Most corrupt ‘teaching’ union ever: Democratic & Republican Parties unioned with corporate media

Teaching is the art and science of people seeing/learning reality for themselves. Once ignited, passion for learning becomes a life-long expression.

Our Orwellian world of the present witnesses a union of “leaders” in government and corporate media “teaching” the 99% public that what’s good are:

This Government/Media Union is not teaching, but herding the public into chosen areas of propaganda, as the above links easily explain, document, and prove. Government/Media “teaching” has an academic term thanks to Princeton Professor Harry Frankfurt’s best-selling book on this topic:

Bullsh*t.

Democratic and Republican Party “leaders” with corporate media also increasingly “teach” us that what’s bad are teacher unionspublic education, and “non-accountability.”

As a public school teacher of 31 years, I offer these main points of current status:

  1. Public schools are squeezed of funding (who isn’t?), causing larger classes, fewer essential programs in the arts and extracurricular activities (the most fun part of school for many), and less support services. Contrast this reality with the Government/Media Union’s lies for forced austerity while literally sitting on taxpayer surpluses in the hundreds of billions of dollars. This is obscene fraud demanding immediate arrests.
  2. The goal of demonizing teachers, our unions, and our work seems to be privatizing education. This would tighten control over the message, and fire teachers “at will” rather than having to prove a teacher’s factual inaccuracy or bias over controversial topics.
  3. The message of “accountability” is embraced by all good teachers. And that said, when public education is being defunded by CAFR-looters requiring corporate media “coverage” while ignoring OBVIOUS solutions, and Government engages in lie-began war-murders, the Emperor’s New Clothes-obvious accountability we should first address is arresting Government/Media Union leaders to lawfully stop their wars, looting, and lies.

What to do?

Shine with your brightest light (and here).

Posted in General | 4 Comments

VIDEO: Inflation

For close to 300 years, inflation in the US remained very subdued. Small spurts occurred around major wars (Revolutionary, Civil, WW1, etc), but after each, inflation quickly trended back down to its long-term baseline. If you lived during this stretch of time, your money had roughly the same purchasing power your great-grandfather’s did.

But something changed after inflation spiked yet again during World War 2. With the permanent mobilization of the military industrial complex and the start of the decades-long Cold War, combined with a related acceleration in government deficit spending, inflation did not come back down. It remained elevated, and in fact, rose further.

That is, until the “Nixon shock” in 1971, when the dollar’s remaining ties to gold were severed. Then inflation EXPLODED. And the inflationary moon-shot has continued since, up to present day.

So, we’ve become used to a system in which our money loses purchasing power over the years. For anyone aged 50 or younger, it’s pretty much all we’ve ever known.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Indeed, our country did fine for centuries without systemic continual chronic inflation.

So why do we accept it today?

For the best viewing experience, watch the above video in hi-definition (HD) and in expanded screen mode

Coming next Friday: Chapter 12: How Much Is A Trillion?

For those who simply don’t want to wait until the end of the year to view the entire new series, you can indulge your binge-watching craving by enrolling to PeakProsperity.com. The entire full new series, all 27 chapters of it, is available — now– to our enrolled users.

The full suite of chapters in this new Crash Course series can be found at www.peakprosperity.com/crashcourse

And for those who have yet to view it, be sure to watch the ‘Accelerated’ Crash Course — the under-1-hour condensation of the new 4.5-hour series. It’s a great vehicle for introducing new eyes to this material.

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American Intelligence Officers Who Battled the Soviet Union for Decades Warn Germany Not to Fall for Anti-Russian Propaganda

Senior U.S. Intelligence Officers: Beware Flimsy “Intelligence”

MEMORANDUM FOR: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Ukraine and NATO

We the undersigned are long-time veterans of U.S. intelligence. We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to you to ensure that you have an opportunity to be briefed on our views prior to the NATO summit on Sept. 4-5.

You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian “invasion” of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the “intelligence” seems to be of the same dubious, politically “fixed” kind used 12 years ago to “justify” the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.

We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then; we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now. Twelve years ago, former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq. In our view, you should be appropriately suspicious of charges made by the U.S. State Department and NATO officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President Barack Obama tried on Aug. 29 to cool the rhetoric of his own senior diplomats and the corporate media, when he publicly described recent activity in the Ukraine, as “a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now … it’s not really a shift.”

Obama, however, has only tenuous control over the policymakers in his administration – who, sadly, lack much sense of history, know little of war, and substitute anti-Russian invective for a policy. One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr. Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on “intelligence” that was dubious, at best.

Largely because of the growing prominence of, and apparent reliance on, intelligence we believe to be spurious, we think the possibility of hostilities escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine has increased significantly over the past several days.  More important, we believe that this likelihood can be avoided, depending on the degree of judicious skepticism you and other European leaders bring to the NATO summit next week.

Experience With Untruth

Hopefully, your advisers have reminded you of NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s checkered record for credibility. It appears to us that Rasmussen’s speeches continue to be drafted by Washington. This was abundantly clear on the day before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when, as Danish Prime Minister, he told his Parliament: “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something we just believe. We know.”

Photos can be worth a thousand words; they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analyzing, and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence.  Suffice it to say that the images released by NATO on Aug. 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine. Sadly, they bear a strong resemblance to the images shown by Colin Powell at the UN on Feb. 5, 2003, that, likewise, proved nothing.

That same day, we warned President Bush that our former colleague analysts were “increasingly distressed at the politicization of intelligence” and told him flatly, “Powell’s presentation does not come close” to justifying war. We urged Mr. Bush to “widen the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

Consider Iraq today. Worse than catastrophic.

Although President Vladimir Putin has until now showed considerable reserve on the conflict in the Ukraine, it behooves us to remember that Russia, too, can “shock and awe.” In our view, if there is the slightest chance of that kind of thing eventually happening to Europe because of Ukraine, sober-minded leaders need to think this through very carefully.

If the photos that NATO and the U.S. have released represent the best available “proof” of an invasion from Russia, our suspicions increase that a major effort is under way to fortify arguments for the NATO summit to approve actions that Russia is sure to regard as provocative. Caveat emptor is an expression with which you are no doubt familiar. Suffice it to add that one should be very cautious regarding what Mr. Rasmussen, or even Secretary of State John Kerry, are peddling.

We trust that your advisers have kept you informed regarding the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning of 2014, and how the possibility that Ukraine would become a member of NATO is anathema to the Kremlin. According to a Feb. 1, 2008 cable (published by WikiLeaks) from the U.S. embassy in Moscow to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, U.S. Ambassador William Burns was called in by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who explained Russia’s strong opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine.

Lavrov warned pointedly of “fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene.” Burns gave his cable the unusual title, “NYET MEANS NYET: RUSSIA’S NATO ENLARGEMENT REDLINES,” and sent it off to Washington with IMMEDIATE precedence. Two months later, at their summit in Bucharest NATO leaders issued a formal declaration that “Georgia and Ukraine will be in NATO.”

On Aug. 29, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk used his Facebook page to claim that, with the approval of Parliament that he has requested, the path to NATO membership is open. Yatsenyuk, of course, was Washington’s favorite pick to become prime minister after the Feb. 22 coup d’etat in Kiev.

“Yats is the guy,” said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland a few weeks before the coup, in an intercepted telephone conversation with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. You may recall that this is the same conversation in which Nuland said, “Fuck the EU.”

Timing of the Russian “Invasion”

The conventional wisdom promoted by Kiev just a few weeks ago was that Ukrainian forces had the upper hand in fighting the anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine, in what was largely portrayed as a mop-up operation. But that picture of the offensive originated almost solely from official government sources in Kiev. There were very few reports coming from the ground in southeastern Ukraine. There was one, however, quoting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, that raised doubt about the reliability of the government’s portrayal.

According to the “press service of the President of Ukraine” on Aug. 18, Poroshenko called for a “regrouping of Ukrainian military units involved in the operation of power in the East of the country. … Today we need to do the rearrangement of forces that will defend our territory and continued army offensives,” said Poroshenko, adding, “we need to consider a new military operation in the new circumstances.”

If the “new circumstances” meant successful advances by Ukrainian government forces, why would it be necessary to “regroup,” to “rearrange” the forces? At about this time, sources on the ground began to report a string of successful attacks by the anti-coup federalists against government forces.  According to these sources, it was the government army that was starting to take heavy casualties and lose ground, largely because of ineptitude and poor leadership.

Ten days later, as they became encircled and/or retreated, a ready-made excuse for this was to be found in the “Russian invasion.” That is precisely when the fuzzy photos were released by NATO and reporters like the New York Times’ Michael Gordon were set loose to spread the word that “the Russians are coming.” (Michael Gordon was one of the most egregious propagandists promoting the war on Iraq.)

No Invasion – But Plenty Other Russian Support

The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centers. And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence. But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point – mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces.

At the same time, we have little doubt that, if and when the federalists need them, the Russian tanks will come.

