Must Reads — 7/7/2012

Texas GOP Declares: “No More Teaching of ‘Critical Thinking Skills’ in Texas Public Schools”

Danny Weil, Truthout: “The Republican Party of Texas has issued their 2012 political platform and has come out and blatantly opposed critical thinking in public schools throughout the state. If you wonder what took them so long to actually state that publicly, it is really a matter of timing. With irrationality now the norm and an election hovering over the 2012 horizon, the timing of the Republican GOP announcement against ‘critical thinking’ instruction couldn’t be better. It helps gin up their anti-intellectual base.”
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Messing with Texas Textbooks

— by Bill Moyers, Moyers & Co. | News Analysis, Truthout

One of the tasks of the Texas State Board of Education is to update curriculum standards and textbooks for TX schoolchildren. The Texas school system is so large — 4.8 million textbook-reading school children as of 2011 — that revisions made by the board are often included in school books across the country, though digital technology has lessened this effect in recent years. In 2010, the board got a lot of attention when it approved over 100 amendments — many of which had a very clear conservative political agenda — to the social studies and economics curriculum standards. Here are some of the more pointed proposals.
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The 401k Scam

v2.69: May 8th (Broke!) The Demos report is an eye opener as to the hidden costs which cause 401k programs to not only fail to keep up with inflation, but to fall behind even the base amount invested into these funds.

Read this article on the Addicting Info Blog 
Read/Download the Demos Report

Why is Nobody (in the US) Freaking Out About the LIBOR Banking Scandal?

imageby Matt Taibbi | Rolling Stone: The LIBOR manipulation story has exploded into a major scandal overseas. The CEO of Barclays, Bob Diamond, has resigned in disgrace; his was the first of what will undoubtedly be many major banks to walk the regulatory plank for fixing the interbank exchange rate. The Labor party is demanding a sweeping criminal investigation. Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, responded the way a real public official should (i.e. not like Ben Bernanke), blasting the banks:Barclays bank.

“It is time to do something about the banking system…Many people in the banking industry are hardworking and feel badly let down by some of their colleagues and leaders. It goes to the culture and the structure of banks: the excessive compensation, the shoddy treatment of customers, the deceitful manipulation of a key interest rate, and today, news of yet another mis-selling scandal.”

Read the full article here
Read more at The National Memo “Barclays–The Corruption at the Heart of the Financial System