Category Archives: School Yard Fights

No thanks, Thanksgiving . . . National Day of Sorrow . . . Mourning

Yep, a broken record, or to update that, another one of a million cries in the dark digital dungeon to relearn history, and unlearn the rotten past. I have been looking at the Reclaiming the Sacred since I met Winona LaDuke decades ago. That’s a whole other story.

But it doesn’t matter, especially in a time of Branch Covidians and the Trump-Biden-Obama-Clinton-Bush-Carter-Nixon-Ford-LBJ Days of Wine and Roses. Full of military industrial complex disease, and forget about American Indian Movement or Joan Baez or Leonard Peltier or even that guy, Marlon Brando.

Forget about the PhDs and MDs and leaders and elders alive today from the many diverse tribes of Turtle Island.

Retail, and weepy, “Oh, cherish the time, the Thanksgiving, with family, oh cherish these holiday days with family gathered around the consumer kitchen and the fine eye for a deal tables. A day of pulling out all the paper and digital flyers to see where old Saint Nick will be going FRIDAY.”

Even lowly Time Magazine, tries to grapple with something tied to the 1863 start of Thanksgiving: “What Thanksgiving Means Today to the Native American Tribe That Fed the Pilgrims.”

I personally think that it’s just another reminder of all the horrible things that this nation has done to not only us, but all native people,” the Chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, 29 year-old Brian Weeden tells TIME of that “first” Thanksgiving, adding that he and his tribe feel largely forgotten. Courtesy of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.

That is 2021, November, in Time Magazine, the lede, as they say. We’ll see what the Matt Taibbi sorts, or Carlson types, or Trump lovers, or even all those on the Blue side of racism have to say, do, and how to act on Thanksgiving. Because, alas, as the Catholic Church is begrudgingly paying out for abuse in places like France, the rest of the white organized criminal-religious enterprises will be wringing their hands, but not righting the wrongs. Disappeared Indigenous here, everywhere. That Church, in Canada, and those graves. What a tip to the genocide iceberg.

Note what Brian Weeden says in the next citation:

For this nation to right a lot of their wrongs, they’re gonna have to own up to their racism, which they don’t want to do.

Oh, the theater is set — presidential pardon for a Tom Turkey, and the homilies by Biden and Jill, the perennial kindergarten teacher who is a college faculty member (so many of them, democrats, and white women like Jill Biden are in the end, wannabe Special Ed teachers, but in the classrooms of college students!). Yeah, Kyle Rittenhouse is with Donald LLC Trump, not putting on the Black Face this time, but in the skin of their old favorite team, The Washington Redskins. White psychopath kid is being wined and dined by white psychopath geriatric. The irony, well, there is none. Kyle will get a cherished Washington pro team war bonnet. Manufactured and assembled in, well, of course, China.

See the source image

The optics are amazing, and right on line for 2024, for sure. This kid (above) has a job in the Trump LLC Republican Party juggernaut. To-Be-Sure!! And, they are having a great good white ugly boy-man time. Imagine the potential for an SUV, with Trump 2024 stickers on the bumpers and Stars and Bars noose flags on the double antennae, going for a group of protestors like these:

See the source image

Yet, we still have those Nazi types, pulling from their book of sayings — this in response to my op-ed in the local conservative rag acknowledging National Native American Heritage Month — at DV, “Another Genocide Month: Plying the Ignorance of K12, USA Lower/Higher Ed.” I’ll quote this Lincoln County fellow, here:

By all means, let’s teach history in its fullness of truth, as we ourselves learn and free ourselves from bias. The basic fact is, Stone Age tribes were crushed by more advanced and more powerful tribes, and we’re all still dealing with the outcome of the shattering of those societies.

The fact is, genocide was sporadic and not generally practiced or effective. Displacement and an often cruel paternalism was the rule. The pre-Columbus Americas were not a rustic paradise.

These were societies with their own particular pluses and minuses. When we teach the revised histories now, may it be said that among Northwest tribes, at potlatch gatherings, a rich chief might kill one or two slaves, just to demonstrate his immense wealth? (Something like the modern cliché of a rich businessman lighting his cigar with a $50 bill.) May we say that in the Four Corners area of the Southwest, villages raided other villages, killing and sometimes cannibalizing their victims? That the Aztec gods demanded bloody sacrifice of thousands of captives each year, and that the victims were cannibalized? That scalping existed in southwest and eastern North America before the entry of white settlers?”

That is the old canard, the old Mel Gibson fun in his Maya-land Holly-Dirt lies. Oh, just teach the youth ALL of each and every detail, no? Thank goodness we have this response to my article in the Newport News Times:

I appreciated Paul Haeder’s commentary (“Native American Heritage Month”) in the News-Times’ Nov. 12 “Viewpoint” on the Opinion page. I agree, our education system has not provided a very accurate view of Native American history in this country. In the early ’70s, I read Vine Deloria’s Custer Died For Your Sins. This book gave me a new historical perspective of Native American history, written by a Native American.

The Oregon public school system would benefit from exposing its teachers to the history of the Siletz Tribe of Western Oregon. It is available in the book The People Are Dancing Again, by Charles Wilkinson. I suggest that reading parts of this history should be required reading for Oregon high school students. As Oregonians, we should have at least a basic understanding of the history of what the Native Americans experienced when westward expansion crossed the Cascade Mountains.

As a resident of Lincoln County, I often read of how the Siletz Tribe gives back to this community, donating hundreds of thousand of dollars to coastal social programs. The Siletz and other tribes are writing their own history. They are alive and well, going forward, and we should celebrate that.

The writer is referencing the staid short piece I did for the News Times — “Native American Heritage Month.” This is the caliber of the responses on both sides of the historical line. Talking about the sacred sites is important, and recovering the sacred, is the only way to bring these sites into the mindset of youth after youth. Vine:

Standing on Sacred Ground: The four-part film.

A Lakota Sioux, Vine Deloria, Jr. is one of the most outspoken figures in Native American affairs. His works promote Native American cultural nationalism and a greater understanding of Native American history and philosophy. In his work, Deloria fights prejudice against American Indians while addressing current issues, such as political and treaty rights. He is also concerned with the struggle between a religious view of life and the secularization that science and industry promote. He warns that people need to re-evaluate their stance to planet earth or humans may be one of the few species that has permanently ruined their habitat.

“In a time of global turmoil, our planet needs the wisdom of people who remain one with their land. The Sacred Land Film Project gives voice to guardians of sacred sites around the world, offering hope for a new path forward.”

    —Peter Matthiessen

He talks about how the Indian names are tied to bears — bears all over the plains, mountains, valleys. Bears are part of healing and prophecy. So are buffalo. Listen to him in the latter part of the talk above.

So, this Biden, yaks about “I stand with Mashpee” during his failed campaign for his failed presidency in 2020. It’s all political theater, which is a nice term for bold faced lies, and there are plenty of lies tied to Native Americans, at contact, and during those crazy fictional writings called Thanksgiving.

This May 16, Weeden became the youngest person elected chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag, a tribe of 2,600 enrolled citizens. This tribal center is in Mashpee, Massachusetts. He and his tribe believe the biggest issue any tribe faces today— is land, holding onto it, getting it back.

I think that a lot of politicians say whatever they want to say to get elected. When they get there, it’s a whole different story. I was [part of the] White House Tribal Nations summit, and there really weren’t a lot of opportunities for leadership to address the administration. To add insult to injury, he’s going to be in Wampanoag territory on [Thanksgiving]—the supposed holiday that we don’t celebrate.

Oh Biden, part of that Inquisition:

President Joe Biden said Pope Francis told him he should 'keep receiving communion' - masslive.com

Or, some days, he’s Jewish:

Biden condemns Israel over homes plan | Israel | The Guardian

Or, is he that Redskin guy?

On Monday night, CNN aired Fight for the White House: Joe Biden’s Long Journey, a special program on the Democratic nominee’s career that included a popular photograph of Biden and one of his sons at what looks like a sports stadium (it’s not clear whether the son pictured is Hunter or Beau, who died in 2015). In the original photograph, which Biden himself posted on social media earlier this year, the kid pictured is wearing a maroon hat with the logo of the Washington football team which, until recently, used the Native American slur “Redskins” for its name. In the image that CNN includes in its documentary, the team logo has been entirely removed.

Photograph via Joe Biden on Facebook.
Screenshot via CNN.

That is it in a nutshell, no? America whitewashing everything, even their own white washing.

Here, ending with the Time Magazine article:

Time: What’s the biggest issue the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is currently facing?

29 year-old Brian Weeden: The biggest issues facing the Mashpee tribe right now are with our land, the health and general welfare of our tribal citizens, and climate change and environmental impacts. We were fine living off the land; we were smart people to the point where we knew how to navigate this world. Had people listened to us, I don’t think we’d be in the situation that we are in with global warming and everything else. But I think the biggest [singular] struggle right now for our tribe is our struggle with the federal government, which has been a battle for over 400 years.

The post No thanks, Thanksgiving . . . National Day of Sorrow . . . Mourning first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Collusion: The End of Nature, Brought to us by Zoom

The only way to break through a totalitarian (lite) thinking is to continue using blunt force, or airy force, to expose this massive experiment in turning Americans into screen dwellers. The new ghetto is the screen.

The lockdown might be lifted, physically, for the Covdians, but in the minds of these people, the world is now shifting to the high tech, fiber optic, 5G/6G satellite-directed world.

Imagine this event, on the ecosystems of my area, now, a virtual event. It is embarrassing that science-minded people want public and community participation over zoom. No depth to why it has to be “virtual,” and no apologies for being so dense.

Or, are they dense? Are they loving this hybrid, virtual, remote work mentality? You know, I was just interviewed by the State of Oregon for a state job. The thing was on Zoom, and there were three there and me here. One question was around “how would you make virtual meetings and intakes more engaging . . . . ?” This is the new normal, alas, and this huge shift of bricks and mortar life, into the AI void, and with these huge (massive) transfers of trillions to a very few felons of the elite class, these scientists who have grants and faculty positions and tenure, they will not lead the way anywhere.

And their world is all fancy web-based crap, like cool photos, imaginary graphics, all compressed and collected to make people say, “Oh, isn’t it wonderful how wonderful the scientists working in the wonderful natural world are!!’

 

In this Greta-and-Company-Can-Fly-to-GLasgow-to-Protest-Their-Governments’-Fossil-Fuel-Lunacy, many people I know are so happy now that Zoom is a fixture in their lives, and that they do not have to brave the Highway 101, or the weather, or the climate warnings. These people who might be interested in ecology and marine preserves and environmental policy are usually on the left trough of the manure pile of politics called Democrats. They are, of course, the new Brown Shirts, but call them Green Shirts, or Zoom Shirts. Their world, and the one they are ushering in since youth, have no say in how things SHOULD be run. It is not a real world, but one that is full of maps and podcasts and TED Talks and faux interactive chats and Zooms:

We are talking about 14 square miles designated as a marine reserve. Then some overflow for seabird protection area. This is, again, embarrassing. There is an interpretive center at Cape Perpetua, one that I have been at for in-person events. There are parking spaces. There are so many ways these great thinkers and planners could have organized an in-person event, even with their defective masks and asinine social distancing. That, my friends, will not happen. More and more youth are getting more and more skills with the mouse, the CAD programs, with Publisher and Photoshop. Their world is a world where billionaires own everything, and living in a van with full bed, TV, running water, hell, that is what youth are going to be having to accept as more and more dictatorial thinkers run the world, run events, run programs and educational frameworks.

Between Florence and Yachats lies the Cape Perpetua area, a biodiverse recreation mecca home to lush coastal rainforests and deep cultural history. But past the coastline also lies the largest Oregon marine reserve. The Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve is dedicated to the research and conservation of ocean ecosystem, where take of wildlife and human development is restricted. Cape Perpetua area also contains two Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and a seabird protection area. Unlike the reserve, these protected areas allow limited take in their boundaries.

Within the reserve, creatures large and small live in various habitats from sand, gravel, to some of the most biologically diverse rocky intertidal habitats anywhere on the Pacific Northwest. These creatures live in a unique ecosystem shaped by the ever-changing weather and tides. Some days, strong winds will pull cold, oxygen-rich water and plankton up to the surface in a process called upwelling, while on other, more stagnant days, the water loses its oxygen and becomes hypoxic.

Because of its dynamic environment, the Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve is home to a plethora of wildlife such as whales, sea lions, seals, pelicans, cormorants, rockfish, and intertidal invertebrates that fuel a complex food web between the land and sea. (source)

It’s a fear pogrom that is both sophisticated beyond Big Brother, and yet, right to the primary brain center of reptilian stupidity and violence.

Here, Edward Curtain over at Dissident Voice, covers this fear, this divide, etc. Source.

Edward Curtin returns to discuss deep politics and what links the assassination of JFK, 9/11, and Covid-19. No president since Kennedy has dared to buck the Military-Industrial-Complex, including Trump, who is part of the same system that produced both Obama and Biden. He discusses the 1967 CIA memo which told mainstream media to use the disparaging term “conspiracy theory” to quell all deviation from the official narrative, and how this propaganda technique has continued to function from JFK to 9/11 to Covid-19. Many of the same actors involved in the MIC and 9/11 continue to be involved with the drug companies, CDC, WEF, WHO, Gates Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. It’s very obvious, but the story is so frightening people don’t want to do any homework. Too many people think there is this war going on between the right and the left, in the larger frame of reference there is no difference, it’s the warfare state against the regular people, the rich versus the poor. The 4IR is an effort for total political and economic control of peoples all over the world. He believes the purpose of the vaccine mandate is for political control. Ultimately, we are in a spiritual war. The Geopolitics & Empire Podcast conducts interviews with high-profile guests on geopolitics and international affairs seeking to gain insight from experts on both the left and the right as to the true nature of current events. Read other articles by Geopolitics & Empire, or visit Geopolitics & Empire’s website.

The tricksters are at it and have been for decades. The worker — that is teachers and faculty, too, especially — is the enemy. The students are the enemy. So many billions pumped into studying the brain, psychology, neurosciences, behavioral psychiatry, etc. I saw this in 1983 when I was a graduate student, teaching college English. Some of these long in the tooth folk, who want their Vermont or Hawaii lives, but still be the teacher of record for our campus, UT-El Paso. That’s Texas, and already in the 1980s these folk wanted hybrid classes, on-line. Imagine that, critical thinking and debating writing classes, on line! Before ZOOM.

Oh, big companies would “give” laptops to workers — Ford, IBM, HP — not as gifts, but to extract MORE work out of the 40 hour week, and that is now 50 or 60 hours. That is, well, the beginning of technology destroying every aspect of our real selves.

Now, community colleges are up shit creek, pre-planned-demic, but now, too. Imagine, more and more pieces of the state budget pie reduced for Podunk community colleges — vital places of not just learning, but community events, incubators of thinking, and connections to much more than just academia. So, more and more raised tuitions, more and more part-time faculty hired, more and more hybrid classes, and now, the Zoom Doom. Imagine, one teacher on Zoom running a class of 80, 90? This is the new normal — kill the person.

The online option seems to work for all kinds of students. When the financial-aid team returned to campus in August, Bohanon opened up her schedule for in-person appointments. For the first week, no one registered to see her. She told her supervisor she wanted to add online appointments again, and reserved 8 a.m. to noon for online and the rest of the day for in-person walk-ins. “In the morning when I come in — full,” she says. Afternoon? Nothing.” Now her schedule is full every day, but all her appointments are virtual.

The push-and-pull between in-person and online courses continues for students at Southwest, but it may be starting to shift toward the latter. One of the pieces of conventional wisdom about community colleges during the pandemic is that students often dislike or fear online learning — a refrain repeated often at Southwest. But more than a year and a half after colleges transitioned to large-scale distance learning, many of the students at Southwest who persisted have begun to favor online sections over the nearly 40 percent of courses being taught in person.

Rebuild? Time for a revolution inside K12 and higher education. Regroup? Revolt neoliberalism and illiberalism and the constant attack on education. Or, attack on schooling. Constant attack on learning! These so-called leaders have collapsed, and they have crawled under their retirement accounts, and they are seeing-hearing-speaking no evil. This is the Chronicle of Higher Education, a very retrograde, conservative, cover-their-asses-rag!

The new normal is being accepted by the masses, but the mealy mouthed academics and those on the peripheral of academia are coming out like flies on shit:

Southwest and other community colleges may just have to wait out Covid. Even if the virus doesn’t completely go away, the risks may get lower and people may become more accustomed to living with it. “I really think that’s going to be the biggest thing, is time,” Brown says, “and people feeling it’s safe to completely return to, we won’t call it normal, but like the new normal.”

If there’s one thing community colleges should not do, says Eddy, of William & Mary, it’s go back to normal. “It would be a mistake to think, I just need to wait this out to come to a time where we’re going to have more openness,” she says. After a decade of gradually declining enrollments, the pandemic has brought community colleges to an inflection point where they have a chance to — may even be impelled to — make some changes, many perhaps overdue.

