Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Just Say No to Tasering Students and Militarizing Our Schools

Staged and faked scenarios in schools, usually violent (accidents, crashes, alien invasions, war, etc.) and police presences that harm and arrest students.

Just Say No to Tasering Students and Militarizing Our Schools: When The New York Times (NYT) calls the tasering of students as a "disciplinary" measure torture, it is time to take notice that our schools have been infected with the appalling post 9/11 acceptance of harsh interrogation and discipline.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mental Health Evaluation Form

I surprised myself earlier today with my response to the following episode. I had to go to the health clinic -- this clinic is owned by (though they contract out) and a part of the institution where I'm employed. When I checked in at the front desk I was handed a form that asked questions having to do with my emotional and psychological state. I'm paraphrasing here but the questions, maybe about two dozen of them (maybe less) were along the lines of:
1. Have you had trouble sleeping?
2. Has your enjoyment of activities decreased in the past two months?
3. Have you had thoughts of suicide or self-harm in the past six months?
and so on in regards to depression, stress, bad dreams, thoughts of suicide, etc. Without thinking about it I said "This is quite a form, it's a bit odd" and the woman very nicely explained everyone gets the form, it's standard, no one sees it, etc. I said I understood all that but it still seemed odd and I wasn't going to fill it out. Later the doctor said she understood that and I was under no obligation to fill it out; the staff was not defensive or pushy in any way. They all explained very patiently that "no one will see this form," and "everyone gets this to fill out," and "it's done once a year," but my issue is: why? If I'm going in for a routine female related exam (pap, what have you) why in the world do I need to fill out a form about mental health? But I did think the whole thing odd -- if I do feel those things, in need of counseling etc. then of course I'll pursue that but to fill out a form like that "just because" seemed, well, odd.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

375-pound military drone crashes near Pennsylvania elementary school, report says | Fox News

National Guard flies unmanned drone and crashes it, near a school:

375-pound military drone crashes near Pennsylvania elementary school, report says | Fox News: Pennsylvania authorities are investigating Thursday as to why an unmanned drone crash landed near a Pennsylvania elementary school.

The Lebanon Daily News identified the 375-pound drone as a RQ-7 Shadow, operated by the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. A military official called Wednesday afternoon's incident a hard landing, but the drone was apparently run over by a car.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Ultraculture | Wake Up & Stay Free

Ultraculture | Wake Up and Stay Free: "NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming is one of the world’s most prevalent methods of mind control, used by everyone from sales callers to politicians to media pundits, and it’s nasty to the core. Here’s ten ways to make sure nobody uses it on you… ever."
Interesting, and I don't argue with the basic idea here. Always beware of manipulations, always. While some of NLP is useful for the so-called "new age" self actualizing work that some of us happily use for our own work, this is a chilling article that gives us background into the mind control realm of NLP.

It is pretty interesting that one of the founders of NLP, John Grinder, was once:

"Grinder was at the time an associate professor in linguistics at the university (he had previously served as a Captain in the US Special Forces and in the intelligence community, …"
And this photo of Richard Brander, another founder of NLP, in black with red tie. NLP via clothing choice. Screams devil/satan/mafia/don/mad genius. Brander, accused murderer, free, and still runs NLP workshops:

NLP co-founder john Brander (source wiki commons)

So, ten pointers from the author on how to avoid having someone dump NLP all over your fanny. Personally, I can think of several on-going examples in my own life where people, whether or not they are intentionally using NLP or aware of such a thing, do their best to manipulate using similar methods.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

DARPA Quote of the Day

 "By seeking out scalable approaches for dynamically controlling the electromagnetic spectrum or distributed cooperative efforts to achieving air dominance, DARPA can help reduce the cost of future systems."

Defense.gov News Article: DARPA’s Role to ‘Change What’s Possible,’ Director Says:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Pussy Riot Members Attacked

Real he-men attack two members of Pussy Riot; the irony of the fact they were wearing anti-Nazi symbols does not escape:

Russia: Pussy Riot suffer burns and head injuries after being attacked at McDonalds | euronews, world news: The men, who were wearing St George ribbons which commemorate the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, used pepper spray and poured rubbish and green antiseptic over them. [italics mine]

This Is What Happened When Scholastic Tried To Bring Pro-Coal Propaganda to School

Bad news, and shame on Scholoastic. Good news, and thank you to all who worked to change Scholastic's propaganda attempts.

This Is What Happened When Scholastic Tried To Bring Pro-Coal Propaganda to School: While developing activities on coal and the climate crisis in 2011 for Rethinking Schools magazine, I ran across a curriculum,The United States of Energy, from Scholastic, the venerable education publisher.
It was a colorful series of lessons, aimed at fourth-graders, which explored the various sources for energy in the United States. The material on coal discussed its many “advantages.” But when I looked for discussion of the disadvantages … nothing.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bitcoin CEO found dead

Another death, no doubt to be labeled "suicide":

First Meta CEO found dead in Singapore: Autumn Radtke, the 28-year-old CEO of an upstart bitcoin exchange, died last week under mysterious circumstances at her home in Singapore.

The U.S.-born head of First Meta was found dead by police on Feb. 28, with the cause of death yet to be determined. In a statement on its website, First Meta said the company "was shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and CEO Autumn Radtke."

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the company's director and nonexecutive chairman, Douglas Abrams, said the exact cause of Radtke's death was "still under investigation."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Just World Theory of Economics

Chris Hedges | Suffering? Well, You Deserve It discusses the "just - world theory" of economics. Just world theory is not just the idea that the wealthy or those with property deserve for whatever reasons (in fact, the article says, it isn't questioned how one acquired their money, it just is) but, and this is the crucial thing to get, those who are poor deserve to be poor. Quoting from the article:

Clinging to the old neoclassical model could . . .  erode and perhaps destroy social cohesion and require the state to engage in greater forms of coercion. [italics mine]
Look at the actions of cities across the United States towards the homeless. Instead of true help, laws are made, on a daily basis, to further ensure that the homeless, despite age, gender or state of health, are vilified. This includes those that would help the homeless, in many cases. Being homeless is a crime; illegal to camp, sleep, "loiter," give food, money or blankets to the homeless, panhandle, etc. None of these laws help anyone, only punish.

People are jailed for not paying bills. This is illegal yet it not only continues, the number of people jailed for being poor has increased.

People go without needed medical care; this is nothing new and yet even with the promise of Obama care things remain dicey for many. This includes me, and I have had the blessing of fairly good health insurance through my employment. It costs me a lot of money each month however, as any health insurance does. Even so, I cannot afford the procedures pushed at me from health care providers. Fortunately, they are not life threatening issues but for many, such is not the case.

Many employers do not offer paid sick leave, and this is another way economics punishes the poor. Call in sick, often you're fired. If you're not fired, you're not paid. So you go in sick, which makes you sicker. And then you get others sick.

It's also nothing new that if you can't afford legal advice, you're screwed.

And so it goes, the list is endless.

Something I've noticed, (on the local level as well as nationally) is the attitude that the sick, the homeless, the "not us" demonstrate terrifyingly punitive responses to these issues. From incredible naivety, such as the letter writer to the local paper who insisted employers wouldn't punish good employees for calling in sick, to the sheer heartless suggestions the homeless should be shipped out of town, the reaction is to punish or ignore, not help without judgement.

Just-world economics in practice isn't new, and that's what makes this so godamned sad. That in this age we accept this as natural and even ethical --  as many a Christian subscribes to this philosophy (mangling the whole "give a man a fish … teach him to fish" *Biblical meme) should be an embarrassment.

* That quote about "giving a man a fish…" is not a Biblical story, it is a Chinese proverb.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Court Rules Off-The-Grid Living Is Illegal | Off The Grid News

Sad, scary, and frustrating, but not at all surprising. Wonder if this will be appealed and considered unconstitutional? Hope so.

Court Rules Off-The-Grid Living Is Illegal | Off The Grid News: Living off the grid is illegal in Cape Coral, Florida, according to a court ruling Thursday.

Special Magistrate Harold S. Eskin ruled that the city’s codes allow Robin Speronis to live without utility power but she is still required to hook her home to the city’s water system. Her alternative source of power must be approved by the city, Eskin said.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Scientists mystified as 20 earthquakes hit Oklahoma in one day | Mail Online

"…or even a natural occurrence." Possible but given the history of high strangeness earth upheavals in Oklahoma, unlikely:

Scientists mystified as 20 earthquakes hit Oklahoma in one day | Mail Online: An area of Logan County around Oklahoma City felt the brunt of the quakes, which were as large as magnitude 3.5
Residents feared for their personal safety and for their property but scientists remain unsure what's causing them, much less how to predict or stop them
Scientists say it could be the result of fracking, changes in lake water levels or even a natural occurrence

8th Banker Commits Suicide: JP Morgan Hong Kong & 30 Stories Down! | Political Vel Craft

There are no coincidences. This makes the 8th banker to commit suicide. What's interesting about this one is that the victim, "…surnamed Lee…" was seen standing on the roof, police attempted to stop him from jumping, and he was seen falling to his death. It's always difficult to sit from afar and speculate on another's life --  at the very least it's distasteful and disrespectful -- but even with witnesses to this apparent suicide, it is possible that this tragic event was staged.

8th Banker Commits Suicide: JP Morgan Hong Kong & 30 Stories Down! | Political Vel Craft: Moments ago a third JPMorgan banker committed suicide, this time at the JPMorgan Charter House Asia headquarters in central Hong Kong, where a 33 year old man who was said to have been an FX trader for JPM, just jumped to his death.

