AWARE ON THE AIR week 22, 2015

 

COMMENCEMENT DAY AT THE ETHICALLY-CHALLENGED UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

May 16, 2015

A financial writer, Bill Bonner, addresses graduates:

“If you’ve studied the sciences or engineering – especially petroleum engineering, according to a study done by Georgetown University – maybe you’ll be able to earn enough money to pay your student debt. But most of you have wasted your money, with degrees in subjects that won’t help you understand the real world we live in or earn an extra dime in it. Many of you have actually spent the best years of your lives, and borrowed a fortune, to learn things that aren’t true. History, economics, government, politics – for every useful and truthful insight you may have learned, there are probably 100 more that were buried under claptrap.”

The university as we know it predates capitalism. It was invented a thousand years ago in Europe as a means of intellectual control – a system for licensing scholars by the church and the state. In that millennium, many of the greatest European spirits – from Erasmus to Marx – were driven out of the university. Erasmus, in one of his brief stops at a university – Cambridge, in England – writes, “There is a great absence here, everyone being away for fear of the plague. Of course, when everyone is here, there’s a great absence here as well.”

For largely accidental reasons, I’ve been privileged to attend and teach in some of the most prestigious eductional institutions in the US for more than half a century. What have I learnt? The truth of American philosopher John Dewey’s observation from a century ago, which my TV colleague Ron Szoke often quotes:

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

If I could advise my youthful self at my college commencement, I would begin with, “Stop thinking about tomorrow. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof” – an editorial comment on the Sermon on the Mount from the gospel according to Matthew. (“The same words, in Hebrew, are used to express the same thought in the Rabbinic Jewish saying dyya l’tzara b’shaata (דיה לצרה בשעתה), ‘the suffering of the present hour is enough for it.’ It is also similar to the Epicurean advice of writers such as Anacreon and Horace — quid sit futurum cras, fuge quaerere [avoid asking what the future will bring].”)

I wish I could have taken seriously the revolutionary advice Matthew is commenting on:

‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’

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US policy in the Mideast

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n10/seymour-m-hersh/the-killing-of-osama-bin-laden

After several thousand words detailing Obama’s duplicity and war criminality (and incidentally exposing Obama’s lie that torture ceased in his administration), Hersh astonishingly writes, “His principled stand on behalf of the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran says much…”

It certainly does: it says it’s not “principled” at all but just an attempt to restore the pre-1979 US control of Gulf oil flows, which rested upon a tripod of Saudi Arabia-Israel-Iran – united as US clients.

Since WWII the US has demanded control of (not just access to) Mideast energy resources – which “gives it indirect but politically critical leverage on the European and Asian economies that are also dependent on energy exports from the region” (Brzezinski). That’s what the re-incorporation of Iran (with SA & Israel however grudgingly on board) promises.

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Obama’s lies about the assassination of Osama bin Laden

Seymour Hersh: Obama’s Entire Account Of bin Laden’s Death Is One Big Lie; This Is What Really Happened

The last time famed US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh made news in the global media was with his massive, 5000-word expose from December of 2013 “Whose sarin?” revealing the true motives behind the Syrian near-war of 2013 including what we had said from the very beginning: the very professionally created YouTube clips showing the consequences of what was said to have been an Assad poison gas attack, were nothing but a fake (subsequent reports identified the propaganda source as Rami Abdul Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, whose entire operation has been funded by an unidentified European country.)

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Catholic bishop: Pro-life groups ‘not really pro-life but merely anti-abortion’

By Eric W. Dolan

Many self-described “pro-life” groups are not really pro-life, one Catholic bishop wrote

The blog post by Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida mainly dealt with accusations raised by the Population Research Institute. The pro-life group has attacked Catholic charities operating in Africa for allegedly providing contraceptives and working alongside family planning groups.

But Lynch also complained about pro-life groups in general.

“I am convinced that many so called Pro-Life groups are not really pro-life but merely anti-abortion,” he wrote.

The bishop observed that pro-life groups were silent about the execution of a severely mentally ill man in Florida. John Ferguson, a 65-year-old paranoid schizophrenic, was executed by the state of Florida via lethal injection last Monday.

“Many priests grow weary of continual calls to action for legislative support for abortion and contraception related issues but nothing for immigration reform, food aid, and capital punishment,” Lynch added.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated that ending abortion and euthanasia are primary goals in building a “culture of life” in the country. However, the USCCB has also repeatedly included prohibitions on firearms, abolishment of the death penalty, and strengthening of welfare programs as part of the “culture of life.”

This article, Catholic bishop: Pro-life groups ‘not really pro-life but merely anti-abortion’, is syndicated from Raw Story and is posted here with permission.

OXFORD IN AMERICA: THE ‘AUTHORSHIP QUESTION’ AND CLASS IN THE UNITED STATES

Arguments about the authorship of the Shakespearean corpus have increased in frequency and ferocity in the last decade, particularly between “Oxfordians” (those who hold that Edward de Vere, the Earl of Oxford, was the true author of the poems and plays) and “Stratfordians” (those who hold with the man from Stratford). A rise in polemical temperature has resulted, it is argued, in part because new evidence has appeared, notably Roger Stritmatter’s analysis of Oxford’s Geneva Bible — and in part because considerable scholars are reconsidering old evidence, as in Diana Price’s marvelous Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography, which appeared last year. The questions are in fact interesting, not to be compared to the work of the perhaps apocryphal 19th century German philologist who spent his life proving that the Iliad was not composed by Homer, but by another blind Greek — of the same name…

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Empires decline – revisited from Pedro Miguel Cruz on Vimeo.

“Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune.” –Noam Chomsky