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University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau hijack's our kids' futures. I love University of California (UC) having been a student & lecturer. But today I am concerned that at times I do not recognize the UC I love. Like so many I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failures of Regent Chairwoman Lansing, President Yudof, Chancellor Birgeneau from holding the line on rising costs & tuition increases. Paying more is not a better education.
Californians are reeling from 19% unemployment (includes: those forced to work part time; those no longer searching), mortgage defaults, loss of unemployment benefits. And those who still have jobs are working longer for less. Faculty wages must reflect California's ability to pay, not what others are paid.
Current pay increases for generously paid University of California Faculty is arrogance. Instate tuition consumes 14% of Ca. Median Family Income!
Paying more is not a better education. UC Berkeley(# 70 Forbes) tuition increases exceed the national average rate of increases. Chancellor Birgeneau has molded Cal. into the most expensive public university.
UC President Yudof, Cal. Chancellor Birgeneau($450,000 salary) dismissed many much needed cost-cutting options. They did not consider freezing vacant faculty positions, increasing class size, requiring faculty to teach more classes, doubling the time between sabbaticals, cutting & freezing pay & benefits for chancellors & reforming pensions & the health benefits.
They said such faculty reforms "would not be healthy for UC". Exodus of faculty, administrators? Who can afford them and where would they go?
We agree it is far from the ideal situation, but it is in the best interests of the university system & the state to stop cost increases. UC cannot expect to do business as usual: raising tuition; granting pay raises & huge bonuses during a weak economy that has sapped state revenues & individual Californians' income.
There is no question the necessary realignments with economic reality are painful. Regent Chairwoman Lansing can bridge the public trust gap with reassurances that salaries & costs reflect California's ability to pay. The sky above UC will not fall when Chancellor Birgeneau is ousted.
Opinions? Email the UC Board of Regents email@example.com
Please name a better public university system than the UC. Please name a better public university than Cal Berkeley. Please name any TWO public universities in ANY state that are better than any two of the following: UC Berkeley; UC San Diego; UCLA; UC Davis. Well, let's see, Texas has Univ of Texas but what else? And Texas probably isn't nearly as good as even, say, UCLA. How about Florida? Do you think Florida offers even a single public university in its system that can compete with any of the four I've named above? What about New York? Name one of its public universities that even holds a candle to the UC's I've mentioned.
Fact is, UC's public university system has schools that are competitive not only with the best the Ivy League has to offer, but with the best universities, private or public, in the world. Fact is, the faculty at the above-mentioned UC's are world-class. You don't recruit and retain such faculty by lowering their salaries and/or giving them more classes to teach. To suggest such courses of action is to reveal how little you understand how world-class, Research I institutions function. You are seriously out to lunch where you've been reading too much right-wing cockamine, anti-intellectual crappola.
It's the President of the Board of Regents and his pals that are the hijackers.
They are making millions off the suffering of students & faculty.
see what happens when Baby-Boomers enable their kids....and then society won't enable? ....you get spoiled brats whose parents sold their grand-parents stocks...
Care to elaborate?
Gale, etc. . . . depends on what rankings and whose rankings you are looking at; know you hate links . . .
Here's one: Web Link
Other lists: Web Link
Or: Web Link
And: Web Link
Mind you, there's no argument that the UCs are great schools and rank well on anyone's list.
Have no bias against links, myself. Truth be told, don't know how to post them.
Consumer mags probably aren't the best source. Forbes list? I mean, really! Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines!
Putting a school like Miami U of Ohio ahead of UC Berk, UCSD, UCLA, or UC Davis indicates a pretty strong bias. Number of available majors? Quality and quantity of research? (Ever hear about all the great breakthroughs in physics coming out of Miami U?) That said, I asked for any two from any other state that could compete with any of the top four in UC system (and not even mentioning so many other UC's that are top tier -- e.g., Santa Cruz, Irvine, Riverside).
Conspicuously absent from your list is the Chronicle of Higher Education's rankings, which rank not only schools but departments as well. The Chronicle's rankings have far more credibility than consumer-oriented venues; the Chronicle for example offers rankings based upon how professors and administrators around the country view the various schools (based upon their experiences with other schools' students who come to do grad work, or of course, the kinds of publications they are seeing from the schools being ranked). Of course, UC is always at the top of the public university rankings.
Dartmouth at top of a list? That's as comical as Army or Navy. This gives new meaning to the claim that US News Reports is a very conservative magazine.
