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Even The Economist has doubts about California’s privatization of public higher education

“In 1990 the state paid 78% of the cost of educating each student. That ratio dropped to 47% last year, and will fall even more during the current academic year, after the latest round of budget cuts, overseen by Jerry Brown, the current governor and son of Pat Brown. In some ways, California has now inverted the priorities of the older Brown’s era. Spending on prisons passed spending on universities in around 2004.”

Aaron Kreider of Campus Activism offers some thoughts on Occupy Wall Street:

“Unlike Tahrir Square, there is no Muslim Brotherhood or April 6th Youth Movement (not to mention the many other Egyptian civic organizations) behind these protests. Instead we have Anonymous – a loose movement of liberal minded vigilante hackers and hacker wannabes. I’d trust their ideas on civil liberties, but not on democracy or anything else. They are more like nonviolent terrorists than grassroots democrats. And they might be less democratic than some violent terrorist (aka liberation) groups. Adbusters is far more legitimate but more of an arts project than a traditional social movement organization.”

British breakfast cereal Weetabix is paying kids to run and play wearing their logos:

“One day a brand ambassador will shoot up a school, and the potato snack company that paid him to endorse its products online will rush out a press release explaining that his actions don’t embody their values, which traditionally involve less screaming and death. And we’ll all be sadder and wiser. And we’ll buy something different. For about three weeks.”

Police in Santa Cruz, California, are using algorithms to predict when and where criminals will strike again:

“A crime is broken down to the two most likely chunks of time it is likely to occur in a certain area. Police are sent out every day with a map of the ten “hot spots” they should watch. The program does not give police probable cause to arrest anyone, but it does give them a good reason to ask questions when they see someone in the right area at the right time looking suspicious.”

Esquire nails the problem with Jon Stewart, and leaves America’s Sweetheart pinned to the wall, wiggling his limbs and squirming: 

“Kids who couldn’t sleep at night worrying that their president was a bad guy and that their country was doing bad things could now rest easy knowing that their president was just a dick, and that their country, while stupid, was still essentially innocent. It was like you could get upset about what was going on but still live your life, because there was Jon Stewart right before bedtime, showing you how to get upset entertainingly, how to give a shit without having to do anything about it.”

Ralph Nader, Cornel West, and Gore Vidal team up to primary Obama with Superfriends list of six challengers:

“A slate of six candidates announces its decision to run in the Democratic primaries. Each of the candidates is recognizable, articulate, and a person of acknowledged achievement. These contenders would each represent a field in which Obama has never clearly staked a progressive claim or where he has drifted toward the corporatist right. These fields would include: labor, poverty, military and foreign policy, health insurance and care, the environment, financial regulation, civil and political rights/empowerment, and consumer protection.”

 

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StudentActivism.net is the work of Angus Johnston, a historian and advocate of American student organizing.

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