Posts Tagged ‘Bernie Sanders’

Bloomberg’s Appearance at the DNC Makes a Mock of Bill Clinton’s Ode To Hillary

July 27, 2016

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For those who were moved by Bill Clinton’s touching if highly sanitized and edited
paean to his wife last night – the man is very, very good at this kind of thing – you would do well to note today’s key note speaker: former NYC Mayor, multi billionaire, union busting and super neo-liberal Michael R Bloomberg. Bloomberg’s political beliefs were most clearly articulated when, through a combination of ruthless employment of the machinery of state, his own immense fortune and an ever expanding host of non-profit organizations serving as mercenaries of the super rich, he purchased a one time only third term as Mayor by corrupting a spineless City Council into allowing him to do so. And this despite two referendums against third terms.

At this point, Bloomberg’s appearance is strange by any normal standards in so far as, like Donald Trump, the man has shown zero allegiance to any political party, moving from Democrat to Republican to Independent depending on how such affiliations benefit Mike Bloomberg at any given moment. And it is particularly note worthy in light of Bill Clinton’s repeated and highly dubious characterization of Hillary Clinton’s history and career as a “builder from the bottom up” and the like.

Bloomberg epitomizes the oligarchic America which Sanders railed against and which Hillary skillfully avoids acknowledging. As NYC mayor, Bloomberg spent 12 long, miserable years expending enormous amounts of energy and money while doing his very best to simultaneously destroy the United Federation of Teachers and privatize the public school system. He failed in both attempts, but the damage he inflicted on students and teachers is immeasurable and still very much present.
Bloomberg spent 12 years doing all he could to remake New York in his image, a desire he shares with his fellow billionaire and would be president Donald Trump. Indeed, Bloomberg is, in many ways, like Trump if only with more cunning, less public vulgarity and with a complete absence of Trump’s phony populism.

I will admit that I was shocked to read of Bloomberg’s appearance at the DNC, even as I am fully aware of what a sham and a fraud the whole circus truly is. Still…Michael Bloomberg? And yet, the more I think of it the more it makes perfect sense. If nothing else, Bloomberg’s appearance reaffirms how ever so close and ever so horrific our two parties have become and will remain until a real alternative is forged.

Unaccountable

November 16, 2014

Un
With the possible exception of “compliance,” I’d reckon that there are no words that American teachers have heard more times in the past 10 years than the word “accountable.”
Everyone, we are told, and told, and told again for good measure, must be held accountable. I know no teacher who would mind such an admonition if, in fact, the system of accountability was fair and reasonable and if it were even remotely true that all people were held accountable.

Alas.

Take former New York City Chancellor Joel Klein, for example. Here’s a fella who not only championed a $95 million dollar technological boondoggle that is now to be dismantled because of its uselessness, but used his status and knowledge as former chancellor to profit from the project after instantly teaming up with Rupert Murdoch after he left the school system.

Conflict of interest ?

Not a chance.

Where is the accountability there?

At any rate, because of the distance I have noticed between what it held for one group or class of people and utterly excused from another, it was with more than a little curiosity that I noted during a visit to my local public library the following title: Unaccountable/ How Elite Power Brokers Corrupt our Finances, Freedom and Security by one Janine R. Wedel.

I understood from the subtitle that the work would focus largely on the monsters manipulating our financial system but, sandwiched there in between the words “Finance “ and “security” was “freedom, ” so I was hopeful some dots might be connected that had to do with my world.
As one who has been forced to watch and react as insanely wealthy private citizens such as Eli Broad and the Walton family and especially Bill Gates, do what ever it is they want to do to the public trust known as the public school system and all who work within it, with exactly zero right to do so and exactly zero accountability, I was curious to see if Wedel’s altogether noble work would include these spectacular examples of complete and utter unaccountability. I was hopeful, that is, that her work would at least mention the insidious efforts of the mega rich to undermine the legislative process in order to privitze the nation’s school system and bust the last union of size while they’re at it. After all, here was a handful of people somehow allowed to force one radical unproven experiment after another — breaking up schools, value added measures for teachers, standardized test after standardized tests, and the greatest scam of all, the deceitfully named Common Core State Standards — upon America’s kids and teachers on nothing more than their own limitless hubris and bank accounts.

Sadly, and incredibly given the immense upheavals of the past decade, education is not even mentioned in the book. Moreover, the only Gates who merits an appearance is former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
As for Bill Gates and his legions…not a word. If I were to search high and low for a quote signifying complete unaccountability, I doubt I could do better than the following by an embarrassingly ineloquent
Bill Gates: “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but that we won’t know for probably a decade.”
There you have it.

And what if “our education stuff “ fails ?
Well…so what? Bill and Eli and the Walton’s and their kind will doubtless find some other vital institution to remake in their own one dimensional image.
Besides, when it fails — and it is failing — you can simply blame teachers and employ an eager corporate media to echo your lies.
It’s been working so far.
Why is the reality of the hijacking of a public institution of immeasurable importance and influence missing from this book or books like it ? This is a serious work by a credible author who does not seem to me to be ideologically bound. How is it the immense liberties taken by Bill Gates and company that deal with billions of dollars of public money not seem to be worthy of even a mention in a book dealing with the scandalous and horrific absence of accountability in American life ? Why is it that the complete undermining of the legislative process not only not considered a criminal act but not even deemed worthy of reporting? Not merely by Janine Wedel but by anybody? Where’s Bernie Sanders ? Where’s Michael Moore? Where’s Ralph Nader? Where is anybody? How is this happening before our very eyes ? What has happened to us ?