Read the article, and look between the lines. These people are stating that the planned pandemic made virtual learning more onerous because students didn’t have laptops and Wi-Fi, and didn’t know what a JPEG or PDF were. Oh, you get it, don’t you? Get those students free (US taxpayer paid for) computers and free (US taxpayer paid for) Wi-Fi. Bootcamps for Microsoft Office 10.0 Adobe workshops. Get those students to be on-line warriors. Take it, and you can’t leave it or you will be cancelled from society.

And this all goes back to the Zoom event, about Cape Perpetua, about 12 miles from where I live, via Highway 101. You think there will be regard for people who want trails for hiking, trails for biking, rivers for kayaking? You think that the overlords want to have us out in nature, out along highways and by-ways? These overlords want to own the world, the land, the forests, the farms, all of it, and they want security, and they want no trespassing, and they want no by-standers and witnesses.

The scientists just take it, because that’s what mechanistic folk do — strip away the A from STEAM — Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math.

This is the motherfucker, the mentality, the demented thought process, and the messed up media, all the brainwashed fuckers of the world, in a nutshell:

“I Don’t Think We Should Ever Shake Hands Again.” Dr. Fauci Says Coronavirus Should Change Some Behaviors for Good

These are madmen:

Madman and madwoman —

Joe Biden CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Takes Over Institution in Crisis - Bloomberg

Terrorists and war criminals —

World Economic Forum: a history and analysis | Transnational Institute

Billionaires ‘R Us —

Davos 2020: What is the World Economic Forum and is it elitist? - BBC News

This is it, man, the last frontier — education! Covid car, online programs, internet-access solutions. If you read this site, The Chronicle of Higher Education, there is not pushback, no discussion of the 4IR, the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Oh, the senseless stupidity of it all, the Covid Van.

MahoneyCar-1109.jpg
The post Collusion: The End of Nature, Brought to us by Zoom first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Local Man Overcomes Illiteracy One Tutor at a Time

September 8 makes 54 Years of celebrating International Literacy Day

Benjamin Spock, M.D., Author of Baby & Child Care — An eloquent plea that Americans recognize the appalling frequency of illiteracy…a tragedy which handicaps–occupationally, politically, and emotionally–a third of the citizens of our rich, ‘advanced’ country. referencing, Illiterate America, Jonathan Kozol

Note: This is a pretty mellow piece below (parts 1 & 2), for the local, Newport News Times, where I have published. Here, an archive, of sorts, of some of my articles and op-eds.

+–+

In elementary school he was put in special ed because of learning and reading delays. The label followed him all the way through high school. He graduated from Toledo High School with an IEP Diploma.

He worked as a landscaper and janitor; he struggled to live on his own because he could not read.

However, he’s a survivor. For years, he’s been working at a mill operating a large Caterpillar. He’s wanted to learn how to read for more than two decades. At age 36 the proverbial light bulb went off on August 3, 2021.

Reading tutors who worked through Mid-Valley Literacy Center rendezvoused to assist this man’s reading. One of the tutors is my friend, and she reports her “student learner” is reading sometimes fluidly. She’s been at this since March, meeting him in Toledo once a week.

My friend hails from Chile, and has been a teacher locally, as well as a substitute in Lincoln County. She’s fluent in Spanish and English, and works as a professional translator. Maria, a library tech, and another tutor have been working with this young man for six months.

More than 43 million adults in the US cannot read, write or do basic math above a third grade level. That’s one stat, and professionals I work with – I’ve been an English and writing teacher for more than three and a half decades, in El Paso, Juarez, Mexico, Spokane, Seattle, Portland, other places – say the actual figure is much higher, around the 60  to 80 million mark.

In one diverse study, 80 percent of people trying to properly install an infant car seat failed one or more steps because of “an inability to follow directions written at a 6th grade level.”

Other stats point out if the US was to increase average reading grade levels to the 6th grade, an additional $2.2 million a year would be added the economy.

Maria’s student is looking to move into an area of the mill where reading instructions and understanding safety manuals are a must. Getting out of the seat of a bouncing, loud log loader will also help him strengthen his longevity at the job.

I have worked with this student. He lives on his own, does amazing engine work on his truck, and he eventually wants to get certification and open up his own car repair shop.

He tells me that he was picked on beginning in second grade, for his inability to sound out words and lack of skills to do “read alongs.”  This stigma is common in Lincoln County. Poverty, one-parent family dynamics, and other adverse childhood events (ACES) impact youth’s ability to learn at grade level.

Others are born with some form of developmental disability. We are seeing as a society more youth entering our primary schools with learning/intellectual disability – a phrase that stigmatizes people.

I’ve worked with adults as a supported employment professional in Seattle, Portland, Gladstone, Beaverton and Lincoln County; and assisted adults in advocating for themselves in order to land jobs and keep those jobs. Reading, writing and math sometimes are impediments, either individually, or collectively.

However, all those services Oregon has set up around supported employment and housing do give people a hand up. Maria’s student has had dozens of folk come into his life, informally, who started reading sessions, but all quickly moved on. Maria, 78, is dedicated to this gentleman.

She reports to me that “he is finally reading, sometimes pretty complex sentences. He has a big smile on his face now when we meet.”

Maria’s student is one of millions worldwide who should be valorized for succeeding. All our hats should be off for this local man: September 8 is International Literacy Day.  “Since 1967, International Literacy Day (ILD) celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society. Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist with at least 773 million young people and adults lacking basic literacy skills today.”

+–The End–+

This is what guiding and assisting look like:

Linda Perez (L) and her guide Alvaro Herrera (R), Tokyo, Japan, Aug. 31, 2021.

[Linda Perez (L) and her guide Alvaro Herrera (R), Tokyo, Japan, August 31, 2021. | Photo: EFE]

My first story on this fellow, from illiterate in March to reading in August:

Literacy is a matter of life and death, happiness or penury

I used to get my elbows up into many literacy projects as an English and writing faculty member at community colleges, universities, prison school programs and writing/journalism workshops for people who are exploited because of their status as low income or as former felons, and those homeless citizens as well as adults living with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Events like “Banned Books Month” (October) or National Poetry Month (April) I worked hard to promote/support. Big journalism organizations like Project Censored and groups like Reporters without Borders are still in my blood.

I am now working again in a small rural community dotted with small towns. I am not only supporting folks with job development and on-the-job training and coaching, but I am helping two Lincoln County citizens with reading literacy.

In my situation with Shangri-La, these two are adult men in their 30s who are seeking reading literacy programs.

It may come as a surprise to citizens, lawmakers and politicians alike, but Lincoln County does not have a literacy center. There is no one-stop place for people who need literacy tutoring, whether they are functionally illiterate in their English skills as a U.S.-born citizen, or those who are English as a second/third language learners.

I’m working with a Salem group, Mid-Valley Literacy Center (founded in 2009). Vivian Ang is my contact who is helping train Newport and Toledo-based citizens to help tutor my two clients. This is not an easy task, and Vivian, with more than 20 years of tutoring including at Chemeketa Community College, says it’s hit or miss.

“I do not have any experience with assisting an adult with a learning disability (developmental disability) to learn how to read,” she has repeated to me several times.

An adult who drives a car, works at a factory, runs a large piece of construction equipment, lives on his own and presents as a “regular sort of guy” can be in one of the most dire of circumstances — functional and complete illiteracy.

Wanting to learn how to read when you are in your 30s takes guts. There are stigmas for someone who can’t read an insurance form or simple job application.

The need is high in Lincoln County for adults like this client of mine — born in Newport and educated in Newport’s K-12 system, including special education classes — to learn how to read. But we have many from Mexico, Guatemala and other countries in our communities where learning how to read and speak English is more than just a step toward better pay.

Vivian tells me a story about an Oregon woman, from Mexico, illiterate in English, who had a sick daughter who needed medication to improve. The prescription stated, “Take this medication once a day.” In Spanish, once is the word for the number 11, so, tragically, the mother followed the prescription contextualized in her Spanish reading abilities. At 11 times a day, after a few days, the medication killed her two-year-old daughter.

Navigating housing, employment, the legal system, utility companies, landlords, cultural activities, and representative politics are basically off limits to a person who can’t read or write. The amount of exploitation, fines, fees, garnishments, late payments and other penalties is a regular occurrence for people who can’t read and write.

According to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy (founded 1991), low literacy in the USA costs us as a society $2.2 trillion a year. According to U.S. Department of Education, more than half of U.S. adults aged 16 to 74 years old (54 percent or 130 million people) lack proficiency in literacy, reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.

For my many clients across the board, lack of reading, low reading levels and functional illiteracy can be linked to poorer health, low levels of civic engagement and low earnings in the labor market. On average, more than 70 percent of people following the seventh grade reading level for instructions on how to install an infant car seat fail to follow the proper steps.

I am enlisting tutors for my two clients. I have a librarian and a library technician on board. Three retired women living in Toledo and Newport, too. One of my client’s workplaces is stepping up and paying the nonprofit Vivian runs for the materials and training. That general manager is also providing a private space with internet access to his worker (I’ll call him Samuel) who is illiterate.

He tells me, “I wish I had 22 Samuel’s working for me. He’s an incredible worker, reliable, goes the extra mile.”

+–END--+

So, as an endpoint, I have to express the complete dissatisfaction with K12 and college and university settings, whereby the stuff (sic) taught is broken, stuffed and starved lies, with some of the most fearful or disruptive professors, principals, administrators and school boards ruining our youth, and our young adults’ minds. Lest we forget great workers for real education, fighting colonialism in Latin America and Africa. Oh, we need anti-capitalists, anti-imperialists, anti-billionaire workers to bring real education to our people, intergenerational, on the land, away from dark hallways, 30 desks and chairs to a room, away from the atomization and disparity of capitalist miseducation:

Freire’s work and practice have inspired what has become a worldwide critical pedagogy movement. Cabral is a centrally important, yet mostly unacknowledged, influence of this movement. In the last prepared book before his death, subtitled Letters to Those who Dare Teach, Cabral’s influence on Freire seems to have remained central, as he insisted that “it is important to fight against the colonial traditions we bring with us.”


The Portuguese colonization of Guinea-Bissau was backed by Spain, South Africa, the United States, and NATO. Summarizing the pooled imperialist power wielded by Portugal in a report on the status of their struggle Cabral (1968a) elaborates:  In the basic fields of economics, finance and arms, which determine and condition the real political and moral behavior of states, the Portuguese government is able to count more than ever on the effective aid of the NATO allies and others. Anyone familiar with the relations between Portugal and its allies, namely the USA, Federal Germany and other Western powers, can see that this assistance (economic, financial and in war material) is constantly increasing, in the most diverse forms, overt and covert. By skillfully playing on the contingencies of the cold war, in particular on the strategic importance of its own geographical position and that of the Azores islands, by granting military bases to the USA and Federal Germany, by flying high the false banner of the defense of Western and Christian civilization in Africa, and by further subjecting the natural resources of the colonies and the Portuguese economy itself to the big financial monopolies, the Portuguese government has managed to guarantee for as long as necessary the assistance which it receives from the Western powers and from its racist allies in Southern Africa. (Source)

Read the piece,

“How Amílcar Cabral shaped Paulo Freire’s pedagogy: Frantz Fanon’s influence on Paulo Freire’s thought is well known, but the Brazilian educator also drew considerably from Amílcar Cabral, the revolutionary intellectual from Guinea-Bissau”

The post Local Man Overcomes Illiteracy One Tutor at a Time first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Sending Love to the Daughter I Always Wanted

Balance. Inside out, outside in. From science driven diving, environmental warrior in the 1970s — in AZ, in Mexico, in the Sea of Cortez —  to small-town daily newspaperman: Tucson, Bisbee, Wilcox, Sierra Vista, and all these small towns in several rural counties south, on the borderline. El Paso, New Mexico, Mexico, Central America.

Teacher, social worker, mescal-guzzler, photographer, aspiring failed novelist, always moving, always moving on, always distracted.

She’s seen me buoyant and busted. She’s heard me wax poetic and polemic. She’s admired me and feared me. She’s understood me and debated me. She’s heard me embrace her and argue with her.

There is no handbook, no guideposts for being a father . . . or to flip the script: there are no guiderails or throttle governors to learn how to be a daughter of a character like me!

primal scream

her chin lifts
air of Chihuahua
scorpion stingers
sink into corner
clouds on wall
painted by Mario
beer in hand
homeless
the world his home
her room, sanctuary

daughter is innocence
listening cicadas
odors of cumin
green giant chiles
desert valley
thunderbird on mountain
her shadow

protector bird
one day a woman
alone at night
sounds of city
harsh, tumbling humanity
trapped, concrete prisons
she tastes poblano
lime gnashing
eagle out there
stars held
on outstretched
wings of hope

— Paul Haeder, 7/2/2021

I was in Spokane, helping my amazing daughter get her small business going.

Lots of tough days with her father, me, always on the air, in print, hurly burly, angry at the world, alone writing, man lost of tribe, lone wolf, perfectionist, over “college” educated. Always flapping his lips.

She asked me, “Are you really proud of me, dad? I didn’t finish college? I am not this politically engaged and active person in Spokane. I am not the daughter you wanted, right?”

Shit, now that takes a 64-year-old know-it-all, big blustery dude like me down a few notches.

The reality is, of course, I am proud of her. Of course, I am not disappointed about the lack of a college matriculation. Of course, I am not expecting in 2021 that college means much.

Proud, and with love. Seems like a no-brainer combo in this completely (almost) fucked up (oxymoron) world (theirs, ours, mine, hers).

It is the father issue, for sure. Divorce. Other things in my daughter’s life that not only cemented her spirit into what we call CPTSD — complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — but also her view of the world, with her own beat of a very different drummer in the background, low grumble bass in her chest.

Those are her stories to tell, though my daughter is self-actualized, open, and articulate about her struggles.

“Come to Dust”

Spirit, rehearse the journeys of the body
that are to come, the motions
of the matter that held you.
Rise up in the smoke of palo santo.
Fall to the earth in the falling rain.
Sink in, sink down to the farthest roots.
Mount slowly in the rising sap
to the branches, the crown, the leaf-tips.
Come down to earth as leaves in autumn
to lie in the patient rot of winter.
Rise again in spring’s green fountains.
Drift in sunlight with the sacred pollen
to fall in blessing.

All earth’s dust
has been life, held soul, is holy.

Ursula K. La Guin 

She is in Spokane, since age six, and alas, at 25 she’s feeling everything I lamented and wrote about: small town now traffic snarled; pigs/cops hassling homeless;   unchecked building (growth); water issues; broken down buildings; homes and rents out the roof; Californians (other big monied folk) swooping into town and the county buying up stuff, and hiking rents.

I was there, June 30, at a 112 degrees, 101 in the night, 1 am. Planned rolling blackouts by the electrical service, Avista. Roads cracking and buckling. Fireworks stands. Death, sickness, the new normal — unmitigated survival of the fittest (richest) and nothing ever prepared now, yesterday and for tomorrow’s heat domes.

The show is over, with unfettered casino-predatory-disaster-zombie-parasitic capitalism.

Shit, how does a guy like me help a gal like her, 25, 500 miles away (I drove the 2006 van, which I have kept up, worked on it myself, called a sucker for having a rig with 230,000 original miles on it).

I wrote a poem for her, well, many, in fact —  Philosophy of a new-birthed esthetician/aesthetician

She’s also an amazing photographer, and she was my photographer for my magazine column — she did this starting at age 16!

Here, some photos of hers with one of my poems — Dystopia Blues – Who Will Write a Song about Ice Caps Melting When All Music Dies?

MakennaHaederPhoto12

She’s an on-her-knees kind of photographer, but also right there, with a heart of empathy, for what  Eduardo’s poem belies — “the nobodies”. Others call them/us — useless breathers, useless breeders and useless eaters. Makenna is there, in their spaces, and her own heart is so drawn into that unknowable force that makes some people “empaths.”

Makenna haeder 451

“The Nobodies”

Fleas dream of buying themselves a dog, and nobodies dream of escaping
poverty: that one magical day good luck will suddenly rain down on
them—will rain down in buckets. But good luck doesn’t rain down
yesterday, today, tomorrow, or ever. Good luck doesn’t even fall in a
fine drizzle, no matter how hard the nobodies summon it, even if their
left hand is tickling, or if they begin the new day with their right
foot, or start the new year with a change of brooms.

The nobodies: nobody’s children, owners of nothing. The nobodies: the
no ones, the nobodied, running like rabbits, dying through life,
screwed every which way.

Who are not, but could be.
Who don’t speak languages, but dialects.
Who don’t have religions, but superstitions.
Who don’t create art, but handicrafts.
Who don’t have culture, but folklore.
Who are not human beings, but human resources.
Who do not have faces, but arms.
Who do not have names, but numbers.
Who do not appear in the history of the world, but in the police
blotter of the local paper.
The nobodies, who are not worth the bullet that kills them.”

