By Bob Fitrakis
The way our electoral process now stands, electronic voting machines guarantee a Republican victory in 2016.
No matter what she does, Hillary Clinton – or any other Democratic nominee – cannot be elected without a fundamental change in the basic mechanics of how our votes are cast and counted.
It is a profoundly disturbing reality that casts a long shadow over all that’s wrong with our electoral system, no matter who one favors for public office.
The short answer to that question in Masciotra’s title: “Because their crushing
Higher education wears the cloak of liberalism, but in policy and practice, it can be a corrupt and cutthroat system of power and exploitation. It benefits immensely from right-wing McCarthy wannabes, who in an effort to restrict academic freedom and silence political dissent, depict universities as left-wing indoctrination centers.
But the reality is that while college administrators might affix “down with the man” stickers on their office doors, many prop up a system that is severely unfair to American students and professors, a shocking number of whom struggle to make ends meet. Even the most elementary level of political science instructs that politics is about power. Power, in America, is about money: who has it? Who does not have it? Who is accumulating it? Who is losing it? Where is it going?
By Terrance F. Ross
In recent years the rising cost of student debt has given birth to an odd phenomenon: a population of ostensibly generous older men who appear poised to solve the higher-education crisis, one student at a time. Once a relatively underground subculture, this benevolent group of men is coming to the rescue across the country, essentially volunteering to subsidize the students’ tuition costs. But that description could be, shall I say, sugarcoating it.
Yes, these men are ponying up their money—plus more—for financially struggling students. However, it’s not free money, and it’s not all students. In other words, these benefactors typically expect some compensation from their beneficiaries—students who generally tend to be women willing to accept the help from the men in exchange for providing some tender loving care. And, at least, flaunting their good looks.
By Norm Alster
This exposé provides insight into how the FCC became a victim of regulatory capture by industry and the implications of these corrupting influences for our health and safety, our privacy, and our wallets.
This 59-page book concludes with a series of recommendations by its author, Norm Alster, an investigative journalist, who has written for the New York Times, Forbes, Business Week, and Investor’s Business Daily. He wrote this book while serving as a journalism fellow with the Investigative Journalism Project at Harvard University.
By Adan Salazar
An investigation into the death is ongoing, and the results of an autopsy are also reportedly forthcoming.
Dr. Bradstreet ran a private practice in Buford, Georgia, which focused on “treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, PPD, and related neurological and developmental disorders.”
Among various remedies, Dr. Bradstreet’s Wellness Center reportedly carried out “mercury toxicity” treatments, believing the heavy metal to be a leading factor in the development of childhood autism.
Dr. Bradstreet undertook the effort to pinpoint the cause of the disease after his own child developed the ailment following routine vaccination.
By Paula Casale
Many think our government is for sale. However, by taking a look at the facts below provided by the Open Secrets, it is easy to understand where they are coming from.
Looking back at Friday the 12th, the House voted on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the controversial bill that gives power to the executive branch to negotiate treaties. TPA limit’s Congress’ ability to better a trade deal by subjecting members of Congress to 90 days of reviewing the trade agreement, prohibiting any amendments on the implementing legislation, and giving them an up or down vote. TPA passed with a mere 219-211 vote with only 218 needed to pass. The real shocker comes from the amount of money each Representative received for a yes vote. In total, $197,869,145 was given to Representatives for a yes vote where as $23,065,231 was given in opposition.
By Scott Sherman
Scholars who use the New York Public Library are boiling with frustration. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. In 2014 the library, under pressure from a coalition that included four senior scholars, abandoned its controversial Central Library Plan, which entailed gutting the stacks at the 42nd Street Library and selling the popular Mid-Manhattan Library across the street. But the situation hasn’t turned out how many critics had hoped.
What makes a park a park?
Ordinarily, that might be a question for a New York dinner party. Today, it is an urgent legal question before the New York Court of Appeals. For our state’s highest court will either save our city parks, by reaffirming a time-honored civic principle, or they will throw it out, and so allow the city to seize countless open spaces long enjoyed as public parks, and hand them over to private developers, without approval from the state Legislature.
“The Art of the Gouge”: Shocking New Report by NYU Faculty Details How NYU Bilks Millions from Its Students to Finance Real Estate and Pay for Top Executives; Renew Call for Full Financial Transparency
Members of New York University’s faculty have issued a blistering 14,000 word report on how NYU has been gouging its own students (and their families) to raise billions for gratuitous real estate transactions and lavish compensation packages for NYU’s own top executives.
Concerned about their students’ ever worsening financial plight and wild spending by NYU’s Board of Trustees, the professors, many of them members of NYU Faculty Against the Sexton Plan (NYUFASP), spent this past academic year researching NYU’s financial practices. Interviewing scores of students, both undergraduate and graduate, and studying the fine print in NYU’s own documents, the professors “followed the money” to reveal:
Students Going Hungry Regularly, Becoming Homeless, Signing Up for “Dating Services” to Pay Tuition, Fees, Insurance
NYU students pay the highest tuition in the United States, currently $71,000 per year. They are also socked with thousands more in phantom fees, health care, insurance and other costs. Most of the students interviewed preferred anonymity, for obvious reasons, but were happy to have their tales finally told in public. “It was frightening to hear these stories, and to know that our students are suffering in ways and numbers that even we didn’t imagine,” said Jeff Goodwin, NYU Professor of Sociology.
- For the last three months I have been homeless, sleeping wherever I find shelter. Sometimes that comes after studying at the apartments of my colleagues, some of whom suspect this situation is happening. Other times I have slept in parks or on trains. — from a PhD student, College of Arts and Science (CAS)
- I live on $2-5 dollars a day. That means two meals a day, and incredibly unhealthy food. I’m hungry all the time. Being so hungry while you’re trying to work two jobs to pay your rent and still keep up with your coursework is practically impossible—and more common than you would ever think at a university like this. —from a junior, Gallatin School of Individualized Studies
- I had a full scholarship, but then they raised the tuition, so I was short about $2000. And when I asked the people in financial aid for help, they laughed. The guy actually laughed. He couldn’t believe that anyone would have trouble raising such a small amount. So I was desperate. It’s why I turned to [Seeking Arrangement], which is really just a form of prostitution. But I had no choice. It was either that or drop out. It was a hard choice; and I wasn’t the only one who had to make it. When I finally got the nerve to tell my roommates I was doing it, they both told me they’d been doing it, too. — from a member of Faculty of Arts & Science (FAS), Class of 2014
But while students suffer:
- NYU milks its poorest students, charging Pell Grant recipients, whose families make $30,000, $25,462, or 84% of their entire household income. (Yale, Harvard and Columbia charge $6,000/$7,000.)
- NYU charges full tuition for semesters students spend abroad throughout the “Global Network University,” even though the courses in those programs are all taught by part-time instructors (who get no benefits). “They’re making a fortune on tuition in London,” the former director of NYU/London told the professors. “No matter how high you pay, you pay part-time.”
- NYU’s students aren’t allowed to rent rooms or apartments in those cities, but are required to live in NYU-owned buildings, forcing them to spend up to 60% more than it would cost them to rent locally. “Clearly, we are being ripped off,” a senior told the professors, writing from her cramped NYU apartment in Berlin.
- NYU profits hugely off its giant cohort of international students—11,164, more than any other U.S. University. They pay a higher tuition, and their other costs appear to be over $5,000 more than those imposed on the US students here. While the latter are required to buy, for health insurance, only NYU’s “Mandatory Plan” ($2,424), the international students must buy that as well as the more expensive ($3,236) of the plans that NYU calls “optional.”
- NYU students and their families also pay further thousands, every year, in unexpected “fees” and “nonrefundable deposits.” “I had to take out loans just to cover my fees and health insurance,” a sophomore said. (“I can’t believe NYU charged so much extra crap,” another said.)
- While NY schools like CUNY, Columbia and Cooper Union publish their fees openly and clearly, the many extra costs at NYU are mostly buried in the fine print; and they also vastly higher than at other schools. (For students applying to live in campus housing, Columbia charges a housing fee of $100. NYU’s housing fee is $1,000.)
Out of Control Real Estate Acquisition
- Despite proclamations made to the City Council that the proposed Sexton expansion plan in the Village – with an estimated price tag of well over $1 billion (which includes the Zipper Building, whose cost is projected to be $1 billion alone, and will be the largest and most expensive building to ever be built in the Village) – would take care of all of the school’s physical needs there, NYU is still blowing millions on Village real estate including 404 Lafayette/708 Broadway ($157 million, not including renovations), 383 Lafayette ($74 million, not including new construction). (The report also details the millions and millions that NYU’s out of control expansion in other parts of the City and the world have cost.)
- NYU’s real estate portfolio includes an embarrassing number of residential “mansions” as well, including, for example, three for “Law School Faculty:” a $3.6 million luxury 4 bedroom condo at 845 West End Ave., “…with Calacatta gold marble, as well as radiant heat floors” (according to International Business Times); a $3.5 million luxury condo at 166 Perry St., “The 1,875 s/f corner apartment … has a glass curtain wall and views of the Hudson River. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a powder room and home office, along with 10-foot ceilings and a five-fixture master bath” (according to Real Estate Weekly); and a $5.2 million condo at 455 Central Park West (“a 26-story tower attached to the French Renaissance chateau at W. 206th St.”) “The duplex apartment has a round living and dining room with 37-foot-high ceilings and Central Park views, along with three more conventional bedrooms” (according to Above the Law).
Millions of Dollars in Compensation and Personal Loans for Top NYU Execs, Tiny Raises for Faculty
- 25 of NYU’s top execs got a whopping 26% average pay raise from 2010-20120, from $816,876. to $1,026,059. while, during the same time, professors’ average raise was 2.5% One administrator alone, Tina Suhr, NYU’s Chief Investment Officer, saw her salary skyrocket from $857,086 to $1,673,598: an awesome boost of 95.5%, or $816,512—enough to pay one year’s tuition and fees for 17 students.
- NYU’s Board approved millions in “loans” to scores of top administrators (the total number is unknown) for mortgages on sumptuous vacation homes—including, as the New York Times reported, $1 million to Pres. Sexton for “an elegant modern beach house [on Fire Island] that extends across three lots,” and $5.2 million (now over $6.4 million) to Richard Revesz, former Dean of the Law School, for “a home on more than 65 acres near the Housatonic River in Litchfield County.”
“It must be noted that NYU’s Board of Trustees is one of the largest such Boards in the US, with 95 members, but includes not one professor. It’s uniquely dominated by Wall Street bankers, hedge fund managers and real estate tycoons and we think that helps explain the direction the university has taken, which is decidedly not about educating our students,” said Mark Crispin Miller, NYU Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, and President of NYUFASP. “With leadership like that, it isn’t hard to understand why NYU has the highest tuition in the country, and the worst financial aid; and, therefore, students graduating with the heaviest load of student debt in the United States—40% above the national average,” said Miller.
The professors have repeatedly asked for a full accounting of NYU’s real estate holdings, and budget for the huge Village expansion, but this information has never been provided to them, to elected officials, or to the public. “Since the university is non-profit, its fiscal affairs should be more transparent than they are,” observed Andrew Ross, President of the NYU chapter of the American Association of University Professors. “If they continue to resist this transparency, perhaps some of our elected officials should take a closer look,” he added.
from Dick Atlee:
> I must say I couldn’t believe this when I heard it, but unlike many unbelievable tales the Washington Post churns out, I do believe this thoroughly researched and documented one.
> Police have taken over $2.5 billion from citizens in traffic stops and other circumstances since 9/11. The Justice Department has kept $800 million, the local police get back $1.7 billion. It’s a specific program called “Equitable Sharing.”
> The action is called “civil asset forfeiture,” supposedly intended to get assets away from criminals to stop them without needing an arrest or conviction. But it’s MONEY, and police are formally trained in how to get it. The potential for abuse is more than potential. If you have the money for a lawyer and a year to fight it, you might get it back, but most don’t have that option, and few do.
> You can read the article, but at least watch the 11 minute video. It’s pretty amazing. It’s just another tidbit for the people who refuse to acknowledge the existing (or rapidly approaching) police state.
> Stop and seize
> Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from
> motorists not charged with crimes
> Washington Post
> September 6, 2014
“While We Were Sleeping”
Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD
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- With our voting system run by rightist gremlins, Hillary—or ANY Democrat who runs for president—is going to “lose”
- College students in the USA should look to Chile
- Run (into the ground) by Wall Street, NYU is Number #1 in student prostitution
- A captive FCC has put our health and privacy at risk
- Doctor who linked autism to vaccines apparently both shot and drowned himself
- Don’t buy these products from Koch Industries! on
- Wisconsin to buy “all new voting machines”—and Koch/Walker will go on “winning” there FOREVER! on
- Please SIGN Elizabeth Warren’s petition to halt “fast track” of TPP! on
- 2nd Amendment was devised to keep Americans in chains on
- Update on the strange death of Nancy Schaefer on
- NY Fed moving to Chicago, Feds stocking up on ammo, NORAD hunkering down: What's up?
- Don't buy these products from Koch Industries!
- Forbidden Bookshelf
- The strange death of Nancy Schaefer (two items)
- More on the NY Fed's strange flight to Chicago
- Talking Points Memo
- Cody Lyon
- History Unfolding
- Suburban Guerrilla
- Early America
- The Rude Pudit
- Online Journal
- Media Channel
- Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
- Barry Gordon
- Writers Voice
- alias Bruce
- The Existentialist Cowboy
- t r u t h o u t
- The Ostroy Report
- Richard Charnin
- William Betz
- Media Matters
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