Dangerous Pedagogy in the Age of Casino Capitalism and Religious Fundamentalism

From Truth Out: http://www.truth-out.org/dangerous-pedagogy-age-casino-capitalism-and-religious-fundamentalism/1330459170

by: Henry A. Giroux
Wednesday 29 February 2012

All over the world, the forces of neoliberalism are on the march, dismantling the historically guaranteed social provisions provided by the welfare state, defining profit-making and market freedoms as the essence of democracy while diminishing civil liberties as part of the alleged “war” against terrorism. Secure in its dystopian vision that there are no alternatives to a market society, free-market fundamentalism eliminates issues of contingency, struggle and social agency by celebrating the inevitability of economic laws in which the ethical ideal of intervening in the world gives way to the idea that we “have no choice but to adapt both our hopes and our abilities to the new global market.”[1] Coupled with an ever-expanding culture of fear, market freedoms seem securely grounded in a defense of national security and the institutions of finance capital. Under such circumstances, a neoliberal model now bears down on American society, threatening to turn it into an authoritarian state. The script is now familiar: there is no such thing as the common good; market values become the template for shaping all aspects of society; the free, possessive individual has no obligations to anything other than his or her self-interest; profit-making is the essence of democracy; the government, and particularly the welfare state, is the arch-enemy of freedom; private interests trump public values; consumerism is the essence of citizenship; privatization is the essence of freedom; law and order is the new language for mobilizing shared fears rather than shared responsibilities;  war is the new organizing principle for organizing society and the economy; theocracy now becomes the legitimating code for punishing women, young people, the elderly, and those groups marginalized by class, race and ethnicity when religious moralism is needed to shore up the war against all social order.[2]

Given this current crisis, educators need a new political and pedagogical language for addressing the changing contexts and issues facing a world in which capital draws upon an unprecedented convergence of resources – financial, cultural, political, economic, scientific, military and technological – to exercise powerful and diverse forms of control. If educators and others are to counter global capitalism’s increased ability to separate the traditional nation-state-based space of politics from the transnational reach of power, it is crucial to develop educational approaches that reject a collapse of the distinction between market liberties and civil liberties, a market economy and a market society. This suggests developing forms of critical pedagogy capable of challenging neoliberalism and other anti-democratic traditions, such as the emerging religious fundamentalism in the United States, while resurrecting a radical democratic project that provides the basis for imagining a life beyond the “dream world” of capitalism.  Under such circumstances, education becomes more than testing, an obsession with accountability schemes, zero-tolerance policies and a site for simply training students for the workforce. At stake here is recognizing the power of education in creating the formative culture necessary to both challenge the various threats being mobilized against the very idea of justice and democracy while also fighting for those public spheres and formative cultures that offer alternative modes of identity, social relations and politics.

Continue reading at:  http://www.truth-out.org/dangerous-pedagogy-age-casino-capitalism-and-religious-fundamentalism/1330459170

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Rosie O’Donnell Opposes Rick Santorum’s Anti-Gay Views In Song

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Komen scrutiny points up conflicts of contributors, cancer-fighting mission

Fuck Susan G. Komen and the pink ribbons.  From here out I see a pink ribbon and I associate it with the destroyers of America, the Koch Brothers.

From The Dallas Morning News: http://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/20120302-komen-scrutiny-points-up-conflicts-of-contributors-cancer-fighting-mission.ece

Environmental Writer
Published: 02 March 2012

The recent scrutiny of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s uneasy relationship with Planned Parenthood revealed the risks any nonprofit faces in deciding where to spend its money so its mission doesn’t appear compromised.

Charities also must answer a related question: Whose money is good enough to take?

Dallas-based Komen, the prime force in making a cure for breast cancer a national crusade, raises money from its well-known footraces but also gets money from product tie-ins with dozens of corporations.

In most cases, Komen’s trademarked pink ribbon appears on household and consumer products.

One of Komen’s biggest sponsors, paper and plywood maker Georgia-Pacific, has donated about $4.5 million to Komen since 2004. Georgia-Pacific’s Quilted Northern bathroom tissue and Vanity Fair paper napkins carry the famous Komen logo, and the company is a member of Komen’s honorary Million Dollar Council, denoting the top donors.

