Muammar’s Bad Hair Day


One very Bad boy is gone, but we will find others,  perhaps worse, to hook up with .


The viral video of the Libyan supremo’s capture shows that he had some male pattern baldness going on. Who knew?

This explains the creative variety of his  headgear.

Someone who dresses far better – President Obama – called this a victory and emphasized the U.S. commitment to the Libyan people. I wasn’t aware we had been dating.

It’s the metrosexual presidency: that perfect pants crease thing , and OMG, he commits.


A few excerpts from the President’s statement:

And one of the world’s longest-serving dictators is no more.

And we thank him for his service?  Who writes this stuff?

One year ago, the notion of a free Libya seemed impossible.
What’s changed exactly?  Shariah law will be the basis of the Libyan state, as announced some time ago.
The Libyan people now have a great responsibility — to build an inclusive and tolerant and democratic Libya that stands as the ultimate rebuke to Qaddafi’s dictatorship.

With Islamists posed to lead in the Tunisian and Egyptian elections, the Libyans have some fine models to emulate.  Not to mention earlier nation building exercises in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian territories.

and our NATO mission will soon come to an end.
And our mission to help our new friends begins.  For now, just 40 million bogus bucks( we can always quantitatively ease some more), and some other goodies, as Secretary Clinton announced in Tripoli Tuesday.
We all know ladies who just love the bad boys.  No matter how much they are abused by their studs, the girls stay in love, bail the guys out of jams and keep giving them stuff.   That’s US Policy towards muslim lands.
And of course, on the screen, in fiction, and real life, these relationships often end in the hospital or the morgue.

All Rise: Immigration: It’s Not about Race.

"Minnesota Women" (Amina Farah Ali and Hawo Mohamed Hassan)

“A Minnesota woman on trial for allegedly funneling money to a terrorist group in Somalia was found in contempt of court Monday when she refused to stand for the judge and jury, citing religious grounds.” (October3, 2011)

Reuters, the AP and  the Minneapolis Star Tribune refer to these “Somali Americans” as “Minnesota women.”  Rather than the stereotyped interests one might associate with a Minnesota woman – baking, out door sports, PTA and so on, these ladies have an interest in jihad back in Somalia,  You know, just like the “Massachusetts man” whose interest in  miniature aircraft got him a jam the other day.

The Daily Beastis a bit more to the point with “Feds Accuse 14 Americans of Aiding Somalian Jihadists” (Aug 5, 2010 2:30 PM EDT), but also refers to the defendants as “Minnesota women.”

Some Minnesota Women

One wonders at the use of “Americans.”  Are we then to think that these jihad ladies (and one is engaged in jihad simply by supporting the armed conflict.  All major schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree on this point) are people just like you and me, or our neighbors.  Or is it shock that “Americans” would do something like this, as if the bestowal of nationality necessarily changes attitudes, or that citizenship acquired by naturalization or birth right will automatically trump centuries old tribalism?

American these ladies may be in nationality, but in attitude they are something else, as Aminah demonstrated when she refused to stand for the judge.  No doubt she recognizes no law but shariah, under which of course she would not be accused of any offense,

It can be tedious pointing out this endless linguistic obfuscation on the part of  the legacy  media.  Minnesotans have a certain stereotyped appearance: Generally white, although we do think of Prince, Scandinavian  and German origin, interested in fishing and hunting, hardy snowmobilers.  It may seem brutal, but I will say it outright: the accused don’t look like Minnesotans.     The reason they don’t is not because of their color but  their demeanor.

“Here come da Judge.”  There are civic institutions for which we demonstrate respect, even if we may not feel it in our hearts.  This is the deal.  This makes us Americans.

Apparently, this was unsatisfactory in some quarters, and Minnesota,  a state the NYT described as “lily white,”  was chosen as a primary destination for  Somali immigrants.  On a smaller scale, quite similar to the “Blair Immigration Project,” in which the Labor Party elite opened Britain to mass immigration, largely from Muslim countries, especially Pakistan and Bangladesh.

A former speech writer for Blair describes the idea:

“The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity”, according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.

He defended the policy, saying mass immigration has “enriched” Britain, and made London a more attractive and cosmopolitan place. ”

A fairly common scene in Londonistan

Well, it certainly has, without doubt, increased the availability of kebab and curry takeout. Other changes have not been so desirable.

