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Without Israeli occupation, Palestinian economy would double – UN report

RT | September 7, 2016

In a damning report, the UN development body (UNCTAD) described the ways Israeli occupation of Gaza and West Bank has been preventing the Palestinian economy from recovery and getting twice as big as it is now.

The document detailing the “staggering economic cost” of Israeli occupation was released on Tuesday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

“The Palestinian economy would be at least twice as large without Israeli occupation,” the findings reveal.

Among the key reasons for the high unemployment and staggering poverty the agency cites “confiscation of Palestinian land, water and other natural resources.” It adds that “restrictions on the movement of people and goods; destruction of assets and the productive base;” also played a major role here.

According to the latest estimations by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics nearly 27 percent of people of the autonomy are currently without job. Meanwhile UNCTAD has revealed that over 66 percent of the Palestinians were food-insecure last year.

“The continuous process of de-agriculturalization and de-industrialization” has contributed to a severe degradation of Palestinian economy, according to the UN report. The paper states that in Gaza “producers are denied access to half of the cultivable area and 85 per cent of fishery resources.”

The West Bank area is facing a similar problem, according to the UN. In the so-called area C, which constitutes over 60 percent of West Bank “more than 66 per cent of its grazing land, is not accessible to Palestinian producers”.

The figures published in the report say that the Israeli occupation of the Area C “costs the Palestinian economy the equivalent of 35 per cent of GDP ($4.4 billion in 2015).”

The Israeli military campaign in 2014 whose proclaimed goal, was to prevent rocket attacks on its territories from the Palestinian areas delivered another blow to the financial recovery of the Palestinians.

The following tightening of the Gaza blockade, in place since 2007, made the things even worse, the report states. It resulted in additional civilian items being banned after labeled “dual-use”, meaning they can be also implemented for causing harm.

The crisis resulted in additional severe shortages of medical equipment as well as serious reduction in water supplies in the occupied territories, the UN finds. The problem also contributed to the rising infant mortality of almost 20 out of 1,000 live births. The trend is labeled “unprecedented” and found only in countries “affected by HIV epidemics”

In addition UNCTAD points out that the expanding settlement policies by the Israeli authorities are contributing to the Palestinian plight.

“There are now 142 settlements in the West Bank, bringing the number of Israeli settlers to over one fifth of the Palestinian population. This expansion undermines the prospects for a two-State solution,” UNCTAD claims.

The so-called two-state solution, proposed by the UN would see an establishment of an independent state of Palestine alongside Israel, west of the Jordan River. The potential boundaries however remain one of the key stumbling blocks here.

In the latest development, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s press service has issued a statement saying he is considering Russia’s offer to host Israeli-Palestinian talks in Moscow

“[Netanyahu] presented Israel’s position whereby he is always ready to meet [Abbas] without preconditions and is therefore considering the Russian president’s proposal and the timing for a possible meeting,” the statement said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has already accepted the offer to meet with Netanyahu, although the date for the talks has not been yet set.

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , | 1 Comment

Jonathan Kay and the Israel First Movement

The Kevin Barrett – Noam Chomsky Dispute in Historical Perspective – Eleventh part of the series titled “9/11 and the Zionist Question” – Read the tenth part here

Jonathan Kay Canadian Journalist 93d23

By Prof. Tony Hall | American Herald Tribune | August 12, 2016

Jonathan Kay began his literary career in 1998 as a founding member of the editorial board of Canada’s National Post. Kay worked under Conrad Black and his Israeli-American partner, Richard Perle. Perle was an executive member of the advisory board of Black’s Hollinger International, which oversaw one of the world’s largest English-language newspaper chains based in North America, Great Britain and Israel. A main objective of Hollinger Inc.’s Canadian flagship, the National Post, was to push the country’s political culture far enough rightward that the Christian Zionist politician, Stephen Harper, could take the reigns of the federal government. Canadian Prime Minister between 2006 and 2015, Harper swept into power riding the wave of political fervor originating in the 9/11 psychological operation.

Richard Perle is sometimes referred to as the Prince of Darkness. He is a frequent and unabashed proponent of “total war.” Perle was a PNAC member and lead author of the “Clean Break” document that in 1996 encouraged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to move away from negotiations with the Palestinians toward a more militant posture in the Middle East and globally. Quite likely Perle had a significant role in planning the 9/11 event.

After the Bush administration was delivered its new Pearl Harbor on September 11, 2001, Perle renewed his call for “total war.” In advancing this agenda, Perle helped lead the charge resulting in the US and UK-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Along with David Frum, another Canadian neocon spin doctor deeply implicated in the lies and crimes of 9/11, Perle co-authored the propaganda text, An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror. One of the book’s key recommendations was for the United States to invade the Islamic Republic of Iran. Going back to his role in the formulation of the “Clean Break” document, Perle had long advocated the invasion of Iran as well as Iraq and Syria in his capacity as an influential adviser within Israel’s Netanyahu government.

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In looking back in 2014 at his sixteen years at the National Post, Kay emphasized that his work on 9/11 infused his literary career with a “sense of purpose.” For a lot of “conservative pundits… this was our Spanish Civil War. The fate of Western Civilization was at stake.” Kay continues, “I became obsessed with 9/11. I read the Koran, hoping to gain insights into Osama Bin Laden’s mindset, travelled to conferences in Israel, joined a Washington, D.C.-based think tank devoted to protecting democratic countries from terrorism. [Foundation for the Defense of Democracies] I helped a former Mossad agent [Michael Ross] write his memoir, and then wrote a book about 9/11 conspiracy theories.” [1]

If Jonathan Kay’s journalistic crusade is conceived as his equivalent to fighting in the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939, his position on 9/11 puts him on the side of the Falangists, on the side of Francisco Franco’s right-wing nationalist forces. As clearly displayed in the ultra-Zionist content of Among The Truthers and The Volunteer as well as his frequent columns in the National Post, Kay is an extreme nationalist whose highest priority is to advance the imperial reach of the Jewish state centered in the expansionary polity of Israel. Kay seems surprisingly candid in identifying himself as a partisan journalist spinning propaganda for the Israel First faction that now prevails inside the governing elites that rule Canada, the United States and all the NATO countries.

