Who Do Junior Colleges Serve?

What is the purpose of a school, anyway? Is it to educate the students, or to make profit for the people who own and operate the school?

This question is prompted by an article in Epoch Times [1/19/15] entitled “why President Obama’s free community-college plan is a bad idea.” The author, Peter Morici, a professor of business at the University of Maryland, is offended because money would be wasted on community colleges, which he says are “diploma mills” staffed by “bureaucrats” who are not good at “fashioning classrooms to job programs” because they waste time and money preparing students for four-year colleges. He rails against liberal arts (which he calls “useless”), waste of time and money to study English literature (Chaucer, for instance) or art history. He denounces “feminist, left-wing professors” who criticize capitalism. To illustrate the waste, he gives a hypothetical example of a 19-year-old mother who receives no child support, reads at the sixth-grade level, can’t do algebra and has emotional and self-esteem issues — “exactly who the President proposes to send to college.”

I think I can see his point: How the hell can we make money off such people? She doesn’t even have child support money she can pay us. What would we do with her? Abandon her and her child to poverty? Somebody like him already did that. It seems to me that remedial education was designed for such persons, especially if they want it and are willing to put in the effort. Who is he to say they won’t benefit from it, or won’t become valuable citizens?

If English literature and liberal arts are so worthless, why do all the top Ivy League colleges require their students to take such courses in the first two years? Are all professors at community colleges “left-wing” or “feminist”? Is capitalism so nobel it cannot stand criticism? Apparently he is such an economic illiterate that he never read Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, a classic of liberal arts, and one of the most scathing critiques of capitalism ever written.

I think a college is a public service, not a business, and should serve the students, not the owners and faculty!

Harvey Stoneburner
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Free Trade Hell

Robert Reich, in his column [“Why the TPP is a Pending Disaster,” 2/1/15 TPP], introduces some frightening scenarios of how, under the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), corporations can sue for lost profits found to result from a nation’s regulations.

Using that same perverse logic, TPP will allow manufacturers and sellers of fire arms to demand compensation from countries that have strict gun control laws because such laws interfere with their profits.

And yet another: A country that encourages and makes birth control accessible, is at risk of being sued for loss of profits by corporations that manufacture and sell baby products. The list, of course, is endless!

After reading Mr. Reich’s column, I had the feeling of falling down “Alice in Wonderlands” rabbit hole — and landing in hell.

David Quintero
Monrovia, Calif.

Back to Torture

Speaking of torture [2/1/15 TPP]. it seemed that 2000-2008 was all torture, all the time. A presidential election that went on forever, ended unconstitutionally by the Supreme Court. Schools punished if students did poorly on a federally mandated test. Republican everything. Lack of intelligence. Lack of security. Lack of regulations. Lack of agreement. Lack of money. Lack of trust. Lack of discussion or real debate. Constantly seeing and hearing from political fossils and their wannabes. War. Wars. More War. Republicans. Visions of the Dark Ages. When torture was literally brought back in this country, 1,000 years of progress disappeared. And then they claimed Bush was “The Education President”! Some education! How easily we blow off the Constitution!

Is it true or not that testimony gotten by torture is inadmissible in a court of law, it being assumed to be unreliable? Doesn’t this explain why Guantanamo detainees are not put on trial to determine their actual status of guilt or innocence?

They have been tortured. And is it not considered by expert interrogators to be a useless way to get useful information that’s accurate? Wasn’t this proven over and over for the years since it began here? Doesn’t it just add to the ill will of those captives, making more intransigent enemies of them?

It is disappointing that this country couldn’t show more wisdom (at the very least) by now. We have so many reasons to be doing so much better than we are. Proverbs 4, for example.

Cheryl Lovely
Presque Isle, Maine

We Need Warren

I have completed one civic responsibility resolution made for 2015 that I will make and accomplish in 2016 that I hope all of your subscribers will duplicate. I have added 12 of my Delaware family members and friends to your subscription list to receive your valuable publication’s civic/political information. With candidates for President now emerging, all future voters need the sensible, credible, important information your excellent writers provide.

