As Barack Obama and David Cameron, heads of state of U.S. and U.K., meet in London, they agree on expansion of the UN bombing operation to achieve “regime change” in Libya. In a telling photograph, shown above, they indulge in a celebratory gesture like football fans might enact after their team had just won a “big game.” Meantime the bombs fall on the “protected” civilians of Tripoli.
The UN “peacekeeping” force in that country increases its military expenditures even as it makes drastic cuts in funding for the humanitarian mandate to save people from starvation. As one indication of their priorities, nearly-dead people seeking assistance are required to walk extra miles to register, even though the UN could register them in the refugee camps in which they are living.
This was the claim of opponents of a referendum sponsored by Students For Justice in Palestine at DePaul University in Chicago. The issue was whether the University should “divest” itself from serving Sabra brand of hummus in its cafeterias, in light of fact that Sabra had strong financial ties to elements of the Israeli military. A surprising 80% of students voted for the measure, which failed to become official action of student government because the turnout fell a few votes short of the level necessary for a student vote to become effective.
THEY HAVE A DREAM (2011 STYLE): THAT SOMEDAY ALL SCHOOLS WILL BE CORPORATE-OWNED AND ALL TEACHERS WILL BE TEMPORARY ONES.
This is the “dream” described by Glen Ford as educational “reformers,” including some extremely wealthy ones, bear down on their agenda of converting schools into profit-making ventures for corporations. This will entail converting teaching jobs into lower-paying “temp” ones. The current focus of the “reformers” is to curb the power of teachers’ unions, which are a thorn in their side in their insistence on protecting the jobs of full-time professional teachers.
As Florida legislature finalizes its budget, the watchdog agency TaxWatch issues its “turkey list” of extravagant expenditures even as funds for schools and many social services are being cut. But is, for example, funding for a senior center in Belle Glade a turkey or a much-needed facility for elders there? Governor Scott has vowed to line veto any turkey (pork) items, so it seems to be up to his delicate sensibilities to determine whether there is a large gobble element in any specific appropriation.
Quote of the day…
A recent article in The Onion, the satirical newsweekly, printed a downsize-big-government spoof that Charles and David (Koch) would love to turn into reality. The parody disclosed that President Obama had come up with a surefire plan to balance the federal budget: Rob Fort Knox! “I’ve got the blueprints,” Obama is quoted as saying, “and I think I found a way out through a drainage pipe.”
Unfortunately, with today’s political climate dominated by howling winds from the far-right fringe, there’s no longer any room in American culture for satire. Sure enough, some laissez-faire extremists at such Koch-funded corporate fronts as Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation are presently howling for the government to sell all of America’s gold stored in Fort Knox. Noting that we have billions worth of bullion in the vaults, a fellow from Heritage made this keen observation: “It’s just sort of sitting there.”
Jim Hightower, on the right-wing agenda of privatizing just about everything in American public life.
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