Wednesday, March 23, 2011
As US once again takes the position that our voice is the voice of the whole human race, I must admit that I am again feeling queasy. I am sensitive to the ancient Greek concept of hubris, and of my sense that there are many others on this lost little planet of ours that take a similar feeling from such imperial statements coming out of DC. I have no use for Col. Kaddafi, but that puts him into company with other military dictators, many of whom have been allies and supporters of US governments in the past. Some of these, notably Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen, are showing their colors these days, and their misdeeds extend to deploying battlefield type weapons, especially tanks and fighter- bombers, against unarmed or slightly-armed political protesters. There are no international conventions outlawing such blatant use of the People’s money by the nation’s rulers against political protesters, though I thin there should be. By contrast, we have the issue of piracy, lately appearing in the Straits of Malacca and now issuing from the fishing villages of Somalia. These incursions take place in international waters, and even the imperial US Government shies away from enforcing the centuries-old reading of international law that proclaimed pirates as the enemies of all humanity. An international problem courts an international solution, and the Charter of the United Nations used to include an armed force. I cannot imagine any infraction of world-wide law that has such a uniform condemnation. Who would stand up for piracy on the high seas as a form of Freedom of the Seas? Yet the Emperor of the Planet in DC has never proposed a UN Navy to enforce this unanimous opinion against the violation. Perhaps such a general agreement might be a start toward a day when tanks in the streets against protesters can be generally condemned, and not on a case-by-case basis arising from the opinions of the Boss Nation. I know US love being Boss, but catering to this addiction has proven very dear to US over the past 50 years, in money, lives and moral honor.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
This year, in accord with the plans of GOP, 65K teachers will be laid off. This is in the face of a time when high school math teachers are enormously under-certified with only a few percent holding undergraduate degrees in the subject they are to teach and only a few of the elementary teachers having an understanding of how elementary arithmetic works as noted by professors of mathematics in reputable universities. And the decision of which of them are to be made jobless over money will be taken in a majority of cases by administrators who are themselves ignorant of the logical substructure underlying the subject, at least by the ordinary criteria of scholarly attainment. Indeed, many of those who are retained may have only fractional awareness of the underpinnings of the subject, and those will necessarily be working in classes that are increasingly overcrowded. As a matter of fact, many of those teaching high school math are e.g. athletic coaches. The best that can be said of many of those is that they are no more incompetent at math than at any other academic area. The conclusion is that any warm body capable of elementary arithmetic would be equally considered of capability for the task, if only able to persuade an administrator almost equally unfamiliar with the task. In addition, no resources are being made available to the schools to correct this deficiency. On the contrary, those like with new governor of Wisconsin will be cutting the funds that would be needed to make any inroad on the problem. At the same time, such State officials are acting as though any person with any teaching certificate can be assigned the task, up only to the day when the students or their parents wake up to his/her weakness in the face of the challenge. When these do come out of their denial, there will be no one to hire for the work, even worse than it was on that day in 1957 when we discovered the Sputnik beeping overhead.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
As we look upon the demonstrations taking place on the Capitol Square, it must surely come to us to wonder how we acquired this predatory government, and how we can relieve ourselves of it. Seen at the simple level, it seems as though there is no way out of this dead end. Through sloth and inattention, the US people have allowed ourselves to be saddled with a Supreme Court that has annunciated the principled that we must tolerate persons and corporations of great wealth to turn that inequality in riches into a control of the means of ruling us, even to our great disadvantage. In places like France in the XVIII Century or Egypt in the past 30 years, people allowed things to get bad enough that only a willingness to put their lives at risk before an unprincipled and murderous government might free them. And in US, we have watched a government bought by billionaires try to deprive us of the political and economic freedoms that we have taken for granted in the XX Century, and they seem to be on the way to succeeding. And it seems that we have put that power in the hands of the forces that will reduce us to economic and political servitude. And they have moved us into a class war in which we seem powerless before the entrenched power of money. If we turn our backs on this reality, as we have for the past 40 years, the collar of servitude will continue to grow tighter, as we fall for their well-paid lies to grant them power over us. We may be facing our last chance to turn things around during the coming two years, and we had better be ready to vote for our own best interest. The Class War is a reality and has come into open view, and we must be ready to vote for our own benefit while we still have the chance. The predator class has taken control of the levers of power, and unless we close our ears to the lies pouring out of their well-paid propagandists, we may see our children reduced to the choices of the Egyptians this month facing the guns of the predators.