12 CDs for the Price of 1!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Miamista Returning to Port Soon: Part 2

Sighting of Chief Timoney's son left.
1. Don’t get down, Matthew “The Designated Ass Kisser on Eduation” Pinzur is happily telling us sweet little lies- again. I spoke to a good friend who is a writer at the Herald who occasionally tells me what is discussed in what he describes as the endless useless meetings at the Herald. He mentioned that Matthew Pinzur is running the SAME story in the Herald for the third time. Because of someone contesting the information as misleading (see below) he ran it for a fourth time a day later (with a paltry single line explaining why the numbers were misleading) and it was ran for a fifth time in the editorial section! Because it is a feel good story about Latinos Feidler said run it again and again and again and again and again! Here is the the actual story about the numbers- Miami-Dade is the fourth largest school system and about 70% Hispanic. It also has the largest schools in the country. (Those of you educated in Miami’s public schools may not be aware of this but in NO other cities do high schools have enrollment of liberal arts colleges. NY, LA, Chicago and Houston all limit the size of high schools, though they have multiple schools in a single building.) The percentage of Hispanics taking and passing AP tests are some of the lowest in the nation but by sheer number of Hispanic students several area schools are at the top for amount of Hispanic students passing the tests.

I will take this opportunity to (go entirely off on a tangent to vent and) say that Gaston Caperton who heads the College Board is an asshole, bigoted fuck. Caperton was working at Teacher’s College at Columbia University as a leader of a two person “institute of education policy” (laughable considering his track record as governor of West Virginia”). I worked at Teacher’s College at Columbia University and my significant other of the time and a close family member were students. Caperton is a self serving oakie that glad hands whoever can help him and screws people over for research work they did, presenting it as his own. He also cut the number of free SAT, SAT II, AP test and Admissions fee waivers for low income students. Whew, glad to get that off! (Just so you don’t think I am anti everyone I will tell you about another TC related person later.)

2. And a little more information because if you attended Miami schools you probably have the space- “Miami’s functional illiteracy rate at 63% is the highest in the U.S. and is three times the national average.

3. A related piece on Education by my man Fred “Get Ready for Freddy” Grim: Florida not an overachiever in education BY FRED GRIMM We strive for mediocrity. Plain ol' average will do just fine. We're not asking the state Legislature for anything extraordinary, like spending as much per student as wild-eyed socialist enclaves like Georgia (ranked 20th nationally) or West Virginia (11th). The Greater Florida Consortium of School Boards will launch a campaign for increased spending Wednesday with a slogan born of diminished expectations: ''Fund at 25th.'' No one will be singing The Impossible Dream. The school boards, led by Miami-Dade and Broward, hope they can persuade state lawmakers to raise the state from the bottom five in per capita funding among the 50 states and the District of Columbia to the middle of the pack. Just the middling middle. That's all we ask…”

4. Matthew “Huckster of Education” Pinzur does care about the blind kids, but apparently the rest of you don’t. The bigger question is what the hell happened to public funding JEB! “Money woes reduce number of kids getting free glasses- They have started school seeing B's that look like D's, 8's that look like 6's and chalkboards that look like clouds. They have squinted while reading silently and stammered while reading aloud. During their crucial first years of education -- years that often predict their future success and define their attitude toward school -- they have learned more slowly than their classmates or, at least, more slowly than they could have.''Sometimes I can't see when the teacher uses the overhead,'' said Adianez Centeno, a third-grader at Avocado Elementary in Homestead. ``Sometimes I can't see my morning math.'' At Avocado and across the district, countless students struggle with basic reading and math because they cannot clearly see the front of the classroom or the textbooks in front of them. The solution for more than 40,000 students over the last decade has been the Heiken Children's Vision Fund, which provides free comprehensive eye exams and custom-made glasses for low-income children throughout Miami-Dade. SLOW DONATIONS But donations have been light for the nonprofit group this year, and it has dramatically curtailed services. By this time last school year, the Heiken fund had performed more than 3,500 exams and given away more than 2,200 pairs of glasses. This year, it has done less than half that and needs about $250,000 to catch up.”

5. Chuck “Chillout on Reporting” Strouse over at the MNT writes one of the better pieces that I have seen lately about the sort of parenting that our local leaders provide. I will give some commentary.

Carlos, Jr. the rapist, well, that is a serious problem because it smells of bad parenting, and perhaps even a cover-up by the then Top Cop because this sort of behavior obviously had become habitual and the boy was living in the household. He was 18 at the time of the raping spree that landing him in the clink and God knows what he was doing as a minor.

Hazy Boy Timoney, what can I say… Pot isn’t blow or smack but man, obviously half a million is a little more than partying. I’m trying to be understanding here but dude you HAVE to be dealing. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got family, as well as a friend with a pool hall /cafeteria/night club front business in Wynwood on… Yeah, that’s where Miamista draws the line and shuts his mouth.