Not much is known yet about the circumstances of the suicide, however according to early reports, the man was 33-years-old, surnamed Lee, and believed to be a forex trader for JP Morgan.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Register Guard: State hands education to private sector

     In today's Eugene-Springfield area newspaper, The Register Guard, this opinion piece by Roscoe Caron "retired middle school teacher . . . teaches in the University of Oregon College of Education."

State hands education to private sector | Opinion | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon: To begin with, almost all of Oregon’s big business players, from Bank of America to Weyerhaeuser, are members of the Oregon Business Council. Those corporations also fund the council’s Employers for Education Excellence organization, which since 2008 has been pushing a redesign of Oregon schools with “outcome based budgeting” as its foundation.
     As is happening with schools everywhere in the U.S., private industry is taking over education, just as the lines between government (including and of course, all about, the office of the president) and corporations is nonexistent.

     The article points out no teachers are involved in the creation of these state mandates, nor do they sit on these boards that design such laws. Scary what one commentator left at the paper's page said; that teachers are not included because they have their own agendas. With thinking like that, it's not surprising at all they are getting away with ripping apart education and putting it back together in mad Dr. Frankenstein ways.

     Among the educational reforms and mandates, such as "common core" curriculum and so on, is the endless data collecting built into the testing, curriculum and computer programs ostensibly presented to make educator's, and administrators, lives easier.

    The definition of fascism, while open to debate about nuances and particulars, is the implantation from the government of authoritarian actions, in partnership with corporations. (Is it a coincidence that the Pledge of Allegiance is now required, by law, to be said by staff and students in every Oregon school once a week?)


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Another Banker Commits "Suicide" By Shooting Himself EIGHT Times With A Nail Gun... | Alternative

News item, can be found all over the place, this one from The Daily Mail, of another banker's "suicide."  

Another Banker Commits "Suicide" By Shooting Himself EIGHT Times With A Nail Gun... | Alternative: Daily Mail:
     A CEO has committed suicide by shooting himself multiple times with a nail gun, a coroner reported on Friday.
     Richard Talley, 57, founder of American Title Services in Centennial, Colorado, was found dead in his home on Tuesday with up to eight wounds to the torso and head.
His company was being investigated by state insurance regulators at the time of Mr Talley’s suicide.
Related posts: Cthulhu in your face


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lumina Foundation, Big Bucks and the College Push

      This guest editorial by Lumina Foundation CEO Jamie Merisotis appeared in today's Register Guard newspaper.  Lumina Foundation: it is not a non-profit, but a private corporation that is "a tax exempt … formed for public services."  How much does the CEO make a year and how does that compare to how much educators make? No where in this piece is mentioned input from students, teachers or community, but the push for everyone to be "work certified"  via some form of college education, as well as other college paths, is on. We are warned by Merisotis not to "circle the wagons and protect …turf" -- implying that criticism, questioning, are somehow intentional acts of nothing more than defiance and being uncooperative. The Daily Censored has been following Lumina's agenda for some time. On Lumina's origins, Daily Censored writes:

 "The Lumina Foundation arose from a $1 billion student loan sale to Sallie Mae in 2000.  Since then, it and has become the nationwide leader in pushing for higher educational policy reform focused on degree attainment and ‘student learning outcomes’.  Its primary founder, Ed McCabe, was the Chairman of Sallie Mae at the time of the sale, and came on board with Lumina to steer its conversion to an Education Foundation."  (Daily Censored.)

    The dangers of criticizing common core, pushes for all citizens to be college educated, etc. are many. For one, often the right wing aligns itself with anti-public education pushes. I don't like being in the same boat with that ideology. Secondly, teachers and educators are highly dedicated. Questioning policies like common core and other educational reforms puts one in an uncomfortable position. Who doesn't want the best for students? Educators who question and criticize are told they need to "collaborate" which is often code for shut up and buck up. On the surface it sounds great, collaboration is a good thing. Many times teachers are isolated; working together can be creative as well as productive. But when those at the top say "collaborate" they really mean work together to figure out ways to do even more with even less. Thirdly, criticisms of such programs can be seen as being elitist in a surreal turn about way. Marginalized populations do not have the opportunities nor given the resources they need to succeed. Who's against giving students everything they need to go where they want to go? Not me. Everyone should have the same opportunities. Everyone.
     But the issue isn't a level playing field, no matter how much entities like Lumina tell us. It's about money (theirs) and control. It's about data collecting. It's about raking in millions of dollars with new curriculum under the guise of improving education. Furthermore, those in the trenches -- educators -- are often unaware of their complicity. After all, we want to educate kids the best we can. If a new way of teaching concepts comes along, we'll try it. Money poured into schools seems, on the surface, like a good thing. Who wants to argue with that?
     Until college education is free in this country, corporations like Lumina are simply pimping feel good agendas that well meaning educators buy into.