― Eduardo Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America

Makenna haeder 451

She’s stayed in Spokane and has enveloped herself in that part of the Inland Pacific Northwest, because of the fairy like worlds in the woods and in mountains and valleys:

Makenna haeder 451

The ecosystems — running water, lakes, mists, the dews, soggy soils — those are the victims of climate heating, bulldozers, human incursions. So, combine this formula after formula:

  • bigger than life father
  • mother an English teacher
  • father on the radio, in the news, making it and writing it
  • dad with full-throttle on boats, kayaks, motorcycles, diving, hiking
  • a childhood with lots of leeway
  • exposure to street life, and Spokane has a reputation of having tough lives on the street, and violence
  • being a vegan and self-styled, she was bullied at k8-12
  • mother hits the air to move to Australia
  • father raising a pubescent girl while on his own, dating
  • always railing against the systems of oppression, her father, well, not always a good bedside manner raising his only child
  • father moving away — Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, Oregon Coast!

Makenna-haeder-902

I look back and, of course, this is not the life I envisioned, the relationship with a child I was banking on. I wasn’t even thinking of children. I cycled through relationships, and that includes four marriages. I am not prudish or Puritan about this at all, but the ramifications are huge. Hell, I am trained on ACES:

 

About the CDC-Kaiser ACE Study |Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC

I’ve worked with youth for more than a decade as a social services provider. I have worked with adults who are coming out of prisons, are homeless, are facing addictions, and are poor. I know the epigentics of how even bodies (DNA) change under cortisol loads. I am there, understanding why some old guy with no teeth who just went off the wagon again, using meth, is bawling and apologizing. Old guy at 73, one of my clients when I worked with homeless vets. At 73, sliding into Meth in Portland. Everything goes to shit  because he goes MIA for days.

I know these men and women, and they have a boatload of influences in their lives. They did not wake up one day, at age 14 or 21, and say, “Man, I can’t wait to have all my teeth rot out of my head. I can’t wait to have collapsed veins, psychosis, COPD, the shakes, uncontrolled bowels, living in a box at the back of a warehouse, with a criminal rap sheet that is 30 pages long.”

My daughter has kept one good thing her old man instilled — “When you see that person on the street, all greasy and broken down, cardboard sign in hands, and shaky, and, wanting to drink or shoot up, with blathering and blathering as his or her SOP, remember, that person once was a baby. And even if it was a nurse in the delivery room, that old homeless adult once had at least a person in his or her life who swaddled him or her and loved. Unconditional love.”

Indianapolis' homeless face unwarranted harassment, writes columnist Suzette Hackney

 

It is tough being Makenna since her old man is always out there, putting it all out there for everyone to see, hear, read, view. She’s seen her old man locked up for various things, seen her old man sacked for various reasons, seen her old man broken by this or that slight coming at him from the bureaucrats. She’s seen her old man heart-broken. She’s seen her old man not exactly the ideal of a good All-American Father.

Yet, she has stuck with me. She embraces my spouse, now, finding the thrill of my wife’s laugh, the warmth of the chile-embraced tamales my wife makes so all can taste Aztlan on their tongues.  She has held my hand and warmed my cold heart. These are valuable humanistic traits in a time of Covid, post-Covid, Transhuman Dystopia, Unbalanced-Unbalancing world. But she is also one of the world’s vulnerable ones — heart on sleeve, deeply tied to humanity, absolutely through and through in constant ire against the authorities, the systems of oppression, the overlords and the mean as cuss cops/pigs/DA’s/judges/CEOs/Captains of Industry/Colonels of death!

During those last hours I was in Spokane — not surrendering to all that heat the real new normal for most of USA — I was being interviewed by Andy, Kenny and Eduardo for their podcast, “What’s Left.” I was in her pad, and alas, while she was getting an ultrasound for excruciating side aches, I was doing the interview.

The closer I look at the Zoom recording, the more fidgety and disjointed I am now after so many decades of railing, screaming to be heard. I’ll post that interview when Andy and his fellows wrap it up.

But am I Beale?

All I know is that first, you’ve got to get mad.

You’ve gotta say, “I’m a human being, goddammit! My life has value!”

So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell,

“I’m as mad as hell,

and I’m not going to take this anymore!!”

— Network (1976)

Thanks, daughter, for putting up with me and my rants, like the one below I just posted on the show I will be on today — What’s Left. I was recorded with Che in the background in your cute, sweet, house-plant invested apartment in Spokane. Hasta luego, chica:

Yes, indeed. All my travels — physically, intellectually and emotionally — have taught me that, of course, communism and collectivism work. Yeah, act locally, think globally. Well, what a hell of a resource extraction world the Capitalists have set forth. You do not have to travel far into history or your own backyard to see that predatory-casino-parasitic-penury-disaster-war capitalism is the gift that keeps giving: fines, tolls, add-ons, penalties, triple taxations, taxes without representation. Rape the land, force pollutants onto the people, charge the people for cleaning them up (they never get cleaned up, ugh, forever chemicals, PCBs, dioxins, radioactive by-products). Epigentics of DNA mutations.

Then, attempt to critique or fight this tyranny, and, well, zip up that mouth and lose that job, because a person counting on a dirty boss and dirtier paycheck to make ends meet is not going to be looking that rotting gimpy gift horse in the mouth. You will, however, not see anyone on the right actually fit any humane or human role, so that dead horse don’t need no kicking. I have interviewed, argued with, taught, and even looked down the wrong end of the barrel of right-wing fuckers’ gun, and to a person, they are not in this world to be holistic, to be collective, to be fair, to be one in the whole. Dog-eat-dog, pull-yourselves-up-by-your-own-bootstraps, I’ve got mine, and I give a shit if you don’t have yours.

These are the human eaters. When I say right, let’s make that clear — that’s Clinton or Bush, Carter or Reagan, Obama or Trump. Add to that DNA similarity the mutated minds of the western thinker — sociopaths, pedophiles, bestiality’s punks, torturers, criminals, Oedipus-loving narcissists. So, critiquing lockdowns, or questioning the Big Pharma-Big Tech-Big Finance- Big Capitalization/ Financialization agenda, seems like what Che did, Marx did, a million other communists did and do. Keep up the good work, What’s Left, and remember to have some fucking fun with these snakes and poisonous propagandists and murderers.

Check out one motherfucking funny and off the wall dude

Remember, any motherfucking patriarchal prick who thinks of the 80 percent as useless eaters, useless breeders, and useless breathers, well, it doesn’t matter which side of the “political” manure pile in this country’s duopoly he sits on: those people are, well, mass murderers, in situ, with the power of a mouse click, the power of the rule of corporate law.

Galeano’s work, above, “The Nobodies”! Says it all, if you spend time talking about its meaning, its context, its writer.

Or hell, Pablo Neruda, man — says it all about EVERYTHING, 71 years later: Musk, Exxon, Bates, Soros, the Fortune 1000 thugs, transnationals, the Group of 30 and the 147 companies controlling the world:

The United Fruit Company by Pablo Neruda , 1950

When the trumpet sounded, it was
all prepared on the earth,
the Jehovah parceled out the earth
to Coca Cola, Inc., Anaconda,
Ford Motors, and other entities:
The Fruit Company, Inc.
reserved for itself the most succulent,
the central coast of my own land,
the delicate waist of America.
It rechristened its territories
as the ’Banana Republics’
and over the sleeping dead,
over the restless heroes
who brought about the greatness, the liberty and the flags,
it established the comic opera:
abolished the independencies,
presented crowns of Caesar,
unsheathed envy, attracted
the dictatorship of the flies,
Trujillo flies, Tacho flies,
Carias flies, Martines flies,
Ubico flies, damp flies
of modest blood and marmalade,
drunken flies who zoom
over the ordinary graves,
circus flies, wise flies
well trained in tyranny.

Among the blood-thirsty flies
the Fruit Company lands its ships,
taking off the coffee and the fruit;
the treasure of our submerged
territories flow as though
on plates into the ships.

Meanwhile Indians are falling
into the sugared chasms
of the harbors, wrapped
for burials in the mist of the dawn:
a body rolls, a thing
that has no name, a fallen cipher,
a cluster of the dead fruit
thrown down on the dump.

Re: Challenge Magazine!

The post Sending Love to the Daughter I Always Wanted first appeared on Dissident Voice.

It’s the Mask, Stupid: Beware The Covid-Pfizer Jumping Virus!

How did we ever get to this point … to the point where, as I put it in The Covidian Cult, “instead of the cult existing as an island within the dominant culture, the cult has become the dominant culture, and those of us who have not joined the cult have become the isolated islands within it?”

To understand this, one needs to understand how cults control the minds of their members, because totalitarian ideological movements operate more or less the same way, just on a much larger, societal scale.

The Covidian Cult (Part II)” by C.J. Hopkins

I had a job helping people get jobs. Individuals with developmental disabilities. Brain injured, too. That job ended because I sent in a bunch of grievances about hostile work environment, a supervisor who threatened me and yelled at me, and an amazing half year of the most unprofessional work atmosphere I have ever experienced!

With the Covid Madness in my state, in this county, some of these clients landed jobs as janitors/custodians in the schools in Lincoln County.

Oregon is one of those states that is full of trembling “liberals” and “holed up 2nd Amendment lovers.” The state is in an economic spiral, and like Washington State, run by the new dictators of the Democratic Party breed.

It’s the state with a history of Sundown Towns, and one that has a governor who touts herself as being bi-sexual and ready to slay those anti-LGBTQA dragons, but when it comes to the citizens of Oregon now in lockdown hell, with suicide rates doubling for young people, businesses going belly up, housing shortages, evictions on the horizon, you can just hear Kate Brown’s smarmy ameliorating.

Here’s another fascist at the Washington Post, yammering away:

The solutions to the problem of heightened risk among unvaccinated people range from very difficult to extremely easy. Very difficult: Convince unvaccinated people that — notwithstanding the general optimism — they may, in fact, be at higher risk than before. Particularly if they’re planning to be vaccinated, now is the worst possible time to let down their guard. They should continue to wear their masks, keep their distance and avoid risky situations — even as they see their vaccinated brethren enjoying their newfound freedom. Equally challenging: Require proof of vaccination (so-called immunity passports) to access places that don’t require masks and social distancing.

Easy: Everyone gets vaccinated when their number comes up. Problem solved.

This is the way of Washington State’s governor, Inslee, and our state’s, Brown.

So, fires, or, Covid Cult? This is the state of Capitalism, where criminal operations — Big Pharma — have got the ear of Gods like Fauci and the boot-lickers like our governors. All governors when it comes to the rapacious stupidity of believing in privatizing everything, throwing profits (taxpayer money) at the corporations, and then tying up the purse strings (taxpayer money, and uncollected millionaire and billionaire illegal loot) when it comes to housing and food and medical clinics for all.

The world’s largest firefighting plane has been shut down just as Western states prepare for a wildfire season that fire officials fear could be worse than the average year.

Tara Lee, a spokeswoman for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, said via email Friday that the state’s Department of Natural Resources was alerted to the shutdown of the worlds’ largest firefighting plane called the Global SuperTanker.

Source

This is one fat example (one of a million) of the fall of the capitalist empire, that is, the fall of one million people and hundreds of communities at a time. A firefighting tanker, privately owned, costing taxpayers up to $250,000 a day. Imagine that, our fire season is now 12 months, and we are in megadrought 3.0 here, and the governors are mandating those Covid shots, but imagine this — smoke, particulates, evacuations, immolation. In this great trillion-dollar-a-year-thrown-at-the-military mighty country, we pay for one effing jet. We get fire fighters from Australia, man, and Mexico. Use prisoners to be on-the-ground hot-shots. All those jets and planes and copters, and we have one privately held jet that now is out of service.

This hubris of it all. Yes, this all ties into the Covid Cult and the trillion-dollar giveaway to the Covid War Profiteers.

Back to my Oregon, the Intel and Nike State.

Old Nike, you know that Nike, the one run by Phil Knight.

The New Rulers Of The World: Through secret filming, Pilger shows how cheap labour in an Indonesian sweatshop produces goods such as Nike, Adidas, Gap and Reebok running shoes that are sold for up to 250 times the amount received by workers, about 72p a day. Almost 70 million Indonesians live in extreme poverty, many in labour camps housing the workers, where children are under-nourished and prone to disease. Inside the sweatshops, mostly young women are crowded together under the glare of strip lighting in temperatures of up to 40°C, some doing 24-hour shifts.

Observing the parallel between modern-day globalisation and old-world imperialism, Pilger recalls that Indonesia has been “plundered by the West for hundreds of years”. Globalisation in Asia began in Indonesia, where Western governments backed dictator General Suharto after he seized power in the mid-1960s. “Within a year of the bloodbath,” says Pilger, “Indonesia’s economy was effectively redesigned in America, giving the West access to vast mineral wealth, markets and cheap labour – what President Nixon called the greatest prize in Asia.” In 1997, the World Bank had called the country a “model pupil” of the global economy.

I bring this up because, well, the people who I landed jobs for within the school system arem of course, exploited by the Lincoln County School District and the contractor, Sodexo. Nike or Sodexo, all those transnational and sweatshop condition loving companies are all the same — socialism for the CEOs and stockholders, capitalism (low wages, whatever the market can bear) for the workers! Profits for Nike, and hell for the foreign workers, the foreign economies, the foreign soil! Nike swoosh!

Nike Sweatshops: The Truth About the Nike Factory Scandal | New Idea Magazine

THAT Sodexo —

For around ten years, Sodexo, a French company that is one of the world’s largest multinational corporations, has provided Saint Peter’s with cafeteria food. But Sodexo does more than just provide food services to universities— they also run private prisons and detention centers abroad.

Up until 2001, Sodexo owned one of the largest stakes in the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a company that now controls nearly half of the private prisons in the United States.

After Sodexo’s ties with CCA were made public, six universities dropped their contracts with Sodexo, and continued activist pressure led Sodexo to sell its shares in CCA.

But since then, Sodexo has vastly expanded the number of detention centers it operates overseas. As of 2016, Sodexo managed 122 prisons in eight countries, including Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. They also run prisons and immigrant detention centers in the United Kingdom.

Source

We must force change upon Sodexo – The Vermont Cynic

So, because of the Covid Cult, the Oregon Health Authority, and the Governor who is Ms./Mr. Kate Brown, these jobs at $12 an hour are not being filled by many job seekers (low pay) but are getting scarfed up by adults living with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

The jobs are absurd — spraying down/wiping off walls, handles, desks, everything, even on the days no students were attending classes. One of my former clients had to use a metal saw and saw off all the book baskets that are on some of the desk-table combinations. That was 34 in one day.

All Solid Plastic Chair School Desks By Scholar Craft Options | Desks | Worthington Direct

You know, the jumping Covid-19 Fort Detrick Virus.

Social “distancing” makes the schools create six foot lines in the sand, and then three foot separations as schools came back in full-force (sic).  Still, with three feet between desks, 360 degrees around, that is, not all returning students can be accommodated in the classroom.

My clients were so hyped up that they constantly asked me about “the shot”, “the vaccine”, and when it might be coming to the county and town near them. They asked me about my opinion about the shots. They have to wear masks on school property doing their tasks, and even going outside, as well as taking a smoke break and Rockstar drink break on a slab of land just outside the view-shed of the school. Mask madness.

My clients have been so worked up into a lather of fear, with stories saying, “Adults with Developmental Disabilities Have Three Fold Higher Risk of Getting Covid-19”; “Adults with Developmental Disabilities Have a Higher Rate of Death with Covid-19.”

The rush to get jabbed has been on, and Oregonians like my former clients rushed to the clinics and pharmacies to get something that definitely is not a vaccine. A chemical shot, sure. And, of course, they asked me about my take on things, and I had to thread the needle, balance my learned opinion with their frightened take on things.

There were teachers who used the tattletale method of complaining to my clients’ leads if a little bit of dirt was left on the floors. Some teachers resorted to their own classroom stings, putting tiny itsy-bitsy piles of sugar on desks to see if the entire surface had been wiped down.

The clients have less than 15 minutes to clean a classroom, and that can be tough with food and drink messes on floors, and all the garbage. This is the state of paranoia and Nazism.

Oh, those runners. Imagine, the extreme stupidity and compliance of Oregonians, having cross-country student athletes wear heavy masks during their runs.

Ypsilanti vs. Ypsilanti Lincoln high school football

 

Here, from a column in the Oregonian, from parents and others complaining about the Governor and his/her health authoritarians mandating masks for outdoor, even solo, sports:

Thank you so much for your column highlighting the ridiculousness and dangers of masks on youth runners. As parents of a ninth grade cross country and track athlete, we have been extremely frustrated with this rule. Our child was told that if she pulls the mask down for a minute just to get some air, she will be DQ’d and possibly kicked off the team if it’s a repeated ‘offense’. We are forced to make a decision to either keep her on the team for her emotional and social well-being while jeopardizing her physical health with lack of oxygen, or pull her off the team and back into social isolation and inactivity. I feel the state is abusing our children.

So, we have Nike, with Knight funding in the tens of millions, cancer research and with that company, NIKE, doing the dirty deeds of not only employing sweatshop slavery, but supporting violent military thugs in those respective “developing south” countries. Watch John Pilger’s short documentary above.

