Gender Trender Trolls Are Not Welcome Here

I learned how irrelevant Rad Fems were the first time around.  That was some forty years ago.

Fuck them.  I don’t want to go to their hate fest in the woods and I don’t need their seal of approval to feel validated.

I earned my activist creds with some fifty years of activism.  Including both the feminist movement and the LGBT movement.

I happen to be friends with Joelle Ruby Ryan.

Unlike the radfem puke who came trolling around here this morning, Joelle is a real person with a real name and a public face, not a troll hiding behind an alias.

Trolls aren’t welcome here. Gendertrenders aren’t welcome here either.

Crowd Sourcing Projects as an Alternative to Corporate Support

I recently ran  a request for support piece by Aaron Bear, who was crowd sourcing a documentary film.

Some how being asked to support creative artists working on a specific project feels different from the daily deluge of begging letters I get from  Professional Activism Inc.

I burned out on those long ago and besides I tend to have a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to professionalized activism.  It all seems so removed from the grass roots.

At the same time I go to concerts where the artist actually sit at the CD and t-shirt table after the concerts to sign the CDs they bring with them on the road.  I buy CDs from CD Baby.  I actually go to the theaters to see documentaries and pay to see them on either DVDs or pay per-view.

I’m planning on self publishing my memoir and may need some help to actually get it before the public and may use Kickstart to raise the money needed.Our government taxes us to give money to the War Industry, while they eliminated funding for the arts long ago.

The corporations aren’t going to fund the controversial.  Nor are they going to fund art that attacks them.  This is one of those cases where Audre Lorde was right about the master’s tools (money) will never be used to dismantle the master’s house.

I’ve watched artists get price busted out of city after city as rent on spaces has become more and more costly.  I’ve watched as venue after venue has closed.

One of the best things about Dallas and Texas in general is that it isn’t NYC, SF or LA… yet…

There are still lots of places featuring live music and there is still affordable space for artists to create in.

Ah but funding.  The NEA grants are pretty much history and the big money.  Well it is hard to imagine the 1% funding art that calls for the redistribution of wealth or a fairness when it comes to working people.

We are living in the Brave New World, a free market dystopia brought to us by neo-libs and neo-cons.  Plugged in to the constant propaganda feed like a modern day Winston Smith, ears stopped up with ear buds, eyes fixated on the screen of our iPhone/smart phone/iPad/tablet.

We desperately need art that disobeys, that performs détournement and causes us to wake up the way a Banksy piece upsets the seamless flow of propaganda.

Obviously one can’t support ever Kickstart project or even most but hopefully some, especially if you think the project needs doing.

From Metro Weekly:  http://www.metroweekly.com/arts_entertainment/music.php?ak=8170

Pushing Forward

The pop/folk lesbian trio The Pushovers gears up for a big 2013

By Doug Rule
Published on March 7, 2013

”This time we’re really excited because we get to be in an actual theater,” Mara Levi says. The past two years at the Atlas Intersections Festival, Levi’s band The Pushovers has performed in the lobby, where they had to watch their volume. ”We’re a rock band and we like to be loud,” she says.

So the third time is definitely the charm for The Pushovers, who graduate to a full-fledged show this Saturday, March 9, in the Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Lang Theatre. In fact, 2013 is shaping up to be a big one for the sharp trio of Levi, Nancy Eddy and Liz DeRoche. Several years since forming what they call a ”smart-pop folk-rock band,” the three singer-songwriters have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the band’s first album, due later this year. A clear sign of The Pushovers’ appeal: Just over a week into a month-long campaign, the band is already over $3,500 into its $10,000 Kickstarter goal.

Continue reading at:  http://www.metroweekly.com/arts_entertainment/music.php?ak=8170

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Transilience

OutServe-SLDN chief delivers personal LGBT military speech

From The Washington Blade:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2013/03/10/outserve-sldn-chief-delivers-personal-lgbt-military-speech/

By
on March 10, 2013

The transgender head of a national LGBT military group on Saturday detailed a personal story about her own transition as part of her organization’s first-ever “State of the LGBT Military Service” address.

