Category Archives: Privatization

Charter School Promoters Loathe Public Authority and Intensify Lawlessness, Threats, and Bully Tactics

In recent years, and especially in the past 2-3 years, more public school boards across the country have taken resolute action to reject more charter school applications and not renew the contracts of existing privately-operated charter schools. These democratic decisions are usually taken for valid reasons such as:

  • the charter school application is poorly-written
  • the planning of the charter school is not well-thought-out
  • the charter school provides a redundant service
  • the charter school is beset by chronically poor academic performance
  • the charter school engages in financial malfeasance or mismanagement

Research and experience also show that charter schools intensify segregation, close frequently, are governed by unelected individuals, have high teacher and student turnover rates, employ fewer nurses than public schools, often fail to provide transportation, pay teachers less than their public school peers, treat teachers as “at-will” employees, hire more inexperienced teachers than public schools, operate non-transparently, oppose unions, and deprive public schools of large sums of public money that belong to public schools, causing great harm to these public schools and their mostly minority students. In addition, many charter schools spend lots of money on advertising (just like a private business), frequently over-pay administrators, often have inflated student wait lists, and are constantly mired in corruption, scandal, and controversy. Charter school promoters also believe individualism, consumerism, competition, and the “free market” are advanced humane ways to organize education; they view education as a commodity, not a modern social responsibility. Although recurring economic crises discredited “free market” ideology long ago, charter school promoters believe the chaos, anarchy, and violence of the “free market” will improve schools and society.

But since the profits seized by the owners of capital behind charter schools are so huge, charter school promoters have decided that they will bully their way to charter school expansion; they will brook no opposition; they will have their way no matter how damaging it is to the public interest, society, and the economy.

Thus, recently in various cities charter school promoters have turned to the courts, legislatures, governors, “commissions,” “review boards,” and other means to say to public school boards: “we don’t care how much you oppose and reject charter schools or how valid your reasons are, we are going to get our way no matter what. We will impose our will on you and multiply charter schools whether you like it or not. And there is nothing you can do about it. We will override any decisions we don’t like and operate with impunity.” The entities mentioned above all tend to have a neoliberal orientation and outlook that favors school privatization; they frequently operate in ways that violate the public interest. The point is that charter school promoters are in no mood to respect decisions made by entities comprised of publicly elected individuals, especially when these forms of elected governance are at the local level. Charter school promoters are, in other words, increasingly going over the heads of public school boards and getting their way.

While charter school promoters have always used economic, political, and cultural capital to enforce their privatization agenda, there is an escalation in the threats and bully tactics they are using to impose their dictate, mainly because public opposition to charter schools keeps growing. In this way, public authority is being rapidly abolished and replaced with rule by decree. Democracy is being further eroded. A situation is being created where it is not even possible to oppose privately-operated segregated charter schools that harm education and the economy. Even if a public school board decides with good reason to reject a charter school application or revoke a charter school’s contract, the public school board can be forced by the rich and their representatives to promptly reverse its democratic decision, as happened recently in Hillsborough, Florida. In other cases, when a public school board rejects a charter school application for compelling reasons, the law is set-up in some states so that the charter school applicant can appeal the decision to an entity that is comprised of unelected individuals and not accountable to the public. Such entities usually approve the charter school application, thereby overriding the democratic will of the public school board.

In these and other ways, charter school promoters are lowering the level of education, corroding democracy, and becoming more belligerent and tyrannical. And it is all being done with impunity. Anything pro-social, democratic, and public is anathema to charter school promoters—the same people who claim to embrace “freedom,” “choice,” “civil rights,” and “progress.”

Defenders of public education and the public interest must continue to describe, expose, and analyze endless problems in the crisis-prone charter school sector and disseminate this information broadly. They can and must organize various actions, including discussions, teach-ins, petitions, resolutions, social media campaigns, and much more to turn the tide against school privatization and its devastating effects on education, the economy, society, and the national interest. The public will can triumph over the will of the rich and their political representatives. The wealthy elite are not invincible or interested in opening the path of progress to society.

Public education in a modern society based on mass industrial production can only move forward in a pro-social way when it is free of the influence of private interests. Placing a modern social responsibility in the hands of competing owners of capital preoccupied with cashing in on kids, is a recipe for not only damaging education but also undermining the healthy balanced development of a modern economy and society; it is a form of nation-wrecking that people are under no obligation to tolerate.

The post Charter School Promoters Loathe Public Authority and Intensify Lawlessness, Threats, and Bully Tactics first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Charter School Promoters Defend Antisocial Culture of Maximum Profit

About 3.3 million students are currently enrolled in roughly 7,400 privately-operated charter schools across 45 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Five states remain opposed to these outsourced schools that appeared in the U.S. 30 years ago.

Today, thousands of segregated charter schools run by unelected individuals are either openly operated as for-profit schools or managed, directed, or overseen by one or more for-profit entities and businesses. In Michigan and Florida, for example, charter schools openly run for profit are the majority of charter schools in the state.

Major owners of capital have been behind charter schools for three decades and the original architects of charter schools approached charter schools from a capital-centered perspective. Charter schools have always been a textbook top-down neoliberal project from the very beginning; they have never been a grass-roots phenomenon.

But even so-called non-profit charter schools engage in many for-profit activities as well. In practice, the distinction between non-profit and for-profit is a distinction without a difference; non-profits can and do make profits and they can and do often distribute profits in questionable and unethical ways. Some believe that the classification “non-profit” may actually be more nefarious than the “for-profit” classification. On the one hand, “non-profit” sounds more benign and less crass than “for-profit,” and on the other hand it conceals the many connections non-profit corporations have with various private interests preoccupied with maximizing profit. This is also where the idea that privately-operated charter schools are fundamentally pay-the-rich schemes comes from.

In this connection, since 1994 the Federal Government has funneled millions of public dollars to privately-operated segregated charter schools every year through the bi-partisan Federal Charter Schools Program (CSP)—all while thousands of public schools across the country have gone under-funded. Even though charter schools have no legitimate claim to public funds, over the course of 25 years more than $5 billion has been funneled away from public schools and into charter schools through this federal program. Like many other federal programs, the public is generally unaware of this program and has never had any meaningful say in its creation, operation, and development.

In FY 2020, the CSP received an annual appropriation of $440 million for the second consecutive year, the highest-ever funding level in the program’s long history.

But with growing backlash against charter schools and more demands for funding cuts to the CSP, the House Appropriations Committee in Congress is taking note and proposing at least some small superficial changes. Thus, recently, in the course of preparing budget resolutions for the coming fiscal year the U.S. House of Representatives proposed a small cut of $40 million for the next fiscal cycle, reducing CSP funding from $440 million a year to $400 million a year. In the scheme of things this is a miniscule amount.

Upon hearing about the proposed small funding cut charter school promoters (e.g., the billionaire-backed National Alliance for Public Charter Schools) wasted no time expressing their pious outrage, cynically calling the cut “particularly egregious.”

Much of this public money goes to fund for-profit charter schools and the U.S. House of Representatives wants to restrict the flow of public funds to for-profit charter schools, especially after the publication of numerous reports over the past 2-3 years exposing extensive fraud, waste, and corruption in the program and the crisis-prone charter school sector itself. Some of these reports are available through the Network for Public Education. The National Education Policy Center has also exposed endless problems in the troubled charter school sector. The point of the budget bill is to prohibit any funds going to “a charter school that contracts with a for-profit entity to operate, oversee or manage the activities of the school.” Currently, thousands of unaccountable and segregated charter schools governed by unelected officials are run, managed, or overseen by low-quality, for-profit companies rife with conflicts of interests. Many believe it is immoral to make profits off kids and human social responsibilities like education.

Charter school promoters are cynically claiming that Congress somehow hates kids because they do not want public money to enrich owners of capital. Charter school promoters want the public to believe that a minuscule cut of $40 million that they have no legitimate claim to in the first place is going to cause the sky to fall and cause grave damage to the profits of capitalist firms that manage charter schools. They have even claimed that such a small cut will end the ability of privately-operated charter schools to engage in any kind of contracting with outside entities and therefore public schools should also be prevented from contracting with any outside contractors. This is false. The House bill does not say anything like that.

It should also be recalled that charter schools are already awash in tens of billions of dollars a year that they have siphoned from public schools attended by millions of minority students. Charter schools also receive millions of dollars every year from venture philanthropists and, because they are private entities, charter schools were, unlike public schools, able to seize billions of public dollars from PPP funds from the CARES Act. Charter school promoters are always trying to pressure the public to believe that they are financially beleaguered and always victims while trying to be saviors.

While it is unlikely that Congress will represent the public will and eventually cut a miniscule $40 million from the CSP program, charter school promoters are terrified that the door is opening more widely to the idea of rejecting charter schools and the idea that charter schools have no valid claim to public funds.

Charter school promoters believe they are winning the ideological war raging around charter schools and school privatization. But the facts show every day that privatization exacerbates many problems and solves nothing in terms of the public interest. Privatization in every sector harms democracy, quality, and accountability. Privatization enriches a handful of people while taking money out of the economy and increasing costs, inefficiency, and corruption.

The coming months and years will grow more difficult for charter school promoters and the troubled charter school sector. The war is far from over. Things will become more heated. Opposition to charter schools is growing in a steady methodical way, gaining momentum in an organic and substantive way that leaves people with a real conviction in the necessity to oppose charter schools and defend public education and the public interest. This battle is only going to intensify. Through many twists and turns, the old is slowly dying and decaying while the fresh and new is gradually arising. It is no longer a matter of if the public will eventually prevail, but when the public will prevail against major owners of capital.

