When You Scan the Headlines and Read the Leads …

 …  You Know We All Live in the Same Psycho Neighborhood

 Interesting events in the neighborhood. Look, the school yard fight is all about how we have become so stupid when it comes to fighting the corrupt pigs running things. How we have failed to teach young and old that they don’t have to show up to work, that they have to show up to city hall and the state capitals, and they must at all costs get arrested en masse protesting the likes of almost every single corporation on the planet.

I think all things run down hill, and in the end, the teachers have been stripped of their own power and have caved to the interests of the corporate bottom line to get people to fear revolt, whistle-blowing, calling a spade a spade and fearing for their own lives. Look, if we had a REAL society, we’d take control of the corporations and start taxing them like they fee-fine-charge us daily, each nanosecond of our credit/debit card-swiping lives. We have to fight this war in the school room, school yard and in public commons.

It’s time for Walden Two to blossom, free school, open air meet-ups, and just teach others how to hack the system that has hacked into our lives and hijacked the testicles and ovaries we used to have in this unfortunate evolutionary process that has turned us into … drum roll, please: Consumopithecus Anthropocene, creeping toward Retailopithecus Erectus.

We are a mutt-drained species. And we need to turn the entire thing upside down and begin re-teaching every soul how to learn to fight.  

No matter what, no matter how many times we are attacked as being socialist, communist, naïve, stupid, anti-American, unpatriotic, treasonous, unrealistic, Utopian, and downright daft when it comes to economics, we have to fight the fear that is the thing of serotonin and dopamine re-uptake now galvanized in our North American collective psyches and presence of mind. We’ve been part of a gigantic experiment of food, fiction, and fear-mongering.

Edward Bernays would be smiling from here to Vienna. The thought experiments were a success!

 THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.

We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.

Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.

Time to rebel! Or at least observe and bear witness. [See the epigraph at the very end of this post for ramification of the end of the world as we know it! Chomsky-style.]

You think maybe if we looked at every city far and wide in the USA, some 30,000 or more incorporated cities big and small, you think if we could look at local headlines (whatever form they might take since most newspapers have gone belly up and most stuff coming in as news is info-tainment and PR lies) we’d see a pattern here. A real across-the-nation pattern of stupidity, lies, deceit, grand larceny,  and economic terrorism as well as governmental malfeasance ?

Of course we would. I’ve done that experiment many times with many students in many colleges over the years: Get students or small groups of them to look at the news around the region or nation and look for news and cultural reporting and economic bureaus to see if anything even remotely parallel might be happening there as well as here – wherever here is.

Try This College Assignment – Read Newspapers

Let’s try Oregon. Portland, or from the oldest newspaper in the state, The Oregonian. Do these stories sound like the things happening in your neighborhood?

Mortgage Scam

  •  We truly understand that the Zionists running our financial system, the Big Bad Ben Bernanke, had a hand in this sick mortgage rate spike, and, lo and behold, who would have thought rising mortgage rates would spur dropping home buying? That story in your neighborhood?

The month’s slowdown came as mortgage rates were creeping upward from their recent historic lows. The average 30-year fixed-rate loan started May around 3.35 percent but rose steadily all month, according to Freddie Mac. By mid-June rates were hovering near 4 percent.

“The interest rates going up definitely clipped out a lot of the marginal buyers,” said Nick Krautter,  a broker with Keller Williams Realty in Portland. “We lost a couple of clients who all of a sudden couldn’t afford a mortgage payment on the prices where they were looking.”

The number of new home listings also fell in June. Slower sales helped ease the shortage of homes on the market, but buyers continue to face a picked-over inventory.

Colony Collapse

  •  Honey bees and bumble bees and ladybug murderers … killed when exterminator sprays laurel trees with chemical linked to colony collapse around the world –

“Thousands of dead and dying bees have been found in the parking lot of a shopping center in Wilsonville, Ore., southwest of Portland. Oregon officials say their preliminary investigation indicates blooming trees in the lot were recently sprayed with an insecticide known to be toxic to bees…. Most of the dead were gold-and-black bumble bees although honey bees and some ladybugs were found dead as well. A primary focus of the Agriculture Department’s preliminary investigation is a pesticide called Safari that apparently was applied in the area last Saturday to control aphids, said Dale Mitchell, program manager in the Agriculture Department’s pesticide compliance and enforcement section. Safari is part of a family of pesticides called neonicotinoids that are considered acutely toxic to pollinators.”

