Recently I commented on a blunder by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, who suddenly wimped out after having proposed cutting 20 to 30 percent out of the state’s allocation for “higher education.” Corbett had a chance to do good by making our state universities cough up more of their own funding.
In constant dollars, our state and onetime private “institutions of higher learning” charge nearly four times more than what my parents and I paid for my college education in the early 1960s. There are multiple reasons for these swollen costs. One is the availability of government loans, which allow colleges to raise tuitions astronomically. Another is the demand that young people acquire a BA before they can secure employment. Administrative layers have also been piled on universities since the 1960s, sometimes mandated by the government to fight alleged discrimination against designated minorities. All these subinfeudated deanships cost megabucks, which naturally get passed on to the consumers.
Adding to the tab is the Club Med flavor of modern college life, which now entails Jacuzzi baths, high-definition TVs in every building, and exercise machines galore. Dining in these resorts is no longer an austere, monastic experience. Collegiate eating areas offer a wide variety of culinary choices, including lots of junk food to please the adolescent palate.
Colleges work hard to devise “new forms of learning” to make themselves competitive as “educational institutions.” The kids are customers rather than novices at the temple of learning, while the faculty members are glorified resort facilitators. At most colleges, particularly those that are tuition-driven, mountains get moved to accommodate the kids. At the same time, colleges wish to make their activities at least appear to be educational.
by Murray Rothbard
The lone individual is seldom given credit as a shaper and mover of great historical events; and this is particularly true when that individual is no famous statesman or military hero, nor leader of a mass movement, but simply a little-known person pursuing his own idea in his own way. Yet such a person, scarcely known in his day and totally forgotten by historians until the last few years, played an important role in one of the most significant events in modern history: the American Revolution. know the great influence of this man and his simple idea in forming an event that has shaped all of our lives. More…
The famous paintings on the walls of caves in Europe mark the beginning of figurative art and a great leap forward for human culture.
But now a novel method of determining the age of some of those cave paintings questions their provenance. Not that they’re fakes — only that it might not have been modern humans who made them.
The first European cave paintings are thought to have been made over 30,000 years ago. Most depict animals and hunters. Some of the eeriest are stencils of human hands, apparently made by blowing a spray of pigment over a hand held up to a wall.
But now scientists are suggesting those aren’t human hands, at least in some caves in Spain.
Alistair Pike, an archaeologist at the University of Bristol in England who used a novel technique to get new dates for some of those paintings, says they’re older than people thought, and they may just predate the arrival of humans in Europe.
“What we are saying is that we must entertain the possibility that these paintings were made by Neanderthals,” Pike says. Those were humans’ closest relatives, but they are not our species.
Pike says some of these paintings in Spain are at least 40,800 years old. At that time, Neanderthals had been running around Europe for 200,000 or 300,000 years. Modern humans had just arrived from Africa.
An eleventh grader in Texas was thrown in jail – just for missing school.
However, honour student Diane Tran, 17, is no lazy truant. In fact, she’s quite the opposite.
Since her parents divorced and left her and her two siblings, she has been the sole breadwinner and works two jobs to keep the family afloat.
From Oregon Live
Kendra Burton straightened and dyed her hair a deep red. She bought a new pair of Converse high tops to match her knee-length black dress. She didn’t wear a corsage. She’s allergic to many things — dust, pollen, grass — but mostly, she says, she just thinks corsages are weird.
The 15-year-old tugged nervously at her dress as her dad, Kristar, shot the requisite in-the-yard-pre-dance photos. Her date, 16-year-old Coogan Matteson, wore a ‘70s inspired suit with corduroy pants. Finally, Kendra’s mom, Bobbie, thought, I’ll have a picture of the couple.
Kendra and Coogan are both homeschooled. For all the grimacing as dad kept clicking on the camera — just one more photo, he said — Kendra admitted she was happy to have what any other high schooler has: prom night.
“When we’re older and people are all talking about prom, we would have been like, ‘Do do do. I didn’t get to do that,’¤” Kendra said. “Plus, it’s just fun. It’s cool to go to a dance.”
Oregon Home Education Network sponsored the first homeschool prom in 2005. A homeschool mom, Annette Salsman, said her teenage sons wanted the same rituals public school teens have. Saturday night, the network held its biggest prom yet at the Ballroom Dance Company in Tigard. Teens from Salem to Hillsboro paid $30 each for the formal.