The Underground Asylum Imagined by Jonathan Kay

The difference between Noam Chomsky and Jonathan Kay in dealing with Kevin Barrett’s 9/11 work helps illuminate the complex dynamics of a many-faceted cover up campaign. Kay’s Among The Truthers, for instance, is based largely on detailed ad hominem attacks on those that do not accept the official narratives he seeks to advance and defend. Chomsky on the other hand avoids any reference to scholarship of those that have critically evaluated the evidence of what did or did not happen on 9/11. This treatment of his intellectual opponents as unworthy even of named recognition is made very clear in his failure to identify Dr. Barrett and his qualifications even as the MIT professor accused the former University of Wisconsin Lecturer of academic wrongdoing.

In Among The Truthers, Kay’s sponsors assigned him the task of developing the primary commemorative text created with an eye to maintaining Zionist control over the MSM discourse that would mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The task given Kay in the prelude to the commemorate events in 2011 was to extend the meme of “9/11 conspiracy theories” into new extremes of deceit and obfuscation through fear mongering, defamation, misrepresentation and guilt-by-association.

The text’s title well encapsulates the core features of the smear campaign that is so central to the strategy of preventing the public from realizing how severely and systematically we have been lied to. Kay’s fervid literary invention of a “Growing Conspiracist Underground of 9/11 Truthers” was meant to invoke connotations of darkness, dementia and concealment. Among the engineered mental pictures conjured up by the literary reference to a “Conspiracist Underground” are concocted media memes of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network supposedly coordinating international havoc from elaborate networks of Eurasian terrorist caves.

Chomsky and Kay and the other 9/11 obfuscators consistently avoid dealing with the evidence. There is never any discussion, for instance, of the US government’s position that a catastrophic failure of intelligence flows, together with a complete breakdown of a whole series of emergency measure procedures, was the main cause of the 9/11 debacle. This narrative line is called into question by the fact that not one of the officials supposedly responsible for this alleged failure of intelligence and national defense was so much as reprimanded let alone fired. If the official narrative was true, why is it that the supposed incompetents actually received promotions?

There is never any effort to address huge anomalies like the fact, for instance, that the black boxes from the weaponized jet planes could not be found and yet passports of the alleged hijackers were miraculously located amidst the debris. There is never any real reckoning on the side of the obfuscators with the ongoing and blatantly illegal destruction of the forensic evidence of the 9/11 crimes.

This process starts under Michael Chertoff in his capacity as the person responsible for the US Justice Department’s criminal investigation of 9/11. Under Chertoff’s guidance this federal “investigation” quickly assumed the character of a federally orchestrated cover up. The destruction of evidence begins with the unseemly haste in the autumn of 2001 to dispose of the steel remnants of the three pulverized WTC towers. The twisted steel girders were quickly removed and sold off to scrap metal customers in China without prior forensic testing for signs of controlled demolitions. The quick destruction of evidence included the removal and destruction of human remains.

The saga of federal destruction of the evidence of the 9/11 crime, including the illegal destruction of the taped evidence of CIA torture in secret black site dungeons, extends to the proceedings currently underway in the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp. There, the military trial being pressed against the supposed “mastermind of 9/11” broke down in May of 2016 because a military judge improperly allowed the destruction of state evidence.

Kay’s excuse for not dealing with the evidence in Among The Truthers is to cite the supposed advice of a supposed New York editor who supposedly cautioned him, “debunking books don’t sell… Conspiracy theorists won’t believe you. And normal people don’t need to be told what you’re telling them. So you have no audience.” The implication here is that somehow “normal people” need not be burdened with knowledge of the evidentiary substance of what really happened. (p.320)

Kay effectively destroys his journalistic credibility with this startling declaration that he ignored the 9/11 evidence due to the marketing advice of his New York editor. From this very compromised position of surrender to the vagaries of media salesmanship, Kay launches into his pop psychology fakery profiling the inhabitants of his imagined underground realm. Those “conspiracists” that the author chooses to highlight are simply wrong because Jonathan Kay declares them to be wrong. No proof required. All those that have developed interpretations that do not conform with the Israeliocentric worldview of Jonathan Kay and his publishers in the Rupert Murdoch media empire are simply swept aside as members of “cults and cult-like movements.” (p.315)

The inhabitants of Kay’s invented realm are pronounced by their Inquisitor to be heretics and worse. Kay declares them to be common victims of an “incurable disease” against which young people require “inoculation” through the introduction of special curricula and programs in schools. In taking on the personae of a public health official charged to protect our youth from the spread of infectious conspiracy theories, is Kay, the self-proclaimed poseur, implicitly prescribing the quarantining of those with whom he disagrees?

You will read “9/11 Crimes and Israel” in the next part.

Endnotes

[1] Jonathan Kay, “My Life at the National Post and Why I’ll Miss It,National Post, 21 November, 2014

Dr. Hall is editor in chief of American Herald Tribune. He is currently Professor of Globalization Studies at University of Lethbridge in Alberta Canada. He has been a teacher in the Canadian university system since 1982. Dr. Hall, has recently finished a big two-volume publishing project at McGill-Queen’s University Press entitled “The Bowl with One Spoon”.

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Guardian’s vernacular shield of Ukraine’s TV attack

The Ukrainian Inter TV Channel building in Kiev, which was set on fire on September 4, 2016. © Sputnik

The Ukrainian Inter TV Channel building in Kiev, which was set on fire on September 4, 2016. © Sputnik
RT | September 6, 2016

The Guardian’s report this week into an apparent arson attack on a Ukrainian TV station is the latest entry in the ‘do as we say, not as we do’ textbook of mainstream journalism.

After the Kiev offices of the building housing studios and offices of Ukrainian broadcaster Inter were set on fire by former military personnel, the British newspaper used copy from the Associated Press and the US state news agency RFE/RL, which has its own agenda, to report on the event. The added spin, however, is all their own.

The headline states: “Pro-Russia TV station in Kiev evacuated after fire.” For starters, there is no evidence that Inter TV, the channel affected, is especially favorable towards Moscow. In reality, Ukraine watchers believe it’s more pertinent to describe it as simply opposed to the current regime in Kiev. The comments beneath the Guardian’s own twitter post promoting the piece would appear to back that up.