Another Politician Sex-Sex Assault Addict

  •  San Diego Mayor did what?

The week began with news that Mayor Bob Filner’s fiancee ended their engagement and, by Friday, San Diego’s first Democratic leader in 20 years was desperately trying to stay in office amid sexual harassment allegations made public by some of his closest supporters. He apologized, promised to change and begged voters to let him keep his job.

The rapid-fire developments put heavy scrutiny on the personal foibles of Bob Filner, a feisty liberal who was elected in November after 10 terms in Congress marked perhaps most famously by a 2007 run-in with a United Airlines baggage handler at Dulles International Airport that resulted in him pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of trespassing.

Filner has long had a reputation for berating employees and been dogged by rumors of making sexual advances on women, but nothing stuck like a former city councilwoman’s comments this week that she had firsthand accounts from more than one woman who was sexually harassed by the mayor.

It Pays To Be In Sports with Dreads

  •  Some guy gets drafted by Portland Trailblazers – another multimillion-dollar piece of scam:

What’s more, Robin Lopez, 25, comes with a reasonable contract that will pay him roughly $10.5 million over the next two seasons, including $5.1 million in 2013-14. The trade — which cannot become official until the NBA moratorium on free agency ends July 10 — leaves general manager Neil Olshey with roughly $4 million in salary cap space, plus a $2.6 million room exception, to spend in free agency this offseason.

Killing Salamanders with Miracle Grow

The liquid fertilizer that spilled on Northwest Cornelius Pass Road in a tanker accident on Wednesday has turned out to be toxic to wildlife.

“I saw a pile of salamanders belly up in the tributary — dead,” said Bruce Penney,  who lives on Cornelius Pass.

The spill also killed sculpin, a type of fish, and other aquatic creatures, said Mike Greenburg,  emergency responder for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

The deaths infuriated Penney, who accused the trucking company and Oregon officials of being slow to respond.

The Cops Do What? Oh Yeah, Cops.

  • Cops and Porn, Politicians and Porn, Firemen and Porn – the same old story across the land:

A former police officer, politician and Gulf War veteran blamed battlefield exposure to toxic chemicals as one factor that led him to amass thousands graphic videos depicting sexual abuse of young girls.

Colby Michael McCormick, 46, was sentenced Friday in Clackamas County Circuit Court, after pleading guilty to eight counts of encouraging child sexual abuse in the second degree.

Sick Guys In Hospital Scrubs

Portland police Friday acknowledged there was a months-long delay in investigating Susan Graham’s Jan. 17 complaint that she had been sexually assaulted by an ER nurse because the bureau’s sex crime victim advocates were unable to contact Graham by phone or mail.

“Sex crimes unit victim advocates made multiple attempts to contact Susan by phone and eventually by mail with no result and no callback from the victim,” wrote Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson, in an e-mail Friday. “Ultimately detectives had to go to great lengths to track her down for an interview.”

The bureau’s handling of Graham’s complaint was just what a city audit six years ago blasted as unacceptable. The audit in 2007 found that sex assault investigators were reluctant to leave the office to interview victims and that cases were often dropped when calls were not returned.

Illegal Fields of Genetically Modified Wonder Bread

  •  So why is Japan not buying Oregon’s wheat crop? Oh yeah, Frankenfood – genetically altered foods.

Researchers who identified Monsanto’s genetically modified wheat in a northeastern Oregon field are questioning the seed giant’s emphasis on the potential for faulty test results.

A Monsanto spokesman said the company is “operating on the assumption” that the test results announced 10 days ago are valid. But in a press conference call last week, company officials stressed the potential for false positives and noted that Monsanto hasn’t been given plant samples to test.

Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s chief technology officer, said the company has the only test that can pinpoint the genetically modified strain last planted in Oregon test fields a dozen years ago.

“Let me emphasize, this is the only reliable test,” Fraley said. “We provided it to regulators and we don’t know if anyone else besides us is using it now.”

Federal investigators looking into the rogue wheat are “certain” their testing is accurate and the plants are Monsanto’s strain. Researchers at Oregon State University, who ran the first round of tests, said the implication that the results could be wrong is off base.

“It’s kind of making it sound like, ‘We’re Monsanto, we know how to do the test and other people don’t,'” said Robert Zemetra, a wheat breeder at OSU’s Department of Crop and Soil Science. “What this is showing is other people do know how.”

The presence of the transgenic plants, never approved for commercial sale and last grown in Oregon in 2001, is a real head scratcher for both Monsanto and outside researchers. That’s left lots of room for speculation.

