Sunday, May 13, 2012

End Prey for Profit - Education "Reform" as an Example

Prey for Profit:
The exploitation, bullying, marginalization, and/or abuse of people, animals, the environment, economies, and/or countries for profit and/or power.

Education "reform" for the purpose of the privatization of public education and increase of corporate profits and power. Who is exploited and/or abused? Students and teachers.

The Story:
Some corporations, CEO's and millionaires/billionaires are using their power and money to abuse children, marginalize teachers, destroy unions, take away people's rights, and exploit democracy (Citizens United, etc.) for power and profit. First, they purposefully compare test results between the entire and extremely heterogeneous and higher rate of poverty, huge COUNTRY of the US with the more lower rate of poverty and homogeneous CITY of Shanghai and small country of Finland and in order to be able to say Education in America has Failed. Then, they use EVERY opportunity to scapegoat and demonize teachers and say they, especially the more experienced teachers, are the problem. I especially love their central propaganda piece, "Waiting for Superman," in which they come in to "rescue" our country from our horrendously incompetent teachers and school systems. Next, they lobby and create laws, policies and regulations, while they put their corporate reform minions in place as School District Superintendents, School Board Trustees and Federal and State Legislators to help usher in their reforms, budget cuts, vouchers, co-locations, merit pay, common core standards, increased testing, union and collective bargaining busting, as they erode public education and teacher's rights. Finally, they get their desired results: increased corporate profits for charter and private schools...testing and remediation companies...textbook publishers, etc.; dis-empowered or broken unions; low-salaried, at-will employed teachers who have no due-process rights and for whom they no longer have to pay much in benefits. Notice that there is not one mention of students in this scenario? Of course there isn't. Children were never really their concern. They threw teachers under the school bus while they used public-school children and education reform as the cover for their battle for power, control and profits. Shame on the corporate "reform" people for using our nation's children as human shields. End the Use of Children as Prey For Profit. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Democracy in America?

Democracy in America? First, our Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people. Now, those "corporate people" are working to privatize education, prisons, and the post office, as well as sell off public lands. Corporations "lobbied" to purposefully deregulate the financial industries to create a crash that rocked the world, caused the second Great Depression and the largest transfer of wealth and property (not to mention the "bail-outs" they received) in history, and brought our federal, state and local governments to their knees. They "lobbied" legislatures to cut funding to schools, prisons, the postal service, and public parks so they'd no longer remain financially viable, and then say the public agencies are failing.

They simultaneously run a massive propaganda campaign to scapegoat and demonize teachers and unions as the root of much that is evil in society, so they no longer have to deal with workers rights and such things as paying a living wage and decent benefits, as well as worker safety. After that, they say we must privatize these public agencies. They "lobby" to have their for-profit charter schools replace public schools, and to have voucher programs to steal from public education what little funding is left.

Finally, corporations (those "persons" and their CEO leaders that get all the tax breaks) own our public lands to exploit and destroy, own and control our private communications, our curriculum to mold the minds of our students into unthinking worker bees, our prisons for slave labor while we pay for prisoners' benefits; all for their own profit. When corporations control a country, that is called fascism; not democracy.

The 14 defining characteristics of fascism are at this link: