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Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System

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Posted on Apr 11, 2011
Photo illustration by PZS based on an image by Lin Pernille Photography

By Chris Hedges

A nation that destroys its systems of education, degrades its public information, guts its public libraries and turns its airwaves into vehicles for cheap, mindless amusement becomes deaf, dumb and blind. It prizes test scores above critical thinking and literacy. It celebrates rote vocational training and the singular, amoral skill of making money. It churns out stunted human products, lacking the capacity and vocabulary to challenge the assumptions and structures of the corporate state. It funnels them into a caste system of drones and systems managers. It transforms a democratic state into a feudal system of corporate masters and serfs.

Teachers, their unions under attack, are becoming as replaceable as minimum-wage employees at Burger King. We spurn real teachers—those with the capacity to inspire children to think, those who help the young discover their gifts and potential—and replace them with instructors who teach to narrow, standardized tests. These instructors obey. They teach children to obey. And that is the point. The No Child Left Behind program, modeled on the “Texas Miracle,” is a fraud. It worked no better than our deregulated financial system. But when you shut out debate these dead ideas are self-perpetuating.

Passing bubble tests celebrates and rewards a peculiar form of analytical intelligence. This kind of intelligence is prized by money managers and corporations. They don’t want employees to ask uncomfortable questions or examine existing structures and assumptions. They want them to serve the system. These tests produce men and women who are just literate and numerate enough to perform basic functions and service jobs. The tests elevate those with the financial means to prepare for them. They reward those who obey the rules, memorize the formulas and pay deference to authority. Rebels, artists, independent thinkers, eccentrics and iconoclasts—those who march to the beat of their own drum—are weeded out.

“Imagine,” said a public school teacher in New York City, who asked that I not use his name, “going to work each day knowing a great deal of what you are doing is fraudulent, knowing in no way are you preparing your students for life in an ever more brutal world, knowing that if you don’t continue along your scripted test prep course and indeed get better at it you will be out of a job. Up until very recently, the principal of a school was something like the conductor of an orchestra: a person who had deep experience and knowledge of the part and place of every member and every instrument. In the past 10 years we’ve had the emergence of both [Mayor] Mike Bloomberg’s Leadership Academy and Eli Broad’s Superintendents Academy, both created exclusively to produce instant principals and superintendents who model themselves after CEOs. How is this kind of thing even legal? How are such ‘academies’ accredited? What quality of leader needs a ‘leadership academy’? What kind of society would allow such people to run their children’s schools? The high-stakes tests may be worthless as pedagogy but they are a brilliant mechanism for undermining the school systems, instilling fear and creating a rationale for corporate takeover. There is something grotesque about the fact the education reform is being led not by educators but by financers and speculators and billionaires.”

Teachers, under assault from every direction, are fleeing the profession. Even before the “reform” blitzkrieg we were losing half of all teachers within five years after they started work—and these were people who spent years in school and many thousands of dollars to become teachers. How does the country expect to retain dignified, trained professionals under the hostility of current conditions? I suspect that the hedge fund managers behind our charter schools system—whose primary concern is certainly not with education—are delighted to replace real teachers with nonunionized, poorly trained instructors. To truly teach is to instill the values and knowledge which promote the common good and protect a society from the folly of historical amnesia. The utilitarian, corporate ideology embraced by the system of standardized tests and leadership academies has no time for the nuances and moral ambiguities inherent in a liberal arts education. Corporatism is about the cult of the self. It is about personal enrichment and profit as the sole aim of human existence. And those who do not conform are pushed aside. 

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“It is extremely dispiriting to realize that you are in effect lying to these kids by insinuating that this diet of corporate reading programs and standardized tests are preparing them for anything,” said this teacher, who feared he would suffer reprisals from school administrators if they knew he was speaking out. “It is even more dispiriting to know that your livelihood depends increasingly on maintaining this lie. You have to ask yourself why are hedge fund managers suddenly so interested in the education of the urban poor? The main purpose of the testing craze is not to grade the students but to grade the teacher.”

“I cannot say for certain—not with the certainty of a Bill Gates or a Mike Bloomberg who pontificate with utter certainty over a field in which they know absolutely nothing—but more and more I suspect that a major goal of the reform campaign is to make the work of a teacher so degrading and insulting that the dignified and the truly educated teachers will simply leave while they still retain a modicum of self-respect,” he added. “In less than a decade we been stripped of autonomy and are increasingly micromanaged. Students have been given the power to fire us by failing their tests. Teachers have been likened to pigs at a trough and blamed for the economic collapse of the United States. In New York, principals have been given every incentive, both financial and in terms of control, to replace experienced teachers with 22-year-old untenured rookies. They cost less. They know nothing. They are malleable and they are vulnerable to termination.”


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By ocjim, April 12, 2011 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment

Textbook Communism can be associated with the Left but fascism is right wing, along with the allied business interests. Traditionally—Italy, Germany, and Spain, the biggest—fascist countries had autocratic leaders with business dancing with them

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By truedigger3, April 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm Link to this comment

Re:By WriterOnTheStorm, April 11 at 5:24 pm

WriterOnTheStorm wrote:

“But it would be more honest to admit that most of us don’t want our kids to be intellectually independent. It makes for a lonely, tortured life haunted by a feeling of not belonging.”
—————————————-
WriterOnTheStorm,

This is a very insightful paragraph in a very insightful post. Thank you for sharing.

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By prosefights, April 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

Experience of teaching computer science at Washington State University from 1966 to 1979 led me to discover that I needed to learn new material and forget most of the old.

While at Sandia Labs in Albuquerque from 1980 to 1992 I took as many industrial courses on microcontroller hardware and software as I could.

Now I study on Internet and take seminars.

http://www.prosefights.org/cs/futurekinetis/futurekinetis.htm

College professors and teachers can become incompetent because most don’t DO.  They talk. Same with MSM.

Lot’s of BS comes out of those who are formally educated.

Example?

Commonwealth Associates, Inc. electrical engineer Frank M Currie wrote

To attempt to address your heat rate questions, the term “heat rate” from an energy production perspective refers to the amount of energy a plant produces for every unit of fuel that gets put in. Specifically, it’s the number of BTU’s needed to produce one kilowatt-hour of energy. So strictly speaking, I would say that heat rate has no real meaning for solar PV or wind, since nothing’s being burned. The efficiency of these technologies matters, of course, in that one wants to get as much energy output per unit input as possible. It’s most important implication is how quickly we burn non-renewable resources to generate electricty. So heat rate is really an expression of (thermal) generator efficiency that doesn’t have an immediate analog in renewable techonologies since we don’t consume non-renewable resources in the latter.

PNM Director, Advanced Generation Development, Greg Nelson wrote,

Heat rate is the amount of Btu’s of fossil fuel burned to generate kWh’s of electricity. Since CSPs don’t typically burn any fossil fuel (unless they have supplemental firing), the term heat rate does not apply to CSPs. I have included a definition of heat rate that I got off the net for further clarification.

A measurement used in the energy industry to calculate how efficiently a generator uses heat energy. It is expressed as the number of BTUs of heat required to produce a kilowatt-hour of energy. Operators of generating facilities can make reasonably accurate estimates of the amount of heat energy a given quantity of any type of fuel, so when this is compared to the actual energy produced by the generator, the resulting figure tells how efficiently the generator converts that fuel into electrical energy.

Truth of Nelson’s statement ‘Heat rate is the amount of Btu’s of fossil fuel burned to generate kWh’s of electricity.’ is questionable because the above PNM foil, data apparently show Geothermal as having a Heat Rate of 29,050 BTU/kWh. Nuclear 10,510 and Nuclear (PV Lease Acquisitions) 10,420 . ...


http://www.prosefights.org/unmineable/unmineable.htm#scholle

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By Orbis Unum, April 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Re: gerard, April 12 at 8:33 pm.

You State: “The local Chamber of Commerce may be your most formidable enemy. Get to know them. You are as smart as they are, maybe smarter.”

Response: Just because individuals quote or proffer subject matter closely associated to any point of view, is not a prescription for any propositional support or induction efforts. Unless otherwise stated to muster resources to foster ideologies worthy of such wherewithal.

You State: “Most teachers and administrators will appreciate your help and support your goals, which turn out to be the same as theirs.  They need you.  You need them.  GO FOR IT! And STAY WITH IT!  Don’t quit. “

Response: Oh really!

We would be more than appreciative for their support. But obviously, their goals and their willingness to be social Role Models for (1000s of years) to misrepresentation, for a pay, sure limits the idea I NEED THEM!!!

The audacity of such individuals calling themselves “teachers!!!” Never using the Science of Right Reason to instruct nor verifying the facts handed them to instruct with, before they lead a generation toward socially fundamental accepted harmonious practices! Rather, they consistently use their ideological authoritative positions, to lead astray, the little ones into abject slavery!

In furtherance thereof, we suggest if there are any so-called real teachers that are dedicated truly and honorably striving to instill the values and knowledge, which promote Good Will (not the common good, for who knows what or who’s common good they may be inferring) and protect a society from the folly of historical amnesia, we proffer for their sanity, honor, and their educational advancement towards their freely chosen self-determination, the evidenced of those who have sacrificed for years to peel away the programming of illusionist misrepresentation by social role models most have paid dearly one way or the other to expose, we offer the truth of the matter via the “4” declarations espoused by the S.E.A., published via the web links: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah and http://seagov.info/index.html, available for those honestly looking for researching the truth, in the interest of Good Will with All Walks of Life seeking Universal Peace and solution oriented paradigms to the problems of local, national, and international systemic fraud via both Centers of Governance, Education, and Religion.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Proffered via the web site earlier aforementioned!

To all seeking the just rewards and dignity in the service of truth above all, by an honorable willingness to test all things, even though sometimes it’s hard to face such truth through the eyes of false programming, designed to blind you into unknowing acceptance of subjugation, we graciously extend our most precious personal regards to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By TAO Walker, April 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

Several visits, over an extended period of ‘time,’ to the “seagov” site of “Orbis Unum” have only tended to strengthen this Old Indian’s original impression, left CONsistently by that worthy’s many all-but impenetrable posts here, of their author being unfortunately afflicted with a species of megalomaniac paranoia (or, possibly, paranoid megalomania)....coupled perhaps with a bad case of the oral ‘trots.’  He (Is it still “Arthur Alexander Augustus,” by-the-way?) asks repeatedly for any information that might refute, or even call into question, the simplistic assertions (presented as the gospel according to the “self”-made-up CONceit he calls “the science of right reason,” but otherwise completely unfounded) which he makes over-and-over-again about the Human CONdition.  Then, when some pertinent information is offered, he resorts to such ad hominem tantrums (complete with thinly-veiled threats for daring to question the ex-cathedra pronouncements emanating from His Omniscient Omnipotent Exceptional Excellency-ness….Arthur Alexander Augustus, is it?), the likes of which we’ve been treated-to again below.

“Zen” maybe has its ‘place’ in Her scheme-of-things.  Basic Biology, though, is really where-it’s-at!  “JDmysticDJ” appears, nevertheless, to employ the Zen-like rhetorical device of pretending to be scared pretty much shitless at the mere thought of a Living Planet who might be capable of responding with sentient effectiveness to the depredations of some undead wannabe parasite.  Let him search among the ORGANic constituents of his own birthday-suit, though, and ask his very own “self” if the Heart, for instance, is “feasible”....or the Ears or Feet or Lungs or Liver or Thyroid and so-on.  Is a Natural Immune System (including those among its components who are ‘separate’ symbiotic Organisms in-their-own-right) “feasible”?  Or do all of the various ‘challenges’ (to the Organic Functional Integrity of his Body), presenting as “disease,” originate exclusively “inside” it?  Is his Body just behaving insanely, therefore, when it addresses protectively (what would then have to be only an illusion of) invasive forms from “outside”? 

“Iarwain,” on-the-other-hand, seems genuinely gripped by fear at the “not going to be pretty” prospects facing those trapped, with Karl Marx, “inside history.”  What’s worse, there seems to be no HELP! for-it except more ‘hair’ of the “self”-same set of “self”-serving false idols (ideological/institutional/technical) whose witless worship has done such a bang-up job of getting history’s hapless inmates’ own collective “self” sent-up-the-river in the first place.  Still, there is that well-trained reflexive denigrating dismissal of any suggestion that there might be an actual Way out-of “history,” and back into the big wide wonderful Living Universe within which the tiny pitiful DEAD END morality-play called “Human history” is being so sophomoronically and “self”-referentially (and -reverentially) acted-out every Day by billions of “individual” IDentities.  It’s no laughing-matter, “Iarwain” insists, but offers no healthier response at-all….to the damned charade’s CONtrived and relentless idiocy.

It’s ALL in the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity….The Tao of Humanity, Sisters and Brothers.

HokaHey!

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By Leefeller, April 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment

I have some real problems fielding the concept that fascists can be on both sides of the freeway! How can a fascist be from the left?

Who was it who stated; the difference between liberals and Conservatives; Conservatives agree on everything, while liberals bicker about everything!..............apparently so, but me thinks some Conservatives are doing a little bit O fluff on this liberal site!

So, back to my Fascist comment: how can a liberal be a fascist?

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By Jim Yell, April 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem addressed here was a combination of misdirected efforts of the left to give diplomas to everyone who attends school, while the right with drew their children and had no need to worry about the reduced standards in Public Schools.

The effort to enhance the education of minorities led to reducing and dismissing the founding fathers as important to having laid the ground work for our modern progressive country and now the product is some what more flawed than it should be. We now have a population that is ignorant of even George Washington and nobody in public schools read true evaluations of why what the founding fathers did was important to all Americans. Instead we give too much time to apologizing for the times they lived in, when in fact much of the world was much worse.

One of the worst things that happened was teaching that minority people had a different reality and couldn’t learn unless the teaching was structured around their poverty. It was well intentioned but it helped create people with no appreciation for the actual advantages they had received.

I am not saying people should be taught to obey, but they need to understand their obligations as well as their rights and privleges.

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By ocjim, April 12, 2011 at 4:57 pm Link to this comment

I think we all know that conservatives don’t want a democracy. The uneducated make for an insecure, easily molded group of voters or non-voters who are too busy making a meager living to vote. The remainder who are progressive are always ignored or demonized by right-wing propaganda.