Like A Used Car — No Money Down, Don’t Pay Until 2017

  • Oregon was supposed to be the “no money down for college … pay us later” state, but …

National media wrote breathless news articles last week suggesting that, as The Wall Street Journal put it, “Oregon’s Legislature is moving ahead with a plan to enable students to attend state schools with no money down” by pledging to repay a small percentage of their earnings for years after they graduate.

But that’s a wild exaggeration. In reality, the Legislature voted to have a commission study the idea and, if it makes any sense, propose a trial program to the 2015 Legislature.

Financial aid experts say they doubt Oregon will end up adopting any form of the free-now, pay-later approach, citing the many ways that could go wrong.

Still, given crushing levels of debt that some students face, the concept has plenty of appeal. It seems obvious more students would go to college if they didn’t have to pay tuition or worry they’d be saddled with oppressive loan payments unless they find a high-paying job afterward.

The bill asking Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission to study the approach and, if feasible, propose a pilot version to the next Legislature recently won unanimous approval in the House and Senate. It didn’t hurt that its main champions were earnest Portland State University students who pushed a “Pay It Forward” idea as part of a class on student debt.

“It was timely, given all the concern about student debt,” said Nathan Hunt, a PSU political science major who was among those who lobbied for it. “Having it come up for a vote in the Senate the same week that student loan interest rates doubled couldn’t have been better timing.”

Revolving Administrators’ Doors

  • I harp on the ADMIN class all the time, these VPs, deans, provosts and presidents and the like triple dipping and scamming higher education and PK-12.

Gerald Hamilton, a retired community college president who served on the Oregon Board of Education when it hired him last month to run the state’s community college system, has been hired administratively as into that post after the board’s action was determined to be illegal.

Hamilton, 61, was signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber’s chief operating officer to a year-long contract that will pay Hamilton $121,000 to be interim executive of Oregon’s Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development. The appointment, effective retroactively to July 1, was signed Tuesday.

At Least A Man and His Son Are Fighting

  • Dad and son fight against an $8000 a year raise for Superintendent of Schools, why? Because we should ALL  do that.

Chris Johnsen has spread his gospel to the ends of the Beaverton School District — in the streets, on the Internet and, as of Monday, inside the school board’s chambers. Johnsen and his 12-year-old son, Everett, a student at Meadow Park Middle School, asked Superintendent Jeff Rose to return his $8,000 pay raise to the district’s general fund. They’d prefer the money go toward school supplies that parents have to purchase on their own.

To illuminate the point, both relied on props. First  the son dropped a paper-shaped football meant to symbolize the school’s administrative fumble, and later the father lifted a Spanish textbook.

“I wanted you all to see that I dropped $30 of my  disposable income,”  Johnsen said, “so my son could do his homework, because we don’t have enough funds in our district.”

Last month, the Beaverton School Board offered Rose a raise from $185,000 to $193,000. This  followed a voter-approved tax levy that is expected to bring in at least $15 million a year for five years. The money is supposed to help decrease class sizes and bring back 151 of 344 teaching positions that were eliminated this past school year.

Solar Power Isn’t Installed On Every Roof Because? 

  • How many times can we screw up Solar Power? Hundreds!

SoloPower has defaulted on a $10 million loan, state officials confirmed late Wednesday, the same day that executives at the struggling solar panel maker announced they were near a deal to restructure debt and reorganize in Portland.

Chief executive Robert Campbell said major creditors have agreed to terms that focus on rebuilding the organization in Portland, where the company originally planned to build a $340 million factory and employ hundreds.

Those plans derailed earlier this year, shortly after the company built out its first manufacturing line. SoloPower has shed most of its workforce in recent months, struggling to start up in a market flooded with cheap panels manufactured in China.

Oregon Department of Energy spokeswoman Diana Enright confirmed that the agency issued a notice of default Tuesday to SoloPower after it missed its weekend deadline.

Campbell, though, was characteristically optimistic about SoloPower’s prospects, saying it hopes to announce new financing that would allow it to expand soon. The missed payment — about $117,000 — was “all part of the overall process.”

“These things are happening in real time. That notice is in the past,” he said.

The future of SoloPower — and taxpayers’ stake in the company — though, is cloudy.

Campbell said he could not discuss terms reached Wednesday of the “agreement in principle,” which means the deal is laid out but is not in contract form.

No Need to Deliver Newspapers Anymore!

