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School-University
An education system not to trust
By : COBAS UK - Sunday October 26, 2008
The THE has published a survey in which 77% of lecturers denounce that they are pressurised to award higher grades to students than deserved. There are some important perversions of interest underlying the publication of such data by the THE. If the THE, the universities, the QAA, the government, the pseudo-unions, or anyone else in the elite caste architecting the direction of British HE, wanted to really ensure meritocracy and student-centred learning in academia, they would first (...)
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Stop elite research now!
By : COBAS UK - Saturday October 11, 2008
Research in universities across the globe is becoming more and more privatised. This must be stopped because it will centre power in the hands of a few who will inevitably ask for the payment of very high university fees and will not give access to research which does not support their speculative interests. Berlusconi in Italy is trying to privatise most of the public university research. This should be stopped! Italian students and universtity professors are united in a "line of fight" (...)
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A reason to Stay: Still Crazy After All These Years
By : Daniel Patrick Welch - Saturday September 27, 2008
I came across this piece while shuffling through some old papers. I wrote it over 16 years ago, and it struck me how essential its central message still is today, perhaps even more so than when I put dot-matrix inkjet to side-perforated paper. My natural tendency as a writer was to try to fiddle with it, to "update" it and make it better. I’m resisting, mostly, except to say that one of my first thoughts was that we must be crazy to still be doing this 16 long years later, having (...)
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A case of disciplinary action against a university academic
By : COBAS UK - Friday September 5, 2008
A case of disciplinary action against a university academic is presented on COBAS UK. In the analysis a case for managerial discrection and union passivity is presented highlighting how disciplinary procedures are internalised within the system in order to extend managerial control. http://www.cobas.org.uk COBAS UK
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Schooling: Liberation or Mind Control?
By : Solve et Coagula - Wednesday September 3, 2008
Schooling: Liberation or Mind Control? BY RICHARD HEINBERG If there were no age-specific and obligatory learning institution, “childhood” would go out of production. The youth of rich nations would be liberated from its destructiveness, and poor nations would cease attempting to rival the childishness of the rich. If society were to outgrow its age of childhood, it would have to become livable for the young. The present disjunction between an adult society which pretends to be (...)
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Rank and file - Part 3
By : COBAS UK - Thursday July 17, 2008
The institution of tighter job regulation for workers accompanied by greater discretion for managers in universities to make decisions over employment issues, represent an irrational postmodern transformation of universities into capitalist corporations, while the ideological neoliberal project driving such developments, functions to alienate academics and other university workers. Academics find themselves working involuntarily in the interests of the capital imperative; for institutions (...)
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City Hall Scandal Hits Baltimore After “The Wire” Exits
By : William Hughes - Saturday June 28, 2008
“Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” - Oscar Wilde Baltimore, MD - A corruption scandal recently surfaced at City Hall. It centers on the Mayor, Sheila Dixon, and charges of bribery. Fur coats and a couple of trips out of town as gifts are supposedly involved, according to published reports. The dollar amount doesn’t seem significant. (1) We’re not talking about a Jack Abramoff-Let’s-Buy-a-Congressman-scheme here, folks. (2) I’m sorry (...)
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Blonde ambitions
By : COBAS UK - Monday June 23, 2008
The recent league tables hitch of Kingston University has made the round of the national news. I cannot understand why. Just practical things, a VC would say. From a point of view of a marketing manager in the University UK PLC it would be ridiculous to provide evidence of such collusions between students, lecturers, senior management of the university up to the government. It is something that is intended to be there already: an intricate network of interests bum-to-bum as nobody knew (...)
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Alienated at work? Don’t sell yourself.
By : Sal Fiore - Thursday May 15, 2008
Alienated at work? Don’t sell yourself. Legislation since the 1990s has introduced a focus on mass education , performativity and marketisation in British Higher Education, whereby reduced public funds are allocated against student numbers and performance indicators, forcing reliance on market mechanisms to differentiate institutions based on the quality of education, which is essentially treated as a commodity. A technocratic and instrumental view of knowledge is adopted, leading (...)
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David Boren Dusts Off Oklahoma’s "Criminal Syndicalism" Law
By : Michael P. Wright - Sunday April 27, 2008
1 comment
By Michael P. Wright — Norman, Oklahoma — mpwright8@aol.com April 2008 According to Webster, a political revolution does not have to be violent: It says (2b) that a revolution is "a fundamental change in political organization; especially : the overthrow or renunciation of one government or ruler and the substitution of another by the governed." According to this Oklahoma law (paragraph B), it is a felony crime for anyone over the age of 18 to advocate revolution on a (...)
