Posts Tagged ‘education’

OBAMA is CORPORATIST reprise

May 25, 2011
[FOR “FUNNY STUDENT QUOTES” SCROLL TO END OF POST].
“Play it again, Sam!”

TRUTH WILL OUT

So, it’s pretty clear.  Obama is not Progressive.  He’s not a moderate either, but a corporatist similar to Bill Clinton.  Obama favors corporatist policy in every significant decision.  Three recent examples illustrate the point:

A Bomber Jacket Doesn’t Cover the Blood by Norman Solomon

President Obama has taken a further plunge into the kind of war abyss that consumed predecessors named Johnson, Nixon and Bush.  READ MORE:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/29

Obama Puts Pesticide Pusher in Charge of Agricultural Trade Relations the Center for Biological Diversity

WASHINGTON- Sidestepping a stalled Senate confirmation vote, yesterday President Obama recess-appointed Islam Siddiqui to be chief agricultural negotiator in the office of the U.S. trade representative. Dr. Siddiqui’s nomination was held up in the Senate and was opposed by the Center for Biological Diversity and more than 80 other environmental, small-farm, and consumer groups. More than 90,000 concerned citizens contacted the White House and Senate to oppose the nomination. Siddiqui is a former pesticide lobbyist and is currently vice president of science and regulatory affairs at CropLife America, a biotech and pesticide trade group that lobbies to weaken environmental laws. READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/03/29-0

Obama Packs Debt Commission with Social Security Looters

 Obama has filled his new ‘debt commission’ with Wall Street insiders determined to gut Social Security.

The most generous bank bailout in history has amplified Wall Street’s considerable political influence, and the economic implications of this democratic calamity go well beyond bloated bonuses. Over the past year, the financial propaganda machine has set its sights on Social Security, launching a massive assault on one of the nation’s most important economic programs. But rather than push back against the flawed economic assumptions of the nation’s financial elite, President Barack Obama appears to be advancing their arguments, and is now poised to repeat George W. Bush’s politically perilous efforts to gut Social Security.  READ MORE: http://www.alternet.org/economy/146183/obama_packs_debt_commission_with_social_security_looters

MY TWO-BITS

Obama’s pretty much off on the wrong course.  He appears to sprinkle “public goodies” up to and including the health care insurance act, which achieve limited but not system change, while shoving our government ever more firmly into corporatist pockets.  He listens to Robert Rubin, Ben Bernowski, and Timothy Geithner, the corporate tools who crafted and executed the big rip-off that plunged our country into near-receivership for Bush Jr..  Obama is using the same old tools to craft and execute a brand new disaster.

No special foresight or vision is necessary to see the probable outcome of Obama’s already failed – before even implemented, in some cases – policies and programs.  Perhaps our asses will be held up a short while longer to get Obama safely through his presidency and out of office, before we fall on them.  His actions are, however, without future, and there is no posterity in them.  He plays for the moment, walking with increasing stiffness.  He doesn’t bend much any more and turns his whole body and not just his head.  Perhaps the candidate of change has been replaced by a corporate android, and the real Obama is locked up in the Whitehouse basement.  Perhaps.

Obama’s corporatist allegiance is more significant now because of the time in our history.  We are experiencing massive change that we cannot control, but only modify and ameliorate, if possible.  In the midst of crisis, he is throwing buckets of gasoline onto the fire.  If he capitulates to the worst corporatist thieves every time, we’re screwed blue and tattooed.  We might as well give up, but “I hope for the best,” as Jacques Cousteau once said, “although I can’t say why.”

What must be done?  Three signs are in my office: “Persevere;” taped to a nearby bookshelf;  the phrase “Eschew Surplusage,” Mark Twain’s advice for successful writing – also life as it turns out; and, “Plan your work; work your plan,” self-explanatory: choose a direction and go there.

