Public Schools for Sale?

(It should be mentioned that the original charter school system was set up in Chile under Pinochet, the dictator we put in power in ’73. ALEC is a good part of the strength of the charter school movement. You will remember, ALEC was created in 1973, two years after the Lewis Powell memo of ’71)

by Bill Moyers, from Moyers & Company

[go here to watch the interview]  [here is Diane Ravitch's website]

Public education is becoming big business as bankers, hedge fund managers and private equity investors are entering what they consider to be an “emerging market.” As Rupert Murdoch put it after purchasing an education technology company, “When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone.”

Education historian Diane Ravitch says the privatization of public education has to stop. As assistant secretary of education under President George H.W. Bush, she was an advocate of school choice and charter schools; under George W. Bush, she supported the No Child Left Behind initiative. But after careful investigation, she changed her mind, and has become, according to Salon, “the nation’s highest profile opponent” of charter-based education.

[full transcript after the break]

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The US Housing Market is Still “Flat on its Back”

from Mike Whitney, CounterPunch

Get a load of this chart from DataQuick’s National Home Sales Snapshot. It’ll tell you everything need to know about housing.

As you can see, prices are flatlining or drifting lower while sales are sinking like a stone. That’s the whole ball of wax, isn’t it?

Sure, sales will increase in the spring (as they always do), but judging by the sharp dropoff in last year’s hottest markets, this could be the crappiest spring selling season since the crash.

Why?

unnamed

(Note: MSA=metropolitan statistical area)

Because prices are too high, rates are too high, “organic” demand is too weak, credit is too tight, and the pool of potential buyers has shrunk to the size of a walnut, that’s why.The banks have reduced the percentage of distressed homes (foreclosures and short sales) on the market to roughly 11 percent from 59 percent in 2009. Fewer distressed homes mean higher prices, but higher prices mean fewer sales. It’s a trade-off. The banks get their money, but the market goes to hell. That’s how it works. According to most estimates, there are roughly 4.5 million homes in some stage of foreclosure. That means that –at the present pace–we should get through this Housing Depression a few weeks before Judgment Day. But don’t hold me to that.

Did you catch this gem on Bloomberg last week? It’s about the big private equity guys exiting the market. Take a look:

“Blackstone Group LP is slowing its purchases of houses to rent amid soaring prices after a buying binge made it the biggest U.S. single-family home landlord. Blackstone’s acquisition pace has declined 70 percent from its peak last year, when the private equity firm was spending more than $100 million a week on properties, said Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate for the New York-based firm…” (Blackstone’s Home Buying Binge Ends as Prices Surge, Bloomberg)

Okay, so the speculators are getting out of housing. How’s that going to effect the market?

No one really knows yet, but it can’t be good, after all, all-cash deals amounted to nearly 50 percent of all homes sales in many of the hotter markets last year. That’s why prices went up even though the economy was still in the shitter, because the fatcats were loading up on cheap real estate. Now it looks like they’re headed for the hills. That’s NOT going to be good for sales.

Did you know that existing home sales have dropped for six months straight, dipping below trend to the same level they were at in 1998?

But how can that be, you ask, when everyone’s blabbing about the recovery? How can that be when the Fed has purchased more than $1.4 trillion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and rates are a measly 4.5%? How can that be prices have been climbing higher for more than a year?

[read the rest, here]

Flight 370: Di$info Jone$ Parroting Israeli Propaganda Helping Set Up Next 9/11

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: The new sanctions that everyone is saying will kick off WWIII? It’s 11 people. Obama has sanctioned 11 people. Russian officials laugh out loud.

Russia’s deputy prime minister laughed off President Obama’s sanction against him today  asking “Comrade @BarackObama” if “some prankster” came up with the list.

The Obama administration hit 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials with sanctions today as punishment for Russia’s support of Crimea’s referendum. Among them: aides to President Vladimir Putin, a top government official, senior lawmakers, Crimean officials, the ousted president of Ukraine, and a Ukrainian politician and businessman allegedly tied to violence against protesters in Kiev.

UPDATE: It’s sickening. CNN is now resorting to the “the plane was hiding under/over/behind/beside another plane” theory. I mentioned that crackpot shit in this article when it first came out this morning. Now the Jake Tapper show is doing an entire segment on it. They actually had a graphic of Flight 777 flying in the wake of another jumbo jet about 100 behind it. They weren’t even one plane length behind the other jet. It’s that ridiculous.