We get to all sorts of inanities in this Covid-19 mess. More and more conversations get shut down, when someone like me questions that “I got my jab and why haven’t you” bullshit that comes out of people’s mouths —  friends and foes alike, family and co-workers, too.

And those masks, man. Every teacher, student and custodian I was around did everything 100 percent wrong in terms of keeping the germ theory in place — noses exposed, sides of masks leaking, taking them off and leaving them face-out touching surfaces. People with a blue plastic mask on, running their hands through thick strands of their own hair, and then touching everything.

You know, Ebola, man. That SARS-CoV2 thing, man. Antibacterial fluids on everything, on hands 20 times a day. Masks off to chew up a Subway sandwich, but masks on for 16-year-olds running through the woods fox X-Country practice.

Yet, the trust, again, in those jabs, those companies producing those jabs —

It’s been eight months since Big Pharma executives faced a grilling by the Senate Finance Committee over their pricing decisions. But the scrutiny is far from over—and now, the committee is digging into pharma funding for patient advocacy groups, which have been known to speak in tunes that are music to the industry’s ears.

Emergent BioSolutions has faced a number of back-to-back PR crises since production issues at its Baltimore facility placed the company under intense scrutiny. The CDMO’s stock price has tumbled as a result, but it appears CEO Robert Kramer cashed out some of his shares just in time. — Source

That company, the dirty one, producing contaminated and brown sediment laced J&J “vaccines.” That one where 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 hypodermic chemical has to be dumped because of “an ingredient mix-up” at its Baltimore plant. J&J has since taken control over the facility and AstraZeneca, which was also making its vaccine there, was forced to move out.
That Johnson and Johnson —

AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Merck & Co., AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson together contributed more than $680 million to hundreds of patient groups and other nonprofits last year, according to a Bloomberg examination of data the companies sent to the Finance Committee.

The total tally more than doubled the $321 million the six companies handed out in 2015 and significantly exceeded what the industry itself spent on lobbying. In 2018, the entire pharmaceutical and health products industry—including pharmaceutical benefit managers—spent $283 million in lobbying U.S. lawmakers, according to the independent research group OpenSecrets.

Source

Oh, that Big Bad Pharma Company, J&J —

J&J has faced hundreds of thousands of lawsuits over claims its products are defective.

Lawsuits point to internal documents showing J&J and its subsidiaries knew about problems with their products but sold them anyway.

In addition to individual product liability lawsuits, individual states who say Johnson & Johnson helped fuel the opioid crisis are suing the company for millions of dollars.

Source

But all’s well, uh? Big Pharma is one of the most powerful industries in the world. The global revenue for pharmaceuticals was over $1 trillion in 2014. But nowhere else in the world do the drug and medical device industries have as much power and make as much money as in the U.S.

The pharma giant has seen its reputation drop steadily from ninth place to 57th out of 58 leading pharmaceutical companies since 2014.

Six of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies for 2017 have their headquarters in the U.S. These include Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck, Gilead, Amgen and AbbVie.

Back in the good old days, oh, March 2020, just 28 percent of Americans polled had a good opinion of Big Pharma. Big Pharma is the second most hated industry in America: second to none, but right behind the tobacco industry and the oil, gas and chemical industries.

Add to the criminal enterprises Big Pharma is embroiled in, it is also the biggest defrauder of the Federal Government under the False Claims Act, according to consumer watchdog group Public Citizen.

Sure, a history of fraud, bribery, lawsuits and scandals is the American way, for sure, and also, despite criminal charges and fines, no less, Big Pharma companies continue to do business. To the tune of a trillion a year, or more, in profits.

Pablo Escobar is rolling in his grave in envy.

I have had some close relationships with people in the “drug” business, and that includes Merck, when it was MSD. And a friend of my mom’s who was a Pharm D working on all sorts of research on the drugs that drug companies came out with that either did not work, or did their damage in spades.

I taught English classes in Juarez, and I toured the Johnson and Johnson twin plant and talked to workers there. Like everything else in American Capitalism, the Mexicans were treated like crap, from the fabricators to the technical engineers. The reason J & J was sited there was for the profit margin, man, low pay, no unions, no taxes, desperate Mexican women (mostly) workers, and the ability to skirt environmental and OSHA laws. Each year I went by the maquiladora, more and more security was posted outside. Photos of J&J by me (a journalist) were questioned, until a series of “no photo” signs were posted all over.

Then, of course, the Gates Foundation and Planned Parenthood. Who would have thought I’d be up against Planned Parenthood, up against Gates and Merck and the HPV vaccination?

Here, a story, mine,  “Death by a Thousand Cuts: Vaccines, Non-Profits, and the Dissemination of Medical Information.”   The crux of which is that I was kicked out of day two of a mandatory sex ed class for things I did not do, but for positing a few questions to the instructors. Then, the nonprofit I worked for summarily made up their mind to pink slip me. You see, I was at the training in Seattle, at the Planned Parenthood headquarters, and the nonprofit I was working for was located hundreds of miles and a state away, south of Portland, Oregon.

I asked the trainer what might happen when some of my rural clients’ parents and the young clients themselves personally just Googled “Gardasil and vaccine injuries” and then confronted me, case manager and now a sex ed trained trainer, and others with the evidence. This colonized trainer got mad, raised his voice, and stated, again, the voice of God, here, “The Jury is Out on Gardasil. It is one hundred percent safe.” Here at Dissident Voice, “My Fate as a Social Worker Sealed by a Vaccine named Gardasil.”

Just read on, and see how Planned Parenthood gets money from the Gardasil makers (Merck) and gets money from Gates Foundation for the youth vaccination (HPV especially) propaganda machine, also called, instruction.

This madness is ratcheting up, and, oh, that supposed rough, rugged, independent American is caving and caving to the most crass and simplistic propaganda. My wife’s daughter, at Oregon State University, is being bombarded (she and the entire student body, the staff, the faculty, and, yes, the food service and custodial staff) with messages, emails and bulletins — “Well, we want all of the OSU (Beavers) Family safe, and while we are not making the vaccination mandatory now, but, but, but . . . .”

Those but’s are indeed not just but’s;  rather, they are mandates, as this school, like the rest of the country’s schools, mostly, will make that “deadly” shot mandatory, err, the Covid-19 shot. OSU makes students show proof of the meningitis vaccination, so Covid-19 shots are the next logical step in this Sundown law state. This list is big, and expanding as of today: What Colleges Require the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Colleges across the U.S. are increasingly requiring COVID-19 vaccination for on-campus learning. Check out the full list of colleges that require the vaccine.

Oh, that is it, no, laws, mandates, community “standards,” what goes goes, and what isn’t allowed, isn’t allowed here. More on the Oregon racism.

Detroit, Michigan. Riot at the Sojourner Truth homes, a new U.Sn federal housing project, caused by white neighbors' attempt to prevent Negro tenants from moving in. Sign with American flag "We want white tenants in our white community," directly opposite the housing project. Source: Library of Congress

Oh, I know about mandatory medical laws, mandatory medical procedures, which the Covid-19 shot is, a medical experiment procedure. Oregon and forced vaccinations, err, I mean, forced sterilizations:  In 1917 the Oregon State Legislature, in Salem, Oregon, passed a bill titled, “To Prevent Procreation of Certain Classes in Oregon.” Passage of the bill created the Oregon State Board of Eugenics.

“We can and must protect our nation from insanity, epilepsy, and the varied train of abnormalities that follow in their wake.” Dr. Bethenia Adair Owens said in 1915.

Oregon’s 1923 law targeting people deemed “feeble-minded, insane, epileptic, habitual criminals, moral degenerates, and sexual perverts.”

The state set up a Board of Eugenics that had the final decision over who would be sterilized. The board ordered its last forced sterilization in 1981. In 1983, Oregon’s eugenics law was repealed.

Source

Oh, that Oregonian, still around, supporting the Governor’s forced “vaccination” and lockdown mandates —

The largest newspaper in Oregon, the Republican-controlled Oregonian, supported Eugenics and used its power to inflame public opinion. In a news article headlined “Fecund Mental Derelicts of Oregon Called Menace by State Health Official,” Dr. Floyd South, a member of the Oregon State Board of Health and the Board of Eugenics, stated on June 17, 1938, “Feeble-minded, insane, and otherwise mentally and physically incompetent persons in Oregon are reproducing twice as fast as normal persons.” He went on to state that within 200 years half the state’s population would be confined to public institutions if rigid sterilization laws were not enforced. This applied to the insane as well as “mentally weak persons.”

And, lest I leave out the “scientists” and medical experts (sic):

In 1940 Dr. Richard B. Dillehunt, dean of the University of Oregon Medical School and chairman of the committee appointed by Governor Charles H. Martin to analyze Oregon’s responsibility to the insane, wrote a series of articles for the Oregon Journal reporting his findings. He believed mental illness could be prevented by marriage laws and sterilization. He stated, “Idiots, imbeciles and morons are singularly moved by the primitive biologic impulses and spawn prodigiously. Here is a place where social groups and others might get together and make an effort: for, mark my word, with the prolificacy and multiplication of the feeble-minded, such social groups might soon find themselves on the defensive instead of in a position to help.”

Forced experimental and untested and unapproved shots, or maybe shots that have the gifts that keep on giving: sterilization, blood clot-inducing, heart attack-creating, miscarriage-providing,  total immune system compromising Pizer and J&J madness.

The propaganda, the arm twisting, oh, the fancy foot PhD wording, but still, a forced chemical shot, and who knows what the medical consequences shall be (read, COVID-19 Vaccine Reactions):

Again, regardless of whether OSU implements a vaccination requirement, we hold an expectation that each of us will take every precaution to increase the level of community protection from COVID-19, which includes each of us obtaining the vaccine as soon as possible.

Sincerely, Dan Larson, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, OSU Coronavirus Response Coordinator

The unvaccinated cannot marry the vaccinated! The new normal!

How States Sterilized 60,000 Americans – And Got Away with It - Foundation for Economic Education

 

Satan Dead! (a.k.a.) Bankster-Globalist: David Rockefeller | caucus99percent

The post It’s the Mask, Stupid: Beware The Covid-Pfizer Jumping Virus! first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Milquetoast for all Three Meals: All’s Dumb in the United States of A

The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.
— aphorism

There is dumb-downing, cancel culture (I’ve been cancelled since beginning in 1972 in high school, way before the trendy terminology), forced consent, manufactured bifurcation,  false balance, triangulation, perception as reality, equivocation, a host of propaganda techniques unleashed by Edward Bernays and Goebbels,  and the ugly quartet of  Infantilization-McDonaldization–Walmartization-Disneyfication:

George Ritzer introduced the concept of McDonaldization with his 1993 book, The McDonaldization of Society. Since that time the concept has become central within the field of sociology and especially within the sociology of globalization.

According to Ritzer, the McDonaldization of society is a phenomenon that occurs when society, its institutions, and its organizations are adapted to have the same characteristics that are found in fast-food chains. These include efficiency, calculability, predictability and standardization, and control.

Ritzer’s theory of McDonaldization is an update on classical sociologist Max Weber’s theory of how scientific rationality produced bureaucracy, which became the central organizing force of modern societies through much of the twentieth century. According to Weber, the modern bureaucracy was defined by hierarchical roles, compartmentalized knowledge and roles, a perceived merit-based system of employment and advancement, and the legal-rationality authority of the rule of law. These characteristics could be observed (and still can be) throughout many aspects of societies around the world. — Source 

Understanding the Phenomenon of McDonaldization

Now, we know infantilization was once applied just to young people, teenagers and such, giving them the one-two punch of treating them as if they have the mental capacity of a four-year or six-year old (now, the nanny-state, and the SARS-CoV2 paranoia and ignorance, making youth think a virus leaps from the ground outside while running in track by themselves will give them the DARPA virus — even DARPA isn’t that good, hail to virologist bomb makers at Fort Detrick and Plum Island). Underestimating the potential of 16-year-olds to understand “our” adult world, or the complexities of society. You know, give a 16-year-old the right to vote since it is that group most affected by the bad bad brew of politics and electioneering that will effect them the most and longest. Nope. That concept of infant-making of the American mind, of course, has been scaled up to an entire society fed on pabulum, cultivated through mass media that are geared to childish concepts of consumerism, fear, patriotism, and celebrity culture and bowing to the rich and famous.

Patronizing might be just one aspect of infantilization, but believe you me, I have been in many arenas — social work, education (higher and K12), environmentalism, union organizing, politics, journalism, the arts (literary, photography), urban planning …  and then in so many workplaces as an organizer and social services specialist. I’ve seen some dumbdowning and infatalizing and agnotology from supposed brightest and best coming out of elite Ivy Leadure schools. What has happened in the USA is one broad infantilization and massive Collective Stockholm Syndrome. It took 50 years, or 60.

Walmartization is pretty simple and deadly — Large chain stores moving (bulldozing) into a region (neighborhoods) which then not only devastate local businesses driving and then displacing those workers into low paying chain store jobs, but the money made by these national and multinational chains  leaves the community. It could be a bank chain, or hardware chain. That Home Depot is moving profits to shareholders, to the huge monster at the head of the huge serpent that kills local enterprise, local community support. Community of place is replaced by the transnational community of purpose — that purpose being profits anyway possible, and cutting labor costs, benefits, health and safety. Hell, get those workers on state Obama Care, food stamps, and the leftover public assistance. If you work at Amazon, what’s so wrong with three workers living in a beat up RV?  That Walmartization is about economies of scale, eating the soul of small manufacturers, small retail businesses, mom and pop’s, and, alas, the money leaves the community and goes to the highly paid family owners or company roughriders — the Cabal of millionaires, multimillionaires, hedge funds, and billionaires that are to put it kindly, bloodsuckers, and viruses.

NYC Educator: The Walmartization of Education

Disneyfication is a sophisticated intended and unintended set of processes that basically strips a real place (built environment, nature, etc.) or thing of its original character. That is the strip-mall which has boom and busted, and the great 200 acre malls, or the same 7-11 in a million places, as well as those Starbucks shit stores placed everywhere including the bathrooms. It is both a sanitization of real life, of real character, of real communities. Again, anything negative — like telling the real history of this Indian-killing, slave-owning/killing, union-busting/killing, global terror cop propagating country (sic) —  is removed, hidden, and then, here we are, with facts that are dumbed down with the psychological and marketing intention of rendering any negative, truthful, hurtful subject more pleasant and easily grasped. Replacing the real bar, the real bookstore, the real coffee shop, the real bodega, the real restaurant, the real park, the real playground, the real forest, the real wetlands, the real swamp, the real everglades, the real farm, with something either idealized … or giving something tourist-friendly veneer. There is a fake “Main Street, U.S.A.” everywhere,  and then the ugly side of what makes Milquetoast (but globally deadly) United States of Amerigo Vespucci a dying, wasteful, broken, rotting country.

The Disneyfication of Edinburgh – Bella Caledonia

Now, below will be a short Opinion piece I penned quickly to help my county to realize we have yet another deficit — lack of a literacy initiative, literacy center, literacy professionals and volunteers to help people learn how to read, learn how to decipher children’s schools’ labyrinthine rules and guidelines. To participate in this 21st century, or the Century before this one and the one before that one: learning how to read, and to critically evaluate all the snake oil labels, all the scams, all the hidden fees-tolls-poles-fines-add-ons, to call spade a spade when PayDay comes to town, or when red-lining rules the roost, or when complete and total neighborhoods are fleeced financially, culturally and environmentally.

1963,1966: Campaigns to Repeal Texas Poll Taxes | South Texas Rabble Rousers History Project

Literacy — And I have been at that game since, well, since my first year of college, University of Arizona. I’ve taught in prisons where lack of literacy is one big reason for many being locked away. I ran a communications program at a large military base (Fort Bliss, El Paso) where privates all the way to five or six striper NCOs had reading grade levels of 4 or 5 or 6. That’s fourth, fifth and sixth grade (if they were lucky).

I’ve written about this before — cartoon instructional manuals (usually with a buxom blonde white woman as the instructor in series after series cartoon strips) bending over to show how to arm a Stinger missile or how to use a Vulcan machine missile gun.

The U.S. Army Had an M-16 Comic Book | by War Is Boring | War Is Boring | Medium

If reading isn’t important, than, I suppose every single law drawn up by ALEC and every single omnibus bill, every war lord’s thousand-page contract for this or that bound-to-be-triple-cost overrun killing systems, whether in the air, on the water, underwater, on land, in space, over the web, inside telephones and computers, or inside a bacteria or virus just is not that important.

To the point where 9 or 11 trillion dollars is missing from DoD, and how many trillions have been shelled out to war lords, bankers, virus mercenaries, poverty profiteers?

That I have to work on getting one person into a volunteer-run literacy program as if I am writing the new laws or formulating something unique is troubling (read my Op-Ed piece below).

Functional or complete illiteracy. Remember Jonathan Kozol:

Kozol believes that liberal education in our inner-city schools has been increasingly replaced by “culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction that would be rejected out of hand by schools that serve the mainstream of society.”