In the last decade, the number of homeschool students in Oregon has nearly doubled — to 21,154, though that number excludes students who attend online charter schools or whose parents don’t register them — which means events like the dance have become more popular, too. Two hundred teens from across the state attended in 2011, up from 100 a few years ago. And every year, says OHEN President Alison Jakel, younger and younger kids beg to attend, too.
“It means the same thing as it would to any high school teen,” Jakel said. “As much as high school teens look forward to their prom, our homeschool teens look forward to theirs. They love that it’s a big fancy night out. They look forward to the music.”
Jakel admitted when she first chaperoned a dance, she wasn’t sure what to expect. Her kids were still young, then. More…
Note: If anarchists and libertarians are serious about attacking and destroying the U.S. state, then we need to begin targeting the center-left establishment given that it will be the ruling party in the decades ahead as the Republicans begin to go the way of the Whigs.
Among the more controversial chapters in Suicide of a Superpower, my book published last fall, was the one titled, “The End of White America.”
It dealt with the demographic decline of the white majority and what it portends for education, the U.S. economy, politics and national unity.
That book and chapter proved the proximate cause of my departure from MSNBC, where the network president declared that subjects such as these are inappropriate for “the national dialogue.”
Apparently, the mainstream media are reassessing that.
For, in rare unanimity, The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today all led yesterday with the same story.
“Whites Account for Under Half of Births in U.S.,” blared the Times headline. “Minority Babies Majority in U.S.,” echoed the Post. “Minorities Are Now a Majority of Births,” proclaimed USA Today.
The USA Today story continued, “The nation’s growing diversity has huge implications for education, economics and politics.”
If you are someone who displays a Confederate flag out of overt racism, this text is not for you. In fact, we will fight you in the streets.
If, however, you are someone who insists that he is not racist, but you have at some point in your life displayed a Confederate Flag out of a general sense of rebellion against the government, the boss, parents, pompous Yankee liberals, or just against modern society in general, then this text is addressed to you. Especially, if you are a working class southerner who flies the Cross of St. Andrew as an in-your-face act of protest against the mass production of national “culture,” a McDonaldized product that has the effect of smothering and burying authentic local cultures that (some feel) are symbolized by the Confederate flag… especially, then, this brief sketch of one man’s odyssey from the glorification of southern heritage to an appreciation of anarchist ideas and values, may have something to say to you.
As a child I was raised by the school, television, church, and my parents, in roughly that order of importance. All of these authorities told me what it was appropriate for me to think, do and feel at any given moment. I was supposed to love and obey a God who never bothered to show his face to me, and in a similar vein I was supposed to love and obey a familial father who didn’t have time for me, either. Parents and teachers were to be respected, and for children who failed in that endeavor the “policeman would come and get you” (which proved to be all too true.)
But at least I had the television… Mr. TV was my buddy, my fellow sufferer in the face of all this authority. Mr. TV was the coolest kid on the block, the guy who knew his way around the social pit-falls of school, the ultimate arbiter of what was cool and what was, gasp, “lame” (can you imagine a crueler, more horrible expression?)
The problem was, it was all a bunch of lies, and I knew it. (Or at least, once I got old enough to think for myself, I knew it.) The meaning-of-it-all that the church offered meant, in fact, nothing at all. It was illogical, but served the purpose of telling me to be a good servant, because I would get my reward after I was dead from an invisible person in the sky. (I don’t think the unlikelihood of THAT little scenario requires too much commentary.) The school, with its sports programs and detention halls, which claimed to be opening my mind to the mysteries of the universe and the joys of great art, was in fact training to me to become a cog in the great corporate machine. And my parents were too much in the thrall of this corporate religion themselves, to do anything but reinforce it.
Even my best friend, the TV, turned against me. He begin to say that if I was born a white southerner, then I was to blame for all the racial ills of mankind. That’s right, I, little ole southern white boy, had done it all, from the Grecian slave societies of antiquity to the Boston busing riots, from the rape of Nanking to the Holocaust, all the racial ills of mankind could be laid at my doorstep. By this point in time the church (and my parents) had stuffed me so full of irrational guilt that I was inclined to believe it… but somehow, it just didn’t add up.