Looking at the headline, the impression given is of the local authorities as good guys, practically saving the “pro-Russia” opposition. Quite a pleasant surprise, considering that the current government in Kiev allows private armies, representing nationalist and oligarchic interests – which often align – to run amok in the country and this is why episodes of this nature occur. How do we know there’s a connection? Why, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov himself stated that it was former Ukrainian military personnel that carried out this attack. This statement is conspicuously missing from the Guardian piece altogether.

Isn’t it remarkable how oblique Western mainstream media’s language becomes when “their guys” are caught out doing something wrong?

The incident is reminiscent of the 2014 Odessa Trade Union building fire and the reaction to it. Back then the Guardian’s headline was “Ukraine clashes: dozens dead after trade union building fire.” There was no mention of the nationalist groups involved and the headline didn’t explain that all the deaths were on the anti-government side, once again dubbed “pro-Russian.” Despite the fact that no weapons were found in the building, Western media has pretty much ignored the massacre, in which 42 people died.

Many reports then referred to the building “catching” fire, as if by accident, and ignored ample video evidence of Molotov cocktails being hurled by the Kiev supporters.

In reporting on the story, The Guardian’s unquestioning reliance on RFE/RL text is particularly telling. After all, we regularly hear self-congratulatory boasting from the Western press about their commitment to objectivity, rejection of political agendas and a tradition of holding authority accountable – usually coupled with scolding of RT and other news outlets that dare to present an alternative interpretation of events. Well, RFE/RL is controlled by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which is funded to the tune of nearly $800 million annually by the US government and its first listed principle is to “be consistent with the broad foreign policy objectives of the United States.”

Currently the primary aim of US policy in Ukraine is to support the Poroshenko adminstration, seemingly without any caveats, and presumably because the regime is useful for balancing Russia’s influence in the region.

So much for speaking truth to power, G.

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

9/11 Suspects: Christine Todd Whitman

corbettreport | September 6, 2016

If the brave men and women who had rushed to the World Trade Center in the chaotic days after 9/11 to help with the search and rescue had done so knowing the risks they were facing, that would be one thing. But of course they did not. They had been given false assurances by Christine Todd Whitman, the EPA administrator who assured the public just days into the clean up that the air was safe to breathe.

TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=19618

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

UK Jewish lobby calls on Labour to expel Livingstone

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Former London mayor Ken Livingstone
Press TV – September 6, 2016

Britain’s Labour Party has come under pressure from a powerful Jewish lobby to expel former London mayor and MP Ken Livingstone, who says Adolf Hitler supported Zionism.

The British Jews organization made the call on Monday, shortly after Livingstone’s interview with the BBC, where he doubled down on his remarks about Hitler’s support for Zionism.

“During the 1930s, Hitler collaborated with the Zionists and supported them because he believed that a solution to his problem — the Jews — was that they should all move to Palestine,” the veteran MP told BBC radio.

Livingstone told the radio show that expelling him would be “very difficult” as he has the evidence needed to back the statement.

The comments revived a controversy from April, where he made the same remarks on the same radio show and was subsequently suspended by party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“After I did the interview with you and I got suspended, I couldn’t walk down the street for people stopping me and saying ‘we know what you said is true – don’t give in to them,'” Livingstone said. “It’s going to be very difficult for them to expel me from the Labour Party when I’ve got this whole sheaf of documents and papers which shows that what I said was true.”

In its Monday statement, the British Jews blasted Livingstone for attempting to “rewrite history.”

“Every day that Labour does not expel him is a stain on the party,” the lobby’s Board of Deputies Vice President Marie van der Zyl said.

The Israeli regime was illegally established in 1948, when it occupied Palestinian land along with expanses of other Arab territories during full-fledged military operations. The occupied lands also include Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms and Syria’s Golan Heights.

In 1967, it occupied the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip. It later annexed the West Bank and East al-Quds in a move never recognized by the international community.

“The creation of the state of Israel was fundamentally wrong, because there had been a Palestinian community there for 2,000 years,” Livingstone told Arabic TV station al-Ghad al-Arabi in May.

The Labour Party has suspended as many as 50 members over allegations of “anti-Semitism” and racism over the past months.

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 2 Comments

Palestinian forces stop vehicle of undercover Israeli forces, get arrested at gunpoint

Ma’an – September 6, 2016

TULKAREM – Undercover Israeli special forces reportedly arrested four Palestinian customs forces before dawn on Tuesday morning near the Nur Shams refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem.

The Palestinian customs forces were reportedly conducting a surveillance operation surrounding “smuggled goods” in the Tulkarem area, when they spotted a Mercedes commercial vehicle driving in the nearby village of Anabta.

When the Palestinian officers attempted to stop the vehicle, it reportedly evaded them and fled in the direction of the Nur Shams refugee camp, at which time the Palestinian forces began to chase down the vehicle.

Palestinian sources told Ma’an that the customs officers managed to stop the vehicle, but when they attempted to search it, they discovered that the vehicle was being driven by undercover Israeli special forces.

The Israeli forces then reportedly pulled their guns on the four Palestinian officers, and detained them for “obstructing a secret mission” they were conducting in the nearby village of Bizzariya.

The detained Palestinian officers were released by 8 a.m. Tuesday, after the Palestinian Authority reportedly intervened on their behalf.

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , | 1 Comment

Historic Assad-Erdogan meeting by September’s end in Moscow

American Herald Tribune | September 5, 2016

Lebanese daily Assafir has recently published an article by journalist Mohammad Ballout. The article states that preparations and arrangements for an Assad-Erdogan meeting had begun since Erdogan’s visit to St. Petersburg on August 9th.

Interestingly, Erdogan’s visit also coincided with the visit of a senior Syrian delegation that included important security officials, including the head of the Syrian National Bureau General Ali Mamlouk, one of Assad’s most trusted advisors.

The article also states that the delegation’s visit taking place during Erdogan’s was no mere coincidence, and points to a very sharp turn that is about to take place in the Syrian War, in what is now its 5-year run.

The date of the final meeting between the two will apparently be set by General Mamlouk in his upcoming visit to Russia this Tuesday, whereat he is expected to meet with Russian and Turkish officials, whereas the actual agenda of the meet is to be finalized by Hakan Fidan, head of Turkish Intelligence.

