Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Hardly an institution of higher learning — more like a racket for ‘higher earnings’"

From Washington Post Pays Kaplan CEO $76 million while students left $50,000 in debt and Maryland Congressman, Elijah Cummings and Senator Durbin calls for investigation into for-profit predatory college CEO pay by Danny Wei, The Daily Censored

On December 12, 2011, Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings sent letters to the CEO’s of 13 for-profit colleges requesting information on executive compensation packages to investigate “how the structure of your executive-compensation packages affects the performance of students educated with taxpayer funds.” Cummings is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee” (Chronicle of Higher Education, Key Congressman Begins Inquiry Into Executive Pay at For-Profit Colleges, December 12, 2011, Goldie Blumenstyk http://chronicle.com/article/Key-Congressman-Begins-Inquiry/130090/).

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education:

“In each individualized letter, Representative Cummings, from Maryland, noted the high proportion of revenues coming to the company via federal aid, the rate at which students default on their federal loans, and the share of operating expense the company puts to educational costs” (ibid).

Cummings may want to pay special attention to the golden parachute given to former Kaplan CEO Jonathan Grayer in 2008. The amount is so grossly laughable it can be considered criminal; unfortunately it’s not under our bought and paid for neo-liberal government.

According to the Washington Post Company’s November 19, 2008 8-K filing, in 2008 Grayer resigned and was given 18 months base salary and a payment of $46 million related to the Kaplan Stock Option Plan (UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION WASHINGTON, DC 20549 FORM 8-K, November 19, 2008

http://google.brand.edgar-online.com/EFX_dll/EDGARpro.dll?FetchFilingHTML1?ID=6261618&SessionID=SNHoHeDu1Wnqz77). The agreement also included guaranteed payments to Mr. Grayer of $10.0 million on November 19, 2009 and $20.0 million on November 19, 2011.

The $20 million payment in November 2011 was larger than the entire Kaplan’s 2011 3rd quarter operating income of $18 million. Since long term student loan default rates may soon approach 50%, this generous ‘payout’ is funded by the US government through you — the taxpayer. You fill the trough with your hard earned funds while the piglets feed, along with their silk-backed lawyers, of course.

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Can this man's teachings help to dismantle dictatorship in Ethiopia?

The anniversary of the Arab uprisings will be marked on Dec. 17, the day that Bouazizi, the young Tunisian fruit seller, doused himself with gasoline. Since then, his self-immolation touched the entire Arab World and has thus far dismantled three dictatorial governments in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. Ethiopia also had its own case of self-immolation when Yenesew Gebre, who burnt himself alive in protest against political repression in his home town of Dawra, on 11/11/11. Analysts say, Ethiopia's own spring revolution is now heating up.

NPR's All Things Considered today had an interesting story about a Serbian activist named Srdja Popovic, who is credited with teaching non-violent struggle methods to end dictatorship around the world.

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Media, Propaganda and Censorship: David Barsamian in Santa Rosa, CA


David Barsamian, the founder and director of Alternative Radio, spoke at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa on November 30, 2011. For more than 25 years, David has brought alternative perspectives from people like Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Arundhati Roy and many others in his weekly radio program. In late September, he was deported from India. David spoke about his experiences with the media and censorship.

Beat Poet Anne Waldman Discusses Recent Collaborations

BA: What do you think is the role of artists in protest?

AW: Documentation’s very important, archival stuff. This is what we’re working on at Naropa. After 38 years we have an extraordinary audio and video archive. But that you’re leaving some trace of some Temporary Autonomous Zone, which is the term that comes from Hakim Bey. It’s a book that City Lights published called T.A.Z. He’s kind of an anarchic figure and philosopher-poet. The view is that these things don’t have to last forever, they’re not permanent, they don’t have to become institutionalized and micro-managed. In more and more universities the presidents are like CEOs. It’s a different model, not just for anarchists, but for an alternative way of operating. Then you’re usefulness can be extended, exploded, morphed into something else and you’re not so invested in your immortality.

It’s just very important that you have alternative language to describe what the experience is at Zuccotti Park rather than a canned media interpretation or one person’s point of view. So, the idea is that artists involved with any of this are mirroring reality. It’s better served by a rhizomic model: what the artists mind, I think, can bring to the situation; it’s not just one master narrative or one view: it’s as various as the people involved.

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Russell Means December 5 Update


Beating Cancer and the Meaning of Life
"I want to make sure the Republic of Lakota is an international entity, recognized."

Source

Citizen Media – The New Documentary #WhileWeWatch

As a producer on the new documentary, #WhileWeWatch, from Director Kevin Breslin, I have had an opportunity to dive, in a face-to-the-pavement sort of way, into the new wave of citizen media. Livestreaming, blogs, free press, immediate video uploads to youtube minutes after it is filmed. Watching arrests that seem completely unwarranted from the angel of the viewer. Spending long, coffee driven nights glue to the screen watching the police raid Oakland, Zuccotti Park and various #OccupyWallSt protests globally on Livestream and UStream. Sites you should get to know, for this is where all the action is. The 19 hour days sped by like standing at the edge of Grande Prix.

“…Reality TV on steroids.” FluxRostrum of GlobalRevolution.tv says in #WhileWeWatch.

The film takes place mostly in what was the original hub of #OccupyWallSt, Zuccotti Park, NYC. The film is so fast paced that after 40 minutes you feel like you just did 3 back to back runs at Magic Mountain.

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#whilewewatch - Trailer from #whilewewatch on Vimeo.

so you say you want an evolution…? Vlad Teichberg talks about Occupy Wall Street on BBC news

Sackur: Well never mind that it sounds like a radical concept; it sounds like a very vague concept. And a lot of people have said… that the problem here is the message you’re delivering isn’t very clear. It’s clear what you’re against. You don’t like the modern form of US-based and western-based capitalism. But it isn’t actually clear what you want. What are your actual specific demands and proposals?

Teichberg: Well, the main thing that we wanted – and I think that we achieved that to a large degree – was, when we first went into Zucotti [Park] was that we wanted to start like an international conversation about the future of our planet. And when all these other camps sprang up, and started doing similar general assembly processes and so on, we basically set up a structure for this public debate about our future. Unfortunately, ‘the powers that be’ decided that this debate should not continue, and they deployed riot police to stop the demonstration from happening… But you can’t stop this idea from happening. It’s something that’s spreading like a tsunami…


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Revolution Global 99% Anon


occupystream.com

Norway butter shortage threatens Christmas treats

An acute butter shortage in Norway, one of the world's richest countries, has left people worrying how to bake their Christmas goodies with store shelves emptied and prices through the roof.

The shortfall, expected to last into January, amounts to between 500 and 1,000 tonnes, said Tine, Norway's main dairy company, while online sellers have offered 500-gramme packs for up to 350 euros ($465).


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Occupy Art by Eran Cantrell

Artist website: http://eranfolio.com/
Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/occupywallstreet/comments/nb7pm/i_drew_this_for_you_occupy/ #ows



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image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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