Friday, February 3, 2012

Why The Right-wing Is Anti-Education

Ex-senator Rick Santorum is a right-wing politician who was defeated in his last bid for the U.S. Senate.

He recently declared that he is against education in the U.S.A. because the left uses education to indoctrinate students, presumably an indoctrination into left-wing ideology.

This is a perversion of reality because it turns reality upside down.

It is a propaganda technique the right-wing uses for a very specific purpose, which will be exposed in this post.

Let's begin by focusing in on an excerpt from the text of his speech, which will give you an indication of the tenor and flavor of his public speech:
Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Wednesday that "the left" uses universities to indoctrinate young people for the purpose of "holding and maintaining power."

After saying "we've lost, unfortunately, our entertainment industry," Santorum told a Naples, Florida, audience that "we've lost our higher education, that was the first to go a long time ago."

"It's no wonder President Obama wants every kid to go to college," said the former Pennsylvania senator. "The indoctrination that occurs in American universities is one of the keys to the left holding and maintaining power in America. And it is indoctrination. If it was the other way around, the ACLU would be out there making sure that there wasn't one penny of government dollars going to colleges and universities, right?"

He continued: "If they taught Judeo-Christian principles in those colleges and universities, they would be stripped of every dollar. If they teach radical secular ideology, they get all the government support that they can possibly give them. Because you know 62 percent of children who enter college with a faith conviction leave without it."
(CBS). Obviously, he does not want American kids to go to universities to learn to become lefties.

That sentiment is in accord with everyone else who would prefer an education based on anything but politics.

The following video shows the reality, the problem with higher education, and that the problem is not on the same planet that Rick Santorum is on.

The problem with our system in the U.S. is that we are educating other nations via the H1b visa program, but we have no fix in place to correct the problem.

Listen to an explanation in the following video by one who is aware of the problem:

The import of this problem is that we have been educating, and will continue to educate, too many students from foreign nations who go back to their home nations to then compete against us in world markets.

There is no fix in place, in my opinion, because the lower levels of our system do not have the ability to produce enough university ready, top notch students, like the foreign nations do.

We would be better off if we could educate our pre-school, elementary, and high school students in the educational systems of other nations, so that they would be ready for our universities.

That won't happen, so lets get back to Mr. Santorum and wrap up this post.

Evidently, Mr. Santorum is aware that the opposite of what he is saying is the case,  i.e., U.S. children who have low cognitive skills in the U.S. are not improved by lower level education.

And in terms of left-right politics, the less they are capable of deductive reasoning and other beneficial thinking skills, the more likely they are to end up as right-wing political voters (Bright Minds, Psychological Science Journal, February 2012, vol. 23 no. 2, 187-195, free PDF download available).

The U.S. students do end up in "college" though, which is likely to be one of the government's several, fully subsidized War Colleges.

Then, upon graduation, those students are assigned to various MOMCOM HQ divisions located in foreign nations.

Upon deployment to one of those 132 foreign nations, they will use their "education" to oversee upwards of a thousand military bases.

MOMCOM bases being used to dominate the world of oil rich nations (where many of those educated in our universities will be back at home competing economically with us).

When the right-wing finishes with education it will be destroyed, whether at home or abroad:
As a college professor, I have a special interest in what happened to Iraqi universities under US occupation. The story is not pretty.

Until the 1990s, Iraq had perhaps the best university system in the Middle East. Saddam Hussein's regime used oil revenues to underwrite free tuition for Iraqi university students -- churning out doctors, scientists, and engineers who joined the country's burgeoning middle class and anchored development. Although political dissent was strictly off-limits, Iraqi universities were professional, secular institutions that were open to the West, and spaces where male and female, Sunni and Shia mingled. Also the schools pushed hard to educate women [PDF], who constituted 30 percent of Iraqi university faculties by 1991. (This is, incidentally, better than Princeton was doing as late as 2009.) With a reputation for excellence, Iraqi universities attracted many students from surrounding countries -- the same countries that are now sheltering the thousands of Iraqi professors who have fled US-occupied Iraq ... In just 20 years, then, the Iraqi university system went from being among the best in the Middle East to one of the worst. This extraordinary act of institutional destruction was largely accomplished by American leaders who told us that the US invasion of Iraq would bring modernity, development, and women's rights. Instead, as political scientist Mark Duffield has observed, it has partly de-modernized that country. In the words of John Tirman, America's failure to acknowledge the suffering that occupation wreaked in Iraq "is a moral failing as well as a strategic blunder." Iraq represents a blind spot in our national conversation, one that impedes the cultural growth that stems from a painful recognition of error; and it hobbles the rational evaluation of foreign intervention. Is it too late to look in the mirror?
(Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists). That is "life" in a Wartocracy guided by a Big Brother Plutonomy.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Is 'Insanity' A Valid Defense To Ecocide? - 2

In the first post of this series we talked about a mock trial of the type law schools hold each year for their students' edification.

As it turned out, the issue of whether or not insanity is a valid defense was not considered in that trial we spoke of.