The settlement proposed by Russia would include a tripartite national unity government that would include loyalists, independents, and representatives from the moderate Syrian opposition. They also offered the Saudis with an acceptable “out” by ruling out any major role to be played by Iran in the process.

The article also states that the Syrian delegation refused Turkey’s proposition of a sectarian division of government (akin to Lebanon), and instead proposed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would still preside over the most important ministries: Interior, Justice, Finance, Foreign Affairs, and Defense, whereas executive ministries would be shared with the opposition and the independents. Three vice presidents will also be selected from the three factions.

It has so also been agreed that after an 18-month period, some key constitutional amendments must take place (provided they do not alter any presidential powers), to be later followed by legislative and presidential elections.

Finally, The Syrian delegation has also made commitments to issue a general amnesty for all military defectors, provided they do not partake in any activities against the Syrian army.

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Obama’s Final ‘Jihad’ in Asia

By Wayne MADSEN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 06.09.2016

President Barack Obama has opted to ratchet up military tensions in Asia as one of his last foreign policy acts as president of the United States. Using climate change and free trade backdrops at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China and the U.S.-ASEAN and East Asia Summits in Vientiane, Laos as mirages intended to mask his aggressive military posture in the Asia-Pacific region, Obama seeks to cement his «pivot to Asia». It is Obama’s sincere hope that his anticipated successor, his former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will expand on the expansionistic and aggressive regional showdown with China and Russia that his administration launched with his Asia «pivot».

The ultra-protocol conscious Chinese threw diplomacy and decorum to the wind when Obama touched down at Hangzhou International Airport and his national security adviser Susan Rice and deputy national security adviser became embroiled in an argument with Chinese security personnel. When White House officials traveling with Obama began issuing orders to the Chinese personnel, one Chinese official yelled at them, «This is our country. This is our airport». It was as if the Chinese, realizing that this would be their last encounter with Obama as president, were letting him and his war hawk national security team know who was the boss as long as they were on Chinese soil. At least on the tarmac at Hangzhou International Airport, the Chinese swung Obama’s Asia «pivot» back to China.

It was an ignominious final «haj» for Obama’s anti-Chinese jihad. Obama began his presidency in 2009 with being awarded, incredibly prematurely as it turned out, the Nobel Peace Prize. For the Asia-Pacific region, Obama’s presidency would end with angry words between his aides and Chinese officials at a Chinese airport.

Obama began his journey as the host for Pacific Island leaders at the Central Intelligence Agency front, the East-West Center, which is located at his mother’s alma mater, the University of Hawai’i. Obama was the official host at the 2016 Pacific Islands Conference (PIC) of Leaders at the CIA-linked center. Obama’s speech before the leaders, many from small Pacific island states, focused primarily on global climate change. Obama also addressed the World Conservation Congress at their meeting in Hawai’i.

Obama was schooled in anti-Chinese bigotry and Cold War fear tactics by his CIA mother and right-wing fascist Indonesian army stepfather while a child in post-1965 coup Indonesia. Obama, who is fully aware that the blood of 800,000 to one million Indonesians, Communists and ethnic Chinese Indonesian nationals, flowed in the streets, canals, and rivers of Indonesia from 1965 to 1967, the year he and his mother arrived in the country, believes it his birthright and duty to continue his familial “jihads” against «Communist» China that were instilled in him as a child, teen, and college student by his CIA-connected parents.

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, tipped off the press about the real purpose of the PIC before he departed Port Moresby for Hawai’i. O’Neill, who is in charge of one of Papua New Guinea’s most corrupt governments since independence in 1975, said that “regional security” shared the bill with climate change at the Hawai’i conference. In addition to independent Pacific Island states, the PIC includes the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas, and the state of Hawai’i.

U.S. Army Assistant Chief of Staff Colonel Tom Hanson, a relatively low-level official to be issuing policy statements, gave an ultimatum to Australia just prior to Obama’s departure for Hawai’i and Asia. Hanson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “I think the Australians need to make a choice … it’s very difficult to walk this fine line between balancing the alliance with the United States and the economic engagement with China.” The statement chilled U.S.-Australian relations prior to Obama’s meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull at the G20 summit.

Also on Obama’s agenda was pressuring certain PIC leaders who have shown signs of resisting the political status quo imposed by Washington. Northern Marianas Governor Ralph Torres, a Republican, recently signed into law the Second Marianas Political Status Commission that seeks to re-evaluate the islands’ current neo-colonial status imposed by the agreement that transformed the Northern Marianas into a colony where Asian sweat shops predominate and where those of Northern Marianas descent have little say over their domestic affairs. The Pentagon wants to turn the island of Tinian into a live-fire range, a decision that imperils the 3,000 residents of the island.

Another U.S. colony, Guam, has seen the growth of a Commission on Decolonization and an Independence for Guahan Task Force. Guahan is the proper Chuukese name for Guam.

Obama, a product of U.S. imperialist control over Hawai’i, the importance of which for Washington is solely military, has done everything possible to subvert and suppress the anti-colonial aspirations of the Pacific islands under U.S. domination and political influence.

The Obama administration has also been exercising subtle pressure on the Federation of Micronesia, a quasi-independent former U.S. Trust Territory, to deter movements for independence from the island groups of Chuuk and Yap. Under the Compact of Free Association, the U.S. effectively controls Micronesia and reserves the right o build military bases, through the federal government of Micronesia located in Pohnpei. Chuuk and Yap accuse Pohnpei of ignoring their own interests. Similar neo-colonialist “compacts” are in effect with the other former U.S. trust territories of the Marshall Islands, where the U.S. maintains a missile test range, and Palau, where the U.S. would like to build a naval base.

After departing Hawai’i for Asia, Obama stopped at the U.S.-controlled Midway Island, where he expanded the Papahānaumokuākea National Monument, a major marine wildlife sanctuary. However, the national monument, in addition to being the world’s largest marine sanctuary, also extends the protected wildlife area to the limits of America’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Ironically, it was China’s extension of its EEZ around disputed islands in the South China Sea, that resulted in Obama ratcheting up regional military confrontation with China.

Obama’s visit to another monument on Midway Island, the one honoring America’s decisive defeat of Japan in the Battle of Midway of 1942, had little to do with protecting sea turtles, albatrosses, and tiger sharks and everything to do with proclaiming America’s resolve to maintain the Pacific Ocean as an «American lake». The message to China and Russia could not have been more stark regardless of the masking of Obama’s military message with climate change and environmental optics.