Diversity  The sophisticated left and right coast mentality has always been drawn to cosmopolitanism.  New York and San Francisco – and begrudgingly, Chicago, and also New Orleans, which while cracker, was also French – were the preferred roosts of the bohemian: These cities had French and Italian restaurants, Chinese, and were as close as we could come to Europe.  Snobbish as this outlook was, it was at least looking in the right direction.  We have been immeasurably enriched by immigration.  It’s not just the exponential growth in dining choices, but the validation of our inclusive way of life,  and how we see ourselves.

Thus it is easy to fall into the trap of looking at all immigration through a sentimental lens,  The immigration now is not always what we knew, a Greek or a Chinese who started a small business, and whose kids went to college, maybe joined the military, and happily moved to the suburbs, where they lived in houses with space and amenities people in the home country only saw on the silver screen.  Filipinos, Latinos, Chinese, Arabs, washing  their trucks on weekends, barbecuing in the park.

There has always been that tension, particularly with immigrants from more traditional societies, between the immigrant generation, and their progeny who move away form “old country ways.”  It’s a familiar story.  The children were drawn to the main culture because it provided opportunity, and because the message was overwhelming,.  Those few blocks of the old country became to seem a prison when the hyphenated Americans looked out to that vast continental possibility.

Our culture is a blend, first settlers from the British Isles, all white yes, but not in themselves homogeneous, the churchmen of New England and entrepreneurs very different from the land grantees of the south, or the hardscrabble Scotch Irish of the Piedmont, and a generous leaven of felons from throughout the home islands,  Huguenots here and there, the absorbed Dutch.

“White” is not, and never has been an ethnicity.

Few  remember that the WASPS were not at all happy with e arrival of the
Germans.  They only went to Church Sunday morning, and instead of going back for evening services, spent the rest of the Sabbath having picnics, playing sports – women too!  Scandalous and depraved.  They drank and danced.  The Irish had their troubles in America, but came in droves from a far worse alternative. The million or more Scandinavians encountered no difficulties other than being called dumb Swedes or square heads.

Later groups from southeast and south Europe did encounter resistance and even racialist contempt, but they too were  assimilated.  Assimilation doesn’t mean vanishing entirely. The Boston Irish, and the New York Italians are vital and distinct to this day, but consider themselves nothing but American, as do Americans regard them.

So why get upset about arrivals from Somalia and other Muslim nations?

After all, with mass Latino immigration,there is  the possibility of immigrant concentrations  so large they cannot be absorbed, because in their sheer numbers, they can be self referential.  Little Italies and Greektowns were a matter of a few city blocks;but we may soon be dealing with enclaves the sze of small states. And while hardly mainstream, Chicano irrredentism, with its call for the return or seizure by resettlement, of the Mexican Cession, exists.

Mexico North

A problem, yes; and a massive one, but one that is still manageable.  With high out-marriage rates, it is clear that Hispanic immigrants in the main assimilate. And in Latin America we see a branch of European civilization, with its civic institutions derived, via Spain, from ancient Rome.

In Somali immigration, and that of other groups coming from Islamic countries, the case is entirely different. Although  Hindus, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese are from non-Western traditions, their cultures contain nothing like this injunction from the Koran:

Surah 3:28

Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (to remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah.

Assimilation, which requires full participation in the host community, is scripturally prohibited in Islam.

In “Minnesotastan” we have the seeds of the “Islamic emirates” being established in Britain. Amina Farah Ali and Hawo Mohamed Hassan will never be “Minnesota Women,” and if the trends in Europe are an indicator, neither will their children.

Tower Hamlets, London

Desert Wind in the Southern Philippines

(From time to time, I will write about happier times in my wanderings and residence in Dar ul Islam.)

The PhilippinesPhilippine gunmen snatch US citizens on Tictabon (BBC) 13 July 2011
“Two Filipino Americans kidnapped by “Islamic insurgents.”  This is another skirmish in a very old theatre of the oldest war of all.  I’ve been thinking of these two Filipino Americans, and the southern Philippines since I read the headline.  Long ago, I traveled the area where they were taken.

Over a long life things change, and not always for the better.  In 1969-70 I was twenty, and spending a year in the Philippines going to classes at Ateneo University, living with my parents in Manila.  My father managed a fertilizer plant  on the Bataan peninsula across the Bay.