In her speech before an estimated nearly 1,000 attendees at her group’s annual dinner in D.C., Allyson Robinson, executive director of OutServe-SLDN, said she felt “completely alone” when she made her decision to transition, but found comfort from her family.

“The day I found myself seriously considering suicide was the day I knew I needed help,” Robinson said. “So I called my sister, and my sister said, ‘I’m here for you.’ And I called my mom, and my mom said, ‘I’m proud of you courage, my daughter.’ I talked to my wife Danyelle, and she said, ‘My love for you is bigger than this. I’ll be right by your side through whatever it brings and beyond.’”

But Robinson said she “wasn’t that brave” to her tell father, a command sergeant major in the Army, that she would transition in person and instead wrote a letter informing him of her decision. Robinson said her father responded by calling and saying, “I love you as much today as the day you were born.”

Robinson, an Army veteran and West Point graduate, made her decision to transition after she left the military in 1999, but wouldn’t have been allowed to stay in the armed forces had she remained in service. The armed forces prohibits open service for trans servicemembers and expels them under a medical discharge if their gender identity becomes known.

 Robinson also made news during the speech when she announced that OutServe-SLDN intended to expand the organization’s membership from 6,000 to 14,000 actively serving members by the end of 2014. Starting the process, Robinson announced new categories of membership for OutServe-SLDN that will include veterans and straight supporters.
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FAAB-mentality

Julia Serano has another article up on her blog which once again shows why she is one of the leading theorists in the trans communities these days.

From Whipping Girl:  http://juliaserano.blogspot.com/2013/03/faab-mentality.html

Julia Serano
Thursday, March 7, 2013

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now, as an explanation and reference for what I’ve been calling FAAB-mentality (described below). I originally wrote and performed this piece for the fourth annual installment of Girl Talk: A Cis and Trans Woman Dialogue in March 2012.

Post-note 3-8-13: I added a few clarifying notes at the end of the piece. 

Baby Talk

I read blogs. And an unfortunate consequence of reading blogs is that sometimes you stumble upon statements that make you upset. Lately, I’ve been dwelling over one single sentence from a blog post that I read a few months ago. The author was a femme-identified cis woman who described her identity this way:

“I only say I’m queer to steer clear of sex acts with cisgender men whilst simultaneously accommodating my devout lesbianism and propensity towards dating trans men when the butch pool feels too shallow.”

I have become preoccupied with this quote, not because it is unusual or extraordinary – on the contrary, these are very commonplace sentiments among queer women these days. Rather, my interest in this quote stems from how perfectly it illustrates the subtle ways in which exclusion transpires in today’s queer women’s communities.

First, she defines “queer” in terms of her “devout lesbianism” and “steering clear of cisgender men.” Given her definition, a bisexual woman (such as me), who sometimes does have sex with cis men, must automatically be *not* queer—aka, straight. Ah, the decades old lesbian tradition of erasing the B out of LGBT.

Continue reading at:  http://juliaserano.blogspot.com/2013/03/faab-mentality.html

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BREAKING!!! Anti-gay parenting study a false manipulation from the start

From Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters:  http://holybulliesandheadlessmonsters.blogspot.com/2013/03/breaking-anti-gay-parenting-study-false.html

By Alvin McEwen
Sunday, March 10, 2013

Reposted with permission

This is huge.

According to the American Independent, via The Huffington Post, the Regnerus study – which cause a huge controversy because it said that children raised by same-sex families encounter problems – was created specifically to sway Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality. And the funders of the study knew what the study would “prove” before the work on it began:

The conservative funders who bankrolled a flawed and widely cited academic study that’s critical of gay marriage choreographed its release in time to influence “major decisions of the Supreme Court,” documents show.

The documents, recently obtained through public-records requests by The American Independent and published in collaboration with The Huffington Post, show that the Witherspoon Institute recruited a professor from a major university to carry out a study that was designed to manipulate public policy. In communicating with donors about the research project, Witherspoon’s president clearly expected results unfavorable to the gay-marriage movement.