Obama’s marine conservation visit to Midway is also suspicious. Under Obama’s neo-Cold War tactics, the United States is reopening abandoned or expanding previously scaled-down military bases in Iceland, Greenland, the Aleutian Islands of Shemya and Attu, Guam, American Samoa, and the Philippines. Midway, a former U.S. base, may also be see a renewed active military presence as part of Obama’s jihads against China and Russia. Midway Atoll is literally owned by the U.S. Interior Department. However, Midway’s Henderson Field is maintained as an active airport — which was capable of landing Obama’s Air Force One Boeing 747 — by a private company, American Airports Corporation. The company operates a number of airports in the western United States that were used to film some of the most jingoistic U.S. television shows, including the CIA propaganda series «24» and the U.S. Navy puffery series «JAG».

Obama, whose presidency has been buoyed by money and sycophancy from Hollywood, perhaps sees himself as not only waging a personal jihad against China and Russia but as a future action film star. It is a preferable option since as a movie star, Obama will only be able to wage fictional wars on movie sets.

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thought is Dangerous to the USA

By Craig Murray | August 5, 2016

I have been refused entry clearance to the USA to chair the presentation of the Sam Adams Award to CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou and to speak at the World Beyond War conference in Washington DC. Like millions of British passport holders I have frequently visited the USA before and never been refused entry clearance under the visa waiver programme.

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I shall apply for a visa via the State Department as suggested but I must be on a list to be refused under the ESTA system, and in any event it is most unlikely to be completed before the conference.

It is worth noting that despite the highly critical things I have published about Putin, about civil liberties in Russia and the annexation of the Crimea, I have never been refused entry to Russia. The only two countries that have ever refused me entry clearance are Uzbekistan and the USA. What does that tell you?

I have no criminal record, no connection to drugs or terrorism, have a return ticket, hotel booking and sufficient funds. I have a passport from a visa waiver country and have visited the USA frquently before during 38 years and never overstayed. The only possible grounds for this refusal of entry clearance are things I have written against neo-liberalism, attacks on civil liberties and neo-conservative foreign policy. People at the conference in Washington will now not be able to hear me speak.

Plainly ideas can be dangerous. So much for the land of the free!

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | | Leave a comment

Russian human rights advocates propose alternative NGO for Eurasian states

RT | September 1, 2016

Russian activists have prepared a proposal to launch a major international rights organization that would work in the Eurasian space and would be not as ‘politically-biased’ as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

“We want to create the Eurasian Human Rights Group or EARG with the primary task of constant monitoring of observation of human and civil rights. It is important for activists to coordinate their activities and when it’s necessary to urgently go to places where violations of human rights are registered. In addition, our group will distribute humanitarian aid,” the main figure behind the project, the head of the Russian Volunteers Union and secretary of the Russian Council for Human Rights, Yana Lantratova, said in comments to Izvestia daily.

She also told about plans to accredit the new group with all international institutes, such as the United Nations, the Eurasian Economic Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States. “Our main objective is openness and independence, the ability to operatively assess any events and react on them,” she said.

The plan has already gained support from several rights groups from post-Soviet republics. The head of the Against Rights Arbitrariness group and ombudsman of Armenia, Larisa Alaverdyan, told reporters that her colleagues welcomed the idea of a new independent association. She added that once the group is organized it should develop particular procedures allowing it to resolve various conflicts concerning human rights in the Eurasian states.

Kyrgyz rights activist Asilbek Egemberdiyev said that in his view the new association could concentrate on problems of labor migrants as often people who work outside their home countries are deprived of even basic support of their rights.

This is not the first time Russian politicians have sought a joint rights movement by post-Soviet states. In May 2014, MP Leonid Slutsky (LDPR) suggested the Commonwealth of Independent States set up its own Court of Human Rights to investigate the political crisis in Ukraine and the events that led to the installment of the current Kiev regime and the subsequent military conflict in that country.

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Timeless or most popular | , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s All About Russia

Hillary and the neocons know who to blame for Trump

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • September 6, 2016

Many issues characteristically beloved by Democrats are being raised to disparage Donald Trump. The man has been maligned as a racist, a bigot, as unfit for office and even described as a psychopath, presumably in contrast to Hillary Clinton who loves people of every color and shape as long as they are not living next door and will faithfully vote Democratic after they are afforded entry into the United States and amnestied. Hillary, who has held nearly every senior government office that a human being can reasonably aspire to but the one she is currently lusting after, is unlike Trump only sufficiently deranged to kill people if they live somewhere in the third world and can’t do anything about it.

A persistent line emanating from the “national security” experts who have flocked to Hillary’s side is that Trump would threaten the safety of the United States. That many of the crossovers are neoconservatives who have brought us a number of unnecessary wars in the past fifteen years is pretty much ignored by the media just as the argument that the U.S. has a presumptive right to intervene militarily wherever and whenever it chooses is generally accepted. The latest talking head who stands firm for national security is Paul Wolfowitz, who was interviewed by the German magazine Der Spiegel on August 26th. Some readers might recall Wolfowitz. He was the number two at the Pentagon under Donald Rumsfeld. A forceful advocate for the Iraq war, he is famous for having observed that the Iraqis would welcome the American invasion and that the war would pay for itself rather than the $5 plus trillion that it has actually cost. How he came to the latter erroneous conclusion is not very clear, though it may have had something to do with looting Iraq’s oil reserves and exporting them through a pipeline to Israel, an idea that was once floated by Wolfowitz’s godfather Richard Perle.

Wolfowitz has never been apologetic. He now claims that he was deluded by the information provided by the intelligence establishment into believing that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, an odd claim as he himself was largely responsible for the bad intelligence through his setting-up of the Office of Special Plans, a separate organization within the Pentagon intended to critique and supplement what the CIA was producing.

Wolfowitz’s zeal was rewarded by George W. Bush, who appointed him head of the World Bank, a position that he was forced to relinquish when it was determined that he had been concealing his relationship with a woman who worked for him as well as promoting her far beyond organizational guidelines. He was also accused of general mismanagement. Some things apparently never change.