Oh baby, did I have Kozol on speed dial in the college classes I taught —

  • Kozol, Jonathan. Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools. Houghton, 1967, revised edition, New American Library, 1985.
  • Kozol, Jonathan. Illiterate America. Anchor/Doubleday, 1985.
  • Kozol, Jonathan. On Being a Teacher. Continuum, 1981.
  • Kozol, Jonathan. Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope. Crown, 2000.
  • Kozol, Jonathan. Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools. Crown, 1991.
  • Kozol, Jonathan. Shame of the Nation: The restoration of apartheid schooling in America. Crown, 2005.

This is what Studs Terkel said about Kozol’s Illiterate America — “Stunning… with passion and eloquence Kozol reveals a devastating truth… and offers a challenge and remedy.”  Source

If it is any comfort to this man, he should know that he is not alone. Twenty-five million American adults cannot read the poison warnings on a can of pesticide, a letter from their child’s teacher, or the front page of a daily paper. An additional 35 million read only at a level which is less than equal to the full survival needs of our society.

Together, these 60 million people represent more than one third of the entire adult population.

The largest numbers of illiterate adults are white, native-born Americans. In proportion to population, however, the figures are higher for blacks and Hispanics than for whites. Sixteen percent of white adults, 44 percent of blacks, and 56% of Hispanic citizens are functional or marginal illiterates. Figures for the younger generation of black adults are increasing. Forty-seven percent of all black seventeen-year-olds are functionally illiterate. That figure is expected to climb to 50 percent by 1990. — Kozol, Illiterate America

Now, that was from a book Kozol wrote 36 years ago. THIRTY-SIX. Those numbers above pale in comparison to this year’s averages. Since we have 335 million in this country, and alas, functional illiteracy is at an all-time high, a larger percentage of people are duped, fooled, cheated, imprisoned, bankrupted, scammed, and structurally murdered because they can’t read or can’t understand what they are reading. Make that 80 percent of people reading the car-seat instructions for their loved one’s safety, in fact, install the car seat INCORRECTLY after reading a 7th grade level set of simple instructions.

Image below: Jonathan Kozol a long time ago teaching reading

Why do I use milquetoast in the title? Here, Kozol, telling it like it is about Dumb Downed USA, with Sleepy Joe — “Joe Biden’s shameful record on school segregation

Advocates for children and civil rights who have not yet given up entirely on the struggle to break down the walls of racial isolation in our public schools may want to take a good hard look at Joe Biden’s shameful record on school segregation. Despite his recent effort to allay concerns about that record, it cannot be expunged or easily forgiven.

In an education-policy proposal released by his campaign on May 28, Biden briefly spoke of encouraging diversity by giving grants and guidance to districts that are willing to pursue it. But he said nothing to disown his long history as a fierce opponent of school busing and a scathing critic of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

Former Vice President Joe Biden

Milquetoast to all the idiots who fight me tooth and nail when I explicitly state I never have or never will vote for a democrat or republican for president. That a two-minute scribble exercise called voting does absolutely ZERO for me, and for the causes I fight for, including a literacy center in every rural, suburban, urban community.

Illiteracy is bad all around, but oh is it sweet to the bankers, real estate folk, the doctors, lawyers, accountants, IRS, military, marketers, flimflam folk that rule this country …  as you will read in the short piece I did for the small twice a week rag, Newport News TimesBut what makes this country a house of horrors and run by corporate and war lord whores, is how all of those elites and monsters conspire to make people dumb downed, and that is the McDonaldization-Walmartization-Infantalization-Disneyfication of everything.

Literacy is a matter of life and death, happiness or penury

I used to get my elbows up into many literacy projects as an English and writing faculty member at community colleges, universities, prison school programs and writing/journalism workshops for people who are exploited because of their status as low income or as former felons, and those homeless citizens as well as adults living with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Events like “Banned Books Month” (October) or National Poetry Month (April) I worked hard to promote/support. Big journalism organizations like Project Censored and groups like Reporters without Borders are still in my blood.

I am now working again in a small rural community dotted with small towns. I am not only supporting folks with job development and on-the-job training and coaching, but I am helping two Lincoln County citizens with reading literacy.

In my situation with Shangri-La, these two are adult men in their 30s who are seeking reading literacy programs.

It may come as a surprise to citizens, lawmakers and politicians alike, but Lincoln County does not have a literacy center. There is no one-stop place for people who need literacy tutoring, whether they are functionally illiterate in their English skills as a U.S.-born citizen, or those who are English as a second/third language learners.

I’m working with a Salem group, Mid-Valley Literacy Center (founded in 2009). Vivian Ang is my contact who is helping train Newport and Toledo-based citizens to help tutor my two clients. This is not an easy task, and Vivian, with more than 20 years of tutoring including at Chemeketa Community College, says it’s hit or miss.

“I do not have any experience with assisting an adult with a learning disability (developmental disability) to learn how to read,” she has repeated to me several times.

An adult who drives a car, works at a factory, runs a large piece of construction equipment, lives on his own and presents as a “regular sort of guy” can be in one of the most dire of circumstances — functional and complete illiteracy.

Wanting to learn how to read when you are in your 30s takes guts. There are stigmas for someone who can’t read an insurance form or simple job application.

The need is high in Lincoln County for adults like this client of mine — born in Newport and educated in Newport’s K-12 system, including special education classes — to learn how to read. But we have many from Mexico, Guatemala and other countries in our communities where learning how to read and speak English is more than just a step toward better pay.

Vivian tells me a story about an Oregon woman, from Mexico, illiterate in English, who had a sick daughter who needed medication to improve. The prescription stated, “Take this medication once a day.” In Spanish, once is the word for the number 11, so, tragically, the mother followed the prescription contextualized in her Spanish reading abilities. At 11 times a day, after a few days, the medication killed her two-year-old daughter.

Navigating housing, employment, the legal system, utility companies, landlords, cultural activities, and representative politics are basically off limits to a person who can’t read or write. The amount of exploitation, fines, fees, garnishments, late payments and other penalties is a regular occurrence for people who can’t read and write.

According to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy (founded 1991), low literacy in the USA costs us as a society $2.2 trillion a year. According to U.S. Department of Education, more than half of U.S. adults aged 16 to 74 years old (54 percent or 130 million people) lack proficiency in literacy, reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.

For my many clients across the board, lack of reading, low reading levels and functional illiteracy can be linked to poorer health, low levels of civic engagement and low earnings in the labor market. On average, more than 70 percent of people following the seventh grade reading level for instructions on how to install an infant car seat fail to follow the proper steps.

I am enlisting tutors for my two clients. I have a librarian and a library technician on board. Three retired women living in Toledo and Newport, too. One of my client’s workplaces is stepping up and paying the nonprofit Vivian runs for the materials and training. That general manager is also providing a private space with internet access to his worker (I’ll call him Samuel) who is illiterate.

He tells me, “I wish I had 22 Samuel’s working for me. He’s an incredible worker, reliable, goes the extra mile.” Source

 

The post Milquetoast for all Three Meals: All’s Dumb in the United States of A first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Trading Chihuahua Desert Hardscrabble for Coast Range Wet

The word was the ember and the forest was my life.
― Jimmy Santiago Baca, “Coming into Language,” March 3, 2014

We’re at the Flip ‘n Chicken sharing food, swapping stories about El Paso, and philosophizing about what it means to be an educator in the Early Childhood program at Oregon Coast Community College.

His looks are a cross between Lee Trevino (golfer from El Paso) and my buddy the muralist from El Paso, Mario Colin.

My hope is that I can influence high school students to become teachers . . . to be better teachers . . . go to grad school . . . get a master’s degree, get a doctoral. My biggest pleasure would be to see that student who obtained a certificate from Oregon Coast College come back to replace me. — Oscar Juarez, faculty member in early childhood education at Oregon Coast Community College.

As the day unfolds, Oscar leads me from his faculty office to the Flip ‘n Chicken to meet Marco and Ana, the proprietors of the small eatery. For Marco and Oscar, this modest Mexican-styled restaurant serving chicken wings and all-day breakfasts is a hub of activity for the Newport and beyond Latino community.

The journey here for his wife Teresa and five children, aged 22 to 11, is a cultural/intellectual/ spiritual roadmap he’s plotted for his entire life. Leaving a huge metropolitan area with more than 90 percent Hispanic population in El Paso and several million Mexicans right across the border in Juarez, to this almost alien quasi-barren place called the Central Oregon Coast has galvanized into him the word “significant.”

Come November 28 2019, it will be a year since he was hired at OCCC-Newport.

Image result for Oscar Juarez Early Learning El Paso

Oscar Juarez  at Oregon Coast Community College in Newport. (Courtesy photo)

Journeys from Mexico to El Paso – Family Legacy

The legacy of his Mexican roots planted in this country – historically in large part the sanctum of Mexico (or New Spain) for hundreds of years — are still tended carefully.

His parents met in Ciudad Juarez. Jesus Juarez was from Guanajuato and Oscar’s mother Maria Guadalupe from Zacatecas. His mother had a third-grade education, and his father went to college and obtained a business degree while living in Mexico City. Both did not speak English when they arrived to Juarez, Chihuahua.

Soon, a carpet tienda opened up – Alfombras Juarez, both in Juarez and then soon after a sister store in El Paso opened. Oscar and three brothers and sister were born in El Paso. The fifth child, a brother, was born in Juarez as their mother went into labor which necessitated giving birth in Mexico.

For Oscar, their humble beginnings set in motion his own ethos of caring for family and appreciating the little things in life – the gulls, the seals in Waldport where he lives, all the vegetation foreign to a Chihuahua native.

However, it doesn’t take much to precipitate pride in his own country’s history of struggle, and his own belief in the common good of all people, no matter the national borders set down.

Zoot Suits, Gang Bangers, Family Unity

We talk about gangs in El Paso, groups I am familiar with since I was both a college/university instructor who also taught in alternative programs tied to gang activity reduction. Oscar grew up with both parents in the household, and their home was part of two other residences – aunts and uncles with their own broods of 5 and 6 children each.

He attributes that cohesion as to why he, his siblings and cousins never got involved in gangs or drugs.

Where I grew up, one block east was the Barrios San Juan gang. One block west, the Fatherless gang. Two blocks north, the Diablo Sherman gang.

He’s quick to dispel the racist banter about Latinos and gangs.

You can’t judge a book by its cover.Here is one gang, Diablo Sherman, which came from a rundown housing project … they were never given a chance. With both parents working night and day. So, what other outlet do teenagers have? These gangs give them a sense of belonging.

He admits there was pressure to join a gang, but he stifled that by becoming a diplomat, making friends with individuals from every gang.

Given the tight-knit family, the young Oscar had many dreams of what he wanted to be when he grew up. One dream was to become an astronaut. He had aspirations for military life, even wanting to join the Army when the Gulf War began.

Life hit him like ice water to the face several times, the first one being the death of his father when he was killed by a hit and run driver in Juarez when the family was there for a quinceanera.

His mother was 38 years old left alone to raise five boys and a daughter.

Speech Therapy, Learning to Persevere

That’s when my impediment started,” Oscar says. This is one form of trauma precipitated by witnessing his old man die – stuttering, or stammering. “My siblings went to counseling after our father’s death. I was so young I guess they thought I didn’t need to get counseling.

His family was wrong about that. Consequently, his family believed Oscar was faking the stammering, or that he was imitating a cousin who stuttered.

It’s been a blessing for me. It changed my attitude. It made me realize others’ suffering, and to put myself into other people’s shoes.

The “it” is more than a speech challenge/disability – he sees life as a process of challenging any individual to live outside the box.

He was evaluated in fourth grade, received an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), and a speech therapist. For Oscar, during his senior year, the therapist told him his plans for the future – Air Force Academy – were not typical of others with this impediment. “She was telling me how much strength I had by not letting this limit my life, my dreams.”

I took it as a challenge. I never wanted the easy road. It would have been easier to just shy away from public speaking events. I was fortunate I had a few good teachers who made the difference for me.

Teaching is in his Blood

Ironically, it was his family of five children – Clara, 22; Yasmine, 21; Jesus, 18; Oscar, 14; Alicia, 11 – and his wife who chose Newport over a more lucrative offer of an associate professorship (with more pay) at New Mexico State University (his grad school alma mater) in Carlsbad (still close to his large clan in El Paso).

’Let’s get out of our comfort zone,’ Teresa said. ‘We’ve been playing it safe for so long, let’s gamble.’

That gamble means a win-win to the third power for Newport. He says he is really motivated to help transform Oregon Coast College into “the community’s school.”

His multicultural class is helping early childhood instructors see their students’ lives from a broader and multifaceted lens and narrative frame. “I feel I have to be more of an advocate for the college. Being here does provide me with a venue. I want this college to be more inclusive. I tell my students, ‘This is your community college. I am only a steward of the college.’”

He’s all about teaching, even though he was headed for an academy, which didn’t work out. He was a chemistry major at UT-El Paso. He was one semester away from heading to a lab. That didn’t work out.

In fact, Oscar Juarez’s presence in Newport – as he spreads his knowledge, passion and inspiration – is largely because he dropped out of college to take care of an ailing mother. In doing so, he worked odd jobs, including custodian at a Head Start in El Paso. And that’s when the teaching bug hit him hard.

The Benito Juarez Connection

Image result for Benito Juarez

Entre los individuos, como entre las naciones, el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz
Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.
— Benito Juarez, Zapotec Indian, president of Mexico (1861–72)

This quotation Oscar recites while we eat our veggie burrito and chicken wings. It was the second Mexican revolution, against the French (1864–67) – essentially a foreign occupation under the emperor Maximilian.

That was the Battle of Puebla, which Mexico under Benito Juarez won. Think of Cinco de Mayo (5th of May).

He relates how his father spoke no English but opened up a business in both Juarez and El Paso. In fact, Oscar worked in both carpet stores in the summer. And it was his father who told him that he wanted his son to “not work on his knees but with his head” — no trabajar de rodillas sino con la cabeza.

Persistence is another trait Oscar attributes to his father and to the indigenous hero Benito Juarez. As the last child of six to still be at home, Oscar was asked to undertake caring for his mother.

His mother’ one side of her face was hit with Bell’s Palsy, then the other side was also paralyzed, on top of bouts of painful arthritis. He ended up dropping out of college to work odd jobs to support them both.

Those jobs and supporting his mother led her to ask him if it was okay if she married another man.  Oscar speaks fondly of both his mother and step-father, who miss them dearly now that the five grandchildren and daughter-in-law are so far away.

Starting a Family Young

He was working odd jobs when he answered the request to be a volunteer at his daughter’s Head Start. He then got the job as custodian. Then one day one of the teachers asked him to assist with an unruly child. Oscar was a natural mentor. This Head Start mental health provider witnessed Oscar’s calming and instructive response and so asked him to apply to be a teaching assistant.

It was the assistant director of the program who “saw me interacting with my son . . . it wasn’t a classroom setting.” One week later he was offered the job of teacher’s assistant.

That opportunity came with a cut in pay, but Head Start offered him free schooling. Again, baptismal by fire – “The first day on the job the classroom teacher was out on a training and I was left with the classroom all day. I didn’t know the children’s names or the lesson plans.”

He did the TA job for two years, and then he ended up getting two AA degrees, and finally, after one and a half years of on-line school, he finished his bilingual early childhood education bachelor’s degree (2013).

He then found the time and opportunity to go to graduate school in 2016. Back to UTEP, in their grad program in education and curriculum development. He worked at Head Start full=time as a teacher.

Barrage of Applications

He tells me with a smile that in December 2017 he started sending out applications for full-time college gigs in early childhood education. Over 100 were sent out all over the country. One landed an on-site interview, Grays Harbor College.

On his way back to El Paso, he got the call he didn’t land the Washington job. He emphasizes most colleges and universities were looking for PhD applicants.

He was exhausted, and he got one call from NMSU. He then was asked by OCCC for a remote interview. He did so well they invited him out to Newport for a face-to-face interview. He and his eldest daughter drove to Newport, met his (future) boss, teachers and others. He believes a training video Head Start had made of Oscar teaching in the classroom (age 3 to 5) won them over.

In the video Oscar shows how he can easily impart concepts of math and physics to 3-to 5-year old’s, ideas much older students have a difficult time grasping. He attributes his math and chemistry background to that success.

His trip back – he emphasizes how his family was strapped for money – included a blowout in Kingman, Arizona. Luckily, the spare tire was good. He got home on a Wednesday, got an offer from NMSU-Carlsbad, but then he wondered: “I saw the need of this community were high. I also would be in charge of starting the program – bilingual early childhood education. I wanted to leave my fingerprint on a program.”

Challenges and Changes

He tells me about how his Waldport neighbor Rick, two houses down from the duplex the Juarez family is renting, wrote a little piece for the local paper inspired by Oscar, emphasizing how local residents can take many things for granted.