The post Charter School Promoters Defend Antisocial Culture of Maximum Profit first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Shit Hitting the Fan as a World goes More Looney

I can’t think of anything that harms nature more than cutting down trees and burning them, said William Moomaw, professor emeritus of international environmental policy at Tufts University

Oh, the number of top 10 or top 20 stories flooding the cloud servers delivered to us promptly, nanosecond speed, over the fuck-you Three-Face-Book, or on your email server, on the Dumber Dumbed Down Smart (sic) Phone, and, of course, on the telly. Imagine, instantaneous fake news, falsified un-News, the entire suite of topics New York Times covers, LA Times feeds, and on and on.

Delivered instantaneously, and yet, water is getting shut off, electricity is being turned off, roads are buckling, and that old time religion — privatizing everything until all shit breaks loose — determined to give USA a D-minus in infrastructure. Rebar in bridges, dikes, buildings, and the like, going the way of rust, baby. Reinforced concrete, crumbling, and the entire wasteland that is Auto Nation USA, all of that endless trucking back and forth, like a fucking spider web from space, it is what we have in this broke-back country.

I’ve talked with old folks (80 years plus) and with city and county “politicians.” I’ve talked to numerous people who just can’t get that reality out of their craw — so–soch — ehh-cism! The end of humanity is, well, on the horizon. Thanks to that Socialism Derangement Syndrome (SDS). It is built into the systems in the USA, and the DNA of USA-USA-USA, well, over generations of murdering Indians, slaves, and that checkerboard of people in countries from sea to oil slick sea, it has turned most of USA into a whack — job: under-educated, under curious about the world around them, dumb as dirt, compliant, cancelling ideas/discourse/thinking/pushback/socialism on all ends of the right-left divide. The wounds in this serial murdering society can’t be cauterized.

There has to be immediate amputation of the gangrenous rot coming from all 50 states. The rot of consumerism/retailism/financialization/indebtedness is spread like a million species of bacteria and viruses and other diseases that are indeed resistant to any medicine-goop-treatment.

There are so many deplorables, that term that Hillary hacked up, she being one of millions in the deplorable camp of neoliberalism. Deplorables who would gut you for stumbling into them on a sidewalk. Deplorables who are armed to the tooth who would shoot anyone stumbling into their backyard.

Think about it. People at a bloody concussion fest, UFC, chanting USA-USA-USA with this subhuman and his other subhuman followers traipsing into the stadium with their potbellies and juggling jowls as they take a load off their sagging asses in their multi-millionaire seats.

Read the junk here: NYPost.

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There is no deep outrage with this sort of optics that runs the USA prime time attention span. No outrage here, that the sweetness of all those sodas have yet more and more of a price, in that shit-hole Florida, run by those shit-hole Diaspora from all over, especially the East Coast, Trump and Company no less. Read the ProPublica interactive story below, linked!

It is environmental racism, and alas, this stinking country can’t keep the water on, can’t feed the farms with irrigation, can’t give out stinking fans to dying folk in this heat wave. Imagine, all those toys, those trillions to the DoD, and those men and women in uniform, also called the Armed Forces, where are they? No triage or MASH tents or massive pouring out of USA tax dollars to mitigate and solve the unfolding problems wrought by Capitalism on Crack. Story after story. Burning cane fields, yep, that’s good for the air. And this story was the same in 2001 when I went from El Paso to Spokane: massive fires lit by wheat farmers to burn stubble. Oh, the irony of Capitalism on Crack. Good old time stupidity. But stupidity and compliant people, well, that combo makes them trillions.

Read, ProPublica — Black Snow!

The burns release smoke containing pollutants harmful to people and the environment.

Then these Nordics, these putrid white saviors in Europe touting their carbon neutral smoke and mirrors fake science. Again, tearing down forests, in this case, North Carolina, brought to us by CNN.

Northampton has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state — which almost doubled during the Covid-19 pandemic — and nearly 22% of its residents are living in poverty.

“If the wood products industry and biomass were a way of growing strong rural economies in the southeastern region, these rural communities should be some of the wealthiest on the planet,” said Smith. “We are in the world’s largest wood producing region. But you don’t see any evidence in these rural communities of thriving rural economies. The opposite is actually true.”

Enviva currently employs 98 people at their Northampton facility and pay roughly 37% more than the average wage in the county, the company told CNN in a statement, adding that they strive to hire locally if workers have the right qualifications.

Imagine, the scams, and, in the end, these communities, again, pay the price of environmental racism:

Pretty, unh? Would love to have this in your backyard, right?

/

The EU, which aims to be climate-neutral by 2050, is set to revise its Renewable Energy Directive this summer and is expected to update sustainability criteria for biomass. Critics hope they will restrict biomass imports from overseas, exclude whole, living trees as “waste product” and properly account for carbon emissions from cutting and burning wood.

But a draft document that surfaced this past spring does not suggest substantial changes are coming for Europe’s directive.

/

I live in a state where the Democratic weak kneed governor got stiff knees and shut down everything, and this is the reality of stupidity around the planned pandemic. The lack of rural and inner city clinics, and just a lack of a massive movement to treat people with the common cold, gut diseases, the flu, and the bioweaponized SARS-Cov2, that’s what the Kate Brown, self-described bi-sexual, is all about. And, the reality is, this privatized medicine (sic) needs ending. Imagine, ending CEO and CFO and stockholder dividends. Oh, it would be easy to turn hospitals into cooperatives, employee owned outfits. On a sliding scale, before single payer health care.

But the reality that the shenanigans of the hospitals have killed thousands. Not because of the batty virus, but because of delays, and no treatment. Now? Oregonian, read it.

The emergency department at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center seen from outside at night.

After 18 years as a nurse, much of it in the emergency department, Jeremy Lail considered himself a battle-tested veteran.

But last week, he asked his bosses at Providence Portland Medical Center if he could go on leave. Lail said he’s overwhelmed by the horde of patients seeking treatment at his ER and unnerved at the erratic, angry nature of many of those patients.

“I dreaded going to work,” he said. “I found myself thinking, is this the day someone is going to pull a gun and shoot me? We’re seeing how society can devolve right now. I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety and depression.”

For months, hospital workers have wanted nothing more than for the pandemic to end and life to return to some semblance of normalcy. But the much-deserved respite has yet to begin. Instead, a combination of understaffing and a tidal wave of seriously ill patients who have deferred health care for months has made life in the ER as bad or worse than the height of the pandemic.

It’s a recipe for disaster that is unfolding at hospitals across the country: Blend emotionally exhausted caregivers with emotionally disturbed patients, throw in a wave of street violence and the departure of some of the most experienced workers on the wards due to fatigue and burnout, and voila, America has its latest health care crisis.

Many employees argue there is another key ingredient added by the hospitals that makes the end result particularly toxic: A penny-pinching mentality that allows the understaffing to develop in the first place.

Oh, now we can see god in the science of trillions wasted on artificial (sic) suns (sic). You have this sickness, about limitless and green energy sources. Makes no sense, really, when billions are on the brink of starvation, polluted slow and fast deaths. Imagine that, no solutions NOW for farming collapses, fisheries collapses, broke-back poverty and chronic illnesses, and just endless droughts. Nope. We have all these resources and mental lifetimes in the tens of millions working on this?

These stories never-ever look at things from an ethical point of view. From a life cycle analysis view. From the view of the hoards of us, useless breathers-eaters-breeders. This news coming out of Europe or China or Israel or USA, well, no one looks at the reality of how land is desiccating and desertifying. All those satellites for 6 G internet of nanotechnology. None of the real humans are the tables of power looking at, well, all these issues tied to environmental racism, structural violence, reparations, land theft, and the like.

Because, these stories will go the way of the stories to dare valorize Palestinians, or debunk the lies of the murderous Jewish Israeli Regime of More Than Just Apartheid:

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Another casualty of Israel’s war on truth: ‘Canadian Journalists for Free Expression’ fired a staffer for publishing a routine letter that criticized Israel for killing journalists…

By Kevin Metcalf

In May, Israel bombarded Gaza for 11 days, killing 256 Palestinians, including 66 children.

In the midst of this attack, hundreds of journalists in Canada signed an open letter calling for fairer coverage of Israel and Palestine. CBC then barred reporters who signed the letter from covering the region, claiming that doing so made them appear biased.

I was one of those who signed the open letter, because I believe the media should report fairly. I also expected there’d be a backlash to the letter within newsrooms, especially at the CBC, due to my own experiences: Years before this letter was released, I was fired from my media job for writing about Israel’s killing of protesters and journalists.

With help from the state broadcaster, over the course of a few weeks in 2018 my career was destroyed and my life’s work was completely uprooted. I now work as a landscaper for a living. (Source)

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If my fellow writers haven’t already experienced this, well, not just criticizing Israel or the Jewish mentality of many Jews who are as racist as any Steven Miller or Donal et al Trump LLC.

Try having conversations with people in workplaces about bioweaponized SARS-Cov2. Any discussion about therapies that would have saved hundreds of thousands from oxygen-depleted, intubation death. Cancelled big time. I am an educator, so, that one is out the window to dare question masks and lockdowns. Dare question USA from a truly communist lens? Question Trump? Cancelled. Question Biden? Cancelled. Question the rapaciousness and profit motives of medicine and pharmacy and virology? Cancelled. Question how some or key points of the company you work for? Cancelled. It’s a sickness this society, so, again, the “Israel Policies Are Monstrous and Murderous” critique gets you cancelled.

