Trump’s anti-education DeVos and United States teachers


This satiric video from the USA says about itself:

10 February 2017

Jimmy [Fallon] speaks with new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about her plans for America’s public schools, including getting rid of textbooks.

By Nancy Hanover in the USA:

“If you don’t have an education, you don’t have a life”

Teachers speak out on the schools crisis and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

23 February 2017

New US Education Secretary billionaire Betsy DeVos has lost no time in making known her ideological opposition to public education, contempt for educators and hostility to democratic rights.

Her installation has evoked strong opposition to teachers, who rightly see DeVos as the spearhead of a ramped up attack at all levels on public education.

Following her narrow Cabinet confirmation, DeVos’ first appearance was a brief visit to a public school, Washington DC’s Jefferson Middle School Academy, on February 10. Her arrival was greeted with protests by parents and teachers, temporarily preventing her from entering into the school.

Speaking to the press after the visit, DeVos insulted the teachers, haughtily characterized them as in “receive mode” … “waiting to be told what they have to do, and that’s not going to bring success to an individual child.” She has routinely referred to public schools as a “dead end”.

In a subsequent interview with the right-wing news site Townhall, DeVos alleged the protests were “not genuine”. “We’ve seen enough written that they want to make my life a living hell”, she added. …

DeVos has now made the highly unusual and expensive demand that she be accompanied by US federal marshals for the foreseeable future. No Cabinet-level secretary has requested a similar level of protection since at least 2009.

The secretary is not just fearful of protesting teachers, she also issued a not-so-veiled threat that any Education Department employees who try to “subvert the mission” (her pro-privatization agenda) would be attended to “swiftly and surely”, according to Townhall.

For his part, President Trump reiterated his support for privatization at a White House “listening session” with a handpicked group of parents on February 14. Trump, with DeVos at his side, described charter schools as “fantastic”, “amazing” and “unbelievable”. He has pledged $20 billion of federal dollars for school vouchers through block grants to the states or a federally funded scholarship tax credit program written into the tax code.

In an interview with Axios published February 17, DeVos stated that she would “be fine” with the abolition of the Department of Education and predicted the flowering of all types of schools except public ones. “I expect there will be more public charter schools. I expect there will be more private schools. I expect there will be more virtual schools. I expect there will be more schools of any kind that haven’t even been invented yet.”

Teachers spoke to the WSWS describing their reactions to the Trump administration’s privatization policies, DeVos, the threat to close nearly half of Detroit’s public schools, the failure of the teachers’ unions to stand up for educators and the broader political issues involved in defending democratic rights and public education. …

In the city of Detroit, the DeVos family’s policies have resulted in a wide battery of pro-privatization legislation and the control of 80 percent of charters by for-profit businesses. The growth of charter schools and edubusinesses in DeVos’ home state of Michigan, as elsewhere, proliferated under the Obama administration’s Race to the Top.

A young first-year teacher in a Detroit public schools said, “I am not originally from Michigan so I didn’t know much about Betsy DeVos before now. Working in Detroit schools and talking with other educators, I see the effects of her policies already.

“They are trying to shut between 8-10 of the Education Achievement Authority schools and dozens of Detroit Public School Community District schools, some this year and some next.

“From what I heard, the charter districts are already looking to buy these schools. That’s how underhanded things are already. Charters have had a terrible effect on Detroit. With DeVos in office, what I’ve seen will happen all around the nation.

“In my district, the neighborhood is the worst of the worst. The homes are abandoned; there are fires everywhere. These are ‘forgotten’ neighborhoods, those in poverty.

“We’re got seven-year-olds at pre-K reading levels. Seeing children two years behind is common. Our school is severely underfunded with computers. My children get no time with computers, but they need to because the tests are all online. The computer testing starts in kindergarten.

“Then bonuses are paid to the teachers based on the test scores and if there has been ‘student growth’. Attendance is a big problem. Often kids are gone for six or seven days, then in school for two. It’s really hard to make gains like that.”

The elementary teacher added her strong opposition to the administration’s attacks on immigrants. “As an undergraduate, I studied Spanish and my parents suggested I become an ICE officer. I wouldn’t because I didn’t want to send anyone back. It’s so deplorable. No one is a native here, unless you are Native American, and we see how they are treated.

“The claims that immigrants are taking jobs are just used to fuel the fire. They want to use this hot button issue to change what people are focusing on, like cutting the EPA, women’s rights or the national parks. Deporting people goes against basic fundamental human rights and even how our country was founded. I can’t even believe this is happening in 2017.”

Beverly, a Detroit Community Public Schools District teacher, said: “I am in one of the priority schools but it’s not on the list for closure. I try to speak out and be positive.

“What a lot of people fail to understand about the school closures is that it is not just academics which can put a school on the list, but also attendance. If the children don’t come to school for whatever reason—their transportation breaks down, their parent has to go to work—the school can be put on the list and the school be closed.

“A school can have most of the children improving, say 90 percent, but if that other 10 percent falls, this will pull the scores down. That can be another reason the school is judged not to meet Annual Yearly Progress.

“If there is no education and people don’t have financial means, a sociological change takes place. They can turn to stealing to find food. I try to be positive, but the powers-that-be, the political people in charge, are more concerned with their riches.