All sorts of suck-swampwater things need immediate attention.  How should we grapple with them?  First we list them, then we figure out what to do about them.  We will call this our Progressive Agenda.  Let’s tell everybody what we’re all about.  Let’s come together on a Platform statement that really means something, then develop the legalese and workplans needed to implement it.  We must also raise a Progressive Party the likes of which cannot be stopped by the tricked voting machines of the corporatist economic elite who would be our new aristocracy.  They may be surprised to know this, but there are a lot of us who despise and will actively resist the Corporate State of America.

Our people must really galvanize, recruit and organize.  We are fighting a desperate struggle for our republic.  It has been battered, watered down, sullied and insulted, corrupted and trashed, but it is ours and we must do what we can to save it and make it whole and free again.  What is a higher long-term priority?

No short-term priority is higher than freeing our airwaves and stopping the rightwing blitz on our democratic debate.  The rightist S.O.B.s are moving faster now, spinning ever closer to violence.   This is a tricky patch for the republic and the corporatists and tea partiers.  According to the old Nazi play book, the rightists need to kill someone to stir the base to an eruption of righteous rage and revenge.  Once the magic wall is breached, more blood can and will be shed.  The Economic Elite assume they can control this mob.  They assume they can control Sarah Palin – she is stupid and probably insane, but they don’t weigh her radical religious zealotry.  This bunch of elitists is no wiser about such things than the corporatists who appointed Adolph Hitler Chancellor of Germany seventy-seven years ago.  There is an old Chinese saying: “Once every two hundred years, an irate mob shows up on the steps of the Forbidden City.”

That whole Nazi thing?  The military-industrial complex of the “Greatest Generation” brought it back home with them after the Second World War; it has been festering and spreading throughout America’s system ever since.  Robert Woodward’s book Veil about the CIA clearly shows the progression of “ends justify means” thinking.

Which brings back Obama’s unfortunate corporatism.  The corporatist agenda does not favor human survival any more than it does the rest of creation.  It is by its very nature “consuming,” and once having consumed without having sufficiently conserved or reserved, it will eat itself out of house and home, and starve to death in the wasteland.  End of species.  We’ve also changed the planet so much that the scientists are going to declare a new geological epoch; we shall pass from the Holocene to the Anthropocene, an epoch in which human activity is a major factor in changing the planet’s climate and geology.  Humanity as a terrestrial disease is about to climax like a great festering boil on the face of the earth, yet the president appoints a leading pesticide lobbyist and opponent of environmental regulation to chief agriculture negotiator in the office of the U.S. trade representative.

Not to worry, we’ve got the problem in the new Toyota fixed.  Bio-diesel too.

Climate change is accelerating.  The outlook is grim.  Oh, look who’s on the Kardashians!  Pass the Muscatel.

A “HAPPIER” NOTE:

Who says our teenagers aren’t creative?

Actual Analogies and Metaphors Found in High School Essays

  • Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had two other sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
  • His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
  • He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a Guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the danger of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.
  • She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
  • She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
  • Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
  • He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.
  • The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.
  • The little boat drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
  • McBride fell twelve stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.
  • From the attic came an unearthly howl.  The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
  •  Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.
  • Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m., traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.
  • They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.
  • John and Mary had never met.  They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.  He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.
  • The plan was simple, like my bother-in-law Phil.  But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.
  • He was as lame as a duck.  Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame.  Maybe from stepping on a landmine or something.

We must do something about education.  Catch ya later, j

Empire Building and Trust-Busting
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WAR and PEACE reprise

August 6, 2010

Older Letters to elected Officials and speculations on and about the subjects of war and recession, with links to today’s realities.  Not much has changed, except for some of the faces of the players.  Some issues are career opportunities for foot-dragging, do-nothing profiteers and cowardly politicians.  It is plain that the People must lead. 