Read this science story. Of course, anything tied to all the chronic illnesses, or we call them intellectual-developmental-psychiatric disabilities, is good to see how things can be mitigated (of course, the idea for both left and right elites is to say, “Hmm, useless eater, well, abort-abort.”). But this sort of story below is another form of colonizing. There are millions of people working on learning how the forever chemicals, all the hormone disrupters, all those additives-chemicals-pollutants-particulates-drugs-GMOs-et al, can cause a storm of epigenetic issues down the line, and, yes, autism spectrum disorder is just one area of massive numbers of younger and younger people developing DD-ID-PD disorders. A magnitude of 100.

You will not see these scientists looking for the genetic cause looking at all the synergistic causes of depleted sperm, wombs of wild chemical storms, none of that, of course. Nope. They are getting paid to look deep at all the causes of Autism-Autism like disorders.

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An increase in the incidence of Type 2 diabetes, obesity and autism has been reported in Scotland. Similar increases have been seen globally. The herbicide glyphosate was introduced in 1974 and its use is accelerating. The manufacturers claim it to be safe, but none of the Regulatory Agencies are monitoring glyphosate levels in groundwater.

By courtesy of independent researchers around the world we present evidence that glyphosate interferes with many metabolic processes in plants, animals and humans, and glyphosate residues have been found in all three. Glyphosate is an endocrine-disruptor (as are many herbicides) it damages DNA and it is a driver of mutations that lead to cancer. We present graphs from the US which correlate glyphosate application and the percentage of GE soy and corn crops to the incidence and prevalence of various diseases in those on a Western diet. The Pearson’s correlation coefficients are very strong and highly significant for obesity, diabetes, autism, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, deaths from Parkinson’s, Senile Dementia and Alzheimer’s, inflammatory bowel disease and acute kidney failure. We present Cancer Research UK graphs of upward trends in cancer incidences between 1975 and 2009, which are in line with the US graphs.

Other consequences are gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, depression, infertility, birth defect s and other cancers. The data for the amount of non-agricultural use of glyphosate in the UK appear to be confidential. Parts of South Wales, in former mining areas, Japanese knotweed and Himalayan Balsam abound. The local Council does not hold glyphosate records. Instead it contracts out to a commercial organisation to supply industry approved vegetation management techniques. A quote from the contractor: “The glyphosate we use called round up has a hazard free label.” The level of glyphosate in a river draining from areas of Japanese knotweed was 190 parts per trillion (ppt) and local tap water was 30 ppt. These were of the order of concentrations found in a study in 2013 which showed that breast cancer cell proliferation is accelerated by glyphosate in extremely low concentrations: “potential biological levels at part per trillion (ppt) to part per billion (ppb).”

It’s short. Fifty-six pages. Read it! GLYPHOSATE: DESTRUCTOR OF HUMAN HEALTH AND BIODIVERSITY

Versus: Researchers discover new genetic driver of autism and other developmental disorders

Oh, this is big, no? The Nile? Egypt and Ethiopia? You think this water story is not the issue of our times? Oh, that Artificial Sun will save us. Think water wars all over the planet:

A dispute over the Nile, the world’s longest river, is coming to a head. At stake are the lives and livelihoods of millions of people who depend on its water.

Egypt is objecting to efforts by Ethiopia to start operating a $4.8 billion dam on a major tributary of the Nile, a hydroelectric project that it hopes will power a social and economic transformation of the country, without a binding agreement that preserves Cairo’s rights to the waters.

Egypt has said Ethiopia’s move to resume filling a reservoir behind the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam threatens the Nile region’s peace and security.

Then, well, we get to the Zoom Doom story, the post planned pandemic story. Apple, of course, should be shut down, taken over, and the entire honchos put on that Epstein Island. Or Musk’s. Take your pick of billionaire islands. But this is the new abnormal. Working in your underwear, latte chilled, all those airplane and spider plants, and the puppy underfoot and four-pound beef-lovers pizza at the ready. These people who are threatening to leave Apple, well, I guarantee you they are dream hoarders, Hillary-Kamala lites. Believers in social distancing for life, masks on everywhere, and these are the ones who are ramming digital and cloud and satellite surveillance and AI and robotized tech up our asses.

The state of news (sic):

Apple stood its ground last week in the face of employee protest against its new requirement that they work from home only two days a week. Both the policy–which came directly from CEO Tim Cook–and Apple’s comments about it betray a striking lack of emotional intelligence. That’s a bad idea in today’s tight labor market. The approach is one no small company or startup can afford to take.

Our story begins about a month ago, when Apple announced its new return-to-the-office policy in light of widespread vaccinations and falling Covid-19 infections. In an internal email, Cook announced that, beginning in early September, employees would be required to work in the office at least three days a week. Specifically, those days would be Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, with the option to work remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays.

The Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California.

The headline says it all about this cancel culture stupidity, using “emotional intelligence as a cudgel: Apple’s Remote Work Policy Is a Complete Failure of Emotional Intelligence: Don’t try this at your company

Finally, the top 10 or whatever stories, prompted by my friend, Joe the Farmer from Merced:

How long will it be before we start seeing adds for front end Protest Protector guard bars for F-150’s, Chevy Silverado’s and the Amerikaner favorite, Dodge Ram? What good fascist could possibly pass up the opportunity to keep protesters blood and body parts from damaging their radiators and having expensive body shop repair bills? I’m sure some enterprising asshole is already marketing “Protest Protectors” as I write this. Only in Amerika. The land of opportunity.

He was reacting to a Counterpunch story, pulling this quote from it below. But Paul Street needed to research the term, Amerikaner — “A round cakelike pastry of flour, butter, and lemon juice, with a sugar glaze, most often plain white, but sometimes chocolate or half-white/half-chocolate.”

Need a new dessert to make for parties and birthdays? Try our recipe for German-style cookie cakes! You can decorate them in sohttps://foodal.com/recipes/desserts/german-amerikaner-cookie-cakes/

Talk about “fascism with American characteristics”!

“In the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests,” VOX’s Cameron Peters noted last April, “Republican lawmakers are advancing a number of new anti-protest measures at the state level – including multiple bills that specifically make it easier for drivers to run down protesters… If the recent spate of anti-protest measures in Florida, Iowa, and Oklahoma is disturbing on its face, however, context does little to make it better. There is a specific history in the US of the far right using cars as weapons, and it’s not hard to see how bills like the one that is now law in Oklahoma might only make things worse…The most notable example is from August 2017: Heather Heyer, 32, was struck and killed and at least 19 others were injured when neo-Nazi James Alex Fields Jr. rammed a crowd of counter protesters in Charlottesville. Fields has since been sentenced to life in prison…But it’s more than that single incident. According to Ari Weil, the deputy research director for the Chicago Project on Security and Threats, there were at least 72 incidents of cars driving into protesters over a relatively short span in 2020, from May 27 through July 7… Examples aren’t hard to find. There’s even a Wikipedia page specifically dedicated to ‘vehicle-ramming incidents during George Floyd protests.’ And as Weil explained in an interview with Vox’s Alex Ward last year, ‘there’s an online environment that for years has been celebrating and encouraging these types of horrendous attacks’. (emphasis added).  From Iowa Nice to Iowa Nazi: a Report from the Friendly Fascist Heartland

These are examples in USA and UK of how we help the sick, tired, overworked, the useless eaters, useless breeders, useless breathers, useless resters: “OH, JOE — The White European and White United Snakes of America and Klanada, they are all worthless scum, and we are useless breathers, useless eaters, useless breeders, useless one and all, unless there are fines/levies/penalties/tickets/violations/tolls/taxes/triple taxations/surcharges/fees-to gouge the poor and lower classes to death in their operating systems.”

Portland Roadways — Giant Piles of Boulders

New York Post — Cop rolls bike over protester’s head during Breonna Taylor demonstration

The post Shit Hitting the Fan as a World goes More Looney first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Neoliberal State Restructuring: Charter School Promoters Bypass Elected Governance and Impose Rule By Decree

While democracy has always been limited and restricted in societies based on the “free market” and private ownership, one of the main things detested by the pro-privatization fanatics behind segregated charter schools operated by unelected individuals are the long-standing duly-elected school boards that govern America’s 100,000 public schools. Publicly-elected school boards are a huge thorn in the side of the millionaires and billionaires behind deregulated charter schools.

Currently, many public school boards in America can exercise a certain degree of power and authority when it comes to approving or terminating a charter school’s contract. Indeed, many public school boards are increasingly saying no to more charter school applications and renewals given the big problems plaguing the charter school sector and the harmful effects charter schools have on public schools, the economy, society, and the national interest. It is clear that 30 years after they appeared in America, many are not on board with privately-operated charter schools that siphon enormous sums of money from public schools and generate poor results at many levels.

In Texas, Iowa, and elsewhere charter school promoters are working tirelessly with neoliberal state officials and legislators to bypass the elected boards that run public schools in order to replace them with entities that are answerable only to them. These entities are designed to circumvent the public authority enshrined in public school boards and typically consist of appointed individuals not accountable to the public. They usually take the form of “commissions,” “control boards,” “emergency financial managers,” “outside monitors,” or some reconfiguration of an existing government agency that significantly changes who decides what. In practice, these new entities give charter school corporations and non-educators more authority than the public, which makes it much easier to impose more charter schools on everyone.

To be sure, these supra-public entities more directly represent capital-centered interests and exclude public authority. Their power is set up to supersede the power of any public official or entity. The rich do not want individuals accountable to the public blocking the creation of new charter schools. This neoliberal strategy is not new but there is an escalation in efforts by the rich to reconfigure state power so as to impose privatization faster and with fewer “democratic obstacles.” To be clear, these top-down heavy-handed neoliberal entities are favored by charter school promoters because they (1) override public opinion, elected bodies, and democratic deliberations, (2) further concentrate power in the hands of charter school promoters, and (3) impose antisocial decisions on the polity with impunity. Objectively, they are a form of tyranny.