In any event, Wolfowitz, who has now characteristically found yet another comfortable and well remunerated niche at the largely defense contractor funded American Enterprise Institute, has finally joined the neocon host that is working for a Hillary victory in November. They understand that it is a bread-and-butter issue. Hillary is clearly predisposed to continue the kinds of mindlessly aggressive policies that have made Neoconservatism Inc. and its vibrant cash flow possible in the first place.

More to the point however, in the real world both Hillary and Wolfie sometimes visit, there is renewed enthusiasm for jumping on the hate Russia bandwagon. To belong to that club one has to repeatedly accuse Moscow of interfering in American politics, preferably without any evidence at all to support the claim. Not surprisingly, the reality is actually quite different. It is the Hillary camp that has injected Russia into the campaign debate to use it as a bludgeon to beat on Trump. They do so without considering that regular excoriation of Russia in the media and from various political pulpits might actually have consequences.

Wolfowitz believes it is weakness in a leader to avoid confrontation with adversaries. He writes that Trump’s apparent desire to “step back” from crises in the world makes him “Obama squared.” It is a principal reason why he will likely be voting for Clinton in November. He describes Trump as a security risk precisely “because he admires Putin” and is “unconcerned about the Russian aggression in Ukraine. By doing this he tells them that they can go ahead and do what they are doing. That is dangerous” as “Putin is behaving in a very dangerous way.”

In a recent speech Hillary Clinton also piled on Russia while affirming that she is now the candidate of “American exceptionalism,” an obvious ploy to attract even more neocons and dissident GOP hawks. Hillary has also denounced Trump’s appearance on stage with Nigel Farage, who headed the successful British Brexit movement. Hillary declared Farage to be both racist and sexist before castigating him for being a stooge of the Russians. His crime? Appearing on Russia Today television, where the author of this piece has also appeared numerous times.

So Farage and Trump are together part of Hillary’s alleged vast right wing conspiracy and the strings for that are being pulled by Moscow. She went on to call Putin “the godfather of this global brand of extreme nationalism” before launching an attack on Trump personally, claiming that he “heaps praise on Putin and embraces pro-Russian policies.” And he does that because there is something “wrong” about him: he is part of a “paranoid fringe in our politics, steeped in racial resentment.”

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook took the argument still further, observing that “Trump is just a puppet of the Kremlin,” taking the claim that Trump is a Putin collaborator and elevating it to make him a true Manchurian candidate, a tool of what used to be Godless communism but is now something more like a revival of the Holy Russian Empire run by the KGB.

Justin Raimondo notes that putting all the bits together one comes up with a Hillary view that her nemesis Donald Trump is the face of a “Vast Right Wing Pro-Russian Conspiracy,” making him an enemy that comprises both domestic and international threats, producing a target rich environment for the slings and arrows produced by Hillary and her hack speech writers.

The Clinton view of Putin is particularly ironic as it runs against the frequently expressed Russian government desire to work together with Washington to solve mutual problems, to include dealing with Islamic terrorism and stabilizing the Middle East. Putin in fact pulled President Barack Obama’s chestnuts out of the fire in 2013 when the latter got caught in a series of lies relating to Syria’s alleged chemical weapons.

It would be bad enough if a delusional Hillary Clinton were alone, a voice crying in the wilderness, but she is not. She is supported by a growing number of neoconservatives as well as the Establishment Dems in her own party. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has called on the FBI to investigate whether the Putin government is trying to undermine the November ballot, implying that they might try to cyber-meddle with election results. Of course, if Hillary wins as expected he will fade back into the woodwork and stop complaining.

And then there is the media, which is playing its part by fearmongering. On August 18th The reliably neocon Washington Post featured two op-eds, one written by David Kramer and the other by Angela Stent. Kramer, who is a Senior Director with the McCain Institute for International Leadership and an ex-George W. Bush official, posits that “Russia is now a threat. The U.S. should treat it like one.” That an ex-GWB official should expound on sound policy from the pulpit of an institute reflecting the values of Senator John McCain might be considered comical, but Kramer asserts that “Russia under Vladimir Putin is an authoritarian, kleptocratic regime that poses a serious threat to our values, interests and allies. We should contain and deter Russian aggression…”

Kramer cites the familiar examples of Ukraine, Crimea and Syria as evidence of Putin’s bestiality but his descriptions are curiously one-sided, making it appear that Russia is invariably purely malevolent while all the alleged victims are peace loving and high minded democrats-to-be. Such thinking is, of course, nonsense. Putin is a realist and a nationalist who is well aware of his country’s limitations but who is willing to protect his genuine interests. Would that President Hillary Clinton might be intelligent enough to do the same.

In the second op-ed Stent, who directs the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University, blames Russia for failing to integrate into “Euro-Atlantic and global institutions” while also “thwart[ing]” America’s “commitment to create a peaceful, rules-based post-Cold War order.”

I must have missed some of the recent history that Stent recalls so unambiguously, possibly because I was somehow misled by the reported looting of Russia by the west and the western aligned oligarchs as well as the more recent interference in the country’s internal affairs by Congress and the White House. She also seems unaware that the United States has a far worse international record than Russian since 1991, invading Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya while also interfering in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia. And, oh yes, there was also that little matter of expanding NATO up to Russia’s doorstep, which just might seem provocative, as well as the direct encouragement of anti-Russian sentiment and worse in Georgia and Ukraine.

Stent admits that she does not know if Moscow actually hacked U.S. computers or released embarrassing information about candidates, but she nevertheless is confident enough to see Russia as “clearly intend[ing] to sow doubts about the legitimacy of our democratic election process.” What to do? Forget about any reset with Putin and instead consider building up military strength to “deter any further attempts by Russia to destabilize its neighboring countries.”

One has to wonder what stimulants they are serving in the coffee at the McCain Center and Georgetown, but it really doesn’t matter as the Wolfowitzes, Clintons, Kramers and Stents of this world are all bottom feeding out of the same gravy boat. For them, a world in conflict with a genuinely dangerous enemy that keeps them employed is a highly valuable commodity. The only problem is that Russia might really, really get pissed off by all the flatulence being directed at it. That could become very dangerous.

