Edumacation Secdatary Arne Duncan Wants Military Schools by Bruce Gagnon


by Bruce Gagnon
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Bruce’s blog post
Dec. 21, 2008

Chicago teacher Jesse Sharkey writes,

“In the past couple years, Arne Duncan [Obama’s pick for Secretary of Education who hails from Chicago] has been turning public schools over to private operators–mainly in the form of charter and contract schools — at a rate of about 20 per year. Duncan has also resuscitated some of the worst ‘school reform’ ideas of the 1990s, like firing all the teachers in low-performing schools (called ‘turnarounds’). At the same time, he’s eliminated many Local School Councils and made crucial decisions without public input.”

“To me, the thing that made Duncan’s role clear came after three months of organizing at Senn High School, the community school where I teach, against the Chicago Board of Education’s proposal to install a Naval Academy.”

Continue reading

Kids Learn That Killing Is Fun at the Army’s Lethal New Theme Park

Dandelion Salad

By Penny Coleman
December 19, 2008

The Army’s new recruitment tool lets high-tech video game centers desensitize, condition, train and even enlist America’s youth.

The Army Experience Center, located in the Franklin Mills Mall just north of Philadelphia, bills itself as a “state-of-the-art educational facility that uses interactive simulations and online learning programs to educate visitors about the many careers, training and educational opportunities available in the Army.”

Nonsense. The only thing they’re teaching here is how to blow shit up. If it’s state-of-the-art anything, it’s state-of-the-art adolescent boys’ wet dreams.

“Too slow! Do it again!” yells the voice in my earphones as a new sequence of armed figures in camouflage pop up in front of me. I — the player — am attached to the foreshortened barrel of an M-16 — and a little embarrassed by that. It’s not my thing, really. And I wasn’t expecting the game to involve having to tolerate some dickhead’s personal opinion about my marksmanship.


via Kids Learn That Killing Is Fun at the Army’s Lethal New Theme Park | | AlterNet.

h/t: Global Research

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Five benefits of not having money by Janet Surman

Dandelion Salad

Reposted with permission from World Socialist Party (US)

by Janet Surman
21 December 2008

Socialist society will have no need for money. This will profoundly affect all aspects of life.

Removing money from the current economic equation would strike most people as impossible, unthinkable, absolutely imponderable. Everything we do, every transaction we make, from a simple cup of tea to sending a space probe to Mars, from birth to death and at every step in between, money has become a necessary part of getting what we require. It has become an accepted, entrenched method of acquiring anything and everything but it wasn’t always so and in a genuine socialist system money will be shown to have been an unnecessary, wasteful and divisive way of ordering world communities.

Continue reading

Elements of an Inside Job in Mumbai Attacks By Jeremy R. Hammond

By Jeremy R. Hammond
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Foreign Policy Journal
December 21, 2008

Crossposted on Foreign Policy Journal

Indian police last week arrested Hassan Ali Khan, who was wanted for investigations into money laundering and other illicit activities, and who is also said to have ties to Dawood Ibrahim, the underworld kingpin who evidence indicates was the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks in Mumbai last month.

Ibrahim is also alleged to have close ties with both Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency and the CIA.

Another character linked to the CIA whose name is now beginning to figure into the web of connections between the Mumbai attacks, criminal organizations, and intelligence agencies is Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, of Iran-Contra infamy. Khashoggi has been implicated in arms deals with drug traffickers and terrorist groups, including within India.

Continue reading

One Missing Word Sowed the Seeds of Catastrophe By Robert Fisk

Dandelion Salad

By Robert Fisk
December 20, 2008 —The Independent

No one in 1967 thought the Arab-Israeli conflict would still be in progress 41 years later

A nit-picker this week. And given the fact that we’re all remembering human rights, the Palestinians come to mind since they have precious few of them, and the Israelis because they have the luxury of a lot of them.

And Lord Blair, since he’ll be communing with God next week, might also reflect that he still – to his shame – hasn’t visited Gaza. But the nit-picking has got to be our old friend United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. This, you’ll recall, was supposed to be the resolution that would guide all future peace efforts in the Middle East; Oslo was supposed to have been founded on it and all sorts of other processes and summits and road maps.

It was passed in November 1967, after Israel had occupied Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Sinai and Golan, and it emphasises “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and calls for “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”.

Continue reading

Carol Chomsky; at 78; Harvard language professor was wife of MIT linguist

Dandelion Salad

Sincere sympathies and condolences to Carol’s family and friends.  ~ DS

By Bryan Marquard
Globe Staff
December 20, 2008

Brilliant and accomplished, Carol Chomsky taught for many years at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and wrote oft-cited articles about how young children learn to read. And yet, she possessed talents that didn’t easily fit on a curriculum vitae.

“She was a pretty remarkable person,” said Judith Chomsky of Philadelphia, who is married to the younger brother of Dr. Chomsky’s husband, Noam. “She was very athletic, and, until she was ill, she was fishing and water skiing and doing things people wouldn’t normally associate with her. She played the accordion. She could fix a car. She was mechanical. I mean, she was the one who fixed everything at the house.”

Through her work in language development and psycholinguistics, Dr. Chomsky also helped young children learn the mechanics of reading, and by doing so gain greater social acceptance in their classrooms. Dr. Chomsky died of cancer yesterday at her Lexington home. She was 78.


via Carol Chomsky; at 78; Harvard language professor was wife of MIT linguist – The Boston Globe.

Prophet of Boom (and Bust) – Now will they listen to Ravi Batra? By Kendall Anderson

Dandelion Salad

Sent to DS by the author; thanks, Kendall.

By Kendall Anderson
Photos at original publication by Vishal Malhotra
December 17, 2008
Fort Worth Weekly

The worst economic cycle in more than half a century has everyone from struggling homeowners to former Federal Reserve chairmen shaking their heads in disbelief. Jobs are disappearing, retail sales are in the toilet, bankruptcies of major companies are a daily occurrence, and an unprecedented, massive government bailout has failed thus far to unfreeze the credit system that is the lifeblood of U.S. capitalism.

Even the iconic architect of the current economic system himself, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, told a Congressional panel several months ago that his deregulation and debt-is-OK approach was mistaken. But what exactly is causing the current worldwide financial meltdown, Greenspan said, he’s still trying to figure out.

In Dallas, Ravi Batra is also shaking his head — but for different reasons. The veteran Southern Methodist University economics professor saw this storm approaching years ago and has written several books, including a couple of best-sellers, about what the country should have been doing to handle it. He wrote Greenspan’s Fraud in 2005. And in his 2006 book, The New Golden Age — The Coming Revolution Against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos, he predicted an economic depression and the rise of a charismatic leader who might help dig the country out of that hole. In fact, the 65-year-old Indian-born academic has an amazing record of economic and social forecasting going back several decades, from the rise of Islam, which he predicted in the 1960s, to the mergers booms and soaring stock prices of the ’90s, and the stock market crash of 2000. In the futurist field, where a 65 to 70 percent accuracy rate is acceptable, he has a nearly 90 percent record of being right.
Continue reading