A good education does not fit into the the conservative plan for a plutocratic tyranny.

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By gerard, April 12, 2011 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment

Tens of thousands of words later, here I come again, just to repeat what was virtually ignored by one and all, yet still seems to me to be the heart of the problem with education:
Why do we— in government and out— keep on insisting in shooting ourselves in the foot? And then writing reams of empty sentences about how somebody else is shooting us in the foot?
  Education needs help.  Much of ordinary undergrad education is organized and operated at the LOCAL level.  Access is easy.  Just join PTA (or the private school equivalent),  go to school board meetings or organize a citizen’s action committe to support public education. 
  The local Chamber of Commerce may be your most formidable enemy. Get to know them. You are as smart as they are, maybe smarter.
  Most teachers and administrators will appreciate your help and support your goals, which turn out to be the same as theirs.  They need you.  You need them.  GO FOR IT! And STAY WITH IT!  Don’t quit.
  Frankly, for the life of me I can’t see any use at all in a stream of wrangling invective like this. Not even venting ad nauseum will help improve education.  (And by the way, don’t underestimate the worldwideweb as part of the cure for ignorance.  When leaders from both the pro- and the anti-letariat everywhere are gradually becoming aware of each other and of constructive suggestions for getting together, all is not lost.

Take a deep breath.

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By zonth_zonth, April 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

just put some marketing, I mean ‘philanthropic’ computers equiped with internet and the newest Windows 7 into all the public and inner city schools along with some ipads and ALL WILL BE SOLVED.

How did the self educated longshoreman-laborer (Eric Hoffer) become so psychologically, philosophically, and Historically knowledgeable?

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By Inherit The Wind, April 12, 2011 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

Its the problem with it’s altitude hear that you’re minds are already made up hear and their that eye cant spell. I’ll just go with Marx too get my sizzers end cut and paste it their. Is this two much?

Witch Marx is hear with me? Why Harpo Marx, of coarse!

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By Arouete, April 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

“a centralized system of indoctrination, training and propaganda one of whose most important products is the conviction that no learning or knowledge can exist outside its sphere of domination and regulation. ... the existing organism has strong means of resistance and strategic depth in the surrounding community.”

Ugh! My eyes glaze over. And your point (buried in this tangled, snarled, wordy, pseudo-intellectual, jargon-infested, syntax) is? What on EARTH is this person trying to say? How is it relevant to the comment that provoked it? 

Here you have it folks! A perfect proof that our investment in education can’t produce a person capable of constructing a simple and comprehendible sentence. Reading some of this drivel one can only wonder: My God! WHO writes this stuff! A perfect example of what Chris points to: the ability to write a comprehensible sentence is not something that can be proven by standardized testing; the ability to think, to write clearly, to communicate effectively and simply is seriously lacking; and all the pretentious argot and pseudo-intellectual drivel concocted by such clones is an embarrassing facade beneath which reside a very muddled mind.

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By Orbis Unum, April 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

Re: Mack, April 12 at 7:02 pm.

You State: “I am now trying to do my ‘Martha’ work.  Martha as you know is of bible fame.  She’s the dimwit who only knew how to do menial tasks, so her sister, the schmart one, could get private tutoring from Jesus.”

Response: It has been a very long time that someone has brought my sacrificial sacred honorable heart to actual tears!!!!!!!!!!!!

May I always strive with my whole sacred heart, with my guiding spiritual temperance, unworthy bodily efforts, mental limitations, and exhausted eternal soul, to serve what I’m an so unworthy of. The honor I strive to show forth, for the sacrifices of others strive toward in maintaining Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

In pursuit thereof, we proffer for those seeking educational advancement towards Good Will freely chosen self-determination, the evidenced of those who have sacrificed for years to peel away the programming of illusionist misrepresentation by social role models most have paid dearly one way or the other to expose, we offer the truth of the matter via the “4” declarations espoused by the S.E.A., published via the web links: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah and http://seagov.info/index.html, available for those honestly looking for researching the truth, in the interest of Good Will with All Walks of Life seeking Universal Peace and solution oriented paradigms to the problems of local, national, and international systemic fraud via both Centers of Governance, Education, and Religion.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Proffered via the web site earlier aforementioned!

To all seeking the just rewards and dignity in the service of truth above all, by an honorable willingness to test all things, even though sometimes it’s hard to face such truth through the eyes of false programming, designed to blind you into unknowing acceptance of subjugation, we graciously extend our most precious personal regards to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By Orbis Unum, April 12, 2011 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

Re: Mack, April 12 at 6:45 pm.

You State: “I believe because I am an ignoramus.”

Response: It has been alleged as stated, e.g. “I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter unto my roof.”

But once again, I am astounded by the nature of life’s ability to find a way to remind me, that Life can recognize their demise!

And for this, Life reminds me of why it demands of me, my total sacrifice to ensure such steppingstones for those present and such future generations hereafter, which finds themselves capable and able to confront their own ignorance and then willing to sacrifice by whatever reasonable means to Stand in opposition to oblivion!!! 

I am honored not personally by you comments brethren but greatly humbled by your honor!

For this, please accept my gracious dedication and pledge towards whatever efforts I find at my disposal to foster the future you and those who think like you deserve! My your children find the courage to follow in the footsteps of similar Honor!

In furtherance thereof, we suggest previewing for your educational advancement towards your freely chosen self-determination, the evidenced of those who have sacrificed for years to peel away the programming of illusionist misrepresentation by social role models most have paid dearly one way or the other to expose, we offer the truth of the matter via the “4” declarations espoused by the S.E.A., published via the web links: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah and http://seagov.info/index.html, available for those honestly looking for researching the truth, in the interest of Good Will with All Walks of Life seeking Universal Peace and solution oriented paradigms to the problems of local, national, and international systemic fraud via both Centers of Governance, Education, and Religion.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Proffered via the web site earlier aforementioned!

To all seeking the just rewards and dignity in the service of truth above all, by an honorable willingness to test all things, even though sometimes it’s hard to face such truth through the eyes of false programming, designed to blind you into unknowing acceptance of subjugation, we graciously extend our most precious personal regards to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By Orbis Unum, April 12, 2011 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment

Re: Manchego, April 12 at 6:29 pm.

You State: “The destruction of education and blunting of children’s natural curiosity are being inflicted all over the world.  It is intended to produce only the dumb unthinking animals that they say we are, fit only to buy and to kill others of our kind to orders.”

Response: So….are you ready to prove them wrong via any pledge of your Life, Wealth, and Sacred Honor? Whether you agree or disagree with what we’ve created to state otherwise, to their presumptuous idiocracy via the S.E.A.?

If not? We suggest you kindly kiss the hands that feed you the dung heap you incessantly complain about and be prepared to lick the boots kicking your ass into oblivion!!!

You State: “The process is being perpetrated via the publishers of ‘educational’ materials, and they are not doing this by spontansous coincidence.  They are doing this on the orders of those who finance their activities and ensure their monoply. “

Response: So are you ready to stop financing via your illicitly extracted livelihood to support such Orders, which ensures the creative oligarchies beliefs in whatever means, they deem justifiable, too reach their goal for what they deem is humanities humanitarian enslavement?

Again, if not? We suggest you kindly kiss the hands that feed you the dung heap of fodder you incessantly complain about and be prepared to lick the boots kicking both your ass and those of your children into oblivion!!!

If so, we suggest previewing for your educational advancement towards your freely chosen self-determination, the evidenced of those who have sacrificed for years to peel away the programming of illusionist misrepresentation by social role models most have paid dearly one way or the other to expose, we offer the truth of the matter via the “4” declarations espoused by the S.E.A., published via the web links: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah and http://seagov.info/index.html, available for those honestly looking for researching the truth, in the interest of Good Will with All Walks of Life seeking Universal Peace and solution oriented paradigms to the problems of local, national, and international systemic fraud via both Centers of Governance, Education, and Religion.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Proffered via the web site earlier aforementioned!

To all seeking the just rewards and dignity in the service of truth above all, by an honorable willingness to test all things, even though sometimes it’s hard to face such truth through the eyes of false programming, designed to blind you into unknowing acceptance of subjugation, we graciously extend our most precious personal regards to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By Manchego, April 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

The destruction of education and blunting of children’s natural curiosity are being inflicted all over the world.  It is intended to produce only the dumb unthinking animals that some say we are, fit only to buy and to kill others of our kind to orders.

The process is being perpetrated via the publishers of ‘educational’ materials, and they are not doing this by spontansous coincidence.  They are doing this on the orders of those who finance their activities and ensure their monopoly.

And who are they?

Oh, surely I don’t have to tell you yet again!

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By Manchego, April 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

The destruction of education and blunting of children’s natural curiosity are being inflicted all over the world.  It is intended to produce only the dumb unthinking animals that they say we are, fit only to buy and to kill others of our kind to orders.

The process is being perpetrated via the publishers of ‘educational’ materials, and they are not doing this by spontansous coincidence.  They are doing this on the orders of those who finance their activities and ensure their monoply.

And who are they?

Oh, surely I don’t have to tell you yet again!

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By Orbis Unum, April 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm Link to this comment

Re: Leefeller, April 12 at 5:43 pm.

You State: “I like my quote better then the Orbus Chambers quote.  I prfer not to trust the Chamber Pot, even if I had an exploding desire to take a Wikileak! “

Response: Other than the obvious correction were noted concerning quotation remarks, I thoroughly enjoyed your humorus prose! Thanks!

As for those wishing to purview evidence of those who have sacrificed for years to peel away the programming of illusionist misrepresentation by social Role Models, most have paid dearly one way or the other to expose, we offer the truth of the matter via the “4” declarations espoused by the S.E.A., published via the web links: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah and http://seagov.info/index.html, available for those honestly looking for researching the truth, in the interest of Good Will with All Walks of Life seeking Universal Peace and solution oriented paradigms to the problems of local, national, and international systemic fraud via both Centers of Governance, Education, and Religion.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Proffered via the web site earlier aforementioned!

To all seeking the just rewards and dignity in the service of truth above all, by an honorable willingness to test all things, even though sometimes it’s hard to face such truth through the eyes of false programming, designed to blind you into unknowing acceptance of subjugation, we graciously extend our most precious personal regards to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By ohoh, April 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Please do some research into this topic. Google Search Gulen Charter Schools and Gulen Weebly.I think Chris needs to investagate this. Also in Texas the Turkish lobbying group had press for the state to offer bonds for there charter schols. These bonds are unsecured and they will have no accountabilty to pay them back. It is like free money give away to speacial intrest and forignors who will have no accouuntabilty to pay that money back.

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By Orbis Unum, April 12, 2011 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Re: Mack, April 12 at 4:30 pm.

You State: “We can become the policemen of the world, a noble cause.  We can use our children, and let the military educate or train them.”

Response: What makes you believe the U.S. Constitution didn’t establish a military body of governance, to enforce an educational re-organizational mindset to service a debt (per Article VI) foisted upon ignoramuses wherever possible. And what’s so noble about this?

The fact is you have always had a military form of governance established to enforce service of the engagements (with evidence in support thereof, when Pres. Washington reduced & divided the once sovereign States of the Confederation to mere Military Districts) entered into by the creators of the confederation (The United States of America), which has been reduced as the Grand Corporation since the Treaty of Paris was executed (1782-83) by the People of the United States (per Preamble of the U.S. Constitution. 

As far as your willingness to use children to enforce a police state…matters not! You will do as your told from a position of Military Order! Solely because you have chosen slavery not only for yourselves but it appears from your statements that your even willing to volunteer untold millions of other children. From this Stand-point or should I say the lack of Standing, to chose to do otherwise!

Now don’t take me wrong, as if I’m being disrespectful of your choices! I’m just saying you might consider leaving such choices to others and their children as they see fit! Don’t you believe? Or is this request seemingly too unreasonable for what your nobleese oblige? 

And if anyone wishes to choose freedom over any such voluntary or volunteered slavery aforementioned, they may choose to click on the web link http://seagov.info/, for further simple discussions, appertaining to the Right of Self-determination of All Walks of Life, to evolve in the interest of Universal Peace via supporting constructs applicable thereto.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Proffered via the web site earlier aforementioned!

To all seeking the just rewards and dignity in the service of truth above all, by an honorable willingness to test all things, even though sometimes it’s hard to face such truth through the eyes of false programming, designed to blind you into unknowing acceptance of subjugation, we graciously extend our most precious personal regards to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By Leefeller, April 12, 2011 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

Orbis Unum, I Leefeller did not write the following, ......note the quotes below and in the orginal!

“THIS SENIOR CITIZEN NAILED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Going to the Chamber of Commerce for information on   anything regarding soccial programs ,seems like going to the KKK for information on human rights!

Orbus comment and then Chamber quote;

“Response: As for any presumed idea of facts related to the Myth of the Social Security Trust Fund…let us express it in the terms of the opinions (facts) put forth by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, e.g., to wit:”

“When a new bond is issued, it is printed on a laser printer located at the Bureau of the Public Debt’s Martinsburg, WV office. The bond is then carried across the room and put in a fireproof filing cabinet. That filing cabinet is the Social Security trust fund.”

So Orbus, it seems your point is money placed in the SSI has been taken out or never placed in a safe place and used like a toy in the politicl toy box? Maybe your point is the bonds should be placed a bit further away from the printer,..... like in the Military Complex safe?

The following quote says the same damn thing your Chamber quote does, but much more to the point? It seems we are saying the same thing…...Does it nesistate being an econimist in order to figure out when one is getting screwed?


“3 My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other Americans,
were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until
you political pukes decided to raid the account and give OUR money to a
bunch of zero ambition losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the
system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would have
made Bernie Madoff proud.”

I like my quote better then the Orbus Chambers quote.  I prfer not to trust the Chamber Pot, even if I had an exploding desire to take a Wikileak!

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

The social security ‘trust fund’ has been mentioned. 

This has always been understood as a ‘pay as you go’ system, and not necessarily one where taxes on future generations need necessarily be raised.  The social contract as I understand it says roghly:  work hard at something productive, and the bankers, captains of industry, politicians and wealth holders will invest in the country in such a way as to create more prosperity and productivity, real wealth.  Said wealth, as part of a revenue stream of our government, as collected from the healthy 20-60 year olds, is more than adequate that the under 20ish crowd can be well educated to take their place as the productive class someday.  That productive class, the 20-60 year olds, in an economy with modern machinery and technologies, can easily produce the surplus required to pay-as-you-go for Social Security for the retired and disabled. 

