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THE ROUGE FORUM – UPDATE 28th AUGUST 2009

 

 

A message from Rich Gibson

 

Dear Friends

This will be the last update until after Labor Day. This one should hold up for readers until then.

Action Oriented Links:

Please note and try to attend the Freedom in Education Meeting in Fresno this weekend:
http://www.susanohanian.org/show_nclb_stories.html?id=399

Call for Papers, the Rouge Forum News Number 15: http://therougeforum.blogspot.com/

The Rouge Forum Immortalized at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rouge_Forum

Deadline For Nominations to the Rouge Forum Steering Committee is September 1.

We recognize with sadness: the doors at Room 101, an incisive radio program on KZUM hosted by Michael Baker, are closed. Mr Baker’s long run on the radio included interviews with key radical and progressive voices in education from Noam Chomsky to Wayne Ross and liberals as well. Congratulations to Michael Baker on a great run. Two, three, many Room 101s!

There are, at the beginning of the school year, 4,516 on our email list. Wish it was more? Send it along. Invite a friend.

Endless War:

Obamagogue Spins War News With the Best of Them: http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=64348

Holy Cow! The Afghans are Not Helping: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/world/asia/23marines.html?_r=1&hp

Double Holy Cow! The CIA Threatens and Beats People! http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/25/us/politics/25detain.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

“General Pickett, send more men.” “But, General Lee, I have no more men.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/24/world/asia/24military.html?hp

Warlord Dostum Joins Karzai: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/73809.html?storylink=omni_popular

Council on Foreign Relations: Afghanistan is NOT a War of Necessity: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/opinion/21haass.html?_r=1

and Oh Yes it Is, It’s The Pipelines, Stupid: http://prorev.com/2009/08/why-is-afghanistan-so-important.html

William Calley: Sorry About That: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/08/21/us/AP-US-My-Lai-Massacre.html?scp=1&sq=calley&st=cse

Mercs Outnumber US Troops in Afghanistan: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2009/08/22-0

Aghanistan’s Rigged Election: http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE57E0D620090823

Brother Can You Spare A Dime?

Unemployment Uber Alles: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aNaqecavD9ek
html?_r=1&hp

California Unemployment Hits Post WW2 High: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-caljobs22-2009aug22,0,6343107.story

Detroit Unemployment at 28.9% http://www.freep.com/article/20090827/NEWS01/90827037/1320/Detroit-jobless-rate-a-record-28.9

Nope, But if You Are A Banker, Here is $12.9 Trillion, No Strings, No Kidding. It is Yours. Woo hoo.

Video–Where is that Tarp? What Tarp? What Me Worry? “I have to tell you honestly, I am shocked to find out that nobody at the Federal Reserve, including the Inspector General, is keeping track of [the unaccounted for trillions].”
http://www.examiner.com/x-6495-US-Intelligence-Examiner~y2009m5d22-Federal-Reserve-Inspector-General-hedges-on-trillions-missing-in-Congressional-hearing

The Stim is Definitely Working? Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/25/christina-romer-stimulus-consumption-peter-rupert-opinions-columnists-thomas-f-cooley.html?feed=rss_opinions

The Education Agenda is a War Agenda:

Ohanian on Duncan’s Merit Pay Schemes: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-ravitch/obamas-awful-education-pl_b_266412.html

The Education Stimulus is a Merity Pay Stimulus:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/17/education/17educ.

Ravitch on Obama’s Awful Education Plan:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/diane-ravitch/obamas-awful-education-pl_b_266412.html

The State As an Executive Committee and Armed Weapon of the (Corrupt) Rich:

Holy Double Dog Cow: Hillbillary’s and Obamagogues Pals are Crooks: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/26/nyregion/26fraud.html?hp

Notorious Friends of Hillbillary: http://prorev.com/hillaryfriends.htm

John Pilger on Brand Obama: http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=56998&s2=16

