Posted by Harvest Dream on Monday, May 14. 2012 in Bioengineering, BioHazards, Corporate Power, Economy, Education, Energy, History , Intelligence , Japan/Southeast Asia, Media, Military, Perception, Radiation, Scientific Advance, Social Evolution, Social Insights, Space/Air Travel, Technology
The scourge of the oppressive state is an encroaching reality in all of our lives, from the mundane to the sacred, state has infiltrated everything, even children are pawns of power. We desperately need to revert to our humanity, seeing each situation with fresh eyes, with a hunger for actual justice, not simply a perceived justice but an actual human justice. We are going to have to come to terms with our humanity at some point, in each of our lives no matter how different they may be, the loss of freedom will come, and it will emerge from many directions - mostly economic - for I can almost promise that the children noted below by the author are in all likelihood not from wealthy families, but from families of the poor, or near poor. There is perceived justice, where humans are treated as elaborations of some government plan and there is actual human justice, where the good of the human being is the act of justice, not the rigid structure of government dictate.
Source: The Telegraph - February 19, 2012
Such is the reign of terror now being imposed on innocent English families by social workers that scores of parents have been fleeing with their children to Ireland to escape their clutches. I have followed a dozen such stories over the past two years, and in all of them two things stand out. One is that the English social workers seem prepared to stop at nothing to get the children back. The other is the extraordinary contrast between them and the Irish social workers, who again and again have satisfied themselves that the children are at no risk from their loving parents and are astonished by the ruthless behaviour of their English counterparts.
Several of these stories I have reported more than once and they do not have happy endings. A mother and baby were pursued to Ireland by six social workers and police, who sat in Dublin for 10 days of court hearings, until a judge ruled in their favour (with the social workers seen giving “high fives” on emerging from the court). When the mother again escaped to a remote cottage, she was violently knocked down by a policeman, so that her baby could be taken back to England.
Vicky Haigh, a former racehorse trainer, managed to escape to Ireland before her daughter was born. But then she was brought to England to be quite bizarrely punished, in a case relating to her beloved older daughter, with a three-year prison sentence – leaving her baby to be looked after in Ireland.
A 14-year-old boy lived happily with his mother in Ireland for six months until, after an equally bizarre judgment based on evidence neither he nor his mother were allowed to see, he was deported miserably back to care in England.
Last week, another such story came my way. It concerns a respectable family which was hit with disaster last summer, after the semi-autistic 8-year-old son –who tends to make things up – had lashed out at his 13-year-old sister, leaving bruises. When these were investigated, the boy told the police that his father had done it. The girl denied this – and the boy admitted in video evidence what had really happened – but the police stuck with his earlier story and arrested the father. Although he was never charged, the interventions of social workers became so menacing that, last October, the family escaped to Ireland, where the father has his roots.
Source: Governing.com - July 2011
Morgantown, W.Va., looks like your typical college town in the Northeast, with church towers piercing the skyline and clusters of brick buildings and tree-lined streets abutting a large university. But as you drive down the road and head toward the campus, something unusual emerges: a modest-sized elevated roadway that skirts the Monongahela River and winds its way through West Virginia University (WVU) for several miles. Then a small box-like car, painted in WVU’s blue and yellow school colors, zips overhead and you realize it’s not an elevated road at all, but something very different.
Welcome to America’s one and only personal rapid transit (PRT) system, serving downtown Morgantown and the WVU campus. Though other transit systems may claim they are PRTs, Morgantown’s is the only one in the world where riders can hop into cars and travel directly from point to point without stopping at other stations along the way.
On a typical fall and spring semester day, 15,000 passengers will travel between the five stations along an 8.7-mile track, riding in 71 self-propelled cars that travel at speeds of up to 30 mph. It’s easy to see why the people mover, as it is sometimes called, is so popular. With a wait time of just five minutes or less, as many as 20 passengers at a time pass the traffic congestion on the narrow streets below.
In fact, the PRT is part of the reason why WVU went from a student enrollment of approximately 10,000 in the late 1960s to nearly 30,000 today, according to Haven Sions, a mechanic supervisor who has been working on the system for 34 years. “In the pre-PRT days, we relied on shuttle buses to move students,” he recalls. “Because of traffic, the university had to schedule classes as much as two hours apart so the students wouldn’t be late.” Once the PRT was built, schedules tightened up considerably, making it possible to schedule more classes, which meant enrolling more students.
The Morgantown PRT began in 1975 as a transportation research project funded by the federal government and developed by Boeing. The project cost $120 million and relied on computer technology that can be described as primitive by today’s standards. However, virtually every aspect of the PRT was original when it was built. Consider the four-wheel steering system for each vehicle (the cars run on rubber tires), or the special heating system, powered by four boiler plants that pumps a mixture of chemicals and hot water through pipes to clear the guideway of snow and ice during the winter.