Now what went wrong with that?  What happened to the capital, human and physical?  Per Otter of ‘Animal House’, “You fucked up… you trusted us! Hey, make the best of it!”  Yes, let’s just give social security and education over to the private sector.  Ask the US chamber of commerce if they’ll look out for the public’s best interests.  Sure they will.

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By JDmysticDJ, April 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

By TAO Walker, April 11 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

Tao Walker my wise and esoteric friend, you are the master of a post-modern neo-Tao Te Ching. Your aphorisms and analogies are very Zen-like in their esoteric cogency.

I concur with your description of Hedges’ writings as being “Grim” but I find your writings to be even grimmer. It’s hard to “believe” that Hedges’ recommendations will somehow extricate us from our current dilemma, but at least Hedges is suggesting change we can have some hope for, your recommendations for change, though astute in their esoteric spirituality, seem to me to be hopeless in their lack of feasibility. 

I’ll include myself in this brotherhood of grims. It seems to me that Mother Nature herownself has displayed a body language that is threatening. Her actions of late have demonstrated a kind of nihilistic attitude. She seems to be engaged in a neurotic, if not insane, behavior, putting, “Her Living Arrangement of a wannabe parasitical sub-species which has thrown-away en masse the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity without which it is all just so much undead-meat….in a latter-day “zombie jamboree,” in existential jeopardy. Could it be that the “Great Spirit” has written Mother Nature off, and now considers her to be a wayward and failed experiment in the creation of a viable living order, and that Mother Nature has spawned herownself the “retro-viral entities,” that threaten her dysfunctional living arrangement? Mother Nature appears to be brewing up a lethal Jamestown Guyana Kool Aid, which will be the end game, not just for the “retro-viral entities” but for the “Free Wild Peoples,” and herownself as well.

Endeavoring to be optimistic, I’ll suggest that Mother Nature may be administering a kind of “Tough love” punishment, intended to be instructive and therapeutic. If so, I’ll suggest that Hedges may be a kind of teacher, or doctor, if you will. Let’s hope that Hedges’ pupils don’t fail their exam, or succumb to the disease that infects them.

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By Orbis Unum, April 12, 2011 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

Re: Leefeller, April 12 at 3:14 pm.

You State: ““THIS SENIOR CITIZEN NAILED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” “

Response: As for any presumed idea of facts related to the Myth of the Social Security Trust Fund…let us express it in the terms of the opinions (facts) put forth by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, e.g., to wit:

“When a new bond is issued, it is printed on a laser printer located at the Bureau of the Public Debt’s Martinsburg, WV office. The bond is then carried across the room and put in a fireproof filing cabinet. That filing cabinet is the Social Security trust fund.”

For those wishing to explore “Myth” related programming, please avail yourselves of such revelations that maybe revealed for your perfect condition to be duped by the preverbial Centers of Governance, Education, and Religions to enslave you to the State of oblivious Ignoramuses, by your own freely chosen labor to foster both your own demise and subjugation as well as those of your own children’s subjugation!

How? You ask! Just type in the word “Myth” into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s search engine, located toward the top right-hand of their web page located here: http://tinyurl.com/3ku47pp

There are those of us who have pierced the veil of local, national, and global governmental misrepresentation via illusions foisted upon us by Centers of Education from womb to tomb for centuries. But like that old saying goes, e.g., ‘[y]ou can fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time!”

As evidenced of those who have sacrificed for years to peel away the programming of illusionist misrepresentation by social role models most have paid dearly one way or the other to expose, we offer the truth of the matter via the “4” declarations espoused by the S.E.A., published via the web links: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah and http://seagov.info/index.html, available for those honestly looking for researching the truth, in the interest of Good Will with All Walks of Life seeking Universal Peace and solution oriented paradigms to the problems of local, national, and international systemic fraud via both Centers of Governance, Education, and Religion.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Proffered via the web site earlier aforementioned!

To all seeking the just rewards and dignity in the service of truth above all, by an honorable willingness to test all things, even though sometimes it’s hard to face such truth through the eyes of false programming, designed to blind you into unknowing acceptance of subjugation, we graciously extend our most precious personal regards to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By kat huff, April 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s happening at the University level as well.  It’s equally insipid and has no place in places like economics where you really teach critical thinking as much as content. This turns economics into trivial pursuit of statistics and jargon. The accrediting institute—the AACSB—is forcing a program of ‘accountability’ which is just more passing standardized testing and the administration in most schools are over-doing it.  I was recently relieved from my duties at a university in Louisiana for questioning the validity of using department enforced tests in every class as well as asking if this was not just a sneak attack on academic freedom. We’re being forced into more standardized class content and approaches to teaching all the time by this. It’s not about learning content or critical thinking and skills but making sure professors are sticking to what the administration and others considers ‘acceptable’ material.

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By Leefeller, April 12, 2011 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

I see a much larger picture,  but it is not just the teachers. They are only one small part of the scripted Republican/ Tea Bag offensive.  Obviously they have been bought and paid for by benefactors well hidden behind the curtains.

I received an email which clearly emulates my feelings in general but this one address Social Security and Medicare, but clearly address my feelings towards politicians. It could be used to address schools and teachers?  FYI:

“THIS SENIOR CITIZEN NAILED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Alan Simpson, Senator from Wyoming, Co-Chair of Obama’s deficit
commission, calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation as he
compared “Social Security” to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats.”


“August, 2010.

Here’s a response in a letter from a unknown fellow in Montana…
I think he is a little ticked off! He also tells it like it is ! “
————————————————————————————————————-

“Hey Alan, let’s get a few things straight..

1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole for FIFTY
YEARS.

2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15
years old. I am now 63).

3 My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other Americans,
were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until
you political pukes decided to raid the account and give OUR money to a
bunch of zero ambition losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the
system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would have
made Bernie Madoff proud.

4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and your ilk pulled the
proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing
retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to
age 67. NOW, you and your shill commission is proposing to move the
goalposts YET AGAIN.

5.  I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare
from Day One, and now you morons propose to change the rules of the
game. Why? Because you idiots mismanaged other parts of the economy to
such an extent that you need to steal money from Medicare to pay the
bills.

6. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our
entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why?
Because you incompetent bastards spent our money so profligately that
you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now, you come
to the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay off YOUR debt.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To add insult to injury, you label us “greedy” for calling “bullshit” on
your incompetence. Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions for
YOU.

1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during
your pathetic 50-year political career?

2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and
how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the
American taxpayers?

3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?

4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you
proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or, as usual,
have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?

It is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co-conspirators called

Congress who are the “greedy” ones. It is you and your fellow nutcases
who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from millions
of loyal, patriotic taxpayers. And for what? Votes. That’s right, sir.
You and yours have bankrupted America for the sole purpose of advancing
your pathetic political careers. You know it, we know it, and you know
that we know it.

And you can take that to the bank, you miserable son of a bitch.”

Alleged Citizens comment!

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By Allen Johnson, April 12, 2011 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

I strongly agree with Hedge’s thesis that the misplaced “teaching for the test” deforms education to that of inculcating robot minds.

This methodology teaches people to spit out answers rather than to wrestle with knowledge and the issues of life. This, of course, is how soldiers in the military are indoctrinated. The corporate world, too, wants to indoctrinate this ethos into our children.

I sense this pedagogy, too often, in religious institutions such as churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. Indoctrination rather than challenge and guidance.

However, I believe Hedges is a bit optimistic concerning the teaching profession. Good people, sure, most of them. But they, too, as a rule have been indoctrinated in the same education system, and therefore have only modest self-ability to challenge and wrestle with knowledge. Nonetheless, they need space and encouragement to do so.

Furthermore, as any teacher knows, a child’s parents (and too often, just parent, or grandparent)is key to influencing a child’s development. Parents ultimately have the responsibility to educate their child, and if, as most do, they give some of that responsibility to a surrogate (teacher), they still must shoulder their own load.

My wife and I home schooled our four sons through eighth grade. We are so glad we did. They are personable, sociable, highly equipped academically, responsible in their communities and to their families, creative, self-giving, with strong work ethics, and have strong social conscience ethics. This was our goal when we schooled them, and we put our hand to the plow.

When they did enter public high school, they had the insight and courage to challenge (such as the Persian Gulf War).

The ultimate question, as far as justifying public funds for education, is this (in my opinion): We expend funds in order to equip youth to have high moral character and integrity including honesty, compassion for the vulnerable, social and civic responsibility, AND with the academic and physical skills and creativity to maximize their ability to exercise this responsibility to society.

On the other hand, I would much prefer that “selfish pigs” not be educated. I figure that a high school dropout “selfish pig” is much safer for society than an Ivy-League graduate “selfish pig” who goes to Wall Street, becomes an attorney, investment banker, etc.

Schools alone cannot form character, but require strong parenting and a supportive community. But institutions of higher learning can select and reject student applicants, and should do so much more on character than just on SAT scores and the like.

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By Mark Notzon, April 12, 2011 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I despair as many do of public education in this country, and was thankful to teach abroad for a number of years in the Third World where palpable hardships often made a life of the mind, formal or informal,  at any level, a rigorous art; whereas in American schools, or at least middle income ones, snazzy infrastructure and special effects technology, and “feel good” pedagogy, disguise an appalling lack of substance, not to mention common sense.

But I can agree only in part with Chris Hedge’s critique. He does correctly identify the corporatist folly of Bloomberg’s “fast food” administrative franchise, and the threat that this thinking poses to public education. However, he does not mention how Schools of Education, who are largely responsible for molding the administrators and teachers that spend their waking hours in public schools, have also degraded the notion of schooling and of pedagogy, producing several generations of kids wallowing in “self esteem.”  Many with “learning disorders” are given the best medication that “educationism” can supply, with the “best of intentions,” of course. To believe in the Enlightenment principle of public education should not give one license to ignore how sloppily that principle has been interpreted in America over the past forty years.

I don’t think there will be a renaissance of education fostered by either left or right idealogies. Idealogy, which is an oversimplification of thought, is part of the problem. For example, it isn’t “Which is better: Standardized testing or what is called “outcomes based” pedagogy?” The issue is that the standardized testing offered is shabby and shallow, and that the so-called “natural” pedagogy is mindless and vacuous. The surfeit of digital technology in the classroom wraps both balonies in a fancy skin.

American public education is a twin engine failure, and the airship is going into a tailspin, accelerated downwards by the gravity of general ignorance, increasing every day.

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By Anarcissie, April 12, 2011 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

Arouete, April 11 at 10:26 pm:

‘... The answer to all your questions is simple Chris and I think Joseph Stiglitz might well agree: The right Reverent Jeremiah Wright may have been a bit of a crack-pot but he got one thing right: our government (and the 1% who own it) know one thing for sure - if they want to keep power to themselves “You gotta keep the People ignorant. You gotta keep the People ignorant.” ...’

In that case the ruling class would be well advised to support the existing education industry—a centralized system of indoctrination, training and propaganda one of whose most important products is the conviction that no learning or knowledge can exist outside its sphere of domination and regulation.

It seems extremely improbable, then, that the ruling class is trying to destroy schools, as Hedges insists.  That contention seems to be more of his all-too-habitual hysteria.  A kleptocracy might neglect them, but most clever kleptocrats would see in them yet another opportunity to steal.

In fact, most of the recent foofarrah about the schools has not been about destroying schools but managing them.  An attempt to break the unions, partition teachers and schools into competing social classes, and install MBAs as administrators is simply the application of modern corporate management techniques to the industry.  It is not new; corporations were talking about taking over the schools and running them as profit-making enterprises goes back to the 1970s at least.  The education industry seems ripe for such a takeover because of its authoritarianism, but as the Cathie Black debacle shows, the existing organism has strong means of resistance and strategic depth in the surrounding community.  The struggle will no doubt continue.  Stakeholders in the existing system (including many ‘progressives’) will continue to proclaim that change is death, while corporate opportunists will continue to seek openings for power and profit.

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By Tom Williams, April 12, 2011 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

So Iarwain you feel qualified to comment exactly one hour after I posted my comment, when the movie I invited people to watch is 2 hours 40 mins in length & our previous movie Zeitgeist Adendum is 2 hours. Unless you have an in depth prior knowledge of our work I`d say your response was premature but you sound like a naysayer & slightly negative, what about if those 7 billion people were to lend a helping hand rather than fire a gun?

No we haven`t got all the answers, evolution did not stop with us growing thumbs & in an emergent universe I like to think we learn something new everyday. What we are offering is not perfect or utopian as that is impossible but it would be a lot better system than we have today.

Yes we are “inescapably inside history” but we have the power to make history, you cannot change the past but you can create the future & anyone who tells you different, to quote the rapper Immortal technique,

“Is a fucking lying, lethargic, devil”

The material world is “not just an illusion” I`ve seen suffering around the world close up & first hand,
“God most certainly won`t take care of it” because he/she is most certainly an illusion a man made construct to explain the scientifically unexplainable phenomena in the past & to socially control the population.
Ntaure will do what nature will, nature doesn`t give a fuck about me or you but we need to care about nature because without the life support systems provided by her we die so we need to take care of our environment & currently within this system we are living on the edge, nature is a dictatorship, earthquakes & tsunamis don`t give a fuck about who you vote for, how much you earn, what nationality or what colour you are. Watch either of the movies & get back to me.

You say “it`s not going to be pretty”

I say what if enough of us got off our asses & tried something so new & radical that we couldn`t fail & it was pretty, I know you live in a culture that is not pretty, glorification of violence, celebration of stupidity, (Palin, O`reilly, moronic entertainment etc.) The celebration of consuming tons of useless crap, waging war on innocent people to steal their resources (oil & minerals)Paying people billions of dollars for doing nothing for society but screwing the rest of the population & no it`s not human nature to be greedy like this, it`s human behaviour & that can be changed, we all have the same basic human needs, water, shelter, fresh air, good food & a good life for our friends & kids, people have more in common than differences,

I`d rather live on my feet than die on my knees.

Watch the movies read our materials & get back to me

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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By mindful, April 12, 2011 at 10:22 am Link to this comment

The argument presented here is somewhat polarizing and sadly, is a cop out.
Why the cop out, because the basics need to be in place before one lands in the classroom of a socrates.