ARAB-ISRAELI LOVE-FEST:

Ltr to Ron Wyden, Senator, OR. – January 8, 2009

The ancient Arab-Israeli confrontation is not worthy of support on either side.  Only some radical change of policy will break this savage inhumane cycle.  The Senate‘s recent unequivocal support of Israel is disgraceful.  Why do we support violence from anybody toward anybody?  Why not give peace a chance?  It has never been done, and we seem instead incapable of overcoming our religious, ethnic, and other generational prejudices.  We support people who coach their children to kill their enemies’ children.  This is madness.  It is insupportable.  The morass of the middle east does not reveal a champion for the United States to support, and Israel cannot claim the Holocaust as refuge or excuse for a holocaust of its own making that it refuses to stop.  Hamas‘ despicable actions are not an excuse for Israelis to murder, and the dead children they describe as collateral damage are not an acceptable cost for their security.

Murder and violence are what they are, not the stuff of virtue, right, or decent national policy – Israel’s, Palestine‘s, or the United States’. I urge you to re-think this issue outside of its historic insanity – and the personal blindness of culture and peer pressure.  Help devise an alternative approach to international murder and mayhem.  Help, too, to take the United States off its century-long war status.

Yours in sorrow and regret.   j

EXIT STRATEGY:

I am a veteran and senior citizen.

Ltr to Representative Earl Blumenauer, OR –  July 26, 2005   10:32 AM 

Subject: Please support House Joint Resolution 55, toward ending the Iraq occupation.

The war in Iraq has been a personal project for George Bush using American lives and treasure.  I believe he is ruining the world’s finest military.  For what?  He fights like the boneheaded English general Kitchener at Gallipoli, who observing the troops running uphill against Turkish guns said, “Stout fellows these Englishmen, they always run for the thickest part of the fence.”

Added to which, Bush’s war toys don’t work?  They do if they’re just designed to fill the pockets of his war-profiteering cronies; that’s what they accomplish.

I was glad to see that Rep. Jones is leading a bipartisan effort to press President Bush to create an exit strategy and timetable for withdrawal of our troops from Iraq.  Being an occupying force with no end in sight only fuels insurgency there.

I ask you to join the thirty other members of Congress already cosponsoring the resolution, and to support it by voting for it.  Thank you for your consideration.

IRAQ DEBATE:

Personal historical view – February 14, 2007; 3-1-08 rev.

Colin Powell said, “Don’t get into war unless it’s absolutely necessary, and when we do, go to win, no half measures,” but it doesn’t apply very much in real life.

As a Vietnam veteran, I know Johnson‘s phony Gulf of Tonkin Incident fished us into war (I was drafted).  He bought into the radical right’s communist containment scare.  The Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars wrote:

“In part, the process of deception has also been unintentional.  Much of the rhetoric and many of the actions that have accompanied our… involvement have been ad hoc responses to situations of stress: a cumulative series of reflex moves and lunges produced by deepening executive anxiety, defensiveness, alarm, desperation, and even a sensed state of siege.  Similarly in rhetoric, our ‘national honor,’ ‘[enemies] with nuclear weapons,’ and the goal of ‘peace with honor’ – all have misled the public.  At the root of executive deception is a vast amount of executive self-deception – or, .to put it bluntly, stupidity.”

America blithely ignores offers of friendship and makes enemies as fast as we can throw the first sucker punch.  This is not military sense; it’s a bad case of ideology and invention over reason and fact.  But, Americans don’t run out when the fight’s tough – see: Khe San.  We stood nearly twenty years (dating from Eisenhower putting the first American boots on the ground in the Fifties when the French got tossed out) while our military-industrial complex ruined Vietnam.  Our prolonged stay, and side invasions of Cambodia and Laos, generationally disrupted and destabilized Southeast Asia, distorted America’s rule of law, and led directly to the Bush leadership miasma.

We are now fighting a war for the health and life of the republic. Look at how the radical right Republicans and Tea Party and War Democrats have warped the nation they want us to fight for, die for, and honor. The self-destructive insanity of the radical right way of war makes it looks as if the bad guys have already won.

