‘In its March 1967 issue, Ramparts, a glossy West Coast muckraking periodical that expired in 1975, and that strongly opposed American involvement in the war in Vietnam, published an exposé of the close relationship between the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Student Association. This other NSA—not to be confused with the National Security Agency—was then the leading American organization representing college students, with branches on about 400 campuses. Its ties with the CIA were formed in the early years of both institutions following World War II, as the Cold War was getting under way.
According to Ramparts, the CIA had been providing much of the funding for the NSA through various “conduits.” NSA officers, many of them wittingly, had served the interests of the CIA by participating actively in international youth and student movements. The NSA’s activities were financed by the Agency both to counter communist influence and also to provide information on people from other countries with whom they came in contact. The disclosures about the CIA’s ties to the NSA were the most sensational of a number of revelations in that era that exposed the Agency’s involvement in such institutions as the Congress for Cultural Freedom; the International Commission of Jurists; the AFL-CIO; Radio Free Europe; and various leading philanthropic foundations. Karen Paget’s new book, Patriotic Betrayal, is the most detailed account yet of the CIA’s use of the National Student Association as a vehicle for intelligence gathering and covert action.’
‘A million-dollar full-ride scholarship endowment to an Ivy League school is a good deed. But it doesn’t just earn you karma—it nets you fawning emails from the school’s development officials, customized campus tours for your kids, and private meetings with the school’s president, leaked Sony emails show.
The dump of tens of thousands of emails from Sony Pictures’ upper ranks, now conveniently indexed on WikiLeaks, lays bare the inner workings of one of the world’s most powerful corporate properties. But it also shows how the rich, powerful, and connected navigate the world: with rolodexes and billfolds of equal thickness.
Newly surfaced emails from Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton provide a schematic for how millions of dollars in Adam Sandler grosses can yield immensely preferential treatment for your children, not only providing access to a college admissions process that’s out of reach for virtually all other Americans, but giving them better opportunities both in college and in internships and job opportunities afterward.’
‘[…] “Patriotic Betrayal” is an amazing piece of research. Karen Paget has industriously combed the archives and interviewed many of the surviving players, including former C.I.A. officials. And Paget herself is part of the story she tells. In 1965, her husband, a student-body president at the University of Colorado, became an officer in the N.S.A. [National Student Association], and, as a spouse, she was informed of the covert relationship by two former N.S.A. officials who had become C.I.A. agents.
She was sworn to secrecy. The penalty for violating the agreement was twenty years. Paget describes herself back then as “an apolitical twenty-year-old from a small town in Iowa,” and she says that she was terrified. Fifty years later, she is still angry. She has channelled her outrage into as scrupulous an investigation of the covert relationship as the circumstances allow.
One circumstance is the fact that a good deal of material is classified. Paget was able to fish up bits and pieces using the Freedom of Information Act. But most of the iceberg is still underwater, and will probably remain there. So there is sometimes an aura of vagueness around who was calling the tune and why.
The vagueness was also there by design. It was baked into the covert relationship. There was a lot of winking and nodding; that’s what helped people believe they were on the same page. But it means that much of the history of what passed between the C.I.A. and the N.S.A. is irrecoverable. Still, “Patriotic Betrayal” is a conscientious attempt to take the full measure of an iconic piece of Cold War subterfuge.’
- Freedom of speech, not of abuse
- Free Speech Rankings find restrictions at 80% of universities
- The lines on free speech are becoming blurred
- We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals
- Identity politics has created an army of vicious, narcissistic cowards
- Safe space or free speech? The crisis around debate at UK universities
- Universities told counter-terror bill will not endanger freedom of expression
- Former MI5 chief says new terror measures jeopardise free speech
- Muslim Students Campaign To Stop Theresa May’s Counter Terrorism Bill
- University leaders call for exemption from anti-terror laws
- Comic’s free speech gig cancelled ‘because she’s the wrong type of feminist’
‘Are you, your family or your community at risk of turning to violent extremism? That’s the premise behind a rating system devised by the National Counterterrorism Center, according to a document marked For Official Use Only and obtained by The Intercept.