In public schools, especially grades K-8, basic learning skills need be taught. A student must learn the basics albeit intuitively, of logic. How do all human problems at least in science and math, require the skill of analysis.

When I was in school, I was a quiet kid and ignored, thought possibly retarded. Teachers were demontrative and favoring certain types of good looking extroverted students. They ignored their task.
So today, I remain after 45 years still cynical about teachers.

I do agree we need the basics and after that open the doors to creative thought. Before the basic skills are mastered and demonstrated, lets leave the liberal arts in a box.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, April 12, 2011 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

CH might have taken a paragraph to mention the long-standing displacement of valuing the teacher with the valuing of ‘coaches’.  So-called ‘athletics’, sports, have contributed greatly to the cult of self worship, class orientation, and this super-star sort of mentality.  It’s not an isolated topic, it’s a major component of the ‘bread and circus’ that distracts us from important aspects of life after formal education, but the damage, merely by displacement of students and parents time and energy alone, of sports upon the students potential education, massively diminishes potential and opportunity. 

For those who like complex puzzles, the tentacles of this ‘opiate religion of sports’ is a marvel.

But on the original topic…Chris, don’t think that the majority of ‘teachers’ are not complicit in the ills and evils you enumerate.  Education does not have a culture which seriously polices itself and purges the incompetent.  The problem requires a holistic solution.

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By Iarwain, April 12, 2011 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

Everybody’s got the answer, eh Tom, TOA?  The question Marx would ask is “How are you going to get there from here?  You’re inescapably inside history.”  You have seven billion people to work with, many of whom are desperate enough to pull a trigger at the command of a property owner.  Discussion helps.  New ideas help.  Learning helps.  Yet when it comes time to take real power away from those who currently enjoy it (as any proposed solution requires—except ignoring it because, you know, the material world is just an illusion/God is in control/Nature will correct itself, yada yada yada), it’s still not going to be pretty.

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By Salome, April 12, 2011 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks to “WriterontheStorm” for so clearly expressing thoughts that I have been unable to organize, and articulate.  Anyone unwilling to bend to power, to go-along-to-get-along, will be, at best, marginalized, at worst, instutionalized in prison, or in a mental health facility as a crackpot, unless she has the personal means to prevent such an assault.

Think of how the U.S. political system was so frightened of Ralph Nader that they wouldn’t let him in the Presidential debates.  Heaven forfend that Nader should have a national platform to ask questions that might embarass the elite, enlighten the masses, encourage rebellion.

Maybe it has ever been thus but what a sad commentary on humanity.

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By Tom Williams, April 12, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

People,
    the political, socio & economic system you are living under is coming to an end, you are under the illusion that you can `fix` this system. The monetary system & the gangsters who run the banks, corporations,  political system & military cannot be changed because the corruption is built into it, it cannot be changed it has to be transcended in it`s entirety.In other words we have to adopt an entirly new socio economic system. Nobody here offers a viable alternative, we do. It`s called a RESOURCE BASED ECONOMY.No money, no pointless soul destroying jobs, no bankers, no lawyers, no insurance no more bullshit basically. And no it`s not Marxism, socialism or Libertarinism those things are all out of date
Einstein once said, “insanity is doing the same thing over & over again & expecting a different result each time”
Sound familiar?

Go to http://www.zeitgeistmovingforward.com  watch the movie `Moving forward` & join the movement for real change.
http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com
http://www.thevenusproject.com

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By FRTothus, April 12, 2011 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

“it’s” = it is
“its” = belonging to “it”
“your” = belongs to you
“you’re” = you are
“too” = also

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By RayLan, April 12, 2011 at 8:15 am Link to this comment

The ‘who’ of market control is collective and corporate - there are actually people with huge bankrolls that are part of this ‘who’. Supercaptialism is not a force beyond human control but a force driven by human control.
The form of power is organizational whose consitutient parts are human (unbelieavably).

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By RayLan, April 12, 2011 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Shenonymous
“While I think you have a scrupulous perspective, of your set of diverse
“experts,” Alan MacDonald, some talk a good game, others do not.  I
have yet to see that any of them have influenced anything in politics,
directly or indirectly.  And especially nothing for the good of the
ordinary people.  Their kind of intellectualism, like Richard Wolins’
intellectuals, is sterile.  Actions speak louder than words, so I’ve been
told. “

Anti-intellectual Shenonymous has spoken - the canard that thinking is somehow at odds with action is the usual support for that kind of ‘no-nonsense’ bluster.
Fanatics and terrorists use the same kind of rhetoric - mocking the intelligentsia as effete and ineffectual.

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By rtb61, April 12, 2011 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

The reality, it has absolutely nothing to do with education, it has nothing to do with results, even less to do with the future of children.
It is all nothing but ‘RAH RAH’ politics, they don’t give a crap about outcomes as long as they get elected and get their chance a the GOP trough.
Why will it be a disaster because those hoping to set the rules do not give a crap beyond how much money they are going to personally make doing it.
As for their idiot supporters, well it’s all about thinking from the gut, about being the decider, knowledge, understanding, qualifications, that has got nothing to do with revenge for spending years being the below average part of class and how it was all their teachers fault, see, the GOP says so.

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By Arouete, April 12, 2011 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

Chris: I’m not so sure I agree with you on public school teachers v. charter schools but my knowledge and experience in these regards, though very different, is also very limited so I defer to your more informed judgment.

What the infamous 1% who control education in America (the same 1% that owns all of Congress under the Dome) understand is this: Only radical change, revolution of some sort, can unseat them or cause anything like an equitable distribution of income and political power that is absolutely necessary for America to evolve as you envision. They know that, despite crackpot militia wingnuts, violent revolution has no chance. So the only radical revolution left is the Radical Enlightenment of the Mind, a revolution of Reason as Tom Paine, Diderot and d’Hollbach saw it and as Jonathan Israel wrote of. 

Keep the People ignorant, keep them too dumbed-down to *reason* effectively, and the controlling 1% need never fear loss of power and wealth. Give the People only certain tools to serve the masters.  Intended or not you put your finger right on it.  Therefore their very survival is dependant on the relative poverty of mind and wealth they inflict on the other 99%.  Is this not the very Enlightenment definition of tyranny? When Ronald Reagan can quote Tom Paine (whom Teddy Roosevelt called a “filthy atheist”) and get away with it then you know America is pretty dumbed down!

Most of American’s only sense wealth and success is tied up in enough cheap gas to drive to K Mart to buy cheap goods made by slave labor in a communist country free of labor unions and tax laws. Oh what immeasurable folly! And they were as easily manipulated as sheep.

“Change we can believe in”? Ah yes, if you can confect a dime-store philosophy that can fit into a bumper-sticker slogan then the masses will march in lock-step.  Build it (the “illusion”) and they will come.  And the Liberal courtiers (as you so aptly name them) ‘lead’ this pathetic confederacy of dunces for the same purpose all shepherds herd their flocks - to FLEECE them and then feast on mutton.  But in this Faustean bargain The Pied Piper didn’t even rid the village of the rats.  And what was all the log-jam under the Dome about last week?  “Change we can believe in”? No.  Just chump change. So here’s your change chumps.  The Liberals, in their twilight had made chumps of the rest of us.  Since they are all sworn to serve the “health and welfare” of the nation something about this smacks of treason.

This betrayal of public trust, this betrayal of the commonwealth, could only happen and can only be maintained if they keep the People ignorant. Have we now arrived at serfdom?

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By Inherit The Wind, April 12, 2011 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

Lafayette, April 11 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

  tbd: The Pythagorean theorem remains true regardless of who is assigned to teach it.

Specious argument in that not all angles are right angles especially in societal or economic systems.
************

I had given serious thought to answering your challenges to me but after this, I realize it’s a waste of time, given this post.

You either have no idea what I and TheBeerDoctor are talking about, or you know EXACTLY what we are talking about and have the intention to use it to launch attacks and not engage in serious discussion.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 12, 2011 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

Iarwain, April 11 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Nice, Inherit, but you forgot that “anti” means “against” and “ante” means “before.”  Or perhaps you never learned that. 
****************

I don’t claim to not make typos, and I don’t claim to never act like an asshole, but I do try very hard to NOT be an asshole when someone clearly makes a typo.

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By Jay, April 12, 2011 at 6:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

yup, that is completely true and it makes me sad.

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By ardee, April 12, 2011 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

“I do not believe in a fate that falls on men, however they act. But I do believe in a fate that falls on men unless they act.”
G.K.Chesterton

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, April 12, 2011 at 4:30 am Link to this comment

Sorry to be late to this thread but I’ve been dealing with personal issues:

I remember my own school years (Ike was president when I was in grade school) and they were very different from my kids years (they’re in their 30s now). I never remember the level of interference and disrespect when I was a kid. Teachers were special and everyone paid them their due. I can’t remember a parent insulting a teacher and parents worked with the teacher to keep their kids in line. Being a bad ass was a no no that could get you thrown out. The bad apples were expunged and became the manual laborers. That was life then.

When my kids went to school it had changed completely. Teachers were routinely insulted and their work questioned. Parents wanted to control everything but did nothing to help the teachers do their jobs. Their total involvement in the kid’s education was to attend parent-teacher conferences (if they could tear themselves away from work long enough) and to ‘visit’ the principle when their kid got in trouble to force the school to keep the kid there so parents didn’t have to figure out what to do with them while they both worked. And the school board and administrators seemed far too involved in what was taught and how it was taught. Teachers no longer seemed to innovate. Everything seemed so structured. I’m sure it’s even worse today than it used to be.

I’m not so sure why. It seems we are all to blame. Parents wanting to be involved but not really. School boards becoming more political as school budgets get bigger and bigger. Teachers not being as motivated for a lot of reasons. Religion trying to stick it’s ugly nose into this place too and control what is taught. And these tests, no matter how wonderful their intention, only serve to push students and teachers to work to the test questions.

Education is ugly. There’s no way to satisfy everyone. Too many cooks in the kitchen and they can’t agree about anything. With the middle class disappearing, things will only get worse. Who wants to pay for an expensive school system to teach only the poor? Not going to happen. And too many politicians want to eliminate the whole thing so their rich benefactors can cut even more taxes and keep even more money. Just another nail in the coffin of our demise. So long America ... it was nice while it lasted!

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By The Die Hard, April 12, 2011 at 3:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Arouete is RIGHT ON.

Tao is stoned as well as pointless.

I tutor.  Everyone from five-year-olds with “behavioral problems,” to adults who have finally decided that they want to be able to read more than just the headlines.  ANd almost universally, they respond within a couple of days, “This is EASY!  Why didn’t anyone show me this before?”

“Honestly?  Because they wanted you to think you were stupid.”

And almost all of them, including the five-year-olds, gets it immediately.  “They wanted me to flip burgers all my life.”

We are fighting the wrong battle here (and almost everywhere).  We are thinking inside *their* box.  We protest their illegal school vouchers , that mostly go to the well-to-do anyway.  We decry standardized tests, which not only aren’t used for anything anyway, but are aimed at age instead of ability.

Maybe what we should be doing is starting our own schools.

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By Shenonymous, April 12, 2011 at 3:28 am Link to this comment

I wonder if Sheldon Wolin is related to Richard Wolin, The Seduction
of Unreason
.  Richard Wolin’s book talks about the romance of a
certain group of intellectuals, both American and European, with
fascism and absolutism and how that seduction took place and
how also for a certain brief era cynosures of the halls of learning
influenced academic thinking.  I clearly recall a couple of new
professors swaggering into the university with their postmodern
banter.  Then they pretty much faded into eccentricity.  I will look
for Sheldon Wolin’s Inverted Totalitarianism.

While I think you have a scrupulous perspective, of your set of diverse
“experts,” Alan MacDonald, some talk a good game, others do not.  I
have yet to see that any of them have influenced anything in politics,
directly or indirectly.  And especially nothing for the good of the
ordinary people.  Their kind of intellectualism, like Richard Wolins’
intellectuals, is sterile.  Actions speak louder than words, so I’ve been
told.

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By Lafayette, April 12, 2011 at 2:18 am Link to this comment

BLATHER PERSONIFIED

Ar: Market system protocols push for inequality.

Yes, it does. But taxation of income is there to “level the playing field” - if we would only use it, which America has not done wisely.

Read about the Gini Coefficient. Look it up. See why the US is at the top and the European countries far below in terms of Income Unfairness.

Both supply and demand are massively manipulated variables.

Not by any of the reasons you give. Take a course in EC101.

The market system is a universal control and regulation mechanism.

Really, you don’t know what you are talking about. Loony Left.

Nobody “controls” the market mechanism, since it functions by means of aggregate Demand of myriad consumers, to which Suppliers respond. They are both “controlled”?

Or do you mean manipulated? If so, we the consumers and suppliers allow it to happen because it is mutually beneficial.

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By sallysense, April 12, 2011 at 2:15 am Link to this comment

hiya orbis unum… resorting to more illusion as a remedy for other illusion…

just adds to illusion…

and it is not the same thing as becoming aware of illusion…

simply observe for yourself…

(the clearer the lens… the better the view)...

the best of wishes’n'ways for today to dawn on!... smile

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By Bill Davis, April 12, 2011 at 1:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So what is the shock?  A concerned serious student of American History is aware of
the anti-intellectual cycle.  The article points out the fact the shit is here again.
Read Richard Hofstadter’s ” Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, winner of the
1964 Pulitzer Prize in Non-Fiction

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By Orbis Unum, April 12, 2011 at 12:52 am Link to this comment

Re: sallysense, April 12 at 4:21 am.

You State: “(and those who don’t think people need to know about illusion are already under its influence more than they realize!)...
things need to change to get better!... and awareness is the first step!...”

Response: such observation or awareness thereof, appertaining to illusions, can only be seen from the absence of any fear!

To determine what fear is, and how to deal with its nature or its products, one must first be willing to deconstruct or should we say, reverse engineer cognizance thereof, what is viewed as accepted ideologies as envisioned by the eye of the beholder, without sacrificing the Science of Right Reason to lesser or baser instincts!

There are those of us who have pierced the veil of local, national, and global governmental misrepresentation via illusions foisted upon us by Centers of Education from womb to tomb for centuries. But like that old saying goes, e.g., ‘[y]ou can fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time!”

