Open thread Sept. 12, 2014 Dan Crawford | September 12, 2014 2:34 pm Tags: open thread Comments (42) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
The Koch Brothers’ schools curriculum
Posted on Friday, September 12 at 9:33am | By Andrew S Ross
“This morning, CPI published a batch of internal documents outlining a deal with Florida State University’s economics department in 2007: In exchange for $7 million from the Charles Koch Foundation donation, the curriculum had to be aligned with Koch’s unfettered free market ideology.
“The foundation also insisted on control over some FSU faculty hires, and, for an extra $105,000 to keep the self-described “libertarian anarchist” chair of the department in place.”
I’m wondering if some kind of First Amendment prohibition is not being violated here — turning government schools into a propaganda machine for one political point of view — for money? Couldn’t do that for a religious view.
A grey area to delineate? Beverly? Let’s talk about this; maybe we can come up with an angle. A private entity taking over a government facility to favor its political point of view for what amounts to a bribe (bribe; maybe that’s an angle)?
Oh Dennis that’s so last century. The Roberts court has brought us into the new era: Money Is Speech.
Why would it be any less so within the walls of academe?
Throwing in the towel before you start isn’t going to help anything — but it is so (in the eyes of my cab driver genetic science) so human male pack hunting instinct: feeling more helpless than you need to be before the ways of the group. Don’t be brave or tough: think independently — think of the merits of the issue only — like an individual gathering human female. 🙂
Koch bros just bought the Grafter Owned Party of New Hampshire nomination for US senate for a Massachusetts capretbagger.
They might as well dumb down universities makes it easier for them to buy elections if the electorate has no critical thinking skills.
If it is brainwashin’ it ain’t educatin’
the electorate has no thinking skills. never had. college doesn’t help. i know ph.d’s with no thinking skills.
even jefferson understood this. i think he relied on the “where does it hurt” factor to drive elections generally in the right direction. he should have known better, not being above political propaganda himself.
trouble is political propaganda may have brought us to a point of no return.
Denis- Foundations regularly set conditions as a prerequisite of their donation.
Little John it is one thing to fund a Center or Institute within a University devoted to advancing a particular agenda. For example we could look at the big C Comservative Hoover Institution housed at Stanford or the Libertarian Mercatus Center at George Mason Univerisity. It is totally different thing to buy an academic department at a Public University. Particularly in a core discipline for certain majors and grad programs as the Economics Department.
Do you really believe that every undergrad pursuing a Business or Econ degree at FSU should be denied any exposure to the varieties of economic theory that you might encounter here at AB or at EconoSpeak? It is bad enough that most Principles texts taught to Econ 1 and Econ 101 start by laying down certain classical economic assumptions as if they came down on a third Tablet with Moses. But simply to deny upper division students at a very large public university any opportunity to be taught by anyone who doesn’t slavishly follow the particular Econ line preferred by the Kochs?
The Koch Brothers are perfectly free to follow the Liberty University model and found their own private college along any lines they like. But you just don’t get to OPENLY hire a whole academic department at an existing taxpayer supported Public University.
Sure money talks. That is why they name campus buildings and auditoriums and gyms after doners. And for that matter allow them to slap their names on Endowed Chairs for faculty. But buying out academic freedom on a higher ed public institution is taking Citizens United too far. This should not even be a question.
Bruce-Nobody has forced FSU to take the money. Some schools have rejected Koch money.
“Nobody forced” all kinds of malfeasance — that doesn’t make the ones who accepted any less “mal.”
There is a progressive foundation called the Tides Foundation. (One among many). They give plenty of money to universities. Maybe not as much as the Koch Foundation but whose fault is that?
What are the conditions under which the money is awarded? The Koch Bros. are pretty adamant about what they expect for the money they give, the same as they do for political groups.
What Denis is suggesting is criminalizing his ideological opponents. Is that the company you want keep? The progressive agenda doesn’t need to do that. It speaks for itself. Why is progressivism trying to silence people? I believe that most people are sympathetic to a large portion of the progressive agenda. If progressives spent as much time trying to spread their message as they do bitching and belittling their enemies the message might gain some traction.