This is precisely why the situation demands a concerted effort for a ceasefire, which you know Kiev has so far been delaying. What is to be done at this point? In our view, Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk need to be told flat-out that membership in NATO is not in the cards – and that NATO has no intention of waging a proxy war with Russia – and especially not in support of the rag-tag army of Ukraine. Other members of NATO need to be told the same thing.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (Ret.)

Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)

Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.); Foreign Service Officer (resigned)

Posted in Politics / World News | 6 Comments

A New Calendar of Holidays

calendarcoverA new calendar of peace holidays has just been published. And none too soon, if you’ve noticed the epidemic of military holidays around us.

I can understand that Catholics have a saint for every day of the year. And I’m not shocked that various ancient religions have holidays for a high proportion of the year’s days. But what to make of the United States, which now has a military holiday for at least 66 separate days, including Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and lesser known days like the just passed Marine Corps Reserve Birthday?

In the coming weeks we have V-J Day, 9/11 Remembrance Day / Patriot Day, the U.S. Air Force Birthday, National POW / MIA Recognition Day, and Gold Star Mother’s Day. There are, in addition, six week-long military holidays and three month-long ones. May, for example, is National Military Appreciation Month.

The military memorializes past war lies (Remember the Maine Day), cultural depravity normalized by eternal war (Month of the Military Child), and past crimes like attacking Cuba and killing a mule (Mantanzas Mule Day). This website even — wonderfully and accidentally — includes the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, which is a day dedicated to opposing militarism. The same website — disgustingly and inappropriately — includes Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday as a military holiday.

Still, the general pattern is this: in the United States there are holidays to celebrate militarism just about every week, and increasingly one hears about them on the radio, at public events, and in corporate advertising that apparently believes militarism sells.

What would a calendar of peace holidays look like? At WorldBeyondWar we believe it would look something like this.

We’re making it available for free as a PDF that you can print out and make use of: PDF, Word.

We’re also displaying on the front page of WorldBeyondWar.org the holiday, if any, to be marked or celebrated on whatever day it happens to be at the time. So you can always just check there.

We think that part of developing a peace culture is marking great peace moments from the past. Knowing what peace holiday any given day is, or what holidays are coming up soon, can be very useful in creating and promoting events, writing op-eds, and interesting the corporate media in something that is otherwise too important and news worthy to be touched.

World peace holidays can build unity among activists. They can be used for education (celebrating the Hague Peace Conference of 1899 on May 18th could cause someone to want to know what that conference was). And they can be used for encouragement and inspiration (on a gloomy March 20th it might be nice to know that “on this day in 1983, 150,000 peace rallies were held in Australia”).

In this initial draft of the World Beyond War Calendar we’ve included 154 holidays, all of them days — no weeks or months. We could have included a significant peace event for 365 days a year but chose to be selective. It’s a tightly held secret, of course, but there has been a lot more peace than war in the world.

Some of the days are also military days re-purposed. For example:

September 11. On this day in 1973 the United States backed a coup that overthrew the government of Chile. Also on this day in 2001 terrorists attacked in the United States using hijacked airplanes. This is a good day to oppose violence and nationalism and revenge.

Others are military days the military doesn’t celebrate. For example:

January 11. On this day in 2002 the United States opened its notorious prison in Guantanamo. This is a good day to oppose all imprisonment without trial.

August 6. On this day in 1945 the U.S. dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing some 140,000 men, women, and children. President Truman went on the radio to justify this as revenge and lie that Hiroshima was a military base rather than a city. This is a very good day to oppose nuclear weapons.

Others are well-known days reclaimed for peace. For example:

January 15. On this day in 1929 Martin Luther King Jr. was born. The holiday, however, is celebrated on the third Monday of January. These are good opportunities to recall King’s work against militarism, extreme materialism, and racism.

Mothers Day is celebrated on different dates around the world. In many places it is the second Sunday in May. This is a good day to read the Mother’s Day Proclamation and rededicate the day to peace.

December 25. This is Christmas, traditionally a holiday of peace for Christians. On this day in 1776, George Washington led a surprise night crossing of the Delaware River and pre-dawn raid on unarmed hung-over-from-Christmas troops still in their underwear — a founding act of violence for the new nation. Also on this day in 1875 Jessie Wallace Hughan, founder of the War Resisters League, was born. Also on this day in 1914, soldiers on both sides of the trenches of World War I took part in a Christmas Truce. This is a good day to work for peace on earth.

Other days are new to most people. For example:

August 27. This is Kellogg-Briand Day. On this day in 1928, in what was the biggest news story of the year, the major nations of the world gathered in Paris, France, to sign the Kellogg-Briand Pact banning all war. The treaty remains on the books today. The day is increasingly being recognized and celebrated as a holiday.

November 5. On this day in 1855 Eugene V. Debs was born. Also on this day in 1968 Richard Nixon was elected U.S. president after secretly and treasonously sending Anna Chennault to sabotage Vietnam peace talks, campaigning on a nonexistent secret plan for peace, and actually planning to continue the war, as he did once elected. This is a good day to think about who our real leaders are.

November 6. This is the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.

Here’s the web version.

Here’s the PDF.

Here’s the Word.

The calendar is a first of what we expect to be many editions. In fact, it will be constantly updated. So please send additions and corrections to info@worldbeyondwar.org.

Posted in General | 3 Comments

Review: Sibel Edmonds’ “The Lone Gladio”

A Great Read: As Good As Any Clancy Or Ludlum Novel … With a Twist

I’m a sucker for Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum type spy novels.

Sibel Edmonds’ The Lone Gladio is a great read. It’s one of the best action, thriller, spy novels I’ve ever read.

It’s such a page-turner that I stayed up way too late reading … and ignored my work. I had to find out what happened to the main characters!

Written with all the excitement of a Clancy or Ludlum novel, The Lone Gladio blends the typical male spy thriller voice with a unique female voice … which provides an interesting and complex perspective.

In part two of this review, we will interview Edmonds to discuss the bombshell political implications of her book.

In the meantime – if you like spy thrillers – run out and buy this book. It’s a great read …

Available September 11, 2014.

Posted in General, Politics / World News | 1 Comment

The U.S. Is Now a ‘Third World’ Country

4.3% of Americans Survive on Less than $2/Day – 

That’s Considered Poor in Even the Poorest Lands

Eric Zuesse

Slightly more than one American household with children in every 25 is surviving on less than $2 per day of income from all sources. One quarter of that 4.3% (that’s 1% of all Americans with children) receive less than $1.25 per day. One third (that’s about 1.33% of all Americans) receive between $1.25 and $2. Another third of that 4.3% receive enough government benefits to be living on between $1.25 and $2 a day. A tiny 0.1% of that 4.3% are even surviving somehow on “Negative income & benefits.”

On 26 August 2014, the co-authors of a Brookings Institution paper published a chart of those findings (reproduced here below, courtesy of the Brookings Institution) that looks like it might be some painting at the Museum of Modern Art, though what it refers to isn’t nearly so pretty, and is actually quite miserable:

These findings were originally published in the June 2013 Social Science Review, but have not yet been reported in the mainstream press. That study’s co-authors are H. Luke Shaefer of the University of Michigan, and Kathryn Endin of Harvard. The study was posted online by its funding organization, the National Poverty Center.

Titled, “Rising Extreme Poverty in the United States and the Response of Federal Means-Tested Transfer Programs,” the researchers reported that there has been “an increase in the prevalence of extreme poverty among U.S. households with children between 1996 and 2011.” Furthermore, “The prevalence of extreme poverty has risen sharply since 1996, particularly among those most impacted by the 1996 welfare reform,” which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton and which embodied numerous elements of President Ronald Reagan’s views on poverty. It “replaced a need-based entitlement program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), with a more restrictive federal block grant program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).” The authors explain as follows the $2/day cutoff they’re focusing on:

The measure of “extreme poverty” used here is based on one of the World Bank’s key indicators of global poverty: $2 per person, per day. Tellingly, the World Bank does not release official estimates for the United States for this metric because it is meant to capture poverty based on “the standards of the poorest countries.” … Living below this metric is widely considered to be a marker of extreme destitution, which is assumed to be very uncommon among wealthy nations.

They further explain:

Households are counted as being in extreme poverty if they report $2 dollars or less per person, per day in total household income in a given month (approximated as $60 per person, per month in 2011 dollars). … The official poverty line for a family of three would equate to roughly $17.00 per person, per day, averaged over a year, so our measure is roughly 13 percent of the official poverty line.

In other words: whereas 4.3% of Americans survive on less than $2/day, many other Americans are also in poverty but are not in the category that is considered as being extreme poverty even in underdeveloped countries; i.e., as being those countries’ poorest residents.

Their Conclusion opens by saying:

As of mid-2011, about 1.65 million households with about 3.55 million children were surviving on $2 or less in cash income per person per day in a given month. … Households in extreme poverty constituted 4.3 percent of all non-elderly households with children. The prevalence of extreme poverty rose sharply between 1996 and 2011, with the highest growth rates found among groups most affected by the 1996 welfare reform. 