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U.K. Teachers’ Pay Strike Closes Thousands of Schools
By : Pay Strike - Thursday April 24, 2008
U.K. Teachers’ Pay Strike Closes Thousands of Schools By Thomas Penny April 24 (Bloomberg) — Thousands of schools across England and Wales are closed today as the U.K.’s biggest teaching union stages a one-day strike over pay, the first in 21 years. The National Union of Teachers, which represents almost 200,000 of the 435,000 teachers in England and Wales, called the strike after the government offered a pay rise of 2.45 percent, which the union says is below the (...)
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Tradesman show
By : Melody Boyce - Friday April 11, 2008
1 comment
Tradesman show The proposal by Joe Carter of having a new type of universities league table, reminds me of going shopping. I have learnt from such excursions how a tradesman details all the features of the object of desire, in an effort to sell it to the customer. He or she lists, one by one, all the features to let you know that the object of desire is in reality what you really wanted already. I have spent many days just looking at and listening to tradesmen/showmen listing all the (...)
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Round the crown
By : Salvatore Fiore - Wednesday April 2, 2008
The lastest opening of UCU (University and College Union) to more ’extreme views’ will not convince many people. UCU has suddenly become concerned with marketization of British education and is calling with a loud voice for an exchange of ideas. Indeed, it appears to be a well-directed drama in which many recognizable voices have suddenly raised concerns on the marketization of British education and its deleterious end as a commodified field which will saturate and decline with (...)
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Positions at An-Najah National University
By : Sal Fiore - Thursday March 13, 2008
I am trying to help An-Najah National University find teaching staff and volunteers to fill the chronic short-fall in staff. We are having difficulties finding teaching staff who are willing to live and work in the besieged city of Nablus. The closure regime and checkpoints surrounding Nablus deter many people from coming to work here, and, as you can see from the long list of short-fall subjects below, the University is finding it difficult to attract Faculty members. Yet, many rewarding, (...)
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Globalisation : n. 1 in the list of evils for contemporary education
By : Salvatore Fiore - Thursday February 7, 2008
I continue with another piece to expose corporate control of academia in response to the article by Angela Jancius on "Battling the Neoliberalization of University Life". In this article I highlight how globalisation attracts dangers associated with a lack of genuine educational values, quality control and regulation. I also expose some of the recent moves that new corporations have made in order to gain further control on Academia. *** It has been widely argued that globalisation is (...)
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"la sapienza" rome, pope free area
By : Salvatore Fiore - Wednesday January 16, 2008
Although nearly no space has been given to the following news I report it for you benefit: "The POPE has been heavily contested with an occupation of the University Senate rooms by autonomous students at "La Sapienza" university in Rome. He will not go and give a speech at the university for the inaugural celebration of the Academic Year". This of course is a great victory for academic freedom in Italy. The right of reply has been given to the students and they took it and they made good (...)
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Resist, Rebel and Revolt!
By : Melody Boyce - Sunday January 13, 2008
The road is a place of discussion like the entrances to buildings, pub, bars and the rest that concerns the public. It is in the public space that a public debate can have space. It is a place where the public can confront our elite caste of politicians and union leaders, Vice Chancellors and comfortable servant-journalists. All places where the elite caste talk, control and package the news, are monopolized and not accessible by university workers. They are safe behind barricades of (...)
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In defense of academic freedom - a video interview
By : Salvatore Fiore - Thursday January 10, 2008
The debate on freedom of speech once again sparks debate in and on education. Once more the word freedom is tossed wantonly around as controversial figures take to the podium at Oxford or wherever to voice their perspectives. It is the controversial individuals that attract the most attention and discussion; those whose opinions or reasonings will invariably incite the most opposition or have potential to cause the most harm to more people. We talk much less about the speeches of those in (...)
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Open letter to Fabio Mussi on the paradox of his university reforms
By : Salvatore Fiore - Tuesday January 8, 2008
On the 30 December the Italian newspaper "La Repubblica" cited that the Decreto Milleproroghe reform proposed by Fabio Mussi, Minister of University and Research and leader of the Sinistra Democratica party in Italy is a sort of Copernican revolution. But what Copernican revolution? This is a carbon copy of what researchers and academics in Britain are trying to get rid of! The following is an open letter to Fabio Mussi 30 December 2007 Egr. Ministro Mussi, I have today read on (...)