Point being, UC system is incomparable. And what students get for their money is far greater than what is offered by any other public university system.
Gayle is the one out of touch, defending the system. The top dozen at Cal get million dollar packages. But I resent the choices they make. Last year they announced more tuition increases were needed ... (get this logic) to be able to give greter financial aid to the 'under-class', 'under-represented', and .minorities'...AND they do this how ??? BY RAISING TUITION on the MIDDLE-CLASS, meaning many of those MIDDLEs cannot now attend ! ! ! RAGE ? ? YOU BET ! But the 995 yappers don't recognize the root of that problem. Talk about INjustice. These Kostly Kings lack the IQ to understand the web they are tangling. That's why I so loudly condem these fools, who themselves ae breaking the system. I'm not in 99%, many of them have contributed to my middle prohlem. That's what happens once a 'few' start tinkering with the system, instead of each according to his deeds. and each providing for self and charting their own course....without everybody piling on and taking from ! !
I just grabbed what most people would rely on for rankings. Most people are pretty well informed long before they are looking at what schools their kids can attend. Again, no argument, UCs are great schools. Not a fan of the occupy "place name here" though.
"Most people are pretty well informed long before they are looking at what schools their kids can attend." Can't agree. Look at what Milan and Middle Rage are posting. Or, an even better example, look at the discussion posts on the 'Swankville' book over on a current thread. Many of the posters aren't able to tell the difference between Los Positas and Stanford. It is this kind of ignorance that helps perpetuate the reproduction of the social class system in our society. And, no, I'm not ignoring how the perpetuation of such ignorance re. higher education within the working class is in the interest of the upper 1% who are out for themselves and their progency, and have no vested interest in having their kids compete against bright AND streetwise minorities, children of immigrants, children of the working class.
For Middle Rage, I've got a suggestion: think about a college loan which, still, given the current tuition costs at UC's, is such as to make attending a UC a bargain.
Bloated salaries for those at the top of UC and CSU systems aren't an issue then? There's a problem passing out millions in raises for the top tier in those systems and then telling the faculty they have to renege on promised raises. There is also a problem with the notion that everyone can start where the last guy left off (after many years of experience)--or even more in San Diego's case--and that students, and/or their families, and/or taxpayers will just keep picking up the bill. Plenty of fingers to point all the way around.
Maybe the UCs (or some of them) should go private.
Let's proportionalize a bit, shall we? So, the guy at San Diego State gets a 100 grand salary bump -- probably because he helped steward the university to a recent award as best 'small' research university in the country. What's his salary? My guess is upper two's, maybe lower threes. So, if you compare his salary to that of, say, an assistant professor, the ratio is probably 5 or 6 to 1. Now, all you geniuses out there like to hold up the private sector as paragon, to be emulated. Okay, take any private sector corporation that employs thousands of people, as does SDSU, and ask yourselves what the salary ratio is between CEO and low-rung workers. What? Suddenly you can't add?
I don't think the _problem_ is "bloated salaries" for top administrators, though I support the recent faculty strike/protest. The _problem_ is that the citizens of California do not want to pay what is necessary to maintain a world-class university system. I refer especially to corporations in California who frequently skim the cream off the top of UC's graduates.
At the same time, it is reasonable for faculty to want a highly qualified president. The buck stops with the pres -- he/she approves every academic promotion within the university. The pres needs to be able to differentiate between a strong journal and a weak one; a strong vitae and and weak one; a complex thesis from a simplistic one. SUNY recently installed a guy as pres from the business community. One of his first moves was to start eliminating entire departments -- mostly in the arts and humanities -- because on his simplistic view, they didn't contribute to corporate America's needs. A qualified top administrator would not and could not in good conscience make any such determination.
Finally, back to those lists. They are unbelievable. I have never seen a published blind-refereed journal article in either the humanities or the social sciences authored by a professor from one of those "top-ranked" military academies. Oh, I'm sure there must be some. But, in contrast, I've seen/read many hundreds from the UC's, and many scores from the Cal State schools. Ever hear of an anthropologist from the Naval Academy? A top-rated sociologist from Air Force? A world-class literature scholar from VMI? Didn't think so. Which then begs the question of who was compiling the list. So, too, Dartmouth -- often thought of as a "poor" step sister to Princeton and Harvard and Yale and Columbia. There really is no comparison. One reason why Dartmouth usually ranks well below the ones I've mentioned, as well as Cornell and probably even Brown, is that Dartmouth has a more "liberal" legacy criteria. It really is where the wealthy are still able to get their kids into an Ivy League school without the 4.0 gradepoint. Justly reputed as a bastion of conservatism where the wealthy don't want their kids being taught anything liberal or leftwing, Dartmouth doesn't earn a great deal of respect from its Ivy League sisters. I would find it hard to believe that any respectable academic in this country would prefer to send his/her child to Dartmouth over Cal Berkeley. Really doesn't even compute.
