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This is my PURGE post, and it isn’t a movie review

21 Jul

Sunday, I walked downtown to see The Purge: Anarchy, and while watching the film and walking home afterwards, I couldn’t stop thinking about the unnamed New Founding Fathers mentioned at the beginning of the film—who were in their ninth year as the leaders of the United States. In case you forgot or never knew, the U.S. Constitution limits a U.S. president to two, four-year terms. Therefore, with the current U.S. Constitution, there’s no way one president can stay in office nine years. But in this film that’s set about a decade in the future, the United States is led by a cabal that calls itself the New Founding Fathers that’s more like the Politburo of the old Soviet Union. There is no mentioned that the United States still has a Congress or Supreme Court.

Let’s get the synopsis of this film out of the way first with no spoilers. In the film, a vengeful father comes to the aid of a mother, her teenage daughter, and a defenseless young couple on the one night of the year that all crime, including murder, is legal.

We never learn who the New Founding Fathers are, but who else could they be but Bill Gates, the infamous Koch brothers, the Walton family, Eli Broad, Rupert Murdoch and a few other ruthless billionaire oligarchs who either inherited their fortunes or earned the money through crooked trickery and the corruption of elected officials.

These billionaires are the same people who are currently spending hundreds of millions of dollars to mislead America as they reinvent the United States into something that will obviously resemble the country in this film—where the agenda of the New Founding Fathers is to get rid of the so-called vermin at the bottom who were probably born into poverty through no fault of their own.

Who are the working poor? According to a January 2014 Pew Research report most poor Americans are in their prime working years. In 2012, 57 percent of poor Americans were ages 18 to 64, and only  9.1 percent were age 65 and over, while poverty among children younger than 18 was 21.8% in 2012, and is worse today.

In addition, research from the Brookings Institution says, “If you’re born into a middle-class family, there’s a 76 percent chance you’ll end up middle class or even wealthier. Born into a poor family? Only a 35 percent chance.

Brookings offers three simple rules to end up middle class, no matter how low you start out.

One: graduate from high school
Two: work full time
Three: marry before you have children

It’s easy to tell a kid who lives in poverty that they have to graduate from high school to have a chance to move up to the middle class, but to insure that this happens, all children must start kindergarten with a love of reading from day one—reaching high school with a high level of literacy is the key to being a lifelong learner.

To make this happen, we must start with a national early childhood education program for all children as young as three, and this is something that Obama plans to ask Congress to vote for during his last year in office.

What do you think the odds are that Congress will approve anything Obama asks for in 2015? Why didn’t President Obama start with a national early childhood education program when he had the votes in Congress instead of first starting with the flawed and brutal Bill Gates funded Common Core agenda?

Bill Gates—who I’m sure would be one of the New Founding Fathers if this film were to become reality—seems to be doing all he can to make sure children who are born to poverty stay in poverty.

I’m almost done reading “The Teacher Wars, A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession” by Dana Goldstein, and it was Bill Gates who derailed any meaningful improvement in the public schools by spending hundreds of millions of dollars to implement a Machiavellian “rank and yank” system called Common Core designed to punish children and teachers.

The tragedy is that there are proven, positive methods to improve public education, but President Obama and Bill Gates are all but ignoring those solutions for something malignant.

The programs I’m talking about are already being used in most developed countries with dramatic success. They’re known as Continuous Quality Improvement programs where teachers are mentored to become the best they can be instead of being ranked by annual student standardized tests and then yanked out of the classroom based on the results.

In fact, high-achieving nations like Finland and Shanghai, China already require that every teacher must go through a year-long residency in a mentor teacher’s classroom.  Teacher programs that do this already exist in the United States but they are only turning out a few hundred teachers annually and aren’t getting the funding they should have.

Research from Urban Teacher Residency United, a national network of nineteen programs, reveals that principals consistently rate urban teacher residency graduates as more effective than other first-year teachers and nationwide, urban teacher residencies have an 87 percent retention rate at four years, compared to the loss of nearly half of all new urban teachers over a similar period of time, and two thirds (66 percent) of Teach for America (TFA) recruits, who only have five weeks of summer training before being tossed in urban classrooms to sink or swim. (The Teacher Wars, A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession by Dana Goldstein)

By the way, in 1975-76, I was fortunate enough to go through a paid, year-long residency in a mentor teacher’s fifth-grade classroom, and I went from there to teach until August 2005 in public schools with a childhood poverty rate higher than 70 percent along with violent street gangs that dominated the streets around those schools, including the elementary school where I was an intern.

In conclusion, I think we should purge from all political power those who would most likely become the New Founding Fathers of the United States, before they get a chance to create the nightmare world we see in this film. After all, the billionaire oligarchs mentioned earlier in this post already seem to be working hard toward that goal.


If we don’t invest in early childhood education, we pay the price as a nation. Sesame Street can’t do it alone.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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3 responses to “This is my PURGE post, and it isn’t a movie review

  1. Lloyd Lofthouse

    July 21, 2014 at 16:44

    Reblogged this on Lloyd Lofthouse and commented:

    The tragedy is that there are proven, positive methods to improve public education, but President Obama and Bill Gates are all but ignoring those solutions for something malignant.

     
  2. teacherken

    July 22, 2014 at 08:47

    Lloyd, actually wrong on how long a president can serve. 22nd Amendment only restricts him to 2 terms elected in his own right. He could become president by succession for less than half a term and then be elected twice. Further, qualification for Vice President under 12th Amendment is only to be constitutionally eligible to BE president. Thus both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are eligible to BE president, they just cannot be elected to that office. Either could be elected VP, or be Speaker of the House or President Pro Tempore of the Senate or become VP through the 25th Amendment or be a cabinet secretary and succeed to the presidency.

     
    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      July 22, 2014 at 09:04

      I stand corrected. I thought about that after I published the post but thought someone else might mention it and I’d wait. Therefore, technically, it is possible for a VP to become president if the standing president dies in office soon after an election and then runs and win two more terms for almost twelve years in the White House,

      That could have happened with Teddy Roosevelt and Truman but the limit of two terms didn’t exist under Roosevelt so he could have done what FDR did and kept running and probably winning if he hadn’t promised not to do that.

      Then a former president who started out as a VP could become vice president again and end up with a fourth term when another president died in office soon after the election—of course by then, there would be a lot of suspicion and conspiracy theories flying around.

      In other words, Bill Clinton could run for vice president with, for instance, Elizabeth Warren, who might be assassinated a few weeks after the election by some woman hating far right conservative and then Bill would have served as president for almost twelve years by the time that term ended.

      Another scenario might be that a former president like Bill Clinton would become Secretary of State in a new administration and if the VP and President were killed, then he could also serve another term that way. Many Tea Party people might have strokes if any of these scenarios happened. I’m sure that they’d much rather this happened to a Reagan of G. W. Bush.

       

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