Politics by Other Means: ‘Black sites Matter’ Prof. Michael Kilburn

GCAS--The BLOG

Politics by Other Means: ‘Black Sites Matter.’

-Michael Kilburn, contributor

UntitledIn early December 2014, a grand jury in Staten Island declined to issue an indictment in the choking death of Eric Garner, a 45 year old African American who was violently subdued by 5 police officers on suspicion of selling “loosies” (individual cigarettes). Despite video evidence of excessive force, including the use of a banned chokehold, and flagrant disregard for the victim, who gasped “I can’t breathe!” 11 times before losing consciousness and was left handcuffed and unaided on the sidewalk for 7 minutes after his collapse until the ambulance arrived; despite the medical examiner’s office ruling that Mr. Garner’s death was a homicide, the grand jury determined that there was no criminal liability.

It is important to understand that a grand jury is not a trial –though exceptionally Officer Pantaleo alone was permitted to give testimony in his own…

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Banksy Unveils New Graffiti Art Series In Gaza

bayareaintifada

From Street Art News

After teasing us with a single shot on Instagram earlier this morning (GMT time), Banksy finally revealed the location of the first piece which is Gaza in Palestine. Inspired by «The Thinker» by Rodin the first piece is entitled «Bomb Damage» and obviously with Banksy, the placement is just on point.
On top of that, the elusive British street artist took the opportunity to reveal four new pieces which you will be able to find around Gaza.
Two quotes were enclosed with the images of the new stenciled pieces:

Gaza is often described as ‘the world’s largest open air prison’ because no-one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons – they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost everyday.  — Banksy

A local man came up and said ‘Please – what does this mean?’ I…

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The Fear of Working Class Intellectuals

GCAS--The BLOG

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 9.58.28 AMCalling a bluff is always satisfying especially if you know it’s a bluff.  A bluff is «an attempt to deceive someone (or a group) into believing that one can or is going to do something.»  To call someone’s bluff is to expose their deception.

People who grew up in a sustained context in which hardships were a perennial part of daily life develop an idiosyncratic creativity and a fighting spirit. Observing parents or guardians just trying to «make ends meet» to put food on the table, to constantly pay the rent and bills just to stay off the streets teaches one the basic truth of social reality.  Life is exceedingly difficult with each day bringing new and basic challenges to stay just above water.

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 9.54.57 AMThis segment of the population is the most populous in American society according to Dennis Gilbert & Joseph Kahl (The American Class Structure). They…

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GCAS President, Alain Badiou on The Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS)

GCAS--The BLOG

GCAS President, Alain Badiou GCAS President, Alain Badiou

The President of the Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS)Alain Badiou recently published a book entitled, The Rebirth of History: Times of Riots and Uprisings translated by Gregory Elliott.  With clarity and decisiveness, this book delineates a compass for our time, an instrument by which our world can be properly navigated, and with courage, transformed.

It is not an easy journey that Professor Badiou maps out for us. Fundamental transformation of the world cannot be easy. To be sure the path is clear but the journey is full of challenges only made visible by «the first stirrings of a global popular uprising against» (5) global capitalism and it’s mechanisms. Global capitalism, according to Badiou marks out an «historical attempt at an unprecedented regression… [that] conforms to the norms of [its] birth: a dyed-in-the-wool liberalism of mid-nineteenth-century vintage, the unlimited power of a financial and…

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InfoWar Productions Sponsors GCAS Inaugural World Conference, «Democracy Rising»

GCAS--The BLOG

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We are pleased to announce that InfoWar Productions will be our media sponsor for The Global Center for Advanced Studies’ (GCAS) inaugural World Conference Series beginning in Athens, Greece this summer (July 16-19).  Our conference is entitled, «Democracy Rising: from insurrections to ‘Event’?»

REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

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Speakers: (The Following Speakers will be Present in Athens)

Keynote:

Costas DouzinasJodi Dean,Bruno Bosteels & Maria Aristodemou

Tariq Ali, Kenneth Surin, Azfar Hussain, Paul Mason, Alex CallinicosMaria Nikolakaki, Athena Athanasiou,  Creston Davis, Athina Karatzogianni,Kostis Karpozilos, Giovanni TusaDimitris DalakoglouLeonidas VatikiotisClaudia Landolfi, Peter ThompsonAris Chatzistefanou IIJulie Resche, Theodore KoulourisSigrid Hackenberg and special guests from Syriza and Podemos.

Watch the InfoWar Productions Documentary, Debtocracy

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RENOWNED PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL, TARIQ ALI TO SPEAK AT GCAS WORLD CONFERENCE

GCAS--The BLOG

One of the foremost public intellectuals, Tariq Ali will speak at The Global Center for Advanced StudiesWorld Conference, «Democracy Rising: From Insurrections to ‘Event’?»  This conference is free and open to the public.

REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

Writer & Activist, Tariq Ali Writer & Activist, Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali (/ˈtɑːrɪkˈɑːli/; Punjabi, Urdu: طارق علی‎; born 21 October 1943) is an English Pakistani writer, journalist, and filmmaker. He is a member of the editorial committee of the New Left Review and Sin Permiso, and contributes to The Guardian, CounterPunch, and the London Review of Books.

He is the author of several books, including Pakistan: Military Rule or People’s Power (1970), Can Pakistan Survive? The Death of a State (1991), Pirates Of The Caribbean: Axis Of Hope (2006), Conversations with Edward Said (2005), Bush in Babylon

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«College and Career Ready» is a Marketing Slogan

Seattle Education

college ready

     Elizabeth Hanson has been a teacher, primarily teaching English Language Learners, and preparing students to take the General Education Development test (GED). She has taught teens to adults from a variety of countries and circumstances. She participated in the Washington State Bad Ass Teachers (BATS) Toxic Testing Rally in Olympia on February 16th.  
     To follow is the speech she gave (updated with links).
     -Carolyn Leith

High Stakes Testing – China and the U.S.

This is my 30th year of teaching.  I teach ESL at a community college, ESL to mostly Asian kids who come to study in the U.S. because either they weren’t able to do well on their high stakes tests, which determine whether or not they can enter university, or their parents decided they didn’t want their kids to suffer the massive amount of studying required to pass those tests. The Mainland…

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Greece: ‘third world’ aid and debt

Michael Roberts Blog

One of the cruel ironies of the last minute deal between the Eurogroup and the Greek government for a four month extension to the existing ‘aid’ programme monitored by the Troika is that in any sane meaning it is not aid at all.

In return for staying in the Troika programme for another four months to end-June and keeping to the still to be agreed conditions on fiscal targets, government spending and privatisations, the Eurogroup, the ECB and the IMF will disburse the outstanding tranches of loans under the existing programme. The FT might call this “aid” but it is nothing of the kind. It is not even bailout money for Greek banks. The €11bn funding for that has been returned by the Greeks to the Troika who are keeping it for ‘security’.

Between the beginning of March and the end of June, the financing institution of the Eurogroup, the…

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Noam Chomsky on the Dangers of Standardized Testing

Creative by Nature

«The assessment itself is completely artificial. It’s not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who will reach their potential, explore their creative interests. Those things you’re not testing.. it’s a rank that’s mostly meaningless. And the very ranking itself is harmful. It’s turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank. Not into doing things that are valuable and important.»

noam-chomsky-005

The following is a partial transcript for an interview with Noam Chomsky uploaded to youtube by The Progressive Magazine.

«You take what is happening in education. Right now, in recent years, there’s a strong tendency to require assessment of children and teachers so that you have to teach to tests. And the test determines what happens to the child and what happens to the teacher.