The authors admit, however:

The descriptive analyses presented here cannot clarify the exact causal mechanisms that have led to such a sharp uptick in extreme poverty in the U.S.

Nonetheless, the final sentence of their report is entirely unhedged:

It would be wrong to conclude that the U.S. safety net is strong, or even adequate, when the number and proportion of households with children surviving on less than $2 per day has risen so dramatically over the past 15 years, even after accounting for means-tested transfers. 

This is the first study that explores the United States as a country heading to be an underdeveloped nation from the standpoint even of the direst definition of what constitutes “poverty” —  which is to say, the poorest people in the poorest countries.

President Barack Obama is a strong supporter of the 1996 welfare reform law, and he wants to cut still farther back on “entitlements,” though the entire bottom 20% of Americans have been losing under his Presidency, and only the top 1% of Americans have actually been gaining during his ‘economic recovery’ from Bush’s 2008 crash.

Of course, Bill Clinton didn’t give us only  welfare reform, but also deregulation of Wall Street so that financial services could expand enormously as a percentage of the U.S. economy, and he also gave us NAFTA so that manufacturing could shrink sharply as a percentage of the American economy (there has thus been a strong shift from manufacturing into financial services, basically just into the costs of wealth-transfers); and he also continued the harassing-out of gays from the military, though he said he wouldn’t do that. In addition, he gave us lots of other liberal rhetoric and conservative performance, just like President Obama does. The Democratic Party never renounced either one of them; so (unless Democrats in the House now come forth with a bill to impeach President Obama), those policies are unquestionably Democratic policies, and not merely Republican ones; these policies are bipartisan.

Under such a circumstance, one can only wonder what motivation there would even be for a non-Republican voter to go to the polls and vote this coming November 4th Election Day, which all forecasts say will almost certainly produce two Republican-controlled houses of Congress instead of the current just one Republican house. Apparently, Democrats in Congress want to associate themselves with those policies: these policies are Democratic as well as Republican, and congressional Democrats aren’t renouncing them (which they now can do in only one way: by introducing a bill to impeach Obama, thereby separating themselves from him — from a very unpopular president).

Unfortunately, however, any vote for a third party in America can only be a vote of protest; so, those are the only two practical electoral ‘choices.’

Consequently, America is not only descending into Third-World status, but also, apparently, into the status of being a virtual dictatorship. The bipartisanship in American politics has been descending this country into dictatorship and has also been spreading poverty. Voters have no real  choice remaining, under those conditions. And no Democrat in Congress is determined to change that, which any House Democrat can do simply by introducing the bill of impeachment against Obama.

If they are all cowards, then what are they even there for? To pick up paychecks? For doing what? They won’t be able to do anything if the conservative Barack Obama ends up spending his final two years in office signing into law bills that have passed both houses of Congress and both houses are controlled by Republicans. Maybe this was the plan all along (at least Obama’s plan), but any congressional Democrat who wants to remain in Congress under such conditions wouldn’t be worth voting for – he’d just be a lobbyist-in-waiting, like the Republicans in Congress are. Ralph Nader’s “Tweedledom, Tweedledee” would then become true. Whether or not it was in 2000, it would be in 2014. And that would be the case even though the actual electorates in the two political Parties are worlds apart on their values, and congressional Republicans have been delivering lots to their voters, whereas congressional Democrats have delivering almost nothing to theirs. So, this would mean that there are just two parties, both conservative, but one (Republicans) being conservatives who play the role of “the bad cop,” and the other being conservatives who play the role of “the good cop.” Progressivism in America would then be dead; it wouldn’t even be an option, not a viable one in this country, which then would be a conservative dictatorship — that’s fascism.

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Posted in Business / Economics, Energy / Environment, General, Politics / World News, Science / Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Movement to Declassify 9/11 Information Gathers Momentum

9/11 Commission Chairs, Congressmen and Intelligence Officers All Call for Declassification

The 9/11 Commission Co-Chairs – Lee Hamilton and Thomas Kean – have called for the 28-page section of the 9/11 Commission Report which is classified to be declassified.

Kean said that 60-70% of what was classified shouldn’t have been classified in the first place:

Congressman Thomas Massie read the 28 classified pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry into 9/11 (the joint Senate and House investigation into 9/11) and immediately called for them to be released to the public:

A bipartisan bill – introduced by congressmen Walter B. Jones (Republican from North Carolina) and Stephen Lynch (Democrat from Massachusetts) – would declassify the 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry which implicate the Saudi government.

Former Congressman Ron Paul is also demanding the 28 pages be declassified:

The Co-Chair of the congressional investigation into 9/11 – Bob Graham -  and 9/11 Commissioner and former Senator Bob Kerrey are calling for either a “permanent 9/11 commission” or a new 9/11 investigation to get to the bottom of it.

Senator Graham has lobbied Obama for years to release the 28 pages and to reopen the investigation, but Obama has refused. The former Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and 9/11 investigator has even resorted to filing Freedom of Information requests to obtain information, but the Obama administration is still stonewalling:

Graham said that like the 28 pages in the 9/11 inquiry, the Sarasota case is being “covered up” by U.S. intelligence. Graham has been fighting to get the FBI to release the details of this investigation with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and litigation. But so far the bureau has stalled and stonewalled, he said.

And high-level former NSA official Thomas Drake provided testimony to the 9/11 investigations documenting that the “official story” of 9/11 makes little sense, as the intelligence agencies had all of the information they needed to stop it.  Drake’s testimony has – for no real reason – been classified.

Drake is seeking to declassify his testimony to the 9/11 Commission:

I would argue for declassification and release because the 9/11 Commission asked for it in the public interest, my testimony was given to Congress via testimony (oral and written) to investigators as a material witness and whistleblower, because of NSA’s coverup of its accountability for 9/11, and the coverup committed by NSA to obstruct official Congressional investigations, plus declassification is timely in terms of ongoing efforts to reform NSA by Congress and the President.

I do know that my testimony and evidence was fully suppressed and censored as a deep state secret – so secret that it was not included in the classified report of the 9/11 Joint Inquiry.

Indeed, the 9/11 Commission admits that it never got all of the facts … and many officials are eager to spill the beans about what they know.

Still Urgent Today

Ancient history, you say?

Graham notes:

Although it’s been more than a decade ago when this horrific event occurred, I think [the questions of who supported the attacks] have real consequences to U.S. actions today.

As Graham told PBS:

We need to have this information now because it’s relevant to the threat that the people of the United States are facing today.

Postscript: People may not remember now, but – at the time – the supposed Iraqi state sponsorship of 9/11 was at least as important a justification for the Iraq war as the alleged weapons of mass destruction. This claim that Iraq is linked to 9/11 has since been debunked by the 9/11 Commission, top government officials, and even – long after they alleged such a link – Bush and Cheney themselves.

But 70% of the American public believed it at the time, and 85% of U.S. troops believed the U.S. mission in Iraq was “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks.”

Only last year, John Glaser noted:

Significant portions of Americans still believe that Saddam and al-Qaeda were in cahoots and cooperated in the 9/11 attacks. The reason is simple: the administration told them this lie.

An investigation by a committee in the House of Representatives in 2004 identified “237 misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq that were made by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Powell, and National Security Advisor Rice. These statements were made in 125 separate appearances, consisting of 40 speeches, 26 press conferences and briefings, 53 interviews, 4 written statements, and 2 congressional testimonies.” According to the committee, at least 61 separate statements “misrepresented Iraq’s ties to al-Qaeda.” A Senate investigation in 2006 also covered these lies.

Keeping this lie afloat took some work. The Bush administration, primarily Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, “applied relentless pressure on interrogators to use harsh methods on detainees in part to find evidence of cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime,” McClatchy reported in 2009.

According to Lawrence Wilkerson, chief of staff to Bush’s Secretary of State Powell, “the administration authorized harsh interrogation” in 2002, and “its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa’ida.”

Wilkerson is right.

In other words, the failure to conduct a real 9/11 investigation contributed to the Iraq war, torture, and the failure to fix fundamental weaknesses in – and threats to – America’s national security.

Posted in Politics / World News | 34 Comments

Top NSA Whistleblower: We Need a New 9/11 Investigation Into the Destruction of the World Trade Center

The Observable Facts Were Ignored …

Bill Binney is the NSA’s former senior technical director, 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, one of the world’s top crypto-mathematicians, who managed thousands of employees at the agency.

Binney was the original NSA whistleblower, and one of two NSA veterans whose example inspired Edward Snowden.

Binney recently signed Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth’s petition, stating:

There is clearly evidence that needs to be considered in a review of what happened in 9/11. We the public deserve an honest complete review of the facts with scientific interpretation and implications as to what really happened.

Two days ago, Binney said in an interview that speaking with physicists and controlled demolition experts convinced him that the investigations to date have – at best - been incompetent, and failed to address the observable facts:

Binney said:

They felt they had to have something drastic happen so they could get a lot more money and build up an empire and do the things they wanted to do.