UPDATE: As I was writing this, the Obama administration announced sanctions against Russian OFFICIALS… but not PUTIN himself or his business interests. Not Gasprom, not the LNG pipelines supplying Europe… not big business working in Russia… not McDonalds selling tons of burgers to Russian kids… not the GAP selling jeans in Russia… just a few Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs…

“The administration officials said Putin wasn’t sanctioned despite his support of the Crimean referendum because the U.S. doesn’t usually begin with heads of state.”

So much for WWIII, huh? Didn’t even sanction Putin himself. Now, can we please get back to trying to deny them their next Pearl Harbor type event? Please? That would be nice.

———–

“We don’t know when the Acars system was switched off,” Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, the chief executive of Malaysia Airlines

What happened in the Ukraine was a travesty. It was a 5 billion dollar regime change operation (look it up) that had to take shape on short notice because the elected officials rejected the IMF’s loans and the austerity adjustments that go along with them and accepted a no-strings-attached counter-offer from a BRICS nation. This is EXACTLY what happened in Egypt when the Obama administration removed their elected government from office when they refused an IMF “loan” and set out to create what Morsi called the “E-BRICS” organization (you don’t believe me, look it up). If put to a vote, a real vote (Crimea used a paper ballot system and international observers report it was fair and open. Immediately after our bloody neo-Nazi coup in the Ukraine, the FIRST thing Team ObamaGod decided to do after re-writing the constitution and signing up for that IMF “loan” was reform the election system meaning electronic voting machines… look it up) the people of the Ukraine would also vote to stay out of the E.U. which is why our regime change backers in the country refused to let it go to a referendum. Instead they chose fire bombs, clubs and snipers to affect their “CHANGE”

As bad as that is, what’s happening in Malaysia is much, much worse. And for the most part, the alternative news community on the web is COMPLETELY ignoring it.

Take a look at Di$info Jone$’ 19 minute video titled “Alex Jones on Possible Hijacking of Malaysian Airliner

He spends about 30 seconds backing up the mythology that the plane was hijacked and then the remainder of the time he spends fear-mongering over Russia and the U.S. going to war over Crimea.

Does no one remember his famous New Year’s Eve Russia coming over the North Pole broadcast? That was Putin as well, by the way. I guess his ignorant fan base isn’t old enough.

Throughout his most recent WWIII fear-mongering for profit rant, Di$info Jone$ simply accepts the CNN/Fox News/MSNBC/ U.S. intelligence agency’s story that Flight 370 has been hijacked and that it apparently flew for an additional 6 hours or so undetected by any radar system completely thwarting the laws of physics. Having supported that bit of critical mythology, Mr. Jone$ then rants about how Flight 370 is a ‘distraction” from the real story… WWIII.

Not surprisingly, Di$info Jone$ is merely parroting Israeli propaganda on the subject of Flight 370. I pointed out the other day that they were doing so very early on, passing on the disinformation that Flight 370 had been hijacked and was probably (according to Mike Adams and Prison Planet) sitting on a tarmac somewhere in Iran.

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Five years of Obama’s “recovery”

by Patrick Martin, WSWS

This week marks five years since the New York Stock Exchange hit its low point at the bottom of the financial crash that erupted with the collapse of Lehman Brothers investment bank. On March 6, 2009, Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its post-collapse low of 6,443. Three days later, on March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 hit its post-collapse low of 676.

Yesterday, at the close of stock trading for the week, the Dow Jones average closed at 16,452, up a colossal 10,000 points over five years, or 154 percent. The S&P 500 stood at 1,878, rising even faster than the Dow, gaining 170 percent over five years.

These are only the most striking of a barrage of numbers reported in recent weeks, demonstrating that for the US financial aristocracy, the Crash of 2008 has been used to engineer a historic redistribution of wealth.

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The Very Odd Story of “Thomas Brinkley” and How He Met His End

by Scott Creighton (H/T Observer)

It’s not everyday that a reader of this website and frequent commenter gets shot and killed by police under what can only be described as highly unusual circumstances. Be that as it may, it has happened and I am compelled to give you whatever insight I can offer as the story unfolds.