The think tank’s efforts paid off. The New Family Structures Study came out just in time for opponents of gay marriage to cite it in multiple federal cases involving marriage equality – including two cases soon to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

James Wright, editor of Social Science Research, which published the study’s findings last summer, said he was not aware of the funders’ intentions to use his academic journal to sway the Supreme Court.

“So far as the Supreme Court is concerned, I consider marriage and adoption rights for GLBT people to be a matter of civil rights, i.e., a legal question, not something to be ‘resolved’ by empirical research, and I resent having social science data and research drawn into such debates,” Wright, a University of Central Florida sociology professor, said in an email.

In a study slammed for its methodology, funding, and academic integrity, University of Texas associate sociology professor Mark Regnerus found that children who grew up in households where one parent had a same-sex relationship (regardless of whether the children lived with that parent or that parent’s supposed same-sex partner) were more likely to experience negative social, psychological, and economic outcomes than children raised by a married heterosexual couple

Records show that an academic consultant hired by UT to conduct data analysis for the project was a longtime fellow of the Witherspoon Institute, which shelled out about $700,000 for the research. Documentation about University of Virginia associate sociology professor W. Bradford Wilcox’s dual roles contradict Regnerus’ assertions that the think tank wasn’t involved with how the study was designed or carried out.

To put a long story short, before this study was even put to paper, those funding it had already decided what it would “prove” and how they would “use” it. Many of us lgbtq bloggers and activists (i.e. myself, Scott Rose, Jeremy Hooper, Wayne Besen, Rob Tisinai, and a vast number of others) knew something was phony about the Regnerus study at the time in which it was publicized. And now the Huffington Post and the American Independent confirms it:

 . . .when Regnerus first published his New Family Structures Study in the July 2012 issue of Social Science Research, he made a point of saying that his conservative funders had not played a role in designing the research or analyzing the data.

“The NFSS was supported in part by grants from the Witherspoon Institute and the Bradley Foundation,” he wrote. “While both of these are commonly known for their support of conservative causes — just as other private foundations are known for supporting more liberal causes — the funding sources played no role at all in the design or conduct of the study, the analyses, the interpretations of the data, or in the preparation of this manuscript.”

He reiterated this statement in his follow-up analysis of the study, again writing that “[n]o funding agency representatives were consulted about research design, survey contents, analysis, or conclusions.”

Regnerus’ assertions come into question in light of revelations last year that Wilcox had been hired on contract by UT to assist Regnerus with the data analysis of the study. During part of that time, Wilcox was also the director of Witherspoon’s Program on Family, Marriage, and Democracy, out of which the study was conceptualized and Regnerus was recruited. Wilcox had been a fellow with Witherspoon from 2004 to 2011, and he has said that he worked as a paid consultant on the study from October 2010 to April 2012.

The excerpts above only scratch the surfaces. Go to this link, read the article, and prepare to be PISSED!

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New Family Structures Study Intended To Sway Supreme Court On Gay Marriage, Documents Show

This is exactly the conclusion reached by Scott Rose and Alvin McEwen months ago.  I’ve been running their article since last summer because I realized how important it is to expose this sham pseudo-scientific study.

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/10/supreme-court-gay-marriage_n_2850302.html

By Sofia Resnick| The American Independent
03/10/2013

Goal of conservative-backed parenting study was to influence SCOTUS decisions on gay marriage, docs show

WASHINGTON — The conservative funders who bankrolled a flawed and widely cited academic study that’s critical of gay marriage choreographed its release in time to influence “major decisions of the Supreme Court,” documents show.

The documents, recently obtained through public-records requests by The American Independent and published in collaboration with The Huffington Post, show that the Witherspoon Institute recruited a professor from a major university to carry out a study that was designed to manipulate public policy. In communicating with donors about the research project, Witherspoon’s president clearly expected results unfavorable to the gay-marriage movement.

The think tank’s efforts paid off. The New Family Structures Study came out just in time for opponents of gay marriage to cite it in multiple federal cases involving marriage equality – including two cases soon to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

James Wright, editor of Social Science Research, which published the study’s findings last summer, said he was not aware of the funders’ intentions to use his academic journal to sway the Supreme Court.