  • That’s right, everything is going digital, internet, and no news is good news. How many reporters are being cut from Oregon’s oldest newspaper? Fifty? Anyone for two hundred?

The Oregonian, the state’s largest and longest continuously published newspaper, will curb home delivery to four days a week and lay off some staff as it reorganizes operations to emphasize online news.

The newspaper will continue to publish seven days a week. Advance Publications Inc., the paper’s New Jersey-based owner, will close Oregonian Publishing Co. on Oct. 1 and begin operating The Oregonian and affiliate OregonLive.com through a subsidiary called Oregonian Media Group.

It will also form a second company, Advance Central Services Oregon, to produce, package, distribute and provide other support services for the new company and other publications.

“Our print products will be driven by our digital focus,” The Oregonian’s publisher and president N. Christian Anderson III said in a staff-wide meeting Thursday morning. “More than ever, we’re going to be a digital-first company.”

Anderson declined to say how many of The Oregonian’s 650 employees would lose their jobs in coming months. Editor and Vice President Peter Bhatia told newsroom employees that the reductions would be “significant.” But he said there would be new hiring as well.

The move comes as newspapers nationwide struggle to adapt to changes in readership and advertising. Several other Advance Publications newspapers have either reduced home delivery or have announced plans to.

Bad Politicians, War Criminal Leaders, And Big Fat Speaking Fees 

  • Ya think Portland State or University of Oregon can shell out this kind of money to listen to Clinton XX or XY? Or any school in your neighborhood?

WASHINGTON — Now that she’s out as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton isn’t going to be hurting for money, thanks to speaking fees of more $200,000 per speaking appearance, according to a source familiar with the situation.

The fee puts Clinton in the upper echelons of the speaking industry. Those who make six figures per speech include Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and George W. Bush; those who make more than $200,000 include Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Clinton (see this chart for reference).

The fee will be more than Clinton’s annual salary as Secretary of State, which was $186,000.

Sick stuff:

All the Muck Worth Printing Worth Reading 

I’d have to say all of this muck, and all the faulty reporting, all the dead-at-the-wheel lawmakers who couldn’t debate their bodies out of a wet newspaper coffin, well, all of what’s wrong with you and with me is EDUCATION, or the lack thereof, or the bastardization of Ed, or the standardization of the curriculum, or too many idiot non-experts with machetes chopping away at higher ed’s tail and head.

Now, I have to get an Adjunct List Serve note that there is some “kick-ass” story on adjunct faculty in the Nation. The Nation???

“Academia’s Pink-Collar Workforce — Low-paid adjunct faculty, who are mostly female, have started unionizing for better pay—and winning.”

Ahh, the death of education, the death of thinking and the death of journalism. This story is as old as the tricks of neoliberals and neocons. Smells of the rot of regurgitation.

What a time indeed to have the flaccid Nation play this game, a shallow piece on adjunct faculty, our low pay, our lowly status, our lack of benefits and our spread eagle position under the watchful eyes of Obama, the Ivy Leaguers, the failed academics, the  kingpins of marketing, the virus of on-line nothingness…

But through the lens of what? This is a woman’s issue more than a man’s?

The great purple money making machine SEIU weighing in? Give us a break. What, there are 1.5 million of us, contingents, precarious, whatever. In academia. Actually, it’s a hell of a lot more – part-time teachers, that is. I am not just talking about higher education, or colleges with huge boards or small bands of trustees. Coaches, referees, language instructors, driver’s ed, life saving and CPR, and on and on and on.

Adjunct Teaching is Woman’s Work?

Look at this quote from the Nation’s story (sic):

Though the very nature of contingent work means the composition of this workforce is constantly changing, there have been various efforts to take a kind of census of adjunct faculty. It’s one of the reasons contingent faculty has been a difficult group to organize until now. “Honestly, one of the biggest barriers is the nature of teaching as an adjunct. Each adjunct usually has to put together a living by teaching at multiple institutions,” said Christopher Honey, communications director at SEIU Local 500. He noted that “there have been a lot of women leaders” at unions in the area, particularly female faculty members under 40.

Hmm, having worked with SEIU, and heard of Mr. Honey, what a load of crap. He is speaking for me, for us? Communications director for SEIU Local 500? In DC? This is just the load of crap our denuded and castrated people dish out. It’s not a wellspring or avalanche of organizing, and for SEIU 500 to go on the record saying there are barriers and then there are a lot of women leaders under 40 is a crock. The reality is outside the Beltway. Try Texas. Try Arizona. Try Washington State.

It’s a game to the union organizing honchos, really.  A big fat game. Supporting Big Money Democrats like Obama and the Clintons. Big money for those privatizers and anti-education folk. You think the Obamas and Clintons — the Wal-mart model lovers  — have a horse in that race?

What’s the race? Well, privatizing, cutting, gutting and turning education into the tool of corporations. Gutting humanities, the arts, the social sciences. Making the state schools pay up the ass. Lifting the viability of the John Kerry and Clinton schools while giving the shaft to community colleges and four year state colleges.

Let’s see,

 Women have a long-running history as adjuncts. Before women were allowed to be full professors, colleges often allowed them to teach at the adjunct level and wives of professors often picked up extra work as adjunct instructors. As Eileen E. Schell, the author of the 1998 sociological work Gypsy Academics and Mother-Teachers: Gender, Contingent Labor, and Writing Instruction, said that the reputation for adjunct teaching as a women’s profession was so strong that adjuncts were dubbed “the housewives of higher education.”

They Never Want to Criticize Capitalism Because Man or Woman, It’s All About Money

This is 2013, and we get this 1998 book to tell me and my fellow adjuncts, male and female, that this is a women’s profession? Hmm, I have been teaching since 1983, in English Departments, and, now, on the job market, I’d say my adjunctivitus and years teaching circles around the middle of the road people I’ve worked with, and bringing to students anarchy and revolt against the very system that tells them to go get this and that first and second degree, to suck it up and eat the 8 or 10 percent interest rate on $60K or more in student loans, well, they have screwed students, screwed me, and screwed up this country’s thinking, the very thinking of the Nation to run this old, tired, irrelevant and moldy story while the 80 percent, both male and female, young and old, L & G & B & T & Q  & S, are put in this controlled opposition mindset and we jump with joy over unionization of adjuncts and folks getting the voice-box telling us that all is fine, let the MOOCs are coming  to the rescue:

 Another is that colleges are beginning to roll out online-only courses that they view as more cost-effective than traditional courses. While this began as a high-end experiment, with Harvard, MIT and Stanford startups offering massive open online courses (MOOCs), in May the University System of Georgia announced it would be one of ten public university systems to explore how to better integrate online courses to make a degree more affordable.

It’s not hard to see that the ranks of adjunct faculty will be key to implementing these efforts to move to online courses. While some grading in online courses can be done automatically—say, for computer or math courses where the correct answers can be quickly computed—other courses, like the already heavily adjunct-taught English or composition courses, will still have to rely on part-time instructors and graders.

Maria Maisto [of the New Faculty Majority] hopes that as colleges increasingly turn to online-only courses, they also look to adjunct faculty as a serious voice in implementing them. “We’re at the front line, but we’re not making the decisions,” she said.

On-line education. Stop and think. Learn to be a nurse on-line, never one minute in an operating room or on a hospital ward. A master’s degree emailed as colorful pdf. We should be assisting ALL worthy educators and others in STOPPING the IT-thing NOW. Massive Open On-line Courses are like, what, a new black thing — IT and virtual learning are the new black in economics. Like Green is the New Black — you know, greenwashing.

Say what? She hopes colleges look to adjunct faculty to implement the most destructive force in real education ever conceived of? No pause, no caveat, nothing — these people are one-track mind folk, PR spinners, desk jockeys looking to capitalize on their little bit of turf.

This is it, now, is it not? These people like Maisto and the writer Kay Steiger have it wrong, see the world upside down, or are at least bidding or doing the bidding for a broken, corrupt system of hierarchies and caste systems that are appalling. Let’s assist the destroyers of communities and colleges and education in putting courses on-line. At least the few teachers teaching will be dues paying union members!@#$%. That’s the ticket?

The very idea that I am in a pink-collar position as an adjunct now out of work but teaching is screwy, for sure. I am teaching, and these are adults with developmental disabilities, as an at-will person getting 39 or 40 hours a week of low pay. Count the years teaching college or college level courses or adults in various positions at various venues:  Since 1983! Ended up working for SEIU in 2012, as an adjunct faculty organizer. They really wanted an adjunct – I got a six-month temporary contract and that ended. Oh, SEIU, looking to work with adjuncts, whoops. Not so, not so … but they have these communications guys and gals pulling down a cool $100 K after five years with the Purple People Eating Machine.

These people, oh these people, no matter their stations in higher education, they all let it get to their heads and forget the reality of the marketplace they bow to – the colleges can pay $1900 a course, or in the case of U of Phoenix, $1100 a course, because, well, Capitalism works that way. The market. It’s the market, sucker. You want to know how many tenured faculty and deans and useless VPs and Presidents have said the very same thing when confronted with faculty in their ranks on food stamps and go-go dancing or selling blood or stealing food or delivering pizza or bags of illicit things to supplement their incomes?

Yep, that single payer health care bill pushed by the California Nurses Association and Mad as Hell Doctors and Jill Stein for President and a million others? Scoffed at by my SEIU brethren. Now colleges are cutting part-time hours so they don’t have to throw into Obama-Care.

These are the people who want 30 or 40 percent of all PK-12 public education delivered on-line by 2020-2025.  Foregone conclusion is what my fellow teachers say about on-line education. Well, the same argument has been made a million times about — “Well, the colleges and corporations can pay sub-human wages and put you at-will and on temporary status until you croak because, well, it’s the market, man. The market decides pay, and there are so many of you lined up looking for work, well, we have the cream of the crop to choose from, so suck it up, shut the eff up, and let the market determine things.”

Right, part-time unions will give us WHAT?

More Time for Posting Comments? Who Has Time When It’s Money?

Oh, hell, here’s my response on the Nation’s comments list, not that comments mean diddly squat!

This says it all — men, like myself, have been teaching since 1983, mostly adjunct, in tougher situations than detailed here. We organized as composition instructors around the Wyoming resolution, another wet noodle thing coming out in 1987. Can you imagine teaching in prisons, on military bases, at a research university, community colleges, then as a journalist working, again, part-time and temporary, AND, teaching language courses in another country all in one semester?

This is about class, and about delusions. For the New Faculty Majority to even give credence to Massively On-line Open Courses is absurd. These courses KILL jobs, and they are designed to control curriculum and control delivery of pap or pabulum. That means fewer teachers. Education has been colonized by hedge fund investors, Walton Family, Bezos and Bloomberg and Gates and Pearson Publishing. It’s not about creative education and treating faculty as professionals. And, online courses do not deliver — what, 72 percent of all those teachers polled said they would NOT grant the credit for those on-line courses.

You can yammer on about faculty and PT faculty organizing and getting big unions to endorse the move and take the monthly dues, but the reality is education is hemorrhaging, and the cutters are ADMIN class, the Boards, the Public, Journalists (sic) and people who put some weight in the concept of “hope.” Read Derrick Jensen’s “Beyond Hope” for a little bit of reality therapy. It’s not hope that will bring back living wages and professionalism and fairness. It is cutting the cancers — ADMIN class, corporations dictating education’s value, dead head politicians who allow for a $1.3 trillion student debt to double in interest rates, a society that has 60 years olds and above holding $35 billion of that education debt, taking the loan sharks to the grave, and beyond.

Finally, these sorts of stories are so “old, worn,” yellowed-out news, and the way this story is written, that it is a sign of the state of journalism. Really. Old story, old framing, nothing new, and certainly no revolutionary or more radical and realistic force cited or quoted. Another play nice little Nation piece.

In the end, I’d say Capitalism with a big “C” for Corporatocracy needs the critique, because at the end of Greed’s day, the end of the thought process here around Consumerism and Free Markets, it’s always what the market can bear, or the market can extract, as in blood from an onion. You never even scratched the PT faculty surface around other industries, and schools, like the for-profit felons.

Precarious Workers Unite — Get Rid of Union Bosses

Feminization of precarious work my ass. Thanks to all the male pigs, and the piglets called their spouses. Sure, this precarious and part-time work is a female problem. What an effing joke. How dare they pin that label on this old story without going deeper.

We have huge problems in our economy, and these masters of media spin are out to lunch:

Maria Maisto, the president of the New Faculty Majority, which advocates and litigates on behalf of adjunct faculty, says this “feminization of the profession” is a problem. “It’s not surprising that this profession that the conditions are the way that they are given that it’s been so closely aligned with women’s work,” she said.

Now, she points out, women are beginning to demand more. But even as adjunct faculty seek higher pay and better working conditions, setbacks are just as frequent. Colleges and universities are under increasing pressure to keep costs down. For instance, as colleges begin to implement the Affordable Care Act, many have elected to roll back adjunct hours so they won’t be required to supply health insurance to as many employees.