“Thomas Brinkley” or Michael Cravey, was shot and killed by police in Florida yesterday. He had made a name for himself in the alternative community by basically latching onto other people’s research and claiming it as his own. Then he would toss the old turd in the punchbowl and do his best to make legitimate questions and evidence look ridiculous.

After his popularity had dropped to next to nothing, his influence completely gone, he supposedly goes on a one victim stabbing spree for no reason and ends up getting shot by police some 3 hours later as he was apparently going shopping at a local store.

Is “Thomas Brinkley” going to become the poster child for shutting down dissident “conspiracy theory” websites like mine for having “radicalized” him to the brink of madness? Is that to be Micheal’s final contribution to the dissident community?

A little background info in the interests of full disclosure:

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A bankers’ plan for Detroit

from the WSWS

The proposal submitted late last week by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to the federal court overseeing Detroit’s bankruptcy is a blueprint for a devastating attack on the working class of the city. The “plan of adjustment” would be better termed the “plan of destruction,” targeting pensions, health care and core public assets, including the world-renowned Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).

Orr’s plan confirms the central premise of the Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit held by the Socialist Equality Party on February 15: A crime is being perpetrated, one that is the product of a political conspiracy involving both big business parties and all the institutions of the state.

A New York Times article over the weekend compared, approvingly, what is taking place in Detroit to the restructuring of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Indeed, the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was used as an opportunity to depopulate sections of the city and go after basic social rights, including the handing over of public education to for-profit charter schools.

[read the rest, here]

11 Governments Are Meeting in Peru to Figure Out How They Can Control the Internet

by Patrick McGuire, Motherboard

Remember SOPA? Remember how when we the people finally defeated SOPA everyone got so stoked that confetti poured out of their eyeballs and its opponents downloaded films and albums and pirated video games in celebration? Well, shortly after SOPA there was CISPA—the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act—a bill that is both scarier than Zombies and much less well known than SOPA .

On April 18, three days after the Boston Marathon bombing, CISPA passed in the House of Representatives. Obama’s White House has expressed “fundamental concerns” about CISPA. They are justifiably a bit turned off by how CISPA doesn’t specify precisely how it intends to spy on the internet—and when it is ok to spy on internet users—and that is a terrifying prospect.

As a Canadian, these American “fuck up the internet” bills have always been disconcerting. While Canadian sovereignty would ideally save anyone who lives in this country and errs on the wrong side of a SOPA or a CISPA—with so much internet traffic filtering through American-owned web servers—it is not out of the question that American jurisdiction could be called against an international cyber-offender. The state of Virginia, for example, claimed jurisdiction against the Hong Kong-owned Megaupload who was hosting their website in that state.

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Cass Sunstein and CIA Director at Time of the Leak are the Advisers Fixing the “Crisis” Caused by Snowden Psyop

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: See update at end of article

UPDATE 2: See recent revelations about the Sunstein group’s recommendations. Here’s a hint : keep spying and collecting data.

UPDATE 3: Sunstein group recommended telecom companies collect and hold data themselves. See quote at end of article

UPDATE 4: The NSA can’t tell WHAT “Snowden” took and what he didn’t. Perhaps the ONLY computer in the world where no one can track a user’s history keystroke by keystroke. It’s AMAZING!

“They’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of man-hours trying to reconstruct everything he has gotten, and they still don’t know all of what he took,” a senior administration official said. “I know that seems crazy, but everything with this is crazy.” Press TV

Snowden is invisible in Russia and his task history is invisible in Hawaii. Like the X-Files or something.

——

Sunstein “government can supply these independent experts with information and perhaps prod them into action from behind the scenes,”

The Manufactured Hero Edward Snowden psyop is coming to a dramatic conclusion. While Sibel Edmonds is exposing Glenn Greenwald as the money-grubbing fraud that he is with help from a virtual army of Twitter pit-bulls (keep at it you guys), I happened to run across something new that should help put it all into a slightly clearer perspective.

This latest development along with the good work of Sibel Edmonds on this matter, should make the Manufactured Hero saga of Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald perfectly clear as nothing more than a psyop designed to ready the public mind to accept this year’s version of Big Business’ wet-dream… CISPA.

No two ways about it now. No question. We are in deep deep deep doo-doo folks. And Sunstein agent Greenwald is shoveling just as fast as he can.