The issue of ecocide is quite serious, causing the United Nations to consider adding ecocide to its list of crimes against humanity, because of the damage, death, and destruction already being done:
But should the bosses of polluting companies and the leaders of environmentally-unfriendly states join those responsible for mass murder in the dock. They could if a fifth crime against peace - ecocide - joined that list of human evils? The United Nations is now considering the proposal and the first test of how a prosecution for ecocide would work takes place on Friday, with fossil fuel bosses in the dock at the UK supreme court in London. It is a mock trial of course, but with real top-flight lawyers and judges and a jury made up of members of the public. The corporate CEOs will be played by actors briefed by their legal teams.
(Guardian). That trial the Dredd Blog post spoke of was intended to show what such trials in the International Criminal Court would look like.

Anyway, the jury took a short time of it to return a guilty verdict on two cases, even though that verdict was said not to be a forgone conclusion, since one defendant was found not guilty:
Two verdicts of guilty, one not guilty: that was the conclusion of the mock ecocide trial (details below) held at the UK's supreme court on 30 September. Real lawyers, judges and a public jury found the CEOs of fictional fossil fuel companies guilty of "extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) to such an extent that the peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory, and of other territories, has been severely diminished", as a result of their company's extraction of oil from tar sands in Canada. The jury found one of the CEOs not guilt on the count of damage caused by an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
(ibid). One beneficial effect of these types of trials is that it focuses on the evidence and arguments that are at issue.

The recent Dredd Blog post Thin Ice brings up the story of Al Gore's current trip to Antarctica, one key area of focus in this Ecocide Is A Crime saga.

A post on his blog The Climate Reality Project, written from Antarctica, explains the situation in subdued language, taking the path that projects the least amount of damage from rising seas, yet the post also mentions that several scientists project a far greater sea rise and subsequent damage.

Al's post is a good read with useful links.

If I was Al I don't think I would get too close to "the people's House" of representatives, since they do not like those who resist Ecocide:
Josh Fox, whose HBO documentary “Gasland” raised questions about the safety of the natural gas drilling technique known as horizontal hydraulic fracturing, was handcuffed and led away on Wednesday as he tried to film a House Science Committee hearing on the topic.

The Capitol Police said that Mr. Fox, whose film was nominated for an Academy Award last year, was charged with unlawful entry.

Mr. Fox brought a crew to film a hearing of the energy and environment subcommittee that was looking into an Environmental Protection Agency finding that fracking, as the technique is popularly known, was probably responsible for groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyo.

Mr. Fox is preparing a sequel to “Gasland,” which has contributed to widespread concern about fracking, which uses large volumes of water and chemicals under high pressure to free gas deposits from underground shale.

The chairman of the subcommittee conducting the hearing, Representative Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican, objected to the presence of Mr. Fox and his crew as well as another crew under contract to ABC. A committee chairman has the discretion to bar cameras from hearings, according to a committee aide.
(NY Times). One wonders what the "strict constructionists" of the GOP think "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of ...  the press" in the First Amendment means?

It is clearly time for an ethics investigation of the fascist republican heading up that puppet committee.

In a real trial, Monsanto was found guilty of killing a farmer by poisoning him.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post is here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dredd Blog On Steroids

On this date three years ago I was hyperactive, posting the following three posts.

Those articles are posted again today, for the simple reason that you can wonder how much things have changed, or have not changed.

And guess what bloggers, the degree to which these subjects are still live, or have been solved by Mr. R. and Mr. D. in congress, is an indication of how much they are listening to you, or to the contrary how much they are not listening to you.

Hey, isn't today the Florida primary where votes are cast for the Nation Saver in Chief?

So, maybe these posts with show how that voting thingy is working out for us:

Let's Party - We Got Our Bailout Money!:

The robber barons of the US in our time purportedly first raised their ugly heads during the great depression long ago.

But their progeny, still at "work" today, have the same genetic disposition to look at the rest of us as the little people.

We are pests who bring up that constitution thingy and all that other quaint jazz that irritates them so much.

They are so brazen in today's great depression that they really do not try to hide it.

They fly in to beg for champagne and campaign money in personal or corporate jets when their PR people have not gotten the "don't do this and don't do that" memo to them yet.

Afterwards they may be chided with "you gotta know how to deceive the little people fool" by their handlers.

It got so bad that their base had to feign righteous indignation and feign being against giving them our money.

Well, actually they all give it out like they think it is their money don't they?

"Progressives" v "Zionists" is A Ruse:

Even in the face of history the blogs of self righteous indignation are against "Zionism" I guess.

Whatever they think that ism is.

That ism to their way of thinking seems to be synonymous with "Isreal", which is equal to "Jew" I gather.

So Zionism = Isrealism = Jewism?

These blogs of self righteous indignation and racism have progressed about sixty years backwards to another time when their self assessed righteous ancestors ran amok after being infected with the same meme such blogs are infected with.