Donald Trump’s Lady Liberty cartoons


Donald Trump beheads Statue of Liberty, cartoon

This is this week’s cover of German weekly Der Spiegel. In the cartoon, by Edel Rodriquez, Donald Trump has beheaded the Statue of Liberty.

Trump extinguishes Lady Liberty's light, New Yorker cartoon

In this New Yorker cover cartoon, by John W. Tomac, Donald Trump has extinguished the light of the Statue of Liberty. The title is Liberty’s Flameout.

Trump parodies all over Europe


Donald Trump signs anti-abortion measure

This photo from the USA shows President Donald Trump signing an anti-abortion measure.

Swedish minister signing environmental measure

And this photo from Sweden shows Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin signing an environmental measure.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Not seven men, but seven women: Swedish politician copies photo of Trump

Today, 14:28

The reactions about Trump’s policies keep coming. Now, the Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin has posted a photo on Facebook in which she mocks a picture of Trump.

As the photo of Lovin resembles a picture of the US President signing an anti-abortion law. At Trump’s photo, he sits at a desk and he is surrounded by male only colleagues. Lovin also sits at a desk, but is surrounded by all female colleagues.

Quite different laws

The laws signed differ: Trump signed an anti-abortion law, Lovin signed a climate law to promote the use of green energy.

Another parody, by the mayor of Kuurne in Belgium.

This video from Belgium says about itself:

Trump not allowed in Belgium – big decisions in Kuurne, Belgium

2 February 2017

I am the mayor of Kuurne in Belgium. I decide to build a wall around my city and I decide that Trump is not welcome. I decide that every one who was not born in Kuurne has to leave the town. I have a problem because I was not born in my own city.

And this parody video says about itself:

Europe welcomes Trump in his own words – Compilation EU countries (Germany, Portugal, etc)

3 February 2017

State Department Reverses Visa Ban, Allows Travelers With Visas Into U.S. The reversal was announced in compliance with the opinion from a federal judge in Seattle barring President Trump’s executive action. 02/04/2017 10:48 am ET: here.

Vegan Mexican burrito recipe, and Trump


This video from the USA says about itself:

Vegan Burrito in 5 Minutes! | Happy Heart Friendly

30 December 2016

It goes without saying that burritos are all the rage these days, so in a bid to ensure that our Happy Heart participants don’t miss out on the fiery fun, we’ve made a recipe that’s seriously tasty but also insanely low in calories, fat and sugar! BOOM! Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Full recipe here.

However, burritos are NOT all the rage for new United States President Donald Trump.

From Waterford Whispers News in Ireland (satire; however, it often turns out that Trump makes satire reality):

Trump Demands Burritos Be Renamed “Freedom Wraps”

January 26, 2017

AS relations between the US and Mexico continue to crumble over the onerous issue of immigration and ‘the wall’, President Donald Trump has demanded that a range of Mexican foodstuffs be renamed to be ‘more patriotic’.

Taking example from the 2003 incident in which France opposed the US on the invasion of Iraq, leading to the White House cafeteria changing the names of french fries to ‘freedom fries’, Trump has decreed that burritos will now be known as ‘freedom wraps’, fajitas will be known as ‘freedom wraps’, quesadillas will be known as ‘freedom wraps’, and tacos will be known as ‘crunchy freedom wraps’.

As thousands of tex-mex restaurants prepared to change their description to just ‘tex’, Trump went on to denounce anyone who still refers to freedom wraps as ‘burritos’ to be ‘among the most unpatriotic, dangerous people in the country’.

“If the president says that they’re freedom wraps, then they’re freedom wraps. Period,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer, drinking Gaviscon straight out of the bottle.

“Let’s just not question these things, okay? You can be one of two things; a red-blooded American enjoying a spicy, meat-and-cheese-filled freedom wrap, or a dirty flag-burning communist eating a burrito. Which would you like to be, eh? I thought so”.

Furthermore, Trump went on to declare that popular cartoon rodent Speedy Gonzales would be known as ‘Speedy Jones’ from now on.

Trump, Theresa May, Beatles parody song


This 29 January 2017 parody music video from Britain is called Donald Trump & Theresa May [who met this week in the USA] – “I Want to Hold Your Hand“.

It is a parody of the Beatles song of that name.

The lyrics are:

DT: Oh yeah, I’ll tell you something – my mother’s from Scotland
TM: Oh really? How very lovely
DT: Mind if I hold your hand?
Both: I want to hold your hand

TM: Oh please say to me you’ve got a nice deal planned
DT: Yeah sure, just give us all the NHS stuff – and let me hold your hand
Both: I want to hold your hand

Both: And when I touch you I feel slightly annoyed
But it just looks so damn good on celluloid

TM: Oh please say to me you won’t withdraw from NATO
DT: Okay, but hold my hand first – it’s like a sweet potato
Both: It’s got the colour and texture of a sweet potato

Both: And when I touch you I think I might be sick
But one must do unpleasant things in politics

DT: Oh yeah, I just signed an order for Muslims to be banned
TM: The BBC might ask you about that – but me, I’ll hold your hand
Both: I want to hold your hand