Washington’s Blog asked Binney what he meant by that statement, and he explained:

I had several reasons for saying that. First, Gen Minihan when he was Dirnsa [Director of the National Intelligence Agency] was internally in NSA quoted to say that we will have to have a drastic event occur before we could change the way we were doing things. Then Hayden took over as Dirnsa.

And, on 27 February 2001 he or someone from NSA approached the CEO of Quest requesting Quests’ subscriber data – meaning billing data. This is in court records. [Background here, here and here.]

This all smacked of waiting for something to happen so they could leverage it to do what they really wanted to do – which was evidenced by the request to Quest.

Also, I would add that the 9/11 Commission left out data that Tom Drake passed to them showing vital data prior to 11 Sep giving warning of an attack. This should also not be acceptable. [Background.]

Binney joins many high-level officials – including military leaders, intelligence officials and 9/11 commissioners – who are dissatisfied with the 9/11 investigations to date.

For background on Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, watch this C-Span interview and this documentary.

Postscript:  Government officials agree that 9/11 was state-sponsored terrorism … they just disagree on which state was responsible.

Posted in Politics / World News, Science / Technology | 6 Comments

We care enough about sports to review ‘official’ calls, but not to review ‘official’ calls of ‘lawful’ wars?!?

If Americans applied their passion and expertise in sports laws to current US/UK/Israel/UN wars, the resultant outrage would quickly cause “leaders’” arrests for obvious unlawful Wars of Aggression.

We care, appropriately, that sports law be reviewed for proper calls on the field of play. Examples include tennis, baseball, and football. The illegality of all current wars are easily proved by reviewing war law on that field: military armed attack is unlawful unless in response to military attack from another nation’s government.

Americans continue an Emperor’s New Clothes-like awakening that the UN Charter and US Constitution limits have long been rejected by our “leaders’” preference for dictatorial power. In this one area of law to limit governments from war-murders, it’s easy to explain and prove that US/UK/Israel armed attacks are OBVIOUS unlawful Wars of Aggression:

  • The UN Charter is an active treaty. It’s one and only area of legal authority is to prevent Wars of Aggression.
  • Article Six of the US Constitution defines a treaty as US “supreme Law of the Land;” meaning that US policy can never violate it.
  • Therefore, the UN Charter is US “supreme Law” to never use military armed attacks upon a nation in all cases except a narrow definition of “self-defense”: when another nation’s government attacks first.
  • The UK and Israel ratified the UN Charter over 60 years ago in agreement to its limits of armed attacks.
  • The still-active treaty after WW1, the Kellogg-Briand Pact is even stronger in language to forbid nations to ever use armed attack as national policy.

When US “leaders” egregiously violate almost every single limit to power within the Constitution, including crystal-clear treaty limits meant to prevent exactly the wars we see today, Americans can confidently declare “official” calls are absolutely wrong.

Those of us with Oaths to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic” are honor-bound to expose and end these Orwellian crimes. We invite all interested to:

  1. Realize our Emperor’s New Clothes position,
  2. State the OBVIOUS fact that US “leaders” are War Criminals engaged in Wars of Aggression (and UK, Israel, and other former imperial-power-crazed governments),
  3. Demand arrests as lawful response to restore those explicit limits to government power, stop the War Crimes, and prevent further war-murders.

Further evidence to support public demand for lawful arrests to stop the biggest crime on Earth (among ~100 crucial areas of crimes):

 

Posted in General | 2 Comments

Labor Day 2014: Economic solutions already here for full employment, zero public deficits and debts

Labor Day is an Orwellian holiday: US “leaders” psychopathically pretend to care about American labor while lying about a real unemployment rate of close to 25% (the so-called “official” rate excludes under-employed and discouraged workers).

Along with unemployment, Americans receive policy enabling oligarchs to “legally” hide $20 to $30 trillion in offshore tax havens in a rigged-casino economy designed for “peak inequality.” For comparison, $1 to $3 trillion ends global poverty forever, saving a million children’s lives every month from slow and gruesome death (here, here). And, as always, US “leaders” lie-begat Americans into unlawful Wars of Aggression (in comparison, 11 days of US war cost would pay for all tuition of US college students).

Americans could have full-employment and zero public deficits and debt with monetary and credit reform.

These solutions are obvious upon a few moments of your attention. See for yourself:

What is monetary and credit reform? 

Since the 1913 legislation of the Federal Reserve, the US has had a national “debt system;” the Orwellian opposite of a monetary system. What we use for money is created as a debt, with the  consequence of unpayable and increasing aggregate debt. This is a description of the simple mechanics of adding negative numbers. Although it’s taught in every macroeconomics course in structure, the consequences of increasing and unpayable debt are omitted (unpayable because it destroys what is used for money, and eventually the debt becomes tragic-comic in amount).

Monetary reform creates debt-free money as a public service for the direct payment of public goods and services. This would replace the existing system of creating what we use for money out of debt; both from the Federal Reserve issuing credit for US federal debt instruments charged to taxpayers with interest, and private banks issuing credit through fractional reserve lending.

Closely related is credit reform that replaces private bank credit with public credit (and here). This transfers interest payments from private profits to public service.

Benefits of monetary and credit reform: no debt, optimal infrastructure, falling prices

The benefits include paying the national debt, ending a national debt forever, issuing money and credit for full employment, and optimal infrastructure. The prima facie case of benefits should undergo professional multiple and independent cost-benefit analyses. The facts that a Federal Reserve-type debt-based system causes unpayable debt, unemployment, inflation, and decaying infrastructure is relatively easy to demonstrate.

Debt begone: Monetary reform pays the national debt of over $17 trillion dollars virtually without cost, and ends its gross $400 billion+ annual interest payments. This saves the ~100 million US households an average of ~$170,000 in total debt cost, with ~$4,000 gross annual interest cost. Another way to calculate the savings is to figure those amounts per $50,000 annual household income (for example, if your household earns $100,000/year, you save $300,000 in national debt costs and $8,000 every year in gross interest).

The way the national debt is paid nearly cost-free is to use government-created money to pay the debt securities as they are due instead of what is done today: never pay them and “roll them over” (re-issue the debt to existing owners or issue new debt to pay for redeemed debt instruments) while only paying the interest. What is done today is similar to only paying the interest on a credit card with ever-increasing debt total. The inflationary effect of paying the debt will be counteracted by simultaneously removing private banks’ fractional reserve authority proportional to the payments (increasing banks’ reserve requirements).

When government has authority to transparently create money, a national debt becomes a tragic-comic part of history. Trial and error will inform total money supply, with an option of removing money from the supply through some form of simple taxation. For example, if public credit issues mortgages and credit cards at ~5%, this form of taxation can pay for public goods and services with the ability to raise or lower the interest rate. Again, proposals such as these should be subject to professional and independent cost-benefit analyses.

Full employment, optimal infrastructure, falling prices: Government can become the employer of last resort for hard and soft infrastructure investment. This provides triple benefits for employment, the best infrastructure we can imagine, and falling overall prices to the extent infrastructure investment contributes more economic output relative to costs of inputs. History demonstrates infrastructure investment does reduce overall prices in the current debt-funded model that typically adds ~50% of the projects’ nominal cost to its total cost. Monetary reform with infrastructure means the cost of debt-funding disappears, making this employment even more attractive.

Additional anticipated benefits are reductions of crime and other social costs related to human despair as people see and participate in creating a brighter future for all.

What’s missing for the implementation of these solutions: Our 1% “leaders” will not and can not implement solutions without becoming visible in criminal culpability for having the current system that parasitically transfers literal trillions from the 99%.

The solution to this problem is also obvious: prosecute obvious criminals in “leadership” in government, economics, and corporate media for fundamental fraud by lying to the 99% that debt is “money,” and lying in omission by failing to inform that public credit and money would solve all current economic issues. The public costs of this fraud are trillions of dollars, harm to millions of Americans, and significant totals of deaths.

An alternative to criminal prosecution is Truth and Reconciliation (and here).

 

Posted in General | 9 Comments

IF CONSUMERS ARE SO F%#KING CONFIDENT WHY AREN’T THEY SPENDING?

The sheep have been told their confidence is at a 7 year high by the propaganda peddlers working at the behest of the oligarchy. The sheep are also told that 10 million jobs have been added since the GOTUS played his first round back in 2009. The sheep have been told the record highs in the stock market prove that all is well. If the .1% are doing fantastic, some of the wealth must be trickling down. The sheep are told that QE and ZIRP were really to save Main Street and not the bonuses of Wall Street (at record highs by the way). The sheep are told to fear ISIS, Iran, Assad, Putin, and China. The sheep are told U.S. energy independence is just around the corner and to ignore the fact that gas prices have tripled in the last ten years. The sheep are told drones will keep them safe and the DHS militarizing the police is just for their safety and security. The sheep are told guns are dangerous in their hands, but not in the hands of the government. The sheep passively eat their iGadgets and barely bleat while being led to the slaughter house.