From the LA Times: "If the plan is approved Tuesday by the Board of Trustees, San Diego State President Elliot Hirshman would receive annual compensation of $400,000 $350,000 from the state and an annual supplement of $50,000 from the campus' nonprofit foundation."
More definitive from 10News: "Compensation for SDSU President Elliot Hirshman was approved on a 12-3 vote of the trustees despite a letter of opposition from Gov. Jerry Brown, and comments against the package by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who serves as a trustee.
"Hirshman, who took over for Stephen Weber July 5, will get a salary of $350,000, plus university housing and a $1,000-per-month car allowance. He will also receive $50,000 per year from the university's foundation." He does have degrees from Yale and UCLA, by the way.
Notable graduates of the Naval Academy: Web Link
Notables from Air Force (includes three Rhodes scholars): Web Link
I could look for Army and so on, but really, this shouldn't be about trying to stand on the shoulders of others. I didn't make the rankings; there are obvious biases you can go back and discern, and the rankings change based on varying criteria.
Precisely my point. The academic elites tell middles to "get loans". back to my point of tuition increases to create more financial aid for underclass/minorities, and same increase is punitive to the middles. So is Gale's answer the same for both middles and underclass? Unders win the lottery with financial aid, and middles are told to get loans...to feed the beast. Discriminatory picking and choosing, creating injustices.
Lt Gov Gavin Newsom was on Ronn Owens today, in a rage over the CSU 9% increase approved by Regents yesterday. He said it was the 9th increase in 11 years, now costing twice as much as in 2007 ! ! He made my point.....the 'state has done quite well providing access to the underclass' (now add illegals). He verified middle class isn't even considered. Loan burdens have allowed academics to bleed the system...stick it to middles, who fund free rides for unders. Unjust. WHERE do middles protest? The problem is we continue to be bled for others....like illegals and the Birgeneaus.
Yes, I'm not disputing that US Naval Academy or West Point are decent universities -- especially if you want your kid to be educated as part of the warrior class. Not the kind of school you want to be at, however, if your kid has an interest in the social sciences or the humanities. Compared with the education offered by Cal Berkeley? No contest. Berkeley wins hands down.
Middle Rager appears to have a serious persecution complex. He is unable to recognize that for many minorities, members of the poorly paid working class, and children of immigrants the playing field has been and continues to be unjustly tilted in favor of the rich, identified by Middle Rager as the 'middles'. In fact, kids who genuinely are from the middle- and upper-working class are eligible for all kinds of financial assistance -- scholarships, work study, govt. loans. But the Middle Rager is angry, very angry, because some financial aid packages are made available to historically oppressed groups that are not available to children of the rich.
So, Middle Rager gets all the stimulating material for his kid that money can buy. Tutors? No problem. Nice shiney Barnes and Noble books for the home bookshelves? No problem. Healthy diet, the best medical care, the best DENTAL CARE? No problem. But then the UC sets aside a sliver of financial aid for kids who haven't had such advantages all of their lives, and Middle Rager blows his top. Calls this unjust. Calls it all discriminatory. Middle Rager, in fact, knows nothing of discrimination accept insofar as he desires our society to remain discriminatory against poor, minorities, recent immigrants. Why? Because he's self-centered, selfish, greedy, and labors under a persecution complex.
Gale, sounds like you have some 'rage' issues. Wouldn't it be great if you alone could decide how and whom to punish for all of histories 'oppressed groups'. You obviously passed arrogance 101 at your JC.
I'm hoping you can elaborate further on your grasp of economics in the real world. You said:
"The _problem_ is that the citizens of California do not want to pay what is necessary to maintain a world-class university system. I refer especially to corporations in California who frequently skim the cream off the top of UC's graduates."
