February 12, 2015

Crumpled up notes in his back pocket

Guest: Joe Lombardo, co-coordinator for the United National Antiwar Coalition, talks about freedom of speech and its antithesis, the promotion of racial and ethnic hatreds to expand the empire.

This is the second time Joe forgot to call in during the show. I had his cell, and called him, but he said he was boarding a plane in Ecuador and couldn't call us back. With his scheduling problems, I hope that the plane headed off in the right direction. 

Joe and the United National Antiwar Coalition do great work, and I was very disappointed not to get him on the program. However, it is inexcusable if a person says he will call in, and then just doesn't. Maybe his calendar is just crumpled up notes in his back pocket that go through the laundry a few times before he tries to read them. But his system, whatever it is, will never make even a dent in the empire. 

February 5, 2015

Any meaning beyond the dollar?

Guest: Chris Mackanoff, organizing Director for Adjunct Action, discussed the 22,000 unionized adjuncts who have won improvements in pay, job security, evaluation processes, and access to retirement benefits.

We have had several programs on adjunct pay, student debt and the corporatization of higher education. Chris thought that part of it stemmed from laws against full time faculty joining unions, something that is now changing.

He also pointed to the 20 year cuts in funding for colleges and universities. The federal and state governments have driven the colleges to fund themselves in all the wrong ways. Million dollar a year college presidents are businessmen and women, focused on the bottom line rather than on intellectual pursuits. 

Perhaps the current privatization of everything reduces all human enterprise to the creation of profit. Colleges in the American Empire are just doing what all other collective entities in the country are doing. In denying that there is any meaning beyond the dollar, colleges are preparing our nation's youth for the intellectual decay that will surely follow, the "spiritual death" that MLK predicted for any country so obsessed with military conquest.