So I took a big horn from a bottle of (Kentucky) bourbon, hung a Confederate flag in the window, and told the world to kiss my ass. I was through apologizing for being born…
Here is the summary version: the American corporate titans that control the TV, newspapers, and grammar school textbooks have declared all things southern to be racist, and all things racist to be southern, in order to confuse the issue and evade their own responsibilities. They portray slavery as having been a purely southern institution, instead of as a single component of a universally oppressive white/Anglo economic system (that happened to find its worst excesses in the cotton fields of the southern United States in the 1800’s).
By painting slavery and racism as a uniquely southern phenomenon, the CEO’s manage to divert attention from the racist legacy that remains. When they falsely imply that racism is uniquely southern, and then correctly add that the racial situation in the south now mirrors that of the rest of the country, they declare the problem solved. Implicitly this has the effect of encouraging such reactionary nonsense as charges of “reverse discrimination.”
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The problem of white supremacy in America is anything but resolved. In fact, police officers all over America target people of color for searches and beatings, while the nation’s jails, prisons and housing projects are littered with the dark-skinned human refuse of the ultimate soulless commodity system, the great American labor market. In the 1850’s most blacks were subject to whips and chains, but a small portion were relatively “free”. In modern society, most people of color are impoverished or imprisoned, while a similarly small portion are middle-class, or relatively “well-off”. Very little has changed, other than the means of the enslavement.
These facts are what the “racism is a southern thing” myth is intended to obscure. Blacks, Latinos, and to a lesser extent, working-class southern whites are all harmed by this myth. It is time to place the responsibility for American racism and poverty squarely where it belongs, at the doorstep of the business class, and at the foot of the American flag (and all other Anglo-nationalist flags) which provide the business class with aid and comfort.
So, burn your Confederate flag — give it a respectful ceremony if you must, but really, get rid of it — and join the anarchist movement as we set out to combat, defeat and replace the racist, classist, patriarchal society that bores us with political speeches, numbs us with television, scares us with the superstitions of religion, hypnotizes us with the banalities of commercial advertising, and threatens us with the state-religion of patriotism. We are the “rebels” of the modern corporate-techno-nightmare age, and our ultimate goal is to replace the businesses, government and churches with a society of free equals, in which all live at peace with nature and each other.
Join us as we set out to build a new world, a world in which every man, woman and, yes, child is viewed and treated as a valuable part of the great whole of larger humanity, instead of as a competitor for money, sex, and power. Join us as we set out to build a world based on sharing and mutual respect, where local idiosyncrasies (that are supportive of human dignity) are respected, even celebrated. Join us, and be proud of the human being that you are, the community in which you live, and the planet on which you stand.
Down with McDonalds, Wal-Mart, ADM and the rest of the corporations! Up with your neighbors, and yourself!
September, in the year of our store, 2003
As homeschooling families continue to flee Sweden in the face of escalating persecution, the global outcry over the controversial Swedish policies is growing louder. More than a few critics and reporters have even blasted the government’s actions and behavior as reminiscent of the former Soviet Union.
In recent days, a senior U.S. lawmaker and popular televangelist Pat Robertson have spoken about the situation as well. And Jews around the world are concerned about the fate of a Jewish homeschooling family being targeted in Sweden, too.
The Swedish government was already facing worldwide criticism from human rights groups for what opponents called its “kidnapping” of Domenic Johansson. The then-7-year-old homeschooler was abducted from an airplane bound for India by police after his parents refused to stop educating him at home — and that was in June of 2009, while homeschooling was still technically legal. The boy remains in state custody, completely isolated from his parents.
The ongoing tragedy drew prompt condemnation from around the world. Organizations like the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), Advocates International, the Network for Freedom in Education, the Nordic Committee for Human Rights, and many more all got involved. Media outlets from every corner of the globe picked up the story, too, shattering Sweden’s image as a “social utopia.”
The night closes in. Read the surveys of what children know, what students in universities know. Approximately nothing. We have become wanton morons. As the intellectual shadows fall again, as literacy declines and minds grow dim in the new twilight, who will copy the parchments this time?
Pink Floyd and Alice Cooper had it right on the question of “education.”
By Jacque Wilson, CNN
August 3, 2011 8:46 a.m. EDT
Students chat outside at Sudbury Valley School in Framingham, Massachusetts.
