Sunday, 5 October 2008
The Marxist Brothers Dark Soup.
Pictured are Marxist Weatherman terrorists Bill Ayers wearing his trademark dress and Bernardine Dohrn with her trademark moustache and combat boots, Barack Obama the Manchurian Candidate in white Afro, Soviet Marxist Saul Alinsky hiding behind the cardboard Policeman and wearing the plasticine Homberg is Anthony Burke, Professor of Leftard Marxist Moral and Intellectual Inversion and Associated Drool Studies at the Australian Defence Force Academy!
Now dig this. Ask most folks about Obama, and even if they ain't crazy about him, they'll say something like "he's a nice guy", and for no empirical reason whatsoever. Obama is not nice. His wife Michelle is not nice. Neither his true history or current behaviour is nice. Yes, it's a real Annenberg Challenge...
All one needs to know about Obama, is that he launched his political career at Bill Ayers house. All of Obama's judgement, mentality and true character are downhill from there. Nothing he has to offer is worth a damn except to say, a fellow traveller.
And now for something completely different...but the same. It's a cool piece on Barack Obama's poverty stricken half-brother George Obama! I kid you not.
Barack Obama wants to live in the White House - but his youngest half-brother lives in the poorhouse. George Obama, one of the candidate's seven living half-siblings, lives on pennies a month in a hut in Africa, the Italian edition of Vanity Fair revealed. "No one knows who I am," George Obama, 26, told the magazine. "I live like a recluse, no one knows I exist."
He lives on the outskirts of Nairobi in a 65-square-foot shack decorated with posters of the Italian soccer clubs AC Milan and Inter, and a calendar of beaches. "I live here on less than a dollar a month," he said.
The younger Obama has a front-page newspaper photo of his famous brother, the Democratic candidate who lives in a $1.65 million restored Georgian mansion in Chicago. George Obama and Barack Obama, 47, share the same father, Barack Hussein Obama, who died in a 1982 car accident.
A spokesman for Barack Obama declined repeated requests for comment yesterday". Continue reading and laughing here.
The Ed Schools’ Latest—and Worst—Humbug by Sol Stern at City Journal.
Teaching for “social justice” is a cruel hoax on disadvantaged kids.
In 1980, Bill Ayers and his partner Bernardine Dohrn came up from the underground—the Weather Underground, that is. It had been a wild ride for the Bonnie and Clyde of the sixties New Left. They first went into combat during the 1969 “Days of Rage” in Chicago, smashing storefront windows and assaulting police officers and city officials in the fantasy that they were aiding their Vietnamese allies by “bringing the war back home.”
They spent the next few years planting bombs at government buildings around the country, including in restrooms at the Pentagon and the Capitol. When their little war against America sputtered to a halt, the revolutionary couple rationalized that at least they had not caused any deaths. But three of their comrades had blown themselves up in a Manhattan townhouse while preparing a bomb to detonate at a dance at the Fort Dix army base.
Ayers has acknowledged committing crimes during his underground days—crimes that arguably amounted to treason. Yet thanks to procedural complications and a lack of witnesses, he never went to trial or to jail. A few years after stepping out of the shadows, Ayers reflected on his odyssey in a conversation with journalists Peter Collier and David Horowitz: “Guilty as hell, free as a bird—America is a great country,” he exulted.
But that was just half the wonder of it. Ayers would soon go on to disprove thoroughly F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous though mistaken aphorism that “there are no second acts in American lives.” Ayers’s spectacular second act began when he enrolled at Columbia University’s Teachers College in 1984. Then 40, he planned to stay just to get a teaching credential. (He had taught in a “Freedom School” during his pre-underground student radical days.)
But he experienced an epiphany in a course taught by Maxine Greene, a leading light of the “critical pedagogy” movement. As Ayers wrote later, he took fire from Greene’s lectures on how the “oppressive hegemony” of the capitalist social order “reproduces” itself through the traditional practice of public schooling—critical pedagogy’s fancy way of saying that the evil corporations exercise thought control through the schools.