As evidenced of those who have sacrificed for years to peel away the programming of illusionist misrepresentation by social role models most have paid dearly one way or the other to expose, we offer the truth of the matter via the “4” declarations espoused by the S.E.A., published via the web links: http://www.scribd.com/rahyah and http://seagov.info/index.html, available for those honestly looking for researching the truth, in the interest of Good Will with All Walks of Life seeking Universal Peace and solution oriented paradigms to the problems of local, national, and international systemic fraud via both Centers of Governance, Education, and Religion.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Proffered via the web site earlier aforementioned!

To all seeking the just rewards and dignity in the service of truth above all, by an honorable willingness to test all things, even though sometimes it’s hard to face such truth through the eyes of false programming, designed to blind you into unknowing acceptance of subjugation, we graciously extend our most precious personal regards to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By sallysense, April 12, 2011 at 12:21 am Link to this comment

whenever the process of one’s thinking-on-one’s-own is bombarded with pre-conceived thoughts from others as some type of replacement instead… the human mind needs to see first-hand… how status-quo-mentality is made up more so of pre-made thought-products being shipped and received amongst one another… rather than the actual process of one’s own thinking-from-scratch…

and any kinda case that’s built mainly upon inconsistencies and deception… and sends up red flags within the basic human conscience needs to be questioned…

and any attempt of full-blown tactics of illusion… being used to replace or divert earnest and honest contemplation away from the basic human conscience… needs to also be questioned…

it’s sad what illusion has grown into… (such full-blown degrees of distortion globally)... in our world today while so many know so little about it…

(schools need to teach students how everyone’s standard human perception uses illusion… which can distort something from being seen “as it actually is” into something else… when thoughts (already in the mind) substitute their own ‘pictures’ (or connotations etc) instead…

then mental pictures that resurface as ignorant social or racial or extremist or manipulative bias etc are less apt to make big impacts… as they’ll have advantages of being more prone to use added consideration as they live with themselves and others in our world here!)...

(and those who don’t think people need to know about illusion are already under its influence more than they realize!)...

things need to change to get better!... and awareness is the first step!... smile

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By Orbis Unum, April 12, 2011 at 12:09 am Link to this comment

Re: TAO Walker, April 12 at 3:01 am.

You State: “Going to the site linked by “Orbis Unum,” then ‘clicking’ on the “Contact” feature, gets a warning from somebody that there’s something not quite on-the-up-and-up with it.  Apparently it asks for something that isn’t actually necessary for access, and so might be a “trick” of some kind.”

Response: Is this not the same 7+doctoral mindset guilty of previous documented libel, which continues forthwith pandering lies, slander, and libel? What, you don’t think we keep a record of all comments or postings either done by ourselves or stated by others, just to be prepared to prove a point in fact? Oh, you little schmoozing mashugana, you should know better!

But to be fair with insolent childish dishonor by not wanting to cast aspersions for out-n-out bald face lies for whatever their reason, when it has never been our forte to grant audience to such behavior, we did a copy & paste test on the “contact” info provided, e.g.,  “seagov_admin@seagov.info” just to verify the info was correct. And, low and behold the test communiqué was redirected and received immediately. 

As for your imbecilic idiotic babbling, we can clearly see that your ongoing belligerence is nothing more than an aberration, coming not from intention, but more from a ability to deal with fear.  Poor little indigenous cretin of insanity! Or is your belief that to continue such behavior will garner any different response from any brethren exercising the Wisdom of Honor and the Science of Right Reason?

Sometimes I amaze even myself, to imagine my own audacity to consider entertaining conversations with mundane idiocracy of presumptuous intelligentsia’s lack of either posters or columnist herein, to ever be capable or willing to offer valid or real solution oriented paradigms for those who happen upon this forum for whatever reason.

I wholeheartedly believe you, as they, continue to be all perfect for your condition. And most assuredly perfect for further conditioning of Orwellian insanity, to wit:

“George Orwell, 1984:

“You are a slow learner, Winston,” said O’Brien gently.

“How can I help it?” he blubbered.

“How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”

“Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five.”

“Sometimes they are three.”

“Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

Having said all this for your betterment as a reminder of what lays down your path of subjugation, please, do not consider any retort to my reappearance or response…food for insolence. 

I know I shouldn’t ask nor give such considerations from or for lesser natures. But one can only hope for the best, while expecting the worst, and while always planning for the rest, for those capable of the best!

The best is only proffered from a failure of our world to resolve issues of war, poverty, and corruption, which rests within a gross ignorance about what guides human behavior to begin with. For these reasons alone we address the true source of the instability in all societies, while offering the only fundamental, long-term solution.

And if anyone chooses, they may choose to ignore imbecilic libel and click on the web link http://seagov.info/, for further simple discussions, appertaining to the Right of Self-determination of All Walks of Life, to evolve in the interest of Universal Peace via supporting constructs applicable thereto.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Proffered via the web site earlier aforementioned!

My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By SteveL, April 12, 2011 at 12:01 am Link to this comment

The U.S. is simply stuck on stupid.

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By Anarcissie, April 11, 2011 at 11:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Arouete, April 11 at 10:26 pm:

‘... The answer to all your questions is simple Chris and I think Joseph Stiglitz might well agree: The right Reverent Jeremiah Wright may have been a bit of a crack-pot but he got one thing right: our government (and the 1% who own it) know one thing for sure - if they want to keep power to themselves “You gotta keep the People ignorant. You gotta keep the People ignorant.” ...’

In that case what you want is precisely education—an authoritarian system of instruction, propaganda and indoctrination under centralized control, overseen if not actually instituted by the government.  Part of the job of the propaganda is to convince the system’s inmates that all knowledge worth having can be obtained only through official channels.

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By TAO Walker, April 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

Going to the site linked by “Orbis Unum,” then ‘clicking’ on the “Contact” feature, gets a warning from somebody that there’s something not quite on-the-up-and-up with it.  Apparently it asks for something that isn’t actually necessary for access, and so might be a “trick” of some kind.

That aside, though, the “science of right reason” ‘solution’ presented in the materials on the “seagov” site suffers from the same fatal flaw that virtually every homo centric philosophical system extant does.  It posits a Human Kind totally atomized into a biologically CONtradictory collection of “individual”-ized IDentities, ontologically isolated from each other and our Living Arrangement. It’s driving CONceit is that our domesticated Relations have only to ‘think’ (i.e.; “right reason”) their collective “self” out of their present “self”-generated mess into some imagined CONdition of shared material well-being acquired by the same old “self”-referential exploitation of our Living Arrangement….propelled by the same old “exceptional”-ist “dominance”-paradigm bullshit.

There is nothing in it of Humanity’s given Organic Function, as a vital component in Her immune system, within the Whole Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth.  There’s no passing mention, even, of The Tao of Humanity or the Living Virtue of Organic functional Integrity at its Heart.

So “the science of right reason,” along with the Contrived socio-eCONomic CONstruct elaborated on the basis of that rather nebulous CONcept, turns-out to be just another DEAD END make-believe CONfidence scheme, for those perhaps looking desperately these days for “....some way out of here” that let’s ‘em keep wallowing in the idiotic illusion of autonomous “individual” “self”-sufficiency.  There ain’t any.

Try The Tiyoshpaye Way, instead….for Life.

HokaHey!

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By c.hanna, April 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment

Sometimes people speak as if this is a new phenomenon in the U.S., but it was the same way when I was going through public schools through the 70’s and early 80’s. I didn’t learn anything, but I had a good memory and I would open the books or notes an hour before exams and memorize it. I graduated with a 3.7 gpa! Everyone hated high school back then as much as they do today. Sports was the big deal. If you were athletically inclined you were fast tracked to front of the class.

But elementary years were good back then and this may be the big difference from today. I remember a fifth grade teacher, who loved science. I still remember many of our projects. I remember geography and grammar and penmanship. We actually learned to write in cursive. My son was denied this. I asked his teacher why they were not teaching it and she said they had to pick between computer skills or writing skills….the school picked computers. What a bummer, as most kids already knew how to work the computers from home. Subsequently, now that his class is graduating from high school, many of them write like 3rd or 4th graders….but they are all going to college.

Even college is a disaster capitalism in the making. Many colleges built gorgeous and expensive student union buildings, made their grounds like parks, and built fountains and all kinds of stuff, but so many colleges could easily be classified as diploma mills.

Harvard, Yale, and Columbia are the 3 colleges that I believe represent the entire Supreme Court. Something smelly coming out of these “ivy league” schools these days. Somebody ought to write about these universities and their influence over politics, greed, and wall street.

As far as evil goes, there are still more good people on this planet than bad.  There is a saying that “as evil increases, altruism increases in equal proportion”.  As the Western nations continue on with more meddling and invasions, which now include Libaya and other Northern African Nations,  it is time that people start becoming aware and conscious, as Hedges and Arendt declare.

Not only has the West directly been involved in millions upon millions of ethnic cleansings, genocides,  and mass murders of millions upon millions of people (when we include our present time frame from 1911 – 2011), but the West is/has also been a part of indirect slaughters,  genocides, and ethnic cleansings. Today headlines in the World Socialist Web Site show that France and UN have been involved in the crisis in the Ivory Coast:

“Survivors who have escaped over the border into neighbouring Liberia tell of victims being shot or killed with machetes, being disembowelled alive, of women being gang-raped and having their throats cut. More than a million people have fled from their homes.”

The truth is seeping to the top. We can now see that the European Union, which has tried to remain quietly in the background while the US did most the dirty work, is now showing it’s true colors. This is an international operation of evil. The White working classes of these nations should rise up and stop these “elites” from taking us all to hell.

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By Ralph kramden, April 11, 2011 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Standarised tests are designed for and in the benefit of the ruling class. Was Lincoln a freedom fighter? True or False? Did he ignore the Constitution, suspend Habeas Corpus? That does not enter into the discussion. I happen to be re-reading “The Making of the English Working Class,” by E.P.Thompson and it shows how the Methodist church, the only source of meagre education for the poor, deliberatly inculcated the principles of obedience and self-denial for the benefit of the industrial class. This with the full support of the manufacturing class and the government. The same is happenning today. Critical thinking is taboo. Simple minded Thatcher wants us to believe in TINA when it comes to political alternatives: There Is No Alternative. Orwell was wrong, Big Brother is, not from the left, it is the unbridled Capitalist. There is a note of hope, albeit, a synister note. China just shot back at the USA’s criticism of China’s human rights record by stating: “Look who is talking?” Granted, but is this the way it is going to go: I may violate all human rights because you are no better? May the gods help us.

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By prosefights, April 11, 2011 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

Teachers should have real-world practical experience before teaching.

Nowhere is this more true than in computing.

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By Orbis Unum, April 11, 2011 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

Re: Alan MacDonald, April 12 at 12:31 am.

You State: “One finds that the deeper one looks into the deceits of Empire in all spheres of life, the more one appreciates, fears, and is committed to confront a multifaceted ‘Empire of Deceit’.”

Response: Well stated!

If anyone chooses, they may click on the web link http://seagov.info/, for further discussions, appertaining to the Right of Self-determination of All Walks of Life, to evolve in the interest of Good Will seeking Universal Peace via supporting constructs applicable thereto.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Proffered via the web site earlier aforementioned!

My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By Alan MacDonald, April 11, 2011 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

Hedges’s focus here on the ruling-elite Empire attacking education for the same reasons they attack the political sphere—- albeit with somewhat expanded tactics (in addition to their standard money weapon)—- strongly suggests that the single focus Empire may begin using other weapons to attack the social, cultural, psychic, institutional, familial spheres of life in addition to the educational space.

It seems to me, for example, that what “externality cost dumping” is as a weapon in the corrupted economic sphere of finance capitalism to capture wealth and loot the public ‘common’, engendering fear of “the other” could easily be a weapon of empire in the domestic public space—- as it has proven so successful in doing abroad in the oil territories.

Using different kinetic weapon systems for targeting various soft and hard targets has long been part of Empire war plans on the physical/geographic battle-space, and it would seem that different psychological weapons systems employed to attack the targets of education, union, culture, and other social environments would not by any means be beyond the scope of an integrated Empire battle-plan against all outside the protective cocoon of Empire.

The truth that the financial sphere of Empire uses guile, stealth, deceit, and overt money-power to take over the political sphere is well established——by contemporary political-economic experts as diverse as Joseph Stiglitz, Yves Smith, and Paul Krugman to Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson in their fabulous “Winner-Take-All Politics”, Morris Berman, and Hedges himself.

But there needs to be some other discussion, both at the intellectual / academic levels and more broadly in the public space about the nature of capitalist economics in hiding the means by which the existing system is ‘gamed’, and which allows economic empire power to gain the false profits necessary to so easily and overwhelmingly pervert the political sphere—- which is quietly and deceitfully accomplished mainly through ‘externalization’, or externality cost dumping on ‘others’.

There also needs to be some other discussion about the means that a ‘singularity’ of empire, where financial power has already ‘captured’ political power (as the above authors rightly state), but then goes far beyond that duality of power to likewise pervert social, cultural, educational, and psychic influences of a population, again quietly, deceitfully, and in a secret and hidden manner, in order to broaden the grip of empire on a people, and on the whole globe to further cement a monopoly of power across multiple spheres for hidden Empire—- which is a next step of diagnosing and exposing disguised empire that someone like Sheldon Wolin addresses with ‘Inverted Totalitarianism’

Further, the ways that “billionaires and corporations find many hidden ways to control American politics” through the deceit of leveraging ‘externalities’ in the fraudulent economics of late stage and corrupt financial capitalism to fund and pervert any real politics of democracy, is very analogous to the way a fraudulent sociology of “othering” seeds a quietly perverted mind-set of hidden imperialism and sub-conscious “empire-thinking” on the masses of a militarist disposed and hyper-patriotic nation-state being subsumed into global Empire—- which is another more subtle and less exposed aspect of Empire that someone like Immanuel Wallerstein addresses.

One finds that the deeper one looks into the deceits of Empire in all spheres of life, the more one appreciates, fears, and is committed to confront a multifaceted ‘Empire of Deceit’.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine
Liberty & democracy over violent empire—People’s Party 2012
Global People’s Anti-Empire Movement 2011/NOW

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By katsteevns, April 11, 2011 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

GULP!!

