Friday, May 13, 2016

Another California Election, Another Power Grab By Eli Broad And The Rest Of The Anti-Public Schools Billionaires


I live in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A. Our state Assemblyman, Mike Gatto, is termed out and we have a hot election here in the 43rd district. The favored candidate is Glendale City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian, a values-driven, long-time progressive, but he's coming under all the withering fire a secret SuperPAC can provide, this one from the charter school billionaires and their puppet candidate, Laura Friedman. This week I've gotten an average of one mailer per day from a completely fake parents-teachers astroturf outfit paid for by L.A.'s grand arch-villain Eli Broad and the Walton (Walmart) family, each mailer blatantly smearing Kassakhian. Kassakhian is running a positive, issues-oriented campaign and he's been strongly endorsed by the California Teachers Association, the California Federation of Teachers, and United Teachers of Los Angeles-- as well as by the California Labor Federation, the police, firefighters, the nurses, SEIU, Mayor Garcetti and virtually every good government organization in Los Angeles. Friedman is backed by the charter school billionaires who want to destroy public education.

Ellen Lubic, DWT's public education expert and the Director, Joining Forces for Education connects the dots that illustrate the danger posed by the Eli Broad crowd and his corrupted candidates like Friedman to the existential dangers posed to American democracy.
Nobel Prize winning Economist, Paul Krugman wrote about Donald Trump recently, expressing the view of most educated people from the Right, Left, or Middle of the political spectrum. Paul Krugman puts the matter directly: "Donald Trump is an ignoramus."

University educator Arthur Camins' November 17 article at HuffPo-- U.S. Schools Don’t Fail at Test Performance, They Fail at Citizenship Development-- indicates that perhaps the Trump candidacy has come about due to the fact that schools fail at teaching citizenship development. As an educator of public policy and an educational researcher of many decades, I agree. A great failure of public education is the sparse teaching and learning about citizenship and what it means to live in a nation of laws.

The operant question seems to be, why are there so many Americans who are willing to support Trump, who seems to be a distorted and uninformed clown, a showman and greed merchant, and who seems proud of his ignorance and is so egocentric that he does not even want to learn?

This group of voters presents a frightening prospect for our society. For example, on Thursday, Mother Jones magazine’s David Corn reported Anthony Senecal, who served as Trump’s butler for 17 years before becoming the real estate mogul’s in-house "historian" at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida, has been taking to Facebook to rant about how the current president should be hanged.  "Looks like that sleezey bastard zero (O) is trying to out maneuver Congress again, if the truth be known this prick needs to be hung for treason!!!" Senecal declared on his Facebook page on April 21, 2015.

The work of William. Shirer from the early 1960s, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, rings alarms that resonate today when fellow citizens are rushing to the arms of this potential despot who could possibly create a nuclear holocaust with his hand on the red phone. This theme is the core message of Ionesco's remarkable play, Rhinoceros, depicting those who rush to join the Anschluss in Germany and throughout Europe before World War II.  Many people today feel safe to express their hate for others of different nationality, different religion, different skin color and Trump offers this permission to divide Americans and to incite violence.


Are all these American voters, virulent bigots against immigrants, Jews, Muslims, the educated, teachers, and virtually most of those in the mainstream in the U.S.?  Will they be rushing to turn in their neighbors who may be hauled away to 21st century gas chambers, and then steal all their land and all their worldly goods as happened under the Nazis?

Are they striving to somehow be seen as billionaire wannabe's?  Or are they poor and uneducated and easily taken in by a snake oil salesman who wants to "Make America Great Again?"

Do these 'know-nothings' follow the lead of The Turner Diaries and want to only have a White Christian country, and be able to string up all other people of color and of other religions, from the light poles, as depicted in this hate-filled book?

This is the moment to figure out who is a Trump voter, and why.  And what can we do as a community to fix it.

Is John Dewey  somehow responsible for this frightening turn of events? Is it what has been taught, or not taught, in our public schools for the past 60 years that has created a society that is no longer a marketplace of ideas, but which has devolved into the march of the marionettes who will follow Trump to national, and possibly planetary, destruction?

Or is it more reasonable to look at the economics and culture of American society since the end of World War II?

The stream of recent history, from the era of Bundles for Britain and Rosie the Riveter, to today, is strewn with an upsurge of the contemporary robber barons and their idolizing and idealizing Wall Street and the Free Market. The confluence of universal education and the union movement built the strongest Middle Class after World War II that history has ever known. And then there was a 180 degree turnabout with the rise of the Reagan Revolution.This eventually led to 2008 and the worldwide bank scams, bundling of credit default swaps and collateral debt obligations which destroyed economies and broke the Middle Class.

