Monday, August 17, 2009

Power Hoarding Billionaire Buddies

Bill Gates (billionaire #1)* personally paid $4 million (secretly, of course) to cover the costs of propaganda so that his billionaire buddy, Michael Bloomberg (billionaire #8) would retain complete power over the public schools in New York City, according to an article in today's New York Post. Not surprisingly, Eli Broad (billionaire #48) also gave millions to the organization that produced the propaganda. I wouldn't be surprised if I found out that the pro-school choice Walton's (billionaires siblings at #4, 5, 6 times two, a tie) gave Bloomberg some of their money as well. See "Gates’ $4 Mil Lesson Aided School Control” by Carl Campanile:

"America's richest man chipped in to help preserve mayoral control of New York City schools.

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates -- a pal of fellow billionaire Mayor Bloomberg -- has secretly bankrolled Learn-NY, the group that joined the campaign led by The Post to extend mayoral control.

Gates funneled about $4 million to the pro-mayoral-control forces during the fierce, dragged-out legislative debate, The Post has learned. A spokesman for Gates confirmed the donation and the approximate size.

The donation helped pay for Learn-NY's extensive public-relations, media and lobbying efforts in Albany and the city. The effort include advertisements, parent organizing and canvassing -- including a five-borough bus tour and trips to the state capital…"

And as you think about the fact that the billionaires are well underway with making sure that the NYC public school system is converted to one of charter schools, be sure carve out some time in your day to watch Milton Friedman explain why we should have free-market education in “What’s Wrong with our Schools,” volume 6 of the original 1980 series on PBS, Free to Choose.

At some point, be sure to check out the article on the Huffington Post (8/14/09), “Income Inequality Is At An All-Time High” and contemplate the past and present trajectories of power and wealth in the good ol' U.S. of A. Naomi Klein in "Shock Doctrine" further explains how the Chicago School philosophy created by Friedman is connected to everything that's going on.

Look out your windows, folks. The storm is here.

Then of course there is this video of John Pilger speaking about our new president, Barack Obama. Pilger is an Australian journalist and documentary maker, two-time winner of
Britain's Journalist of the Year Award.

Follow this with a summary by “The Opening Bell of today’s New York Times education article which describes Obama’s approach to public education reform:

“…the Obama administration is using the $4.3 billion "Race to the Top" fund to incentivize "state after state to rewrite education laws to open the door to more charter schools and expand the use of student test scores for judging teachers." This "aggressive" use of stimulus funds by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan "is provoking heated debates over the uses of standardized testing and the proper federal role in education, issues that flared frequently" amid NCLB enforcement efforts during President George W. Bush's administration. The Times notes that the Obama administration's education "stance has caught by surprise educators and officials who had hoped" that Obama's calls to overhaul NCLB while campaigning for the presidency "would mean a reduced federal role and less reliance on standardized testing."

In other words, in regard to education Obama and Duncan are just doing more of the same, a la Bush, as Pilger outlined above about international policies. Others have noticed, too.

The bits and pieces put together should make more people wonder about what's really going on.

*When considering Gates' $4 million donation to Learn NY to help preserve mayoral control in NYC, be aware that -- to him -- this figure is the equivalent of $5 to a person making $50,000. If readers don't believe me, they can do the math themselves.

The idea of a single person with this much power is extremely scary.

1 comment:

Zorro said...

We are all playing a rigged game with the likes of Mayor Michael
Bloomberg. So understand he will win every pot until we play the winner take all hand at the very end. When all the chips are finally on the table and we finally play over the very game itself--that's when we will
win brothers and sisters.

It's funny to hear Bloomberg confidently speculating about what he might do in his fourth term in office. His hubris and avarice have blinded him. He doesn't see what's coming. He should be confident over his election to a third term. That's in the bag with his other golf clubs. But he will not finish that term in office much less stand for a fourth. You can't run from jail or exile.

Don't believe me good working people of New York City? Don't believe me Your Highness? In time, you'll see.