The propaganda machine is working at hyper speed as the wheels fall off this out of control bus. But all the messaging, packaging, and lies can’t change the facts. Ignorance about the facts doesn’t change the facts. The oligarchs are getting pissed. You mindless consumers simply won’t consume as much as you used to, even with 7 year 0% interest subprime auto loans, $1 trillion of government loans to generate consumption disguised as student loans, and five credit card offers per week from the Too Big To Trust Wall Street cabal. WTF is wrong with you?

You’ve ruined the storyline used for months about horrific winter weather being the cause of non-spending in the 1st quarter. Once it stopped being cold you were supposed to spend like drunken sailors again. Just like the old days. How could you spend less in July than you did in June? You’ve only increased your spending by a mere 1.8% so far this year. With real inflation on stuff you need to live running above 5%, you’re actually spending far less than last year. No wonder confidence is skyrocketing.

 

A little examination into the facts behind the Commerce Department report might shed a little light on the truth about the good old American consumer:

  • 25% of all personal income in the country is either a transfer from the government to someone or from a government job. That is $3.7 trillion taken from producers and given to takers. In 2000 this figure was 21%. The relentless increase in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Benefits and Other will drive this percentage to 30% by 2020.
  • Real personal income (excluding government transfers) has gone up 2.6% over the last year and this is using the false CPI figure of 1.6% to reach that pitiful number. Using a true inflation figure of 5% yields lower real personal income than last year.
  • These numbers also fail to recognize the 2.2 million increase in population. On a per capita basis, real personal income is up 1.9% in the last year.
  • Senior citizens and conservative savers are earning $120 billion less today than they did seven years ago. All the grandmothers eating cat food thank you Ben and Janet. If interest rates were allowed to adjust to market levels consistent with inflation, savers would be generating $500 billion to $700 billion more interest income that could be used to propel economic growth. Per capita real disposable income was $37,582 in May of 2008. It is currently $37,553. Again, this is using the fake BLS inflation numbers, so it is even far worse.

Is it really a shocker that Americans are spending less? The MSM is so captured by the organizations providing their advertising revenue that their faux journalists don’t even attempt to examine the facts and reach logical conclusions. Their job is to cheer lead and make excuses for why their storyline of improvement never plays out. The snow storyline is history. The surge in consumer confidence storyline has been proven false by the actual spending data. Now we move onto the surge in jobs storyline that is proven false by the personal income data. I’m sure back to school season will be a resounding success. Just wait until the holidays. The consumer will surely be back this year. And the beat goes on.

The chart below tells you all you need to know about why this recovery is false. The people who are supposed to be in their peak earnings and spending years have seen their real household incomes decline dramatically since the END of the recession in June 2009. Think about that for a moment. The only people who’ve seen their real incomes rise are those who no longer spend. I wonder if it is a coincidence that government transfers since June 2009 are up 18% and the grey hairs have seen their incomes rise?

The consumer is not back. They are not coming back. The decades long debt fueled orgy of consumption has long since peaked and we are on the long road to perdition. Confidence can’t cure our disease. More debt to cure a disease caused by too much debt will not save the patient. Our disease is terminal.

Posted in General | 2 Comments

The Stupendous Failure Of Big City Education: How The Philly Teachers Union Loots The Schools


It’s that time of year again – when the little juvenile delinquents, future prison inmates, and functionally illiterate junior members of the free shit army pick up their “free” backpacks and “free” school supplies they will never use and shuffle off to the decaying prison like schools in the City of Philadelphia to eat “free” breakfasts and “free” lunches, while being taught government sanctioned pablum by overpaid mediocre union teachers.

It’s a repeat of every year for the Phila school district. As the school year approaches they are shocked to report a massive deficit and beg the State of PA for more funding. The $12,000 per child simply isn’t enough, even though Parochial schools provide ten times the education for $9,000 per child. The district has a slight $80 million deficit this year. Last year they had a $100 million deficit and the mayor proposed a soda tax to fill the gap. It was defeated, so they raised property taxes instead. Mayor Nutter’s name is fitting. He is just another in a long line of Democratic mayors who have ruled Philadelphia since the 1950′s and whose policies of welfare handouts for their voting base paid for by taxing the producers, has resulted in a population decline from 2.1 million in 1950 to 1.5 million today. Doug Casey captures the essence of Philly with this definition:

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy): a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

The liberal solution to an ever decreasing tax base and an ever growing level of benefits for the free shit army and government union drones, is to increase taxes on the few remaining producers. They then flee the city, leaving fewer producers to tax. Rinse and repeat. Your neighborhoods then look like this.

2916 West Thompson Street, Philadelphia PA

The mayor, school district superintendent, and teacher’s union use the liberal mainstream media to sound the alarm about “devastating” budget cuts that will imperil the tremendous education the cherubs will receive. They warn that the school year will have to be delayed. They peddle mistruths about the governor cutting education funding in an attempt to influence public opinion. Their “solution” to the budget deficit this year is a doozy. I’ll get to that later. First I have to provide a mural update.

I drive past the Morton McMichael grade school in Mantua every day on my way to work. It sits across the street from the $27 million low income gated townhouse community called Mantua Square, paid for with your Obama stimulus funds in 2011. (Update: The 8 storefronts built into the project two years ago and touted as a way to revitalize commerce in Mantua still sit vacant – 100% NO OCCUPANCY. This follows the old liberal economic theorem of build it and they won’t come.) This school looks like it could be in a Dickens novel from the 1800′s. That’s fitting since Morton McMichael was a prominent citizen of Philadelphia during the 1800′s as founder of the Saturday Evening Post and Mayor of Philadelphia. That was back when a white man could get elected mayor of Philadelphia.

The building is decades old. It is dilapidated, run down and crumbling. The windows have never been replaced. Of course, you would have to remove the bars and cages to get to the windows. The neighborhood has a bit of a crime problem. An 8 year old boy was raped on the way to this school last year. There are a couple ancient air conditioners poking out of some windows. The parking lot/play area is crumbling blacktop with weeds, strewn with garbage for good measure. Graterford Prison is more inviting than this institution of learning. The parking lot was empty all summer. The Phila School district had no plans for any capital renovations at this school. No new windows. No new classrooms. No new technology. No central air conditioning.

Then about a month ago I noticed scaffolding going up in front of the school. Maybe they were going to actually do some renovations to improve this blight. Then I noticed they were just painting the bricks white. A few days later it became clear. Rather than making actual improvements to the decaying structure, it was another mural. Of course another white artist, not from the neighborhood, was getting paid to beautify the school to inspire the children on to great deeds. They chose an environmental theme rather than black people doing great things. It looks like graffiti to me.

Maf Is Hard

I’m sure this paint job, paid for with tax dollars, will really turn this school around. They have had four principals in the last three years. The discipline in this school is so bad that teachers fear assaults from students and parents alike. This is another classic example of liberals wasting money with shallow displays, while ignoring the true problems. This school has 408 students and 35 full-time union teachers. That is a ratio of 11.7 students per teacher. The ratio in Parochial schools is 17 to 1. When I went to school it was over 20 to 1. With an 11.7 students per teacher ratio, they should be getting a great education from these top notch educators. Check out the results:

Dark Blue – Morton McMichael; Light Blue – Phila Schools; Grey – PA schools

By 5th grade less than 30% can do math, less than 20% can read, and less than 10% can write at a proficient level. And you can bet that proficient level is not that high. The state results are bad enough, but the Philadelphia results are atrocious. In Philadelphia, only 33 – 13% of the district’s 250 schools met state standards, down from 41% in 2011. It was uncovered that they were cheating on the test scores in 2011. Liberals lie and cheat when it comes to getting funding. The Morton McMichael school has 35 full-time union teachers earning good money, with gold plated healthcare and pension plans. And this is the results they are producing? I came across a quote from William Arthur Ward today that applies:

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”

Based on the results achieved in this school there doesn’t appear to be even a mediocre teacher in the bunch. You have a better chance of finding a woman with a wedding ring, a man with a job, or a kid with a book in his hand in Mantua (highly unlikely in all three cases) than ever finding a great teacher in a Philadelphia school. But at least they are well paid.

The Philadelphia school system educates (I use the term loosely as 50% dropout) 200,000 kids per year with a tiny budget of $2.4 billion. The district has been so poorly run and corrupt that a state commission now runs the schools. They insist that $2.4 billion isn’t enough to achieve SAT scores not much higher than you get for signing your name. How is it that a school district that spends more than the national average per student can’t manage to educate children properly? One look at its personnel costs and perks, including exploding pensions and legal services for union members, gives you an idea why.

The storyline from the liberal media, greedy teacher’s union, and captured Democratic politicians is that the evil Republican governor Corbett has gutted their funding. It’s a completely false storyline. The $800 billion Obama porkulus plan doled out payoffs to teacher unions around the country. The temporary stimulus funds expired. In the mind of an idiotic liberal, this is considered a spending cut. Temporary = permanent in the demented mind of a liberal. The truth is that Philadelphia union teachers are overpaid and under-worked. The PA government pension plan is a ticking time bomb that is destroying the budgets of every locality in the State. It’s just that Philadelphia is the worst run, most corrupt, and most union controlled in the State.