I served in WWII and the Korean Conflict for a much better government than we now have in Washington and in our states. I believe our veterans of all wars, their families, and especially our young citizens need a candidate who will give informed passionate leadership on the many issues our nation faces in its future. Issues such as a living wage for all workers, a Medicare for All single payer universal health care program like all other developed nations provide at one-half the cost of our nation’s profit-driven failed system, affordable higher education training for our young citizens, campaign finance reform, stopping Wall Street’s takeover of our governments while forcing them to pay their fair share of taxes, etc. The candidate who has already demonstrated the ability to enlist us in these needed civic/political responsibility battles is Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. We seriously need her leadership to restore our Peoples Houses of Government as citizen-owned and not what the late Granny D described as Bawdy Houses bought, drawn and quartered by corporate and individual big-moneyed interests.

Dr. Floyd McDowell Sr.
(chair of DEinformedvoters.org)
Bear, Del.

More Wasted Money

It just seems to me that any article on vulture capitalism (banks, brokers, bundled derivatives or whatever they’re called) and the trillion$ lost should include the mention of the trillion$ lost by our spending on nukes, drones, wars of liberation (liberating Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela and a dozen other countries whose names I can’t pronounce) to liberate the people of the world from their own money, and natural resources. Was it just emphasis by the editors [in “Our Populist Agenda — in Elizabeth Warren’s Words,” 2/1/15 TPP] or did Elizabeth not want to risk sounding like a Peacenik?

Bernard J. Berg
Easton, Pa.

Editor Notes: Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, selected the passages from Warren’s speeches.

Jeb the Worst Bush

Of all the loathsome GOP candidates running for president Jeb Bush is by far the worst.

Jeb Bush is a criminal degenerate who used Nazi tactics to steal the presidency for his worthless, ne’er do well brother George.

We should not forget the following:

• The recount done in Miami Dade County where those doing the recount were terrorized by thugs sent by Jeb Bush pounding on the doors. They never finished the recount because they were so frightened and one vote counter was almost trammeled to death.

• The butterfly ballot and Jews for Buchanan.

• Afro-Americans who were systematically denied the right to vote.

We should not forget this dialogue between Bush and Gore after the 2000 election.

George W. Bush: Let me make sure I understand. You are calling back to retract your concession?

Al Gore: Excuse me, but you don’t have to get snippy about it.

George W. Bush: My little brother has assured me, I won the state of Florida.

Al Gore: Well, your little brother is not the ultimate authority on this.

If Bush is the nominee he has to held  personally accountable for everything that went wrong his brother’s disastrous administration.

Jeb Bush is a pompous ass who was born into wealth and privilege and believes he is entitled to the presidency because he is the son of a Bush.

Reba Shimansky
New York, N.Y.

Cartoonists’ Eulogy

In the wake of the terrorists’ murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, many have stood up — in writing and cartoon — for free speech and against terror. In “France Cartoonists and Murder” [2/1/15 TPP], Daryl Cagle has done something else. He has given us a heartfelt eulogy for the murdered cartoonists such as one can express only from within the tribe. It is a fine thing for the rest of us to proclaim “Je suis Charlie” to express solidarity and outrage. But Cagle reminds us that those who have lost some of their own are devastated in ways the rest of us can only guess at. Thank you, Daryl Cagle. May you and your tribe increase.

Barbara Child
Nashville, Ind.

Don’t Pick on Muhammad Ali

I think it’s low and unmanly for your readers [“Ali No Saint,” Letters, 2/1/15 TPP] to pick on Muhammad Ali at this time in his life when he cannot personally defend himself. M.A., in my view, comes closer to sainthood, than do most of the “certified” saints on the rolls. He has performed at least three genuine miracles: first, when just a no-account, unemployed black youth, he won his case before the Supreme Court at a time when Apartheid America was extremely powerful; second, his performances in the ring against the world’s best were truly miraculous; and three, the stature, respect and popularity he earned around the world as a “beautiful,” compassionate, peace-loving ambassador of America is arguably without equal in our history. M.A., our only 3-time heavyweight champion ever, is also a philanthropist and a poet. “Saint Mohammed” sounds just great to me!

Rolland Amos
Severn, Md.

Editor’s Note: Ali was world heavyweight boxing champion when he was convicted on draft evasion charges in 1967. He was stripped of his title, won his case before the Supreme Court in 1971 and regained the title in 1974.

From The Progressive Populist, March 1, 2015


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