So, in your reality, corporations owe graduates and the their learning system? If I own a corp. I owe you a job and must also overpay your professor because he gave you all A's in your social science class? Not likely. Try supporting yourself with a humanities degree in the real world. You're describing the squatters in tents who are complaining about the debt they racked up getting educated and wondering why they aren't employable. At some point, common sense has to kick in here and you might want to consider the less glamorous reality that involves learning how to support yourself without handouts from others.
Nary a word from Jane denouncing the violence, rape, and murder at the Occupy protests. Makes her derision of the military rather disingenuous.
Village Idiot posts: "Try supporting yourself with a humanities degree in the real world."
Let's see. Documentary film makers? Foreign language specialists who work for either govt or private sector? Historians to tell us that Adam Smith has long since been debunked and that Herbert Hoover passed away many decades ago? Professors who cultivate a sense of awe and appreciation for what is good in the world (besides money)?
Ah Idiot, you're right, there's comparatively little money in poetry; but there's virtually no poetry in money. I guess it's better to be a wretched, money-grubbing, part-time bartender who's unable to comprehend that there is more in the world than one's own painful money fetish. It truly must be difficult being you.
Stacey, I for one don't read the teapot-crackpot blogs that you find so titillating, and I don't own a t.v. to watch Bill-O and the rest of the fascist bloviators. So, I haven't read much about rape and murder among the Occupiers. Are you including in this the preposterous allegation that OWS demonstrators pushed an elderly woman down some stairs? In contrast, I have read about and watched (on videoclips) quite a bit of police violence at the OWS rallies. And I, personally, denounce police brutality as well as all other forms of violence. (And I don't recall anyone deriding the military, though I personally have advocated cutting back on military spending. Is that what you term derision? There you go with your teabag fantasies again.)
Gale/Slippers/PJ--You own a computer, certainly all the news of the world is just a click away. Please tell us about the OWS protests and do compare them to the tea baggers. I think each "organization" represents a bunch of spoiled brats in their own way, its just OWS thinks they represent a _lot_ more people than they do and they can't figure out legal, constructive ways to get their point across, but then, they can't find their point either.
"Maybe the UCs (or some of them) should go private."
But look at the tuition and fees at comparable private schools. They are way higher, though the gap is shrinking.
I completely agree with you that the top administrative staff had no business giving big raises to themselves, but freezing faculty pay and increasing tuition. As I said on another thread, you can see similar behavior even at private schools like Stanford.
I continue to believe that the fundamental problem with high tuition is too much money flowing into the system from the easy availability of credit through student loans. It is the housing bubble all over again, with a lot of the same players involved.
PJ, A libertarian viewpoint, "Thinking About Inequality, Living by Our Desires Rather than Our Needs": Web Link
Oh Jane, I didn't mention who was committing the violence and you conveniently forgot the thread where I denounced the violence against the Iraq vet who got his face smashed in with a tear gas canister by police. I know I can always count on you to make stuff up in an attempt to make it look like you and I do not agree on anything!
One thing we certainly do not agree with: attacking Kathleen for denouncing violence in the other thread.
Patriot, With the tuition gap between tier one public universities and private universities shrinking, one could believe taking them private and off the taxpayers' load is not such a bad idea.
Student loans could be the next bubble. My problem is, I don't know how people believe it's okay to not pay them back, including those who would just forgive them. I know a lot of very successful people who made it without a UC or Stanford education, and I know a few who struggled into their 30s to pay off loans from tier one schools. "Meanwhile, with a greater loan burden, the percentage of borrowers that defaulted on their student debt also rose from 6.7 percent in 2007 to 8.8 percent in 2009." More on the unpaid $1 trillion from Politico: Web Link
Read more: Web Link
While corporations value tier one graduates, they also value someone who worked diligently and who brings that work ethic with them to the company. Both have an equal shot at advancement, assuming it's what they want.
Some parents create a lot of pressure on young people all through K-12 in order to get into that tier one school. Ever get that holiday greeting with, "Susie is at Stanford and Henry is at Harvard," that includes very little about how everyone is? It seems to be a badge the parents wear with little acknowledgment of any other facets of their children's lives. I wonder what the students would say if they writing those cards.
"Patriot, With the tuition gap between tier one public universities and private universities shrinking, one could believe taking them private and off the taxpayers' load is not such a bad idea."
But the gap is still huge, like 4x. There is also all the research and private/public partnerships with industry that are valuable to California.
"My problem is, I don't know how people believe it's okay to not pay them back, including those who would just forgive them."
I think some of them can't pay, but others can and don't. It is similar to walking away from a home loan, or not paying credit default swaps when due (like AIG did). Government housing policy has made homes less available and government student loan policy has made education more expensive. It has also helped concentrate wealth in the hands of people working in the government/financial complex.
I like this quote:
"After all, it's not stealing if you get away with it. And because you or your cronies write the laws, you get away with everything."
I agree with what you are saying in your last paragraph.
If you want to read an interesting piece on OWS, you might read the recent write-up in the Nation. An MFA puppeteer now finds himself working part-time as a teacher, earning half-pay, AND using his puppets to contribute to the OWS efforts to create alternative, non-hierarchical communal forms. The OWS people, unlike how Stace, you and the rest of teabag nation wants to paint them, are seriously striving to construct alternatives to capitalist greed, envy, alienation and poverty. The only claim to fame that teabaggers have offered is the tired mantra of 'Don't tread on me' I want to pay less taxes. The difference couldn't be more stark. Your comment about them both being spoiled brats indicates you're not doing any serious reading. And speaking of such, your reference to that 'libertarian' piece of slop is yet another indicator. It never ceases to amaze how someone that clueless can talk about socialism not tolerating wealth (which is a big lie, even if you consider Marxist socialism/communism). And how that same someone can talk about the positives of ownership and control (of production) while ignoring the inevitable feature of exploitation that is built into the capitalist system. Grade: F
Patriot is right. The gap between private and public is hardly shrinking. The Ivies are at 35K+ compared with 11 at UC. Hardly what I'd call shrinking. If you want to discuss bubble, though, it isn't with public universities and the kinds of loans students take out that contributes to the "bubble." It's those private sector for-profit universities that are gouging students at the rate of 25K+ while also being intimately bound up in the loans that students are taking out. But no one on these links wants to criticize exploitative capitalist practices.... So let's go back to criticizing UC and CSU faculty.
I just listened to that paragon of morality, Newt Gingrich, talk about OWS. He claimed the protesters have taken over a park they didn't pay for, blocked a public thoroughfare they didn't pay for, and are off begging at stores for food they don't want to pay for. The right-wing 1%ers in the audience drank it up and gave him a lusty applause. (That's why GOP is going to lose big time in the upcoming elections.)
Fact is, many/most of the protesters are tax payers who have helped pay for the park, helped pay for the bridge/thoroughfare, etc. They are not begging but rather are receiving thousands of meals, blankets, tents, and dollars from supporters of the cause who cannot physically be present at the OWS sites. The protesters are tax-paying professors, tax-paying teachers, tax-paying underemployed and even unemployed (unemployment compensation being taxed, not to mention sales tax on items). But what Gingrich and the greedy ones want you to believe is that the protesters have never worked a day in their lives, are all dirty, and have never paid taxes. It is a bald-faced lie. It is a lie that appeals to those who believe some are entitled to rights, others not; some are entitled to a decent living, others not. It is sick. And calling the protesters 'spoiled brats' or dirty hippies or 'rapists and murderers' is simply to engage in a bald-faced lie. Why? The OWS protesters are threatening the sense of privilege that has existed for much too long among the poor downtrodden upper class taxpayers whose only modus operandi is to kick down. Screw the teachers! Screw the unemployed! Screw the underemployed! Screw those receiving public assistance! Screw the unions! Screw minority groups who are being accepted at the university! Screw all 'entitlement' groups except the biggest entitlement group of all: the filthy rich who can only think of finding one means after another of deflecting from their own monstrous, cannibalistic greed.
"The OWS people ... are seriously striving to construct alternatives to capitalist greed, envy, alienation and poverty."
Oh please. Sounds like something from Jane's narcissistic bubble wherein people behave a certain idealistic way which is completely divorced from reality. The OWS people are many things, including alienation, envy, greed, and poverty. I mean, if they are really supposed to represent the 99%, then they cannot represent the fringe 10% who want to construct alternatives to capitalism. But let's take a look:
As we can see, OWS has it all, just recast:
- Unregulated commerce (Buying and selling drugs)
- Unregulated environmental and public health uses (trees as toilets)
- Police (internal security teams)
- Police stations (crime victim's assistance station)
- Mutual benefit society/insurance (victim of crime fund)
- Even segregation (tents set up in micro-neighborhoods according to gender, racial, and/or sexual preferences)
Really? That's supposed to be better?
"The only claim to fame that teabaggers have offered is the tired mantra of 'Don't tread on me' I want to pay less taxes."
Really? That's ALL? Then how the heck does Jane explain the current deplorable selection of GOP candidates? Can Jane tell us when the Democrats will start fielding candidates in local elections that the 99% can get behind? Who, who?? Corzine?!
[Removed because it was offensive and directed at another commenter.}
You folks can't really be that dumb. But then again.... In fact, you're scared to death that this OWS is catching on. It threatens your life-acceptance of a society in which the rich are the most entitled of all entitlement groups. You're as scatterbrained as you claim the OWSers are. You can't decide whether to lump them with your own teabagger loonies, or dismiss them as unhygenic anarchists, or castigate them as 'murderers and rapists'. It is, in fact, a complex movement, with a variety of world views and aspirations, woven around the warp and woof of an intense dissatisfaction with the way wealth is distributed in society. With each eruption of police brutality -- see police at UC Davis today -- for every 100 who are arrested for civil disobedience, another 1000 show up the following day. OWS is a dynamic organism that is evolving in its sophistication as to what are its short-term and long-term goals. Idealistic college kids, artists, elderly, activists, socialists, anarchists, disillusioned liberals, veterans -- lots of vets -- and yes some unemployed hippie types as well. All talking with one another, sharing ideals and strategems for future kinds of collective action. The movement has been a nonviolent one, and the majority of arrests nationwide have been for civil disobedience. In case you have forgotten or never knew, civil disobedience expresses a noble tradition in this nation.
Middle Rager, Highland Mike the fortune cookie man, the village idiot who thinks he's cute but is too dumb to recognize his own idiocy ... all of you would have felt comfortable bemoaning the civil rights movement, urging cops to crack down on the darkies with batons, dogs, fire hoses, and guns. All of you, get out of the doorway if you can't lend a hand, because the times are now really changing. This is no faux-klan re-emergence a la teabaggerdom. (Sorry to so disappoint you.) It's going to be a very interesting ride, and there's going to be a lot of teeth-gnashing from the wealthy and the bootlicking GOPers they count on for support.
Gale, My you are a self-destructive force. No one is using any of the drivel you post . . . "darkies"?? I don't know how you would define yourself, but whatever that may be, you are clearly (and gratefully) the only member.
"In fact, you're scared to death that this OWS is catching on."
Not at all! I've written here already about my thoughts on OWS. OWS is nothing more than another manifestation of the same frustration with the same government/business(special interest) complex that gave rise to the Tea Party. If the Occupy movement is to succeed at representing the 99%, they need to denounce the violence of their fringe element and make alliances with the Tea Party. I know that some protesters have been trying and they are doing the right thing. My fear is that their message is being lost over time due to that fringe element (you know, like those who call others names rather than engaging in sincere and civil discussion).
"It is, in fact, a complex movement, with a variety of world views and aspirations, woven around the warp and woof of an intense dissatisfaction with the way wealth is distributed in society."
Like I said, OWS has it all, arising from a frustration with the current system that gives away billions to bankers. You really do agree with me more than you disagree.
"there's going to be a lot of teeth-gnashing from the wealthy and the bootlicking"
Just remember, milk is a useful remedy for pepperspray because capsaicin is soluble in fat. They don't teach that kind of science in humanities.
Stacey says "Please pay attention to me. I am relevant. I really am!" So bedazzled is she by tri-cornered hats and other tea baggie gimmicks that when she looks out at OWS she can only see tea baggers. Now, she will sit and stew in her befogged condition until she gets the proper cue from her Mommy Kath.
As for excluding posters like me and other readers of poetry, here's part of a blog from Robert Hass, a professor of poetry and poetics at the University of California, Berkeley, and former poet laureate of the United States.
"Once the cordon formed, the deputy sheriffs pointed their truncheons toward the crowd. It looked like the oldest of military maneuvers, a phalanx out of the Trojan War, but with billy clubs instead of spears. The students were wearing scarves for the first time that year, their cheeks rosy with the first bite of real cold after the long Californian Indian summer. The billy clubs were about the size of a boy's Little League baseball bat. My wife was speaking to the young deputies about the importance of nonviolence and explaining why they should be at home reading to their children, when one of the deputies reached out, shoved my wife in the chest and knocked her down.