During school breaks I took trips around the islands. At the time of the last free election before the Marcos regime became semi-permanent, I went down south to Mindanao and Jolo.  Before living in the Philippines, my family had been for many hears in Indonesia, and later Costa Rica.  In the Southern Philippines  I found the Muslim Malay culture that I remembered from my Indonesian childhood and still longed for, and remnants of the Spanish colonial era.  It was a fascinating and satisfying blend,

I flew to Davao where I was the guest of a an old mestizo  family I knew from Manila.  They had extensive plantations and copra processing works.   And a cute daughter, but very well watched over. These old families were very Iberian, with the young girls strictly chaperoned, and now I wonder if this in itself is a remainder from Moorish Spain.

After a few days of huge meals, beach parties , and  what little  light flirtation was allowed, it was time to go further west and south towards  the last islands of the  Philippines, and the beginnings of the Malay Archipelago.

It was a tough journey over dusty roads, crammed in with passengers whose main hobby was spitting, and a boat that became a sweatbox when the crew sealed it up at night.  Like many in Southeast Asia, Filipinos fear the night air.  Unhealthy they say, and home to unseen things that mean people no good.

It was a relief to reach Zamboanga, stretch my legs and enjoy a shower and a walk about town,  “The monkeys have no tails in Zamboanga,” the old navy song goes.  I saw no monkeys, but instead a  sleepy town, streets of white sand and crushed shell lanes off the few bits of macadam.  Venerable trading hoses built of coral block with signs saying  “Hnos Gonzales Manila – Zamboanga – Madrid. “And there were Moros, the Spanish for moors, Muslims  of various groups, the biggest the Taosug and the Bajo, the sea gypsies found there and in Indonesia ,and as far as the Mergui Archipelago in SoutheastBurma,  Small compact men with turbans, short flapping trousers,  buttoned tunics, leather belts, and small short curved swords.  The sultan of Sulu, on Jolo Island, not far away, had once been suzerain of a good part of Borneo.  I had to go there.

1969 Philippine Military outside Jolo Great Mosque. From the time of the Spaniards, through the American occupation, and on to the present, Sulu has never been pacified.

Waiting at the airport for the small island hopper, I ran into an American guy, a Peace Corps volunteer.  He recommended a hotel, and said he’d show me around.  He was working in malaria control, still spraying DDT in those days.

Aside from him, I never saw another westerner.   It was the election of1969, the one in which Marcos won a second term, the first in Philippine history to do so, and than stayed on indefinitely,  I had been warned that elections were a dangerous time to travel, but encountered no trouble.  Danger would have come from being caught in a crossfire between rival parties.  Local races, dealing  with matters of power and influence were particularly hard fought, and still are.  Islamic terrorism was an unknown term

Grand Mosque, Jolo Town, 1969

The Mestizo population of Jolo has a unique language, Javocano, a pidgin Spanish without much in the way of grammar, very easy to understand,  So I was in a town with wet markets, a waterfront where the Moro sailing craft, vinta, unloaded plenty of fresh seafood, ready for feasting on at the restaurants built out over the harbor on pilings, and all centered on a grand mosque,  Perfectly exotic, and exactly what I was looking for.


Jolo Island coastline

A malaria education team arrived in a jeep at my hotel the next morning, without the Peace Corps guy, who was at a government meeting. We took of into the hills, climbing switchbacks until we could look back at the city, the fringing islands and the sea glittering to the blue horizon.  Then on into the interior valleys, small holdings hacked out of the jungle, and tiny hamlets, the little stands selling food and sundries, just like the ones called warungin Indonesia.

Moro village headman with wives and children, malaria team right and left.

Village snack stand Jolo Island, but it could be many places in Southeast Asia, to this day. Borders dont always mean a lot.

We stopped at one for lukewarm cokes.  The young man in charge  suddenly gestured for silence.   In the distance up ahead we heard some popping.  Gunshots, from two directions.  He went over to the jeep and tapped out a sequence of long and short toots,

Smuggler with son and a tool of the trade.

The shooting stopped, and we heard a jeep coming down the road towards us. It was a unit of the Philippine Constabulary, a paramiltary police force founded by the Americans in 1901, and which had been mixing it up with the Moros off and on ever since.  This bunch had been having a little shoot out with men they described as smugglers.  The team leader bought them cokes and handed out some literature on malaria, and then they drove off towards town.