Cancer chemicals

But Georgia-Pacific’s involvement in cancer and health doesn’t end with Komen, illustrating an often-found complication in the calculus of charity, not only for Komen but for others nationwide.

The Atlanta-based company, owned since 2005 by Koch Industries of Wichita, Kan., emits chemicals known to cause cancer in people.

Continue reading at:  http://www.dallasnews.com/business/headlines/20120302-komen-scrutiny-points-up-conflicts-of-contributors-cancer-fighting-mission.ece

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Occupy…the rise of the “99% Spring”

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Occupy Wall Street Gets Fat Ben & Jerry’s Cash Infusion

From The Gothamist: http://gothamist.com/2012/02/28/occupy_wall_street_sees_cash_infusi.php

By Christopher Robbins
February 28, 2012

Occupy Wall Street begins two days of major demonstrations today as a group of wealthy backers announces their plan to pump $1.8 million into the movement. The Movement Resource Group, comprised of the two founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Nirvana’s former manager Danny Goldberg, among others, is a not-for-profit 501c3 that has raised $300,000 and aims to distribute it to the protesters in a series of grants. “Many of us have been working for progressive social change,” Ben Cohen told the Wall Street Journal. “There’s been a critical ingredient missing.”

Representatives from the group met with Occupy Wall Street members on Sunday, and announced the plan to approve national grants of up to $25,000 with the approval of MRG and five OWS members. $150,000 will pay for a national office in New York, another $100,000 will pay for individual, targeted projects, and a smaller, undisclosed sum will be set aside for stipends for “core activists.”

Today’s action is a rally in Union Square against police suppression of the movement. Rev. Stephen Phelps, civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, and musician Peter Yarrow will gather with activists in the north plaza of the park for a 5 p.m. rally before marching at 6 p.m.

Tomorrow, more than 70 cities will participate in efforts to “Shut Down Corporations.” (If you have an issue with OWS attempting to shut down some corporations while taking money from others, get in line.)

Continue reading at: http://gothamist.com/2012/02/28/occupy_wall_street_sees_cash_infusi.php

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Dear Rush Limbaugh: Birth Control Doesn’t Work Like Viagra

From Mother Jones: http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/03/rush-limbaugh-does-not-understand-how-birth-control-works

By Adam Serwer|
Fri Mar. 2, 2012

Does Rush Limbaugh think birth control works like Viagra?

His misogynistic assault on Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke indicates that he does.

Fluke, who was prevented from testifying at Rep. Darrell Issa’s nearly all-male hearing on contraception, has been the target of barrage of sexist invective from Limbaugh over her view that Georgetown’s health plan should include birth control. Wednesday Limbaugh called Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute”, declared that “she’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception,” and asserted that covering contraception was tantamount to paying her for sex. On Thursday he blurted out: “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I’ll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”

Once you wade through the bile and the realization that the country’s most popular conservative radio host has devoted hours on his show to attempting to bully a woman into silence for her views on birth control, it becomes clear that Limbaugh, a man over sixty who is now on his fourth marriage, does not seem to understand how birth control works. On Wednesday and Thursday, Limbaugh repeatedly suggested that the amount of sex a woman has is related to the amount of birth control she needs to take, as though women take birth control pills every day they have sex. This is how say, Viagra, the erectile dysfunction medication works. Aside from the morning after pill (which someone on regular birth control shouldn’t use), when and how much sex you have is unrelated to the amount of birth control you need.

Limbaugh is a figure of almost religious stature among conservatives—for Republican elected officials, criticizing him is particularly dangerous—so Republican lawmakers have largey remained mum on the Limbaugh’s despicable tirades. Some conservatives have tried to defend Limbaugh, however, arguing that his analogy, while crude, gets to a legitimate concern over whether religious organizations and insurance companies should have to “finance” someone else’s “sex life.

Continue reading at:  http://motherjones.com/mojo/2012/03/rush-limbaugh-does-not-understand-how-birth-control-works

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Obama: Can’t Drill Our Way to Lower Gas Prices

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