Charter school promoters know that there is stiff non-stop opposition to privately-operated non-profit and for-profit charter schools. For this reason, they see rule by decree carried out by executive bodies unaccountable to the public as a pragmatic neoliberal mechanism to override persistent democratic objections to dismantling public education and privatizing schools. Decades of disinformation from charter school promoters has not succeeded in eliminating human social consciousness. From coast to coast, the problems with charter schools are being exposed more rapidly and thoroughly. Major owners of capital know that they cannot impose their narrow private interests on the public without some sort of coercive mechanism to do so.

More privatization necessarily requires less democracy. This applies to every sector of society and all levels of government. Privatization is wreaking havoc at home and abroad. And the antisocial “Great Reset” agenda of the international financial oligarchy promises even more privatization worldwide. Capital-centered interests and human-centered interests are antagonistic and cannot be harmonized. No one should believe that working people and owners of capital have the same interests. Objectively, major owners of capital and the public have opposing interests that cannot be reconciled. This point cannot be overstated.

In this context, human-centered interests must figure out how to oppose and overcome these and other neoliberal assaults on the public interest and public power. It is not acceptable for a handful of historically superfluous millionaires and billionaires to eliminate public right and impose their narrow will on everyone. Who thinks this is a good idea in the 21st century? The public has no interest in funding pay-the-rich schemes like privately-operated non-profit and for-profit charter schools. A modern nation based on mass industrial production needs a large, organized, universal, public, free, world-class, integrated, fully-funded school system that serves everyone and is free of all private influences. There is no legitimate reason for any private actor, organization, or entity to have any access to public funds, resources, programs, and facilities that rightly belong to the public. The distinction between public and private should never be blurred.

The post Neoliberal State Restructuring: Charter School Promoters Bypass Elected Governance and Impose Rule By Decree first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Neoliberal State Restructuring: Charter School Promoters Bypass Elected Governance and Impose Rule By Decree

While democracy has always been limited and restricted in societies based on the “free market” and private ownership, one of the main things detested by the pro-privatization fanatics behind segregated charter schools operated by unelected individuals are the long-standing duly-elected school boards that govern America’s 100,000 public schools. Publicly-elected school boards are a huge thorn in the side of the millionaires and billionaires behind deregulated charter schools.

Currently, many public school boards in America can exercise a certain degree of power and authority when it comes to approving or terminating a charter school’s contract. Indeed, many public school boards are increasingly saying no to more charter school applications and renewals given the big problems plaguing the charter school sector and the harmful effects charter schools have on public schools, the economy, society, and the national interest. It is clear that 30 years after they appeared in America, many are not on board with privately-operated charter schools that siphon enormous sums of money from public schools and generate poor results at many levels.

In Texas, Iowa, and elsewhere charter school promoters are working tirelessly with neoliberal state officials and legislators to bypass the elected boards that run public schools in order to replace them with entities that are answerable only to them. These entities are designed to circumvent the public authority enshrined in public school boards and typically consist of appointed individuals not accountable to the public. They usually take the form of “commissions,” “control boards,” “emergency financial managers,” “outside monitors,” or some reconfiguration of an existing government agency that significantly changes who decides what. In practice, these new entities give charter school corporations and non-educators more authority than the public, which makes it much easier to impose more charter schools on everyone.

To be sure, these supra-public entities more directly represent capital-centered interests and exclude public authority. Their power is set up to supersede the power of any public official or entity. The rich do not want individuals accountable to the public blocking the creation of new charter schools. This neoliberal strategy is not new but there is an escalation in efforts by the rich to reconfigure state power so as to impose privatization faster and with fewer “democratic obstacles.” To be clear, these top-down heavy-handed neoliberal entities are favored by charter school promoters because they (1) override public opinion, elected bodies, and democratic deliberations, (2) further concentrate power in the hands of charter school promoters, and (3) impose antisocial decisions on the polity with impunity. Objectively, they are a form of tyranny.

Charter school promoters know that there is stiff non-stop opposition to privately-operated non-profit and for-profit charter schools. For this reason, they see rule by decree carried out by executive bodies unaccountable to the public as a pragmatic neoliberal mechanism to override persistent democratic objections to dismantling public education and privatizing schools. Decades of disinformation from charter school promoters has not succeeded in eliminating human social consciousness. From coast to coast, the problems with charter schools are being exposed more rapidly and thoroughly. Major owners of capital know that they cannot impose their narrow private interests on the public without some sort of coercive mechanism to do so.

More privatization necessarily requires less democracy. This applies to every sector of society and all levels of government. Privatization is wreaking havoc at home and abroad. And the antisocial “Great Reset” agenda of the international financial oligarchy promises even more privatization worldwide. Capital-centered interests and human-centered interests are antagonistic and cannot be harmonized. No one should believe that working people and owners of capital have the same interests. Objectively, major owners of capital and the public have opposing interests that cannot be reconciled. This point cannot be overstated.

In this context, human-centered interests must figure out how to oppose and overcome these and other neoliberal assaults on the public interest and public power. It is not acceptable for a handful of historically superfluous millionaires and billionaires to eliminate public right and impose their narrow will on everyone. Who thinks this is a good idea in the 21st century? The public has no interest in funding pay-the-rich schemes like privately-operated non-profit and for-profit charter schools. A modern nation based on mass industrial production needs a large, organized, universal, public, free, world-class, integrated, fully-funded school system that serves everyone and is free of all private influences. There is no legitimate reason for any private actor, organization, or entity to have any access to public funds, resources, programs, and facilities that rightly belong to the public. The distinction between public and private should never be blurred.

The post Neoliberal State Restructuring: Charter School Promoters Bypass Elected Governance and Impose Rule By Decree first appeared on Dissident Voice.

30th Anniversary of Charter Schools: Three Decades of Neoliberal Wrecking

June 4, 2021 marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the first charter school law in the United States. Privately-operated charter schools are now legal in 45 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont have no laws enabling the creation of charter schools.

About 3.3 million youth are currently enrolled in roughly 7,400 charter schools across the country. By comparison, about 50 million students are enrolled in 100,000 public schools in the U.S. The U.S. public education system has been around for more than 150 years and educates 90% of the nation’s youth.

While charter schools, also known as contract schools, have grown rapidly over the last three decades, so have the endless serious problems associated with them, including the closure of more than 3,000 charter schools, usually for reasons such as financial malfeasance, mismanagement, or poor academic performance. Scandal, corruption, and controversy have been the main fellow-travelers of these segregated and outsourced schools operated by unelected individuals.

From the perspective of major owners of capital and their representatives, there is much to celebrate about the 30th anniversary of charter schools, namely the neoliberal restructuring of the state to undermine the American public education system in order to funnel tens of billions of public dollars from public schools into their private hands. Not surprisingly, the rise of privately-operated non-profit and for-profit charter schools has been a disaster for public schools, the public interest, society, the economy, and the national interest. The only thing “innovative” about charter schools is their ability to develop new forms of transferring public funds to narrow private interests under the banner of high ideals. Charter schools have always been pay-the-rich schemes that take socially-produced wealth out of the economy and leave the public worse off. As “private-public-partnerships” they represent another form of state-organized corruption to pay the rich. This has been the norm since 1991. Charter schools never started out as a humble, virtuous, organic, pro-social, benign, grass-roots “experiment.” Charter schools are a textbook example of neoliberal arrangements in the sphere of education. Their different forms, shapes, profiles, locations, and sizes do not change their neoliberal essence.

The public should not forget that charter schools are not public schools and that many, if not most, are not really “tuition-free” or “open to all kids.” It is well-known that charter schools choose parents and students, not the other way around. Charter schools routinely cherry-pick students and engage in discriminatory enrollment practices. It is also the case that many charter school authorizers are not really public in the proper sense of the word either. It is also worth noting that deregulated charter schools are created by private citizens.

Charter schools have not closed the “opportunity gap” or the “achievement gap.” Thousands have a poor academic track record. Their “autonomy” and “flexibility” to deliver “results” in the name of “accountability,” “choice,” and “competition” is another way of saying that they do not follow the same public standards that apply to public schools and that they operate with impunity. Coast to coast, the gap between charter school hype and charter school realities remains as wide today as it was 30 years ago. Charter schools are notorious for over-promising and under-delivering.

Charter schools are segregated, deunionized, unaccountable, non-transparent, deregulated schools that spend lots of money on advertising—just like a private business. They usually over-pay administrators, are run by unelected individuals, and cannot levy taxes. They hire more inexperienced and more uncertified teachers than public schools, generally pay teachers less than their public school counterparts, and also tend to have fewer nurses than public schools. Many charter school teachers are not even part of an employee retirement system.

Charter schools also tend to offer fewer full-fledged services and programs than public schools. Many do not provide transportation or proper food services and sports programs. On top of all this, hundreds of charter schools open and close every year, ensuring chaos, instability, and anarchy in the sphere of education, which is terrible for teaching, learning, and community.

