Note ban impact: Only 5,000 applications so far for new DDA housing scheme

The 2017 Housing Scheme, which offers 12,000 flats for 4 income categories, was launched on June 30


Kunstler: “Decades From Now, They’ll Say He Had ‘The Tweets'”

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via,

I know I’m not the first to point out how Anthony Scaramucci, President Trump’s brand new Communications Director, is suddenly and eerily carrying on like his namesake, the arch-rascal / buffoon of the Old World Commedia dell’Arte in lashing out at his fellow scamps and bozos in the clown school that the White House has become. Of course, these antics only reflect the astounding violent vulgarity of current US culture in general, especially as it recursively re-amplifies itself in the distorting echo chamber of TV. It’s how we roll nowadays – right up the collective butt-hole of history until some fateful event provokes a last frightful purging of our own bullshit.

Still, it was rather shocking to hear Scaramucci refer to (now former) White House Chief of Staff Rance Priebus as a fucking paranoid schizophrenic and Trump ultra-insider Steve Bannon as someone who enjoys sucking his own cock. It’s kind of like Paulie Walnuts of The Sopranos wandered into the West Wing of Veep. Somebody’s gonna get whacked, and it’ll be a laugh-riot when it happens.

We need a little comic relief in these midsummer horse latitudes of the mind as the ill-starred Trump Show appears to enter its ceremonial death dance. There’s also something satisfyingly Napoleonesque about Scaramucci. Here’s a guy who cuts through the odious blubber of US politics right to the bone of things with a flensing blade of profane righteousness. Personally, I’d like to see him take some whacks at a few more deserving targets, and I can even imagine a somewhat farfetched scenario where the little guy shoves Trump out during a concocted national emergency and manages to declare himself First Citizen, or some such innovative title allowing him to run things for a while – say, until the generals toss him out a window. Or maybe he’ll last less than a week in his current position. I would not be surprised, either, if Mr. Bannon beats little Mooch to death with an Oval Office fireplace poker right in front of the Golden Golem of Greatness himself.

The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine – in this case, inexorably toward the restorative medicine of the 25th amendment. There is, after all, that hoary old artifact called the national interest lurking somewhere offstage aside of all this colorful mummery, especially as the Russian Meddling gambit appears to be dribbling away to nothing. It’s more than self-evident that poor Trump is in so far over his head that he’s come down with something like the bends, a debilitating systemic disorder rendering him unfit to execute the powers of office. Decades from now, they’ll say he had the tweets.

This is a melodrama of a type the world has seen before in a hundred royal palaces and other centers of mis-rule. The need to get rid of the head of state becomes so painfully self-evident that idle chatter about it ceases and all intention is signaled in mere eye-rolls, sighs, portentous glances, and other fraught devices of body language. That’s what’s going on now in the senate, the agency executive suites, the terraces of Martha’s Vineyard, and surely the hallowed corridors of the White House itself. One way or another, the knives are coming out.

The most economical script would have Trump graciously resign and be allowed to return to his familiar money-grubbing activities in real estate, where he can really only do harm to his own bank accounts and family posterity. Or, he could be dragged kicking and screaming from the premises, shall we say, and thrown to the bloodthirsty beasts of Deep State justice. That will not be pretty. Either outcome could provoke a lot of mischief out there among those who voted for him.

In any case, I doubt that the polity can take much more of Trump after Labor Day – and I say all this as one who was never part of the so-called Resistance. I’m not even very much convinced that getting rid of Trump and installing his stand-in, Mike Pence, will leave the government any less dysfunctional. After all, the nation is riding a larger and scarier arc of history as the techno-industrial fiesta winds down, with all the awfully disruptive consequences that implies. But at least there’s a chance that we might at least face this predicament seriously instead of feeling trapped in some sort of cosmic sitcom in an alternative universe of endless fucking nonsense.

The Charter School Debate Continues in Wake of American Federation of Teachers President Controversy

As the NAACP convenes in Baltimore this week, I’m reminded of ashort piece I wrote in the January/February issue of Black Enterprise magazine, the deck of which states, Black leaders disagree on whether [charter schools are] helping or hurting our students.

(Green Tech High Charter School. Image: Courtesy Green Tech High Charter School)

The problem? As Earl Phalen says in an illuminating interview with Education Week, the so-called leaders aren’t in the communities where I serve. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Phalen founded the George and Veronica Phalen Leadership Academy charter school network which operates in Indianapolis and Detroit.

In fact, just last week, American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten earned the ire of educators in support of charter schools and private school vouchers when she compared privatization of schools to segregation.

It is true that some charter schools are deplorable, but others are spectacularly effective. As Phalen told Ed Week about the NAACP’s moratorium, If they had said we want more restrictions on the for-profits, we want tighter controls on shutting down low-performing schools, I would have had a better opinion of the motion. But as it was, I thought it was anti-community.

Here’s an excerpt of the Q&A below.

Ed Week:Why did you decide to open a charter school?

Phalen: While in [Harvard] law school, we started to organize college students to mentor young black children, and I fell in love with direct service. And I discovered that was my calling. For 17 years I led a nonprofit organization named after one of my professors, BELL. (The professor wasDerrick A. Bell Jr., Harvard Law School’s first black tenured professor.)

We did after-school tutoring and mentoring and great summer programs, and then we would send the kids back to schools that were abysmal. I made the decision to move from out-of-school time to in-school time and the best place to do that was charters.

We felt we would have more flexibility to implement our model in a charter context-longer school day, longer school year, the ability to hire and fire teachers based not on seniority but on the results they deliver.

Ed Week:What was your reaction when you first heard the NAACP’s plan to call for a ban on opening new charter schools?

Phalen:I think I had two different reactions: one was shock and disappointment. That was the biggest. I think shock and disappointment because millions of our kids-black and Latino and poor white children, are being served in a way that is radically different than it was five, 10 years agobecause of charters.

The blanket notion that there should be a moratorium and this language that every charter is the same, whether for-profit or non-profit, low-performing or higher performing, I thought was shortsighted and disconnected from an organization that purports to be focused on the success of our children.

My second reaction is that the NAACP has been largely irrelevant as an organization for decades. If you asked our families, what does the NAACP do for you today, people would not be able to tell you anything that the NAACP has done for them-there are some good branches-but this is the case in almost every major city.

Read more at Education Week.