It’s Memorial Day, so naturally the media and the nation are focused on honoring the military. But, not to worry, we will all return to that ubiquitous, “Thank you for your service” tomorrow. Our collective attention span has grown quite short.
What caught my eye was an opinion piece in the NYT, “Veterans Deserve a Chance in College, Not a Free Pass.” But let’s not focus on the “Not a Free Pass” part, but on the Veterans Deserve a Chance in College. This article comes on the heels of the NYT’s May 29th article detailing a crumbling CUNY as but one example of our failing public higher education system. So, here’s the thing. Most of our military personnel are not culled from the upper or even middle – middle classes, but from fiscally challenged communities. Most enter the military as their last best option because the school or work options have failed them. “Not true,” many might say. These young people are driven by patriotism, the chance to serve. And I am sure most either enter the service believing or wanting to believe this. However, if the desire to serve was the great motivator, why don’t an equal number of the privileged enter the military? No, let’s face it, military service has become the refuge for the less privileged within our American family.
When they exit the military- as most eventually do- we thank them and… then what? For most vets, their post- military options are as dead end or as limited as when they entered the military. They quickly discover, like most young Americans, their path forward lies through a college education. The days of the well-paid factory jobs are thirty years past. If we want to honor our vets, then we must answer in the affirmative that, “Vets do deserve a shot at college.” But here’s the irony. The vast majority of vets will attend public institutions of higher education and, of those, the majority will start at a community college. So, what are we doing? De-funding public higher education and the sector currently taking the biggest hit are community colleges. Precisely those institutions our vets will attend.
Memorial Day? Honor those that serve? Then why not roll out the educational welcome mat to our returning vets? “So sorry,” we are actually saying, “we affirmatively give you two days in the year, but after that, like most Americans, you’re on your own.”
The New York Times proclaimed: “Dreams Stall at CUNY”as decades of defunding catches up with one of higher education’s premier institutions. No surprise. It’s happening all across the nation. Public higher education is dying, replaced by a new pragmatism. Education is out, training is in. Unless, of course, you are already part of the elite or simply lucky to be one of those who succeed no matter what. Otherwise, in the very near future, don’t expect access to genuine higher education. A training center, disguised as a “college,” awaits you.
To see this new reality unfolding, look no further than to what has happened at community colleges, those former institutions of low-cost, quality higher education where the masses used to go to find their dreams. These have been starved of funds and left to drown in debt as a bloated, well-paid bureaucracy proliferates. Crowded, decaying and under-resourced classrooms have become the norm as state and local aid has plummeted while student tuition has sky-rocketed. Community college students, often themselves the product of under-resourced schools and communities, must work full-time to pay tuition and fees as well as support themselves. Not surprising, retention rates for these over-worked students is low. Politicians now point to this as their justification for transforming community colleges into essentially career centers. It never occurs to them that expecting students to work full-time while trying to get an education isn’t a recipe for success. No matter, their real goal, Democrat and Republican alike, is to quickly train those born into modest and struggling communities, so they can supply local businesses corporation with targeted, cheap labor. The dream of education as America’s great equalizer has, already, all but vanished.
What happens to that narrowly trained individual when that job eventually evaporates either due to technology or out-sourcing? Ho hum, we’re all disposable, aren’t we? Welcome to the new America of: “Dream No More.”
For the cited NYT article, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/nyregion/dreams-stall-as-cuny-citys-engine-of-mobility-sputters.html?ribbon-ad-idx=6&rref=homepage&module=Ribbon&version=origin®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Home%20Page&pgtype=article
Let’s see, Trump or Hillary? It’s a dilemma. Not becasue I would ever consider voting for Trump. Not ever. In fact, the man probably doesn’t even want to be president. It’s all a show for him and a bit of payback for Obama’s 2011 roasting at the White House Correspondence dinner. Watch it. It’s wildly funny and gives you the ultimate insight into Trump’s current role. And will remind you why no one thought Trump should ever, ever be president! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8TwRmX6zs4 I’m certainly not the first to suggest he’s running as a smack in the face to President Obama’s smack-down of him in 2011. Yet, anyone paying even a bit of attention to Trump’s new reality show gig, “The Candidate 2016,” knows that Trump can’t break free from those reality TV chains that created and now bind him. So, no, we can’t ever, vote him off the small screen and onto reality’s stage.
However, now to the Hillary dilemma. I have no doubt that if elected she will be indicted and impeached. The email scandal is an impeachment simply waiting to happen. And the worst thing is she knew it, knows it, and yet will barrel down that road to impeachment and disaster for herself and the nation heedless of our future. She needs to step away, but that, alas, appears unlikely. It seems we are destined to watch one bad actor after another roll on and roll over us.
It’s all in The Transformation: GTE 45 on page 222.
We have been moving towards the transformation of America for decades. FDR saved American capitalism by adding a humane safety net and creating a middle class. All rapidly disappearing since the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan. Of course, the average American is disgusted; often without hope. They turn to politicians who, in the end, will not help them. They worship at the alter of celebrity like children with their noses pressed up against a candy store they can’t enter. Make no mistake, both political parties are wedded to the rapid division of Americans into simply “Wage Earner” (the WE) and the so-called “Job Creators” (the JC). Donald Trump included. Read how the final transformation of America might occur:
The debate about the role of business in American society was now long over. Business, everyone agreed, was the heart and soul of a healthy and prosperous society. It was clearly counter to everyone’s interests for the Job Creators, the “JCs,” to hand over all their money to the government instead of doing what they did best: create jobs. As the revered Great Transformation President Cross liked to say, “We can’t help the WE by taxing the JC.” And, as he slyly pointed out in his famous speech introducing the new permanent classifications or tiers to the American public, “It is not a coincidence that the initials for our “Job Creators” is “JC” just like that of our Lord and Savior. Amen!”
Excerpt from: The Transformation: GTE 45 http://amzn.to/1RWEzdO
Today the NY Times announced on its front page, “The GOP Unravels as Party Faces Trump Takeover.” This basic scenario is predicted in The “Transformation: GTE 45.”
“…the hoped for Republican unity never materialized. Stone never even got through his acceptance speech before half the delegates walked out and reconvened three days later in Houston. Led by Texas Governor Pablo Cross and Tennessee Senator Randall Carey, who gave a fiery welcoming address to the assembled, they immediately voted to join with a small, mostly unknown political party, the Founders Action Party, “FAP.” They vowed to “take back” the nation and remake it as originally envisioned by its Founding Fathers. To that end they nominated businessman Ted Ganar as the first FAP presidential candidate.
The Republican presidential candidate, Stone, remained on the ballot but to no one’s surprise, went down to defeat. Ganar, while unbelievably, popular fared no better because the FAP was unable to get on sufficient state ballots. No matter. The FAP was actually elated to see the country repudiate the last standing Republican. The Democratic candidate, Emily Harris, won handily due to the disarray of the Republican Party and the FAP’s presence, but her victory was truly short-lived.” From: “The Transformation: GTE 45”
See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: The Transformation: GTE 45 (Kindle Edition). https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/ed6385f31f6bace9 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of May 21, 2016 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.