Department of Education wants principals to censor student speech

http://tinyurl.com/3r6p3xz

“You cannot and never will be able to stop people from expressing how they feel. If and when you do, your country is no longer free but a totalitarian wasteland. I work in education. I hear things every single day, some directed at me. While hateful speech is dealt with by administrators, one needs to remember the old “sticks and stones” policy that gets you through life.”

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By katsteevns, April 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment

GULP!!

Department of Education wants principals to censor student speech

http://tinyurl.com/3r6p3xz

“You cannot and never will be able to stop people from expressing how they feel. If and when you do, your country is no longer free but a totalitarian wasteland. I work in education. I hear things every single day, some directed at me. While hateful speech is dealt with by administrators, one needs to remember the old “sticks and sto…nes” policy that gets you through life.”

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By Orbis Unum, April 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Re: gerard, April 11 at 10:19 pm.

You State: “INVEST IN YOUR CHILDREN!  INVEST IN LIFE, NOT DEATH!  I’m frankliy sick of this stupid, wheel-spinning argument that goes on and on without people putting their shoulders to the wheels and actually doing something! Inertia is as deadly as bombs and bullets.  Both are anti-life. Why do we—in government and out—keep on insisting in shooting ourselves in the foot? And then writing reams of empty sentences about how somebody else is shooting us in the foot?”

Response: Without further adieu! Well stated!!!!

In furtherance of the quoted emphasis let us proffer once more Empirical Proof that everything we had ever been taught in governmental Centers of Education or Religion…, which still remains so today, as it relates to the true State-In-Fact, was and is false…!!!

And if anyone chooses, they may choose to click on the web link http://seagov.info/, for further simple discussions, appertaining to the Right of Self-determination of All Walks of Life, to evolve in the interest of Universal Peace via supporting constructs applicable thereto.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Proffered via the web site earlier aforementioned!

My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By Orbis Unum, April 11, 2011 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Re: Iarwain, April 11 at 6:57 pm.

You State: “TAO, what do we gain by using your metaphor?  Enlightenment?  What does characterizing the universe thusly allow you to do?  Ignore the situation and laugh at others who are invested and trying to do something about it?  The middle-class way: escape through language.  Pathetic.”

Response: We try an answer questions put forth without casting any aspersions either respective to “TAO” or “Iarwain” forthwith:

Any “metaphor” without reasonable solutions can never be holistically viewed as “Enlightenment!”

Characterizing such “views” universally or otherwise, allows no one any true Standing either for themselves or otherwise, upon which to act.

Thereby, such banter however proffered fails to present any justifiable Science of Right Reason to act or not to act!

No “reasonable” individual will ever ask another invested, either toward their own demise and/or unjustifiable actions responsible for helping foist upon others injustice, against their own perfect condition to do otherwise, without first laying a course of action upon the Science of Right Reason why one or others should choose another path in the interest of Good Will for the advancement of Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

To do so, would expose any “language” perpetrated for the mere fraud for which only the truly ignorant may wale! Like a new-born babe would do…knowing not any other educated reasonable course to follow when entering into society, for the better ordering of self-determination for themselves or others subjected to their demented waling!

But, what can be said of Language? Other than historically, language has been the bane of the ignorant, whether willfully remaining uneducated, or through folly, or self-indulgence, or via educational artifice foisted upon the unsuspecting, created for subjugation! But language may provide instruction for those more diligent and astute concerning self-determination, while guiding them away from subjugation and possibly helping others via the same course of action!

But all in all, no one can escape subjugation without language. To believe otherwise, truly would be “pathetic.”

Years ago, we chose to stop and Think! To seek empirical evidence of what our alleged masters (social Role Models) taught us historically or religiously as fact. For these studious endeavors, we received the most precious gifts any self-aware moral sentient entities could ever obtained.

Empirical Proof that everything we had ever been taught in governmental Centers of Education or Religion…, which still remains so today, as it relates to the true State-In-Fact, was and is false. 

Just like any fully trained obedient slave, failure to confront any true empirical evidence which exposes any slavish conditions and hold dialog from the perspective of the Science of Right Reason, shows ineptitude to help, guide, or lead those complaining or claiming the failure of others to act or not act according to whatever ‘metaphoric” manner of speech. I can’t see them acting any other way in all honesty. When all they chose to see or hear, is a repeated rotatory mindset of imbecilic excuses for a failure of want, to examine or hold dialogue!

And if anyone chooses, they may chose to click on the web link http://seagov.info/, for further simple discussions, appertaining to the Right of Self-determination of All Walks of Life, to evolve in the interest of Universal Peace via supporting constructs applicable thereto.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise. Proffered via the web site earlier aforementioned!

My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By Arouete, April 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

PART TWO:

The ‘Establishment’ 1% learned two grave dangers during the 60’s: First critical thinking and access to secret information we need for our self-defense is their biggest danger. So they cut funding to public education and sold the campus to the corporations.  Second, there is also a danger in allowing journalists to go into places like My Lai so now they are ‘imbedded’ for their own protection of course.  This is why Wikileaks is such a grave danger to so-called ‘national security’ - if We the People ever discovered the truth we’d follow the people of Egypt and take to the streets. 

As our government tells us how safe nuclear energy is only the Wikileaks cables to told us the truth while the complaint press dutifully reads whatever press releases the spin-doctors spoon feed to them even as one U.S. plant has been leaking for almost two decades. “Records Show 56 Safety Violations at U.S. Nuclear Power Plants in Past 4 Years. At the Indian Point nuclear plant just outside New York City, the NRC found that an earthquake safety device has been leaking for 18 years.” Gee wiz ... what would the NYT & Washington Post do without Wikileaks as they trash the source but gleefully pillage the material in hope THEY will walk away with his Pulitzers?!

As journalist Jay Rosen of NYU tells us, the success of Wikileaks is built on the failure of traditional media. “The watchdog press they treasure so much died… [and] mostly what our journalists did, with a few exceptions, is they just went on to the next story. The watchdog press died and what we have is Wikileaks instead.”

The more educated We the People become the more danger we present to the 1% who own the Dome and almost every smarmy politician under it. So the right Rev. Wright got it right: if that 1% wants to continue to control Congress and keep 40% of America’s wealth “THEY GOTTA KEEP THE PEOPLE IGNORANT!”  The job of We the People is to shut up, consume, breed, consume, go to sports events, consume, and feed their children to the wars for oil which we must consume in order to keep consuming till the parasites devour the host. The motto of America is neither “E Pluribus Unum’ nor ‘In God We Trust’ but “Keep the People Ignorant.”

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By Shenonymous, April 11, 2011 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

Textbooks content selected by school boards and state education
departments are mainly the driving force for what schools teach. 
And school boards and state education departments also set the
standards.  Teachers have little to do with classroom materials and
their budgets might be enough to feed goldfish.  As one who is in
the schools, from pre-K to college seniors they are not half as bad
as a good many are whining about here.  The teachers I teach and
monitor are excellent and conscientious about what they teach and
how they teach it regardless of the “sanctioned” textbooks and edicts
from on high.

The so-called American community is not homogenous and not entirely
members of the ruling class.  Like 99% are not.  And while there is a
poor class who are too ignorant to have a clue of the way things
operate, the machinations of a labyrinthine tri-level complicated
governing system, from local to state to federal levels, they become
unsuspecting victims of the crafty schemes, plots, and intrigues that
determine their lives and the quality of those lives.  However, in this
country, there are those who are alert, say some of those who post on
Truthdig?  No?  Or do you consider yourselves the unsuspecting
ignoramuses also?  It is one thing to moan and criticize a thing and
another to come up with viable solutions.  And in this country that is
taking into account its mixed population who have a very wide variety
of values, as well as come up with a realistic plan of what to do about
the elites.

Usually Hedges does not provide a laudable article, of course that is a
personal opinion. But I think this time he has presented an article
needing much discussion by all Americans who are being shafted by the
Republican self-serving strategy.  It will only remain “grim” if Americans
sit back and let them prevail.  It is evident from Wisconsin’s example
that Americans have the will and the energy to not let that happen. 
They should be the model for the rest of the country and it looks like
they are.  Of course that was over teacher salaries, benefits, and
collective bargaining rights.  But they do show the possibility that
people can assemble enough strength to influence the way things go.

”where would your working/consuming/taxpaying class come
from?”
From the logical, analytical, informed, organized, and learned
citizens who would have much better jobs than the illogical,
disorganized, uninformed, and ignorant citizens.

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By TAO Walker, April 11, 2011 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

“Iarwain” might more sensibly ask:  “What do we gain” by being so heavily “invested” in the soon-to-be actually (not merely “metaphor”-ic) DEAD END machinations of the sickening “self,” that “we” suffer the disastrous loss of The Tao of our very Humanity?

HokaHey!

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By Arouete, April 11, 2011 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

PART ONE:

The answer to all your questions is simple Chris and I think Joseph Stiglitz might well agree: The right Reverent Jeremiah Wright may have been a bit of a crack-pot but he got one thing right: our government (and the 1% who own it) know one thing for sure - if they want to keep power to themselves “You gotta keep the People ignorant. You gotta keep the People ignorant.”

Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University writes about the Focusing Illusion, which holds that “nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it.” He continues: “Education is an important determinant of income — one of the most important — but it is less important than most people think. If everyone had the same education, the inequality of income would be reduced by less than 10 percent. When you focus on education you neglect the myriad of other factors that determine income. The differences of income among people who have the same education are huge.”

What are those differences? What that 1% knows is that giving people at the bottom a leg-up only produces more competition for the trust-fund brats who, despite their ‘free market’ Ketman, don’t want any real competition outside that 1%.  The fact is that a privileged and well-connected legacy admission “C” student from Harvard will always have the advantage over (and go farther than) the straight “A” poor kid from Boston U who actually worked for his “A”s.  The last thing that the besotted and privileged 1% wants is anything like a meritocracy.

The question is presented just as we see in the Middle East - exactly what would we do with an educated People who are trained to ask the right questions? They are a ‘clear and present danger’ and the 1% can’t afford to have too many educated people running around asking all the right questions.  A requisite ignorance must be maintained in order for propaganda to be effective.  So, even as to university degrees, the corporate-controlled universities must assure obedient, compliant, vocationally trained clones, who have not been taught to challenge authority. Dissent is okay as long as it’s ignorant Tea Party dissent intelligent people can laugh at but serious dissent from a mass of well-trained minds? That’s the 1%’s nightmare.

America is clearly a theocratic oligarchy owned and operated not by that 1% but a mere 3/10th of 1%. Just look at the facts: WHO held Congress hostage in the last tax non-debate? The 1% who wanted to keep their tax breaks?  No, the 3/10ths of 1% who did not want their trust-fund brats to pay inheritance tax! And who held Congress hostage in this last budget go-around? That same small theocratic faction that wanted to prevent family planning. That is the faction (and those are the facts) that control Congress. The job of We the People is to shut up and breed to produce obedient God-fearing consumers who will buy the products of slave labor and be content to live near the poverty line. The more educated they become the more danger they present.

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By Charles Andrews, April 11, 2011 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When capitalism had to share some of the prosperity with the workers it needed, it allowed schools to sorta do their job. Now the capitalist economy cannot use even the workers that the educational establishment turned out for capable work in routine jobs. That is the real story behind the savaging of schools.

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By gerard, April 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

From my point of view, the premise is wrong.
  The “United States” is not “destroying” its educational system.  There is really no such unified entity as “the United States” that is able to take a unified action to deliberately destroy one of its most important organizations—the education of the public.  The most and the worst the “United States” can do is for the segments of people inside and outside of government who have the power (either by what they do or by what they don’t do) to act in the best interests of “the people” of the United States—or not.  And not once in a while, but all the time.
  Obviously, those segments, inside and outside of government, have allowed public education to deteriorate for a large number of complicated reasons. The situation is now recognized as bad by the majority of people both inside and outside of government.  They all have the power to get together and change that bad situation.  But first, they have to organize themselves and get together and learn what better possibilities exist and how to enable or enforce better possibilities. 
  One difficulty is that the problems are so vast and so complicated—and depend upon taxes for survival and improvement.  All the people involved, whether inside or outside of government, do not like taxes, no matter what the money is used for.  This ia THE basic problem.  But strangely enough, people inside and outside of government will pay taxes to be spent on wars but not for schools.
  Solve this irrational but knotty problem, and things will vastly improve.  Blaming teachers, tests, charters, non-charters, private, religious, administrators, parents, school boards, unions—all is in vain and essentially just detracts from doing what would really be helpful.  One excuse may be that Afghanistan is too far away to be “accessible.”  For Pete’s sake, the schools are right in your neighborhoods!
  INVEST IN YOUR CHILDREN!  INVEST IN LIFE, NOT DEATH!  I’m frankliy sick of this stupid, wheel-spinning argument that goes on and on without people putting their shoulders to the wheels and actually doing something! Inertia is as deadly as bombs and bullets.  Both are anti-life. Why do we—in government and out—keep on insisting in shooting ourselves in the foot? And then writing reams of empty sentences about how somebody else is shooting us in the foot?

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By Wounded and Dangerous, April 11, 2011 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

What if, in a few years, these were the good old days? Anything is possible nowadays isn’t it?

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By Orbis Unum, April 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

Re: prisnersdilema, April 11 at 8:30 pm.

You State: “Obedient idiots is what they want, those that won’t obey are put on meds, or labeled as
conspiracy nuts.  In the end it’s the same, we are farmed as debtors, with no way to
escape, guilty of being poor.”

Response: Well put! It is without a question, beyond a reasonable doubt, based upon the Science of Right Reason, that the underlying so-called educational Mainframe, upon which the educational system U.S. or elsewhere globally, is designed to support misrepresentation via et armis and property taxes linked thereto, in the unending support thereof.

If anyone should truly question supporting the welfare state of any geopolitical systemic fraud being perpetrated by governmental artifice and regimented brain-washing received by every child from womb to tomb, they will find themselves unemployable and/or homeless, while still being forced to pay unjustly via agency “Orders” of enforcement by “Fraud” at any cost possible. Until the last farthing is collected, while such individuals remain breathing!

Educational falsehoods are forced upon All Walks of Life via et armis, by ever system of governance presently speaking or which has ever existed down through history. All the while, these systems of governance, teach our children to sacrifice themselves for illusions of liberty, fraternity, and justice for all, whenever or wherever the need arises!