Students and Good Citizenship: "Don't Argue"

From the Activist Post, this 3rd grade lesson on what good citizens do, and do not do. #6: "Does not argue."  (Apparently spelling isn't an issue.)


Monday, February 3, 2014

Parents upset over ‘game' at middle school that asked questions like ‘Do your parents drink?’ and ‘Has anyone in your family been in jail?’ | Odd News - Yahoo News

     Another story of a game as part of the curriculum that's intrusive and without parent input let alone consent: Parents upset over ‘game' at middle school that asked questions like ‘Do your parents drink?’ and ‘Has anyone in your family been in jail?’ | Odd News - Yahoo News

     Usually the reason given for these kinds of games and staged scenarios of accidents, attacks, etc. are to "foster creative thinking" or "develop critical thinking skills." In this case, the explanation given by principal Shawn Limberg had to do with social relationships: “The intent of this activity was to build stronger, more respectful relationships among students.”  

     Questions concerning alcohol use in the home, jail time, and thoughts of suicide or self-harm.

Parents were not informed beforehand of this game, which took place in the classroom, with the teacher's facilitation.

     What I find interesting is that, after many parents complained and were understandably upset (one parent said her child was threatened with "in school suspension" if the student didn't play along, even though, according to the article, students had the right to opt out) was the Principal's comment that "next time" the game is played, parents will be notified.

     So. Plans to continue with the massive data collecting going on in our schools, despite parents objections. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cthulhu, In Your Face

Recent triangle of events, some related, one not (seemingly) share one thing: the magnitude of their blatant nature.

Mockery is big. As with this, NSA new logo for one of its spy satellites:

NSA logo for spy satellite

Deaths of three up-the-food-chain bankers of the world's largest banks, all within five days of each other, listed as suicides. No one can possibly think this is a coincide, and of course, "they" know that. They also know it doesn't make any difference, for the cultural image of the tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist remains, and any serious attempts by mainstream media to make note of this will be dismissed as nothing more than entertainment. So let us eat cake, no one's paying attention.

Vintage cake

Indoctrination, propaganda, in the form of this pro-surveillance Disney cartoon series; "Special Agent Oso:Shutterbugs." The young will watch, and no doubt soon be wearing cute little ladybug-drone backpacks, thinking that drones and little surveillance robot insects are the norm, and, in fact, a good thing. (See also the NSA's "Crypto Kids" program.)

Cthulhu, fictional but nonetheless so real for so many because of the submerged and dark truths he holds , appears to be the symbolic image and myth of where we find ourselves in these times.

Early sketch of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think,is the inability of the human mind to corrrelate all its contents.We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity and it was not meant that we should voyage far.The sciences,each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little.But someday the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality,and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age." ~ H.P. Lovecraft,  The Call of Cthulhu

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Grandmother Barred from 312 Miles of Pennsylvania for Peacefully Protesting Fracking | Alternet

How is this legal? Well, it is, or anyway, a judge has signed off on it. Whether or not it's constitutional, maybe we'll see. (Why is it always necessary for news media to inform us an individual is a "grandmother?" Seems a bit sexist.)

Grandmother Barred from 312 Miles of Pennsylvania for Peacefully Protesting Fracking | Alternet: Vera Scroggins, an outspoken opponent of fracking, is legally barred from the new county hospital. Also off-limits, unless Scroggins wants to risk fines and arrest, are the Chinese restaurant where she takes her grandchildren, the supermarkets and drug stores where she shops, the animal shelter where she adopted her Yorkshire terrier, bowling alley, recycling centre, golf club, and lake shore.

In total, 312.5 sq miles are no-go areas for Scroggins under a sweeping court order granted by a local judge that bars her from any properties owned or leased by one of the biggest drillers in the Pennsylvanianatural gas rush, Cabot Oil& Gas Corporation.
Obviously this is abuse and an out in the open display of might by private industry, in this case, Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation:

The ban represents one of the most extreme measures taken by the oil and gas industry to date against protesters like Scroggins, who has operated peacefully and within the law including taking Yoko Ono to frack sites in her bid to elevate public concerns about fracking.[italics mine] (Alternet)
The ban was, is, basically put into place by Cabot, not the judge, who clearly was the mere tool that enacted the formality of the ban. Kafka-esque, Cabot is not required (nor will they) to identify what lands Scoggins needs to avoid:

The temporary injunction granted on 21 October does not require Cabot to identify or map the lands where it holds drilling leases, putting Scroggins in the bizarre position of having to figure out for herself which areas were off-limits. (Alternet)