08 October 2009

On the 8th Anniversary of the US Assault on Afghanistan--from Rich

Dear Friends,

Today is the 8th Anniversary of the US assault on Afghanistan, a full invasion, war, in response to a crime.

In my section A section of the New York Times (CA) , there is no mention of that.

Since then, $12.9 trillion was given to the banks. The wars will cost around $3 trillion if they project into next year, as they will.

The government became a full blown corporate state, an executive committee and armed weapon of the rich. Schools merged with the effort, becoming full-blown missions for capitalism. Those educators who collaborated became, knowingly or not, its missionaries.

The American public, having agreed to shop during Bush's wars, can no longer shop. The US economy, 2/3 rooted in consumerism, cannot consume, nor produce, and the banks will not loan to the unemployed.
Spectacles continue, more and faster. Baseball! Football! Porn!!

The demagogue, Obama and his friend, Arne Duncan, now throw the Bush agenda for education into hyperspeed: Regimented curricula promoting witless nationalism, anti working class high stakes exams, militarization, layoffs and cutbacks, some privatization, and, with perfect logic, merit pay.

The union leadership of every major union cooperated at every turn, played a significant role in electing Obama, in harmony with their Quisling roles of the past. They are the nearest and most vulnerable of workers' enemies. Harsh measures for them.

Professional organizations accepted the division of academic labor they represent; remained largely impotent. Historians talked to historians, wrote a few petitions, rarely crossed the hall to deal with the sociologists. Some took up petitions, begging.

The rich grew much richer as barbarism rose. The poor became much poorer. Segmented by race, class, gender, split against each other by reactionary unions, now we see impoverished people battling for scraps.

The education agenda is a war agenda. The core issue of our time is the reality of the promise of endless war and booming inequality met by the potential of mass, activist, class conscious resistance, connecting reason to real power.


The youth at the occupation of UCSC point the way. Having a good school within this capitalist society is like having a reading room in a prison. Not acceptable.

The choice is clear enough. Community and resistance---or Imperial Barbarism.

Up the rebels!

Good luck to us, every one.


Rouge Forum Update--from Rich


02 October 2009

Moot Points

Any leftist can relate to the following type of conversation with "sensible" liberal types: you are asked about a topic, such as school choice, and when you respond with a pretty defined view (you know, what is called in some circles an "informed opinion"), then you are beset with a series of clarification questions. It's as if the question asker can't accept that you are not for school choice, so they try to negotiate you into postmodern confusion. They typically also have to insert that they like to remain 'open minded,' which is a not-so-subtle way of saying that you should do some rethinking because "there are good ideas in anything."

With school choice, I'm often asked if I would be for it if charter schools removed their admissions criteria to support open enrollment. I respond that it's a moot point- choice proponents will NEVER remove the ability to regulate who gets to go to their schools- that's the way they can exclude kids and raise test scores! If you made admissions 100% open AND, at the same time, provided reliable, federal funding to make these schools absolutely accessible, again, moot points. School choice would collapse. At that rate, you might as well fully fund and support public education- oh the horror!

Same for NCLB. People will ask me, "would you be for NCLB if there wasn't the standardized testing?" Are you kidding? Moot point! NCLB IS standardized testing- it's the center of the entire concept of the law! Get rid of the testing, and there is no NCLB. It has to be fully opposed and scrapped...unless you support testing. But the "sensible liberals" don't like having to clarify their views- instead, they want you to not be so "closed minded." They want to continue to hide behind their false neutrality and a leftist response doesn't allow them to do so for once. It is also a rare occurence so when they do encounter it, they often aren't sure how to proceed and then their whining can ensue: "How can they be so unreeeeeealistic?!!!" and so forth.

Take health care. Would I be for allowing the private sector to remain a "partner" in the scheme if they were regulated for the pre-existing condition thing and escalating costs? Moot point! Those are the two things that make private health care profitable! They will never get rid of those things.

After a while, these kinds of conversations hit rhetorical dead ends. I half expect to hear next:

"Slavery- would you be for it if it didn't involve the forced extortion of someone's labor?"

"Death penalty- would you reconsider it if it didn't involve the state-sponsored cessation of someone's life?"

Something needs to be done about this postmodernism run amok. Maybe if postmodernists would consider that there are some ideas that have to be opposed in order to preserve the notion of human rights. Oh wait. Moot point.