her,  it might be time for FaceBook to be bold and return to their original rules. It didn't stop this death. But who knows that maybe it stopped some cyber-bullying crimes from ever having started.

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VIDEO: Man (allegedly):“Shut that n*gger baby up,” slaps him. Child was crying during flight from "pressure in his ears."

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Man calls baby N word news story Man calls baby N word news story 2

A drunk 60-year-old man schmuck got irked because a 19-month-old baby was crying during a Delta Airlines flight to Georgia. Or, hmm, it just might have been because an African American 19-month-old was crying.

The toddler was in tears because of air pressure causing pain in his ears. So what's a full-grown, inconvenienced Idahoan to do? Why, call a little defenseless child "n*gger baby" and provide even more pain by slapping him, what else?

Every conscientious parent knows that nothing quiets down a distressed baby in agony more quickly than a swift smack to the face.

Little Jonah's mom:

"His eye was swollen... and it was bleeding."

Be proud, Mr. Violent Drunk Racist. You, a male adult, traumatized a tiny, unsuspecting, distraught, innocent small fry and his mother.

Via Raw Story:

The 60-year-old man told Bennett to “shut that (‘N word’) baby up,” and slapped the 2-year-old boy in his face as the plane prepared for landing, according to an affidavit.

“I said, ‘What did you just say?’” Bennett explained to ABC News. “And he was so drunk that he fell onto my face, and his mouth moved over to my ear and he said it, just directly into my ear.”

Sidebar: I wonder if Mr. Violent Drunk Racist has kids of his own, and if so, how often he slaps them (or worse). And I also wonder if Mr. Violent Drunk Racist is an avid gun owner.

H/t: @PennDragonArt

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Think for yourself. Ask questions. Do your homework.

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gullible

I've been holding this post back for months, but maybe it's time to say something. It's about mob mentality, conformity, blind allegiance, submission, overreaction, Republican and Democratic, it doesn't really matter.

What triggered this post at this particular time? The hyper-positive reaction from my fellow liberals to this VIDEO- Chris Christie: “There is only one group to blame: the House majority and their Speaker, John Boehner.”

Suddenly, because of one moment of justified outrage by this conservative, egocentric blowhard, I'm hearing how Democrats who couldn't stand the guy are now saying they're "fans." That's the word I've heard today, "fans." And as I wrote in that very post, Chris Christie is indeed charismatic, even entertaining, and of course, blunt. But let’s not forget that he’s still rude, nasty, and this guy: Link. Link.

It seems, at least on Twitter, that every time some political figure does something applause-worthy, the comments go right to, "[Hero of the Moment] for president!" (This includes even calls for me to run. Serious calls. No kidding. That's absurd.)

One good deed, one positive news cycle, one moment of clarity or leadership does not warrant unconditional praise or represent a 180 turnaround. Approval, yes. But being that easily impressed and elevating someone so undeserving to hero status is mystifying. Qualifying such a leap in adoration would be helpful.

But the Christie example was simply a catalyst for this writing. Something else, something loosely related has been eating at me for awhile now, and it's time to discuss it.

For the past 3 or 4 years, I've been relentlessly smeared, lied about, bullied, and harassed by someone on Twitter (yes, I've done what I can about it, that's not what this is about), an Obama supporter of all things. It still goes on, but it's calmed down some since the bully is now, sadly, targeting someone else. He has a long history of doing this, a pattern that has been tracked for years, in fact.

Many, many of his former followers (true and obedient followers in every sense) have come forward to apologize to me for their part in piling on. And boy, did they pile on. And boy, did they apologize with sincere, heartfelt, regretful apologies. We've all reconciled, except for the very few who still hang on to this very disturbed individual (medical professionals describe him that way, as do casual/not-so-casual observers, ex-friends and lovers, journalists, politicos, celebrities, and his former allies).

There is no way to convey how complicated, painful, and destructive this years-long episode has been, and only those involved really get it.

That's the VERY short version of what happened. That was traumatic enough, but here's what continues to bother me. I've asked nearly every one of the people who came forward why in the world they so willingly joined him in spreading his bizarre, concocted stories about me (one was a 14,000 word blog post, among other public posts, out of context tales, and tweets). I repeatedly questioned why they would blindly take the word of someone they've never met, someone who wouldn't so much as post his own photo online, without ever coming to me to fact check.

I've wondered what would cause anyone to turn on a former Twitter pal and political ally, a fellow Democrat, and spread vicious rumors, post insulting tweets and blogs of their own, and hurtful fabrications via private message, emails, chats, etc. without ever taking the time to ask me my side of things, whether there was any truth to it, and if any of it were true, what my point of view and reaction might have been.

Every (non) response I got was essentially the same: "He was so charismatic, so believable, seemed to have such credibility, had political connections, provided a huge quantity of 'evidence,' sounded like he knew what he was talking about... and I was needy, I need acceptance, he gave me that, I'm a weak person, I'm gullible, how could I have done that? Now I see others falling for his b.s., and I think to myself, 'That was me!'"

Yet not one person, not one, took the time or even thought to come to me and hear me out. Not. One.

Now. What do the champion of the moment stories and the bully story have in common? Some of you may have figured it out. Those I've spoken to privately about this saw the connection immediately:

Fellow Democrats fell for a strong, authoritarian personality hook, line, and in this case, stinker. No questions asked. They did as they were told (They literally did what they were ordered to do. They'd tweet malicious, stinging messages to me daily, worded the way he dictated to them. They told me this.)

Otherwise thoughtful, intelligent, analytical people willingly aided and abetted a nasty, sick individual without blinking. They supported an obvious narcissist who attacked me, my work, my reputation when they should have known better, should have recognized very obvious signs of hostility and desperate need for attention and power.

Sound familiar?

What if this were taken a step further, as one very insightful, talented political writer and another professional political commentator I talked to suggested, in light of the Newtown tragedy... what if this mentality extended to outward aggression, violence, including gun violence? If people can be so easily driven by someone they don't know to verbally assault someone they don't know, then what next?

And don't get me started on how upsetting it was to see how easily my fellow Progressives could be convinced to turn on one of their own because they mistook an emotionally ill man to be normal. They were that easily led astray by a "strong" leader.

Would an equally engaging, believable political figure pull the wool over their eyes and cause them to harm themselves and other simply because their words were just attractive enough, just credible enough to charm them into action?

Vetting is important, even in the Twitterverse, but in the "real" world it's mandatory. We must not forgo critical thinking, compassion, reason, and sound judgment for short term and very tempting emotional, political, or financial rewards. Too much is at stake. 

Having witnessed just that first hand, you see why I have reason to be concerned. I might add that everyone who has severed their relationship with the man in question, or has watched these very public incidents unfold, has expressed similar concerns. That is why I thought it was time to share mine.

Moral of this very long post: Think for yourself. Ask questions. Do your homework.

Thank you for listening.

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Bonus Cartoon of the Day- Job Creators

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Via.

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