Boeing got out of the transit business a long time ago, so the iconic people mover basically has to fend for itself in terms of maintenance and repairs, says Arlie Foreman, WVU’s associate director of transportation. A crew of 55 keeps the system operating six days a week, working constantly to repair the aging cars and guideway, scrounging for hard-to-find parts. According to Foreman, the university spends $5 million annually to operate it.
In 1995, the computer control system was upgraded and now work is under way to modernize the individual control and propulsion systems in each of the 71 cars that remain in service. The PRT maintenance crew is proud of the fact that of the 80 million passengers who have ridden on the PRT since its start, no serious injuries or fatalities have occurred.
As afternoon traffic builds on the local streets, slowing movement to a crawl, the PRT vehicles continue to glide past quietly and efficiently. “The Morgantown PRT stands as an example of how cities can better cope with pollution, traffic and environmental demands,” Foreman says.
Chris Hedges: "Dying cultures always sever themselves from reality, because reality becomes so difficult to face"
Source: AP/Yahoo - June 27, 2011
At the “Egalia” preschool, staff avoid using words like “him” or “her” and address the 33 kids as “friends” rather than girls and boys.
From the color and placement of toys to the choice of books, every detail has been carefully planned to make sure the children don’t fall into gender stereotypes.
Egalia doesn’t deny the biological differences between boys and girls — the dolls the children play with are anatomically correct. What matters is that children understand that their biological differences “don’t mean boys and girls have different interests and abilities.”
The taxpayer-funded preschool which opened last year in the liberal Sodermalm district of Stockholm for kids aged 1 to 6 is among the most radical examples of Sweden’s efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood onward. Breaking down gender roles is a core mission in the national curriculum for preschools, underpinned by the theory that even in highly egalitarian-minded Sweden, society gives boys an unfair edge.
Egalia’s methods are controversial; some say they amount to mind control. But director Lotta Rajalin says that there’s a long waiting list for admission to Egalia, and that only one couple has pulled a child out of the school.
Director Lotta Rajalin notes that Egalia places a special emphasis on fostering an environment tolerant of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. From a bookcase she pulls out a story about two male giraffes who are sad to be childless — until they come across an abandoned crocodile egg.
Nearly all the children's books deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children. There are no "Snow White," "Cinderella" or other classic fairy tales seen as cementing stereotypes.
Source: Guernica - May, 2011
At Disney World, labor is meant to have an almost invisible quality. Except for the name tags, nothing distinguishes interns for the visitor; in certain parts of the park, at certain times of day, they comprise more than 50 percent of staff. Their work is identical to what permanent employees do, and there’s no added supervision, training, or mentoring on the job. The internship’s educational component is a three- or four-hour class each week, offering some of the easiest college credits in the land. Students are also encouraged to obtain credit through networking, distance learning, and “individualized learning opportunities.” Many interns do nothing scholastic, given that Disney doesn’t require it and that twelve-hour shifts are exhausting enough.
Like other employers, Disney has mastered how to rebrand ordinary jobs as exciting opportunities. “We’re not there to flip burgers or to give people food,” a fast food intern told the Associated Press. “We’re there to create magic.” Should the magic fail, the program at least seems to promise professional development and the prestige of the Disney name. Yet training and education are afterthoughts: the kids are brought in to work. Having traveled thousands of miles and barely breaking even financially, they find themselves cleaning hotel rooms, performing custodial work, and parking cars in the guise of an academic exercise. A small number of College Program “graduates” are offered full-time positions at Disney. The housing is designed to scale the program to massive proportions, where the savings of not employing full-timers, who demand benefits and have unions, kick in. Mandatory communal housing, the cost of which is deducted from their paychecks, may make the experience fun and memorable, like college, but it also looks like a term of indenture: living on company property, eating company food, and working when the company says so.
In its scale, the Disney program is unusual, if not unique. Although technically legal, the program has grown up over thirty years to become an eerie model, a microcosm of an internship culture gone haywire. The word “internship” has no set meaning, but at Disney World it signifies cheap, flexible labor for one of the world’s best-known companies—magical, educational burger-flipping in the Happiest Place on Earth.
Disney would not respond to these charges or comment on anything else for this piece, despite repeated requests. Like many a corporate titan, Disney likes to give the impression it’s in the education business. Disney University, born in 1955 as the company’s training division, predated McDonald’s Hamburger University, Motorola University, and others, prefiguring what Andrew Ross has called “the quasi-convergence of the academy and the knowledge corporation.” Since 1996, the Disney Institute has charged “millions of attendees representing virtually every sector of business from every corner of the globe” for the privilege of learning about Disney’s “brand of business excellence.” The Disney Career Start Program attracts high school drop-outs and graduates, promising a custom-designed “learning curriculum.” The Disney Dreamers Academy targets 100 high school students each year. Interns are not the only ones on the receiving end of a dubious Disney degree. The company has every demographic, every part of the life cycle, covered.
Nonetheless, many interns love their experience. Free access to the parks and employee discounts are more than enough for some of these Disney kids who have grown up to be Disney interns and may yet become Disney parents. “I’m a Disney slave and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” tweeted one intern proudly.
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