Oh, Those Jobs Rolled Around this Last Quarter

Is there hope on the jobs front for any gender, any LGBTQS?

by Paul Craig Roberts / July 5th, 2013, DV

Do you remember the promise of the New Economy that was going to replace the lost “dirty fingernail” manufacturing jobs with innovative highly paid New Economy jobs? Well, the promise was just another deception from the elites who have stolen Americans’ future.

For the umpteenth consecutive month and year, the June BLS payroll jobs report (released on July 5) shows that the US economy has created no such jobs. The same old tired categories account for the same old lowly paid new domestic service jobs.

Of the 195,000 new private sector jobs alleged to have been created, 75,000 or 38% are accounted for by the category “leisure and hospitality.” Within this category there were 52,000 new waitresses and bartenders, and 19,000 jobs in “amusements gambling, and recreation.”

Retail trade added 37,000 employees. Is your local shopping center that busy?

Wholesale trade added 11,000.

Zero Hedge points out that the retail and wholesale jobs numbers seem inconsistent with the latest report from the Institute of Supply Management, which shows a sharp drop in new order components and business activity.  Perhaps the New Economy’s inefficiency requires more people to sell less.

Professional and business services added, allegedly, 53,000 jobs, which are largely building management services, janitors, employment services, and temporary help.

Ambulatory health care services added 13,000 jobs.

Financial activities allegedly added 17,000 jobs despite the Bank of America moving its property appraisals to India.

Local government, despite severe budget cuts, added 13,000 jobs.

The BLS news release points out that the number of involuntary part-time workers (the number of people who are unable to find full-time jobs or whose hours were cut back) increased by 322,000 in June to 8.2 million.

This deplorable report provided the cover for the market riggers to take the stock market up and the gold market down. Remember that economic theory about “rational markets”? Another deception.

The Movie The Wrestler with ungodly Mickey Rourke a Statement of Our Times

There is more rationality, more humanity, more relevance in the movie, The Wrestler, than anything I have seen coming out of the mouths of wonky little quasi-union organizers and these study after study analysis paralysis paper tigers’ mouths or brains.

Quote from the character played by Mickey Rourke —

Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson

“And now, I’m an old broken down piece of meat… and I’m alone. And I deserve to be all alone. I just don’t want you to hate me.”

Another one from the movie, The Wrestler: 

“I just want to say to you all tonight I’m very grateful to be here. A lot of people told me that I’d never wrestle again and that’s all I do. You know, if you live hard and play hard and you burn the candle at both ends, you pay the price for it. You know in this life you can loose everything you love, everything that loves you. Now I don’t hear as good as I used to and I forget stuff and I aint as pretty as I used to be but god damn it I’m still standing here and I’m The Ram. As times goes by, as times goes by, they say ‘he’s washed up’, ‘he’s finished’ , ‘he’s a loser’, ‘he’s all through.’ You know what? The only one that’s going to tell me when I’m through doing my thing is you people here.

There is a soullessness in the words coming from academics, wonks, people in power, people who want power, people thinking they have power, and from media, journalists, and the other reality TV stars of our time. They are bloodless, dust-filled creatures of the hedge fund parade.

Well-well, how about adjuncts taking on this little theme song from Bruce Springsteen (Obama-lover that he is) written for Mickey Rourke and the role he played in the movie, The Wrestler: 

song by Springsteen

one, two, three …

Have you ever seen a one trick pony in the field so happy and free?

If you’ve ever seen a one trick pony then you’ve seen me

Have you ever seen a one-legged dog making its way down the street?

If you’ve ever seen a one-legged dog then you’ve seen me

Then you’ve seen me, I come and stand at every door

Then you’ve seen me, I always leave with less than I had before

Then you’ve seen me, bet I can make you smile when the blood, it hits the floor

Tell me, friend, can you ask for anything more?

Tell me can you ask for anything more?

Have you ever seen a scarecrow filled with nothing but dust and wheat?

If you’ve ever seen that scarecrow then you’ve seen me

Have you ever seen a one-armed man punching at nothing but the breeze?

If you’ve ever seen a one-armed man then you’ve seen me

Then you’ve seen me, I come and stand at every door

Then you’ve seen me, I always leave with less than I had before

Then you’ve seen me, bet I can make you smile when the blood, it hits the floor

Tell me, friend, can you ask for anything more?

Tell me can you ask for anything more?

These things that have comforted me, I drive away

This place that is my home I cannot stay

My only faith’s in the broken bones and bruises I display

Have you ever seen a one-legged man trying to dance his way free?