The document–and the rating system–is part of a wider strategy for Countering Violent Extremism, which calls for local community and religious leaders to work together with law enforcement and other government agencies. The White House has made this approach a centerpiece of its response to terrorist attacks around the world and in the wake of the Paris attacks, announced plans to host an international summit on Countering Violent Extremism on February 18th.’
- Countering Violent Extremism: A Guide for Practitioners and Analysts
- Homeland Security: Countering Violent Extremism and the Power of Community
- Spies Among Us: How Community Outreach Programs to Muslims Blur Lines between Outreach and Intelligence
- Chart: Are you a jihadist? The French government made this checklist
- Britain May Spy on Preschoolers Searching for Potential Jihadis
- France’s anti-jihadi efforts net an 8-year-old schoolboy
- Terrorist or … Teenager?
‘Abby Martin interviews Margaret Heffernan, author of ‘Willful Blindness’ and ‘A Bigger Prize’, about the destructive impact of competition and alternative models of incentivizing people to work together for the greater good.’ (Breaking the Set)
- Margaret Heffernan at TED: The dangers of “willful blindness”
- Margaret Heffernan at TED: Dare to disagree
- The Psychology of Our Willful Blindness and Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril
- Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious (Book)
- A Bigger Prize: How We Can Do Better than the Competition (Book)
‘For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data, a statistic that has profound implications for the nation.
The Southern Education Foundation reports that 51 percent of students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in the 2012-2013 school year were eligible for the federal program that provides free and reduced-price lunches. The lunch program is a rough proxy for poverty, but the explosion in the number of needy children in the nation’s public classrooms is a recent phenomenon that has been gaining attention among educators, public officials and researchers.’
‘Nursery school staff and registered childminders must report toddlers at risk of becoming terrorists, under counter-terrorism measures proposed by the Government.
The directive is contained in a 39-page consultation document issued by the Home Office in a bid to bolster its Prevent anti-terrorism plan.
Critics said the idea was “unworkable” and “heavy-handed”, and accused the Government of treating teachers and carers as “spies”.
The document accompanies the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, currently before parliament. It identifies nurseries and early years childcare providers, along with schools and universities, as having a duty “to prevent people being drawn into terrorism”.’
- Nursery staff to be forced to report toddlers at risk of becoming terrorists
- According to the Government, my toddler could be a terrorist…
- U.K. Could Require Teachers to Report Would-Be Terrorists
- Challenging The Counter-Terrorism And Security Bill
- Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill
- My NHS Counter-terrorism Training Session
‘Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for greater “ideological guidance” in China’s universities and urged the study of Marxism, state media reported on Monday, as the country tightens control on Western ideology.
Xi’s comments are the latest sign of his politically conservative agenda and come amid a ratcheting up of controls over the media, dissidents and the internet.
China’s Communist Party has signaled that it will not embark on political reform, despite hopes that Xi, the son of a former liberal-minded vice premier, may loosen up.’
‘Waterboarding: Yes or no? It’s OK to selectively violate the Geneva Convention, right? Spying on Americans is illegal, but aren’t rules made to be broken?
The world is a confusing place and it’s hard for young people to answer complicated questions like these on their own. Fortunately, students at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, have Professor Robert Deitz to help them navigate the contemporary moral morass. “All of us are familiar with basic ethical notions,” he writes in the syllabus for his Spring 2015 course, Ethical Challenges in Public Policy. “We learn from childhood the idea that some conduct is right and other conduct is not right.”
How’d Deitz get so smart about ethics? He’s magna cum laude from Harvard (like President Obama) and then spent eights years as General Counsel at the National Security Agency, serving as the official Yes Man for General Michael Hayden, and after that three years as his Senior Councillor at the Central Intelligence Agency until 2009. At the former post Deitz rubber-stamped NSA surveillance. At the latter, he sought to derail an independent investigation by then-CIA Inspector General John Helgerson into the agency’s torture and rendition of terrorism suspects.’