Philippine Constabulary after a morning's exchange of potshots with smugglers.

After a few minutes,  another, and different signal on the horn.  And a quarter of an hour later, men in civvies, carrying M-1s  ambled down the rod and we had another round of cokes,  which they bought,

Islam's prohibition of gambling clearly ignored

Was my guide a Muslim or a Christian?  It didn't matter back then.

Was my guide a Muslim or a Christian? It didn't matter back then.

These guys were, in my guide’s words, respected men in the community, who preferred to conduct their business on their own, without interference from the authorities.  The constabulary and the government never showed up when they were needed, except at election time, to hand out favors, and hang around with guns at the polls, he said. In discussing the local politics and economy, religion never entered the talk.  I don’t remember if my guide was a Muslim or a Christian.

An old man came up to me.  I could only understand that he was asking if I were Amerikano.  He said, the team leader translated, that he liked Americans.  His father told him that the moros hated the Spanish who were sneaky fighters, cowards, and cruel to prisoners.  The Americans  they liked “ We killed them; they killed us,  Good sport, and good fun!” he said,

Later, walking around the town, I found a small brass plaque set into a concrete plinth.  In1902, it said, a number which I don’t’ remember of “brave Americans” had given their lives fighting “bandits“  The plaque had been erected in appreciation by the  business community fo the town, with the names of the subscribers being mostly Spanish, and a few American.

I met the Peace Corps guy that night in one of the waterfront restaurants.  He looked over his shoulder before having a San Miguel. As we tucked intoheaps of chili crab, he explained.  Although a Maltese Catholic from Queens,  he had married a local girl, and converted to Islam.   I’ve since wondered how he fared.  Many smitten young men take conversion to Islam – which is easy enough, especially if you are already circumcised – quite lightly.  Just words, they think, but find out that it is, as I did year after this, taken very seriously. His wife was at home, not comfortable with foreigners, he siad.   Thinking back, I’m not sure if I spoke to a woman the whole time I was there.

These village women put on their best sarongs to have their picture taken

I traveled around the island for the next few days

Sandy white beach and the usual friendly kids

by local bus and jitney.  I can understand why the kidnapped Americans would want to open a resort in the region,  The beaches were gorgeous, almost painfully white, dazzling, and stretching for miles.  The sunsets were nightly theatrical displays as the last rays illuminated the cumulonimbus towering above the sea into the stratosphere.  The people were courteous.  Sabah was not far away and many had some Malay, and there was usually an old man in any village who could speak Spanish.  I wished I had time to take on of the boats to Tawi Tawi and Jesselton in Malaysia, and the on to Indonesia.  One day, I thought, but returned to Manila and have never been back.

Village market. Plenty of fresh fish.

I’ve thought of that trip from time to time when there has been news from the Southern Philippines.  The news is uniformly bad, and at times shocking.  The violence by the Moro Liberation Front and Abu Sawwaf is nothing new.

After seizing the islands from Spain, the US fought the Philippine insurrectos who figured that since they had pretty much rolled up the Spaniards before eh Americans arrived, they had a right to an independent country,

The war in the south was quite different,  The Moros had never acknowledged Spain, and had always warred on Christians and animists, with rape, pillage and slave taking incidental in benefits in defending and advancing their faith. Jihad by sea, much like that of the Barbary corsairs, and in the Arab and Turkish tradition of razzia..

There the Americans encountered the juramentado,a moro warrior sworn to kill

"Institutionalized Suicide"

Christians until killed himself. In other words, a shahid, a Muslim martyr, a suicide slasher rather than bomber,  The .45 revolver with its massive stopping power was developed to replace the .38 which often had no visible effect on these enemies, just as asymmetrical wars with Muslims now push among other developments, drone technology.

The Americans did prevail, but the violence never disappeared entirely, and continues to this day.  The Philippine government has granted some autonomy,and continues to attempt to negotiate with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Jolo 2007. The mosque has been renovated or replaced.

2007: A Muslim woman in Jolo. Centuries after Islam appeared in Southeast Asia, arabization is eradicating local customs. The hijab began appearing in the eighties. This picture from the Navy Times, 2007, taken during US Philippine joint operations. Plus ca change...