Importantly, charter school promoters openly and publicly embrace “free market” ideology even though recurring economic crises have thoroughly discredited such an antisocial ideology. It is generally recognized that there is little that is “free” about the “free market” in a highly monopolized economy with a fine-tuned revolving door between government and rich individuals. With no sense of irony, charter school promoters casually talk about students and parents as consumers and shoppers instead of humans and citizens with basic rights that a modern government is duty-bound to guarantee in practice. Charter school promoters believe that a social Darwinist outlook based on winners and losers—competition—is wonderful for education. They think this is a good healthy thing. They endorse the idea and strategy that “edupreneurs” should use public dollars to run segregated schools governed by unelected individuals. They loathe the American public education system which has produced millions of educated individuals who have built the nation. They have no conception of education as a social responsibility and a human right that must be guaranteed. In the context of a modern socialized economy, charter schools increase social irresponsibility and anarchy in the sphere of education.

Charter school advocates are also averse to grasping the critical difference between public and private. They prefer to blur this distinction for private financial gain. Charter school advocates believe that if they assert 50 times a day that a charter school is a public school, then this will cause people to not recognize their privatized, marketized, corporatized character. They think that no one can see charter schools for the pay-the-rich schemes that they are.

There is nothing to celebrate about neoliberal education arrangements called charter schools. They have not solved any problems, just created more. Charter schools cannot be prettified no matter how hard their supporters and promoters try. They are terribly inequitable and do not meet the nation’s needs. Thirty years later all we have is even more controversy and scandal surrounding charter schools. Cyber charter schools and so-called “no-excuses” charter schools are especially scandalous. Is this what a successful “education experiment” looks like? What evidence is there that the next 30 years will be any better?

Charter schools have changed the American education landscape for the worse, which is why opposition to them is steadily-growing, not diminishing. This is bound to happen as the many problems with charter schools become more exposed and analyzed. The public gains nothing from funneling socially-produced wealth into the hands of narrow private interests concerned with cashing in on kids. Neoliberal arrangements in education are a big step backward, not something to rejoice.

One of the ironies in this entire saga is that one of the oldest charter schools in Minnesota, home to the first charter school law in the U.S., was recently shut down for the usual litany of serious problems affecting most charter schools. Many charter schools have a short shelf life. Hundreds close every year, leaving many minority families feeling angry and abandoned. Not surprisingly, charter school promoters rarely highlight, let alone openly and honestly discuss, the many grave problems plaguing the crisis-prone charter school sector. They prefer instead to present a Disney-esque portrait of charter schools, something akin to a fairy tale.

The next 30 years can be much better and much different. We can have a public school system free of the influence of privileged private interests. We can and must have a public school system controlled by a public authority worthy of the name.

Moving forward, it is critical for defenders of public education and the public interest to keep developing and strengthening the movement against privatization in general and school privatization in particular. This is an exciting time to keep galvanizing more people from all walks of life to keep public funds, resources, and facilities in public hands. History and justice are on our side.

Capital-centered interests will always oppose human-centered interests. Fortunately, there is a growing recognition that privatizers and neoliberals are historically superfluous and a big burden on society.

The post 30th Anniversary of Charter Schools: Three Decades of Neoliberal Wrecking first appeared on Dissident Voice.

From 1980s Neoliberalism to the ‘New Normal’ 

Sold under the pretence of a quest for optimising well-being and ‘happiness’, capitalism thrives on the exploitation of peoples and the environment. What really matters is the strive to maintain viable profit margins. The prevailing economic system demands ever-increasing levels of extraction, production and consumption and needs a certain level of annual GDP growth for large firms to make sufficient profit.

But at some point, markets become saturated, demand rates fall and overproduction and overaccumulation of capital becomes a problem. In response, we have seen credit markets expand and personal debt increase to maintain consumer demand as workers’ wages have been squeezed, financial and real estate speculation rise (new investment markets), stock buy backs and massive bail outs and subsidies (public money to maintain the viability of private capital) and an expansion of militarism (a major driving force for many sectors of the economy).

We have also witnessed systems of production abroad being displaced for global corporations to then capture and expand markets in foreign countries.

The old normal

Much of what is outlined above is inherent to capitalism. But the 1980s was a crucial period that helped set the framework for where we find ourselves today.

Remember when the cult of the individual was centre stage? It formed part of the Reagan-Thatcher rhetoric of the ‘new normal’ of 1980s neoliberalism.

In the UK, the running down of welfare provision was justified by government-media rhetoric about ‘individual responsibility’, reducing the role of the state and the need to ‘stand on your own two feet’. The selling off of public assets to profiteering corporations was sold to the masses on the basis of market efficiency and ‘freedom of choice’.

The state provision of welfare, education, health services and the role of the public sector was relentlessly undermined by neoliberal dogma and the creed that the market (global corporations) constituted the best method for supplying human needs.

Thatcher’s stated mission was to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit by rolling back the ‘nanny state’. She wasted little time in crushing the power of the trade unions and privatising key state assets.

Despite her rhetoric, she did not actually reduce the role of the state. She used its machinery differently, on behalf of business. Neither did she unleash the ‘spirit of entrepreneurialism’. Economic growth rates under her were similar as in the 1970s, but a concentration of ownership occurred and levels of inequality rocketed.

Margaret Thatcher was well trained in perception management, manipulating certain strands of latent populist sentiment and prejudice. Her free market, anti-big-government platitudes were passed off to a section of the public that was all too eager to embrace them as a proxy for remedying all that was wrong with Britain. For many, what were once regarded as the extreme social and economic policies of the right became entrenched as the common sense of the age.

Thatcher’s policies destroyed a fifth of Britain’s industrial base in just two years alone. The service sector, finance and banking were heralded as the new drivers of the economy, as much of Britain’s manufacturing sector was out-sourced to cheap labour economies.

Under Thatcher, employees’ share of national income was slashed from 65% to 53%. Long gone are many of the relatively well-paid manufacturing jobs that helped build and sustain the economy. In their place, the country has witnessed the imposition of a low taxation regime and low-paid and insecure ‘service sector’ jobs (no-contract work, macjobs, call centre jobs – many of which soon went abroad) as well as a real estate bubble, credit card debt and student debt, which helped to keep the economy afloat.

However, ultimately, what Thatcher did was – despite her rhetoric of helping small-scale businesses and wrapping herself in the national flag – facilitate the globalisation process by opening the British economy to international capital flows and allowing free rein for global finance and transnational corporations.

Referring to the beginning of this article, it is clear whose happiness and well-being counts most and whose does not matter at all as detailed by David Rothkopf in his 2008 book Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making. Members of the superclass belong to the megacorporation-interlocked, policy-building elites of the world and come from the highest echelons of finance, industry, the military, government and other shadow elites. These are the people whose interests Margaret Thatcher was serving.

These people set the agendas at the Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg, G-7, G-20, NATO, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization.

And let us not forget the various key think tanks and policy making arenas like the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institute and Chatham House as well as the World Economic Forum (WEF), where sections of the global elite forge policies and strategies and pass them to their political handmaidens.

Driven by the vision of its influential executive chairman Klaus Schwab, the WEF is a major driving force for the dystopian ‘great reset’, a tectonic shift that intends to change how we live, work and interact with each other.

The new normal

The great reset envisages a transformation of capitalism, resulting in permanent restrictions on fundamental liberties and mass surveillance as livelihoods and entire sectors are sacrificed to boost the monopoly and hegemony of pharmaceutical corporations, high-tech/big data giants, Amazon, Google, major global chains, the digital payments sector, biotech concerns, etc.

Under the cover of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, the great reset is being rolled out under the guise of a ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ in which smaller enterprises are to be driven to bankruptcy or bought up by monopolies. Economies are being ‘restructured’ and many jobs and roles will be carried out by AI-driven technology.

The WEF says the public will ‘rent’ everything they require: stripping the right of ownership under the guise of a ‘green economy’ underpinned by the rhetoric of ‘sustainable consumption’ and ‘climate emergency’.

At the same time new (‘green product’) markets are being created and, on the back of COVID, fresh opportunities for profit extraction are opening up abroad. For instance, World Bank Group President David Malpass has stated that poorer countries will be ‘helped’ to get back on their feet after the various lockdowns that have been implemented in response to the Covid-19 crisis. This ‘help’ will be on condition that neoliberal reforms and the undermining of public services are implemented and become further embedded.

Just a month into the COVID crisis, the IMF and World Bank were already facing a deluge of aid requests from developing countries. Scores of countries were asking for bailouts and loans. Ideal cover for rebooting the global economy via a debt crisis and the subsequent privatisation of national assets and the further ‘structural adjustment’ of economies.

Many people waste no time in referring to this as  some kind of ‘Marxist’ or ‘communist’ takeover of the planet because a tiny elite will be dictating policies. This has nothing to do with Marxism. An authoritarian capitalist elite – supported by their political technocrats – aims to secure even greater control of the global economy. It will no longer be a (loosely labelled) ‘capitalism’ based on ‘free’ markets and competition (not that those concepts ever really withstood proper scrutiny). Economies will be monopolised by global players, not least e-commerce platforms run by the likes of Amazon, Walmart, Facebook and Google and their multi-billionaire owners.

Essential (for capitalism) new markets will also be created through the ‘financialisation’ and ownership of all aspects of nature, which is to be colonised, commodified and traded under the fraudulent notion of protecting the environment.

The so-called ‘green economy’ will fit in with the notion of ‘sustainable consumption’ and ‘climate emergency’. A bunch of billionaires and their platforms will control every aspect of the value chain. Of course, they themselves will not reduce their own consumption or get rid of their personal jets, expensive vehicles, numerous exclusive homes or ditch their resource gobbling lifestyles. Reduced consumption is meant only for the masses.

They will not only control and own data about consumption but also control and own data on production, logistics, who needs what, when they need it, who should produce it, who should move it and when it should be moved. Independent enterprises will disappear or become incorporated into the platforms acting as subservient cogs. Elected representatives will be mere technocratic overseers of these platforms and the artificial intelligence tools that plan and determine all of the above.

