Our main project this week is to promote the September 24 walkout and related freedom schools first initiated at the University of California, Berkeley. This action is spreading through the UC system, into the California State University system, into community colleges and around the US as well. The outstanding Rouge Forum graphic on the strike is here: blogs.ubc.ca/ross/
If you can hold even a small teach-in (invite a RF speaker if possible) or a meeting over coffee to discuss why this resistance is happening and how it might grow, that would be a significant contribution to the growing proof that over time oppressed people will fight back, often with considerable wisdom.
Here is the Rouge Forum letter of Support: therougeforum.blogspot.com/2009/09/letter-of-solidarity-with-uc-professors.html
The walkout is sponsored by the AAUP. The California Faculty Association is suppressing news of the event.
Action is already heating up. Arrests at UC Board Meeting Sept 16: www.mercurynews.com/california/ci_13348928
Faculty and students at the University of Arizona held a meeting on Friday September 18 on the fountain in front of
Old Main to organize an action in solidarity with the faculty, staff and students of the UC system.
To date, the leadership of the walkout has not publicized the relationship of the massive education cuts to the bankster and industrialist bailouts, racism, and the wars. That seems an inevitability. We shall see. And the RF will make those connections.
In any case, the UC walkout is an inspiring moment for educators. It should end at least some of the cynicism that the appearance of apathy created for some time. It demonstrates that we can figure out why things are as they are and act. What we do matters. Find a way to join us on September 24!
On the Educational Inequality Front:
This is the Fabulous Reality of the week. KPBS (owned by San Diego State where the cash cow program is the college of education) did a special on educational foundations, funding agencies set up by mostly wealthy people to fund their public schools, while poor people do not have similar foundations. The reporter visited rich and poor schools. Having been to them on my own, the rich school is like a country club overlooking the sea. The poor school looks like, well, you know.
What does the KPBS reporter have to say about the fact that rich people have lovely “public” schools paid for, in part, by private foundations, while poor people do not?
“And, you know, and I want to tell our audience, too, this isn’t a story about rich versus poor.”
You cannot make this stuff up. No class war here, for sure, none, not that I see, no way, nope. Nada. Nyet.
KPBS sponsors include the Gates Foundation (convicted monopolist) and Archers Daniels Midland (convicted of fixing food prices, made infamous now in “The Informant!”).
The program, if you can get it, is worth watching, would be terrific in an ed foundations or related class.
In The Unions (or such is what they call themselves):
AFL-CIO: Sweeney anoints Trumka (The AFL-CIO is deep in debt, lost thousands of members under Sweeney, and is trying hard to affiliate the dues income of the big National Education Association):
Subs Denounce UTLA www.youtube.com/watch?v=90dzEIlZICU
US Unionism: What to Do? www.richgibson.com/USUnionism.html
Wars, Torture, and Resistance:
Our friend Susan Harman arrested for legal protest about torture: seattle.indymedia.org/en/2009/09/273918.shtml (the case was later tossed).
Mullen: More Bodies for the Grinder: www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/afghanistan/la-fg-mullen-afghanistan16-2009sep16,0,6747705.story
Bailouts, Scams, Hucksterism, Ponzis, Three Card Monty, Shell Games, the Giant Casino and Related forms of Honest Graft:
Judge Ridicules SEC/Merrill Bailout Deal: www.nytimes.com/2009/09/15/business/15bank.html?_r=1&hp
The Tarp Chart as of June: projects.nytimes.com/creditcrisis/recipients/table?scp=1&sq=bailouts%20chart%20&st=Search
Bailouts, An Interactive Chart Sept 14: www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/09/14/business/bailout-assessment.html
Secrecy on the Bankster Bailouts, In Court: online.wsj.com/public/article/SB10001424052970204518504574418761585852036.html
End of the Empire Front, Not With a Whimper but a Bang Front:
China News: World’s Top Exporter, Most Reserves: www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d7824222-a15b-11de-a88d-00144feabdc0.html
“In the year since the financial crisis broke, the Chinese government has become noticeably more assertive in the way it talks to America.”
“Unemployment is just the most obvious potential source of popular discontent in China. Environmental protests are becoming more frequent. Ethnic tensions in Tibet and Xinjiang have provoked riots.
Complaints about corruption and social inequality are also rising. That may be why the official media are so nervous about events such as the triumphal procession for a multi-millionaire’s pet dog.”
California Unemployment Highest in 70 Years: www.nytimes.com/2009/09/19/us/19calif.html?hp
Marx: The real barrier of capitalist production is capital itself. Here is an example of auto overproduction:
Milt Bearden of the CIA on the Black Hole of Empires, Afghanistan, a very short history lesson:
Maoists Taking Over India? news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8256692.stm
Almost 40 Million in US Live Below Poverty Line (US Census): www.nytimes.com/2009/09/11/us/11poverty.html
Karzai Brother a US Intelligence Snitch? blogs.cqpolitics.com/spytalk/2009/09/karzai-brother-a-us-snitch.html
Frank Rich on the Rise of New American Fascists: Glen Beckites: www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/opinion/20rich.html?emc=eta1
Herbert, “This recession, a full-blown economic horror, has left a gaping hole in the heart of working America that is unlikely to heal for years, if not decades. ” www.nytimes.com/2009/09/15/opinion/15herbert.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
We note with sadness the death of Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary who lived an honest life of dedication to equality and justice and who sang in Chicago’s Grant Park in 1968 in the midst of tear gas, surrounded by cops, singing while standing on the tops of trash cans…The answer my friend is blowin in the wind….http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-mary-travers17-2009sep17,0,1224459.story
An excerpt of a poem by Bertolt Brecht.
General, your tank is a powerful vehicle.
It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men.
But it has one defect:
It needs a driver.
General, your bomber is powerful.
It flies faster than a storm and carries more than an elephant.
But it has one defect:
It needs a mechanic.
General, man is very useful.
He can fly and he can kill.
But he has one defect:
He can think.
Thanks to Bryan, Amber, Wayne, Adam and Gina, Doug, O and I, Bob A, Tommie, Don A, Shircliff, TC, Riley, Carlson, Connie and Doug, Eric and Chris, Hinken, Kim B, Lucy W, Sherry, Marisol, Jasmine, The Susans, George and Family, Eduardo, Arturo, Marty M, Shelly, Betty, Elisa, Larry G, Alan, Pana, Ernesto, MrJ, Andy, Richard B, Candace, Dave, and Kathy K.
Good luck to us, every one.