Yes, We Told Them So: The Demoagogue

It is probably not all that helpful to announce that we told you so, but….Yup, we told many people so.
        The core issue of our time is the rapid rise of color-coded inequality and the emergence of world war met by the potential of a mass, class-conscious resistance.
        These are not “public” schools we see. They are capitalist schools in a society where capitalism trumped whatever vestiges of democracy existed a decade ago. They are segregated schools. That’s not merely the result of bad people doing bad things, exploiting others (though they surely are bad people) but also the consequence of a social system dependant on exploitation—meaning inequality.
        The education agenda is a war agenda. It is a capitalism in crisis agenda, a Regimented National Curriculum agenda, mostly to promote nationalism.
        Such a curriculum necessarily sets up anti-working class and racist high-stakes tests. Both teacher unions, the NEA and AFT, helped design both the national curriculum and the high-takes exams. They are in no position to stop the next step. The professional organization, from NCTE to AHA to NCSS and all in between, proved more than impotent, they too collaborated.
        Those tests necessarily and logically lead to merit pay which already exists in the deep divide in, say, Detroit and suburb pay and benefits.
         Militarization of schooling is part of the war agenda.
        To some degree, privatization and charters are part of the war agenda. Privatization serves some sectors of elites, and others not. Why fully abandon a huge, tax supported, funnel for war, ignorance, and inequality; missions for capitalism and their unwitting, ever so nice, missionaries.
        Restoring hope is part of the agenda, but it is false hope. The future is war, inequality, unemployment, horrible options for youth and it will not change without a mass social movement for equality.
        All of these interconnected attacks on life and reason have already happened, all over the western world.
        Merely opposing any one of these factors, like merit pay, but not the rest just reinforces the entire project. As we see, NEA now dishonestly speaks out about merit pay, but NEA backed the regimented curricula and high stakes exams, sharply attacked people like Susan Ohanian who spoke against them, and dumped the students who suffered most from them.
        Too late for NEA which is merely trying to keep the rubes sending dues money, but there is now nothing much NEA can do. Only direct action strikes, boycotts, etc., can halt the drive to the factors described above.
        NEA has done nothing at all to prepare for that, and is not likely to do so. The union leaders are completely corrupt and their structures don’t unite people. They divide people: city from suburb, students from teachers, teachers from other public workers and private employees—as easily seen in the California Teachers Association’s effort to pass off a tax on poor and working people just months ago, a project that cost dues-payers millions of dollars and failed miserably, convincing the public, again, that educators want to pick their pockets.
        What would be helpful is to wonder about the analytical and critical mistake that led to all that support for Obama, a demagogue.
Several things led to that.
        1. A misunderstanding of capitalist democracy which is now sheer capitalism and little democracy. There was no significant difference between the Bush/Obama/McCain or even Clinton policies. Obama has betrayed, if we take his consistency as a betrayal, nearly all of his liberal supporters who, for what have to be psychological reasons, still support his personification of the reign of capital which has, among other things, failed in every important arena of human life.
        2. A misunderstanding of the gravity of the current situation vis a vis the war of empires. The US is in rapid decline in relationship to Russia China and even Europe and Japan—economically and militarily, and the US has lost any ability to promote itself as a moral nation, internally and externally. This puts extraordinary pressure on elites who need soldiers, Boeing workers, prison guards, and teachers too.
        3. A misreading of the real internal crisis inside the US; the rapid rise of segregation and inequality–which has not, yet, led to civil rebellions. But everything is in place to lay the ground for those uprisings, except a left which can make sense of why things are as they are, and what to do. Lost wars. Collapsed economies. Immoral leaders caught with dozens of hands in a thousand cookie jars, war without reason pulling 1.5 million people into direct action—and the wreckage of their lives. All that should, and more, should mean massive resistance. But that has not happened? Why not? No draft. No left. Spectacles. Divide and Rule. Carrot and stick. The education system.  The same ways tyrants always ruled.
        4. The continuing appeal of racism and nationalism.
        5. Acceptance of the division of labor inside academia which means, for example, historians talk to historians and write books while literacy people talk to literacy people and write books, and few academics seriously organize anything at all, as the state of the campuses (and open willingness of the overwhelming majority of faculty to abandon their academic freedom in favor of standards) now. This also means historians, as in AHA, don’t pay much attention to teaching while too many education personnel don’t know much history.
        6. A general public so mindless about history and social processes that it can rightly be called hysterical, potentially dangerous. Steeped in spectacles and consumerism for more than a decade, so vacant about their location in the world that Chalmers Johnson says they cannot connect cause and effect (as with the endless wars, but in regard to schooling as well). Fickle to the core, they howled for Bush, abandoned him when things went wrong, then another bunch howled for Obama, and now we see a new crowd howling about health care–all leaping for thousands of forms of selfishness that keeps the the war of all on all that is the system of capital alive and well.
        Not recognizing the historical moment, rejecting the real whole of the situation, capitalism in decay everywhere, shatters analytical and strategic capability, meaning many people cannot tell left from right, muddle along looking for someone else to save us when no one but the collective Us is going to save us.
        This, written months before the election and originally published in Workplace, online, is now floating around the net.
http://la.indymedia.org/news/2009/08/229885.php Those who are not angry and screeding a bit these days may not be witnessing the ravages of war, hunger, unemployment, and unreason itself.
        Yup. We told them so. Big deal. Those who have not made a big mistake in life can be absolved. We are all lambs among wolves. But we do not have to be lambs among wolves if we recognize, and act on, the role of class consciousness.

Good luck to us, every one.

Congratulations to Sharon, Amber and the gang at a wonderful new school. Thanks to Adam, Wayne, Gina, (Good health to Bob), Donna, Erin, Taylor, Jody, That Great Family, Irene and Tom, Della, Emily W, Sherry, Marc, Mary and Paul, Joe L, The Susans (always), Lucita, Marisol, Vincente, Arturo, Allen, Greg, Carrie, Harv, Norm, Frank, Teeyah, Glenn R, Dave (happy wedding), and Candace.

RICH GIBSON

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Real Financial Literacy

Real Financial Literacy

THE ROUGE FORUM – UPDATE 28 JULY 2009

A message from Rich Gibson

Dear Friends

Health and work delayed the update of the Rouge Forum No Blood For Oil web page at: http://www.rougeforum.org. There you will find those good-for-the-rest-your-life nifty No Blood For Oil posters on sale and more.

Plus, you will get a chance to see The Great Parade at the End of the Rouge Forum Conference in Ypsilanti this year:
http://richgibson.com/rouge_forum/2009/Parade.mov

On the Education for Irrationalism Front:

In a death by a thousand cuts, some one or some place may have to be first. It could be Detroit where between 1/3 and 1/4 of the teaching staff was notified that they had three days to find a new job in the school system as they were “reconstituted” by test scores. This announcement came from Bob Bobb, appointed Czar of the school system by the Democratic governor. What did the Detroit Federation of Teachers do? Less than nothing. They called a building rep meeting (not a mass meeting, too risky) for tomorrow, Tuesday, and then threatened a small group of teachers who tried to take up a petition opposing the firings, saying the petition had nothing to do with the DFT. This may be the end of what was once the finest school system in the western world. The end of the schools would mean, literally, the end of Detroit.
 

DPS Vacates 2600 Jobs, Schools Reconstituted:
http://www.detnews.com/article/20090722/SCHOOLS/907220369/DPS-vacates-2-600-jobs-at-41-schools

The Obamagogue’s Stimulus Money for Schools is Merit Pay: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teachers24-2009jul24,0,6767455.story

How Will the UC Survive? http://laprensa-sandiego.org/editorial-and-commentary/how-will-the-university-of-california-survive/

California Faculty Association’s Narrow Vote For Furlough/Concessions:
http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/jul/24/us-california-university-cuts-072409/?dsq=13291864#comment-13291864

The American Federation of Teachers Sees Charters as a Cash Cow; NEA Next?
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/27/education/27charter.html?hp

Calpers/Sters Lose $100 Billion: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-calpers22-2009jul22,0,5416427.story

 

On the War They Are Not Going to Win (Long supply lines, difficult communications, no moral standing, huge country to invade–can anyone remember the US Revo?) Front:

Payoff For War Crimes:New Gi Bill: http://www.detnews.com/article/20090721/SCHOOLS/907210345/1409/METRO/A-surge-from-bunker-to-dorm–New-GI-Bill-takes-battle-out-of-higher-ed

Hedges: We are Losing the AFPAK Wars: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090720_war_without_purpose/

On The Hoo-boy There Goes the Economy Again Front:

Wall Street Jacks up Pay After Bailouts: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/22/AR2009072203687.html

But US Manufacturing at 2/3 Capacity: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/72485.html

 

And, of course, people fight back, even if we have to look for them at a distance:

In France: More Bossnappings: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2009517317_apeufranceworkerunrest.html

In China, Steel Workers, Angered by Inequality and Layoffs, Demonstrate and Kill a Boss:
http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE56P09620090726

Remember, nominations for the Rouge Forum Steering Committee close August 15.

We note with sadness the death of Ken Macrorie, an honorable man, a great teacher and writer:
http://www.webfh.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=254464&fh_id=11112

Thanks to Susan H and O, Amber, Kelly, Sandra, Sally, Joan, Donna, Eric, Carol, Sherry, Peter M, Don A, Bill A, Terry Schaeffer, Ramona, Sharon, Ken, Echo, Beau, Daniella, Candace, Bob, and Della.