The lockdowns and restrictions we have seen since March 2020 have helped boost the bottom line of global chains and the e-commerce giants and have cemented their dominance. Many small and medium-size independent enterprises have been pushed towards bankruptcy. At the same time, fundamental rights have been eradicated under COVID19 government measures.

Politicians in countries throughout the world have been using the rhetoric of the WEF’s great reset, talking of the need to ‘build back better’ for the ‘new normal’. They are all on point. Hardly a coincidence. Essential to this ‘new normal’ is the compulsion to remove individual liberties and personal freedoms given that, in the ‘green new normal’, unfettered consumption will no longer be an option for the bulk of the population.

It has long been the case that a significant part of the working class has been deemed ‘surplus to requirements’ – three decades ago, such people were sacrificed on the altar of neo-liberalism. They lost their jobs due to automation and offshoring. They have had to rely on meagre state welfare and run-down public services.

But what we are now seeing is the possibility of hundreds of millions around the world being robbed of their livelihoods. Forget about the benign sounding ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and its promised techno-utopia. What we are witnessing right now seems to be a major restructuring of capitalist economies.

With AI and advanced automation of production, distribution and service provision (3D printing/manufacturing, drone technology, driverless vehicles, lab grown food, farmerless farms, robotics, etc), a mass labour force – and therefore mass education, mass welfare, mass healthcare provision and entire systems that were in place to reproduce labour for capitalist economic activity – will no longer be required. As economic activity is restructured, labour’s relationship to capital is being transformed.

In a reorganised system that no longer needs to sell the virtues of excessive individualism (consumerism), the levels of political and civil rights and freedoms we have been used to will not be tolerated.

Neoliberalism might have reached its logical conclusion (for now). Making trade unions toothless, beating down wages to create unimaginable levels of inequality and (via the dismantling of Bretton Woods) affording private capital so much freedom to secure profit and political clout under the guise of ‘globalisation’ would inevitably lead to one outcome.

A concentration of wealth, power, ownership and control at the top with large sections of the population on state-controlled universal basic income and everyone subjected to the discipline of an emerging biosecurity surveillance state designed to curtail liberties ranging from freedom of movement and assembly to political protest and free speech.

Perception management is, of course, vital for pushing through all of this. Rhetoric about ‘liberty’ and ‘individual responsibility’ worked a treat in the 1980s to help bring about a massive heist of wealth. This time, it is a public health scare and ‘collective responsibility’ as part of a strategy to help move towards near-monopolistic control over economies by a handful of global players.  

And the perception of freedom is also being managed. Once vaccinated many will begin to feel free. Freer than under lockdown. But not really free at all.

The post From 1980s Neoliberalism to the ‘New Normal’  first appeared on Dissident Voice.

New York: Oppose Charter School Cap Increase

Currently, New York State limits the number of charter schools allowed in the state to 460. In 1998, when the state passed its charter school law, the numerical limit was 100. The law has been amended three times since 1998 to not only increase the number of charter schools allowed in the state but to also further lower the standards of accountability and transparency required of privately-operated charter schools.

Putting aside the issues of inflated charter school waiting lists, widespread corruption, discriminatory enrollment practices, high teacher turnover rates, and the fact that 50 charter schools have closed in New York State over the past 20 years, this dramatic neoliberal expansion in the number of charter schools allowed in the state has produced serious problems for public schools and charter schools themselves. The biggest problem has been charter schools depriving public schools of billions of dollars in public funds, resources, and facilities while delivering unimpressive results on several levels. It is also worth noting that with black and Hispanic students making up more than 90 percent of the students enrolled in New York City’s charter schools, these schools are some of the most segregated in the country. Such a setup not only undermines public education but also harms the economy, society, and the national interest.

While nearly 400 charter schools have been authorized to date, about 325 were open in 2020-2021. New York City alone is home to about 265 charter schools. The City reached its charter school limit in March 2019. About 92 open/unused charter school slots remain available outside New York City. There are other statistics pertaining to charter schools in New York State that account for why these numbers don’t always round up evenly (e.g., the number of “conversion” charter schools established in the state over the years), but these are reliable numbers to go by. The main issue is the statewide cap on charter schools and how this is currently affecting New York City in particular.

Not surprisingly, major owners of capital are once again deploying a pitch fork mentality to bully legislators, leaders, and state and city officials to override the public interest and increase the cap on charter schools allowed in New York City. For neoliberals and privatizers there are few pay-the-rich schemes more profitable than deregulated charter schools run by unelected individuals. Owning and operating more segregated charter schools is critical for owners of capital desperately trying to counteract the law of the falling rate of profit. The neoliberal restructuring of state laws is critical to maximizing profit as fast as possible, regardless of how damaging this is to the natural and social environment. Neoliberals and privatizers want laws changed in order to advance their narrow private interests at the expense of the common good—and all of this ruinous activity is carried out under the veneer of high ideals (e.g., “empowering parents” and offering “choices”).

While preventing a rise in the number of charter schools allowed in New York State is a good thing, it would be immensely better if no public funds, resources, and buildings found their way into the hands of charter school owners and operators. These public resources are produced by working people and belong to the public, not narrow private interests. Capitalist firms like Charter Management Organizations (CMOs) and Education Management Organizations (EMOs) should not have access to public funds and resources that belong to the public. Ending the flow of public funds, resources, and facilities to the private interests that operate non-profit and for-profit charter schools would greatly benefit public schools, society, the economy, and the national interest.

The public should remain vigilant about the non-stop effort by pro-privatization fanatics to push for an increase in the number of charter schools allowed in the state and city. No one should be fooled by their grandstanding and twisted logic. Now is the time to declare a moratorium on all new charter schools and to ensure that public funds, resources, and facilities remain in public hands only.

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School Privatizers Restructure State of Iowa to Seize Public Funds

School privatizers and their political representatives are relentless in their efforts to restructure the state along neoliberal lines so as to restrict democracy and funnel more public funds into private hands. Privatization is a main mechanism for enriching major owners of capital, eliminating democratic arrangements, and degrading the public interest in the context of a continually failing economy. Privatization allows neoliberals to temporarily avert the law of the falling rate of profit under capitalism.

Recently, the Governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, signed a law that significantly increases the ability of major owners of capital to siphon public funds from public schools by creating more charter schools while also eliminating long-standing democratic arrangements, namely local school control over what happens in local school districts.

Under the new law, neoliberals seeking to privately appropriate public money can circumvent local public school boards and apply directly to the State Board of Education to start a charter school operated by unelected individuals.

The public has no say over this or what happens to the taxes they pay.

The new law no longer requires the approval of privately-operated charter schools by local school districts and sets the stage for even less accountability and transparency from charter school operators. The new law will further deprive Iowa’s public schools of much-needed funds produced by working people.

Through such top-down actions, the governor and other representatives of the rich refuse to take action to fully-fund and support Iowa’s public schools and have instead decided to make families and students fend-for-themselves when it comes to getting an education. This chaos and anarchy will be unleashed in the name of “choice” and “empowering parents.”

Currently, there are only two charter schools in Iowa. This number will increase rapidly now that the door has been opened to more effortlessly establishing neoliberal school arrangements. It is much easier for privatizers to get approval from one high-level state authority (e.g., the State Board of Education) than it is from trying to get approval from one of dozens or hundreds of local state authorities like public schools.

There are 100,000 public schools in the U.S. and they are governed by school boards comprised of publicly elected individuals. School boards are a main form of elected governance that neoliberals and privatizers are desperate to eliminate because “too much democracy” hinders privatization and the elimination of the public interest. Neoliberals and privatizers want the public to believe that the triumph of their capital-centered will over the public will is in the best interest of humanity.

Far from solving any problems though, privatization intensifies inequality, reduces efficiency, lessens transparency, increases corruption, raises costs, diminishes workers’ voices, lowers the quality of services, takes money out of the economy, and undermines the general interests of society. It is through these antisocial arrangements and methods that owners of capital are able to seize large sums of public wealth to temporarily counteract the law of the falling rate of profit under capitalism.

It won’t be long before the public begins to hear of the scandals, poor performance, segregation, arrests, fraud, and corruption that invariably accompany charter schools. Speaking up now and planning new forms of action with analysis to advance the public interest are critical. Privatizers and neoliberals are not invincible, they can be defeated. But even when they are defeated people must be vigilant to ensure that privatizers and neoliberals do not succeed in any future attempts to violate the public interest.

The post School Privatizers Restructure State of Iowa to Seize Public Funds first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Try as You May to Deny, but Evil is in Our DNA

What’s gotten in the way of education in the United States is a theory of social engineering that says there is ONE RIGHT WAY to proceed with growing up.
― John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

Exploring Coffee's Past To Rescue Its Future : The Salt : NPR

We used to research the cup of coffee. School. Mostly community colleges, but at two universities — UT-El Paso and Gonzaga. A lot of evening classes I taught. Even on military compounds, and in prisons, and in the bowels of twin plants in Juarez.

In the old days, sleeves rolled up, adults and young people in classrooms, computers, paper and white boards at our ready, would get comfortable and uncomfortable. It was not an easy class, those Composition 101 and 102 mandatory (sometimes ONLY) writing classes for college students (I am so for mandatory 12 classes on writing, thinking, media, rhetoric, propaganda, etc.). Food and drinks, music during essay writing, and face to face consternation and confrontation. Cooperation.