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America’s Homeland Security program for Children, Hitler’s Youth, and Holy Warriors
By : chycho - Tuesday December 25, 2007
I came across the following frightening story a couple of days ago: “The nation’s first comprehensive high school homeland security program, a three-year course to help kids land jobs in the growing anti-terrorism industry, is in its infancy in Maryland. But it’s recently been attracting the attention of educators and school districts from as far away as California and Florida… “Some question whether the program will teach students to be open-minded about the (...)
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DAZIBAO
I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name
Thursday 10 March
©Olivier Jobard/Myop I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name THE RIGHT TO ASYLUM IS A RIGHT In the phrase « right to asylum », every word matters. Under the law, every person who is persecuted because of his or her political opinions or because of his or her identity, every person that is endangered by violence, war or misery has a RIGHT to seek asylum in another country The aim of this petition is to collect (...)
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Neo-Nazis and far-right protesters in Ukraine 3 live-stream
Friday 24 January
2 comments
The far-right in Ukraine are acting as the vanguard of a protest movement that is being reported as pro-democracy. The situation on the ground is not as simple as pro-EU and trade versus pro-Putin and Russian hegemony in the region. When US Senator John McCain dined with Ukraine’s opposition leaders in December, he shared a table and later a stage with the leader of the extreme far-right Svoboda party Oleh Tyahnybok. This is Oleh Tyahnybok, he has claimed a "Moscow-Jewish mafia" (...)
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Hugo Chavez is dead (video live)
Wednesday 6 March
by : Collective BELLACIAO
1 comment
President Hugo Chavez companeros venezueliano died after a long battle with cancer.
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International initiative to stop the war in Syria Yes to democracy, no to foreign intervention!
Thursday 13 December
Your support here: http://www.peaceinsyria.org/support.php We, the undersigned, who are part of an international civil society increasingly worried about the awful bloodshed of the Syrian people, are supporting a political initiative based on the results of a fact-finding mission which some of our colleagues undertook to Beirut and Damascus in September 2012. This initiative consists in calling for a delegation of highranking personalities and public figures to go to Syria in order to (...)
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THE KU KLUX KLAN ONCE AGAIN CONTROLS INDIANA
Monday 12 November
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
7 comments
At first glance, the results of America’s 2012 election appear to be a triumph for social, racial, and economic justice and progress in the United States: California voters passed a proposition requiring the rich to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden; Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Massachusetts approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes; Washington and two other states, Maine and Maryland, legalized same-sex (...)
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I’VE DECIDED TO "WASTE" MY VOTE
Sunday 28 October
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
In a 2004 episode of Comedy Central’s animated series South Park, an election was held to determine whether the new mascot for the town’s elementary school would be a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich.” Confronted with these two equally unpalatable choices, one child, Stan Marsh, refused to vote at all, which resulted in his ostracization and subsequent banishment from the town. Although this satirical vulgarity was intended as a commentary on the two (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART IV
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART III If there is one major inconsistency in life, it is that young people who know little more than family, friends and school are suddenly, at the age of eighteen, supposed to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, because of their limited life experiences, the illusions they have about certain occupations do not always comport to the realities. I discovered this the first time I went to college. About a year into my studies, I (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART III
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART IV Disillusioned with the machinations of so-called “traditional” colleges, I became an adjunct instructor at several “for-profit” colleges. Thanks largely to the power and pervasiveness of the Internet, “for-profit” colleges (hereinafter for-profits) have become a growing phenomenon in America. They have also been the subject of much political debate and the focus of a Frontline special entitled College Inc. Unlike traditional (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART II
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART III PART IV Several years ago, a young lady came into the college where I was teaching to inquire about a full-time instructor’s position in the sociology department. She was advised that only adjunct positions were available. Her response was, “No thanks. Once an adjunct, always an adjunct.” Her words still echo in my mind. Even as colleges and universities raise their tuition costs, they are relying more and more on adjunct instructors. Adjuncts are (...)
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HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART I
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
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ONE SOLITARY LIFE, PART TWO
Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
3 comments
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
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HOW MUCH CORRUPTION CAN DEMOCRACY ENDURE?
Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
6 comments
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS, PART TWO
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
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DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
4 comments
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
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PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
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