It hadn’t occurred to Ayers that an ed-school professor could speak or write as an authentic American radical. “There are vast dislocations in industrial towns, erosions of trade unions; there is little sign of class consciousness today,” Greene had proclaimed in the Harvard Education Review. “Our great cities are burnished on the surfaces, building high technologies, displaying astonishing consumer goods. And on the side streets, in the crevices, in the burnt-out neighborhoods, there are the rootless, the dependent, the sick, the permanently unemployed. There is little sense of agency, even among the brightly successful; there is little capacity to look at things as if they could be otherwise.”
Greene told future teachers that they could help change this bleak landscape by developing a “transformative” vision of social justice and democracy in their classrooms. Her vision, though, was a far cry from the democratic optimism of the Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr., which most parents would endorse. Instead, critical pedagogy theorists nurse a rancorous view of an America in which it is always two minutes to midnight and a knock on the door by the thought police is imminent.
The education professors feel themselves anointed to use the nation’s K–12 classrooms to resist this oppressive system. Thus Maxine Greene urged teachers not to mince words with children about the evils of the existing social order. They should portray “homelessness as a consequence of the private dealings of landlords, an arms buildup as a consequence of corporate decisions, racial exclusion as a consequence of a private property-holder’s choice.” In other words, they should turn the little ones into young socialists and critical theorists.
All music to Bill Ayers’s ears. The ex-Weatherman glimpsed a new radical vocation. He dreamed of bringing the revolution from the streets to the schools. And that’s exactly what he has managed to do". Continue reading here.
Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools.
By STANLEY KURTZ Wall Street Journal Online Tuesday September 23 2008.
Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.
The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home. The Obama campaign has struggled to downplay that association.
Last April, Sen. Obama dismissed Mr. Ayers as just "a guy who lives in my neighborhood," and "not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis." Yet documents in the CAC archives make clear that Mr. Ayers and Mr. Obama were partners in the CAC. Those archives are housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I've recently spent days looking through them.
The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was created ostensibly to improve Chicago's public schools. The funding came from a national education initiative by Ambassador Walter Annenberg. In early 1995, Mr. Obama was appointed the first chairman of the board, which handled fiscal matters. Mr. Ayers co-chaired the foundation's other key body, the "Collaborative," which shaped education policy.
The CAC's basic functioning has long been known, because its annual reports, evaluations and some board minutes were public. But the Daley archive contains additional board minutes, the Collaborative minutes, and documentation on the groups that CAC funded and rejected. The Daley archives show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda.
One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama's "recruitment" to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.
The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.
In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.
CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).
Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns. External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC's in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement.
CAC also funded programs designed to promote "leadership" among parents. Ostensibly this was to enable parents to advocate on behalf of their children's education. In practice, it meant funding Mr. Obama's alma mater, the Developing Communities Project, to recruit parents to its overall political agenda. CAC records show that board member Arnold Weber was concerned that parents "organized" by community groups might be viewed by school principals "as a political threat." Mr. Obama arranged meetings with the Collaborative to smooth out Mr. Weber's objections.
The Daley documents show that Mr. Ayers sat as an ex-officio member of the board Mr. Obama chaired through CAC's first year. He also served on the board's governance committee with Mr. Obama, and worked with him to craft CAC bylaws. Mr. Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Mr. Obama. Mr. Ayers spoke for the Collaborative before the board. Likewise, Mr. Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the Collaborative.
The Obama campaign notes that Mr. Ayers attended only six board meetings, and stresses that the Collaborative lost its "operational role" at CAC after the first year. Yet the Collaborative was demoted to a strictly advisory role largely because of ethical concerns, since the projects of Collaborative members were receiving grants. CAC's own evaluators noted that project accountability was hampered by the board's reluctance to break away from grant decisions made in 1995. So even after Mr. Ayers's formal sway declined, the board largely adhered to the grant program he had put in place.
Mr. Ayers's defenders claim that he has redeemed himself with public-spirited education work. That claim is hard to swallow if you understand that he views his education work as an effort to stoke resistance to an oppressive American system. He likes to stress that he learned of his first teaching job while in jail for a draft-board sit-in. For Mr. Ayers, teaching and his 1960s radicalism are two sides of the same coin.
Mr. Ayers is the founder of the "small schools" movement (heavily funded by CAC), in which individual schools built around specific political themes push students to "confront issues of inequity, war, and violence." He believes teacher education programs should serve as "sites of resistance" to an oppressive system. (His teacher-training programs were also CAC funded.) The point, says Mr. Ayers in his "Teaching Toward Freedom," is to "teach against oppression," against America's history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.