 “So far as the Supreme Court is concerned, I consider marriage and adoption rights for GLBT people to be a matter of civil rights, i.e., a legal question, not something to be ‘resolved’ by empirical research, and I resent having social science data and research drawn into such debates,” Wright, a University of Central Florida sociology professor, said in an email.

In a study slammed for its methodology, funding, and academic integrity, University of Texas associate sociology professor Mark Regnerus found that children who grew up in households where one parent had a same-sex relationship (regardless of whether the children lived with that parent or that parent’s supposed same-sex partner) were more likely to experience negative social, psychological, and economic outcomes than children raised by a married heterosexual couple.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/10/supreme-court-gay-marriage_n_2850302.html

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The Good, Racist People

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/07/opinion/coates-the-good-racist-people.html

By TA-NEHISI COATES
Published: March 6, 2013

Last month the actor Forest Whitaker was stopped in a Manhattan delicatessen by an employee. Whitaker is one of the pre-eminent actors of his generation, with a diverse and celebrated catalog ranging from “The Great Debaters” to “The Crying Game” to “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.” By now it is likely that he has adjusted to random strangers who can’t get his turn as Idi Amin out of their heads. But the man who approached the Oscar winner at the deli last month was in no mood for autographs. The employee stopped Whitaker, accused him of shoplifting and then promptly frisked him. The act of self-deputization was futile. Whitaker had stolen nothing. On the contrary, he’d been robbed.

The deli where Whitaker was harassed happens to be in my neighborhood. Columbia University is up the street. Broadway, the main drag, is dotted with nice restaurants and classy bars that cater to beautiful people. I like my neighborhood. And I’ve patronized the deli with some regularity, often several times in a single day. I’ve sent my son in my stead. My wife would often trade small talk with whoever was working checkout. Last year when my beautiful niece visited, she loved the deli so much that I felt myself a sideshow. But it’s understandable. It’s a good deli.

Since the Whitaker affair, I’ve read and listened to interviews with the owner of the establishment. He is apologetic to a fault and is sincerely mortified. He says that it was a “sincere mistake” made by a “decent man” who was “just doing his job.” I believe him. And yet for weeks now I have walked up Broadway, glancing through its windows with a mood somewhere between Marvin Gaye’s “Distant Lover” and Al Green’s “For the Good Times.”

In modern America we believe racism to be the property of the uniquely villainous and morally deformed, the ideology of trolls, gorgons and orcs. We believe this even when we are actually being racist. In 1957, neighbors in Levittown, Pa., uniting under the flag of segregation, wrote: “As moral, religious and law-abiding citizens, we feel that we are unprejudiced and undiscriminating in our wish to keep our community a closed community.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/07/opinion/coates-the-good-racist-people.html

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Noam Chomsky “Public Education and The Common Good”

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Krugman to Ron Johnson: ‘Your facts are false’ and ‘non-facts’

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/10/krugman-to-ron-johnson-your-facts-are-false-and-non-facts/

By David Edwards
Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman on Sunday accused tea party-backed Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) of using “non-facts” to argue that earned benefits programs like Social Security and Medicare needed to be cut in order to be saved.

“Unless we do something, these programs are going broke,” Johnson opined during a panel on ABC News. “When I hear people saying Social Security is solvent to the year 2035, it’s not.”

“In a [sic] entitlement reform package, actually bringing in revenue for those entitlement reforms, I might look at that,” he added. “But the fact of the matter is that we’re already having a trillion dollars in tax increases hitting us in Obamacare. They’re hidden, but it’s middle class… As well as the $600 billion [in a January deal to increase taxes on wealthy Americans]. That’s $1.6 trillion in tax increases hitting us in the next 10 years.”

“We’ve just run aground right there,” Krugman noted. “You’re facts are false. The Social Security thing — Social Security, it has a dedicated revenue base, it has a trust fund based on that dedicated revenue base. You can’t change the rules midstream and say, ‘Oh well, suddenly the trust fund doesn’t count.’”