Six-year-old Karina Ricci doesn’t ever have a typical day. She has no schedule to follow, no lessons to complete.
She spends her time watching TV, doing arts and crafts or practicing the piano. She learned to spell by e-mailing with friends; she uses math concepts while cooking dinner.
Everything she knows has been absorbed “organically,” according to her dad, Dr. Carlo Ricci. She’s not just on summer break — this is her life year round as an at-home unschooler.
Kirkpatrick Sale of the Middlebury Institute recently observed that there is presently “more attention being paid to secession than any time since 1865” and predicts that “one of the American states will vote for its independence in the next 10 years.” Neo-secessionist sentiments are frequently stereotyped as a characteristic exhibited primarily by “right-wing extremists.” Yet there are serious reasons why genuine progressives should consider secession. Among the most compelling reasons why the Left should consider dissolving the U.S. into multiple nations, regions, or city-states are:
-Break-up of the U.S.A. means an end to the American empire that has killed millions of people throughout the world over the last sixty-five years, including perhaps two million Iraqis, three million Southeast Asians, hundreds of thousands of Central Americans, half a million Timorese, thousands of Afghanis, and many, many more.
-Without the support of the U.S., international capitalist organizations such as the IMF, World Bank, WTO, etc. would be much less powerful and influential.
-The demise of the federal regime would mean an end to U.S. aid to Israel, and a fighting chance for the Palestinians.
-The collapse of the U.S. federal system would mean an end to federal corporate-welfare, bank-welfare, and, above all, the death of the military-industrial complex.
-No more federal regime means no more DHS, FBI, CIA, DEA, BATF, Bureau of Prisons, Bureau of Indian Affairs, federal drug war, federal mandatory minimums, or the national police state built up around the war on terrorism. What could be more successful at overturning the “terror war” legislation of the last eight years than complete disintegration of the federal government itself?
-An end to federal corporate welfare means a severe weakening of Big Pharma, agribusiness, or local developers utilizing federal money in efforts at gentrification.
-The disintegration of the U.S. means not only the end of federal drug prohibition but an end to U.S. support for the international drug war and the America-centric structure of international drug prohibition, thereby allowing other nations to develop more progressive policies on this matter.
Some may object that progressives have at times appealed to federal power against local reactionaries (for instance, in cases of civil rights, abortion rights, and church/state separation issues) and that dissolution of the federal regime may also weaken gains in this area. However, it should be considered that the majority of the U.S. population resides in the 75 to 100 largest urban, metropolitian areas. If these areas-New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, Miami-were all independent city-states or micronations along the lines of Monaco, Luxemborg, or Singapore, genuine progressives would be in a much superior political position than at present. The major U.S. urban areas tend to be the most diverse culturally, racially, ethnically, and religiously. It is also in these areas where the majority of racial minorities, LGBT people, persons with countercultural values, and those with left-leaning political views tend to be concentrated. The majority of the underclass persons fed into the prison-industrial complex also originate from the large cities. It is in the major cities where most abortion services are located and where most abortions take place.
If these larger urban areas were separated from the states in which they are presently located and from the federal system, urban progressives would no longer need to share space politically with rural, small-town, or suburban reactionaries, conservatives, or religious fundamentalists. Therefore, it would be immensely easier for independent city-states of this kind to enact, for instance, single-payer health care, same-sex marriage, stem cell research or a living wage. It would also be easier to protect abortion rights from the influence of current state legislatures or the federal government. Likewise, it would be much more possible to decriminalize drugs, prostitution, gambling and other “consensual crimes” along the lines of New Zealand, Portugal, or the Netherlands at present. Such changes would severely weaken and undermine the police state and prison-industrial complex. The likely weakening of corporate power following the demise of federal and state corporate welfare would also provide a more level playing field for activists to take on landlords, developers, bankers, and other plutocratic interests on a municipal and regional level, and perhaps initiate economic alternatives like cooperatives, collectives, communes, LETS, mutuals, land trusts, and so forth. Meanwhile, social conservatives and other non-progressives who dissented from this prevailing liberal-libertarian-left paradigm could likewise achieve sovereignty for themselves in their exclusionary suburban enclaves, homogenous rural counties and towns, or sparsely populated red zones. Surely, this would be a better state of political affairs than the present system. If indeed secessionist sentiments are likely to grow in the years and decades ahead, why should progressives be left out?