Who do you think had more money? Gandhi or his opponents? MLK or his opponents?
I’m not suggesting criminalizing opponents. I’m wondering (just kicking it around) if it is a violation of the students First Amendment rights to buy — as with money — the speech of a public teaching institution to preach one side of a political controversy as if it were a given.
Suppose enough billionaires had enough money to pay every public teaching institution to teach their point of view as fact — to take it to its logical conclusion. Certainly not kosher to buy the teaching of a public school — unconstitutional? ??? Just trying kicking around the angle?
>>> The progressive agenda doesn’t need to do that. It speaks for itself. <<<
Tried to reply to this but comment disappeared. ???
Critical thinking and logic are deficient in US ‘education’.
I spent a week in fishing camp with my conservative friend.
I told them Fox News was a streaming display of faulty logic.
They could not refute!
Education deficiency likely result of education means training now which is rote……
>>> The progressive agenda doesn’t need to do that. It speaks for itself. <<<
The only way anybody here will be able to see my funny (?) and instructive (??) reply is to click on the link below. For some reason my software will not load any long comments here.
The best (only?) way to reach Democratic voters — even if you only care about their votes
[And, thanks Jack, wherever you are, for instructing me on how to make bold and italics]
It will let you load; but, if you have multiple links it goes into an approval area where Bruce, Dan, I, and others see it. Then we turn it loose if it is not “spam.” That happens at times for what reason, I do not know. I deleted the practice posts of yours and the earlier one with the link. I would urge you to write a little something with your links as I do not believe Dan is gonna let a link to your blog stand by itself.
Any of y’all from Florida? I mean, born in Florida, raised in Florida, live somewhere North of Orlando. People living in the Villages who hale from somewhere in the Midwest or Northeast need not reply. Deal is Florida is the land of cheap real estate , and we throw the politicians in cheap. Not free, but real, real cheap.
So, the Koch’s already own Gov. Nosferatu Scott and it was merely a matter of a single phone call (ok, maybe two) and voila! FSU, home of the Seminoles (the Seminole nation owns the trademark to the football team) and the Brothers pick up the FSU Econ department cheap. Then, our peerless Governor spends a weekend on a game preserve in Texas and next thing you know, the King Ranch buys thousands of acres undeveloped high pine land in Central Florida. Villages, move over.
Ilsm has seen this done hundreds, if not thousands of times in his DOD career. The reason Charlie Crist has a chance in hell of regaining the governorship is because he is after all, an actual native of Florida. Asking price is lower and buying price is lower yet. My advice is if you want academic and first amendment rights for your children, don’t send ’em to FSU or any public university in Florida. They can read the CATO website and learn the same stuff for free. 😀 NancyO
>>> The progressive agenda doesn’t need to do that. It speaks for itself. <<< You make most of your comment about this Little John so let me supply my suggestion made to American Prospects folks and a couple of authors the other day:
RE: Republicans Make Big Advances Thanks to Citizens United
by Alex Kotch
September 10, 2014, American Prospect
From: The Rising Tide: Will All Boats Be Lifted?, August 01, 2014, by Richard Reeves
… The crucial factor, Podhorzer found, is Democrats’ vote share among voters making less than $50,000: … whether Democrats win these voters by a 10-point or a 20-point margin tells you who won every national election for the last decade. … To reach these voters, Podhorzer believes, candidates need to focus on the economic issues of the working class. ‘Economic populism decides who wins elections in America,’ he said.
There is only one realistic way to re-make America economically and politically: legally mandated, centralized bargaining. All employees doing similar work (e.g., retail clerk) must be able to negotiate one common contract with all firms. Automatically rebuilding America’s unions by law (waiting for the resurrection? — little things like card check will only find a few new unions on the race-to-the-bottom with all the others) would automatically rebuild and rebalance the political forum too, as the average persons’ combined financing and lobbying matched ownership’s — to go with our 99% of the votes.
Even if Democratic candidates don’t believe in centralized bargaining for labor contracts (a.k.a.. sector-wide labor agreements), actually don’t even want or like them, just cynically pushed them to get votes — guess what? — (after explaining the game changing advantages) they will surely get the votes.
The most successful economy in the world, Germany, has the most thorough version of centralized bargaining (ask Lufthansa employees). The most successful union in this country, the Teamsters, spent 30 years fighting to expand one single labor contract from sea to shining sea, succeeding in 1964 with its National Master Freight Agreement (ask retiring drivers at my old local 804, 30-and-out, $3900 a month).
Centralized bargaining is not some new look or new kook idea — it is an established practice for almost seven decades, world-wide, from continental Europe, to French Canada, to second-world Argentina, to third-world Indonesia. Somebody just has to say the words (“centralized bargaining”) out loud here — even if the only thing they want to accomplish is to turn the tide heavily in favor of Democratic candidates.
[fingers crossed I got my bold markers right — thanks Run]
I found you about 17 pages back in “spam.” I approved your post. Lets see if that does it for now. For some reason the system does not like your way of posting. Maybe my approval will make the system leave you alone. And no links on this one!
Geez 17 pages of spam since 12:19PM
I just posted again with no links at all and “poof”, it disappeared again. ???
Denis your comment neither shows in the ‘Spam’ or ‘Trash’ so perhaps the problem is on your end. If push comes to shove and you really have something that you want displayed and WordPress is actively blocking you one go around would be to e-mail socsec dot defender at gmail dot com and have me post it on your behalf.
But right now the only stuff I see in the Trash is a bunch of “Test, test” stuff and the one bare link Run referred to. (And unless you really are in the market for shoes, or ci*lis, or whatever you DON’T want to see the contents of our Spam filter. Trust me it catches nothing political in nature).
Found it 17 pages back in the “Spam can.” That is a lot of spam for so shot a time since Denis posted. Not sure why it picks on Denis; but, he does have his blog listed in his signature and maybe the system see it as spam.
“Bruce-Nobody has forced FSU to take the money. Some schools have rejected Koch money”
Those decisions are made at a level above that of the Department in question or even the Academic Senate. Do you really think the University President or the Board of Trustees or the Governor of the State should just be able to ride rough shod over the Professors and Students at a State University because, after all, you know, they took the money and nobody had a gun to their head? If so we have nothing to talk about. Because you would on that basis have simply discounted the value of Academic Freedom to zero.
Once again reasonably defensible in the case of a privately funded College. Much more problematic in the case of a Public University largely funded by tax-payers of all kinds of political and economic persuasions.
Just because it is a matter of fact that FSU’s Administration and governing authorities are apparently for sale doesn’t make that okay. Unless we are just willing to return outright to the Gilded Age where the definition of ‘an honest politician’ was ‘one who stayed bought’. Tammany Hall South?
My enemies know when I am posting (through my tooth fillings) so that’s when they hit. If I continue to have trouble I’ll try removing my blog address. Thanks.
As far as a First Amendment aspect, we could look at as government (school) suppressing opposing views. Might be an easier angle to work than finding a free speech violation in government being paid to push one point of view on the political spectrum violates free speech — in a forum (school) that at least looks more neutral than others (e.g., health dept. pushing its views on vaccinations). ??? Be kicking it around all week.
Opps; looks like I forgot to insert the forward slash in back one of the . 🙁 <sheepish
Now I remember; I edited after I set the italics and forgot to go back.
or Bruce or whoever said it:
“buying” the curriculum of public secondary schools is standard operating procedure. has been at least since 1948 to my personal knowledge.
you might not think so if you think that Boards of Education represent a wide spectrum of the American electorate.
for what it’s worth.. i hope you will think about it
your defense of Koch buying the economics department of a public university… if that is true as reported… is the kind of thing that makes people like me worry very much about people like you.
you are defending something that is really bad. and all you do is bring your “reasons” into disrepute by offering them as defenses for what is both bad in itself and dangerous for a democracy.
when the rich can buy the government, the press, and the schools we have everything it takes for tyranny, even if it calls itself “free enterprise.”
So Dale are you against the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s gifts to public universities? Or are you just worried about your political opponents? I hate to tell you but the rich already own the government, the press and the schools. It just appears to me that we’re getting mad when it’s not “our” rich who own these things.
What makes people like me worry about people like you Dale is that you’re taking sides with people like run who said he wished “they would crawl back in their holes.” Or people like EMichael who called the Kochs, “truly evil people.” When you start characterizing your political opponents in those terms you really are looking at tyranny. That’s one reason why AB is so fun. I must admit I do enjoy some of the economic stuff and have learned much about SS from you and Bruce. But the rest of it is kind of the same way I enjoy this guy Michael Savage. You’ve never heard any more kooky, dare I say dangerous, rightwing conspiracy stuff. For example, did you know that the ambassador killed in Benghazi was murdered by the U.S. because he knew about the Obama Administration’s arming of ISIS? Those are the people you should worry about, not some dumb insurance guy urging people to be a little more self-aware.
you might be surprised to know that i worry about some of the sam things you worry about. but the specific subject in question was (did?) the Kochs give USF money on condition that the economics department taught only such economics as was congenial to the Kochs. If this is true, it is intolerable. Your comments suggesting it was a-okay because “the liberals do it too” is first of all false … please note the details that make the difference… and second of all… surely your mother must have told you “if johhny jumps off the cliff, does that mean you can too?”
i find it seriously demoralizing to listen to the “both sides” brain dead rationalizations for “their” guy and rationalizations against “the other” guy. we might as well all put on either red or blue hoodies and have it out where we can tell the good guys from the bad guys (by the color of their hoodie).
i would have a hard time taking sides with Run as he has decided to take sides against me whenever he thinks he sees an opening. but that’s a different thread.
as for characterizing some actors as “truly evil”… what words would you use for those who are truly evil? your average propagandist, and truly evil person, can lead you to hate someone while being perfectly polite and so cool that ice cream would’t melt in their mouths.
me, i try not to worry too much about the kooks… though they are getting numerous enough that maybe i should worry about them, but, for example, the extreme centrists worry me because they all so reasonably and bi-partisanly lie to the people and support policies that will harm the people beyond their ability to bear it.
again, mind the the details, and check your work. it’s your only hope.
Little John do you have any instances of liberals giving to Public Universities that came inclusive of explicit restrictions on what would be taught?
Note that I said “restrictions”. Because founding an Institute to advance a particular line of inquiry, even where that comes with a decided bias is one thing. For example I have little issues with Mercatus or for that matter the overall libertarian lean of George Mason. Nor do I expect Brigham Young U to give equal time to the teachings of the Catholic Church or any of the various Loyala or St. Mary Colleges to teach the Book of Mormon. For that matter far be it from to deny the Koch brothers the ability to establish some Institute of Climate Denial.
But I find it impossible to believe you don’t see any difference between that and some Christianist buying out the Missouri State Biology Department to prohibit study of Darwin or Kansas State’s Astronomy Dept to keep them from teaching Heliocentrism as opposed to Flat Earth.
Which is exactly what is going on at FSU. Except that the Cult being imposed is Randian Objectivism.
You are being willfully obtuse here.
Oy spam filters.
Many many web sites in a futile attempt to bloc commercial spam from ‘Canadian Pharmacy’s or sellers of boots have put text strings like ‘cialis’ in their filter.
Which sets up problems for left leaning sites like this one. Because it turns out you can’t spell ‘so-cialis-m’ without inadvertently evoking boner pills.
Hell for all I know THIS comment might get blocked. So my apologies to Denis.
So far Denis is up and running. I am amazed how far back I had to go to find his post.
There you are Bruce.
I told you American’s wouldn’t accept so called ialism.
You’re both raising valid points and Bruce, to a certain extent I am being willfully obtuse. You can’t save a world that doesn’t want to be saved.
thanks for the candor. but it’s not wise to tease the bears.
you are right about a world that doesn’t want to be saved, but if we don’t try, what excuse will we have?
meanwhile the futility of the whole enterprise is bringing me down.
Don’t get down, just laugh at the absurdity of it all. 5,000/6,000 years of civilization…look how far we’ve come. Imagine what things will be like in another 5,000 years!
i do laugh. but sometimes it sounds a little hysterical even to me.