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/10/krugman-to-ron-johnson-your-facts-are-false-and-non-facts/

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Lockheed Martin’s Herculean Efforts to Profit From Defense Spending

From Tom Dispatch:  http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175659/tomgram%3A_jeremiah_goulka%2C_c-130_math_and_a_cargo_of_pork/

The Epic Story of the C-130

by Jeremiah Goulka
March 10, 2013

When I was a kid obsessed with military aircraft, I loved Chicago’s O’Hare airport.  If I was lucky and scored a window seat, I might get to see a line of C-130 Hercules transport planes parked on the tarmac in front of the 928th Airlift Wing’s hangars.  For a precious moment on takeoff or landing, I would have a chance to stare at those giant gray beasts with their snub noses and huge propellers until they passed from sight.

What I didn’t know then was why the Air Force Reserve, as well as the Air National Guard, had squadrons of these big planes eternally parked at O’Hare and many other airports and air stations around the country.  It’s a tale made to order for this time of sequestration that makes a mockery of all the hyperbole about how any spending cuts will “hollow out” our forces and “devastate” our national security.

Consider this a parable to help us see past the alarmist talking points issued by defense contractor lobbyists, the public relations teams they hire, and the think tanks they fund.  It may help us see just how effective defense contractors are in growing their businesses, whatever the mood of the moment.

Meet the Herk

The C-130 Hercules is a mid-sized transport airplane designed to airlift people or cargo around a theater of operations.  It dates back to the Korean War, when the Air Force decided that it needed a next generation (“NextGen”) transport plane.  In 1951, it asked for designs, and Lockheed won the competition. The first C-130s were delivered three years after the war ended.

The C-130 Hercules, or Herk for short, isn’t a sexy plane.  It hasn’t inspired hit Hollywood films, though it has prompted a few photo books, a beer, and a “Robby the C-130” trilogy for children whose military parents are deployed. It has a fat sausage fuselage, that snub nose, overhead wings with two propellers each, and a big back gate that comes down to load and unload up to 21 tons of cargo.

Continue reading at:  http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175659/tomgram%3A_jeremiah_goulka%2C_c-130_math_and_a_cargo_of_pork/

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We’re Hooked on ‘Growth,’ But It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way

From Color Lines:  http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/03/new_economies_beyond_growth.html

by Imara Jones
Friday, March 8 2013

As the New York Stock Exchange reached an all-time high this week, you’d think that the good times were back. But that would be incorrect. What happens on Wall Street has very little to do with what’s going on in the real economy. Corporate profits have never been higher, but—excluding the highest earners—real wages are at a 40 year low. With this fundamental disconnect—and political gridlock in Washington—it’s unlikely that our economy will return to health anytime soon.

The good news is that in thousands of communities across America, people are working together to bring about what may be the beginning of a new national economic contract. Where Washington and Wall Street are falling down citizens are banding together, not just to ameliorate the suffering caused by national stagnation, but to launch innovative economic initiatives that might create a brighter, fairer future for everyone.

These localized efforts, which fall broadly under the banner of “post-growth economics,” are beginning to stitch themselves together into a national force that holds the promise of stronger neighborhoods and greater individual well being. As Dr. Margaret Flowers, co-founder of Its Our Economy and co-author of the report “An Economy for the People and the Planet” said to me recently, the point of the post-growth movement is to create “an alternate economy that’s designed to meet human needs.”

With its focus on human beings and the preservation of the natural habitat that sustains us, this growing movement is actually the fusion of two areas of alternative economic thought, one environmental and the other social. For decades both have recognized that our current economic structure is unsustainable and leaves too many people behind. Modern capitalism has core deficiencies that harm the planet and contribute to human suffering. Rather than relying on the national political class to soften the blow, the post-growth movement seeks to remake capitalism from the bottom up.

Instead of subsidizing global corporations focused on scattering short-term profits amongst distant shareholders, post growth initiatives foster local economies that are cooperative and based on trust.

Think it’s too good to be true? Gladly, it’s not. Here are three ways in which these alternative economic values are playing themselves out and providing hope.