That cup of coffee from the earliest look at where that bean came from originally intrigued the students. Who would have known (we talked about the Colombian exchange, the Doctrine of Discovery, food, animals, other things that came to the Imperialists). Think of the spice islands on steroids:

The original domesticated coffee plant is said to have been from Harar, and the native population is thought to be derived from Ethiopia with distinct nearby populations in Sudan and Kenya. Coffee was primarily consumed in the Islamic world where it originated and was directly related to religious practices.

Fun stuff, this sort of research and writing, and deep dive. We turned these assignments into poetry, poster illustrations, research papers on the diseases of coffee, on the power of coffee like so many thousands of other foods and products, crossing oceans. Many a product of empire and racism, and the coffee paper also turned into “Is There Slavery in Your Chocolate?” essays.

In recent years, a handful of organizations and journalists have exposed the widespread use of child labor, and in some cases slavery, on cocoa farms in Western Africa. Since then, the industry has become increasingly secretive, making it difficult for reporters to not only access farms where human rights violations still occur, but to then disseminate this information to the public. In 2004, the Ivorian First Lady’s entourage allegedly kidnapped and killed a journalist reporting on government corruption in its profitable cocoa industry. In 2010, Ivorian government authorities detained three newspaper journalists after they published an article exposing government corruption in the cocoa sector. The farms of Western Africa supply cocoa to international giants such as Hershey’s, Mars, and Nestlé—revealing the industry’s direct connection to the worst forms of child labor, human trafficking, and slavery. (Source)

Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil by Gavin Mayhew
Your Chocolate Pleasure Supports Child Slavery - YouTube

So much has happened since I first hit the streets as a newspaper journalist in 1977, and so much has changed since I started teaching college classes in research writing and writing and journalism (1983). The “see, speak, hear no evil” paradigm is the destiny of capitalists. It is the way of who we are every waking nanosecond of our lives. Boycott Divest Sanction my ass. This is where I also pretzel myself into contradiction after contradiction. I should be on an island, or just on 20 acres I have near Mount Adams. Eating mushrooms and stitching moss and bark clothing.

Do ostriches really bury their head in the sand? - BBC Science Focus  Magazine

Capitalism is the cancer, virus, prion, the tapeworm, the carrot and the stick. It is the blood sucker of all concepts. Slavery is Capitalism. We talked about this, in so many ways, not always me railing overtly with my anti-Capitalist thesis. I would bring to class small business owners, restaurant owners, ex-military, nonprofit directors, friends who were homeless, living in garages, artists, and dissidents of many kinds. Another thing that is DEAD in the water.

Now, you have to get people vetted and approved to come to a classroom. This is the sickness of our lefty culture. The rightwing has already played this card, too. “Why the hell are you bringing a person from Planned Parenthood to your class? Illegal. Stop. I’m calling the president.”

U.S. Coffee Facts Infographic by Kellen Lester, via Behance This infographic touches coffee consumption stat… | Coffee facts, Coffee facts infographic, Coffee uses

That coffee, now, looking at a cup, the ecological footprint, the energy used to get a cup of coffee to say, my Spokane students. Because Spokane loves its coffee. The amount of water used to grow a cup of coffee. We’d look at the coffee in Central America, or Colombia. Where that plant is grown. What was bulldozed to bring that plantation there. Who works the finca? Which indigenous group of non-Spanish speakers in Guatemala work these plantation, tends the bushes, picks and dries the cherries. Species lost, pesticides used. Water diverted. And, food crops denied.

Again, young and older adults, blown away in my classes, since I was teaching them to look deeper at any number of topics, and develop critical thinking and discourse skills, in whatever watered down version I’d get with many students who were coming to college ill-prepared to really write “essays.” Variations on a theme. Just the cup of liquid, first grown and processed in poor countries, takes about 38 gallons of water to grow.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is It-takes-37-gallons-of-water-to-produce-one-cup-of-coffee.jpg

We’d try and research more and more on the life-cycle of a ceramic cup or Starbucks thermos, and the life cycle and life span of a coffee maker. Embedded energy, waste, mining, slave warehouses, metals, all that fossil fuel to move those metals, cook them, mill them, ship them around the world. Sure, we could look at at sack of dried but not roasted coffee cherries coming from the Guatemala Highlands, and then where it gets shipped by boat, and then moved by truck, and then the actual cleaning and roasting of the coffee. Packaging, and then, that journey is crossing back and forth, over land, in the air, over seas.

The assignment blows many students’ minds, as it should. In the classroom, and I’d bring in a coffee person, with coffee and snacks, and she’d talk about farms in Mexico and Africa she’s visited. Talk about the flavor, the various types of coffees.

We’d look at Fair Trade, Beyond Fair Trade, Shade Grown and the like. Socially responsible coffee. I’d talk about how Vietnam — where I had gone and worked — was cutting more and more forests down to grow coffee. Coffee pests and diseases, and soil enhancements with fertilizers. The entire life cycle analysis of as many things we could extract from the coffee history and production, well, it blows students’ minds, and it only works in person. Don’t fool yourself with the fucking mouse, keyboard and Zoom camera/mic.

We need to talk about the environmental and human and ecological costs of plantation, mountain-razing coffee:

2.2 A Bitter Brew- Coffee Production, Deforestation, Soil Erosion and Water Contamination | Environmental Biology

This pathetic Zoom and remote learning (sic) formula is the deadening of the brain. Recall, Americans already have three quarters of their brains (or more) colonized by lies, propaganda, hate, myth, plain stupidity, largely from terrible K12 (prison with smiling teachers) and all the marketing, and a government whose job is to fleece the masses for the company men, and fleecing includes culling thinking and deep analysis.

All this work, for coffee? Nope, because the students then do some of their own research on any manner of things. Cause and effect, solutions, pro-con, classification, expository, digital rhetoric, and deeper position papers. Research, and while we share sources and do all sorts of things at home, in groups, the big thing is getting the classroom energized, talking, arguing. Debate every minute. We even meet out of class in a, well, coffee shop, and coffee roaster.

Thinking about origins and perspectives. This is a full-time job as an instructor, in the class with all sorts of human beings there taking in and reacting to the work, the talks, the learning and the discourse. This Zoom shit is the death of humanity as I knew it. Radical Pedagogy, 2003 article!

Why Online Education Can Never Replace the Real Thing 1

Always with food, something in the class, mostly evening classes.

In 1960, the University of Missouri published a short “Guide for Television Teachers.” Across the country, over 100 different colleges offered nearly 500 televised courses to a half a million students. So professors needed pointers about the best way to teach in this burgeoning new medium.

“Relax,” the Missouri guide underlined. “Try to be yourself.” Male professors should wear “conservative” ties, the guide added, while women should avoid necklines or hemlines that might “cause discomfort or embarrassment” if they leaned over a counter or sat in a low chair. Once they were properly attired, they could loosen up and let their real character shine through. “Remember that the TV camera projects your natural personality best,” the guide urged, “and the more relaxed and natural that you are, the better you will reach your viewers.”

Slavery: The Original Bitter In Your Chocolate | Chocolate Class

Who are these children forced to work the cocoa plantations of the Ivory Coast?

Ask more of your chocolate – Alter Eco

Shit, those were the days. And here I am, suffering at age 64. I am feeling the burn, the beat-down burn, of more and more people around me stupid, mean, see-speak-hear not evil when it comes to this fucked up Empire, This War Machine. Those were the good old days? Is that my new mindset and refrain?

See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil by Simulacrumble on DeviantArt

It is the contradiction to be an American totally — North American, Canadian or citizen of the USA. Every waking and sleeping minute we are covering the world in blood, exploitation, penury, death. Pain and misery is the way of the land. The hollow media, the celebrities in music and film, oh even more viral than the politicians. They are the elite, or the elite’s house boys or house girls.

“So what can we do but go with the flow? Just let it go. They have all the power, so just live your life as best you can. It’s not that bad. If we don’t bomb the world, steal the minerals, colonize space with weapons, then someone else will. What about China, Russia? I want a family, a job, and just a chance to live on weekends and kayak and smell the moose dung.”

I am down — really depressed — because of what that cup of coffee assignment represents: I am old. I am no good as a teacher because it is a digital and PC and cancel culture study body. I am down because most of the people I would have worked with years ago on political issues, as artists, well, they are either dead, or brains deadened by the struggle and the losing. I am depressed because that cup of coffee assignment is not lauded. The entire Western Civilization or Western Culture is in various forms of mental illness. That illness grouping includes a million wrong ways to medicate or mediate the illnesses of the minds.

Mental health: 'Spike in self-harm, suicide ideation amid Covid-19  pandemic' - Times of India

I am not that, but I am alone, it seems. Now, the coffee, and where it comes from. Do I invest in Folgers Coffee (a division of J.M Smucker Company)? This is what’s depressing me now — my spouse and I are moving some money saved into some investments. Now I have to decide how to put some of it away, or as they say, to invest it. Because there are no interest rates, the average person can’t go to a state bank or any institution and put money into a municipal bond to do some good for society and make a few percentage points above zero. What’s wrong with 4 percent or 5 percent interest? That is the crime, zero or negative interest rates. Criminal. Imagine, there is not one thing on planet Earth, planet Wall Street, planet Retirement Fund which is not heavily tainted with DDDD: death, disease, destruction and destitution. We have been relooking at Socially Responsible Mutual Funds, or ESG’s, and the picture was never pretty:

ESG Ratings: How can a business' environmental and social impact be measured?