The Obama campaign has cried foul when Bill Ayers comes up, claiming "guilt by association." Yet the issue here isn't guilt by association; it's guilt by participation. As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago.
Mr. Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center".
And dig, hepcats. Here our own very hip Dr Mervyn Bendle takes down the Marxist Leftard Critical Theorising Balony of academic noodle Anthony Burke.
Dissent intolerable by Keith Windschuttle Australia's Quadrant Magazine. September 23 2008.
Academics in the field of terrorism studies at two Australian universities have responded to a critique of their work by Dr Mervyn Bendle in Quadrant’s September edition by trying to close down debate and punish its author. They have approached Bendle’s employers at James Cook University in Townsville to recommend he be investigated for academic misconduct and suitability for academic employment.
Within a week of the publication of Bendle’s article, the left-wing academics he criticised approached the JCU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sandra Harding, to take action against him and suggested his head of department, Professor Richard Lansdown, re-think Bendle’s fitness for academic employment. At the same time, they also demanded the September edition of Quadrant be recalled and pulped, and that Quadrant Online remove the article in question from the internet.
These actions represent disturbing developments not only for academic freedom but also national security. They demonstrate that members of the academic left now:
• refuse to tolerate dissent from their own views, even while urging everyone else to tolerate cultural diversity
• have high confidence that university hierarchies will do their bidding
• are determined to maintain the position they have won in the education of defence and security personnel.
Bendle’s article, Hijacking Terrorism Studies, examines courses and books taught at Australian universities, the Australian Defence Force Academy and other centres providing training in terrorism to our military forces, police, security, and diplomatic personnel.
He found the field had been colonised by the postmodern Left, which was assimilating the study of terrorism to its prevailing ideological paradigm of radical multiculturalism, anti-Americanism and cultural relativism, often under the guise of the neo-Marxist “critical terror studies” approach".Continue reading here.
Radical pacifists deny a murderous reality by Mervyn Bendle. The Australian. September 22, 2008.
It was an eventful week in the war on terror. It began with the conviction of key members of the Benbrika Muslim terror cell in Victoria, whose plans for mass murder included using huge bombs in "an attack that would kill 1000 people", at railway stations, Crown Casino, and football matches, including the 2005 AFL grand final.
And it ended with the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad in flames, devastated by a huge truck bomb. Gruesome images showed emergency workers struggling around a gaping crater and through the ruined building, helping maimed survivors soaked in blood, dazed, confused and in pain. People on the upper floors, trapped by flames, were forced to leap to their deaths. At least 60 people were reported dead and 200 injured, with possibly many more buried under the debris.
Such sinister and tragic episodes are all too common reminders of the extreme levels of destruction planned and executed by modern terrorist organisations.
They remind us of the demands being made on Australian troops serving in Afghanistan, and Iraq where, as major-general Jim Molan, chief of operations of coalition forces in Iraq in 2004, observed, "I saw evil in a form I had not seen anywhere else, and values that are inimical to everything that has shaped our society since the Enlightenment."
Yet one can only wonder what those engaged in critical terrorism studies make of these events. For these postmodernists reality is a social construct and terrorism not primarily as an act of murderous violence in the real world, but a signifier in a discourse.
In their journal, terrorism is described as "a myth and an object of fear", "a negative ideograph of Western identity", used to "induce powerful emotions", "encourage moral panics" and even to decide elections in the US and Australia.
Do such theories help produce graduates at the Australian Defence Force Academy, "who approach issues with an open mind, in a critical spirit", as a senior academic at the ADFA insists, or are they just "unmitigated rubbish" and "naive in the extreme", as Molan has observed?
The leading exponent of this approach in Australia is Anthony Burke, who was recently made an associate professor at the ADFA, in an appointment described as "eyebrow-raising" by the director of the National Security Project at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Carl Ungerer, who described critical terrorism studies as a form of "radical pacifism" that was, at best, irrelevant to counter-terrorism policy". Continue reading here.
Colonel Neville: So all in all, a Himalaya of damnation and precisely why it will be ignored and unknown by most, and largely deliberately so. One day your faithful Colonel and the many others of a like mind will have an effective public voice worth a damn. Perhaps until then, we're largely doomed. Still, it's a larf, innit?