Jihad  began in Seventh Century Arabia. The great tide surging from the desert wastes a few centuries  later had already reached the islands of equatorial Asia.  Today the hot desert wind blows again where the trade winds rustle palm fronds on coral strands.



(On October 3, 2011, one of the Filipino Americans was released, the BBC reported, on Basilan Island, not far from Zamboanga.   Her son and nephew remain captives.)

The Terrrorism Bourse

Exchange rate: Terrorist:honorable soldier: 1027 to 1

Israel, Hamas sign deal for soldier’s release

October 12, 2011 — Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)

In a speech broadcast on Hamas-run Al-Quds television, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said the prisoner exchange will involve the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, including women.

Miidle Easterners are known for their haggling skills.  A long time ago I heard that folks in LA used to say that “only an Armenian could go through a revolving door with a Jew and come out ahead.”  The area’s large Persian community is also known for its business savvy.

Looks like the Palestinians have all of them beat..

The CNN article does not detail the the prisoners’ offenses, but they are legion, and deadly.The relese will also ease financial pressure on the PA and Hamas, as prisoners’ families receive substantial allowances, funded of course by the West.

A lousy deal?


But this exchange may also show the difference between a culture that sees its children as expendable “martyrs” and one that sees the life and liberty of just one of its sons as precious almost beyond measure.





Abby Hoffman Was Right


What a Showman! Revolutionary? Nah...Jewish Vaudeville and He Was a Master.

“The only movement that counts is a bowel movement”

Short Changed by the System, this Demonstrator is also Caught Short. From the Daily Mail(UK)


There is, however, hope for the young.

Such Wisdom in One So Young, and so Cute. From the WSJ.

Occupy Wall Street: 99% Clueless


Well, um, yeah. I guess we can agree on that

The movement got a an assist yesterday as major union components joined,  including NYC Teacher’s union locals, which may bring some focus to the movement.

The media have across the board commented that the protesters don’t seem to know what they want. They don’t much like capitalism, but they want jobs.  In that case, it must be government jobs.

Where does this guy think the money comes from to pay his salary? Oh yeah, the government prints it.

We don't like profits, but we want jobs. The "make jobs..." slogan is redolent of the 60s, but Code Pink are not the hippy chicks many of us fondly remember.

Teachers joining the protest may find that some of their former charges are not too happy with the course of their educations;  A tumblr site in which protesters hold up handwritten signs with thier unhappy stories has gotten major play with the Wahington Post, the Guardian, Pajamas Media and elsewhere.

A persistent theme is students, or graduates decrying their fates: no jobs and huge student loan debt, and often additional  credit card debt. What do students buy with their credit cards?

What is missing is what exactly these people were or are studying.

That's quite a resume, kid! BTW, what are you studying? Communications?

This is tough. But still, 80k in student loans to study what?

Could it really cost 85k to earn printer repair? Dont worry about the cats, dude. They are more resilient than a lot of people,

Hard times are here, and some of the stories sound pretty tough, but one is more struck by the utter guilelessness of whoever is running the site, since the majority of the posts are just plain laughable.  Apparently the plan is to whine the government into taking money from business and givng it to the protestors, so they can buystuff: like cat food.

Degree holding, but not necessarily overqualified barista

Another refrain is that graduates can’t find work in their (unstated) fields, so are reduced to menial jobs, like baristas.  Myself, I got a BA in history in 72, and after a few weeks of being turned down for entry level jobs whcih I naively thought the diploma qualified me, spent two and half years as an office boy and xerox clerk, before being promoted to an administrative job.

I have an MA, which I took because I wanted to, paid cash, at night. A lot of these kids must have spent plenty of dorm time watching “Friends “re-runs, and figured that was what was out there for them.  In “Friends,” Or “How I met Your Mother,” unemployment is just a one or two episode plot point.

Bad life choices figure in many cases, with people having children they clearly cannot afford, often without a spouse or partner.

I don’t like corporate bailouts, but these folks are missing the point: It was the government that bailed out the TBTFs.  After generations of indoctrination in our universities, and when public figures as prominent as the First Lady advise the young to stay away from corporate employment, the attitudes shown here are not surprising.  I spent 30 years working for large corporations, and I’m glad to be past it now.  But it paid the bills, and as I knew full well that I had not trained in any marketable skill, I was grateful.

It’s easy enough to track the growth of government spending on higher education, and the cost of degrees, to find a match, but that kind of iron clad economic cause and effect doesn’t produce “economic justice.”