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Fake “Million” Vet March as Crisis Theater

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: Of course Di$info Jone$ , Blacklisted News , and What Really Happened (via 12160 link) presents this bullshit as real oppression.

UPDATE: Turns out the videos may have been made by Dennis M. Lynch, an Examiner “reporter” who does a lot of work for Fox News.

——

You gotta see this.

Two videos give you a good understanding of what yesterday’s Crisis Theater production was all about.

Someone had thirteen bike cops with their little bike helmets and blue windbreakers waddle up to the “protesters” who were standing around waiting for them to show up outside the fence at the White House.

The fake protesters right on cue start screeching about “oppression” and “brown-shirts” as the gaggle of bike cops with no riot gear take their position inside the group of vets so they can be pushed and shoved and screeched at for “liberty”

It is one of the most poorly executed and obviously fake Crisis Theater moments ever recorded by a PR lackey that I have seen. It’s fucking silly, especially while they are screaming about being oppressed while actually oppressing the poor stupid little bike cops.

What a joke. The marketing intern who staged this little display should be relegated to coffee boy for the next year or so.

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“Million” Vets March Toward Privatizing Landmarks and Memorials

by Scott Creighton

When Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and Mike Lee showed up and spoke with the vets at their “million vets march” yesterday, I understood what this “revolution” was all about.

Having Cruz, of all people, speak at the event made it perfectly clear. Cruz is credited with forming the republican position on the standoff, which is simply more “Crisis Theater” to push for brutal austerity and savage sequestration measures which will further the One Party’s neoliberal fiscal agenda.

The government “shutdown” properly should be called “the Cruz Crisis.” This indeed is a crisis in the Chinese nuanced sense.

The Chinese character, weiji, usually is translated “dangerous opportunity.” Actually it means “precarious pivot point.”  That describes perfectly where Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx) stands… and has pushed the Republican Party.  Ted Cruz has made himself the point man for the whole, melodramatic, government “shutdown.”FORBES 10/14/2013

Yes, that is the right-wing Forbes saying that Cruz is the one person most responsible for the parks and memorials being shut down, not some ThinkProgress Obamaite water-carrying rag. And yes, it is their “dangerous opportunity” to push for more neoliberalization in America.

The fact that Cruz wasn’t chased down and tarred and feathered by those people tells me exactly what this is: time to privatize the national landmarks.

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Being “anti-growth” and “anti-progress” Equals “Terrorist” in America

by Scott Creighton

Those before you were strong. Now they’re all dead. Stop what you are doing, or the same will happen to you.”

(more on that recent quote in a moment)

Jan sent me an email linking me to a rather foreboding article from TODAY news.

As usual, the TODAY writer, Rebecca Ruiz, missed the big picture in order to write a story about how an author was “spied on” by the Feds for doing nothing at all.

He didn’t “do nothing”. He was spied on for a reason and it wasn’t “literary criticism” as it states in the article.

To some, he was a “terrorist”. He was an ideological terrorist who wrote pieces opposed to “growth and progress” which translates to neoliberal  trickle down economics.

His crime, like the crimes of those in Haiti who are fighting to stop the neoliberal rape and exploitation of their nation by those like Bill Clinton sent in to rebuild it, is unforgivable to a certain class. And they have a legal name for it in Haiti:

association with wrongdoers

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Little Entitled Randie Goes Full NEOLibtard

by Scott Creighton

Little Entitled Randie, the guy who got into medical school at Duke without a bachelor’s degree because his daddy went there and then later got into the senate because his daddy was in congress, is complaining that someone actually suggested the federal government bailout Detroit before the banksters and technocrats can chop it up and hand it over to the oligarchs for fun and profit.

He screeched “over my dead body” in reference to the suggestion.

After all, the entire point of the demolition of our economy was too facilitate the fire-sale that is going on right now in Detroit and cities like it across the country, so how much sense does it make to bailout Detroit at this final stage of the counter-revolution, the re-feudalization of America?