From the banks that are 'too big to fail' (and can now take endless risks 'on the public dole,' as with using the public's cash in the form of the FDIC guaranteeing the banksters risks for their own rewards)... and all the redistribution of wealth going upward to the few in the 1%, to the rise of the entertainment industry with faux (Fox) News, this seems to be the downfall of the Middle Class. Add on the endless murder scenarios shown in films, cartoons, and television.

How mind bending and inculcating is it when tiny children sit and watch on iPads and TV screens and see and hear this devolution of an orderly respectful society of laws, and in its place, the heroes are tattooed and pierced gangster-types who beat and kill others for unleashed super powers? 

And now in the 21st Century, the Billionaire Class led by Eli Broad, the Waltons, Rupert Murdoch, Pete Peterson, Michael Milken, Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and all their ilk, is fighting to do away with public education and to privatize all public schools for profit and to undermine universal free education and critical thinking, and instead create unquestioning cogs to fit their corporate needs, as they concurrently attempt to kill off the entire union movement. Keep 'em poor and dumb and manageable, seems to the goal.

This marriage of oligarchic profiteering, and keeping the populace ignorant by a managed media, is leading America into arms of Donald Trump and David Duke, and straight to fascism.

This rush to make big bucks by devaluing a society of laws and universal free education, and glorifying of infotainment news, owned mainly by Murdoch, that skims facts with a quick rush to judgement about how the world works, has led too many to demand and to buy, keep, and use their guns, their automatic mass killing weapons, and to want easy answers to complex situations, to want only what pleases them, to a selfishness that shows up as freeway rage, as gang wars, as racist clashes, as mass murder, and finally, as voting for a Know Nothing like Donald Trump.

Is America finished as a democratic republic? Are we now to become a nation of roaming mobs intent on killing, beating, stealing from others who do not agree with us?

I see little connection to public school education, but rather a strong correlation to the overarching greed of the billionaire class which keeps insulated from it all as they instigate internecine warfare in America.
Ellen is worried about Trump and Broad. I am too-- and Laura Friedman... and any of the other candidates in the pockets of the Billionaire Class, on any level at all.

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At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The privatization of public schools is a Ponzi/Pyramid Scheme.

Just enough charter schools will be established to thoroughly indoctrinate an artifically created separate class group of corporate citizen who will operate the levers and pulleys of a further enhanced system of oligarchic control.

Then the ladder will be pulled up, enacting the final stage of the Ponzi/Pyramid Scheme, leaving most citizens out in the cold, with very limited or no access to the means to have a decent income or life. This will last for generations, with the have-nots fighting each other for the scraps of low-wage jobs and modest improvements in a harried exhausting dead-end lifestyle.

As you know, this has already begun, but really is just now really starting to accelerate. The dividing lines are mostly drawn. The actors are almost entirely in their places. The previous and still somewhat existing American caste system will become more severe and harden into place.

The oligarchs and their apparatchiks, our own American commisars in gated communities, urban residential towers, and security enclaves among beautiful nature will rule over the rest of us more than they even do already, and it will be left to us proles to decide how to remedy this injustice.

It is the oligarchs' choice to divide the country like this, and they will be entirely to blame for their own demise when people have finally had just too damned much disrespect and other oppression.

At 6:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the above person commenting on a Clinton Administration Dept of Education agenda? Will Arne Duncan be reappointed? Sure reads like it as we await Obama 2.0

At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the person who wrote the first comment, and it is not about any particular administration. The commenter who is asking such is a weak-minded and juvenile integral part of the problem who is capable of only playing mind games, and stupid ones at that. There is plenty of blame to go around, and we need to focus on the overriding fact that this country is being torn apart by the few people for whom these divisive policies are being implemented. No single candidate or party is going to solve the problem (though at least some of the Democrats are trying, which is more than you can say about the obstructive and obstreperous Republican cult). Organize around the principle of one person-one vote and fairness and justice. Don't be dumbed-down by weak-minded trolls.

At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dismantling of public education is one symptom of a disappearing middle class, and the swing of American priorities from ideals of socialism to those of capitalism.
Possibly more onerous is the thoroughly-modern trend toward "reactionism" - fighting fire with napalm. It goes both ways, and needs a strong-handed and charismatic leader to calm things down.
In 2016 public employees can retire with pensions which allow them to earn more than their private-sector counterparts do while working their asses off. The thanks go to labor unions, which have become eerily-similar to corporations, and are in many instances subject to even less-diligent oversight.
It goes both ways.


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