Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Mason Missile, November 24, 2014

by John Mason

Greetings! Yes, I was disappointed at the Republican takeover of the Senate and the retention of the “House of Representatives”–some members being wholly-owned subsidiaries of corporate interests.

From what I understand, though, this would be a false victory for the Republican right-wing tea-party element; the reality is seeping in about gerrymandering of congressional districts, voter ID suppression efforts, and voter apathy.

We have to understand that this IS the only government we have, it DOES run our country and DOES affect our quality of life. The libertarian fantasy of being by yourself and the corporations running everything is an illusion; we don’t live by ourselves, we ARE indeed dependent on each other.

One of the favorite conservative propaganda lines is “You can’t have the government do everything for you.” That’s not the point; the point is, WHO is the government working for? What government functions are the conservatives objecting to?

From the actions of the Reagan administration to today, the targets for “cutting waste in government spending” and “fighting excessive regulation” have been food stamps, occupational safety and health (OSHA), environmental protection (EPA), civil rights, health insurance, school lunches, to name a few. But military spending and the police state? No problem there.

The aforementioned programs came not from the generosity of the federal government, but after long and hard struggles by dedicated activists, working from the neighborhoods and streets, to have the federal government listen to the people, listen to the plight of workers, farmers, women, and distressed minorities, and not to be owned by the corporations…

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Obama’s USDOE: Appointed to Privatize. Period.

by Mercedes Schneider, November 23, 2014

President Barack Obama pretends to be a friend of public education, but it just is not so. Sure, the White House offers a decorative promotional on K12 education; however, if one reads it closely, one sees that the Obama administration believes education (and, by extension, those educated) should serve the economy; that “higher standards and better assessments” and “turning around our lowest achieving schools” is No Child Left Behind (NCLB) leftover casserole, and that “keeping teachers in the classroom” can only elicit prolonged stares from those of us who know better.

All of these anti-public-education truths noted, the deeper story in what the Obama administration values regarding American education lay in its selection of US Department of Education (USDOE) appointees. Their backgrounds tell the story, and it isn’t a good one for the public school student, the community school and the career K12 teacher….

keep reaading Mercedes Schneider

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Hunger Games Comes to New York State’s Public Schools

by Zephyr Teachout, The Daily Beast, 11/26/14

The same billionaires who just bought the New York State Senate now want to own public education. It’s starve, test, and destroy.

As Hunger Games-Mockingjay I opens this weekend, some commentators have noted that the hunger, as it were, for Hunger Games derives from our sense that it mimics some of the darker aspects of our politics. The closest parallel I see is in the current politics around schools, where big money, using the language of “reform,” has been tearing out the heart of traditional public education.

The same hedge-fund managers who bought the New York State Senate now want to take over public education in the state and strip it bare, while they celebrate excessive wealth in high style. They’re pushing for a special session in Albany this December to cement the takeover of education policy.

The school wars are about to begin.

While Governor Andrew Cuomo appears to be orchestrating this show, the truth is that much like Caesar Flickerman, he’s merely a stage manager, doing the bidding of those truly in power: his billionaire hedge-fund donors. The real power lies in a handful of men like Dan Loeb, who personally put up a million dollars to take over the Senate. Loeb owns a $100 million penthouse on Central Park West and a $50 million yacht. Louis Bacon, another big donor, owns land all over the world, including a grouse-hunting estate in Scotland.

Like President Snow, who starves the Districts, tests the residents with the Hunger Games competition, and then sets out to destroy them, the hedge-funders want to take over our schools with the same three steps: Starve, Test, Destroy. Budgets are cut severely, tests reveal “poor performance,” and then public schools, having been thus gutted, are replaced by privately managed charters….

continue reading at The Daily Beast

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David Koch / 1980 Libertarian platform

Kochs - 1980 platform

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by | November 21, 2014 · 10:23 pm