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The ITT Fraud

By Anthony DiMaggio • Unz Review • September 5, 2016

The rapid decline of the ITT for profit-college may represent a pivotal moment in modern history, as seen in rising challenges to predatory capitalism. ITT is in deep trouble, subject to numerous lawsuits, from the Securities and Exchange Commission and Consumer Finance and Protection Bureau (CFPB) for defrauding students. The con that is for-profit education is finally being exposed, and these “higher learning” institutions are increasingly recognized for their rapacious treatment of students. Within this context, the Wall Street Journal seeks to reframe the attack on ITT as the work of the big, bad government, which is committed to stifling the liberties inherent in private enterprise. Contrary to the paper’s propaganda, however, the narrative of for-profit colleges as a beleaguered David facing the onslaught of a brutal government Goliath bears little resemblance to reality.

In a recent piece in their “Review and Outlook” section titled “Obama’s For-Profit Execution,” the Journal attacks the Obama administration for trying to “kill a company without proving a single allegation” in court. The paper laments the Department of Education for requiring ITT to increase its letter of credit from 10 percent to 20 percent, in light of the possibility that the corporation will lose its accreditation in the near future. A letter of credit refers to the collateral a for-profit institution must maintain to assure that it can pay back money owed to the federal government in the case of bankruptcy, which may be right around the corner for the ailing college.

The ITT accreditation fiasco arose when the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) – the nation’s largest accrediting institution for higher education – alongside 20 state Attorney Generals, began a detailed investigation into students’ complaints of ITT’s predatory lending practices. Accreditation withdrawal threats are gaining steam in light of various government lawsuits filed against ITT over the last two years. The grievances against the for-profit are spelled out in the CFPB’s lawsuit. They include:

* Exorbitant tuition rates, accompanied by increased risk of student loan default.

* Dishonest lending, characterized by pressuring students to accept large privately-funded loans, without fully disclosing the details and loan terms to borrowers.

* Poor job prospects flowing from for-profit degrees with dubious value on the job market.

* The persistence of low educational standards, resulting in two and four-year educational institutions rejecting for-profit transfer credits.

None of these charges are particularly surprising for anyone who has paid attention to complaints against for-profit colleges.

What is particularly bizarre is the complete refusal of the Wall Street Journal to discuss any of the specific problems that have been well documented regarding ITT and other for-profit’s practices. The paper condemns the DOE for its “lawless” attack on ITT, independent of any effort to address why the school is under attack. Sadly, the Journalappears willfully blind to the realities of higher education. For one, a court conviction has never been necessary to pull accreditation from a learning institution with a troubled background, and it is certainly unrelated to states’ choice to investigate predatory lending in higher education. ITT will have its day in court, but this doesn’t mean it can or should avoid public scrutiny in the meantime, or avoid government regulations aimed at protecting taxpayers from the college’s looming bankruptcy.

The Wall Street Journal’s defense of ITT is symbolic of a larger political-economic culture in the U.S., in which pundits and intellectuals assume that for-profit institutions engage in valiant work by virtue of their for-profit nature, which ensures societal freedom and liberty. If ITT is inherently virtuous, as we know all corporations to be, why allow the bumbling regulators of the big, bad federal government to ruin such a valiant enterprise? If profits are next to godliness, then government bureaucratic efforts to interfere with the miracle of the “free market” are destined to fail and will only disrupt the wondrous self-regulating efficiencies inherent in capitalism. These free market fantasies have little to do with how for-profit colleges really work, yet such language is used to justify an industry that enriches itself by victimizing its clientele.

It’s difficult to characterize for-profits like ITT as anything less than parasitic institutions, praying on the ignorance and naiveté of first-generation college students seeking to improve their economic lot and career prospects. They are hardly “free market” entities, as they receive billions in guaranteed federal student loans. In light of the vacuum of government regulation, these corporations victimize students with impunity. Their educational “product” is widely regarded as sub-par among those in non-profit private colleges and public colleges and universities. Problems inherent in for-profits are explored below.

Exorbitant Tuition Costs and Predatory Lending

According to ITT’s own statistics, its students are paying astounding prices, between $45,000 and $53,000 in tuition for Associate’s degrees (see: http://programinfo.itt-tech.edu/posi/cost.pdf). By comparison, the National Center for Education Statistics estimates the average cost for an Associate’s Degree in the U.S. is $9,888,including room and board, tuition, and fees. I taught for half a decade at an Illinois community college, and tuition for an Associate’s Degree totaled $6,900 in 2016 dollars, or 13 to 15 percent of the cost of various ITT Associate’s Degree. Total tuition for Bachelor’s Degrees from ITT come in at a whopping $76,000 to $89,000, depending on the degree. By comparison, I taught for years at a major state university in Illinois, where four years of credits for a Bachelor’s degree now costs $44,430. Illinois state universities have seen significant spikes in tuition costs in the last few decades, but even these prices pale in comparison to ITT’s highway robbery.

When I attended undergraduate and graduate school at various public universities in the Midwest, the terms of student loans were made perfectly clear prior to receiving any federal financial assistance, because of the financial aid counseling process all students had to complete. I left the financial aid office with little uncertainty regarding what I was borrowing (whether I had the life experience to fully understand the dangers of taking on a mountain of debt is another story). But lending practices are lax at many for-profits. For example, the CFPB lawsuit alleges: “ITT used its financial aid staff to rush students through an automated application process without affording them a fair opportunity to understand the loan obligations involved. In some cases, students did not even know they had a private student loan until they started getting collection calls. The loans were high-cost. For borrowers with credit scores under 600, for example, the costs of the private student loans included 10 percent origination fees and interest rates as high as 16.25 percent.”

Poor Job Prospects and Low-Value Degrees

For-profits depict themselves as providing a fast-track for students to earn vocational degrees that put them on the path to career success and increased earnings. These promises are a conscious misrepresentation of for-profit degrees. These degrees are seen by other colleges and universities, and by employers as sub-par at best, indicating little value added in terms of enhancing students’ skill sets or increasing their odds of landing in a vocational career-path.

For-profits offer degrees as diverse as two-year Associate’s and certifications, to Bachelor’s, Master’s Degrees, and PhDs. But these degrees are the laughing stock of the academic community. For example, an online Bachelor’s or Master’s at ITT will do little to increase one’s chances of getting accepted into a nationally ranked graduate program in the social sciences, and this is well known in the discipline. A PhD from the University of Phoenix is not considered a credible candidate for a tenure track position as a sociology or political science professor. Simply stated, for-profit degrees are the snake oil of higher education. They evoke little but ridicule from serious academic institutions.