"Another of the contingencies that came to my mind was a moment 30 years ago when Ronald Reagan's administration made it a priority to see to it that people like themselves, the talented, hardworking people who ran the country, got to keep the money they earned. Roosevelt's New Deal had to be undealt once and for all. A few years earlier, California voters had passed an amendment freezing the property taxes that finance public education and installing a rule that required a two-thirds majority in both houses of the Legislature to raise tax revenues. My father-in-law said to me at the time, "It's going to take them 50 years to really see the damage they've done." But it took far fewer than 50 years.
"My wife bounced nimbly to her feet. I tripped and almost fell over her trying to help her up, and at that moment the deputies in the cordon surged forward and, using their clubs as battering rams, began to hammer at the bodies of the line of students. It was stunning to see. They swung hard into their chests and bellies. Particularly shocking to me it must be a generational reaction was that they assaulted both the young men and the young women with the same indiscriminate force. If the students turned away, they pounded their ribs. If they turned further away to escape, they hit them on their spines."
I'm certain Haas and other "spoiled brats" (Kath's words) deserved the treatment they got because, hey, the mainstream media has reported incisively and ad nauseum that some of the protesters could use a bath. Pepper spray, Stace? Milk is no antidote for broken ribs. I'm certain this makes Stace and Kath pine for the days when police cracked heads across the south.
I've got news for you, Stace. There's a big difference between the tea baggies mantra against govt involvement in our lives (because its SOCialism, SOCialism, and now we've got a BLACK man in the WHITE House) and those who are against a fascist state which is by, for, and of corporate control of wealth. The latter wants a better world, for everyone, and if it is going to cost us, so be it; the former wants to claim a few extra bucks on their tax forms (and, above all else, to remove that BLACK man from office). Which side of the divide is Kath and Stacey on? Pretty obvious, I should think.
Gollum, Very moving piece, and not one insult by Robert Hass. I happen to agree about Prop 13, a lousy solution to the problem they tried to address. Didn't vote for the current president, but it wasn't because he was black or white or both. I grew up in the Chicago area and watched the very real horrors in Grant Park brought to us by Mayor Daley during the Democratic convention. So no, what you obsessively insist about me isn't correct. But you already know that. You just wouldn't have nearly as much to say if you couldn't be so vile.
It's rather humorous to watch Jane when she's trying to disagree with me on something we so clearly both agree on. It's like watching a fish out of water violently flopping and thrashing about. One feels sorry for the fish and would help put it back in the water, if only it stopped thrashing long enough to be caught.
The size of the posts get longer while there's an inverse relationship to the quality of the content. That is not to say that Hass' words are of low quality, only that their inclusion in Jane's post does not improve it. Supposedly Kathleen and I, who have denounced the Occupy violence, want more violence because the UC police response, as reported by Hass, is indiscriminate. Such is the poor quality of reasoning that goes into each and every one of Jane's posts. And she fully expects readers to take that tripe as truth.
"There's a big difference between the tea baggies mantra against govt involvement in our lives (because its SOCialism, SOCialism, and now we've got a BLACK man in the WHITE House) and those who are against a fascist state which is by, for, and of corporate control of wealth. The latter wants a better world, for everyone, and if it is going to cost us, so be it; the former wants to claim a few extra bucks on their tax forms (and, above all else, to remove that BLACK man from office)."
Here's more poor reasoning from Jane. First, the reader has to accept Jane's fantasy that the Tea Party was only about government involvement and that Occupy has absolutely nothing against government involvement (keep police and public health workers out of Oakland!). Yep, the Tea Party had nothing to do with it's actual mantra: "Taxed Enough Already". Then we have to accept that only Occupy is against the state/corporate complex even though Tea Party was the FIRST to be against TARP and other government bailouts and didn't want to see any more tax money used in such a manner. In order to believe Jane's tripe of some sort of "divide", we're next asked to believe that holding the line on taxes will not cost us because only Occupy is the group willing to "cost us". Sounds like the Tea Party and the cuts-only crowd was more than willing to let it "cost us", even so far as having the credit rating of the US downgraded. And finally, the Tea Party wants those tax loopholes extended in order to be able to claim a few extra bucks on a tax form while the Occupy movement wants only the 1% to pay more in taxes, thus leaving the 99% free from further taxation.
Whew, that's a rabbit hole of poor reasoning!