One difference that throws them off, in terms of identifying what it is they stand for, is that the meme infecting them sixty years ago had a host wearing a NAZI uniform.

The host today dresses and acts differently. The host today also claims to be chic and cool and wise and intelligent and sophisticated.

As if the old host did not claim the same.

Try peace for a change and drop the loser meme.

Purple Haze or Fickle Finger of Fate?:

Today the often endangered people of Iraq will go through an election cycle.

They will cast their vote, get a purple finger, and return to their homes or jobs pondering their future and their past.

I followed the life of an Iraqi woman on her blog for a long time.

Before her output went cold in October of 2007 after she and her family had to flee Iraq along with millions of other Iraqis.

She noted many things about their "barbed wire elections" (At least eight of the 14,000 candidates have been killed in the run up to the election today).

She revealed, among many other things, that Iran had been harbouring many Shia outcasts.

They had been expatriated by the Saddam Hussein regime of Iraq and were waiting their turn to leave Iran and return to power at home.

When the bushies invaded, those expatriates returned to Iraq and instilled themselves into the Iraqi government at various locations when bushies banned Baathists from the Iraqi government.

These Shia expatriates did it undetected to the bushies and in many cases right under the very long bushie noses.

The bushies were doing a heckuva job in both Iraq and in Louisiana in the purple haze of those daze.

The Sunni population of Iraq was less than impressed with the bushie lack of performance, and to them, misguided focus on the Iraqi oil fields.

I mean they even went so far as to think the invasion and occupation might be about drill baby drill.

And so they mounted an insurrection. The bushies figured that out about four years later.

This election today in Iraq will probably hurt the feelings of those who feel elections are a magic panacea for democracy in the fertile crescent.

Again. Somewhat like our own elections here in 2000 and 2004?

But this Iraqi election will be over before the ongoing election in Minnesota for the other US Senator is over.

You see, Iraqi election officials are not soft on counting.

So is neoCon "democracy" fast and furious, steady as she goes, or just plain old willy nilly?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Thin Ice

 The NASA graph to the left shows global temperature rise during the industrial age (during about the past century and a half; 1880 - 2011).

The global warming deniers, at least those who are not still in psychotic denial, generally concede the warming now, however, the clinginess they have developed still clings to the notion that this warming is not anthropogenic, not human caused.

An interesting feature on the graph, which may have thrown some of us off, is the jagged nature of the annual line, when compared with the much more smooth 5 year average line.

The nemesis of the deniers, Al Gore, who traveled to Antarctica in 1988, is going back to Antartica with a group of scientists, business people, activists, and others (Gore To Antartica).

Since there have been new maps, new studies, and new indications that are causing concern, Mr. Gore and his entourage evidently want to document the current reality as a service to fellow members of current civilization.

Researchers completed a map of ice flow in Antarctica, and were somewhat surprised to find that ice flows like slow rivers from deep in the interior regions of the continent, not just at the coasts (Science Daily).

This is significant, because it means that because the ice is sliding or flowing toward the oceans, as ice falls off into the ocean and melts, more of the same will continue to happen because of the replenishing flow from the vast interior.

This is also of note because Antarctica is warming at a rate several times worse than the global average rate.

It had been thought, in the past, that ice further inland was anchored in place, and so it would take centuries to melt in place, but things are changing:
Other scientists have found that the speed at which sand dunes drift across the Antarctic desert has tripled in the past 40 years, as warming temperatures loosen the ice and power wind. A new study by the Indian Space Research Organization and the Geological Survey of India in Kolkata reports that 80 percent of India’s Himalayan glaciers are receding. Researchers have also found that Greenland’s longest-observed glacier, Mittivakkat Glacier, made two consecutive record losses in mass observations for 2010 and 2011.
(Ice Advance and Retreat). One common sense conclusion is that the acceleration means that the oceans will rise as described by the phrase that characterizes our time,  "more than previously expected."

Mr. Gore and his entourage made it to Antarctica:
After crossing the legendary Drake Passage, we came in sight of the Antarctic continent. It is a majestic, otherworldly place. The Antarctic Peninsula, which juts northward toward South America, is lined with ice-covered mountains and surrounded by abundant wildlife in the sea. But even on this continent that looks and feels pristine, a troubling process is underway because of global warming.
(Al Gore From Antarctica). On another front, the good news that glaciers high up in the Himilayas are not melting much at all, may deceive some into thinking the 99% of ice elsewhere is not melting.

That would be self deluding:
"Our results and those of everyone else show we are losing a huge amount of water into the oceans every year. People should be just as worried about the melting of the world's ice as they were before." ... Taken globally all the observations of the Earth's ice – permafrost, Arctic sea ice, snow cover and glaciers – are going in the same direction."
(Guardian). That has not held the deniers back yet, and I don't expect it to hold back their denial, based on fear, this time either.

Out with the old climate change denier propaganda engine, Marshall Institute, and in with the new climate change denier propaganda engine The Heartland Institute.

The lyrics to the following song can be viewed here.