U.N. Documents Thousands Of Extrajudicial Killings After Chicago Teacher Union Members Went To Venezuela In Sign Of Solidarity

Do you recall the delegation of Chicago Teacher Union members going to Venezuela in a demonstration of support? Many of us were highly critical of Richard Berg (Organizer), strike captains Sarah Chambers (Special Education Educator), Valeria Vargas (Math Educator) and Fabiana Casas (English Educator) for the trip to show solidarity with a blood-soaked regime that has denied free speech, free press and other fundamental rights to Venezuelans. Chambers even expressed approval in a tweet saying “While staying in #Venezuela, we didn’t see a single homeless person.” Another thing Chambers probably did not see were the thousands of murdered Venezuelans just documented by the United Nations in a report of the extrajudicial killings ordered by the Maduro regime. Actually, between the millions that have fled, the thousands murdered, the thousands in jail, and the thousand in hiding, I am surprised Chambers saw many people at all on the streets of Venezuela.

Nicolás Maduro has been condemned around the world for its campaign of killings, arrests, and torture with the help of hundreds of Cuban intelligence officers. What was so incredible for me was that educators would go to a country to support a regime that has purged, tortured, and killed other teachers as well as thousands of other people.

According to the the Chicago Tribune, the GoFundMe page featured Chicago Teacher’s Union organizer, Richard Berg, with the title “Send CTU Strikers to Venezuela.” While saying that this was not a sponsored trip, CTU President Jesse Sharkey did not object to the crowdfunding effort based on being CTU members. Not only is Berg a CTU organizer but Sarah Chambers is reportedly on the CTU Executive Board. Chambers tied her trip directly to efforts by the local union. They met with high-ranking Venezuelan officials and represented the CTU. The trip was a propaganda bonanza for Maduro.

The Union passed a resolution criticizing U.S. sanctions and intervention in Venezuela while saying nothing about Maduro’s murderous regime or the denial of basic human rights.

Chambers reportedly was defiant after the trip was criticized, including the referral of people to the official resolution to “oppose the invasion of Venezuela.” She added in a tweet: “Have you visited Venezuela & spoke to 100s there? As a teacher, I teach my students to be critical thinkers, to get primary sources, listen to ppl’s stories & do research before just believing any news. I suggest you do the same.”

So all of those human rights organizations condemning the murders and torture were not reliable sources? It does not appear that Chambers had her Maduro contacts let her interview the 1000s being held in prisons for speaking out against the authoritarian regime.

How about this for “research”? According to the United Nations, Venezuelan special forces murdered thousands while fabricating evidence. Death squads called the “Special Action Forces” killed 5,287 people in 2018 and another 1,569 by mid-May of this year.

However, Sarah Chambers wants you to know that there were no homeless people on the street.

101 thoughts on “U.N. Documents Thousands Of Extrajudicial Killings After Chicago Teacher Union Members Went To Venezuela In Sign Of Solidarity”

  1. Death squads called the “Special Action Forces” killed 5,287 people in 2018 and another 1,569 by mid-May of this year.

    Unfortunately for the people of Venezuela the US government does not smile kindly upon them.

    The UN report referenced uses several qualifiers to cover their behinds such as:

    Allegations, purportedly which are repeated throughout the report.

    Comparison of US government sanctioned death squad murders in Vietnam El Salvador, Honduras, Iraq and Egypt (this is not even close to a complete list) :

    Vietnam – In the darkest days of the Vietnam War, America’s Central Intelligence Agency secretly initiated a sweeping program of kidnap, torture, and assassination devised to destabilize the infrastructure of the National Liberation Front (NLF) of South Vietnam, commonly known as the “Viet Cong.” The victims of the Phoenix Program were Vietnamese civilians, male and female, suspected of harboring information about the enemy—though many on the blacklist were targeted by corrupt South Vietnamese security personnel looking to extort money or remove a rival. Between 1965 and 1972, more than eighty thousand noncombatants were “neutralized,” as men and women alike were subjected to extended imprisonment without trial, horrific torture, brutal rape, and in many cases execution, all under the watchful eyes of US government agencies.

    El Salvador 1980-1983 – Veteran Human Rights Watch researcher Cynthia J. Arnson writes that “particularly during the years 1980–1983 when the killing was at its height (numbers of killings could reach as far as 35,000), assigning responsibility for the violence and human rights abuses was a product of the intense ideological polarization in the United States.

    Honduras – Honduras had death squads active through the 1980s, the most notorious of which was Battalion 3–16. Hundreds of people, teachers, politicians, and union bosses were assassinated by government-backed forces. Battalion 316 received substantial support and training from the United States Central Intelligence Agency.[32] At least 19 members were School of the Americas graduates.[33][34] Seven members, including Billy Joya, later played important roles in the administration of President Manuel Zelaya as of mid-2006.[35] Following the 2009 coup d’état, former Battalion 3–16 member Nelson Willy Mejía Mejía became Director-General of Immigration[36][37] and Billy Joya was de facto President Roberto Micheletti’s security advisor.[38] Another former Battalion 3–16 member, Napoleón Nassar Herrera,[35][39] was high Commissioner of Police for the north-west region under Zelaya and under Micheletti, and also became a Secretary of Security spokesperson “for dialogue” under Micheletti.[40][41] Zelaya claimed that Joya had reactivated the death squad, with dozens of government opponents having been murdered since the ascent of the Michiletti and Lobo governments.

