Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busyish...

Has it really been a whole year since my last post? Wow, doesn't time fly when you have been removed from just about all positions of political power and influence and have nothing much to do except change baby diapers and argue with your older children! Still, despite losing that place on the Los Angeles Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council after last October's elections and having the California Title 1 Parent Union closed down by Maria Casillas, Yo has been keeping herself busy with Blacks In Technology. Not, perhaps, quite at the focus of Californian public life, but then that's hardly surprising, is it? Even so, the videos of CT1PU being closed down make sad viewing. These parents deserve more that the corrupt officials who run LAUSD. But they also deserve better than some of the people who purport to represent them.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Welcome Baby Beckles

I'm sure we'd all like to congratulate Yolande on the birth of her third child.

It's happy days for any baby born on US territory, as the Constitution guarantees a right of citizenship for such infants. Childbirth is not quite such a happy event for any alien mother deemed to be an illegal immigrant or overstayer, however, as such women may still be deported at short notice. In a clampdown on 'birth tourism' in recent years, Federal appellate courts have upheld the refusal by the Immigration and Naturalization Service to stay the deportation of illegal immigrants merely on the grounds that they have children who are US citzens. In a few extreme cases, children have been snatched from their mothers and placed into foster care, while the mothers have been deported. It's not all bad news, though, as a child who have lived in the US continuously for 10 years and shown good character throughout can invoke the Cancellation of Removal defense in the event of parental deportation. And when a child reaches 21, he or she can sponsor their parents for legal immigration into the US. Marriage offers no automatic protection for unlawful immigrants, of course, as the INS is very keen to investigate fraudulent marriage for the purpose of obtaining a green card.

Enough of this meandering diversion. I can't think what caused me to wander so far off track. The point of this post was to welcome the latest addition to the American family and to remind everyone that there is still time to join the baby shower with a gift from Babies "R" Us (Babies are US, lol!)

Click here to find the baby registry and a host of wonderful gift ideas.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Let Battle Commence

Well - apologies are due to Lydia Grant. When the educational activist and board member of Parent Revolution, the billionaire-funded front organisation for privately-owned charter school operators emailed Beckles Watch in the run-up to Christmas to disclose Yolande's threat to sue LAUSD, we quite naturally assumed that this was nothing more than a slap round the head with a handbag for a former partner in protest from whom she had already vociferously disassociated herself and her organisation. It was patently nothing more than a piece of mischievous nonsense. We consigned the story to the LA Christmas yawn charts.
After all, what degree of insanity would lead someone who had fled her native country to escape assorted creditors and other victims to launch a $2.5bn lawsuit against one of the world's largest education authorities? To take on the might of the education establishment and some of its most powerful overlords when under threat of deportation for immigration irregularities and under investigation for other alleged offences? Even under the protective cover afforded by the imminent delivery of a US citizen? Nobody but nobody in such a delicate position would contemplate launching a suit against Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy and LAUSD Chief of School, Family & Parent/Community Services Maria Casillas. Would they....?

Matters came to a head back in May last year, when the now-disbanded District Advisory Committee of LAUSD co-chaired by Yolande Beckles and Roberto Fonseca held its monthly meeting and revealed controversial district bulletins issued to LAUSD employees. Supposedly responding to the district's budget crisis, the missives announced "major changes" in policy - severely cutting back on expenses and restructuring the DAC, eliminating the vice-chair positions. It was becoming clear that LAUSD was reaching the end of its tether with DAC and it would only be a matter of time before Maria Casillas, Christopher Downing's replacement as head of parent and family services, would axe the organisation altogether. When the chop eventually came it was sudden and, in the opinion of some, brutal. According to reports, DAC offices were closed, staff and volunteers escorted from school premises and some members ejected from meetings and even visited at home by LAUSD officials allegedly issuing threats, including deportation.

You'd think that some people would recognise defeat when it stared them in the face. But not our Yolande. Let battle commence...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lacoe Woebegone Days

Someone here at Los Angeles County Office of Education has been paying a great deal of attention to the past affairs of Ms. Yolande Beckles over the past few days...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How To Avoid Deportation

I can't help wondering what fate awaits #3.

Will he be stabbed?

Or attacked with a stiletto heel?

She's older and wiser now.

He'll probably just be served with a restraining order to stay away.

Or maybe the fun of attack will prove irresistable...