Echoing the above points, ITT’s problems with job placement are well documented. For example, the school places less than half of its criminal justice grads into jobs upon graduation. To make matters worse, without overarching federal benchmarks establishing how to measure job placement, for-profits are free to manipulate their figures for what constitutes a criminal justice occupation. And manipulate they do. ITT includes a number of positions in its criminal justice placements that have no business being designated so. These include: health care workers, AmeriCorps instructors, assistant store managers, auto claims representatives, and customer service representatives (see: http://programinfo.itt-tech.edu/ind/bscj/). Such is the nature of predatory “education” in a system that lacks basic federal regulations and standards.

Non-Transferrable Credits

Because the academic standards at for-profits are so low, community colleges and two and four-year liberal arts colleges and universities often refuse to accept their courses for transfer credit. Numerous students I taught in community college struggled to transition from the for-profit they previously attended. They simply weren’t prepared to succeed in an institution that held real academic expectations, after having been coddled and passed through at a for-profit. Put simply, these colleges do nothing to provide students with the skills needed to succeed in educational institutions with higher levels of expectation. In contrast, transferring credits is usually a non-issue between community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and four-year universities. State-regulated articulation agreements ensure that classes taken at one college or another are able to transfer across institutions, so long as the classes taken are designated as articulated. For example, in Illinois, the Illinois Articulation Initiative specifies specific courses across each discipline that will transfer without question as students look to move from a two-year to four-year institution or vice-versa. At the community college I worked in, there was an articulation agreement with most surrounding state universities, in which schools agreed to automatically transfer in students with junior status if they had earned an Associate’s Degree. In short, the transferrable credits issue remains a huge problem with for-profits. These schools cannot guarantee the kind of rigor present at other open and selective enrollment institutions.

The attacks on ITT are plainly verifiable – especially claims of high tuition costs and poor job placement rates – simply by looking at ITT’s own publicly-available data. Furthermore, the problem of non-transferrable credits is apparent for anyone to see based on looking up state articulation rules for which courses at various colleges do and do not transfer to other schools (schools at my old community college were clearly marked as articulated in the course catalog). Students can call up various higher learning institutions they are interested in transferring to and see if for-profit credits will be accepted. Contrary to the Wall Street Journal’s claim, there is nothing in any of these charges that needs to be verified in a court of law in order to demonstrate malfeasance on the part of the for-profits. This data is all widely available in the public domain, and demonstrates in black-and-white the predatory nature of for-profits like ITT.

In a saner world, the Obama administration would have wiped out the for-profit racket years ago. A Democratic majority in Congress (from 2009 to 2010) should have passed legislation prohibiting a dime of federal dollars to flow to for-profits. If these schools are such a great example of the virtues of free markets operating independently of government, then they should have to operate fully independent of government subsidies. In light of their horrific academic records, Obama would have been well in the right to refuse free taxpayer dollars to predatory institutions. Instead, the DOE under Education Secretary Arne Duncan implemented largely toothless regulations that did little to reel in the for-profits. For-profits would only lose federal aid eligibility if 1. Fewer than 35 percent of their graduates were repaying their loans within two years of completing their degree; and 2. If graduates’ loan repayments on average reached beyond 30 percent of discretionary incomes. Amidst these tepid regulations, for-profits were allowed to extend their influence over American higher education, contributing to a wholesale decline in educational quality and standards.

The overarching significance of the ITT fiasco relates back to the private assault on the commons. Parasitic corporations that profit from higher education at the expense of students have no place in post-secondary education. But they’ve been allowed to blossom under a neoliberal system that assumes government is automatically “bad,” that public goods are not worth defending because they are wasteful and inefficient, and that the commons are a relic of a bygone era. Across the mass media, in private think tanks, and among business and governmental elites, taxpayer funded goods such as public higher education are increasingly seen as an unnecessary burden. The costs of higher ed are being shifted from society to individual “consumers” (students), who are supposed to pursue degrees narrowly aimed at careerism and earnings (hence the growing popularity of the dictum “learning means earning”), and are divorced from learning how to become active citizens sharing collective social responsibilities. Education “reformers” passionately maintain that tenure, taxpayer-funded education, and public sector unionism are pernicious forces that must be eradicated from the face of the earth. Eliminating protections for the public and for workers will supposedly usher in a golden era of education, one that will ensure college completion and career success.

But ultimately, the scandal that is the for-profits has demonstrated the tremendous importance of the commons and public goods. Community colleges produce a far superior experience compared to the ITTs of the world, and at a radically lower price for those interested in vocation or transfer credits. Community colleges are defined by tenure track positions and often include unionized protections that ensure job stability for faculty and guaranteed health and retirement benefits. By contrast, for-profits offer none of these things. They have eliminated tenure entirely. They pay legions of adjuncts on a piecemeal, per-course basis, and pay wages that ensure employees are eligible for every existing welfare benefit. These institutions serve no one, save their shareholders and executives. They’re a model for how not to run higher education.

Fortunately, Americans appear to be growing wise to the for-profit scam. Many realize these degrees have little value. DOE statistics suggest that the number of for-profit institutions declined by 5 percent from 2014 to 2016, with the number of students in these colleges falling by nearly 11 percent from 2014 to 2015 alone. Enrollment in the highest profile of all for-profits – University of Phoenix – declined by half between 2010 and 2015. The declining enrollment at colleges like ITT and Phoenix is significantly larger than anything seen at community colleges, and four-year public and private non-profit liberal arts colleges and universities.

The era of the corporate welfare queen, for-profit college may be coming to a close. Long-delayed government action has exposed this industry and its pernicious effects on higher learning. Increasingly, Americans are wondering whether education is a good from which private corporations should profit – especially if those profits come at the expense of a quality education.

Anthony DiMaggio holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Lehigh University, and is the author of Selling War, Selling Hope: Presidential Rhetoric, the News Media, and U.S. Foreign Policy Since 9/11 (SUNY Press, paperback, July 2016). He can be reached at: ard416@lehigh.edu

September 6, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment