One of a thousand examples pulled from my file cabinet — I was substitute teaching in the Lincoln County School District. At the High School in Waldport. You know, short notice, no notes from the teacher of record. And English class. He calls me on the phone while I am taking roll for first period. Juniors and seniors. I have written about this before, and that fact comes into play soon, just wait.
Of Mice and Men and then, Animal Farm. Talk about both books. Characters, themes, critical thinking, applications to today. Under my belt, hundreds of classes I have taught, in colleges, universities, special programs and even in K12 districts.
Oh, so, the discussion comes around to special education, developmental disabilities, homelessness and substance abuse. Talking about how the luck of the draw and the luck of biochemistry still plays in our world, just as they did in Orwell’s and Steinbeck’s made up but very real worlds.
I notice a female student leaving class during the robust discussion. Then one more. End of the first period, the punk (yes, it’s okay to call a human, a punk) vice principal is outside and then comes inside. He asks me if I am teaching the students, and that two students came to his office upset, in tears, saying that I said that they would not amount to anything, that they would become homeless and drug addicted.
Now, that was the first of several red-flags. Really? In my entire lifetime, never would those words pop out of my mouth, but this fellow was all worried, as I found out 45 minutes later, because one of the students was the daughter of a school board member.
Okay, next class, we talk about Animal Farm, about the amount of industrial farming in the world that now exists, about the pollution and the miscarriages and the pollutants that cause all sorts of cancers and mental disabilities. Again, for some reason, the same female student was in that class, and she grabbed another girl and left the classroom.
The students in the classroom were interested in what we were talking about, asked lots of questions, and it was obvious that they were sheltered from so much, which is apropos of the failing k12 systems around the USA, and in rural backwater places like Lincoln County.
Before the class time was over, this bulldog of a vice principal is outside the classroom, in the hallway, and he motions me to come to the door. “Please retrieve your bag and belongings. I am escorting you off campus.” This is while the class was still in session, and alas, there was no reasonable discussion, no getting to the root of the misinformation, the root of the terrible lack of critical thinking skills and the bizarre phone call the student made to her mother!
This guy was basically told by me: “I have no recourse, no one to discuss what this is about? This is the most unprofessional treatment I have incurred in my decades teaching. This is wrong, shows bad judgement and now what lessons are you teaching these young people ESCORTING me off campus?”
Yep, I tried to gain an audience with the school principal, with the outfit that staffs this school district (out of Tennessee, we being in Oregon). In the end, this poor student from a poorly educated family with poor excuses for parents and this poorly suited administrator in his poorly thought out way made not only my life difficult for teaching there, at that specific school, but the powers that be banned me from all 12 schools in all the county locations.
Freedom to write . . . unless you criticize some lofty or bottom of the barrel “power that be”
I have talked with others who did some substituting in the district and in that school specifically. Hands down, they felt the administrators, the principals and the district to be pretty lackluster, to say the least, and in many ways, completely unprofessional. Teaching for these people was akin to babysitting and managing chaos. “No teaching ever gets done in that district as a substitute.”
Oh, so these stories I wrote, again, as I have developed before in other articles, were scoured from the internet. You see, a year later, I am in that same school, working with adults who need job coaching, for an entirely different outfit, and alas, the bulldog, unprofessionally, and this is after hours since I was helping an adult get into the janitorial work she was hired to do and was gifted a job coach, on the premises, me, as part of the job development I underscored in this process.
This guy, again, after hours, with no one in the school except janitors, comes to me, and again, motions for me to come out in the hallway. This is how American rednecks work — the put the power of their stupidity to test. He asked what I was doing, and it took me a few sentences to explain that I was working for another nonprofit, working with this person, shadowing her, and that my job coaching was part of making her successful. This bulldog appreciated my position and the valiant effort of the adult working as a paid janitor for the company, Sodexo, which has the contract for these schools in this county and throughout the land.
I reminded him that he was disrupting my work with the individual, and then he mentioned that he was concerned because of the articles I had written about him. Well, I wrote piece about the entire system, not just about a bulldog vice principal. The funny thing, though, is that these articles were not up in any county or state news organ. They were on Dissident Voice and a few other places. The school district, at taxpayer expense, utilizes a data mining/surveillance company to scour the internet to find any information or negative press tied to the District. This bulldog mentioned the articles to me, or rather, “Not exactly journalism.”
I informed him, with my client stopped working and looking at us converse, that this job was this job. That I was not there to discuss the previous experience as a substitute or to discuss what he thought or didn’t think of my writing. Again, he spoke from both sides of his mouth, basically saying all was fine, but then he called the supervisor for Sodexo, and then I got a call from the Sodexo supervisor working with my client.
This is the fabric of American stupidity and mean-spiritedness, and I doubt many of the people who are writers and researchers, authors and professors, and the like have any real idea about the day to day, nitty-gritty of attempting to survive in America society as someone who tells the truth, stands up for himself and his clients and students and readers. Sure, many in academia get booted, and deplatformed and blacklisted, don’t get me wrong.
Reality in la-la-land
The image above the mural is from the Alsea Bay bridge, of the Alsea River running to the Pacific. Amazing sight, and, those are harbor seals there on the sand spit, and somewhere to the right, where I live.
Again, the un-ceded lands of the Alse: We call the reservation, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. The town I live in is not land that was purchased or rented from the tribe. We also are partially built on an Indian burial ground. Above this is the mural of “tribal” people, in Waldport, next to a beat-down but busy bar and grill. This is it for this town of 3,000, which is along Highway 101 where thousands of RVs and SUVs daily come up and down this coastline looking for beach, food, beer, boating, crabbing and Air B & B living. No history of the tribe, and the fact the US government in 1855 “gave” the Siletz a million acres, which, of course, today, consists of 3,600 acres. Those squatters, those illegal aliens, you know them as the Oh Pioneers, like locusts, stealing tribal land. Breaking the law of the land — that President in the White House — as soon as they hitched up oxen to wagons and headed to the Oregon Territory.
I’m thinking hard about the realities of this broken down society, how deeply embedded the cancel culture, book burning mentality, twisted law making are to the day-to-day existence of people who would dare question the narratives, the paradigm, the orthodoxy, the history of ANYTHING spewed from the bowels of controllers, industries, government overseers, school boards, community groups whose job is to keep in check any outliers or rabble rousers. I am thinking back to the Lincoln County School District idiots who would treat another human like they treated me, for allowing students to ask questions about homelessness, drug addiction, disabilities, poverty.
I fault the entire system for this form of thinking — all the pseudo-left, all the hard-right conservatives, all the people who worked for Goldwater and then turned to the Democratic Party (Hillary Clinton’s MO).
All of them are substandard, far from any statesmen or stateswomen. Presidents who are dumb, mean, assaulters, criminals are heart, grifters, propagandists, bad speakers, crazy thinkers, all in bed with power, which is capitalism’s pitbulls and enforcers and head honchos. Billionaires and millionaires, and multimillionaires and billionaire lobbies control them, and the narrative —
Then, things get really nuanced, when billionaires go after other billionaires, and it is all lies, a show, and kabuki theater —
“When we look at the pandemic we’re going through, when we look at the issues in our political process that we’re going through … it’s misinformation and mistrust that’s been seeding by social networks like Facebook that we need to keep our eye on,” Benioff said.
“It may not have cost them … but it’s cost all of us,” the billionaire tech entrepreneur added. “At some point, somebody is going to say, ‘Wow. This is the source of a lot of these problems.’ You look at what’s going on in the pandemic and the amount of information that’s just plain wrong that’s on there, this has to stop.”
Benioff has not been shy about criticizing Facebook in the past, including in 2018 when he suggested the company’s platform was addictive and damaging for society. “Facebook is the new cigarettes,” he said then.
Benioff’s comments Tuesday follow a series of revelations in the Wall Street Journal that shed light on how Facebook has repeatedly elevated profits over the health and safety of its users. Facebook has pushed back on that reporting and the newspaper of publishing a “mischaracterization of our work and impugning of the company’s motives.”
Benioff referenced the recent Wall Street Journal stories and said he believes it’s clear that at Facebook “trust is not their highest value.”
Yep, that billionaires, Benioff — tracking everything. And that is never questioned by the mainstream and corporate owned media.
What we are seeing now, is the real-time implementation of a true biometric surveillance state, to monitor and record everyone’s health status, a design to map out our entire existence on this planet. A future where we collect, store and share our own digital W3C verifiable credentials and not just for vaccines but for antigen and antibody testing plus any other new digital cashless and banking credentials.
Indeed, this is true ‘digital identity as a service’. This is a big part of the digitalisation of ourselves and of our lives, our new digital twins, manoeuvring towards a one world digital identity platform and one that would ultimately determine what types of access is given or indeed taken away from us depending on our health, social and financial attributes and carbon impacts. (source)
Back to the dashboards, the complete files, the extra files. You know, the shifting baseline is shifting in nanoseconds. There was a time when pigs/cops had no right to stop your car without a valid reason, and we also had the right to step out of the car, and refuse a glove compartment or trunk inspection. We once were given some leeway, and there were never any urine analyses, never these deep background checks, never these lengthy reference checks. It was a time, again, I am talking about most patriarchy, white males, where you (a white male, not a hippie, mind you, but . . . ) could go their merry way without cops stopping them.
Of course, DWB or DWI, driving while black, or driving while Indian, those are a given, but we now have DWP, driving while poor. Certainly, DWAVFS, driving with a van for sleeping, that too is illegal. These tough militarized police departments with their “unions” and unending Blue Lives Matter racists, they are part of the problem, not part of any solution. Yet, this is it for America.
Imagine a college class I organized, say, around the book, and this quote, To quote Alex S. Vitale, author of The End of Policing: “It’s time for everyone to quit thinking that jailing one more killer cop will do anything to change the nature of American policing. We must move, instead, to significantly defund the police and redirect resources into community-based initiatives that can produce real safety and security without the violence and racism inherent in the criminal justice system.”
What hell would I have to pay for even creating a special topics class around that topic? In traditional state community colleges, or even so-called liberal arts colleges. Here, the colorful books:
Imagine how quickly that syllabus would be challenged before the class even got printed up in the catalogue. The reader might think that the colleges are liberal, but liberal means conservative, and the So Called Liberal Press is right of Hillary Clinton, who was a Goldwater Girl. There are wackos on both sides of the conservative, reactionary, pro-America political line, and we have principals being sacked based on stupidity around Critical Race Theory?
Parents, teachers, and students were furious when a beloved high school principal in Texas was suspended from his post at Colleyville High School last month. Dr. James Whitfield, the school’s first Black principal, was put on administrative leave after being accused of pushing critical race theory in the school’s curriculum. Now, it seems as if their attempts to save him were all in vain. On Monday night, the Grapevine Colleyville Independent School District voted unanimously not to renew Whitfield’s contract.
After a lengthy discussion about budgeting and tax rates, board members opened the floor to community members who had prepared speeches to share in support of Whitfield. After being warned by the board that there would be no “noise or clapping” during the segment, nearly three dozen attendees took to the podium on Whitfield’s behalf.
This goes both ways, of course — how many liberals want the heads of people who question their orthodoxy. Think Mark Crispin Miller—
Or, how about a journalism class on all the nefarious and overt and covert things that happen in that profession to keep stories out of the headlines, buried or deep-sixed:
THE TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES OF 2019-2020
The presentation of the Top 25 stories of 2019-2020 extends the tradition originated by Professor Carl Jensen and his Sonoma State University students in 1976, while reflecting how the expansion of the Project to include affiliate faculty and students from campuses across North America has made the Project even more diverse and robust. IN 2019-2020, Project Censored reviewed over 300 Validated Independent News stories (VINs) representing the collective efforts of 308 college students and 32 professors from 19 college and university campuses that participated in the Project’s Campus Affiliates Program during the past year.
I will be posting the Banned Books Week piece I did for the local newspaper, and it is tepid, because, alas, we have to self-censor, and the small rag — the Newport News Times — can only handle so much truth, so much reality. We are on some real shaking ground, here, just pushing the envelope, and in the county south of ours, the school district, teachers and parents and groups are fighting about critical race theory being taught in the K12.
There is no critical race theory being taught in k12, we know that. These are schools that still do the national anthem, the pledge of alliance, still have turkeys, Indians and pilgrims adorning the walls during Thanksgiving. The reality is schools are just dealing with some breaking through the canon, breaking through the white supremacist dominance of textbooks and school boards with giving voice to deeper analyses of this country’s heritage and history.
The schools are not engaging in a rewriting of history, but exposing more history. There is no critical race theory going on in bloody insipid public K12. But the lunacy, which is what white racists peddle, crosses the pond, now, doesn’t it?
The War on Critical Race Theory
The critics want to wipe clear the actual history of racial oppression that is baked into the social and economic structures of the US.
“The materials echo essays sponsored by the Heritage Foundation, which calls CRT ‘the new intolerance’ and ‘the rejection of the underpinnings of Western civilization.’”
On the eve of losing the presidency, Donald Trump issued an executive order in September banning “diversity and race sensitivity training” in government agencies, including all government “spending related to any training on critical race theory.” He was prompted, apparently, by hearing an interview with conservative activist Christopher Rufo on Fox News characterizing “critical race theory programs in government” as “the cult of indoctrination.” (President Biden ended the ban as soon as he took office.) In March Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, introduced a bill seeking to ban the teaching of CRT in the military because—he charges without argument or evidence—it is “racist.” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis banned CRT from being covered in Florida’s public schools for “teaching kids to hate their country and to hate each other.” Republican majority lawmakers in the state of Idaho prohibited the use of state funding for student “social justice” activities of any kind at public universities and threatened to withhold funding earmarked for “social justice programming and critical race theory.” Lawmakers in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Utah are following suit.
Similar attacks are afoot abroad. In Britain a government minister declared in October that the government was “unequivocally against” the concept, even though records show that the phrase “critical race theory” had never once been uttered in the House of Commons before that time. And a British government “Race Report,” commissioned by Boris Johnson in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, was just released amidst considerable controversy for its reductive definition of racial discrimination as nothing but the explicit invocation of skin color. For the French, criticism of a “decolonial” turn in the academy is being invoked to do the sort of political silencing that CRT has been advanced to do by conservatives in the United States and Britain. (Never mind that decolonialization—as a term, a politics, and a field of study—was around well before CRT.) President Emmanuel Macron and his ministers have castigated the importation of “certain social science theories” from “American universities” for leading to “the ethnicization of the social question,” and prominent intellectuals have denounced discussions of race. Philosopher Pierre-André Taguieff, whose earlier work tracked the history of anti-Semitism, indicts contemporary anti-racist critics of the French state as guilty of “anti-white racism.” An assistant attorney general in Australia insisted an anti-racism program should not be funded because “taxpayer funds” were being used “to promote critical race theory.” (Black Agenda Report)
But again, this is how this country operates — a sack of lies built upon more lies on top of more lies . . . . Until, well, even those who think they are being progressive, pan out to be fascist. You see, if you believe any of the lies about capitalism, exceptionalism, about the good of America, or that this is a democracy, then, you can’t shed all the scales on your eyes.
We have people calling for people’s jobs, heads, lives in this new fascism, which is old in many ways — follow the science? Right, that science that has given us, all those wonderful things Rachel Carson barely mentioned in her book, Silent Spring. 10 worst drug recalls in history. 6 things Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know! Well, just add to this by a factor of 1,000. Then, pick your category — 10 worst chemical manufactured, 10 worst foods created, 10 worst medical procedures ever invented, 10 worst things psychiatry does to you . . . . And, 6 Big things fossil fuel, Big Ag, Lawyers, Real Estate, Insurance, et al DO NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW.
Simple stuff, like America’s number one butchered protein, chicken, as you recall, is the healthy (sic) meat (sic): “Modern farming methods means more and more supermarket chicken meat has white stripes — actually, pockets of fat — running through it. In fact, the vast majority, or 99%, of all store-brand chicken sold in major U.S. supermarkets is impacted by muscle fatty deposits called “white striping,” according to findings released on Monday by the Humane League.”
Yes, there is a thuggery group, that is, lobbying and lying and protection racket for every product under the sun. That’s how corporate fascism works, and then this statement by that chicken group: “Broiler chickens raised for meat are bred to gain weight rapidly, reducing the amount of food and water needed before slaughter. Still, factory-farmed chickens grow so quickly that the birds frequently can’t hold up their own body weight, with muscle replaced with fibrous tissue and fat.
The Humane League report was dismissed as unscientific by the National Chicken Council, which likened white striping as similar to marbling in red meat.”
The point is clear — if a teacher were to create a class around environmental impacts of the logging and timber industry, or the fishing industry, in these here parts — Oregon Coast is all about clear-cutting and by-catches — that teacher would be sacked. This is how capitalism works, and the k12 system is nothing to shake a stick at, and alas, colleges are bought and sold to the corporations in so many departments.
Yep, a photo says a 1,000 words:
For every thousand reports pointing out the pain, death, destruction, pollution of product or process X and Y, there will be a massive campaign arranged by lawyers with the help of Spin Masters, Communication Experts, Marketing Gurus, Propaganda Peddlers and more, including Congress and Senate prostitutes, attempting to shunt reality away, so we can all live in their realities of more death, dying, injury, pain, loss, seepage, toxicity. Again, War is Peace, and Lies are Truth!
This content originally appeared on Dissident Voice and was authored by Paul Haeder.