When asked about all those people living on their pensions in Detroit and what is going to happen to them, Little Entitled Randie simply said “yeah, that’s a problem”

NEWSFLASH – Rand Paul is just another corporatist sycophant looking to feather his nest while suckling up to the country’s financial masters. His “libertarian” ideology is the EXACT SAME THING as the neo-liberal economic shock therapy model used by the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds for decades in other countries across the globe. Only difference is, over there they resisted it, here, the Paulites call it “liberty” Scott Creighton

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My 06-27-13 INN World Report Radio Interview W/ Tom Kiely

by Scott Creighton

Hi folks.

Last night I had the pleasure of being a guest on Tom Kiely’s  INN World Report Radio  program.

06-27-13 INN World Report Radio

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kiely creighton

nifty visual aid…

.

It was a lively hour and a half discussion on topics ranging from Death of a Salesman to the Soviet Union’s real contribution to the victory over Nazi Germany in WWII to the ongoing American Gladio campaign and ending up with the Edward Snowden psyop and a lot of stuff tossed in as well (someone does a pretty good Kissinger impersonation).

Tom is a great host and someone who is very easy to talk too as well as being extremely well informed on the real history of this country and the current state of affairs of the ongoing strategy of tension program.

I haven’t listened to all of the interview because I can’t stand the sound of my own voice as silly as that is (and I was a trained stage actor for God’s sake) but you can access it here for download or just to have a listen.

Please check it out and if I sound like a douche, don’t tell me. I’m sensitive.

The conversation was great fun for me and I think a good give and take on the issues at hand. Tom certainly gets that this process we are undergoing has a long history in this country and his radio show is a great effort to get real news out to as many people as possible. So have a listen if you have time, download it or listen right there on INN site.

I’ll be doing another interview with Rob Daven at Conspiracy HQ this Saturday and I will post a link to that one once Rob has it ready.

Thanks folks.

Where’s Edwardo? Snowden Still Unseen in Moscow in Tiny Little Transit Zone (pics and map)

by Scott Creighton

The Washington Post reported today that no one has seen our dear Snowden psyop in Moscow as of yet. That’s kind of funny when you think about it.

“Despite relentless searching by scores of reporters questioning everyone in sight and buying tickets for the long flight to Havana, Snowden has not been seen at the Moscow airport. One news agency sent its photographer on the flight to Havana on Thursday — for the second time this week.” Washington Post

According to the official story, Edwardo, of Where’s Edwardo?, is supposedly stuck in what’s called the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow and has been there, according to the official story, since June 23rd when he flew there with a Wikileaks mouthpiece from Hong Kong. This article is being written late in the day on June 27th.

I wondered what kind of massive super secret space a “transit zone” is that could keep all those reporters from finding the most wanted man in our recent history. After all, he is a whistleblower who wants as much national media attention as he can get, right? So I put my super sleuthing skills to work and I looked it up… on Google.

And guess what? It’s not really that massive and it’s not that difficult to walk in there and look around at all the folks who just happen to be everyone BUT our manufactured hero Edwardo.

I wonder who feels like more of a jackass on a snipe hunt at this time, the reporters sitting around the transit zone in Moscow or Glenn Greenwald?

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FBI Director Robert Mueller is a Domestic Terrorist – Just Committed Act of Terrorism in Congress

by Scott Creighton

UPDATE: Robert Mueller also suggested that obeying the constitution just takes too much darn time. Your constitutional rights are such an inconvenience …

——–

“”Governments should not have this capacity. But governments will use whatever technology is available to them to combat their primary enemy – which is their own population,” Noam Chomsky

FBI director Robert Mueller just committed an act of domestic terrorism, another act of domestic terrorism, this time in congress. That is if you accept the FBI’s own definition of domestic terrorism:

“Domestic terrorism is the unlawful use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual based and operating entirely within the United States or Puerto Rico without foreign direction committed against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.” FBI (dot) gov definition of terrorism

Yesterday I wrote an article wondering if FBI Director Robert Mueller had issued a not-so veiled threat to congress when he suggested that there may be another “terrorist” attack if they shut down the NSA blanket surveillance program. My conclusion was reached after reading two articles written about Mueller’s testimony in congress, one of which was an AP story.

This morning I viewed a brief video clip of part of that testimony on NBC News and it turns out the AP story didn’t accurately report on his exact words. Without any doubt, FBI Director Mueller directly threatened members of congress with another “terrorist” attack if the NSA blanket spying program were to be cancelled or “go dark” as he put it.

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