These are politically motivated wars, fought to extremes because of ill-informed egos and profit.  Bush’s indefensible “give war a chance” was disgusting; so is Obama’s current pursuit of it.  End the war now, no matter how wimpy it looks to arrested-adolescent bullyboys.

We’ve got a lot of positive work to do, and one dollar spent on peace really is worth ten wasted in war!

COST OF DOING WAR WITH YOU: – 3/21/08

Ltr to Rep Blumenauer; Recession and the War

The recession will force states to cut back their budgets.  Most likely, the cuts are going to affect the services that working families need to survive.

The Iraq war costs Americans more than $338 million a day.  We borrow $343 million every day to finance it.  Gas prices are close to double what they were before the war.  Oil hovers around $100 barrel [sic].

That money could help people who are hurting.  For less than we spend on the war, we could pay for affordable housing, healthcare, or education scholarships for hundreds of thousands.

Our skyrocketing debt is a growing drag on the economy, slowing recovery and robbing generations of a secure future.  Iraq sucks up the resources we need to make our economy work again.  MoveOn writes, “The tradeoffs are stark: bombs or unemployment insurance, billions for Halliburton and Blackwater, or help for people on the verge of losing their homes because of the sub prime meltdown?”

Economic forecasts will be grim as long as we continue to dump billions into a reckless war that has no end in sight.  The excessive and increasing degradation of our domestic economy is an attack on the nation.  Thank you for continuing to oppose this excessive, costly and ultimately criminal war.

LAST WORDS:

A secret reformation helped to create the United States of America; it eradicated many of the weeds of prejudice; a spirit of freedom and moderation was diffused.  The liberty of conscience was declared a common benefit, an inalienable right; the free government introduced the practice of toleration; and the narrow allowance of the laws was enlarged by the prudence and humanity of the times.  In the exercise, the mind understood the limits of its powers, and the words and shadows that might amuse the child can no longer satisfy adult reason. – Paraphrase – Gibbon, p1937.

Maybe human civilization has progressed; it depends upon what you’re measuring.  Human progress and perfectibility are two man-made ideals without much moral evidence to support them.

“One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name.” – Travis at the Alamo quoting Thomas Osbert Mordaunt, Verses Written During  the War, 1756-63.

“Sin sangre, y sin lagrimas, hay no es gloria.” – Santa Ana (“without blood, and without tears, there is no glory”).

“The urgent consideration of the public safety may undoubtedly authorize the violation of every positive law.  How far that or any other consideration may operate to dissolve the natural obligations of humanity and justice is terrible to contemplate.” – Gibbon, p830.

Politician 1:  “Why do politicians treat everyone else like idiots?”  Politician 2:  “Probably, because they voted for us in the first place.”  — Poirot, “The Incredible Theft,” BBC, David Suchet.

INTERESTING LINKS:
An American Hell: Don’t Turn the Page on History.  Facing the American world We Created, by Tom Engelhardt, www.TomDispatch.com. http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/24

San Francisco Dems Tell Pelosi to Support McGovern ‘Afghan Exit’ Bill, by Tom Gallager, www.commondreams.orghttp://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/24-3

Can America Prevail on Afghanistan/Pakistan Front? No! It’s Obama’s war now, and a Vietnam-like quagmire is dead ahead.  by Helen Thomas, www.Minneapolis/St.PaulStarTribune  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/23-13

Blackwater Seeks Gag Order, by Jeremy Scahill.  www.thenation  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/07/23-2

Biden: Afghan War is ‘Worth the Effort’.  www.bbcnews  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/07/23-0

RADICAL and NOT RIGHT:
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/07/23-2  Christian Right Aims to Change History Lessons in Texas Schools.  State’s education board to consider adding Christianity’s role in American history to curriculum [and dump all reference to labor unions among other exclusions; the larger issue is that Texas textbook decisions affect every state in the union; textbook monopoly ONLY consults Texas education board!], by Chris McGreal in Washington, The Guardian/UK
End of the World!