Monday, December 19, 2011

$2.5bn DAC Suit Against LAUSD Vies With Yolande & Lydia Spat With George For #1 In L.A. Xmas Yawn Charts

It was with some reluctance that the crew of Beckles Watch aborted their Christmas parcel wrapping yesterday and put down the Scotch tape in order to investigate exciting news that had recently arrived in the form of an email from Lydia Grant. For those unfamiliar with this militant Board Member of Parent Revolution, the $1m-funded front organisation for privately-owned charter school operators backed by an assortment of billionaires, Lydia Grant is a long-time community activist from Sunland-Tujunga formerly recognized with LAUSD's 'Beyond the Bell' award and the President's Volunteer Gold Level Service award, as well as being a well-known local slapper (the colloquial acronym for a member of the Saving Los Angeles Project, S.L.A.P.).

It was exciting news indeed. Lydia was writing to distance herself from just about everyone - the billionaires funding her protest organisation (from whom she claimed to receive not one cent in financial support), LAUSD (an organisation she claimed to have dedicated her life to fighting), Yolande Beckles (whom she described as a "wolf in sheep's clothing") and Arne Duncan heckler George Buzetti from the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) (whom she accused of inaccuracies, misreporting and upsetting behaviour).

When we reached the part about a $2.5 billion lawsuit being filed by The District Advisory Committee (DAC) against LAUSD for alleged misuse of funds, after local committees and activists were banished from the city's Parent Centers and other LAUSD premises recently, we were beginning to get excited. Even more so when we learnt that the announcement of this legal challenge had been made to the world's media at a press conference organised by none other than Yolande Beckles.

Unfortunately for Yolande, the world's media doesn't appear to have expressed much interest in her announcements. The Los Angeles Times and KPCC both reported that Deasy would be filing a lawsuit against the State of California to prevent mid-year funding cuts, but neither reported the threatened DAC action and nor did LA Weekly, leaving nothing more than the odd blog with virtually no readers to post attorney Robert A. Brown's press release.

One sentence in attorney Brown's press release caused raised eyebrows at the BW office, it must be admitted. "In some instances, DAC members were visited at their homes and pulled out of meetings by LAUSD police, while others were threatened by District administrators with deportation." Well, I wonder whose US immigration status might have led to possible threats of deportation? I simply can't imagine.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gun For Hire

They say that all publicity is good publicity, but I'm not sure that even Yolande Beckles, with a media image as bad as hers, will be welcoming the rabid attentions she's been receiving recently from extreme right-wing anti-union Harvard graduate and all-round nutter Anthony Krinsky.

Writing in one of his blogs under the banner: "Outing Teacher Union Replicants: How To Spot A Fake "Parents" Group, Operative, Or Outfit", Krinsky attacks the teachers' unions for setting up "fake 'parent' groups that waive the banner of parent advocacy but which actually promote the teacher union agenda... and enlisting parents in proxy-armies to fight reforms which are clearly in the parental interest."
Top of Krinsky's hit list are Carl Campanile and the NYC Parents Union", described by the hysterical anti-union ranter as nothing more than "a teacher union front group". At least he gives Parents Across America credit for having attempted to disguise its true backers, referring to it as "a 'parent' front group... for the Economic Policy Institute", as if the EPA was the Russian SVR, rather than a liberal non-partisan think tank with a degree of union funding.

But our ranter saves some of his most poetic venom for you-know-who: " communities like Los Angeles, the teacher unions have allegedly hired 'education activists' like Yolande Beckles to embed themselves into communities. Beckles has already talked her way onto the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council and leads a CTA front-group called 'California Title I Parent Union.' A friend of mine calls her 'quite impressive' personally, which did not surprise me in the least. How many hired guns are sneaking into the fabric of America's neighborhood councils where they will powerfully present teacher union dogma as 'good for families?'"

Wow! It's Clint Beckles - The Woman With No Name.

Poor old Krinsky. Eyes so inflamed with the red mist of anti-union loathing that he can't see the self-serving wood for the co-operative trees. Let me explain it to you, Anthony. Yolande isn't a servant of the unions, nor of the multi-billionaire private charter school operators, nor even of the investment bankers and hedge-fund managers of Democrats For Education Reform. Yolande Beckles exists to serve the interests of only one master... or I should say mistress. Yolande Beckles.