Good luck to us, every one.
Rich Gibson

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

The Rouge Forum – Update May 10th 2009

A message from Rich Gibson

Dear Friends

Less than one week to the Rouge Forum Conference in Ypsilanti, Michigan at Eastern Michigan University. Keynote speakers include Staughton Lynd, author, radical historian, civil rights leader; Greg Queen, winner of the National Council for the Social Studies “academic freedom award,” and Rebecca Martusewicz, eco-justice educator and activist. http://www.rougeforumconference.org/

Education News

Students at Los Angeles’ Crenshaw High walked out of school last week in protest of budget cuts:
http://www.wavenewspapers.com/news/local/west-edition/44620717.html

People are being positioned so that the fight-back is almost inevitable. The question is: Will it make any sense and win?

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teachers10-2009may10,0,1000273.story
Call it paranoid but it is not entirely coincidental that the LATimes is running a series of articles on “bad teachers” and UTLA (which may well be true) just days before the planned UTLA walkout on May 15. The walkout, unfortunately, is scheduled for that date in order to not disrupt district testing, but it is one of the first direct-action responses to come from any large NEA or AFT local. The walkout came to being after considerable rank and file struggle inside the union, demanding collective action.

The LATimes does not have much to say about the reasons for rising inequality and the real promise of perpetual war, that is, capital’s relentless quest for profits. Nor does it deal with the daily lives of children in Compton and when it does mention them, it does so in terms of being under privileged, not super-exploited.

But, come to think of it, UTLA doesn’t speak in those terms either.

Its parent body, CTA, is working with the Gropenfuhrer to pass the anti-working class tax hikes, trying to panic voters into taxing themselves rather than the rich. A recent CTA news spends most of its glossy pages telling teachers how to adjust to the financial crises, rather than how to fight back, dealing with the consequences of the crises rather than to address the causes at the root.
http://www.utla.net/

There are alternatives:
http://www.rougeforumconference.org/

Here is the New Yorker’s abstract of an article touting the partnership of the American Federation of Teachers and Steve Barr, of Green Dot charter fame: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/11/090511fa_fact_mcgray and a response from Susan Ohanian
http://www.susanohanian.org/outrage_fetch.php?id=545

But the fact is that the education agenda is a war agenda, and vice versa: http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/20965

Industry, Finance, War, and Pedagogy

Chrysler Gets Judge to Allow The Bankrupt Company to Borrow $4.5 Billion from USA! Huh?
http://www.freep.com/article/20090504/BUSINESS01/90504013/Judge+lets+Chrysler+borrow+$4.5+billion

Don’t forget those Good For the Rest of Your Life Rouge Forum Posters: http://www.geocities.com/elethinker/posters.html

Chalmers Johnson on the Signs of Decay http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2CCs-x9q9U

The banks behind the Meltdown (Center For Public Integrity): http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/economic_meltdown/

One-half million people are now fleeing the Swat Valley. Whether the guerrillas will stand and fight or melt away is yet to be seen:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/half-a-million-flee-swat-valley-as-pakistan-faces-months-of-fighting-1681831.html

In April and May, 1975, US forces fled Vietnam, the world’s most powerful empire forced out by peasant nationalists who fought imperialism for decades, making huge sacrifices. The US defeat was caused, mainly, by Vietnamese military and political operations, but also by the actions of soldiers in the US military and civilians in the anti-war movement. Here is a clip from the film, Sir No Sir, as a reminder that people can resist, under harsh conditions, and win http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDk6Qal2DCI

May 9 is Victory Day (May 8 in the US–Victory in Europe day) seemingly forgotten in America now. But the sacrifices of the people of the world in defeating fascism should be remembered: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Fascism/What_Is_Fascism_Gibson.html

Thanks to Joe B and the entire Ypsi gang for pulling together a great conference and to Adam and Gina Renner for taking the lead in developing the most recent edition of the Rouge Forum News: It is the only clear expression of education radicalism in the US.
http://richgibson.com/rouge_forum/newspaper/spring2009/index.html

Thanks too to Susan H and O, Amber, Diego, Ernesto, Lucy W and S, Jesus, Joseph, Amilia, Candace, Bob and Tommie, Wayne and Perry, Steve, Big Al, Nancy, Lisa, Marisol, Ricio, Chantelle, The Wailers, Harv, Ned, Ray, Earl, Sandy and Van, Mickey, Jim, Phillip and his entire gang, Selene and Frank, Carolina, Maria, Bruno, Daniel, Natalia, Nereyda, Edgar, Edwardo, and Gil

All the best and good luck to us every one.
Rich Gibson

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com