The street fighting incident involving Mr. Crew's sons in Mr. Strouse’s report- Miamista loves his readers so he will relate something he/I should not. But first I have to offer the TC (Teachers College Columbia University) connection I promised. Rudy Crew gave the graduation speech at the event for my family member and significant other and eventually helped said family member to get a job. Rudy has been a mentor for a number of folks, especially Blacks and Hispanics and is a good egg from what I know.) Also happens to be that neighbors that lived on my block in downtown Brooklyn in those days. I heard the story from the defendants, and it was not a bump that precipitated the incident. I believe them there. On the other hand, despite what was said, the extra Crew boy jumped in totally unnecessarily. They claim the wallet thing did not exist and was a set up. I know the Crew brothers to be nice, smart, well educated guys but I think that regardless of their perspective were assholes for the night and I hope they don’t hold it against me cuz the truth is the light. BTW, as long as I am telling tales out of school and possibly ruining relationships I hear that Rudy Crew’s wife, who is from Brooklyn (BK in the House!) is cooling on Miami. She seems like good people and I can entirely understand. I won’t go into any more details but she works in a snake pit office from what I hear. Don’t be surprised to see her start some sort of agency.

6. Our stick and move governor is at it again- Jeb Bush supported a $1.5 billion tax increase to fund a deficit in the state-run insurance carrier, Citizens Property Insurance. News reports now say the amount of the deficit has gone up by about $250 million, boosting the tax increase to about $1.75 billion. A tax cut Jeb announced with much fanfare this week is a shell game being played with your money for political gain.

7. State senator appears to lose bid for post…-What makes this news is the way it was covered as much as anything. When Senator Villalobos was up as Senate President there was a front page, above the fold headline saying “Cuban American to Lead the Senate” . The way they trumpeted it I thought there was a coup d’tat against George Bush by the Jorge Mas Canosa come back from the dead. Turned out to be a lesser deal, focused on giving a Latino party hack the honor seat to get more Latino votes. However, when it turned out that he was being pushed out of line for the position by other party hacks for fear of seeming to be pandering to Latinos the headline lost all mention of the word “Cuban”. The clincher is that even though it was upstate right-of-Attila Republicans, according to Herald's Gary Fineout it was Cuban American Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla who became the sinister "mastermind" of the whole affair. Typical Herald.

8. Thank you Mr. Hiassen. We Cubans love to be called White. Really, I have actually seen a Cuban have an orgasm from being called White by an Anglo. Perverted legacy of imperialism. And I know it is really a backhanded way of Anglos to say that Cubans are getting the minority treatment when they are in fact not minorities but Hell... Newsflash, we Cuban Americans are a rainbow and because of our hot Latin blood we are all mixed up, even the Spaniards. That's what makes us zesty. Ooohhhh! Not to say we don't have unaddressed virulent and complex color issues as a culture. BTW perhaps there are political and propaganda reasons for Wet Foot/Dry Foot, like why the U.S. government issues 7% of its allottment of Cuban Visas, unilaterally choses not to lift the number of visas anyway, all the while allowing any one who comes here illegally by truck boat or speed boat the whole Cuban American Adjustment Act bag o' goodies! Hmmm.

9. (1,2,5,7,8 Continued) So what is this Cuban boosterism at the Herald REALLY about? Here is my take- It is easy to blame Cubans (and the Herald subliminally fosters this) but wrong. In fact, you will find that in the Miami Herald, the source of most boosterism and pandering, it is seldom a Latino, much less a Cuban writing. The reasons for the boosterism, in my opinion, are obvious and not so obvious. An obvious and often cited reason is pandering. The Herald is trying to reach an audience that will replace the declining number of Anglo readers. If it has failed to this point it still is hopeful. Another reason is reflected in the Herald’s perception of Cuban Americans. Cuban Americans have some of the highest drop out rates, families in poverty, low rate of participation in the work force, percentage of low income households, etc., so the question rises which Cuban Americans are they talking to? Are they talking to the ubiquitous Cuban American grocery bagging men, ladies at McDonald’s, young dudes working for a cut above minimum wage off the books at construction jobs, janitors, secretaries, folks lined up for Uncle Sam's largesse, the 70% of Cuban Americans who travel to and from Cuba… No, course not THOSE Cubans (always screwing up a myth for the select few.) The Herald folks are talking to themselves. The Herald depicts a Miami of South Side Cubans, North Side African-Americans and North Beach Jews. Each group exists as a caricature and every news item is shoe horned into this mold. (How many times have I seen every non-Cuban Hispanic become Cuban in the pages of the Heral?) Let’s see the image of each groups as it exists at the Herald- Miami Cubans are right-wing extremist, crooked, sinister, creative (in that Third World way), rich and the de facto rulers of Miami; Blacks are poor, uncreative, Church-happy and blame their lot on others; Jews are elderly and liberal (except on the topic of Israel); Then there are the Anglos, well, there are about 25 of them left- 11 of whom are bitter social critics, 7 of whom chew tobacco and live in Homestead and the rest sit in the Miami City Club waiting to die. The Herald writers are drawn from (in unequal parts) and speak for all of these (not so representative) constituencies. They promote these constituencies out of insularity, personal biases and opportunism. It's a theory. Or it could be the Herald just sucks.

Addendum- Blogger sucks.