Philadelphia school district pensions costs alone are going from the equivalent of 16.9% of wages to 21.4% of wages in one year. In dollar terms that’s an increase of $3,230 per average teacher in just one year. Pensions alone will cost $159 million next year. Philly schools also pay for a number of other benefits, including the equivalent of 3.26% of salary for unused sick and vacation days that workers can cash in when they leave. In all, these variable benefit items will add the equivalent of nearly 39% of salary to the cost of employing a worker.

The school’s budget also includes a range of per capita benefit costs, so called because they are expressed in dollars per worker, not percent of salary. Medical insurance averages $13,829 per worker, up by $1,000. Then there are health and welfare benefits, which are additional health perks, such as prescription eye benefits. H&W, as it’s known, costs an average of $4,447 more per teacher. They even offer legal services to workers at a cost of $165 per worker.

For the average teacher earning $68,700 annually, benefit costs pile on an additional $44,100, meaning the average cost of employing a teacher in the system is $112,700. Benefit costs, in other words, amount to two-thirds of salaries. By contrast, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, the total cost of benefits in the private sector amounts to 30% of salaries.

AVERAGE COSTS, TYPICAL PHILLY SCHOOL DISTRICT

philly

So let me get this straight. The average Philadelphia teacher is receiving compensation and benefits of $112,700 and 50% of the students dropout, while of the remaining students only 45% can do math, 35% can read, and 30% can write. But at least they have some nice murals dotting the decaying schools.

Every new year will bring higher pension payment requirements. PA has $55 billion of unfunded pension benefits payable to government union workers and teachers. Annual pension contributions increased by 25% or more in the majority of education systems last year and that more than three-quarters of districts are anticipating a similar increase this year. By 2020, school officials in the state estimate, pensions will amount to more than 30% of payroll, up from just 4% in 2009. This is a crisis that grows larger by the day and is willfully ignored by politicians beholden to these government unions.

Last year, on average, workers with 35-39 years of service who retired in a school system had a final annual salary of $80,285 and a pension of $60,396, or about 75% of final salary. Not bad for turning out functionally illiterate morons. Rather than accept the fact that the government pension system is a disaster and needs a massive makeover, the feckless politicians choose higher taxes and annual gimmicks.

What Are They Smoking

Guess how Mayor Nutter, the School Superintendent, and the Democratic politicians want to fund the $80 million school district budget? A $2 per pack additional cigarette tax in the City of Philadelphia. Cigarette taxes are supposed to fund the detrimental societal healthcare costs of smoking. Instead they are being used to fund bloated teacher pensions. Local governments are incapable of imposing excise taxes, so the PA legislature must pass this law. So far they have not complied, but they will come September because it is the easy solution. Why tackle pension reform when you can just increase taxes on the poor to pay for bad teachers?

The multitude of things wrong with this idea is beyond comprehension. Why foist the cost onto a minority — and given the demographics of those who smoke, a poor minority? Although local governments try to tax cigarettes and even alcohol, there’s no money in taxing vices. It’s too easy to purchase cigarettes outside the city. Why would anyone buy cigarettes in Philly when they can go into the next County and pay 50% less? There is already a $1.60 PA state tax on every pack of cigarettes. Adding another $2 would put Philly just behind NYC and Chicago on the tax scale. The imposition of this tax will increase bootlegging, smuggling and other criminal activities. Just what Philly needs – more crime. They can then use that as a reason to hire more union cops. It’s the liberal circle of life.

The people who should be most angry about this “solution” are the very people who keep voting idiotic Democrats into office for decades – poor black people. Only 23% of Philadelphians have a college degree. Those without a degree are more than twice as likely to smoke. Cigarette taxes are a tax on the stupid.

There are 580,000 households in Philadelphia. The median household income is $34,000 and 26% of the population lives below the poverty line. Approximately 300,000 of the households make less than $36,000 and 400,000 make less than $60,000. The lower the household income the higher the percentage who smoke. So the master plan of the Democrats who run Philly is to deplete what little disposable income the poor have left in order to pay the bloated salaries and pensions of terrible teachers.

The average income of a worker in Philly is $22,000. 38% of these people smoke, versus 12% of those making over $90,000. This cigarette tax is built upon the same warped logic as government run casinos and lotteries. It’s a tax on the ignorant and least able to afford the tax.

The sheer idiocy of this plan to “save” the schools this year is lost on the brainless media twits mouthing the teacher’s union talking points. The $12,000 per year per child is more than enough to pay for a decent education. The $2.4 billion budget should be geared to improving facilities, providing books, and paying excellent teachers for excellent results. Tenure should be scrapped and lousy teachers should be fired. The government pension plan needs to be obliterated and replaced with a 401k plan like the rest of the world is stuck with. It will never happen. The democrats who have controlled Philly for the last 60 years will raise property taxes, raise sales taxes, and raise cigarette taxes until they drive every producer and business out of the city, while further impoverishing the very people they pretend to care about. Detroit here we come.

Remember, smoke a cigarette for the children. And remember to buy them in Philly for 50% more than you pay in the suburbs. It’s always for the children.

Posted in General | 22 Comments

Is There Capitalism After Cronyism?

The more the Status Quo pursues the same old Keynesian Cargo Cult script of central planning and free money for financiers, the more self-liquidating the system becomes.

Judging by the mainstream media, the most pressing problems facing capitalism are:

1) income inequality, the basis of Thomas Piketty’s bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and

2) the failure of laissez-faire markets to regulate their excesses, a common critique encapsulated by Paul Craig Roberts’ recent book The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism.

These critiques (and many similar diagnoses) reach a widely shared conclusion: capitalism must be reformed to save it from itself.

The proposed reforms align with each analyst’s basic ideological bent. Piketty’s solution to rising wealth inequality is the ultimate in statist centralization: a global wealth tax.

Roberts and others recommend reforming capitalism to embody social purpose and recognize environmental limits. Exactly how this economic reformation should be implemented is a question that sparks debates across the ideological spectrum, but the idea that capitalism can be reformed is generally accepted by left, right and libertarian alike.

Socio-economist Immanuel Wallerstein asks a larger question: can the current iteration of global capitalism be reformed, or is it poised to be replaced by some other arrangement?

Wallerstein and four colleagues explored this question in Does Capitalism Have a Future?(Oxford University Press, 2013).

Wallerstein is known as a proponent of world systems, the notion that each dominant economic-political arrangement eventually reaches its limits and is replaced by a new globally hegemonic system.

Wallerstein draws his basic definition of the current dominant system–let’s call it Global Capitalism 1.0–from his mentor, historian Fernand Braudel, who meticulously traced modern capitalism back to its developmental roots in the 15th century in an influential three-volume history, Civilization & Capitalism, 15th to 18th Centuries:

The Structures of Everyday Life: Volume 1

The Wheels of Commerce: Vol. 2

The Perspective of the World: Volume 3

From this perspective, there is a teleological path to global capitalism’s expansion beneath the market’s ceaseless cycle of boom-and-bust. This model of ever-larger systems of global dominance has been further developed by Braudel disciples such as Giovanni Arrighi (The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power and the Origins of Our Times).

It is this latest and most expansive iteration of capitalism–one dominated by the mobility of global capital, state enforcement of privately owned rentier/cartel arrangements and the primacy of financial capital over industrial capital–that Wallerstein and his collaborators view as endangered.

Amidst the conventional chatter of social spending countering markets gone wild–as if the only thing restraining rampant capitalism is the state–Wallerstein clearly identifies the state’s role as enforcer of private cartels.

This is not just a function of regulatory capture by monied elites: if the state fails to maintain monopolistic cartels, profit margins plummet and capital is unable to maintain its spending on investment and labor. Simply put, the economy tanks as profits, investment and growth all stagnate.

This is why Wallerstein characterizes this iteration of capitalism as “a particular historical configuration of markets and state structures where private economic gain by almost any means is the paramount goal and measure of success.”

Even those who reject this description of free markets and the self-interested pursuit of profit can agree that the prime directive of capitalism is the accumulation of capital: enterprises that fail to accumulate capital lose capital and eventually go bust.

As economist Joseph Schumpeter recognized, capitalism is not a steady-state system but one constantly reworked by “creative destruction,” the process of the less efficient being replaced by the more efficient.

In Wallerstein’s view, Global Capitalism 1.0 could end in the frustration of capitalists to continue reaping large and fairly secure profits. If capital can no longer accumulate capital, this iteration of capitalism runs out of oxygen and creative destruction will usher in a new arrangement. (Wallerstein’s chapter in the book is titledwhy capitalists may no longer find capitalism rewarding.)

Though the status quo believes that amending the political-financial rules is all that’s needed to maintain the current centralized arrangement, Wallerstein believes that following the old rules will actually intensify the coming structural crisis.