What do I like about the coast? The weather. The scenery, and the green. I like the small things that people might not see. When driving to and from work, I get to see this amazing area. Even the dandelions. I look at them on the ground and I am truly amazed.

Those conversations with Rick from Waldport made Rick realize how much coastal beauty he takes for granted.

This brings up the fact Oscar Juarez and his family’s presence here – as well as all the other new residents from all parts of Mexico and Central America – could be transformative for dyed in the wool locals who are skeptical of outsiders, especially from countries south of the US border.

In fact, the Chicano-Latino connections Anglo residents are making and continue to make could be yet another story in the legacy of this country’s philosophy of being a welcoming country for immigrants. In 2011 the Mayor of Newport signed a Proclamation stating the city is a Welcoming Community – part of a large initiative called, Welcoming America movement, which has spread to more than two dozen states to promote immigrant inclusion, respect and integration.

The reasons I came to Newport and the Oregon Coast College involve my philosophy of making change where it really counts, Oscar tells me.

He sees the need for early childhood educators to be much more attuned to the shifting demographics of America – no matter how insane and inaccurate the current POTUS and his rabid followers are when discussing immigrants in this country.

Increasing the numbers of bilingual teachers across America is a win-win situation, and Oscar is of a generation of adults who was raised to fight for social justice and human dignity. We talk about his Catholic upbringing and beliefs, and we quickly launch into liberation theology, which is centered in activism by nuns and priests supporting indigenous, poor, farming and working communities throughout Latin America in their struggle to break the chains of oppression, structural violence and austerity measures dictated by transnational financial organizations.

We talk about how Lincoln County’s young minds need to be exposed to the big ideas, the big social justice tools, and how to create a more diverse and respectful world.

Advocate for the Young People

I’m at Oscar’s multicultural and early childhood ed classes at OCCC to give my own presentation on an anti-poverty program I am helping direct in Lincoln County.

The young people obviously open up their minds and hearts to the big ideas I am presenting around social IQ, social capital and communitarianism. The principles Oscar brings to the classroom align with my work for Family Independence Initiative: allowing people or families to make decisions in their lives about what progress should look like.

Investing in families is key to raising smart, resilient and resourceful youth. Having early education students understand the overlay of how young kids end up struggling with reading and writing and their behavior is a must for the new crop of teachers of the 3 to 5 year olds.

Oscar has invited many professionals to his class to talk to his students. I was there when Sommer McLeish, Community Health Improvement Program Coordinator for Samaritan Hospital, gave a presentation on early childhood principles and parenting programs. She too is all about building communities within communities.

Sommer brings up ACES — Adverse Childhood Experiences Study, which looks at the variables in a child whose upbringing is rough. The more precarious the parenting, the higher the child’s risks are for later health problems. Abuse, Neglect and Household Dysfunction are just three ACES. Both Oscar and Sommer are looking at arming parents with the tools to make sure the household is one of enrichment, lowered chances of abuse and neglect, and where the children can thrive and get a head start in education.

As I leave his two classes, Oscar runs into a few students – Spanish speaking young men and women who are animated and confident around him.

That is a picture worth more than a thousand words. As more people in our county come to understand the power of the journeys people are making today – sacrifices to leave behind their homelands, communities, families – to live and work here, the more powerful the story of diversity is when traditions and cultural signposts and activities are then shared among all in our community.

A few days earlier, Marco of Flip ‘n’ Chicken showed me the Oceanlake Elementary School Day of the Dead celebration his wife and others in the community put on. Here I was, in this little restaurant, while the Mexican showed me on his android phone the costumes and the dancing and drumming and guitar playing.

Oscar nodded, affirming his role in this county will have a lasting impact for some of those offspring of the Latino and all the other ethnic communities when they take his early childhood education courses to become mentors and guides in the classroom for the next and the next generation of children.

Riffing with the El Pasoan in Ten Easy Questions

My alma mater NMSU called me with the same type of position at almost the exact same time as I heard from Oregon Coast Community College. I felt this was a community that needed me more, and now that I’ve been here for a bit, I feel I made the right choice. I have a lot of experience working with low-income families, and as a Hispanic person, I’ve heard from people that said they were excited to see someone with their skin color that can speak their language, and others saying that seeing me in this job gives them hope.

Paul Haeder: What defines you as a teacher?
Oscar Juarez: I have to give all my best every day. I know being a teacher is my vocation and I enjoy what I do. Another key thing to define me has a teacher is the ability to take a complex problem and break down to its basic element and teach it to my students. I must also have compassion with my students.

PH: What defines you as a father?
OJ: This is somewhat a difficult way to describe. I was fortunate that we had a nuclear family at home with my dad providing the example, but when he passed away my eldest brother took his role. Imagine a 20-year-old being the main male figure in our household but he tried his best and carried a great burden on his shoulders. My wife Terry is the person who has made me a better father. She reminds me when I am wrong and what I did right. Seeing the births of all my children brought me a new sense of security. I will be the first to admit that being a father is difficult and we don’t provide a support system. I always hoped that being a good father made me a better man, and being a good man made me a better father.

PH: What is the best definition of a good teacher?
OJ: A good teacher is a person who has embraced their vocation. Like I explain to my students, teaching is a vocation, meaning you enjoy every single moment and wake up energized each day. As a teacher we make many sacrifices for our families and children. I must emphasize when I mention children, they were my students. I say this because at times I was a stable figure, role model, and sometimes a parent to them after spending 9 months together. A teacher will use their own resources to help provide students the opportunity of giving them a toy or so forth to those who may not have what we all have. There were times, and still currently, financial hardships teachers face but we put a brave face.

PH: What is the main difference being a Latino in Lincoln County vs your life in El Paso?
OJ: The biggest difference is the change in demographics. In El Paso Latinos are the majority group in the city, and in Lincoln County we are the minority group. The food, produce, and language are very distinct from back home. We have found it very difficult to find food and produce that make up our diet. Mexican produce is very limited and expensive here. Another major difference is not being able to speak Spanish with other people. Being bilingual is great, but I still feel the urge to speak my native tongue or even joke around with friends and coworkers.

PH: What are some of the key issues in your multicultural class students might struggle with?
OJ: One of the biggest issues my students are facing is the financial struggle. Poverty has no racial line. Another issue is understanding the views and pressures other cultures have and understanding the similarities of each group. Finally, speaking about the elephant in room, white privilege.

PH: You have seen in your lifetime a real spotlight on Americans’ supremacist history, no? How do you have that conversation with your 5 children about how they might be greeted by cops, officials and even just the public based on the color of their skin?
OJ: Yes, I have seen the American supremacist history in action. Growing up in a majority Latino community, I was still called “wetback” and “illegal.” The attitudes by white Anglo people were very disheartening. Being subjected to injustices and discrimination in school, work, and in society would hamper my ideal of equality, but I became resolute in what needs to be done. When I drove to Newport the first time around, I noticed the same discrimination in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho. We have been able to avoid some of the discrimination towards our children. We have taught them we all are equal and have the same value in society, but society has not kept up to the times. I still get the look when I’m driving and notice a police car following me. Or even walking into a store and I hear the “keep an eye code” over the intercom. Yes, I did work in retail, do understand the codes to be vigilant with certain customers. On several occasions, I had sheriff’s deputy officer and Customs and Border agent berate me due to the color of my skin. All of these experiences have only made me more of an advocate for social justice.

PH: What are the key changes need to be made in the entire early education framework?
OJ: The changes I would love to make are “to learn through play,” community involvement, local curriculum needs, and better training of teachers. Learn through play is the easiest change we need in order to allow teachers the freedom to have fun with children. We are teaching children as if we are factory workers. Federal and state mandates have pushed out the ability to have fun. My fondest memories when I taught was when my students and I had fun learning. Allowing them to use their natural curiosity to investigate and develop the correlation of a solution while having fun. I often ask people what is your fondest memory of school. Almost 99% will say when they had fun in a class. The community input is very important in the classroom and outside the classroom. But we have built a wall around schools. Parental involvement is vital to the success of their children. We need them to volunteer in the classroom, we need them feel invested in their child’s learning. They are the experts on their children, not us. When we create an inclusive environment with the community, they will help us identify curriculum needs for their children. If we have a multicultural community, we need to hear and understand their needs. This will go along with using their cultural strengths in school. Lastly, we need to encourage teachers to step out of their comfort zone. We need to bring teachers to use their talents into the classroom by changing how we train teachers. Teacher training usually involves sitting down and listening to a speaker. This is sometimes boring. We need to create training that will foster their skills with hands on activities, learn through play.

PH: What is your favorite thing to do in Lincoln County, on the Coast?
OH: My favorite thing to do in the county is walking on the beach with my family. We are trying to go out every weekend to Seal Rock or Waldport beach and enjoy being together as a family. My wife and I enjoy watching our kids running or enjoying themselves in the natural beauty of the beach. This is a major contrast to our former Chihuahua desert view.

PH: Define community for me.
OJ: A community is helping your family, friends, and neighbors. The mutual cooperation to help each other in a time of need. When I used to be at catechism for confirmation, I had my candidates share the Christmas joy by buying presents to under privileged children in the community. Understanding the hardships and how we could help make the difference in people lives.

PH: Why would you make a good governor of Texas, or Oregon?
OJ: First all is the understanding the daily struggles everyone has. I do not come from a family of wealth or a generation of privilege. In Texas the challenges include affordable housing, Medicaid expansion, education funding, and safety net plans. I know how it feels to live in poverty and the challenges to make ends meet. We have programs that are meant to help families from low socio-economic status with food, housing, and so forth. But when a family is trying to overcome their challenges, the programs that are meant to help instead push families away. For example, if a family is making more money, their SNAP benefits are reduced. We create more obstacles for those families. In education, the funding would go to the Education Agency, in Texas it’s the TEA. They would give the monies according to each district; now the problem here is that more affluent districts would get a greater chunk of the monies and poor districts would get the least.

I wrote some of my graduate work on the importance of changing the formulas to better match the needs of the community by providing more funds to school with high rates of reduced or free lunches. Another issue tied to this is providing more funding to rural communities. I believe that every family that makes $70,000 or less should receive SNAP. Families are struggling to make ends meet, and food takes a big chunk from family budgets. Giving them more for their food will allow them to build up wealth and not live paycheck to paycheck. I believe families should free high-speed internet. We need to build new infrastructure that benefit both rural and urban communities. The one program I would implement is affordable housing. I would take land and old buildings and create new homes. The use of eminent domain in certain areas is necessary to help reduce families living in poverty or homeless. For example, I would take 10 acres of land and build 4 houses on every 1 acre. I would state that companies bidding for contracts must pay a living wage, be local, hire locally, and purchase from local vendors. We would offer homes to low income families and allow them to borrow $20,000 for the closing costs and down payment. The caveat to this would be families would need to live 10 years there and be forgiven the first $10,000; if a family lives in the house for 20 years, the other $10,000 would be forgiven. We would continue to do this for several years. By providing affordable housing, rent prices shall fall. Imagine if we could build homes in rural communities that need the most? It may sound odd, but we would be building new infrastructure in rural and urban areas. And yes, this includes creating partnerships with local native tribes to be included in the infrastructure. Our fellow communities should share the same benefits as everyone in our society. Imagine if we could build homes in rural communities that are in dire need the most? This is why I think I would be a great asset as governor. Hopefully, one day I shall take that bold step.

Image result for Oscar Juarez Early Learning El Paso

Oscar Juarez leads an Early Childhood Education course at Oregon Coast Community College in Newport. (Courtesy photo)

An electronic umbilical cord

The lifeblood of alternative radio is sometimes the celebrity that they create among themselves. And on Monday, October 7, Lincoln County’s KYAQ radio station will welcome one of the biggest stars from the bottom of the dial as David Barsamian visits Newport, Oregon on his Rise Up and Resist tour.

Barsamian grew up in New York, the son of Armenian refugees who fled the genocide unleashed in Turkey by the Ottoman government from 1915 to 1917. More than 1.5 million people were murdered.

191004_oct_David-Barsamian-speaking-at-SLO-Grange-Hall.jpg

The 74 year old will be at Oregon Coast Community College talking to the Central Coast as part of his contribution to an evening of “inspiration.”

I will be drawing on not only my experiences, but those historical examples of people fighting back with sometimes dangerous and deadly consequences.

Barsamian and I talked via phone while he finished his regular bike ride and settled into one of his favorite Boulder, Colorado, coffee shops, Beleza, which in Portuguese means beautiful.

From growing up in the neighborhoods of New York, where he tells me he ditched school and barely graduated from high school, Barsamian enrolled in San Francisco State before dropping out after a year and then signing up to crew a Norwegian freighter out of San Francisco. He ended up in East and Southeast Asia for two years and then three years in India.

He learned the sitar, and embedded himself in the cultural cornucopia of India.  “I was surrounded by some of that country’s greatest musicians and poets”, he said. “I learned so much, including Urdu, Hindi and Bengali. It was like getting a graduate education in South Asian Studies.”

He got back to the US in 1970, finding work in Pakistani and Indian restaurants playing sitar, as well as teaching English to private students first in Rockefeller Center and later in the World Trade Center.

While David Barsamian is not a household name, his Alternative Radio out of KGNU-Boulder is syndicated to more than 250 stations in the country. He has interviewed heavy hitters of the intellectual, writer, scholarly variety, again, many not household names.

Barsamian is a touchstone for most supporters of alternative radio — sort of like IF Stone for some, or Studs Terkel for others, and really more like a cross between Edward R. Murrow and Gore Vidal.

Mile High With a Sitar and Eastern Sensibility

We are talking 1978, when he ended up in Boulder just after the radio station opened. Barsamian volunteered at the public station, making a living teaching ESL, Hindi and performing music. His first show was a music program, “Ganges to the Nile.” His sitar playing and knowledge of India and Eastern music helped.

Alas, when I ask Barsamian if there was a moment in his life when he realized he would be following a path less traveled in the US, he tells me there isn’t.

I’ve been a rebel since I can remember. I’ve always questioned authority, beginning with my parents. With the shadow of genocide hanging over our family, I wanted to learn more.

That included reading books at a young age, and listening to talk shows on the radio coming from his hometown, New York City.

Radio back then was quite a sober affair. Nothing like what we have now with all this shouting and screaming.

He has stated many times that founding Alternative Radio was his personal attempt to meet the goals of public broadcasting:

To serve as a forum for controversy and debate. To provide a voice for groups that may otherwise be unheard.

As an activist myself, I am always challenged with bringing voices like Barsamian’s to my communities – homeless veterans, just-released prisoners, students in military compounds, adults in night school at the many community colleges where I have taught.

In a kind of parallel universe, David Barsamian states the same rational I have used to bring great voices and minds – many times very alternative, outside the box – to my clients and students as he too purports his battle is against mainstream media oversimplifying debate and shutting out so many important voices. “It was unacceptable that many of this country’s greatest and most articulate radical voices had no forum on public radio”, Barsamian said. “Alternative Radio was created to be the vehicle for progressive perspectives that are otherwise ignored or given short shrift.”

Radio Waves on the Pacific

For Franki Trujillo-Dalbey, board president of KYAQ-91.7 FM and sponsor of Barsamian’s trip to Newport, there are not enough alternative voices out there giving listeners a sense of other countries’ perspectives and the unfiltered history of our own country.

Trujillo-Dalbey proudly states this is the third trip to the Central Coast for this radio personality who also has more than 20 books and a few documentary credits to his name.

A regular contributor to Sun Magazine, Barsamian just finished an interview of Bill McKibben, author of the 1989 book, The End of Nature, and one of the co-founders of 350.org.

Drawing from that October Sun Magazine interview of McKibben on the heels of the release of this environmentalist’s new book, Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? Barsamian poses a rhetorical point sure to be broached liberally at his October 7 talk in Newport:

In your new book, Falter, you talk about how scientists at both Exxon and NASA confirmed that climate change was occurring back in the 1980s.

The radio personality declares he has limited time for a telephone interview, as he is working on an essay by an Iranian writer for a new book of essays ReTargeting Iran — interviews with Ervand Abrahamian, Christopher de Bellaigue, Noam Chomsky, Nader Hashemi, Trita Parsi and Laura Secor. “At the Newport event I hope to be drawing on the energy and strength from voices like these and others questioning authority and the status quo”, he said.

An electronic umbilical cord

I had just listened to Vijay Prashad, director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and chief editor of LeftWord Books, on Democracy Now, aired daily on KYAQ. His latest article for Salon is headlined, “World leaders gather at the UN in the face of war, climate catastrophe & global worker exploitation.”

That was a 10-minute interview. David Barsamian just completed a two-hour interview with Prashad, talking about Kashmir, the eco-crisis, neoliberalism’s attack on all sectors of the world, “and a whole range of international issues.”

We talk about Vijay being one of the amazing contemporary voices with deep intellectual acumen and knowledge of a vast range of issues.

“Vijay is in the same mold as Tariq Ali and Edward Said.” Tariq is a British political activist, writer, journalist, historian, filmmaker and public intellectual. He is a member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review and Sin Permiso. Said (1935-2003) was a professor of literature at Columbia University, a public intellectual, and a founder of the academic field of postcolonial studies. A Palestinian American born in Palestine, he was a citizen of the US by way of his father, a US Army veteran.