- Why We Must Fight for Free Information: Aaron Swartz’s Legacy
- Aaron Swartz’s ‘Guerilla Open Access Manifesto’ Is More Important Than Ever
- The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Aaron Swartz
- How the Legal System Failed Aaron Swartz—And Us
- Guerilla Open Access Manifesto
- The Cost of Knowledge
- Aaron Swartz
- The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (Documentary)
- Aaron Swartz’s ‘Guerilla Open Access Manifesto’ Is More Important Than Ever
- The Brilliant Life and Tragic Death of Aaron Swartz
- How the Legal System Failed Aaron Swartz—And Us
- Guerilla Open Access Manifesto
- The Cost of Knowledge
- Aaron Swartz
‘[…] Over the past 20 years, prompted by changing police tactics and a zero-tolerance attitude toward small crimes, authorities have made more than a quarter of a billion arrests, the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates. Nearly one out of every three American adults are on file in the FBI’s master criminal database.
This arrest wave, in many ways, starts at school. Concern by parents and school officials over drug use and a spate of shootings prompted a rapid buildup of police officers on campus and led to school administrators referring minor infractions to local authorities. That has turned traditional school discipline, memorialized in Hollywood coming-of-age movies such as “The Breakfast Club,” into something that looks more like the adult criminal-justice system.’
‘The Ministry of Justice has come up with the idea of building a super-prison for children as young as 12, at the core of which will be a regime of punishment and physical restraint. The jail will house around 300 boys and a handful of girls, and includes a planned unit for babies in case the girls get pregnant.
No one, but no one, supports this bizarre proposal, except for the companies that would profit from building the £85m complex. The government has refused to publish the rules or any details about what it is euphemistically calling a “secure college”. Next week the House of Lords will scrutinise the legislation and consider an amendment suggesting the whole idea be put on hold until more details are published.’
- Change law that puts children in jail for minor offences, says report
- Grayling gives green light for staff to use force against inmates in new jail
- Youth Offender ‘Super Prisons’ Plan Condemned
- Young offenders’ institution declared unsafe by chief inspector of prisons
- Plan for Europe’s biggest children’s prison ‘would put young offenders at increased risk of harm or death’
- Inquest into death of Adam Rickwood leaves more questions than answers
- Laura Smith on the death in custody of Gareth Myatt
‘Kids across America no longer have to wait until college to plan on being a part of the National Security Agency. In fact, they could start preparing for their NSA careers as early as age 13.
The NSA has begun sponsoring cybersecurity camps for middle and high school students, agency recruiter Steven LaFountain told CNBC’s Eamon Javers in a recent interview. Six prototype camps launched this past summer, and the NSA hopes to eventually have a presence in schools in all 50 states.’
‘One in ten current world leaders have studied in the UK, according to research by the British Council.
The analysis found that of heads of state who have studied at universities abroad, the proportion of UK alumni rises even higher to 31% – a close second to those who’ve studied in the USA (34%). But when measured as a proportion of total students in each country, analysis suggests that the UK is ten times more likely to produce a world leader than the USA – UK universities produces one world leader per 50,000 graduates, whereas the US produces one per 500,000.’
Alabama high schools secretly monitoring students’ social media accounts ‘after tip-off from the NSA?
‘A secret surveillance program has been running in an Alabama high schools after a phone call from the National Security Agency alerted the district to a ‘violent threat’. School officials claim the system began monitoring students’ social media accounts in Huntsville City Schools 18 months ago, when the NSA tipped them off that a student was making violent threats on Facebook
The schools began scanning Facebook and other sites for signs of gang activity, watching for photos of guns, photos of gang signs and threats of violence, as part of a program called SAFe, or Students Against Fear. Internal documents explaining the program were obtained by AL.com, showing four different students – three males and one female – posing on Facebook with handguns.’
‘When Turkish pupils received their school entry exam results after the end of last term, textile worker and father Halil Ibrahim Beyhan received an unpleasant surprise His daughter had been assigned to a religious high school, like thousands of other students under a new system that caught many parents off guard.
Parents, educators and civil society groups have decried the move as another attack on Turkey’s secular principles by the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) co-founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accusing the government of imposing religion on students.’