As the state-cartel crony-capitalism that dominates the financial and political realms unravels on multiple levels, it’s difficult not to agree with Wallerstein that the more the Status Quo pursues the same old Keynesian Cargo Cult script of central planning and free money for financiers, the more self-liquidating the system becomes. 

This entry is drawn from an essay published in The American Conservative Magazinea Kindle Edition is available for only $3.98/issue. 


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Has the U.S. Targeted Nuclear-Armed Russia with Regime Change?

America Has Undertaken Regime Change In Many Countries Before

In 1957, the U.S. and British governments planned regime change in Syria … because it was drifting too close to the Soviet Union.

20 years ago, influential U.S. government officials decided to effect regime change throughout the Middle East and North Africa.   The countries targeted were “old Soviet regimes”.

The U.S. has, of course, already carried out regime change in Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Chile, Haiti and many other countries.  The U.S. was also instrumental in the recent regime change in Ukraine.

Soviet leader Gorbachev allowed the Soviet Union broken up only after the U.S. and NATO promised they would not encircle Russia militarily.  Ever since 1991, they have broken their promise and encircled Russia.

Is the U.S. Now Trying to Implement Regime Change In Russia?

New Republic writes:

There are now voices in Moscow saying that these sanctions are an attempt to force regime change in Russia.

Richard Becker – of the American anti-war group Answer Coalition – says:

Their (US and NATO) clear aim is to surround Russia, to weaken Russia in the long run [and] to bring about regime change in Russia…

DNA India argues:

Washington’s obvious plan is to get troublesome Putin out of the way. The expectation is that once Russians feel the crunch they will turn against the president.

***

Regime change has become the latest buzzword against rulers the West dislikes. It was Iraq’s Saddam Hussain at one time, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi at another time and now it is Russia’s Putin. The Russian leader may not be an easy prey.

Former Indian ambassador M.K.Bhadrakumar theorizes that it is Russia’s sheltering of Edward Snowden which is the motivation for the U.S. push for regime change in Russia:

The US is undoubtedly in a punishing mood. What accounts for it? Can’t be Syria. Can’t be Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan. Can’t be the Arctic, can’t be BRICS.

Yes, it has to be the unprecedented humiliation and damage caused to the US’ global standing and foreign and security policies by the Edward Snowden affair, which Washington believes was masterminded from the Kremlin. It’s payback time for the CIA.

Former Associated Press and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry wrote in April:

Now that the demonization of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is in full swing, one has to wonder when the neocons will unveil their plan for “regime change” in Moscow, despite the risks that overthrowing Putin and turning Russia into a super-sized version of Ukraine might entail for the survival of the planet.

There is a “little-old-lady-who-swallowed-the-fly” quality to neocon thinking. When one of their schemes goes bad, they simply move to a bigger, more dangerous scheme.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)

If the Palestinians and Lebanon’s Hezbollah persist in annoying you and troubling Israel, you target their sponsors with “regime change” – in Iraq, Syria and Iran. If your “regime change” in Iraq goes badly, you escalate the subversion of Syria and the bankrupting of Iran. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mysterious Why of the Iraq War.”]

Just when you think you’ve cornered President Barack Obama into a massive bombing campaign against Syria – with a possible follow-on war against Iran – Putin steps in to give Obama a peaceful path out, getting Syria to surrender its chemical weapons and Iran to agree to constraints on its nuclear program.

So, this Obama-Putin collaboration has become your new threat. That means you take aim at Ukraine, knowing its sensitivity to Russia. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]

You support an uprising against elected President Viktor Yanukovych, even though neo-Nazi militias are needed to accomplish the actual coup. You get the U.S. State Department to immediately recognize the coup regime although it disenfranchises many people of eastern and southern Ukraine, where Yanukovych had his political base.

When Putin steps in to protect the interests of those ethnic Russian populations and supports the secession of Crimea (endorsed by 96 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum), your target shifts again. Though you’ve succeeded in your plan to drive a wedge between Obama and Putin, Putin’s resistance to your Ukraine plans makes him the next focus of “regime change.”

And a former high-level CIA official says that Putin has to go, and the U.S. should assassinate him if he doesn’t leave voluntarily.

But every country we’ve regime changed have descended into chaos.

As Robert Parry warns, we might be very sorry if we succeed in forcing Putin out:

But what would it mean to destabilize Russia? Does anyone think that shattering the Russian political structure through a combination of economic sanctions and information warfare will result in a smooth transition to some better future? The Russians already have tried the West’s “shock therapy” under drunken President Boris Yeltsin – and they saw the cruel ugliness of “free market” capitalism.

Putin’s autocratic nationalism was a response to the near-starvation levels of poverty that many Russians were forced into as they watched well-connected capitalists plunder the nation’s wealth and emerge as oligarchic billionaires. For all Putin’s faults, it was his pushback against some of those oligarchs and his defense of Russian interests internationally that secured him a solid political base.

In other words, even if the neocons get the Obama administration – and maybe its successor – to ratchet up tensions with Russia enough to generate sufficient political friction to drive Putin from office, the likely result would be a dangerously unstable Russia possessing a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons. Putin loyalists are not likely to readily accept a replay of the Yeltsin years.

But the neocons apparently think the risks are well worth it. After all, the end result might finally let them kill off that pesky fly, Israel’s near-in threat from the Palestinians and Hezbollah. But we might remember what happened to the little old lady in the ditty, when she swallowed the horse, she was dead, of course.

Posted in Politics / World News | 5 Comments

Diane Ravitch Condemns ‘Accountability’, I Dissent, She Responds. So: Let’s All Discuss It.

Eric Zuesse

On August 29th, America’s leading voice on ‘reform’ of k-12 education condemned President Obama for being supportive of ‘accountability’ in our educational system. Headlining “Why Is the Obama Administration Making War on Teachers,” she closed by wondering, “Why did President Obama embrace the Republican agenda of testing, accountability, and choice?” She blanket-condemned there all three of those.

In a reader-comment (as “cettel22″), I responded to another reader’s comment, which seemed to be endorsing Ravitch’s opposition to “accountability.” I pointed out that a falsely-measured ‘accountability’ should not be understood as diminishing the value of truthfully-measured accountability:

“The current formula [for evaluating teachers] calculates the performance of entire classes of students, not the improvement in performance of individual students — the latter isn’t even tracked at all; only the performance of the collective is. Consequently, teachers in rich districts, with well-endowed students, needn’t worry — their jobs are safe. It’s only teachers in poorly-endowed districts who are jeopardized by the existing formula.

The current formula doesn’t measure a given teacher’s actual achievement (the improvement-percentage of his or her students) at all. Only by calculating the improvement in students’ performance can that be tracked — and it’s not tracked; it is not the basis for evaluating teacher ‘performance.’

The current formula is designed to turn the screws on teachers in poor districts. Those are the very same teachers who ought instead to be paid extra, because they face the most difficult and challenging jobs.

Obama is the friend of the rich and comfortable, and the enemy of the poor and uncomfortable.

You’re fooled by his rhetoric.”

A reader then requested clarification, considering that the current education policies are “fully bipartisan,” and I responded with this:

“The teachers’ unions accept the jiggered formula for rating teachers. The reason they do is that the unions’ leadership want to stoke the conflict, not to end it. The conflict would quickly end if management were to change the formula so as to rank performance on the percentage-improvement in each teacher’s students during the course of a year under his instruction, instead of on the sheer performance of that teacher’s students. Of course, the sheer performance will be relatively low in low-income, under-resourced, districts, and relatively high in affluent schools. Changing the formula would transform everything. But none of the elites would gain from that. All of the elites would lose from the change.

There would no longer be any motivation for gaming the system, such as by excluding from a school low-performing students. There would also no longer be faked test-scores, because only a student’s improvement, or test-score-increase (as compared to that student’s prior-year test-score) would count in calculating the given teacher’s ‘performance.’ Everybody except the elites would gain, and everything would be much fairer. But in today’s U.S., only the elites gain. As a result, all of the income-gains are going to the richest 1%. They’re the only ones with power. They crush the lower 99%. So: we stay with ranking teachers on the basis of their students’ test-scores, instead of on the basis of the improvement in their test-scores.”

Then, I directly addressed a comment to Ravitch herself:

“Diane, if you continue to say that “accountability” is bad, then you are supporting Obama’s entire agenda, because his basic agenda is to enforce responsibility (obligations upward in the power-structure, such as of employees to employers, and borrowers to lenders) but not accountability (obligations downward in the power-structure, such as of school-administrators to teachers, management to unions, etc.).

Teachers aren’t opposed to accountability. If teachers are evaluated according to proven-successful criteria for evaluating their individual performance, then teachers will support that. They won’t support criteria that merely blame teachers when the system itself is rotten from top to (even including some teachers) bottom. They certainly won’t support criteria that hold teachers accountable for, basically, teaching in the lowest-income and most-stressed school districts, the very same “hazardous-duty” districts that should instead be paying their teachers extra for teaching there.