There is no mincing words when one broaches the Donald Trump presidency and chaos to Barsamian:  “Trump is taking up too much oxygen in the room,” he said. “I am more concerned with Christian radical Mike Pence (Vice President) waiting in the wings.

For several decades, 90-year-old Noam Chomsky — author of more than a hundred books, MIT linguistics scholar and considered the left’s go-to public intellectual – has been featured on Barsamian’s shows and in the related books of collected Chomsky-Barsamian interviews.

I was just with him in Tucson, and Noam didn’t miss a beat. He was razor sharp in 80 minutes.

The Chomsky-Barsamian radio relationship started more than 33 years ago, with Barsamian’s show, “Hemispheres,” a political program. It was a two-and-a-half-hour program with Noam Chomsky which Barsamian uplinked to the public radio satellite. Back then, most radio stations preferred half-hour or one-hour segments, although a few stations picked up the program. It was that long conversation with Chomsky that birthed Alternative Radio.

For many followers of Barsamian, they know he has accolades for Bernie Sanders, presidential candidate and senator from Vermont. “I interviewed him when he was first elected to the House of Representatives, when he was still mayor of Burlington.” Barsaminan, however, doesn’t spend much time interviewing politicians because, in his words, they already have a platform and bully pulpit.

Country Roads, He Calls Home

Boulder, Colorado, has been more than a radio station location for Barsamian. He calls it home, and is seeing more locals developing socialist collectives, community supported agriculture and farmers markets, co-housing, or collective housing.

For Barsamian, it may be two steps forward and three steps backward for progressives. However, he sees righteousness in the struggle. He quoted American statesman Daniel Webster:

Justice, sir, is the great interest of man on Earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together.

The list of people on Barsamian’s radio show is impressive – Vandana Shiva, Arundhati Roy, Ralph Nader, Edward Said and so many others. Interviewing his mother, Araxie, and other witnesses of the Armenian Genocide was a pivotal moment.

The genocide trauma his mother expressed was what Barsamian calls the most difficult interview of his life. However, that discomfort helped him heal and his mother deal with difficult personal and political history.

From that day forward, Barsamian dedicated his life to listening to unheard voices. While those voices are definitely important to true democracy, as Howard Zinn wrote in the Peoples’ History of the United States and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz writes in  An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, this retelling gives the narrator holistic healing through the very conduit of communication. “I have been lucky to have connected with a whole galaxy of social activists and authors”, Barsamian tells me. “It is a kind of a gift of an electronic umbilical cord.”

For anyone interested in a deeper look at the construction and deconstruction of American democracy, David Barsamian has had a front row seat with history makers. He has been one of the clearer voices critiquing American media, also known as the press:

Corporate media are largely weapons of mass distraction. Language is manipulated to manufacture consent and to limit the bounds of permissible thought. A golden Rolodex of so-called experts produces a mono-chromatic one-note samba of drivel. That’s one reason I started Alternative Radio out of my house many years ago. You can’t simply whine and complain. You need to come up with positive alternatives that give people hope.

Note: For anyone willing to take a ride on the alternative side, and push aside American exceptionalist mythology, curb blind patriotism and listen to someone who has been with history’s great minds, coming out to the Newport, Oregon, event, 7 p.m. on Monday, October 7, at Oregon Coast Community College, 400 SE College Way, will be well worth the suggested $10 donation at the door.

One “Little” Legislative Crime that Keeps on Giving

NOVA: If this region—New Orleans, the wetlands, and all—were a patient in the hospital, how would you describe them? At what stage are they?

IVOR VAN HEERDEN: Close to death.

[…]

There is the potential for extremely high casualties—people not only killed by flying debris, drowning in the soup, but also just imagine, how do we rescue the survivors? Unlike a river flood, it doesn’t come up and go down. The water stays. And it stays for months and months and months. How do you rescue all of these people? If there’s 200,000 survivors, you get 20,000 out a day, that’s 10 days. So how are they going to hang on? You know, this is one of the big nightmares: how do you rescue those survivors? What are they going to need?

They’re going to need to be detoxified. And this is Louisiana—it’s 100 degrees Fahrenheit, 100 percent humidity. Putrefaction and fermentation go on very, very rapidly. So those folk are going to be surrounded by the proverbial witches’ brew of toxins.

Photo: Ron Mikulaco, left, and his nephew, Brad Fernandez, examine a crack caused by an earthquake on highway 178 Saturday, July 6, 2019, outside of Ridgecrest, Calif. Crews in Southern California assessed damage to cracked and burned buildings, broken roads, leaking water and gas lines and other infrastructure Saturday after the largest earthquake the region has seen in nearly 20 years jolted an area from Sacramento to Las Vegas to Mexico. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

I have talked about (written in a hundred articles and blogs) this single moment in a political prostitute’s career that defines not only the inhumanity of that person, but also his/her backers, his or her “people,” and those who continue to pad pockets with bribery money.

Little W Bush voting to vote down legislation for making chemical companies to put into their mixes of poisons chemical markers (only in 12 common/major poisons) that would help medical experts treat poisoned youth, babies, and adults when coming into an ER catatonic or seizing. He did the veto because the chemical purveyors lobbied, threw money at candidates of whoring support, and to PR spin-masters who lie lie lie to confuse the public. Those built-in lifesavers would cost some money. Profit Profit Profit Prostitution Prostitution Prostitution.

Remember Emmett Till, and his mother Mamie, and seeking a civil rights investigation into her son’s torture-murder-dismemberment from that bastion of Presidential Prostitution, Ike Eisenhower? That crappy general wouldn’t even open Emmett’s mother’s letter, or thousands of letters supporting an investigation into her son’s murder. No response from that five star mercenary:

Mamie Till-Mobley telegram

Photo credit: A telegram from Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, to President Dwight D. Eisenhower requests justice in the investigation of her son’s death. The White House did not respond. [Image courtesy Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, eisenhower.archives.gov)

Will Ike rot in hell (haha)?

It doesn’t have to be an “elected” official that paves the way for the pimps of Wall Street, Big Energy, Big Everything, that so-called “Complex,” tied to the coined Military Industrial Complex, to wrest control of the people’s futures. Take EpiPen, and that head of that Big Pharma company —

She was the first woman to take over a Fortune 500 company. She lied about her MBA. And, her father is a senator and former governor of West Virigina — Heather Manhcin err Bresch. These people are emotional, economic, spiritual tyrants —

Heather Bresch
Happy and bribed multi-millionaire, maybe a cool half a billion now!

Bresch’s time at Mylan featured confusion back in 2008 when the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette found that she hadn’t earned enough credits for the MBA listed on her résumé. In the end, West Virginia University rescinded a degree it retroactively awarded—but turned out, Bresch didn’t need it to keep her post.

More recently, Mylan disclosed that it is among a group of generics companies facing price-fixing allegations from dozens of states, and federal prosecutors are investigating the issue on their own. Mylan’s president, Rajiv Malik, is among the executives personally named in the lawsuit, although Mylan has stood by its president.

But Mylan first became something of a household word back in 2016, when the EpiPen pricing controversy broke. News surfaced that the drugmaker had been hiking prices for years on its lifesaving epinephrine injector to the point where many parents had a hard time paying for their back-to-school packages. Lawmakers struck up investigations and consumers blasted the drugmaker’s motives.

Bresch, for her part, defended Mylan’s pricing by pointing to the drug pricing and rebating system in the U.S. Along with the EpiPen fiasco, Mylan paid $465 million to the federal government to settle claims it underpaid Medicaid rebates.

Again, the EpiPen, which is required for more and more people today as we are a society with broken immune systems — largely caused by plastics in our food, pesticidees in our bread, herbicides in our cereal, lead in our water, and a bombardment of gene-spliced crap in our foods, like that old fish gene in tomatoes . . . forget about nanoparticles in our beer and beef! The entire food system and general living systems in the USA have been so adulterated that more and more children I teach are in school with major food allergies requiring an EpiPen, which should be free, but instead it went up to $600 a shot under Bresch’s misleadership, and she was touted as the highest paid Pharma CEO, male or female, in the land. Mis-Fortune 500!

One action speaks volumes!Image: A pharmacist holds a package of EpiPens epinephrine auto-injector

Think of your own communities and your own legislative districts or states, or regions. Think of that group of prostitutes allowing fracking and earthquakes; coal ash ponds made of crumbling earth and over-spilling. Think of all those CAFOs — confined/concentrated animal feeding operations — polluting the air, land, soil and watershed/water table with billions of gallons of blood, aborted animal fetuses, urine, shit, antibiotics, fungicides, and nitrates, to name a few lovely by-products of that crispy bacon burger or tender chicken nugget with cheddar cheese or big ass T-bone! How many commissioners, state ag bureaucrats, leading scientists with leading universities /lie/lied, cover up/covered up, spin master/spin mastered confusion to the point that you are now there, living a virtual chemical and chronic disease hell?

One decision that puts health, welfare, safety of a community in jeopardy or, in fact, creates those diseases, hazards, injustices, well, that is the defining moment of any single man’s or woman’s humanity, or lack thereof. You think citing “well, in politics, it’s about compromise after negotiation after compromise” as the way democracy run for, by, because, in the name of the rich is going to fix it? After those prostitutes turn thy cheek and see-speak-hear no evil when it comes to the greater good of supporting and propping up and turbo charging the terrorists’ regime — Capitalism’s quadruple profit schemes!

One stupid remark, as we get in all the presidential debates, both sides of the political feedlot manure pile, and if the remark is steeped in injustice, seeking the power of money and inside trading (as all lobbying efforts at the predatory capital level engage in), then there should be hell to pay.

You got the head creep in the head office (POTUS — Perverted Occupant of the US), with so many lies, crimes, incompetencies and the like defining NPD Trump, but alas, the harbingers of money — networks, newspapers, all the Little Eichmanns and boot-lickers with bended knees or backwards flips awaiting Trump’s economic, environmental, international buggering — they are defined by their own prostitution and whoring and pimping.

But it’s all about compromise — how many millions will lose school lunches or measly food stamp benefits? Compromise across both aisles. How many millions are on the brink of houselessness because of that fine group of prostitutes and pimps in the landlord category gouge and gentrify and gut families into eviction hell? Compromise at your local state legislature.

One decision exposed paints a thousand other crimes hidden or about to be perpetrated:

Ask about health care at a summer cookout, and you’ll likely get an earful about how drug corporations are gouging us, leaving many families to choose between buying medications or putting food on the table.

Why? Because corporations put profits before patients.

Look at a corporation like Mylan, the maker of EpiPen, which raked in $480 million in profits last year and paid its chairman $97.6 million, all while raising the price of the medication to more than $600 per dose.

And take Michael Pearson, the former CEO of the drug corporation Valeant, who put it bluntly: “The capitalistic approach to pricing is to charge what the market will bear.”

Meanwhile, I’ve been hearing from people around the country who are terrified that the health care repeal now before Congress will put life-saving medications even farther out of reach for them and their families.

From Alaska to Alabama, people are worried sick about being able to get insulin for diabetes, blood pressure drugs, and prescriptions for panic attacks, ovarian cysts, lupus, celiac disease, thyroid cancer, hemophilia, and many other conditions.

So how many hundreds of gallons of herbicides are acceptable for humanity, wildlife, flora and fauna, fetuses? Which compromise will your cancer-inflamed aunt or developmental delayed/disabled child applaud and say, “That’s politics . . . haha”? Oh, those Poison Papers:

The “Poison Papers” represent a vast trove of rediscovered chemical industry and regulatory agency documents and correspondence stretching back to the 1920sTaken as a whole, the papers show that both industry and regulators understood the extraordinary toxicity of many chemical products and worked together to conceal this information from the public and the press. These papers will transform our understanding of the hazards posed by certain chemicals on the market and the fraudulence of some of the regulatory processes relied upon to protect human health and the environment. Search instructions for the Poison Papers.

Which of these culprits will rot in Hell? Right! Getting down to headlines:

ROUNDUP TRIAL: MONSANTO USED FAKE DATA TO WIN OVER REGULATORS

TRUMP’S EPA IS UNDERMINING NEW LAW TO REGULATE CHEMICALS

The game can’t be won by George Carlin wannabes, the Jon Leibowtiz “Daily Show” Stewart or the Stephen Colbert crap. Funny as hell is like Nero Fiddling While Rome Burns — Laughing all the way to the bank for those media mucksters, but diluting thought and intellect, those Daily Shows . . . har, har, har!

But in a chaotic society, where we throw millions at a millionaire, like, what’s his name, Anderson Cooper, or where we listen to the third grade debate (sic) antics of idiotic debate (sic) moderators (faux), well, none of these realities are brought to the fore, since America, even in this hateful iteration, is a play nice kinda place, or at least the medium is the message, since there is a cabal of few controlling 95 percent of media, 95 percent of all communication and education platforms. These chosen people will not tolerate anything outside the discourse, outside the controlled opposition, paid for and militated by the same chosen few.

Back to my neck of the woods. Living in a town where the forest meets the sea, as the PR spin puts it. I spend a lot of time on the Highway 101 working as a journalist, environmentalist and family advocate for a new gig I just got hired for to lead in Lincoln County.

That beautiful Pacific, hard-edged Oregon coast, blustery winds, amazing crags and reefs and hard escarpments into the sea. That Highway 101 right up against the near tide line, with tens of thousands of visitors in their RVs and cars, renting beach houses for a span or all summer. The town of Newport is 10,000 residents, but some warm sunny summer days, up to 50,000 from around the USA and world.

So, that big emblematic moment in this state, Oregon, not the liberal bastion portrayed by Holly-dirt or the oh-so-tragically-hip Media?! WE have their names, these culprits who call themselves representatives. Sure, there they are in living color, with their districts in bold. Imagine, Oregon’s Little Eichmann Politicians-Prostitutes voting DOWN an Early Warning system for Earthquakes and Wildfires.

If there is a hell (haha) then these will burn in it, but not in the mindset of the Chamber of Commerce or Developers or Real Estate or Construction or Hospitality felons! Read and weep!

Researchers were shocked when nearly $12 million to expand ShakeAlert and AlertWildfire — early warning systems to help detect significant earthquakes and wildfires — unexpectedly went up in smoke last month, just days before the end of the legislative session. Money for the projects was included as part of a larger funding package, but was stripped in a last-minute amendment.

Disaster preparedness has continually been a focal point as Western states are poised to enter the hottest and driest months of wildfire season. And two massive earthquakes in remote areas of Southern California this month reminded the public it’s only a matter of time before the next destructive quake hits.

“We don’t know when the next big earthquake or wildfire will strike, but we know it will happen at some point,” said Douglas Toomey, a seismologist and earth sciences professor at the University of Oregon who helps run both early warning detection systems. And Oregon is “woefully” unprepared, he said.

Here, my lite article on Oregon State University’s marine sciences center in Newport, 13 miles from mile current tsunami vulnerable home:

BRIDGING THE DIVIDE

Again, this is a lifestyle and tourist-travel-stay-and-eat-and-buy magazine, where I make a few shekels:

The next big one

For some, maybe the glass is half empty, especially when considering just when, how big, how long and specifically where the next earthquake will occur along the San Andres Fault and Cascadia Subduction Zone.

For Chris Goldfinger, geology and geophysics professor, it’s not a matter of “if,” but when. He was pretty clear that an 8.0 or above magnitude quake has a 37 percent probability of hitting our Cascadia zone in the next 50 years.

He was quick to criticize the Coastal Caucus, comprising of the eight legislators from districts along the Oregon Coast, who, on June 24, voted down a statewide tsunami zoning code which would have prevented some public services, hospitals, schools, fire and police facilities from being built in tsunami zone sites.

The final activity for the day was a tour of, ironically, a new building that was designed and is currently being constructed to withstand some level of tsunami, with design features that incorporate vertical evacuation from the lower floors to the roof. Then, contingency plans include horizontal paths to avoid tsunami inundation, including Safe Haven Hill west of Highway 101, about a mile from the campus.

Thomas Robbins, from the architecture firm who designed the building, Yost Grube Hall, pointed out other design features that make this new building sort of a model for other structures, including deep-soil mixing to stabilize the ground under the building.

“Augers went down a hundred feet,” Robbins said. “Then thousands of cubic yards of grout [27,380] were injected. We designed this as state of the art, for functionality, safety and aesthetics.”

The expected growth in resident students, up to 500 in 10 years, has necessitated university housing plans — dorms — to be built on higher ground, away from the Hatfield, out of tsunami zones. There was and still is controversy about siting this new building in a tsunami inundation zone.

The OSU Marine Science building under construction, April 2019. It’s on a sandbar at sea level in Newport, Ore., and can be overtopped by the largest of the modeled tsunamis, as well as battered by the NOAA ships docked just to the left out of the frame. It’s not often you can take the “after” picture ahead of time, but this is what it may look like after being destroyed by the next tsunami. Credit: Chris Goldfinger.

