The Independent’s Cook Book: Hijacking The Sauce To “Make America Great Again”

It feels like the beginning of a bad movie, I’ll admit that. Donald Trump has won the Presidency of the United States of America and many of us fear the progress that has been gained, not over the last eight years, but over the last 150 years is going to disintegrate in front of our eyes. Trump won by pandering to the fears of many Americans and by validating the hate speech that some kept in their whispers and minds in his stump speeches. He has been crass, abrupt, and unfiltered with rhetoric that resonated with the racist, xenophobic, and small...

Trump’s Brand of Xenophobia Is An American Cycle That Must Be Broken

Billionaire Presidential Candidate Donald Trump’s biggest sale to the electorate isn’t that he’s a brilliant businessman (though some people seem to think that starting with big money and ending up with big money makes him one), but rather that he’s a “tell it like it is” straight shooter who “says what everyone is thinking”. While, I must disagree with every orientation to reason I can muster that Trump is telling anything resembling “like it is” he may in fact be saying what many Americans are thinking. I have to be upfront here, I believe that America is an idea and an ideal of...

Nobody Is “Owed” My Vote, Especially Not “The Lesser of Two Evils”

I’m an Independent. I’ve never belonged to any political party and, to paraphrase Groucho Marx, I don’t know if I’d want to be a member of any party that would have me. At least, not the major parties as they currently exist. They are at present, big businesses that pedal notions without motions, bluster without muster, and platitudes without latitude. Now that the 2016 major party conventions are in the bag, the expected talk is swirling about the supposed irresponsibility of being an Independent and voting independently. The rhetoric is especially spirited in this cycle because we’re dealing not in degrees of likability, but degrees...

The Blooming Deficiencies of the 2016 Election

A system of free and open elections along with a strong system of public education, are the two most fundamental factors to a society of ever growing prosperity and equity. Frighteningly, both of these factors are currently compromised. While the degradation of the field of education is an evergreen topic, the blooming deficiencies of our democratic system are in full view in this presidential election season. The citizenry of our country is watching the archetypical modern democracy transmute into a full blown banana republic in much the same way that they watch the Super Bowl—with meaningless statistics, helpless commentary, and...

Unlimited Time on Tests Betrays Unlimited Incompetence in Albany

Laurence J. Peter famously said that everyone rises to their level of incompetence. In Albany, with many things and especially education, such rises are often meteoric and occur at breakneck speeds. While there are some good changes coming down the pike in the ever-turbulent education scene, these are not due to thoughtful reflection or competent educational management. The de-coupling of teacher evaluations and high stakes examinations for the next few years is at once a relief to teachers and a sign to the electorate that the third Cuomo election season is coming. Despite the broken clocks telling the right time...