What are the rewards granted for such sacrifices…taxes to support their own continued demise forever and ever! It has never truly been about honest or honorable educational benefit to the children of any system of governance…only the absolute continuance of total subjugation of every child that has ever existed!!! While forcing the parents to continue to support such brain-washing via property taxes, whether or not they agree!

The posters in this forum are presented with columnists presumably worthy of our attention. Yet not one has accepted any reasonable dialog respective to our efforts to exhort All Walks of Life to Think! You may ask how? Or you may ask why? Both can be answered readily! By simply putting empirical facts before a Candid World to State our Just Cause is otherwise as presented via http://seagove.info.

We honorably await any actual and provable evidence to prove the premises presented in-particular to the established facts raised with the declaration dealing with the Four Freedoms on pages 13-15 to prove otherwise.

So for all you who practice deception by swearing upon some so-called holy books before entering upon the Witness Stand and condemning another, remember that most important commandment, “Thou Shalt not bare false witness against thy neighbor.” Of course, I’m sure that those who practice falsifying testimony, can find some ground to bare false witness, such as asking themselves “Who is my neighbor!” To this we say without reservation, the same who shall be called to testify for thee…eternally! But honestly, if anyone truly believed in honor above all and/or any so-called Decalogue for social guidance, there would be no reason to advance our Just Cause before a Candid World.

Why? Because justice before any justifiable Law (Social Contract) would be the Cornerstone of the day, instead of the anomaly. Solutions can only be created upon the sacrifice of the Willing. Who find themselves ill-treated by injustice. Whether locally, national, or internationally created to deceive innocence into utter and total slavery!!!

But as it has been in ancient times as presently speaking, when do the People ever listen to their brethren’s Words of Wisdom? Rather they stone them as of old or imprison them to the character assassination of Time!!! 

My best to all who post herein, for the purpose of proposing hopeful enlightenment or garnering enlightenment, while proffering Good Will in the interest of seeking Universal Peace with All Walks of Life!

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By prisnersdilema, April 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment

The Grifter class views education as on par with welfare. A give away to parasites, who
should be forced to pay for their education. Public Education stands as an affront to the
lunatic Randian philosophy of the Grifter Class.  In fact the very idea of public as
opposed to private, is distasteful to their sense of superiority and entitlement.

Obedient idiots is what they want, those that won’t obey are put on meds, or labeled as
conspiracy nuts.  In the end it’s the same, we are farmed as debtors, with no way to
escape, guilty of being poor.

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By Iarwain, April 11, 2011 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment

TAO, what do we gain by using your metaphor?  Enlightenment?  What does characterizing the universe thusly allow you to do?  Ignore the situation and laugh at others who are invested and trying to do something about it?  The middle-class way: escape through language.  Pathetic.

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By Anarcissie, April 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm Link to this comment

WriterOnTheStorm, April 11 at 5:24 pm:

‘... The idea that America’s public education system has ever been anything other than a socializing tool is presumption. ...’

Well, it’s a sort of fantasy.  There has always been a lot of fantasy around school and schooling, however.  For some, the fantasies have been reactionary—that seems to be the favorite mode in this particular discussion—in which, at some sunlit moment of the near or distant past, school was a kind of Edenic paradise of childhood enlightenment.  For others, believers in Progressive Education or Summerhillian hippies, the paradise lies in the future, where an ideal community is to be created somehow free of the the poisons and monsters that permeate everyday life.  Someone should look into this tendency to fetishize and fantasize school and other circumstances of childhood and adolescence.

Regardless, actual schools reflect and replicate the social order they’re embedded in.  If the social order is one in which almost everything is a commodity, then of course education is a commodity.  If it’s one which is rent by tribal, racial and class war, then the schools will reflect that as well or instead.

We, in the U.S., have a community whose leadership or ruling class appears to have lost its collective mind; it seems to have become a kleptocracy.  This means that the educational system, although hidebound and slow on the uptake, will inevitably become kleptocratic too.  Hence the incursion of corporate modes of management and propaganda.  Since education is a long-term project with indeterminate payoffs, we can expect the education industry to be shorted and starved.  It is hard to see a profit in it, even as a public good.  This doesn’t mean people will stop learning things; it means they will learn things outside bourgeois control.  A risky business for the bourgeoisie, but as I say they seem to have lost their minds.

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By TAO Walker, April 11, 2011 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

Yet another relentlessly grim Chris Hedges dispatch from the virtual world-‘o’-hurt, where the hapless inmates (including most posting comments here) are even now suffering the naturally inevitable (and quite possibly, here in the terminal stages of the “civilization” disease process, inescapable) dire CONsequences of having lost The Tao of their own Humanity.  Remember the old beer ad on TV, with the tag-line, “It just doesn’t get any better than this!”?  Maybe that’s because, for “self”-medicated perpetual adolescents wallowing in the industrial-strength cesspool of make-believe “self”-esteem, it always only gets worse.

The Tao of Humanity IS our given Organic Function, as vital components in Her immune system, within The Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth.  The much lamented systematic destruction of all they “value,” being visited presently upon the severely dysfunctional domesticated peoples, at the hands of their very own “self”-made “global” police-state set-up at the very (rotten) core of the “dominance”-paradigm to which their own too-precious “self” subjects them, is Nature’s Way of ridding Her Living Arrangement of a wannabe parasitical sub-species which has thrown-away en masse the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity without which it is all just so much undead-meat….in a latter-day “zombie jamboree.”

This Natural Fact of Life is not “taught” in “schools” because these institutional charnel-houses of The Human Spirit only exist anyhow as part of the tormenting retro-viral entities’ immuno-suppression regime.  This “self”-interested purpose is accomplished in large measure by inflating the tiny “rational” faculty, with its crippling co-dependence on the sickeningly invasive (and also “super-sized” “self”) all out of proportion to to every other essential feature of our Natural Organic Sentience.  Much like theamericanpeoples’ muscle-bound military, which has rendered them effectively helpless to engage the world in any other fashion, homo domesticus’ grotesque over-dependence on the Frankenstein-monster of “pure reason” has left its “huddled masses” of “individual”-ized meat-puppets woefully incapable of any genuine mutually beneficial responses to their now mostly “self”-inflicted predicament.  So they go-on, just like the recidivist “residents” of Einstein’s nut’shell they’ve become, trying vainly to “buy,” “shoot,” or “think” their way out of it.   

In Indian Country, though, us surviving Free Wild Peoples of ALL Kinds are just FEELING our Way through this temporary miasma generated by our tame Human Relations in the throes of the fever-dream so many of ‘em remain CONvinced is all there is to the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself, as She fleshes-out The Vision of Her Consort, The Great Spirit….which is, in the Integrity of their own Organic Functions (as Receptoive and Creative, respectively) The Tao of Spontaneous Unconditionally Affectionate Respect and Undivided Precious Attention.

Maybe you should ask your “self,” Sisters and Brothers, just what in hell is the damned thing doing to you all….the “why” being as utterly superfluous as it is painfully “self”-evident, at this point-in-“space/time.”

HokaHey!

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By REDHORSE, April 11, 2011 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment

No matter the topic of social disintegration being discussed, it is the same infectious disease emanating from the same immoral thugs. Social studies have clearly proven poverty is a wound that ensures ignorance, violence, superstition, fear and the collapse of Nations who invest in it. The open rage expressed by Mr. Hedges at this and other symptoms of a morally bankrupt America, though righteous, offers no cure. The toxicity of the manufactured insanity passing for American Popular Culture bereaves the possibility of meaning, community, wisdom and the simple pleasures of home and family, and as intended serves as an inhuman propagandist “lie”. All media no matter what its intent serves this “lie” by distracting from the actual ill through support and pretense that indignent comment and opinion, even when grounded in truth, has an effect on avaricious swine.

    America, as intended, is a fractured Babel of ethnic, religious, ideological and economic confusions. The living rage and hatred boiling just below the surface at present and old injustices is exploited for profit by the “politically correct” to maintain division. The promise of revenge rules and true love of knowledge, wisdom and Soul is denied expression. It is not a “dumbing down” of youth but a numbing of emotional range and fear of defending ones personal dignity and humanity Nationwide that has allowed the ascent of Fascism.

    The simple truth is that America and Americans are being looted, lives, communities and futures destroyed, by criminals who have seized control of Government and Media. Do something or do nothing, but that’s the way it is. The condition of American Education is just another of the “Death by a Thousand Cuts”.

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By Leefeller, April 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment

The attack on teachers by the Tea Baggers and Republicans seems only one part of the puzzle, the following is number 11 of Britts 14 points of fascism, I feel number 11 may still be a peace of work in progress.  Taking the arts out of schools; at least around here seems part of the plan?

“11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts. Promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.”

In Wisconson Republicans have already attacked academia, and seems to fit the; “open hostility to higher education, and academia”  Republicans instituted a demand of academia emails from colleges and professors and other academics in an attempt to be censored so far none have been arrested.

Attacking our education system by privatizing does seem a shade empowering for business opportunism and dis empowering to the populous, one needs to look at the whole picture.

Republicans and Tea Bags have their scripted sound bites and if one notices they all quote the exact same crap, word for word, there is much more hidden below the surface of this iceberg!

In the end all of what we are seeing in the States promoting this choreographed offensive is really supported from out of these states. Special corporate organizations such as ALEC comes mind.

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By entropy2, April 11, 2011 at 1:35 pm Link to this comment

@TDoff

Hey, if you were one of the moronic, misanthropic, mendacious, avaricious powers-that-be now ruling the nation, would you want an educated, intelligent, critical citizenry?

Bingo!

Our modern public education system is fulfilling its core role…to supply compliant drones for the corporate machine. That’s what it was designed to do way back at its birth in the great sellout misnamed The “Progressive” Era.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, April 11, 2011 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

The idea that America’s public education system has ever been anything other
than a socializing tool is presumption.

Public education was originally conceived, purpose designed, and carried out to
give the student the tools to be a good, contributing citizen—and nothing
more. It has always been something that the more gifted among us survive, not
thrive in.

Intellectual curiosity can not be taught. Free thinking is earned, not gifted from
others already ‘in the know’, otherwise it’s not free thinking, right?

As parents, it is hard to resist the temptation to blame the educational system
when our kids turn out not to be thoughtful geniuses, but ordinary social
creatures engaging in pack mentality. But it would be more honest to admit
that most of us don’t want our kids to be intellectually independent. It makes
for a lonely, tortured life haunted by a feeling of not belonging.

Think about it, do you want your children to be as angry and socially
marginalized as Chris Hedges is? Keep in mind, for every ‘successful’  Chris
Hedges, there are thousands more who can only deal with their anger and
alienation in more negative ways—they don’t win pulitzers, but drink to
excess, they hide away in some cloistered academic corner, they try to shim a
narrow living as artists, they become embittered capitalist cast-offs. That’s
mostly what independent thought gets you in a society that has absolutely no
use for it.

The idea that the educational system is holding our children back is just
overweening pride. If your child is truly smart, or even not so smart but has the
courage to walk away from the pack, they will eventually escape the system,
and that’s when their real education will begin.

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By TDoff, April 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Why is the United States destroying it’s educational system?

Hey, if you were one of the moronic, misanthropic, mendacious, avaricious powers-that-be now ruling the nation, would you want an educated, intelligent, critical citizenry?

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By Iarwain, April 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

I agree, Weylguy, but you need to connect some dots.  Why are teachers overworked?  Why are children surrounded by material meant to distract? 

Why is education being understood as a commodity by kids?  Sure, it’s possible that they just haven’t been convinced of the value of thinking critically about the world.  It’s also possible that their survival in an increasingly competitive world depends less on their ability to think and more on the ability to successfully signify submission.  And everything they consume tells them that commodity relations are “just the way it is.”  Sports is “just a business.”  Video games give us wealth as the primary goal—or blind adherence to established authority (Call of Duty).  Facebook does what it can to encourage the application of commodity relations to friends. No mainstream news source is capable of expressing critical thought over anything.  They must remain present everything as a balanced issue (or at the very most give the conservative interpretation) or be accused of having an agenda and suffer the advertising loss.  Advertising wages an active war on historical understanding.  If we understand our material and historical position, we understand the ridiculous development of culture in the last 60 years, as the middle class (they who determine cultural expression) has become completely detached from the history and material reality of productive labor.  Multiple identities are encouraged, because each represents a market.  Planned obsolescence is no longer a conspiracy theory; it’s an established and effective production strategy.

All of this emerges, develops from, the basic relations of capital and the private property system.  Yes, the complaint is 150 years old, and I expect the sons and daughters of the middle class to jump all over it as “old hat.” Age is, after all, just an indication that a thing needs to be thrown away, and a new thing needs to be bought.  Yes?  History as a series of product developments?

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By minkewhale, April 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment

Let’s not blame the entire toxic society. Let’s
simply look at the way {young} people interact with
their :cell phones, smart pads, blackberries,
smackberries, gameboys, laptops, MP3s…....and so on
and so forth. People are becoming addicted to these
devices, are increasing using these devices as the
filter and ultimately as buffers, to keep people
away, to keep nature away, to keep unsettling ideas
away and even to drop out of the hard work of
engaging in a messy, compassionate,thinking, feeling physical existence. My son (14) left
to his own devices would endlessly stride through PC
Zombie land meting out death in endless varieties of
gruesomeness as his tall thin physical self slumps,
dull eyed, in front of the monitor.

But I own the password. And he stills reads books.

Meanwhile his public school teachers and admins are
pushing the same agenda: Digitize, digitize,
digitize.There’s smart boards and kindles and online
reading, and online writing and online research. I
don’t even know how many hours a day they bombard the
kids with the electronic lightshow, so reminiscent of
the mediterranean cuttlefish that beguiles its victim
with multicolored pulsing disco blasts before
consuming it.

Point is, this is the Wave of the Future.

The NYT ran an article a little while ago entitled,
“More Pupils Are Learning Online, Fueling Debate on
Quality”  .
These are high school students we’re talking about,
not adults taking their chances at an online
“education” with the U of Arizona or Devries. In the
accompanying picture, a group of 99% black kids
variously sit and slump in front of their computer.
They await instruction. They are resigned to waiting
for instruction, even if instruction never comes.