‘A scandal-hit university which has already seen its vice chancellor suspended and its chairman of governors stand aside as part of a bitter boardroom feud, has spent £150,000 on seven designer chairs. Plymouth University has commissioned the award-winning furniture designer John Makepeace to make seven handcrafted chairs to be used at graduation ceremonies.
The news follows revelations earlier this month that the university had spent more than £24,000 on sending six members of staff to a conference in Miami earlier this year. This was despite threatened job losses which have prompted a series of protests by lecturers at the Plymouth University campus this summer.’
- Occupy abolishes $4 million in other people’s student loan debt
- Student loan debt linked to less health and wealth later in life, poll finds
- Students Now Indentured to the Banksters
- 460,000 people with college degrees are working in minimum wage jobs
- Yes, We Should Tell Kids If College Will Make Them Poor
- $1 trillion student loan debt widens US wealth gap
- Debt Servitude and the Student Loan Bubble
- How to Save the Victims of the Student Loan Crisis
‘In 2007, when the Charles Koch Foundation considered giving millions of dollars to Florida State University’s economics department, the offer came with strings attached.
First, the curriculum it funded must align with the libertarian, deregulatory economic philosophy of Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist and Republican political bankroller.
Second, the Charles Koch Foundation would at least partially control which faculty members Florida State University hired.
And third, Bruce Benson, a prominent libertarian economic theorist and Florida State University economics department chairman, must stay on another three years as department chairman — even though he told his wife he’d step down in 2009 after one three-year term.’
U.S. Justice Department sides with 14-year-old girl raped while serving as ‘bait’ in middle school sting
‘The federal government today sided with the guardian of a teenage girl who was raped during a botched sting operation in the boy’s bathroom, arguing the Madison County School system was liable under federal law to investigate harassment and protect female students.
“A school board cannot avoid summary judgment as a matter of law when a school administrator willfully ignores a plan to use a 14-year-old special needs student as bait to catch a student with a known history of sexual and violent misconduct, and as a result, the student is sodomized,” reads the federal brief filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals late today.
The U.S. Department of Justice argues administrators at Sparkman Middle School near Huntsville knew the boy was dangerous and showed “deliberate indifference.”‘
- Student suspended for saying ‘bless you’ after classmate sneezed
- Breaking Bread: Student Punished for Sharing Lunch
- Panic Over Military Jacket Sends School Into Lockdown
- Middle School Students Who Complained Over Dress Code Suspended for “Terroristic Threat”
- School Calls Cops On Runaway Special Needs Kid
- 9 Year Old Girl Suspended From School for Act of Kindness
- 2-Year Old Girl Suspended From Ottawa Daycare For Bringing “Cheese Sandwich”
- Chicago School Officials Suspend 11-Year-Old Boy Under ‘Dangerous Weapons’ Policy for Voluntarily Turning in Non-Firing Toy Gun
‘Teachers in Jerusalem say they are concerned about facing more racism than ever before in the capital’s schools, especially following Operation Protective Edge. As the school year opens, the Education Ministry has published lesson plans on racism to be taught during the first two weeks, but many teachers say that is not enough.’
- Activists wage vigilante efforts against racism in Jerusalem
- Signs of fascism in Israel reached new peak during Gaza op, says renowned scholar
- Jews and Arabs in Israel more estranged after war
- Israeli Teens Gripped by Virulent Racism
- Israel ‘coercing Eritreans and Sudanese to leave’
- Education Ministry plans teaching children to be ‘Jewish fighters’
- Likud MK caught on tape calling Jerusalem police chief ‘a coward’ for handling of Arab riots
- Bill seeks to give Israeli Arabs official national minority status
- ‘Arabic out': Right-wing MKs aim to make Hebrew Israel’s only official language
- Joan Rivers: ‘Low IQ’ Palestinians ‘Deserve to Be Dead’
- Israel’s New Generation of Racists
‘Two decades after Bosnia’s brutal civil war ended, reconciliation is still a dream, one the education system is pushing further away from reality. Bosnia Serbs, Bosniak Muslims and Croats typically study in schools with curricula tailored to their ethnic biases. World War II is hardly the only period that receives wildly different treatments depending on the school.