Your use of the term “accountability” is sick, and it provides a very false view of the teaching profession. If anything, teachers want fair accountability, rather than the existing ‘accountability’ which is the reverse of that and rewards the teachers who need (and often deserve) it the least: the ones in rich districts — the teachers of the rich.”

Ravitch replied directly to this, by saying,

“I don’t agree. When “reformers” talk about accountability, they mean punishment and reward based on test scores. I oppose carrots and sticks to reward or punish. So is modern cognitive science.”

And I responded to that with:

“I agree with you on the over-emphasis upon test-scores. But that’s not the only, nor even a large part of the, problem.

Both with regard to test-scores and other criteria, there can be no improvement in American education until teachers are measured on the improvement in their students’ performance under their tutelage, instead of (as now) on their students performance under their tutelage.

A student’s performance (especially in the early years) depends more on what the parent, and the neighborhood, has provided to that child in the way of his preparation, than it does on whatever the teacher does with that child.

What a teacher provides (or fails to provide) to benefit that child during the student’s year under his tutelage is that student’s improvement, rather than that student’s sheer performance itself (which depends primarily upon factors other than that teacher).

Diane, I know that you sincerely believe that a system can function well without accountability. But it simply cannot. Accountability is the foundation-stone of justice. No societal system can perform well without justice. People won’t trust such a societal system, nor should they. The problem in our society, and in all societies, is injustice.

It’s unjust that merely because a teacher is teaching in a low-income school district, that teacher is penalized (instead of especially rewarded) as compared to a teacher who teaches in a wealthy one (where the students’ performance is higher — no thanks to the teachers there, who are getting paid more and having more-secure jobs because they’re not teaching in a more-difficult environment). You support that injustice, even without wanting to.”

Then she responded with a comment to which there was no reply-button, so I quoted its entirety in an independent comment of my own:

“Diane, regarding your:

“Cettel22, you echo what I have written so I have no idea what you are talking about. I repeat: NCLB and Race to the Top define accountability as rewards (merit pay for higher test scores) or punishments (you will be fired or your school will be closed) based on test scores. I oppose that. It is not supported by research or experience.”

 

That’s not true. You oppose accountability in education-policy; you even said here, “Why did President Obama embrace the Republican agenda of testing, accountability, and choice?”

You included “accountability” in with those other two. You have consistently condemned “accountability” as if it were something to be minimized (or vaguely measured) instead of increased (and more clearly defined) throughout our (and any) society.

The basic problem is that there is no accountability (there is only responsibility); that’s the problem throughout America’s body-politic including education. No bankster who defrauded both home buyers and MBS (Mortgage-Backed Securities) investors and crashed the economy in 2008 has gone to prison for it. George W. Bush lied the country into invading Iraq and wasn’t even impeached for it. Barack Obama and our major ‘news’ media are deceiving America into supporting the ethnic-cleansing of ethnic Russians out of southeastern Ukraine, and millions are now going into refugee camps because of it. Where are the bad consequences for these and other criminal malfeasances of our elites?

You mis-locate the problem as “accountability,” instead of as mis-measuring the performance of everyone — including of teachers, and of principals, and of politicians such as Bush and Obama. Everything is being misrepresented, lies are rampant, and there is no justice exacted against such mass-deception. And this is the reason why the dedicated teachers in low-income schools can get fired en-masse while even mediocre or low-quality teachers in upper-income school districts have no need to worry about that happening to them. Instead of teachers in hard districts getting extra pay for that, they get fired for it. This is not ‘too much’ accountability; it is, instead, fraudulent ’accountability.’

I believe that your focus, Diane, is wrong. The question isn’t whether the performance of everyone should be measured; the question is how to do that in an honest, fair, and just way, so that excellence will be especially rewarded, and mediocrity (in rich schools) no longer will continue to be (as it currently is).

This will help advance improvement of American education in both poor and rich neighborhoods.

The core problem is how to achieve authentic accountability, rather than the fake version that now reigns throughout our society and is really little else than status-affirmation — appropriate only for a feudal or fascist society.

I believe that until you wrestle with that problem, your proposed solutions will be mis-focused, on things that aren’t necessarily even part of the problem, and that might even be essential parts of its solution.”

Inasmuch as I believe that lack of accountability is the chief failure of our society, I invite readers here, and/or at Ravitch’s blog, to contribute to the discussion.

The consequences of changing the rating-system for teachers so that it measures how much a teacher improves a given student’s skills over a year, as opposed to how skilled that student is at the end of the year, would transform education, in a very positive way, and would stop the excessive government funding of the education of the students in rich districts.

A reader there said that until Ronald Reagan, everything in American education was fine. This person said: “Before that the people being held accountable were the students and the people holding them accountable were the teachers.” I replied:

“You confuse accountability with responsibility. A student has a responsibility to the teacher, not an accountability to the teacher.

The teacher has an accountability to the student. The teacher is obligated to improve that student’s performance. By contrast, the student is obligated to obey the teacher.

As long as you and Diane Ravitch and everyone else in education refuse to understand what accountability is, there isn’t even a hope of doing it right.

The only way to get accountability of teachers right is to reward the most the teachers who improve their students’ performance the most (the largest percentage) per year of that teacher’s teaching of that student. In other words: what counts is not how well that student performs at the end of the year (as the current formula does), but instead how much (how big a percentage) that student improves his performance during that year under that teacher’s tutelage. If the improvement-percentage is average, the teacher is average. If the improvement-percentage is sub-average, the teacher is sub-average. If the improvement-percentage is above average, the teacher is above average. The incentive then becomes to teach so as to improve one’s students’ skill (in the given subject-area) the most.”

Ravitch responded:

“You seem to be defending VAM, although truthfully I have no idea what you are saying. Have you read Audrey Amrein-Beardsley on VAM? Or Edward Haertel? Or the joint statement by AERA and the National Academy of Education? Or Linda Darling-Hammond?”

I replied:

“I am speaking clear English, and you are responding with jargon. I know the reality that teachers are struggling with. I am not proposing VAM. I am not proposing any complex formula that incorporates personal information about a student: disability, “gifted” status (which is a crock), race, or anything other than measures of the student’s level of skill in the given field when entering this teacher’s tutelage, and the level of that student’s skill in that field when leaving that teacher’s tutelage at the end of the academic year or beginning of the next academic year. That’s all. If the student is disabled, or else gifted, the percentage-rise in skill over the given year is all that should matter. A low-IQ student might start from, say, a rating of 50 out of 100, and rise to 55. A high-IQ student might start from 80 and rise to 88. the improvement-percentage would be the same. Improving the formula is not complex to do. Evading the issue is to evade the problem that must be addressed.”

Ravitch answered:

“Are you aware that no high-performing nation in the world judges teachers by student test scores?”

I replied:

“I am not proposing that. However, tests or some other quantifiable performance-measures need to be part of the evaluation-process in some subject-areas, such as in language-arts and in math. Furthermore, subjective measures of teacher-performance should be done by strangers who are carefully trained for the purpose in the given subject-area and who are themselves tested and constantly re-evaluated so that those evaluations will be as objective as possible. To the fullest extent possible, personal prejudices and personal relationships should be left out of the process. The whole institution of k-12 education needs to be restructured so as to serve the needs of the children, focused only on that. Of course, it ought to be fully funded via broad-based taxes, and there should be no public subsidization of any education that is not being provided by the government. Privatization is poison. Mussolini introduced it; Hitler then took it up. Then, finally, Reagan championed it. That’s for fascisms, not for democracies.

It needs to be made totally fair, especially because nature itself is the opposite.”

Another reader commented:

“Should American public education have the function of sorting and separating students so that some may receive greater benefits than others, especially considering that the sorting and separating devices, educational standards and standardized testing, are so flawed not only in concept but in execution?

My answer is NO!!!!!”

I replied:

“Mine too, which is the reason why the system that I have proposed removes the existing system’s incentives for teachers to seek and be especially high-paid for employment in rich school districts with few if any disabled or low-functioning kids. Improving from a score of only 25 to a score of 35 is the same 40% increase as is improving from a score of 50 to a score of 70. The disincentive for having low-performing students in your school is gone. Suddenly, the most rational response of both the teachers and the administrators becomes to devote equal educational resources to each and every student. Disabled or ‘retarded’ students might qualify for public assistance on other (not specifically ‘educational’) criteria. But the system of education would be incentivized to devote equal expenditures to each student, ‘gifted,’ ‘normal,’ or ‘retarded.’ They are all equally worthy, and all equally served by the educational system, as I have proposed.

You are defending a system that’s anything but equalitarian — that is, in fact, highly prejudiced in favor of star students and rich parents.”

Ravitch’s blog is the leading edge of the intellectual school-reform movement. She should be held accountable for any fundamental misrepresentations that she makes there. It can’t happen if the interested public simply ‘behaves properly.’ Martin Luther King ‘misbehaved.’ Sometimes, it’s necessary. The public is invited here to this intellectual protest against the Establishment counter-Establishment regarding K-12 education.

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

 

 

 

Posted in Business / Economics, General, Politics / World News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments