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Bob Amato | Partisans Pick Their Candidates / scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jeanette Eastman

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Series | Looking at elite-college admissions, Part 1: The Absurdity of College Admissions

  • How did getting into an elite school become a frenzied, soul-deadening process?
  • This is the first story in a three-part series looking at elite-college admissions.
  • Related: The Arrogant Ignorance of the 'Well-Educated'

Alia Wong, the Atlantic

http://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/mt/2016/03/CollegeAdmission3_2/lead_960.jpg?1459057480Andrey_Popovpixelsnap / Jorge Salcedo / Shutterstock / the Atlantic

Mar 28, 2016 | Right about now, anxious high-school seniors around the globe are obsessively checking their mailboxes, awaiting decision letters from the U.S.’s elite colleges. For all but a tiny handful of the hundreds of thousands of teenagers who applied—pouring countless hours into agonizing over forms, editing personal essays, sitting through standardized tests, and nervously monitoring their GPA—those letters won’t bear good news.

Acceptance rates at highly selective colleges have plummeted in recent years. Exclusivity has always been baked into their brand: Only about 3 percent of 18-year-olds in the U.S. go to schools that admit fewer than half their applicants, making the “college-admissions mania,” as the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson once put it, “a crisis for the 3 percent.” Still, it’s a mania to which more and more teens are subjecting themselves, pressuring applicants to pad their resumés and tout superficial experiences and hobbies, convincing them that attending a prestigious school is paramount. And critics say that mania has even spread into and shaped American culture, often distorting kids’ (and parents’) values, perpetuating economic inequality, and perverting the role of higher education in society as a whole.

Alia Wong is an associate editor at the Atlantic, where she oversees the education section.

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The Arrogant Ignorance of the 'Well-Educated' Joseph Pearce, Intellectual Takeout

To be “well-educated” is not merely ignorance, it is the arrogance of ignorance.

'We go rotten': man granted clemency describes life in the US prison system

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  • Norman Brown served 24 years of a life sentence for distributing cocaine, until his became one of 248 Obama has commuted during his presidency.
  • The nation’s criminal justice system is broken.

David Smith, the Guardian

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/56424017a35ea3492878a991fa6b5bd8155d4a57/0_185_2799_1679/master/2799.jpg?w=620&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=0f6248390e27b2588cd55a01ad67c2eb Norman O’Neal Brown at the Famm (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) office in Washington on 24 March 2016. Photograph: Evelyn Hockstein for the Guardian

Thu, 31 March, 2016 | In 1993 Norman Brown was told he would die behind bars. He was among 17 people found guilty of distributing crack cocaine after an FBI sting that involved tapping drug dealers’ phones. Due to a previous minor offence with two criminal counts, he was sentenced to life without parole. Even the judge said the punishment was too harsh but his hands were tied by mandatory minimum sentencing laws.

Then, last July, Brown walked free after being granted clemency by Barack Obama. And on Wednesday, the US president commuted the sentences of a further 61 drug offenders. In all he has now commuted 248 sentences, more than the previous six presidents combined. “It does not make sense for a non-violent drug offender to be getting 20 years, 30 years, in some cases life in prison,” Obama said at a lunch with Brown and some of the other former inmates. “That’s not serving anybody. That’s not serving taxpayers. It’s not serving public safety. And it’s damaging families.”

David Smith is the Guardian's Washington correspondent.

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http://stmedia.stimg.co/ows_145653429657613.jpg?w=525 Related:

The nation’s criminal justice system is broken, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • Can we get our society to begin to acknowledge the cruelty, the barbarism of these institutions and what that means and what that says about us?
  • Hopelessness' Is the Enemy of Justice
  • Part 1: 8 Facts You Should Know About the Criminal Justice System and People of Color
  • Get These Killer Cops Off the Streets
  • Part 2: Dean Strang Interviews Bryan Stevenson, An "Exceptional" Trial Lawyer 

 

The Corporatization of Education

  • The Gates Foundation, Arnie Duncan, and Bruce Rauner
  • Notre Dame Prof: Our Schools are Committing ‘Civilizational Suicide’

John Klyczek, Dissident Voice

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Poisoned%20Apple%20on%20Book%20in%20front%20of%20Green%20Chalkboard.jpg March 11th, 2016 | For over twenty years, former Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement for the US Department of Education, Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, has been warning us about the coming corporatization of education through fascistic charter school privatization that will be subsidized by public finances. Iserbyt, author of The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, has described the charter school takeover, otherwise known as the “school choice” movement, as “[c]ollusion between neoconservatives, corporations, and leftists in education, including former ‘conservative’ Secretaries of Education and the NEA, [which] enabled corporations to take control of American education.”

As a case study, Illinois’ current education debacle proves her predictions accurate.

John Klyczek has an MA in English and is a college English instructor, concentrating on the history of global eugenics and Aldous Huxley’s dystopic novel, Brave New World. He is also a contributor to the Intrepid Report.

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Notre Dame Prof: Our Schools are Committing ‘Civilizational SuicideDaniel Lattier, Intellectual Takeout

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/kings_college_chapel.jpg Kings College Chapel

  • As Alasdair MacIntyre lamented in After Virtue, “[T]he barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time.” It’s perhaps too late to avoid a new Dark Age. Now is the time to begin the effort of recovery and rebuilding.
  • What American Education Has in Common with the Dark Ages
  • America, you’re stupid: Donald Trump’s political triumph makes it official — we’re a nation of idiots.

 

Greg Palast | How The 2016 Election WILL Be Stolen!

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  • Lee Camp talks to Greg Palast, New York Times bestselling author and investigative journalist, about how he knows the 2016 election will be stolen and by whom.
  • “The system is rigged against regular people”: Big money has completely warped American democracy.

Lee Campdandelionsalad

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March 11, 2016 | Lee Camp talks to Greg Palast, New York Times bestselling author and investigative journalist, about how he knows the 2016 election will be stolen and by whom.

Greg Palast is the author of Vultures’ Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pigs, Power Pirates and High-Finance Carnivores and Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps.

Lee Camp is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor, and activist. He is the host of the weekly comedy news show Redacted Tonight.

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Related:

“The system is rigged against regular people”: Big money has completely warped American democracy, Michael Winship, Moyers & Company 

  • Corporations have a stranglehold on both parties. Here's how it happened -- and how we take our government back.
  • Hillary Clinton Is Exposing the Dark Underbelly of the Democrats’ Money Machine

The breathtaking human toll of environmental pollution

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  • However bad you thought it was, a new World Health Organization report reveals the reality is infinitely worse
  • DNR deems PolyMet plans 'adequate' — but the big question remains unanswered

Allison Jackson, GlobalPost  / Salon

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http://media.salon.com/2016/03/shutterstock_336888689-620x412.jpg Sunday, Mar 20, 2016 | We all know that pollution is bad for our health.

Just how bad was laid out by the World Health Organization this week in a bleak new report on environmentally related deaths.

New analysis of data from 2012 found that a staggering 12.6 million people died that year from living and working in toxic environments.

That’s almost equivalent to the combined populations of New York City and Los Angeles, and represents nearly a quarter of the 55.6 million deaths recorded that year.

That’s scary, but it gets worse.

Allison Jackson is a GlobalPost breaking news writer in Guadalajara, Mexico. A journalist for 15 years, a reporter and sub-editor for major newspapers in Australia and global newswires, (she has) covered economics, finance, legal affairs, social issues and sport. Before moving to Mexico, (she) was the AFP China economics correspondent in Beijing.

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DNR deems PolyMet plans 'adequate' — but the big question remains unanswered, Ron Meador, Minn Post

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  • But really, what more ... can the taxpayers of Minnesota expect from a regulatory apparatus whose lead agency on copper/nickel mining is supposed to promote the industry with one hand and police it with the other?
  • The PolyMet Project’s Tailings “Pond” Could Someday Create a Dead St. Louis River and a Dying Lake Superior

The West’s War on Children

  • The prejudice against children begins from an immoderate desire for order.
  • Special Project | The War on Children: Week Ending  January 9, 2016

Bruce Frohnen, The Imaginative Conservative / Intellectual Takeout

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/sadchild2.jpg March 15, 2016 | The world has now seen several decades of something quite new: explicitly anti-child policies. By this one might think I am referring to the “one-child” policy in China. And to a certain extent I am. Fines and the withholding of education and other services, not to mention forced abortions, rather comfortably fit within any definition of “anti-child;” so we may take the Chinese de-population experiment as a model of the type. As to the results: The demographic implosion the Chinese regime’s murderous policies have wrought has proven so dangerous to that country’s economic and social infrastructure that the government has sought to reverse course on its more draconian methods. But this reversal will prove too little, too late, just as it has in Japan, where the demographic implosion has been proceeding for much longer than in China, and has produced a prolonged, painful, and seemingly irreversible contraction of economic activity and wealth. And this is what we have been experiencing only slightly less obviously, in the West. It is time we reassessed our own anti-child policies and, more important, their bases in bad social theory, personal motivations, and theology.

Institutions and entire societies are literally being hollowed out from the inside by a refusal to have children. As anyone who pays attention to such things has noticed, the downward spiral of populations is far from just an east Asian phenomenon. Europe has been demographically imploding for decades and has suffered prolonged periods of slow and no growth, along with mounting pressures on retirement systems and chronically high unemployment rates, with massive underemployment and youth unemployment. Sadly Americans, as with so many things, believe themselves immune to the sicknesses attendant on the European policies our political elites seek to follow. Yet we have been in demographic decline as well. The decline has been slowed only by wave after wave of (often illegal and more often culturally ill-conceived) immigration. Economic activity is stagnating and businesses are having trouble finding workers and even customers (here universities are merely the tip of a very large iceberg).

Bruce Frohnen is a Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative.

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Special Project | The War on Children: Week Ending  January 9, 2016, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Kiddies%20image.jpgThe United States is one of the few countries in the world that puts children in supermax prisons, tries them as adults, incarcerates them for exceptionally long periods of time, defines them as super predators, pepper sprays them for engaging in peaceful protests, and, in an echo of the discourse of the war on terror, describes them as 'teenage time bombs.' 
  • 6 New Items including:
  • Conservatives Threaten School For Reading Book About A Transgender Girl. Their Response Was Perfect
  • Children’s Day And Child Labour: Lost Childhood
  • Adults Are the Problem
  • Schoolkids in Handcuffs
  • Teacher's Facebook resignation post goes viral because she is 100% right
  • Lets Stop Shaming Ourselves for Having Robust and Healthy Sex Lives

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