That’s guaranteed to destroy any meaningful educational process. It means the teacher cannot be creative, imaginative, pay attention…

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The Elephant in the Room in the House of Being

GCAS--The BLOG

Power has this uncanny mystical effect that blinds us to its inherent contradictions and weaknesses.  Think of the slave economy that was necessary for the United States to birth itself as a country.  Or even modern liberal and economic theory (i.e., capitalism and representative democracy) crafted by upper-class theorist that required the workers to submit to selling their labor power under false-consciousness.  And just like that the institutions in capitalism were turned into a form of prostitution–selling your body for the benefit of the few.  The seminal mechanisms required to pull this deception off include representative democracy (in which policies can be controlled by the wealthy class), the creation of a fictitious person called the «corporation» (that has no social responsibility), perpetual war (i.e. the creation of an external enemy), perpetual economic crisis, debt enslavement, precarious employment opportunities,   Of course there is also the need to create an internal threat…

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Dr. Peter Gray on «The decline of play»

Seattle Education

recess

In this talk, Dr. Peter Gray compellingly brings attention to the reality that over the past 60 years in the United States there has been a gradual but, overall dramatic decline in children’s freedom to play with other children, without adult direction. Over this same period, there has been a gradual but overall dramatic increase in anxiety, depression, feelings of helplessness, suicide, and narcissism in children and adolescents. Based on his own and others’ research, Dr. Gray documents why free play is essential for children’s healthy social and emotional development and outlines steps through which we can bring free play back to children’s lives.

Dora Taylor

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Noam Chomsky on standardized testing and its effect on students

Seattle Education

standardized-test-6

“The assessment itself is completely artificial,» Chomsky asserts. «It’s not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who will reach their potential . . . It’s turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank.»

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“Ήμουν μέλος τρομοκρατικής οργάνωσης” λέει ισραηλινός πιλότος που έγινε ακτιβιστής

Σύλλογος Ιντιφάντα

του Ryan Rodrick Beiler

O Yonatan Shapira γεννήθηκε σε μια ισραηλινή στρατιωτική βάση ένα χρόνο πριν τη συμμετοχή του πατέρα του ως πιλότου της πολεμικής αεροπορίας στον πόλεμο του Οκτωβρίου 1973. 30 χρόνια μετά, και αφού ο ίδιος υπηρέτησε 12 χρόνια ως πιλότος της πολεμικής αεροπορίας, ο Shapira απέρριψε το στρατό. Το 2003 έγραψε μια επιστολή, δεσμευόμενος να μην πετάξει πάνω από την κατεχόμενη Δυτική Όχθη και τη Λωρίδα της Γάζας.

Ο Shapira συγκαταλέγεται μεταξύ των λίγων Ισραηλινών που έχουν εκφράσει υποστήριξη στο παλαιστινιακό κάλεσμα για Μποϊκοτάζ, Απόσυρση επενδύσεων και Κυρώσεις (BDS) εναντίον του Ισραήλ. Έχει επίσης δεχτεί επίθεση από τον ισραηλινό στρατό επειδή προσπάθησε να πλεύσει προς τη Γάζα για το σπάσιμο του αποκλεισμού.

Πρόσφατα μίλησε στον Ryan Rodrick Beiler της Electronic Intifada.

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How the Financiers use Quasi-Religious «morals» to Crush Democracy

GCAS--The BLOG

Greece's Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis Greece’s Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis

By Creston Davis

The first time I hear about the Greek economic crisis was during a panel in which a few of my Rollins College colleagues and I were presenting our freshly published books.  One of the presenters was from the business school and after he heard my talk on radical democracy he stood up and said something like, «If we follow your ideas we’ll all end up where Greece is now.»  I was curious about his comment and quickly started researching what was happening in Greece.  My Neoliberal colleague’s comment targeted my stance on democracy from the moral ground of «free-market» enterprise.

The upshot being that we should all just face the reality that there is no alternative to the free-market.  But as research has shown, the reality is very different.  In fact Neoliberal ideology of «free market and minimal government interventions»  actually requires…

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