    Iraq – A feature in a May 2005 issue of the magazine of The New York Times accused the U.S. military of modelling the “Wolf Brigade”, the Iraqi interior ministry police commandos, on the death squads that were used in the 1980s to crush the Marxist insurgency in El Salvador.[167]

    In 2004, the US dispatched James Steele as an envoy and special training adviser to the Iraqi Special Police Commandos who were later accused of torture and death squad activities. Steele had served in El Salvador in the 1980s, where he helped train government units involved in human rights violations death squads in their war against the FMLNF

    Egypt – <emFortunately, it seems unlikely that any of Sisi’s fans on the American far right will be headed for the presidency. But it is a disturbing indication of America’s comfort with this mass murderer that, other than a few outliers in both parties who do oppose him, our political debate largely turns on whether we are providing sufficient political and financial support to the man who killed perhaps 1,000 unarmed men, women, and children on a single day in August 2013.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_squad

    https://www.vox.com/2015/8/14/9153967/rabaa-sisi

    The US governments support of death squads and murderers around the world is not a pleasant picture to gaze upon but it is unfortunately the reality of the situation.

  2. If anyone ever bothered to read history, read books from USSR dissidents, talked to anyone who lived in Cuba, Venezuela, USSR, Eastern Bloc, etc., if you had any brains, you would come to the conclusion that the only good communist is a dead one. Communism is anti-human. Hong Kong protestors are more American than most Americans. Don’t like what I am saying? Too bad. My personal experience.

    1. We all know, right?

      The communists rule.

      The teachers strike – Public workers get “comparable pay.”

      The teachers are anti-freedom, anti-free enterprise, anti-American communists.

      It’s all the same: Common, one, union, communism.

      Unus = one

      Communis = common

      Unio = Union

      We all know, right?

    2. Sr. Lopez, these meatheads 1. can’t read, 2. if they could read, they would not understand the meaning of the words they are reading. Their mind is being filled with BS from teachers, that IMO is the largest terrorist organization in the US, with with they are teaching our kids. And I am fed up with it.

  3. All of America’s lazy, greedy, striking thug teachers unions must be decertified. The collusion of elected local school boards and communist teachers unions must be annihilated through impeachment and decertification. One of the largest investor groups in the world is CALPERS, the participants of which conduct violent illegal strikes to confiscate tax dollars from abused taxpayers with the complicity of corrupt elected officials. The top line of the the communist public workers unions’ agenda is the acquisition of power; the bottom line is the confiscation of taxpayer dollars – necessary quality work and educated children are secondary, even tertiary issues – American teachers are embarrassed by global student success rates.

    Teachers strike for money then public workers are awarded “comparable pay.” In a free America under American free enterprise, workers are paid only the amount of money necessary to attract a workforce or market prices for labor. The breakdown occurs when teachers “strike” and break the law and contractual agreements by being Absent Without Leave from work; a removable. offense. Teachers aren’t paid for product success, teachers are paid for committing a crime. Understanding that teachers do no actual physical labor, function on the day shift in clean, comfortable, climate controlled conditions, a “job action” or “strike” is inconceivable and ridiculous. Who says crime does not pay?

    Teachers unions must be de-certified and AWOL teachers must be fired with extreme prejudice. Replacement workers must be hired at market rates – not at criminal striker rates. Local elections must be limited to taxpayers – workers and welfare recipients who receive checks from the government should not be allowed to vote to award themselves raises and to vote to corrupt local elections. Corrupt elected officials who overpay public workers must be impeached and convicted for abuse of power, gross and corrupt misuse of taxpayer dollars. There is no need for taxpayers to fund Range Rovers and Mercedes Benzes in the teachers parking lots. Teachers should pursue great wealth in the free markets of the private sector. Communities get the education they can realistically afford, not the idyllic and utopian; not the Maserati version of billionaires. Teaching and much public work must be automated and digitized. Curricula must be constrained to imperative subject matter while eliminating the extraneous and superfluous. Grade inflation must be criminalized.

    Overpaid prima donna public workers must be brought back under the control of labor market parameters. Public employment is simply a communistic wealth redistribution program. Every public worker opening has 5,000 applicants in lines stretching for miles. Teachers with easy, repetitious jobs and little product success, firemen who extinguish 5 actual fires per year, policemen in the doughnut shop who foil one bank robbery per career must be returned to labor market reality.

    Perhaps most egregious is the use or misuse of “the children” by teachers who rehearse them in Protest 101 class, provide signs and time off so that the teacher’s pets might rally and protest in front of local television cameras to demonstrate their love for teachers and to tell district residents how the poor downtrodden teachers need and deserve yet another huge pay raise. Students don’t pay teachers, taxpayers do. Ridiculous!

    1. American corporations evaded union strikes and “job actions” decades ago by “off-shoring” and moving facilities overseas.

      How does the abused American taxpayer evade ridiculous union demands, wages, benefits, etc., through equivalent acts, by “off-

      shoring our children’s educations and sending our kids to schools overseas? How about getting rid of teachers unions and colluding and corrupt elected officials?

  4. If I had a child who attended that school district, I would be very concerned that the teachers went on a trip to give good PR to a murderous dictator, responsible for the starvation of millions of children, while representing that district and the teachers union.

    It would also be critical that such ignorant people keep their personal politics out of the classroom.

    I think this situation would have been more clear if they had represented the union and the district in a good will mission in support of Adolf Hitler.

    As long as Venezuela is not at war or declared an enemy of the United States, then providing material support to Maduro is not against the law, to the best of my understanding. The first amendment protects free speech. No one in the group will be arrested for their ignorant statements in support of a murdering dictator.

    However, an employer has the right to fire an employee who damages the company’s reputation or profits. These teachers openly represented their school district and union. If this was a private company, they could be fired. Sadly, the union protects bad seeds from being fired. If parents objected en masse to these teachers, and pulled their children from the classroom, causing the school to lose enrollment funding, then the most that would happen would be warehousing them. They would be paid to do no work.

    I would not want anyone with such poor judgement as to prop up a murderer to teach impressionable children. Parents need more influence over schools, in the way that customers shape what goods and services companies offer. I like many aspects about the system in Breda, I believe. Funding is attached to the student, who can take their funding to any qualified school they choose. Schools compete to attract parents – it’s a race for excellence. Teachers who sleep through class or travel to dictatorships on behalf of the school would drive students, i.e. paying customers, away.

    1. The teachers union in America are the new wave of anti-Americanism. Just you wait to see what they will do, while you are sleeping.

  5. LOCAL CHICAGO COVERAGE HARD TO GOOGLE

    My search efforts for local coverage on this controversy was not that productive. When one Googles this topic, the vast majority of results are from mostly obscure rightwing sources. But coverage from Chicago media proved challenging to find.

    A few stories from The Chicago Tribune turned up in addition to ‘one’ story from the Chicago Sun Times. But strangely no stories from Chicago TV newscasts turned up in my search. Chicago, for the record, is the nation’s third largest media market. Chicago has ‘4’ Network Owned and Operated TV stations. News anchors from Chicago often go on to national fame. Lester Holt, Ray Suaerz and Bill Curtis were Chicago locals in addition to Oprah Winfrey.

    So I have to wonder why this story never got much traction in Chicago media. The Tribune and Sun Times pieces may offer clues, however. Both sources note that the trip these teachers took were strictly personal and not endorsed by the union. Those sources, in fact, mention that this trip upset many union members.

    Therefore I am left to wonder if this is one of those Made-For-Rightwing Media stories. The story seems, in fact, a little too perfect for rightwing news consumers. Teachers Unions are among the biggest donors to the Democratic Party. Politically Chicago is solidly Democratic. And this story links unions, Chicago and the socialist regime Venezuela all in one neat package. No wonder the Google search turned up so many rightwing sources!

    CAMP DAVID SUMMIT FALL APART

    Most interestingly, Professor Turley runs this column after a confusing weekend of stories concerning Donald Trump’s abandoned Afghanistan summit. Trump had allegedly offered Camp David as a venue for ‘peace talks’ between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban Insurgents. Said summit would have been a prelude to a U.S. pullout from Afghanistan which Trump has promised to deliver.

    The Camp David story is confusing because reports are not the least bit clear on whether this summit was ever a sure thing. Suspicion lurks that this was another instance where Trump got ahead of himself; striving for some ‘great accord’ while ignoring basic details. Critics are appalled that Trump would have hosted the Taliban at the revered Camp David site. Almost no one believes the Taliban are even vaguely honest brokers regarding any truce. Recent acts of terror by the Taliban finally managed to deter even Donald Trump.

    Still Trump feels emboldened by his ‘success’ with North Korea. Never mind that North Korea keeps firing missiles towards Japan. In Trump’s mind, North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un is a great guy to hang with and Melania likes him.

    1. My search efforts for local coverage on this controversy was not that productive. When one Googles this topic, the vast majority of results are from mostly obscure rightwing sources. But coverage from Chicago media proved challenging to find…Therefore I am left to wonder if this is one of those Made-For-Rightwing Media stories. The story seems, in fact, a little too perfect for rightwing news consumers.

      Allow me to translate what you’re actually saying:

      This story, if true, would be a major embarrassment to my lefty worldview and therefore cannot possibly be true. As usual, I have endeavored to confirm my bias by doing a search to see who is reporting on this, and none of the sources I rely on for confirmation haven’t reported it. In fact, the only sources reporting this story happen to be what I consider rightwing and therefore unreliable due to their inherent bias.

      At this point Hill, I seriously doubt you have any wiring in the left half of your brain with which to connect. Just take your post and pull out the “facts” presented. Let’s see your conclusion:

      – Google provided search results; nothing but “rightwing” sources.
      – Chicago media (you prefer) had nothing to report.
      – All the reports I could find confirmed the story as true.

      Conclusion:

      – If it’s not reported by my trusted sources, then it can’t be true.
      – If it reflects badly on me and my lefty worldview, then it can’t be true.
      – If it reflects well on conservatives, then it can’t be true.

      Your entire post is a perfect case study in Confirmation Bias.

      Confirmation bias occurs from the direct influence of desire on beliefs. When people would like a certain idea or concept to be true, they end up believing it to be true. They are motivated by wishful thinking. This error leads the individual to stop gathering information when the evidence gathered so far confirms the views or prejudices one would like to be true.

      Once we have formed a view, we embrace information that confirms that view while ignoring, or rejecting, information that casts doubt on it. Confirmation bias suggests that we don’t perceive circumstances objectively. We pick out those bits of data that make us feel good because they confirm our prejudices.
      https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/science-choice/201504/what-is-confirmation-bias

      1. Olly, save your idiotic counsel. I lived in Chicago long enough to know this would be a major news story there if deserving of coverage. The fact that Chicago coverage is so hard to find strongly suggests this story was ‘not’ that newsworthy.

        For the record, Olly, Chicago suburbs are home to many conservatives. So it’s not like Chicago’s local media would bury the story because it’s “too embarrassing”. You should be embarrassed for being stupid enough to think Chicago is that controlled.

        1. I lived in Chicago long enough to know this would be a major news story there if deserving of coverage. The fact that Chicago coverage is so hard to find strongly suggests this story was ‘not’ that newsworthy.

          Hmm? So you’ve determined the worthiness of the story to be defined not by your own deep dive into the facts, but rather by the assumed deep dive, the media outlets you trust, have done that heavy lifting for you.

          Damn Hill, no wonder you cannot connect with the left-half of your brain; it’s not need. You should be embarrassed but you won’t be, because that would require a brain connection you don’t have.

          1. Olly, this ‘left brain-right-brain’ tripe of your’s is long past its expiration date. It’s like a package moldy baloney in the back of the fridge. But that’s par for the course with Trumpers: ‘No imagination’. Just ‘What About’s’ and insults only nerds would use.

            1. this ‘left brain-right-brain’ tripe of your’s is long past its expiration date.

              Prove it’s tripe; what facts in this story prove it is not newsworthy?

            2. “Olly, this ‘left brain-right-brain’ tripe of your’s is long past its expiration date. ”

              Maybe, Peter, it is your left brain that is past its expiration date.

              1. Allan, until that moment Hill demonstrates he has any connection with the left-half of his brain, he will just be one of the millions of walking-dead deserving zero quarter.

                    1. Wow, I know a few street savy HS diploma holders who know better than these select students in the video.

                      Though, I do think it’s a generation thing, not an academic intelligence thing. Brainwashed more, afraid to go against the grain of their own peers. Group-think, for sure…below is my PSA from the other day.

                      OT: PSA Announcement

                      Do not be confused by the Gen Z “super sonic snowflakes,” compared to the Gen Y “just plain good ole’ snowflakes.”

                      The Gen Z “SSS” will request “safe rooms” and “emotional support pets,” all-the-while throwing darts at others with their “gang” from that very same safe space where they’re seeking shelter from all the meanies.

                      I have never seen a generational that is so “offended” and “uncomfortable” and yet “mean girl” spirited in my life.

                      Add on the “know it all” mentally + activism “superiority,” and it’s just a mess.

                      I hope they do mature with age.

                    2. I do think it’s a generation thing, not an academic intelligence thing.

                      Whatever thing it is, it may take a generation to correct. These are future professionals, including lawyers and the political class. Enlightenment will not come easy to this group.

                    3. What does the woman mean by “home” here?

                      You can’t live in the lecture halls or in the courtyard, as far as I was aware.

                      You know, I was never offered any “free” housing options…I guess I must have missed out.

                      If I had known, I would have set-up shop right next to the law school, nice courtyard. Lots of space. Maybe Stu Hall, who knows!

                      I would, though, have to tell those frisbee folks to kick rocks, too much of a nuisance.

                      Maybe even draw with chalk an imaginary property line/curtilage area (for my exclusive possession for the designated year(s)), and put up some “No trespassing…Finders keepers—Detinue laws do NOT apply here” signs.

                    4. Anonymous – 1) regardless of how many signs you put up declaring your illegal rights, it still does not make it yours 2) the moment you left for class it was up for grabs again. 😉

                    5. Paul – Haha…I have a plan. I am going to consent to /use “tacking” by erroneous deed while I’m in class, and then I am going to “reverse tack” to myself.

                      Haven’t heard of reverse tacking? It’s bc I made it up. 😉

                    6. Anonymous – is reverse tacking a nautical term? Are we into nautical law at this point? Law of the sea? Who even teaches the stuff anymore? Inquiring minds want to know.

                    7. Rofl…How are you “Paul”?

                      It could very well be a nautical term, but in this case…not so much.

                      My new property law is “reverse tacking, f.k.a., squatter’s rights to unite”— wherein to maintain “continuous use,” the erroneous deed may be passed back and forth between various squatters. 😉

                      Who even teaches the Law of the Sea anymore???

                      Wow, as we say in the Law of the Sea, “tread lightly”

                      ….b/c this is getting more and more blasphemous, slowly, but surely.

                      First, you attempt to set me up with a married man, half way across the world. Great!

                      And then, second, you insult Poseidon and all his fish friends. Smh.

                    8. Anonymous – I do like your idea of “reverse tacking” which would cut down on fights between the homeless in L.A. and S.F.

                      And when did I try to set you up with anyone?

                    9. You know what, now that I am thinking about it…I think no Law of the Sea is a great idea…Paul’s idea. 😀

                      In fact, let’s just rip up the UNCLOS all together….Anarchy on the seas from now on, here we come!

                      Reciprocity is optional from now on.

                      First order of biz—I am going to claim my rights in & to the ‘South China Sea’ since the EEZ will not apply anymore—I will be taking my claim to the oil & natural gas resources there….I just need to find a boat and a crew. Let me know if you have any suggestions where I can locate such.

                      I am going to make myself a rich woman. I will be sure to fly my Pirate Flag too, to notify all others that may be in the area not to mess.

                      ::sarcasm:: I’m just kidding. Jokes.

                    10. Well, maybe not a full blown set up, but a suggestion that Styx666 was single, but not so much. Getting a girl’s hopes up, smh. 😉

                    11. Anonymous – I thought Styx married that hot blonde chick from Amsterdam. He has been wearing a lot of shirts lately. 😉

                    12. Yeah. In Hellyweird, we would call her “smokin’ hot.”

                      I guess she is making him cover up these days….sad.

                  1. Alan, this video is for the stupidest of Trumpers!

                    To begin with we have no idea if these are really Yale students being approached. Some of them don’t necessarily look like students. We have no idea who they are or if this was really on Yale’s campus.

                    Secondly, ‘who’ really pays attention when approached by someone with a clipboard asking a long question. Most people are wondering, “Should I even talk to this guy or just continue past him?”

                    Here in L.A. there’s always someone standing in front of the grocery store wanting signatures for a petition. 80% of passerby will just smile awkwardly, only half-listening to what is being said. There’s no law requiring people to pay attention to officious men with clipboards. And most people don’t!

                    1. It wasn’t in the Washington Post so it cannot be true. So says our genius from LA who has yet to recognize that anonymous reports from the Washington Post have been proven wrong. But according to this genius the anonymous reports have to be right because they came from the Washington Post.

                      What a hole Peter has dug for himself.

                      There are countless of similar videos. …Oh I forgot. They also weren’t in the Washington Post, but anonymous reports from the Washington post say they don’t exist and if they do check the Washington Post to dispel that idea.

                      Peter or the Washington Post said the same thing about the ACORN videos by Project Veritas. First it was a lie, second it was cut. Third it never happened, but it did so the Washington Post said it was only one video… and another was released. Then they said but it is from the same city, so another was released from another city. Then they said it was the same state, so multiple videos from around the country were shown. In comes Peter HIll Grand Savior of his leftist ideology and he said the videos don’t exist because they weren’t in the Washington Post.

                      Certanly if the students weren’t from Yale the Washington Post must have reported that but they didn’t because they were never written about in the Washington Post so the video never existed even though all of us are seeng the video.

                    2. I did have some reservation if these were, in fact, Yale students, or whether their are cuts to make it appear a certain way….but I do know one thing for sure, that is that the SSS is on the rise across educational institutions.

                      But again, maybe with age, growth, and maturity, as well as being out in the real world, post-grad, they’ll change their minds/views.

                      Not pointing to Yale, just overall students.

                      The Gen Z seems to enjoy activism much more than at least the older millenials, we were good with just hanging out and having fun in college.

                      Do these younger folks have fun?

                    3. Alan, you are really off-your-rocker tonight. Not even a half-hearted effort to make any sense. And it illustrates something I’ve observed: ‘The longer Trump is president the dumber his supporters get’.

                      So now we’re at a point where Trumpers don’t even ‘try’ to make sense. The logic seems to go: “Trump makes no sense. So why should ‘I’ have to make any sense?”

                    4. Hill, I made total sense but the Washington Post didn’t print it so according to you it can’t be true. You are stuck in that hole and the deeper you dig the dummer you become.

                    5. Alan, I shared nothing from The Washington Post today. So the fact that you keep imagining I did confirms your feebleness. You don’t even know the original topic here.

                    6. Peter, it is quite clear that the Washington Post is your Bible. If it isn’t in the Washington Post it doesn’t exist according to you even if seen by many or even if a video exists. Your circular reasoning and desire not for the truth but for confirmation of what you wish to believe is astounding. The video at Yale exists and videos at similar colleges exist as well even if the Washington Post didn’t publish it.

                    7. To begin with we have no idea if these are really Yale students being approached. Some of them don’t necessarily look like students. We have no idea who they are or if this was really on Yale’s campus.

                      Good for you Hill. The first step to a cure for your confirmation bias is to question the accuracy of what is being reported. Now that skepticism comes easily when the story does not confirm your bias. However the real challenge will come when you’re presented a story that usually confirms your bias. Time will tell if you’re being left-brain skeptical. Don’t worry, you’re not going to be dealing with this alone. I’ll be here for you, every step of the way.

            3. Oh and Hill,
              The term “dumbing down” originated in 1933, as movie-business slang used by screenplay writers, meaning: “[to] revise so as to appeal to those of little education or intelligence”.

        2. Yes well stories taking pot shots at the Chicago teachers are operating in what one might call a “target rich environment”

          Usually if they are talking about the teachers union at all, usually the primary concerns are a) are they going on strike again, and b) how they are helping bankrupt Illinois with their heavy pensions

          https://www.illinoispolicy.org/illinois-teacher-pension-fund-requests-400m-in-additional-taxpayer-contributions/

          Many smart people with enough money to relocate, and latitude in their jobs to make the longer commute, will move to Indiana, or Wisconsin. Google “Illinois exodus”

          Illinois is perennially a mess when it comes to finances. Chicago leads the state in incompetent civil administration. Among the various public sectors, teachers have been notoriously overpaid.

        3. Hill, why don’t you think that the story has been buried? So many stories that the leftest media won’t publish or air is that it would go against their beliefs. People can’t understand what is happening if they are not told – or if they are told some slanted BS. We all know that the media has now been outed. The NYT says that the average voter is not smart enough to decide on who to vote for President, so they will tell you who to vote for. The arrogance is appalling to me. But the teachers have succedded in the dumbing down of America.

            1. Hill, you are the crazy one. Look at the Russia hoax and what the Washington Post said day after day. Compare those articles to what is being released today. You can’t do that because the Washington Post lied and hid information. When you finally recognize that truth they will probably have to admit you to a mental institution.

                1. Why? Peter, tell me what I have said that is not true? I am open to being corrected and will admit it when I am wrong. You, on the other hand, simply deny the truth because it wasn’t in the Washington Post or because you never heard it. You don’t even accept some experts in the field because anything posted by scholars in so called right wing journals doesn’t conform to your ideological beliefs.

                  You are that other “George” though I use the name only for simplicity to get the point across though I find no linkage with any George on this blog.

      1. oops maybe peter is so into the WAPO and NYT his google search didn’t feed him the Chicago Tribune.

        Not exactly a small newspaper but he does live in Kahleefornya now

        1. Kurtz, my initial comment noted “a few Tribune Stories and 1 Sun Times story. So what are you talking about?????? I was looking for local Chicago coverage.

          What amazed me was the vast number of obscure, rightwing blogs that popped up in the search. I was hoping to find a lot more stories from Chicago media, but as noted they were hard to find.

          My sister was a career teacher in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. Teachers don’t get Social Security for their years of service. The pension is all they get. Individual teachers can’t help if their pensions are underfunded. That doesn’t make them communists.

          1. “My sister was a career teacher in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. Teachers don’t get Social Security for their years of service. ”

            “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”

            There are a number of states where teachers aren’t paid social security and instead get it from their pension because social security taxes by law weren’t paid. Therefore for all those years she didn’t have to pay her share of social security. That means she had extra money to put in the bank and invest. (That is the simple explanation but the law is very complex.)

            The problem Chicago faces is the typical problem of major Democratic strongholds. They run out of other people’s money spending it on overly generous pension benefits. “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina”

          2. Peter Hill – your sister’s underfunded pension is more than what they would pay in SS. In Arizona, teachers pay 50/50 into their pension fund, which is the same for all state employees.

            1. Paul, do you know that for sure, or are you just guessing? And what are the cost of living differentials between Illinois and Arizona?

              For years Republicans have waged war on teachers. And it’s all because teacher’s unions won’t support Republicans. Why would they???? If one political party is consistently hostile, you’re not going to support that party in the hope they’ll be ‘less hostile’. Yet Republicans have this attitude they’re going to burn teachers good for not supporting them.

              1. Peter – 1) ask your sister how much SHE contributes from her paycheck into her pension fund 2) you are not forced to retire in any one particular state or country. There is a little convoy of retired teachers on the beach in RVs down at Rocky Point. Oh, and I contributed to a 401(k) while I was teaching. Plus, I qualified for SS before I started teaching and after.

        2. Kurtz, Hill is a bit embarrassed and likely regrets his posting. It really did sound stupid but I understood what Peter was thinking, If the Washington Post doesn’t say it, it isn’t really true. His ideology is so strong that common sense no longer exists in Peter’s world.

          1. Allan, you have NOTHING to contribute to this discussion. You’re just an aging Bircher who thinks all union-paying teachers are communists. They don’t deserve that label.

            1. I guess I hit the nail on the head and you are embarrassed wishing you never posted that drivel.

              If you lived at the time of the Civil War you wouldn’t know which side to support because the Washington Post wasn’t yet founded. In fact you might have been walking around asking ‘what war, what war?’

              1. Alan, on any given day you can’t even tell us where you got your posts. However, they usually come from obscure rightwing journals. Like that piece you posted yesterday about Nigeria. There, at least, you posted a link. More often than not, you don’t even credit the obscure sources you’re pasting.

                Then you have the nerve to attack me for posting from a paper everybody knows. And unlike you, I always say ‘what source’ I am using. So your idiotic comparison to the Civil War is more evidence of your increasingly feeble state.

                1. Peter, I can tell you where my posts come from but I want you to look for yourself because all you recognize is the Washington Post. When I don’t provide the source your non requested secretary anonymous gets it for you. The Journals I quote from might seem obscure to you because you aren’t well read but many of the things I have posted were written by the experts in the field.

                  I know. They weren’t written by the Washington Post so they can’t exist.Some have written countless numbers of well acclaimed books on the subject but the Washington Post didn’t tell you that either.

                  Yes, I attack you for using the Washington Post as the gold standard of news when it should be the lead standard of news since lead destroys brain function. What type of newspaper continuously uses anonymous sources that are proven wrong time and time again? What type of news paper hides the truth because it doesn’t agree with their ideology? Yes, Peter, one has to be lame to put their trust into the Washington Post. It’s a rag.

                  1. Well again, Alan, most Americans have never heard of your sources. So what good is a source if no one’s ever heard of it??

                    The problem with obscure sources is they can be wrong most of the time and no one notices or cares.

                    Whereas well-known mainstream sources are heavily scrutinized. When they are wrong it becomes a news story in itself. So that’s why intelligent people prefer well-known sources.

                    1. Peter, you never heard of the sources but educated people from the right and the left certainly have. You only read the Washington Post and it doesn’t publish these people. It blacklists them. In fact some of the media won’t even take paid advertisements from some groups that promote normal behavior. With your head so deeply into the Washington Post it is easy to understand why you are so ignorant of so many important things.

                      These “obscure” writings aren’t wrong most of the time, rather they are right most of the time and the Washington Post is wrong too much of the time which makes you wrong too much of the time.

                      The right worries far more than the left as far as accuracy and that is why when they are presenting factual news they are almost always right. That is not true for the Washington Post. Just look at the Russia hoax and what has been revealed. Maybe you can’t because it may not have been in the Washington Post. I haven’t seen their apologies yet.

                    2. Alan, as I said, obscure papers are like generic brands. No one even rates them. They’re not even players.

                    3. “Alan, as I said, obscure papers are like generic brands. No one even rates them. They’re not even players.”

                      That is what confirmation bias is all about, excluding good sources because they don’t provide the results you want.

                    4. Hill is nothing more than an information dependent. He has his media EBT card from the likes of CNN and the WaPo and it is not usable at “obscure” media outlets. He’d have to willfully reject his media welfare benefits and start doing the hard work critical-thinking requires. That ain’t happening. He’s intellectually lazy and nowhere ready to do that sort of heavy lifting.

                    5. Olly, I have never posted from CNN. This shows a bias on ‘your’ part. Go back and check sample comments of mine. You will never see CNN quoted or shared in any way.

                      For the record I don’t have cable and no cable channel influences my opinion.

                      But thanks for showing how presumptuous you are.

                    6. ” thanks for showing”

                      Peter, just in case Olly doesn’t respond, take note he said: “from the likes of CNN and the WaPo ” not specifically either one of them. “Thanks for showing” your lack of reading comprehension skills.

      2. Dr ‘T’, that looks more like a columnist’s piece than an actual news story. And it notes that the union didn’t pay for the trip. It also notes that many teachers were not supportive of the trip.

        1. “It also notes that many teachers were not supportive of the trip.”

          …And many were. I’m not sure of how many teachers unions exist in Illinois but I thought I read something that said another teachers union gave emotional support to them. I may be wrong.

  6. There are two separate issues here. L. Is Maduro a bad man? Yes. Further, it is beyond belief that anyone would be so stupid as to claim there are no homeless people in VN. 2. Is regime change of the nation who has the largest reserve of oil in the world, legally and ethically justified. No, it is not.

    JT raises a third issue about sanctions. The UN has condemned US sanctions as collective punishment. So, do we agree with the UN when it says something we like but disregard it when it says something we don’t like? Just asking JT!

    JT writes of another problem he has– that a group of people would go visit a nation’s leaders who engage in terrible criminal acts. I agree, regime propaganda tours are disgusting and no one should engage in them. EVER, not just with VN, but Saudi Arabia (Tom Friedman, etc.) and the US regime of Donald Trump (people too numerous to list).

    I recommend contacting the participants and asking them to post on this blog.

    1. Why isn’t a regime change OK with you? How many more people must die first ?

      Of course we agree with some things and disagree with other things. That is the Human Experience.
      And just how much good has the UN brought to the world anyway? Please specifically name them.

      1. Regime change is illegal. US sanctions have already killed 40 million people and counting. We have already killed a lot of people.

        The people of VN are trying to resolve their own problems and the US must stay out of it. The US does not care about any of the excuses it gives for invading other nations. In fact, we are trying to install a “leader”, Juan Guido, who is connected with violent killings of his own.

        The US does not regime change truly evil nations such as itself, (the world’s leader in arms dealing to every side of every conflict and supports terrorism, Saudi Arabia who beheads and crucifies dissidents or Israel who is killing Palestinians in ways which have been condemned by the UN and destroying or flat out taking their homes and land. (Oh, for those who only care if Christians are killed, there are Palestinian Christians.) The US uses regime change to get oil or some other benefit it wants from a nation. This is not a humanitarian nation, and one can’t help but notice all the murderous fascists the US puts in place in Latin American.

        I don’t know how you feel, but I don’t appreciate what has been happening in the US on the same front. One part of the deep state has been trying to dislodge Trump from office (regime change him). While Trump is a murdering, torturing war criminal who abrogates the Constitution, I would prefer the deep state to leave our people to solve our own problems instead of using their various, nefarious and evil weapons of internal regime change for their own benefit. I really don’t want their personal favorite fascist to replace the one we have. There are legal methods available to the American people and we should take them. I feel that same right falls to the citizens of VN. They are not less than we are as a people. They have legal methods to resolve this conflict and they should be allowed to use their own laws and methods.

        Mr. Kurtz,

        Anyone should travel anywhere they like. I did not advocate a law against this and think it would be wrong to do so. I am solely speaking about what I think of regime propaganda tours.

        1. amazingly, Saudi does sanction the use of crucixion, “but” they only do it once the hapless prisoner is executed

          it’s incredible that Christians are not offended by this

          https://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ali-mohammed-al-nimr-why-does-saudi-arabia-behead-crucify-prisoners-1520865

          not the Saudis would care if we were offended

          if the US can have truck with these gruesome thugs than we can have truck with anybody, pretty much. That may be part of a realistic foreign policy, I’m afraid, but the Saudi “regime” fills me with a sickening disgust far exceeding whatever is happening with the current Jefe in Venezuela

          1. It’s a reasonable wager that Saudi Arabia’s court system and police services have a high error rate and cannot be bothered to lower it. That having been said, they don’t make promiscuous use of capital sentences and the number of such sentences in a typical year is lower than the number of murders. That they execute people bothers the Eurotrash and Eurotrash wannabes at shAmnesty International, but that’s not a delict which would interest a serious person.

    2. Jill, i agree that Maduro is a bad man and would add that he is a bad leader for Venezuela with a far worse track record than Chavez, who had his own shortcomings to be sure. Maduro lacks the support that Chavez had but he pretends to it.

      I also agree regime change subversion aimed at destabilizing Maduro by any illegal means is wrong

      I also agree santions has been condemned by the UN high commissioner for human rights. However that is not to say that the UN as a body has condemned the embargo however. There is a danger that food and medicine will do harm to millions and this should not be dismissed.

      I also find “progananda tours” disgusting whenever sponsored by tyrants like the DPRK which conditions all tourist activities on lots of phony photo ops, but i also find the Chicago teachers union tour disgusting, and I also find destabilization tours like John McCain took to Ukraine to hand out cookies to rioters disgusting as well.

      That’s a lot of disgust but at the same time people are free to travel and we should affirm the right of idiotic americans to travel where they like.

      I question John McCain’s actions as violating the Logan Act. But, that was before anybody was enforcing it. We saw Bob Mueller taking up the Logan act violations against Trumps former campaign director Manafort to punish Manafort for rowing upstream of what was apparently the Obama administration’s policy to interfere in Ukrainian government and support destablization rioting and so forth to force out Yanukovich. Because why? Because Russians liked him so he must have been a bad guy, of course!

      1. I might add that there is an element of Russia’s geopolitical strategy that is basically on the blueprint of the Pelopennesian war. Land power, more autocratic Sparta versus Sea & trading power less autocratic Athens is the pattern. This is something of a continuation of a long game against Russia that was even followed by the UK before its decline. I’m just observing what other people have who know more than me, I am not making any original observation there.

        However, there is nothing which requires the US to constantly respond to that approach reflexively going about reacting to Russia as if it were an adversary of consequence in the same way Sparta and Athens were opposed. The US economy and influence dwarfs Russia and if they sail a few boats or place some arms in Venezuela we will mostly have our own decades long aggressive and constant encroachments on them to blame.

        We should take a step back from adversarial actions towards Russia which run the risk of high pain and low reward. That’s part of why I voted for Trump. Unfortunately the establishment– call it what you may– MIC, Deep State, whatever– the establishment is hell bent on a constant strategy of belligerence towards Russia.

        Which is foolish and shortsighted particularly when the primary strategic adversary would appear to be China.

        1. https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/02/12/russias-clash-with-the-west-is-about-geography-not-ideology/

          one example

          Aleksander Dugin says this too, he’s much hated in America, banned from travel here, ironically

          Dugin drew on Mackinder

          Now i might add, do you know who backed the Spartan navy in the second part of the Pelop. war? Yes, Persia https://www.livius.org/articles/concept/peloponnesian-war/decelean-war/

          Maybe the question to ask, is China like a Persia that if either the US or Russia gets too close and comfotable, they will have a lot to lose and little to gain?

          Hence, I like Trump’s trade war, and though you can see Putin sidling up to Xi, he will not go too far. that’s my prediction. At the risk of twisting the metaphor too far.

          1. At this juncture, I wouldn’t take MacKinder at face value. IR theorists are not vigorous about empirical tests of their theoretical constructions.

  7. So many “teachers” and other graduates of departments of “education” represent the intellectual sludge of our society.

  8. Teachers union: How much respect should we have for the teachers unions that don’t seem to care much about our children?

    NJ TEACHERS UNION PRESIDENT WILL “BEND THE TRUTH,” COVER UP CHILD ABUSE IN SCHOOLS

    In this undercover investigation, Hamilton Township Education Association President David Perry details the steps the teachers union would take to protect a teacher who physically abused and threatened middle school students from losing their job.

    Dr. Perry says he would misrepresent the events of altercations between teachers and students by “bending the truth” and back-dating reports and instructed the teacher to not tell anybody about incidents with students.

    The union president also stressed that a teacher who abuses his students needs to come to the union after any incident so that they can create a report that would best protect them from students that come forward about abuse.

    UNION CITY NJEA PROTECTS “TEACHER WHO HAD SEX” W/ STUDENT

    In this undercover investigation, Union City Education Association President Kathleen Valencia explains that the union would protect a teacher who physically abused a “scumbag” student and the teacher would not lose his job.

    Valencia says the teacher would be “fine” because the student is too scared to come forward. She also explains how the union would legally protect the teacher, stating “I’m going to get your brother a lawyer. Your brother’s not going to admit anything happened. The only witness is the scumbag kid… he’s got a record.”

    She then tells the undercover journalist of a horrifying real-life scenario: “This file right here is from a teacher who had sex with a student. This file is about whether or not the teacher gets to keep his pension. Is he going to jail? No. How come? Because the child’s not pressing charges. There’s no proof.”

    Videos at: https://www.projectveritas.com/teachersunion2018/

    1. So, while I am NOT anti-religion, didn’t the Catholic Religion have something to do with greasing the skids of lying and coverup? So then why would N. Polosi have any problem with lying or covering up? The ethics and morals are on the road to hell in this country.

  9. Sarah “Chambers reportedly was defiant after the trip was criticized, including the referral of people to the official resolution to “oppose the invasion of Venezuela.” She added in a tweet: “Have you visited Venezuela & spoke to 100s there? As a teacher, I teach my students to be critical thinkers, to get primary sources, listen to ppl’s stories & do research before just believing any news. I suggest you do the same.”

    So, how would like her to be your kids teacher? If ur a socialist or communist, yeah. What a proud American she is!

  10. Amazing the number of people in bourgeois occupations these days who are too stupid to be trusted to take care of a Chia pet. They congregate in the education and social services apparats.

    1. Teachers are the #1 cause for the leftward swing and decline of American values. They are the worst and the most powerful revolutionaries this country has.

      1. We need to bring back Sedition, which is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that tends toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent towards, or resistance against established authority.” If they want to play like this, so can we.

        1. That’s just handing the Obamas and Bidens of the world one more lever of power to grasp to shut their opposition up (or at least out-shout them, as they did in 2016 to cover up the real Russian operative in the presiedntial race, the only one documented to have taken millions in filthy Russian lucre through her “family foundation” while Secretary of State.

          No, sedition laws can be abused just as badly as all the other laws misused in the “Russian collusion” media/special prosecutor circus.

  11. And no people died in shooting in Chicago while they were gone. They said it, they are teachers, it must be true.

        1. Hi PaulCS!!!

          Most of my poetry still rhymes! Like this one:

          Semper Fie!!!
          A Short Poem by Squeeky Fromm

          OH Fie! on the verse that don’t rhyme!
          It’s mostly a big waste of time!
          But no-talent fools
          Have a problem with rules!
          Plus, meter don’t matter,
          So you get foolish patter,
          Which pretends to be poetry,
          So much of it is just a bunch of crap.

          Squeeky Fromm
          Girl Reporter

          1. Go easy on Paul. He has yet to produce a naked pic as requested by others on here, he stated he has been reading for over 70 years, and he said his wife is Left leaning.

            Pity the septuagenerian attorney
            Who needs a gurney
            To make his peter a stiffy
            Since his Lefty wife doesnt think his is nifty
            🍆

            Bob and Paul

            1. Bob and Paul – 1) such a picture does not exist 2) one will never exist 3) should it happen to exist, it will not end up on here. 🙂 Sorry to disappoint.

  12. Willfully stupid.

    These are the same sort of people who attack conservatives for supporting an American border.

    Watch the commenting Pinkos ignore the column and go into the “But Trump…”.

    The more they talk, the stupider they sound.

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