Continue reading at:  http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/03/new_economies_beyond_growth.html

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Facing the Threat of the Trans-Pacific Treaty

From The Institute for Policy Studies:  http://www.ips-dc.org/articles/facing_the_threat_of_the_trans-pacific_treaty

Damage from 20 years of NAFTA shows us why latest trade deal must be stopped. Free trade creates rich people, poor communities.

By Kristen Beifus, Raul Burbano, Manuel Perez-Rocha
March 8, 2013

A 16th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations is underway in Singapore this week. Canada and Mexico join the nine other TPP countries for the second time since the U.S. government invited its NAFTA partners to join late last year.

The TPP is a super-sized trade deal-expanding on so called “next generation” trade and investment deals that NAFTA countries have pursued in the wake of the stalemate at the World Trade Organization. This pluri-lateral agreement poses serious new threats to North American communities — threats that a tri-national movement of trade justice activists is preparing to fight in the lead-up to a possible July TPP negotiating round in Canada.

Since NAFTA was signed almost 20 years ago, all three North American countries have seen good jobs vanish, worsening income inequality, public services weakened through underfunding or offloaded to the private sector, increased food insecurity (in particular in Mexico), and ecosystems on the point of breaking. NAFTA promised a flourishing North American economy that would benefit all. In Jan. 2014, NAFTA has been in place for 20 years and the promised trickle down benefits have not been realized by communities.

Three nations, no winners

In the past 10 years, Canada has lost 500,000 manufacturing jobs. A new United Way Toronto report found that in and around Toronto, Canada’s largest city, 20 per cent of people are now employed in precarious, unstable or part-time jobs. This type of employment has increased by 50 per cent in the past 20 years since NAFTA was signed. In this same period, not a single notable social program has been introduced or expanded. Free trade has permanently eroded our sense of what people can do together for the common good.

Canada is also facing over $2.5-billion worth of legal suites by corporations that are permitted to sue countries under NAFTA for potential profits if blocked by health and safety or environmental laws from conducting business as usual. Current suits include a U.S. corporation challenging a moratorium on natural gas fracking in Quebec, a court decision to annul a patent by Eli Lilly, a decision against opening a new gravel quarry in Ontario because of the likely effect on water and farmland, and many others “coming down the pipeline.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.ips-dc.org/articles/facing_the_threat_of_the_trans-pacific_treaty

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How Washington Could Make College Tuition Free (Without Spending a Penny More on Education)

From The Atlantic:  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/03/how-washington-could-make-college-tuition-free-without-spending-a-penny-more-on-education/273801/

The federal government already spends enough on student aid to cover tuition for every public college student in America. Maybe it’s time to try.

Jordan Weissmann
Mar 8 2013

It’s been a glum few weeks in the world of higher education. We officially learned that states kept slashing their funding for colleges and universities in 2012, and tuition in turn kept on rising. Student loan debt expanded over the year, and more borrowers are falling behind on their debt.

In other words, same as it ever was (same as it ever was). The price of a degree has been going up faster than family incomes for decades now, and nobody has a clear fix yet. So rather than bemoan college costs like most days, I thought we could have some fun mulling over a radical solution: What if Washington just went ahead and made tuition at state schools free (or close to it)?

It might be more doable than you think.

We Already Spend the Money

Here’s a little known fact: With what the federal government spent on its various and sundry student aid initiatives last year, it could have covered the tuition bill of every student at every public college in the country. Doing so might have required cutting off financial aid at Yale, Amherst, the University of Phoenix, and every other private university. But at this point, that might be a trade worth considering.

Let’s start with a quick survey of the numbers. Between graduate students and undergrads at both four-year and community colleges, students paid just under $60 billion in tuition to attend state institutions of higher learning in fiscal year 2012. That’s the giant magenta slice of the graph below, released this week by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. And just in case that figure sounds suspiciously low to you, the Department of Education reports that in the 2009-2010 school year, public colleges made about $57 billion off tuition (page 268, for those interested).

Continue reading at: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/03/how-washington-could-make-college-tuition-free-without-spending-a-penny-more-on-education/273801/

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The Myth of Americans Living Beyond Their Means with Robert Reich

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