The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission said its study of the social background of those “running Britain” was the most detailed of its kind ever undertaken and showed that elitism was so embedded in Britain “that it could be called ‘social engineering'”.
[…] The commission’s 76-page report mostly focuses on analysis, but it does include recommendations, saying government, schools, universities, employers and even parents all need to play their part in promoting social diversity.
Looking at the background of more than 4,000 people filling jobs at the top of government, the civil service, the judiciary, the media, business and the creative industries, the commission investigated where they went to school, on the grounds that going to a private school is reasonably indicative of a wealthy background.’
‘People often ask me, “How does lobbying work?” Last week it was with fat and sugar, when the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) hosted its 32nd annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party. Some 6,000 bowls of ice cream were served up to Sen.Tom Harkin, Reps. Pete Sessions, Robert Aderholt, Jeff Denham, John Shimkus, Ron Kind and Lamar Smith, among others, according to Politico.
Dairy lobbyists are ever present in Washington, and their efforts usually pay off. For example, last year when the IDFA implored the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to give dairy foods a pass in the new snack food guidelines for schools, the agency capitulated, opening school doors to even more junk food, such as YoCrunch Lowfat Yogurt with M&Ms.
This is just one of many examples I uncovered in a report I published last month, “Whitewashed: How Industry and Government Promote Dairy Junk Foods” (PDF). The dairy industry, propped up by government, has convinced us of the health benefits of milk and other dairy products. The assumption that eating dairy is essential to the diet has obstructed our ability to criticize federal government support for unhealthy dairy products, of which there are many.
One of the most important forms of government support is the federally mandated collection of industry fees for checkoff programs that promote milk and dairy.’
- How the US Government Helps McDonald’s Sell Junk Food
- ‘Dairy junk foods’ under fire in report highlighting dramatic shift in dairy consumption patterns
- Whitewashed: How Industry and Government Promote Dairy Junk Foods
- How Smart are School Snacks? A Closer Look at New USDA Rules
- Sorry, McWilliams, the New York Times got the USDA cheese story right
- The Times exposes the craziness of the junk-food industry/USDA alliance
- Dairy Manufacturers Commend USDA for Recognizing Importance of Dairy Products as Snacks in Schools
- Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association
‘Teenagers from wealthy backgrounds are still around 10 times more likely to get into top universities than those from poorer homes. Efforts to revive social mobility in Britain by widening access to the best universities have stalled, research indicates.
The report from an independent commission set up to examine the impact of higher university fees also reveals that the gender gap in university admissions is growing with you men from disadvantaged backgrounds the least likely to obtain a university place.
Will Hutton, who chairs the Independent Commission on Fees, said the findings showed “serious gaps in access to university remain. Young men from disadvantaged backgrounds are particularly badly affected and remain under-represented in applications to all universities.”’
- A-level grades edge down, as university places rise
- Is the British education system designed to polarise people?
- British university system faces collapse
- Student loans overhaul discussed by ministers
- Student loan sale U-turn ‘likely to cost £12bn’
- Student loans system ‘at tipping point’, say MPs
- The nightmare of Masters funding
- Secret Teacher: I was told to ignore a child’s autism to keep fees coming in
- ‘Students need a reality check – university is not school’
- Education’s culture of overwork is turning children and teachers into ghosts
- Schools could open from 9am to 6pm for 45 weeks a year
- Two-year-olds should start school, says Ofsted chief
- 2000 Study: Children taught at home learn more
‘Intelligence agency GCHQ has partnered with six universities in the UK to offer specialized degrees in internet security. The BBC reports that the accredited master’s degrees are part of the UK’s 2011 cyber security strategy, with the aim being “to expand the pool of experts with in-depth knowledge of cyber” in the country.
The degrees will target the so-called ‘Xbox generation’ said one official, who have social media and gaming skills but no formal computer education. Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said that the program was a “crucial part” of the government’s long-term plans for the British economy and would help make the “UK one of the safest places in the world to do business online”.’