If you’ve ever seen a one-legged man then you’ve seen me

America, the Land of Make Us Believe You (skinny bones and all)

Well, yes, believe it or not, that film says so much about adjuncts, precarious workers, part-time and at-will. About age, and about why some of us dreamed about being something more than a coder or algorithm mishmash of economic might.

The film is so America, so tied to the glitz and weirdness of our culture, and professional small town wrestling is certainly NOT the weirdest thing of our time. All about the show, PT Barnum, smoke and mirrors, but also the dedication and the inability to do anything else.

America. A very strange place indeed. So many emblematic points in our collective crappy, white (and pick a race) trash mentality. Get this, oh, women are getting feeding tubes inserted, voluntarily, down their noses so they can lose weight with a liquid diet. These are doctors who okay the procedure. Anything goes in the US of Asinines.

Jennifer Derrick’s weight had crept to 159 pounds from 125, and she knew she would not fit into her grandmother’s wedding dress.

Women were smaller back then, and there was nothing to let out,” said Derrick, of Rockford, Ill. She took prescription pills, had vitamin B shots and made weekly $45 visits to a Medithin clinic in Janesville, Wis. When she married on March 18, she was back to 125 pounds; the gown, from 1938, fit perfectly.

In March, Jessica Schnaider, 41, of Surfside was preparing to shop for a wedding gown by spending eight days on a feeding tube. The diet, under a doctor’s supervision, offered 800 calories a day while she went about her business, with a tube in her nose.

Adjuncts my ass. We all are living in an asinine world of our own make-believe. There are no sick or poor or polluted or prosecuted or pummeled or preyed-upon people in America. We are all responsible for our own destinies. We made the very beds we lie in.

Chomsky on Bernays

[The] American business community was also very impressed with the propaganda effort. They had a problem at that time. The country was becoming formally more democratic. A lot more people were able to vote and that sort of thing. The country was becoming wealthier and more people could participate and a lot of new immigrants were coming in, and so on.

So what do you do? It’s going to be harder to run things as a private club. Therefore, obviously, you have to control what people think. There had been public relation specialists but there was never a public relations industry. There was a guy hired to make Rockefeller’s image look prettier and that sort of thing. But this huge public relations industry, which is a U.S. invention and a monstrous industry, came out of the first World War. The leading figures were people in the Creel Commission. In fact, the main one, Edward Bernays, comes right out of the Creel Commission. He has a book that came out right afterwards called Propaganda. The term “propaganda,” incidentally, did not have negative connotations in those days. It was during the second World War that the term became taboo because it was connected with Germany, and all those bad things. But in this period, the term propaganda just meant information or something like that. So he wrote a book called Propaganda around 1925, and it starts off by saying he is applying the lessons of the first World War. The propaganda system of the first World War and this commission that he was part of showed, he says, it is possible to “regiment the public mind every bit as much as an army regiments their bodies.” These new techniques of regimentation of minds, he said, had to be used by the intelligent minorities in order to make sure that the slobs stay on the right course. We can do it now because we have these new techniques.

This is the main manual of the public relations industry. Bernays is kind of the guru. He was an authentic Roosevelt/Kennedy liberal. He also engineered the public relations effort behind the U.S.-backed coup which overthrew the democratic government of Guatemala.

His major coup, the one that really propelled him into fame in the late 1920s, was getting women to smoke. Women didn’t smoke in those days and he ran huge campaigns for Chesterfield. You know all the techniques—models and movie stars with cigarettes coming out of their mouths and that kind of thing. He got enormous praise for that. So he became a leading figure of the industry, and his book was the real manual.

(From Chomsky’s “What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream:  A Talk at Z Media Institute,” June 1997.)

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.

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  1. RickD said on July 14th, 2013 at 7:32am #

    An article covering so much ground that it would require an article of my own to address it all.

    We are a nation under the control of the corporations, ruled by wealth and still believing in the myth of “America”. As long as we do not insist upon taking money out of the election equation vis-a-vis free elections we will continue to be a fascist state, a democracy in name only.

  2. Paul Haeder said on July 14th, 2013 at 7:43am #

    That’s the point of neoliberalism and Capitalism — they are a wrecking crew attacking every aspect of good community, good governance, good education, good culture, good work, good health, good environmentalism, good society that every single day we have so much ground to make up we in most cases just put head in the sand (face to the screen) and find the next thing in the fridge to eat and the next multi-millionaire’s scheme to follow.

    I’d say we have more than money being pulled from elections to fix. Our constitution is flawed, and the power of corporations in every aspect of our lives is criminal.