Oh, you can say, “Broker, find me a fund that isn’t into war, weapons, mining, prisons, guns, germs, exploitation, banks, insurance companies.” It is virtually impossible. You might not want Walmart stock in the mutual fund, but then Amazon and Facebook and Kraft Foods might be in it. Microsoft, Boeing. Any amount of honor or commitment to NOT engaging in investing that gives money to the murderers, the exploiters, the ocean-soil-jungle-forest-wetland-river killers, it is all lost because they all are wrapped up into one big fat thievery corporation — BlackRock and Blackstone and the top 100 banks, hedge funds, and so many other “if-you-can-make-6-or-12-percent-on-yearly-return” investment products are so embedded in the master slavers in Fortune 1000 circles, and even within the 10,000 largest corporations.

Housing Is A Human Right Stephen Schwarzman Proposition 21 Blackstone

[Modern-Day Robber Baron: The Sins of Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman]

The system is rigged for brokers to use brokerage houses, big ones, and those fees — buy, sell, trade, manage — more money and profits made for NOT producing one potato or bicycle. Yet, MBAs and the others in this crew believe that they don’t want their precious children to work the slave fields of Ivory Coast, or to be soccer ball stitchers, or to be at the wrong end of a toxic waste discharge hose. But invest in Hershey’s, or Nike, or Smithfield, well, out of sight, out of mind. Yep, they would not want their precious families bombed with the amazing number of components tied to an amazing number of businesses wrapped up in one missile. Screws, wires, capacitors, metal shrouding, telemetry, paint, seals, nuts and bolts, precision metal parts, tubes and coils and electronic guidance systems and batteries and, well, you get the picture. But goddamn, you can make bank on investing in defense (sic) companies because there is an endless demand by governments to have that shit in stock. We the taxpayer pay for those Hellfire’s:

Lockheed Martin, Boeing (previous second source), and Northrop Grumman (seeker only for AGM-114L Longbow Hellfire) Unit cost US$150,000 (FY 2021)!

The Military-Industrial Complex | Hoover Institution

It’s much more than just those three companies making bank for these missiles. There is an entire contingent (armies) of companies and service economies tied to this murder weapon:

AGM-114 Hellfire II Missile, United States of America

Pretty simple looking murder weapon: those companies making tons of money, and the death makes more money for them, in resupplying.

3d hellfire ii missle missile model

In the past, I have studied mutual funds I have invested in, to squirrel away some savings, and the picture is pretty ugly. There are no SRI’s that are nothing more than just market washing. Socially Responsible Investing, NOT:

21 Best Mutual Funds for Investment in 2021-22

Top Holdings — Axis Bluechip

Company Sector P/E 3Y High 3Y Low % Assets
up Infosys Technology 29.50 10.06 1.48 9.36
equal Bajaj Finance Financial 76.34 10.38 4.36 8.98
up HDFC Bank Financial 24.82 10.94 6.06 8.97
up Tata Consultancy Services Technology 34.90 9.05 2.30 7.32
up Kotak Mahindra Bank Financial 33.90 9.46 4.74 7.12
up ICICI Bank Financial 23.28 8.05 0.00 7.07
up Avenue Supermarts Services 178.26 7.41 2.45 5.55
equal HDFC Financial 23.54 6.82 1.28 5.01
up Reliance Industries Energy 27.33 8.33 0.89 4.30
up Divi’s Laboratories Healthcare 57.37 3.15 0.00 3.15
equal Hindustan Unilever FMCG 68.89 5.27 1.49 2.58
up Ultratech Cement Construction 34.72 2.36 0.00 2.24
up Asian Paints Chemicals 85.41 4.24 1.32 2.17
equal Nestle India FMCG 77.15 4.59 0.00 2.14
up Motherson Sumi Systems Automobile 147.57 2.08 0.00 2.08
down Maruti Suzuki India Automobile 46.37 5.83 0.00 1.89
equal Pidilite Industries Chemicals 86.93 2.55 0.60 1.82
up Bharti Airtel Communication 5.50 0.00 1.79
equal Cipla Healthcare 31.01 2.36 0.00 1.62
up Wipro Technology 25.80 1.83 0.00 1.55
down Shree Cement Construction 49.08 1.59 0.00 1.32
new Tata Steel Metals 17.76 1.21 0.00 1.21
equal Titan Company Cons Durable 139.72 3.45 0.78 0.98
equal Dr. Reddy’s Lab Healthcare 44.62 3.21 0.00 0.94
equal HDFC Life Insurance Financial 99.18 1.82 0.00 0.89

This is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Fund holdings, in general:

The Gates Foundation's Hypocritical Investments – Mother Jones

Top Warren Buffett Stocks By Size

Here are the top 10 Warren Buffett stocks by number of shares, as of March 31:

  • Bank of America (BAC), 1.01 billion
  • Apple (AAPL), 887.1 million
  • Coca-Cola (KO), 400 million
  • Kraft Heinz (KHC), 325.6 million
  • Verizon (VZ), 158.8 million
  • American Express (AXP), 151.6 million
  • U.S. Bancorp (USB), 129.7 million
  • Bank of New York Mellon (BK), 72.4 million
  • General Motors (GM), 67 million
  • Kroger (KR), 51.1 million

Look at what Warren Buffett owns as part of Berkshire Hathaway. Products — Diversified investments, property and casualty insurance, Utilities, Restaurants, Food processing, Aerospace, Media, Toys, Automotive, Sporting goods, Consumer products, Internet, Real estate, Railroad

How Does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Invest Its Money?

So the average Joe and Jane, if they get a mutual fund or two for some long-term investment, this is the reality — you might be a social justice warrior, an anti-racist campaigner, an anti-war proponent, an environmentalist, community crusader, a socialist, an anti-capitalist, but if you stick your toe just a bit into the pond for minimal investments, just to protect a few thousand dollars here and there, this is what you get — money into the pockets of madmen: school to prison pipeline experts, war lords, surveillance capitalists, drug pushers, bad loan chieftains, medical fraudsters, real estate thugs, polluters, mountaintop removers, river toxifiers, land thieves, propaganda priests.

I am so serious about this now — where does the money go, and which company is being supported by stockholders shoveling money into their companies? Look at the union busters, at the price gougers, at the political lobbying arms, all these giant corporations and their networks of bunkos!

You can turn blue in the face decrying Monsanto (Bayer) for its pesticide poisons or Exxon for climate change propaganda or Sackler/Purdue Pharmacy for opioid addictions, but if you have a mutual fund, there is a chance that somehow those companies are entwined somewhere in the formula of a “strong mutual fund.”

The corporate giants are also demanding that Congress allow the repatriation of about $2.5 trillion stashed abroad without paying more than 5% tax. They say the money would be used to grow the economy and create jobs. Last time CEOs promised this result in 2004, Congress approved, and then was double-crossed. The companies spent the bulk on stock buybacks, their own pay raises and some dividend increases.

There are more shenanigans. With low interest rates that are deductible, companies actually borrow money to finance their stock buybacks. If the stock market tanks, these companies will have a self-created debt load to handle. A former Citigroup executive, Richard Parsons, has expressed worry about a “massively manipulated” stock market which “scares the crap” out of him.

Banks that pay you near zero interest on your savings announced on June 28, 2017 the biggest single buyback in history – a $92.8 billion extraction. Drug companies who say their sky-high drug prices are needed to fund R&D. But between 2006 and 2017, 18 drug company CEOs spent a combined staggering $516 billion on buybacks and dividends – more than their inflated claims of spending for R&D. — Nader

We all are sinners in capitalism — just paying our tax bill: death and destruction raining down on Palestinians, for example:

“Seven deadly sins: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Science without humanity, Knowledge without character, Politics without principle, Commerce without morality, Worship without sacrifice.” – Mahatma Gandhi

America's Last Snake-handling Cults

Oh, we all think we have found the formula for living in this insane and murderous country. Oh, we have to put nose to the grindstone. Follow the leaders. Get the jab. Do as you are told. You home is not your castle. There are no 40 acres and a mule. No handouts. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. Pinch your nose, cover your eyes, plug your ears, muffle your mouth!

What is capitalism for dummies, currency rate of exchange in mexico

So, you end up throwing in the towel — no purity test, no selective boycotting of this or that product or service. No true anti-Imperialist leaning, when tax filing time comes. Nothing free in this un-Democratic land of thieves, murderers and thugs. Almost every step you take in America is full of landmines, cow pies, toxic puddles and electrified fences. The horizon is one theater of the absurd after another. The amount of nonsense and self-congratulatory verbiage from all manner of people who think they are enlightened or vaunted or above the dirty, scab-sucking, ripoff fray of capitalism, well, that is the self-delusion, the big lie.

You have a military industrial complex : LateStageCapitalism

So, the role of k12, and of higher education? One of the key foundations for a society — good education, robust, and deep learning, deep thinking, and systems thinking growing. Under capitalism and consumerism and conformist ideology that is US of Amnesia, there are so many broken things about face to face education, and I have written tons on this. Taking it to Zoom, to televised classes, remote learning, well, all the bad gets funneled into this new normal-abnormal.

In addition to education, colleges and universities provide indoctrination in the values and shared beliefs that our society deems important. These commonly shared values and tenets must be instilled, importantly beginning in grade school and before (the Jesuit boast, variously stated, is “Give me the first seven years and you can have all the rest”), and continued and reinforced through high school and college.

It is at the university where young men and women of indoctrinated conviction are most typically apt and able to respond to what is going on in the world around them, perhaps even take to the streets. Indoctrination can be overt or subtle. — George Heitmann

Allentown's Muhlenberg College allowed a limited number of students to live on campus this fall semester.

The post Try as You May to Deny, but Evil is in Our DNA first appeared on Dissident Voice.