A quote from the venerable NYT:

“Advocates of such courses say they allow schools to
offer not only makeup courses, the fastest-growing
area, but also a richer menu of electives and
Advanced Placement classes when there are not enough
students to fill a classroom.”

But Memphis TN school’s are only paying $164 per
student on line. WHOA! Money speaks louder than a whole line of disgruntled public teachers that are striking to get their jobs back. Well, guess what, Mr Christie, and Mr. Z and Mr G now have in their possession the ultimate strike breaking scab. Hot damn, doesn’t even have to cross a picket line!
Like these shameless touts an d schills just keep saying : We’re just trying to get this kids ready for the 21rst century workplace.

what workplace? Please stand by….............................

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By FRTothus, April 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Hedges does not answer the question posed in the headline:  WHY.

My guess is that it is not wise, from a slave-owner’s perspective, to teach slaves to read.  Best to keep the ignorant herd ignorant, don’t-cha-know.

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By Lewis Banelis, April 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mark Twain,once said, “I never let institutions of higher
learning stand in the way of my education”,he was onto something,something we need as parents to teach our children.
  It is our responsibilty to teach our children to think,not
just believe. Teach them to examine the evidence and to make
judgements based on sound reasoning. I tell my grandchild to
be curious and learn for it’s own sake and the joy of it. I
told him to get all he can out of school,so that he has the
opportunity to have a vocation that fulfills him,not just a
job to make money.Even the smartest and most intelligent
people can make bad decisions,because they believe and don’t
think.They don’t challenge their belief system,they accept it
even at their own and their children’s peril.

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By Arraya, April 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

owever, I have yet to see any solid evidence of this increased
ignorance and incompetence, which would be tricky to measure, because in a
social context where conditions, especially technology, are constantly changing,
the kinds of knowledge and competence that are valuable are constantly
changing, too.  In the last hundred years or so, we moved many millions of
people from the inanition, superstition and idiocy of rural feudalism to the
relatively brilliant life of ghetto and suburb.  It was a mighty lifting job, and the
schools should get a gold medal for helping to achieve it.

I agree with this but it does not mean cultural modeling has not taken place and
with this, in a sense, is a type of ignorance and stupidity=.

In fact, we have a more educated population than anytime in history.  Though,
it’s probably peaked out because of economic reasons.  In fact, we are starting
to witness the proletariatization of the college educated as they take on service
jobs with huge debt loads(that is cultural stupidity) Meaning they bought the
American dream hook line and sinker.

A culture that seems to be thrashing around in tar pit on it’s deathbed will tend
to make us look incompetent and stupid.

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By Ann Moss, April 11, 2011 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris is obviously a product of the system he disparages. His title connoted some sort of answer to the question of “Why the United States Is Destroying Its Education System”. I never got to that page.

My grandmother was a school administrator for 43 years. She came to rue the day she voted for Reagan because of his evisceration of the school. This was 30 years ago. He is just getting around to writing about it, or he just needed to plug s whole in the paper??

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By balkas, April 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment

the schooling allowed us thus far in all lands [save communist-socialist]
is the one put together by supremacists or clero-plutocratic class of life.
this class actually commands parents to send their children to learn from sacerdotal and plutocratic ‘elites’; thus, most of us,
say, 99%, becoming deluded serfs and some us over a lifetime.

if that wasn’t so, wld schooling be mandatory or even supplied us, the ‘low’ life?
had i been blind?
well, let me, please, put it this way: i was 43 before i cld say NO to my mother; 73 before i cld say NO to my wife, and 5 yr
when i already cld say NO to ?every, ‘teacher’, ‘expert’, cleric, pluto, pol, and the like minded people.

does this mean that i had been an idiot savant? yes, even today in many aspects of living!

my wife tells me that just because i never said NO to her until a decade or two ago [i forgot how youngold i am now] i
prolonged her life for at least 10 yrs; added she: add at least two more yrs for never slapping me!
what a compliment huh? worth at least one continent!

but wait till u hear this? willya? at 5 yrs youngold and as a savant i even selected for me my own god, god1; thus, rejecting
the god2,3,4,5… of all the members of the sacerdotal class and their followers.

btw? wld voting be allowed if it did not be of benefit to the rich and richer people of ‘higher’ classes. how about TV and
movies? wld that be allowed?

how about fighter jets, warships, WMD, MSM, cia-fbi and high police-army echelons? wld all that be allowed in the present
not only size, but also in the way and degree [99.9999%] these are controlled by the onepercenters?

lesson? stop complaining, advising, begging, demanding, marching, etc..the mafia does not hear u. and if it heard u, it might
even get worse just because the ‘lazy’, ‘uneducated’, ‘unruly’ ,‘ungrateful’ bellyache.

there may or may not be way out of the prison we’r in. but one has to try at least one way: set up an antipodally standing
party to the present one.
we know for certain, that in all supremacistic empires and lands [i am excluding americas’ indigenes from that category—
some of them actually were highly civilized in civic affairs] people cried against brutal rule of the clero-noble class of people!

it always fell on deaf ears or the cryers have been, tortured, thrown in a dungeon, crucified, or strung up smwhere!
tnx for ur R, L, Wrong Ear!

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By katsteevns, April 11, 2011 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

A morally indifferent universe is the PERFECT place to separate the wheat from the chaff. Does this same universe remain morally indifferent when ultimately populated with eternal beings who are the incarnation of love?
If God is learning about himself as he goes along, is this not true of his son as well? Let’s give them some elbow room, room for mistakes. If he can create an eternal soul, who says that the he can not, at some point, right his wrongs? If you create a utopia here on earth by the will of man alone, will you recognize God if he shows himself or will we say that it is we who are indeed God?

John 14:2
“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

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By Anarcissie, April 11, 2011 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

<blockquote>
weylguy, April 11 at 3:03 pm:

‘... If the purpose of education is to produce logical, analytical, informed and learned citizens, we’re failing miserably.’

If you had just a bunch of ‘logical, analytical, informed and learned citizens’, where would your working/consuming/taxpaying class come from?

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By jneeley, April 11, 2011 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

“It would also mean that some students might never graduate from High School, as they would be more suited to some type of vocational education.”

This type of thinking frightens a lot of people, one it will pull people away from the Higher education profit machine and two it requires acknowledgment and respect for people who do manual/technical labor. Just look at the mass medias contempt of working class America to see where working for a living fits in America these days.

The one room school house, socially, with its mix of age groups, in itself is a much better system than the isolation of learning with people who are your age only. Whether that can be reproduced on a scale to fit today’s needs, I don’t know, but it should be included. How many of us work with people only in our age group?

My father recently said to me, he probably should have made me learn a trade instead of insisting I go to college, and financially he’s probably right.

But who knew in 2011 a college degree would mean so little to so many people, but be so necessary to just get by.

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By Anarcissie, April 11, 2011 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

I believe it was shown back in the 1960s that the greater part of what children learn—about anything—is learned in the home.  (Schools mostly serve a different function: to regulate what is learned, possibly suppressing what are regarded as deviations, and to replicate the social order in which they are embedded.  I don’t know what schools are like now, but in my childhood they were modeled on the office and the factory, and therefore what one chiefly learned was how to endure arbitrary authority, physical constraint, bullying, and endless boredom.) 

If we believe this study, which I think was done on a scientific basis, and if it is true that young people are now less informed and less capable than they were in previous eras, then the inescapable conclusion must be that the culture of the people is deteriorating generally, not just its school systems. 

However, I have yet to see any solid evidence of this increased ignorance and incompetence, which would be tricky to measure, because in a social context where conditions, especially technology, are constantly changing, the kinds of knowledge and competence that are valuable are constantly changing, too.  In the last hundred years or so, we moved many millions of people from the inanition, superstition and idiocy of rural feudalism to the relatively brilliant life of ghetto and suburb.  It was a mighty lifting job, and the schools should get a gold medal for helping to achieve it.

I am sorry I cannot join with all of you (except ITW) in the common celebration of our great national rant about how awful the schools are.  It must be fun, running around and crying ‘Oh, woe’ with a mighty multitude.

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By minkewhale, April 11, 2011 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

In re : “the gutting of public libraries” debate. hey
now. My sister-in-law works with Wisconsin public
Libraries, a highly trained research librarian and
she knows of many instances where rare, old texts
were shredding in the process of being digitized.
Okay, shredding not gutting. But once these digital
ghost volumes have been wrenched from physical
exisitence who is to say someone somewhere might not
want that little wisp of inconvenient, non-
triumphalist truth to Disappear.
Way less showy than a book burning - and who wants ta
act like a bunch a natzis anyway. Not American smile

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By katsteevns, April 11, 2011 at 11:04 am Link to this comment

1 Corinthians 13


4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

5does not act unbecomingly; [[[[IT DOES NOT SEEK ITS OWN]]]], is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8Love never fails

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By weylguy, April 11, 2011 at 11:03 am Link to this comment

I greatly admire Chris Hedges’ writing, but I have to disagree with much of what he says in this article. The impression I get from his article is that corporations and capitalist forces want the schools to churn out obedient, consuming automatons. I see the same result, but the pathway is different—overworked teachers, parents who are not involved, and children who are overly distracted by intentional or incidental media intrusion into the classrooms (cell phones, portable electronic games, and an “American Idol” mindset). In short, it’s the culture that has destroyed the American educational system.

The other side of the coin involves the fact that the average American does not really value education outside of its ability to secure a job. That’s why the humanities departments are being deleted from the curricula of many colleges and universities. Bring up Immanuel Kant (as Hedges does here), and the average person either disconnects or goes Huh? If the purpose of education is to produce logical, analytical, informed and learned citizens, we’re failing miserably.

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By Salome, April 11, 2011 at 10:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

obesity & celebrity culture = bread & circuses

The intent of the destruction of education in the U.S. is to have the masses be just literate and numerate enough to choose between two career options, the M’s:  McDonald’s or the Military, neither of which will pay enough to sustain a middle class family.

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By Arraya, April 11, 2011 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

Hyper consumerism,Self obsession, leader and celebrity worship,
income disparity, digital and television addition,growing illiteracy, no
knowledge of history, no loyalty, no community.

These are the values of the culture because they are what is necessary for
functionality of our dysfunctional and unsustainable economic system. 

Look at it this way: The empire needs only about 20-25% of its population at
the very most to administrate and perpetuate itself—through lawyers,
insurance managers, financial managers, college teachers, media managers,
scientists, bureaucrats, managers of all types and many other professions and
semi-professions.  And this percentage will go down.

What happens to the rest? They are the production machinery of the empire and they are the consumers upon the empire depends to turn profits. If every one of them earned a college degree it would not change their status, but only drive down wages of the management class, who are essentially caterers to the corporate financial elites who govern most things simply by controlling the availability of money at all levels, to to bottom, hence your hard struggle to pay for college in an entirely capitalist profit driven economy.

Bottom line this system does not need and is opposed to lots of educated people.  Only a small handful of hardened, self-centered managers is needed.
http://tinyurl.com/29cc6qr
American children is worse than it was 50 years ago: there’s an epidemic of anxiety and depression among the young; aggressive behavior and delinquency rates in young children are rising; and empathy, the backbone of compassionate, moral behavior, has been shown to be decreasing among college students.

“All of these issues are of concern to me as a researcher of moral development,” Narvaez says. “Kids who don’t get the emotional nurturing they need in early life tend to be more self-centered.

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By SEEK TRUTH, April 11, 2011 at 10:34 am Link to this comment

Education started its down-hill slide as soon as the one-room, one-teacher country school was replaced with the city school and school-bus transportation.
The one-room school consisted of eight grades and one-teacher. If a student learned quickly, they could learn even more by listening to what was being taught in the next higher grade. The reverse also worked for the slow learner who could refresh their mind by listening to the next lower grade instructions.
As an 8-year student of that system, I found that boredom was eliminated by listening to what was being taught in the higher grade and when all else failed the Library was open to read the books suggested for the higher grades.
I believe the only practical system is to provide each first-year student with a Workbook, divided into specific sections that contain everything needed to move onto the next grade. Simple tests based on the information contained in that Workbook would provide evidence of the Student’s ability to move on into the next higher grade with a new Workbook of increasing complexity of information. Obviously, this would mean that some 12-year olds might still be studying from a fourth-grade workbook and a few might have already achieved the eight-grade level. Or it might mean that one 12-year old is reading at a fourth-grade level, with math skills of an eighth-grade level.
It is also obvious that this type of system would greatly increase the number of teachers or teaching assistants that would be needed. It would also mean that some students might never graduate from High School, as they would be more suited to some type of vocational education.
Would this result in what some people might call “being left behind”; especially if their child was one of those falling behind? The answer is yes; and the child might as well learn early on that no two people are exactly the same. Some people are taller/slim and others are shorter/stout; some learn quickly, others are slow learners. Unfortunately, IQ plays a major role in how rapidly and how far the child climbs the education ladder.
The question that really needs to be asked is why do we insist on placing our children into Grades 1 thru 12? My idea of the Workbook would eliminate the fantasy of “Graduation” and instead rapidly separate and define the special needs/help required for each student to reach their potential. Why aren’t our children worthy of this additional cost?

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By jneeley, April 11, 2011 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

Having one child in public elementary school and two children in private school,luckily we receive a generous financial aid package and have sacrificed everything else to pay for the rest. Cut out vacations and eat pasta until graduation and its reality painless. My wife and I are raising our children to be citizens, not consumers. We tell them some things you do because you want to, some you do because you need to and some because you have too.

As long as school funding is tied to property taxes, we in rural America and inner cities will not receive the same educational value as wealthy suburbs. School choice helps and in a perfect world vouchers, not at the detriment of funding public schools would also help.

There is a crisis in education, and we need look no further than adult America to see the reason why. Hyper consumerism,Self obsession, leader and celebrity worship, income disparity, digital and television addition,growing illiteracy, no knowledge of history, no loyalty, no community.

I work at a state university, in a staff position, in Massachusetts, where students were once referred to in emails as “customers” and the food court could be air lifted into any mall. No worries, everyone will get their work permit. When I heard a graduate student in Nursing ask the question, “What is apartheid?”, I knew another American Institute had lost its shine.

“I’ve concluded that genius is as common as dirt. We suppress our genius only because we haven’t yet figured out how to manage a population of educated men and women. The solution, I think, is simple and glorious. Let them manage themselves.”

John Taylor Gatto

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