Consider “It’s Money That Matters” by Randy Newman.

Of all of the people that I used to know
Most never adjusted to the great big world
I see them lurking in book stores
Working for the Public Radio
Carrying their babies around in a sack on their back
Moving careful and slow

This would seem to describe a lot of the 99ers.  “Lurking” would appear to imply some disapproval,  but Mr. Newman goes on to say:

All of these people are much brighter than I
In any fair system they would flourish and thrive
But they barely survive
They eke out a living and they barely survive

So, a “fair” system is one in which MFAs can do whatever they do, at a “living wage.”  He then goes on to a vignette of one of the undeserving rich.

27, and a hundrd grand in the hole. Not clear for what, but probably not education, as she doesn't seem to now where babies come from

Then I talked to a man lived up on the county line
I was washing his car with a friend of mine
He was a little fat guy in a red jumpsuit
I said “You look kind of funny”
He said “I know that I do”

“But I got a great big house on the hill here
And a great big blonde wife inside it
And a great big pool in my backyard and another great big pool
beside it

The rich guy is just some square from flyover country(“county line,” a hick who lives way out of town)  definitely not urban chic, no black tee shirt, kaffiyeh, or Mother Africa beanie.
Somehow, I’ll put my money on the guy in the red jumpsuit.  While some commenters on the right side blogs are seeing Occupy as a harbinger of civic unrest, even uprisings, I doubt it.

Red Cavalry, Russia, Ca 1920

These bookstore lurkers don’t’ have it in them to be real revolutionaries. And the heirs of the real revolutions of the last century found eventually that Newman has one thing right:

It’s money that matters
Now you know that it’s true
It’s money that matters
Whatever you do.”

99ers are racist. Coz they are mostly white. I went through ten of the fifty pages( as much as I could stand), and I only found this one young lady who is of african descent.

The songwriter means this ironically, rather than a concise understanding of economics.  He shows the same simple and unfocused resentment as do the 99ers.  They would just as fruitfully resent gravity.

Money isn’t free; nothing is, And if money does cease to matter, it will be  because it has become worthless.

I'm not sure what to say about these two.

Dear Leader Is All About The Children

AP pic(Photographer not named) in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram centers on the President.

This kind of thing works in North Korea, but I’m not expecting the Obama adulation picture books to be followed up by a mass distribution of Obama badges

Well, at least He doesn’t need a teleprompter for this one,

One can only imagine the uproar had President Bush stopped by a classroom to read from a book about – himself.

“But , nyah, nyah there aren’t any picture books( Well, here’s one.  It has words, too) about President Bush coz he’s not cool and he’s a Republican, and Republicans are mean and mean people suck, and mean people hate kids, but children are the future.

And Bush is dumb.  He can’t read!”

It’s interesting to note that the images in the Fort Worth Star Telegram and the Dallas morning Post focus tightly on the president, but does not show his audience.

This one from AP photographer Susan Rush in the Dallas Morning News also shows the President's book "Of Thee I Sing."

The President was reading from “Bo, America’s Commander In Leash,”  the first family’s Portuguese water dog.  So where’s the pooch?  In two out of three pics, we just get the CINC thrice.  It’s not about the children.

School Sucks: ( this picis by AFP photog Saul Loeb ( hmm, Israeli agent? Seriously, I like Agence France Presse.)

And then there’s this one featured on weasel zippers( decidedly not friendly to the Preisdent) showing a larger scene, in which we also see both Obama books, but what I really like here is the bored little girl looking back at the camera.

Hey kid, school really sucks.  Yup, just another old guy telling you what to think,  You can look forward to as much as another twenty years of this.

And when you do get out finally, you may not know much more than when you started:

In another education related development, schools are pleading to be left off from the test goals set in “No child Left Behind.”

“Duncan has warned that 82 percent of U.S. schools could be labeled failures next year if No Child Left Behind is not changed. Education experts have questioned that estimate, but state officials report a growing number of schools facing sanctions under the law.”

They “might be labeled failures,”  because they are.

School sucks, and American schools really suck.  In terms of global performance, it may not be “no child left behind,” other than the the kids of Beltway types( and Presidents) going to private schools, as well as many of the teachers’ kids in schools systems like Chicago.  And I’m nor really sure about them.

No, it’s not about the children.  It never is.