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The Obamagogues' Liars and Our Future

Publication Date: 2009-03-12

It is not our education system. It is Theirs. It is not our economy.
It is Theirs.


For those who had the time to stay up and watch Charlie Rose on PBS
the last two nights, we were treated to Timothy Geithner, the new
Treasury boss, and Arne Duncan, in that order.

What was striking to me was that, in contrast to The Obamagogue,
they're both lousy liars.

Geithner looks like he is in a card game and knows that everyone at
the table can see he is cheating, but he is smug enough to keep
dealing off the bottom anyway. Geithner repeatedly said that those
who led the world into this great financial crisis are bad people,
but they must be saved as "we are all in this together and must save
our economy." He went on to insist that, really, we are all at fault.


Arne Duncan
, Education boss, enjoyed Rose's typically softball style
(they ended with a near hug). Duncan, following on The Obmagogue's
education speech at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, insisted that
schools are really the central organizing point of much of US life
(true) and that he intends to expand that, with schools fully open to
the community, as much as possible.

Of course, they must be very good schools, in order to serve our
nation, where we are all in international competition with other
countries whose education systems are better.

With what I saw as a smirk, that others may see as a cute grin,
throughout the interview, Duncan was not so good at dodging the fact
that he has never been an educator, nor did Rose do much to press him
on the issue. Duncan just harkened back to his days at his lovely
mother's knees when she was tutoring poor kids. Mom the Missionary.
Son the Bishop.

Rose took for granted that Chicago schools are the better for
Duncan's presence, though in a quick comment they agreed that he had
closed some of those schools---and Substance News has covered which
ones. Guess whose?

Duncan even did a poor job trying to convince us that the President's
(and Duncan's) project is "non-ideological, just what is good for kids."

Duncan spoke up, over and over, for merit pay, for charters, for more
regimented national curricula, more sophisticated testing, though he
made no mention of the militarization of schooling--and Rose never
asked. This is the crux of a non-ideology.

Remarkably, Duncan claimed that he spoke to both the president of the
NEA and the AFT. Each fully backed The Obamagogue's education speech.

Duncan underlined that the bureaucrats who run both school unions
support national standards, as they do. And he reminded us that Al
Shanker, the worst union boss in the history of the US, was a
progenitor of charter schools, as he was. Duncan told the truth about
that, just as The One told us the truth before the election: more
wars and more attacks on freedom in schools. That so few actually
grasped this is troubling--a very disturbing analytical miscue.

The problem with NCLB, was two fold, per Duncan. It was under-funded.
It did not set a high bar for all states. To him, "NCLB needs to be
rebranded."

Notably, the Duncan segment of the Charlie Rose Show was sponsored by
the Eli Broad Foundation.


The key lie that is shared by Geithner, Duncan, and The Obamagogue,
is that we are all in this together. We are not.

This is a full scale class war, with the rich assaulting poor and
working people everywhere. This is going on in schools, in warfare,
in the financial crisis, in the health care system, in the
foreclosures: everywhere.

The education agenda, the finance agenda, all of these are war agendas.

It should be easy to see who is one the side of who. The union bosses
are on the side of the banksters and their bought and paid for
hucksters who serve in the executive committee of the rich, the
government. The union bosses deny that this real class war is going
on, and lure people into support for the emergence of what has all
the markings of fascism, as with the eradication of any semblance of
academic freedom in schools.

Right now, thousands of layoff notices are going out to California
teachers who, predictably, will be told that sacrifices must be made
in order to save jobs and "our" education system.

It is not our education system. It is Theirs. It is not our economy.
It is Theirs.

The core issue of our time is booming color-coded inequality
potentially challenged by mass class conscious resistance with a real
purpose, a north star: overcoming the system of capital with
considerable sacrifice in order to live in a world where people can
live more or less equitably by sharing--each contributing to the
freedom of the others.

Concessions do not save jobs. Like feeding blood to sharks,
concessions make bosses want more. Look at the demise of the United
Auto Workers Union, now near dead, after decades of one concession
after the next, pensions and health care about to be wiped out (note Delphi).

When they say cut back, we must say Fight Back.

We want, not the status quo, but more school workers hired. No more
racist high stakes exams. Recruiters off the campuses.

No money? Go print it. You did for the banksters, now go get ours.
You admit that reason had nothing to do with the bailouts. That was
about power. If you do the printing, we will not accept the money as
a bribe to go back in and continue the racist child abuse that is
whatever you plan to call NCLB. We will treat the money, and our new
colleagues, as victories, and we will press on for more still.

We have some power too. We can shut down your schools, open freedom
school in the midst of growing civil strife, and teach kids the fact
that, among other things, all of history really is the history of
class struggle.

If we do not resist, we can look quickly into the future and see what
is in store for us. Here is The Duncan/Obamagogue model, Michelle
Rhee:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/11/AR2009031103742.html


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