Photo credit: The OSU Marine Science building under construction, April 2019. It’s on a sandbar at sea level in Newport, Ore., and can be overtopped by the largest of the modeled tsunamis, as well as battered by the NOAA ships docked just to the left out of the frame. It’s not often you can take the “after” picture ahead of time, but this is what it may look like after being destroyed by the next tsunami. Credit: Chris Goldfinger.

Here, one of the outlier scientists I quoted in my “lite story” and for whom I am seeking a longer story to discuss the bastardization of the science, or what many call engineer-stitutes — the American Society of Civil Engineers, who blew one thing after another, including NOL, Katrina.

– I had this man on my radio show in the early 2000s in Spokane, where he visited one of the colleges where I taught, Spokane Community College, Ivor van Heerden

breach

Photo credit: Breaches like this one (middle distance, beyond the bridge) on the 17th Street Canal caused the extensive flooding. It was not simply a matter of Katrina’s storm surge overtopping the levees. (Courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District)

Prof. Chris Goldfinger, Ph.D., Oregon State University

ASCE models: Simplistic, no peer review, no publication

Oregon, however, already had high-end tsunami models. By comparison, the ASCE models are simplistic, a first cut at best, that failed to incorporate the geologic, geophysical or geodetic data. They did not attempt to “balance” the slip along the subduction zone so it made sense in terms of the total budget of motion between the two colliding plates, failed to use the latest geologic evidence, and did not test the models against the geologic evidence of tsunami run-up. The ASCE models and sources were never peer reviewed in any serious way nor published. In fact, it remains pretty hard to ferret out exactly what ASCE did, as there is no documentation to speak of. At a meeting where the results were presented to Oregon specialists including me, they were heavily criticized. But the process was already complete, and our comments were not incorporated.

So in the end, Oregon was sold this package to replace the 1995 law, and also to cut DOGAMI out of the picture. Legislators wanted to shoot the messenger, as so often is the case. Now Oregon will have two sets of tsunami lines, one in the new building codes, and one from DOGAMI. They are not the same, and don’t serve the same purpose. Nonetheless, the DOGAMI lines are defensible, published and available to all, while the ASCE lines are not in the same league. But many in the Oregon legislature became convinced that they were improving things, while others pushed the pro-development agenda, and others appeared to be confused about exactly what they were signing due to the press of other business.

Worse than the tsunami models is that now there is no statewide uniform guidance or law to govern what can be built in a tsunami zone. Decisions will be made by local building inspectors who decide which risk category a project belongs in, and these people, in my honest opinion, are easily influenced by politics. While a given city is free to go above and beyond the codes and place things in safe locations, it will also be free to do dangerous things if the local politicians push it. To some extent this was always true, and fixing that was a problem a state task force was working on when short-circuited by the legislative attack on DOGAMI.

A stealth war on science

It gets worse. The bill that passed last week was done in stealth mode, under the radar, when all news was focused on a climate and carbon tax debate. It was attached to another bill very late in the session, and had no real discussion, hearings or debate. Even if some of the supporters were well intentioned, some are conflicted with strong pro-development agendas. As Rep. David Gomberg, a Democrat who represents the Central Coast, stated many times, tsunami protections were costing people money (a dubious claim at best), thus the attacks on the existing law and on DOGAMI.

In the end, the result may well be measured in lives lost for the simple cause of profits for developers on the coast.

Household Income, or Higher Planes of Consciousness?*

We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons, a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forgo the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.

Woodrow Wilson, then president of Princeton University, said the following to the New York City School Teachers Association in 1909

The hubris, the lack of ground truthing, the faux academic natures, the overlord mentality, the star chamber blathering, and the oh so tight with capitalism persuasions of elites like Nick Hanauer, Founder of the public-policy incubator Civic Ventures, billionaire, Charter School aficionado, and one of those not-so-rare money grubbers who has so much to say about how we, the 80 percent, should live our lives in their strangling economic hell.

Allen, Gates, Bezos, Buffet, Walton, Nick, and on and on, the number of elites who are lecturing governors, policy makers, citizens, and business opportunists on what we, their poor trickled down subjects, should do to survive in their sacrifice zones of hellish capitalism.

Here’s Nick’s piece in that faux magazine, The Atlantic — Better Schools Won’t Fix America  — “Like many rich Americans, I used to think educational investment could heal the country’s ills—but I was wrong. Fighting inequality must come first.”

Long ago, I was captivated by a seductively intuitive idea, one many of my wealthy friends still subscribe to: that both poverty and rising inequality are largely consequences of America’s failing education system. Fix that, I believed, and we could cure much of what ails America.

This belief system, which I have come to think of as “educationism,” is grounded in a familiar story about cause and effect: Once upon a time, America created a public-education system that was the envy of the modern world. No nation produced more or better-educated high-school and college graduates, and thus the great American middle class was built. But then, sometime around the 1970s, America lost its way. We allowed our schools to crumble, and our test scores and graduation rates to fall. School systems that once churned out well-paid factory workers failed to keep pace with the rising educational demands of the new knowledge economy. As America’s public-school systems foundered, so did the earning power of the American middle class. And as inequality increased, so did political polarization, cynicism, and anger, threatening to undermine American democracy itself.

Taken with this story line, I embraced education as both a philanthropic cause and a civic mission. I co-founded the League of Education Voters, a nonprofit dedicated to improving public education. I joined Bill Gates, Alice Walton, and Paul Allen in giving more than $1 million each to an effort to pass a ballot measure that established Washington State’s first charter schools. All told, I have devoted countless hours and millions of dollars to the simple idea that if we improved our schools—if we modernized our curricula and our teaching methods, substantially increased school funding, rooted out bad teachers, and opened enough charter schools—American children, especially those in low-income and working-class communities, would start learning again. Graduation rates and wages would increase, poverty and inequality would decrease, and public commitment to democracy would be restored.

— Nick Hanauer

It goes downhill from there, which one would expect as the magazine gives this fellow broadsheet exposure as he lumbers along in an attempt to revamp his earlier theses about how education is the salvation for our society, our economy (sic) and in bringing people out of poverty.

You see, these billionaires play with words and ideas, and he comes off as all anti-trickle down, pro-bridging the gap in this New Gilded Age.

He sounds like a duck, quacks like a quack, though. No mention of taking capitalism down to its knees, at least. No mention of a decent single payer health care bill, no mention of a social security system paid for through the rich and not-so-rich paying above their $120,000 cap on wages that currently sets as the gold (rust) standard for taking out SS on wages. No discussion of ending the war economy, stopping rich entrepreneurs from moving technology from its current state of extinction event after extinction event into the isolation bunkers we put nuclear energy’s waste stream.

Like all good capitalists, Nick’s invested in making money from the “middle class” as it’s forced into a frantic hamster wheel services-goods-consumer-unnecessary-and-polluting-junk society which is a race to the bottom, for sure. Ramping up riderless cars, 200 mph exclusive trains, drone-delivered crap, and I am sure people-killing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning devices — that’s their MOS. Starbucks on Mars. Netflix on the Moon. That’s their wet dreams.

Here’s his many times repeated foundation tooted throughout his piece:

By distracting us from these truths, educationism is part of the problem.

Whenever I talk with my wealthy friends about the dangers of rising economic inequality, those who don’t stare down at their shoes invariably push back with something about the woeful state of our public schools. This belief is so entrenched among the philanthropic elite that of America’s 50 largest family foundations—a clique that manages $144 billion in tax-exempt charitable assets—40 declare education as a key issue. Only one mentions anything about the plight of working people, economic inequality, or wages. And because the richest Americans are so politically powerful, the consequences of their beliefs go far beyond philanthropy.

A major theme in the educationist narrative involves the “skills gap”—the notion that decades of wage stagnation are largely a consequence of workers not having the education and skills to fill new high-wage jobs. If we improve our public schools, the thinking goes, and we increase the percentage of students attaining higher levels of education, particularly in the STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and math—the skills gap will shrink, wages will rise, and income inequality will fall.

Oh, god, so all my decades teaching in so many venues, even now, PK12, are worthless since I am a journeyman, ground truther, not in some academic elite group of book writers, or in the know with these elites who are the rich and the famous and the leeches who will spin multi-billions of our hard-earned money to play with educational curriculum.

Fact is, the jobs are pure crap, the unemployment rate is higher than the economists and their followers say, the type of jobs we have in the USA are asinine and foolishly tied to hyper consumption and hyper eating and hyper entertaining and hyper disposable (not) income based.

Old Nick goes on and on about how we need to bring people out of poverty and to pay more for those Walmart and Burger King jobs. He talks about the big job growth in low-wage jobs (low wage because we do not value bedpan cleaners, home health care workers, people that pick up the trash, do the social work, aid the teachers, teach, and do the work of paving roads, building day care centers, staffing day care centers, and on and on).

Our infrastructure in the USA is D- from the civil and other engineering societies’ POVs. We have people paying 250K dollars to be a doctor or veterinarian. We have student loan debt in the $1.5 trillion category. We have students who are homeless, part-time faculty who sleep in their cars (houseless) and millions upon millions of people with degrees from college making squat. Nick thinks the schools are great, that we are turning out highly educated folk from the colleges yet, however, we have so many jobs now that demand zero college but can’t be filled to assist the billionaires making more billions.

You know, warehouse jobs, food processing, delivery, etc. A true capitalist like Nick would never ever say we need BETTER schools, PK12, where the youth get real history on the crimes of the wealthy, the crimes of capitalism, the crimes of their own country. Never give young people ways to monkey wrench the oppressive systems that capitalism naturally invents and props up and hires militaries for to keep workers down and the rich up.

Our schools are crap, and the Chromebooks and standardized curriculum and the flat earth people around the South who hold sway on what is taught and what is read, well, we are an embarrassment. The students are losing their IQs every five years, and what is done in schools is an assault of the senses, antithetical to learning, and contrary to what we need to be teaching and having youth embrace so they can have the tools and collective wisdom and force to take Mr. Nick’s billions and take his messed up ideas and put themselves in the driver’s seat.

This addictive screen society, and the meaningless content delivered on line, and the anorexic history, and the childish stuff even in college, all of that, and more, demonstrate a true skills gap.  We need a moratorium on student debt, a jubilee, and we need major moratoriums on the power of capital and their Gilded Age masters.

He’s shocked that over the past 40 years there has been such a huge gap in the wealth of middle class people and the rich. Hmm, nothing about millions in investments making exponentially more than what most Americans consider big bucks with a few thousand in the bank. Interest rates down in the toilet for the investor class. Fee after fine after levy after penalty after tax after toll after add-on after compounded interest rate, sure, try that on $50 k a year. The cost of insurance on the vehicles, all that money stolen buying a house with more scum scoopers in the Real Estate Mafia, all those municipal and county and state government agencies adding more and more onto fees to pay for the business of democracy.

Because guys like Nick sound like a liberal, sound like a benefactor of the middle class, well, they get play in the Mainstream Mass Suicide Media like a rag such as the Atlantic. But get under the skin of this guy’s article and we find a plastic world of not-very-original ideas that are so divorced from what it takes to be a teacher and a staff and a student and a parent and a citizen of the public school system.

The teachers do not cross pollinate, and to be honest, so teachers never co-teach or cover a variety of subjects as a team. I’d say 70 percent of the people I teach with should not be teachers, though that might be hard to ferret out since I believe all PK12 education should be hands on, experiential, tied to community projects, with tons of book reading, outdoor gardening, real science in the fields and heavens, raising animals, doing arts and crafts that sell to the community, building, thinking entering the community as parachutists for day care, elderly care, animal care, park care.

School should be the end all for a community, and with national health care, a decent chance at some income at 62, with safety nets built in for illness, accident, mental health breakdown, and with housing that is built by the community, and affordable beyond affordable, tied to public transportation, tied to community farms, community civics, community art and music and democracy schools, all wrapped up in a big fat bow of retooling people to think like a tribe but act like a 21st century survivor of climate catastrophe.

Imagine taking all the additives and chemicals and toxins out of food, water, air and activities of daily living for our youth, from inception to college, and we’d be saving trillions on health care and worker depression and crime and suicide.

Yes, taking technology away, sending it to the dustbin of the waste storage facilities of the nuclear age, the chemical age, the bio-toxin age.

Nick can never ever criticize the War Machine, the Fossil Energy Machine, the Pharma Machine, the AI Machine, the Legal Machine, the Real Estate Machine, the Retail Machine, the Prison Machine, the Health Care Machine, and the other Machines that keep capitalism going strong like those gas chambers we have so much read about tied to WWII.

The Age of Dumb has morphed into the Age of Stupid, into the Age of Distraction and morphed further into the Age of Passionless Existence . . .  and then into the Age of Screen . . . and then further into the Age of I Wanna Be a You Tuber Star to this juncture,  into the Age of Fascism.

Old Nick, I am sure, loves them all — Boeing, Whole Foods, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and a thousand other enterprises of the sick and famous.

Yes, we have a huge skills gap. The skills necessary to defend a community from toxins and Air B & B’s. A skills set to stop the cops murdering, and stop the school to prison pipeline. We lack the Pk12 skills to teach youth to question ALL authority, question ALL big businesses, question ALL governments, question ALL of the so-called Nicks of the world.

The entire systems created by the cancer of capitalism need to be scrapped, or chemo-therapied out of existence.

Here, John Steppling:

But…Mark Morford, a columnist for the S.F. Gate, talked to a high school teacher friend of his in Oakland….

But most of all, he simply observes his students, year to year, noting all the obvious evidence of teens’ decreasing abilities when confronted with even the most basic intellectual tasks, from understanding simple history to working through moderately complex ideas to even (in a couple recent examples that particularly distressed him) being able to define the words “agriculture,” or even “democracy.” Not a single student could do it. It gets worse. My friend cites the fact that, of the 6,000 high school students he estimates he’s taught over the span of his career, only a small fraction now make it to his grade with a functioning understanding of written English. They do not know how to form a sentence. They cannot write an intelligible paragraph.

Mark Morford, S.F. Gate, 2018

So this is not about measuring intelligence. IQ tests are, as I say, biased in dozens of ways. But I don’t think you can find a high school or university teacher who would not agree with the general decline in reading and writing skills. And I have noted, personally, a horrifying decline in curiosity. I rarely ever have found students curious enough to go look things up for themselves. The reasons for this are complex and beyond the scope of this article. (I have written about the evolution of visual processing and the creation of an ideal observer, on my blog. Jonathan Crary and Jonathan Beller both have profound books out on subjects inextricably linked to media and cognitive development, or lack thereof). The point here is that this loss of curiosity and literacy is not the result of a single simple thing. Nor is it a moral argument about values or some shit that Bill Bennett might have come up with. It is about a system of hegemonic control that has encouraged a surplus populace to a life spent on screens, distracted and stupified. And how this is tied into western capital and its insistence on social control and domination.

Yes, John brings in the “heavyweights” with their tomes and bibliographies and data-driven theses about media and cognitive slippage; however, again, the ground truthers have it, know it, say it, but we never are brought to the table to illuminate the elite and the powerhouse writers and thinkers to give them a real sense of the problem and the causation and the deeper issues tied to mental health slippage, physical deterioration, learning disabilities increasing, lower and lower bars for ethics, family ties, mentoring, love and respectfulness.

The bottom line is too few people have too much money, too much power, too much authority, too much control, too much say, too much ability to shape and reshape our communities. And just because everyone is doing it — oh, damn, that could be one of a thousand things consumer citizens and consumer workers and consumer neighbors are doing, but the bottom line is that many would be doing things so differently if we had agency and no overlords dictating every waking, sleeping, working, recreating, fornicating, eating, shitting, dying second — doesn’t mean it’s right or even what we want.

If Nick could just walk away from the Atlantic. If the Atlantic would just begin real journalism and real ground truthers writing vigorously and profanely and profoundly, each and every issue.

* The Six Planes of Higher Consciousness

1. Transcendence
2. Serene Knowledge
3. Universal Abundance
4. Your Vast Self
5. Integration
6. Creative Mind

Your journey through the stages of the heart, as it grows from the dark state to the clean, has been described in Stages of Mental/Emotional Awakening. It’s very important to keep these stages of mental/emotional awakening in mind as reliable guideposts of your voyage. However, it’s also very important to know the following levels of awareness which you will likely experience as you come home to your higher consciousness and become enabled to live in it as a new person.

Signing off with John Taylor Gatto:

First, though, we must wake up to what our schools really are: laboratories of experimentation on young minds, drill centers for the habits and attitudes that corporate society demands. Mandatory education serves children only incidentally; its real purpose is to turn them into servants. Don’t let your own have their childhoods extended, not even for a day. If David Farragut could take command of a captured British warship as a preteen, if Thomas Edison could publish a broadsheet at the age of twelve, if Ben Franklin could apprentice himself to a printer at the same age (then put himself through a course of study that would choke a Yale senior today), there’s no telling what your own kids could do. After a long life, and thirty years in the public school trenches, I’ve concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress our genius only because we haven’t yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.