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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Quiet Drama in Philadelphia

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Headlined to H2 5/19/12

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Media Blackout by michellesmirror.com

"You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.

You will not be able to skip out for beer during commercials,

Because the revolution will not be televised. . . .

The revolution will be live."

   --From the 1970 hit song by Gil Scott-Heron

Last week, the city of Philadelphia's school system announced that it expects to close 40 public schools next year, and 64 schools by 2017. The school district expects to lose 40% of its current enrollment, and thousands of experienced, qualified teachers. 

But corporate media in other cities made no mention of these massive school closings -- nor of those in Chicago, Atlanta, or New York City. Even in the Philadelphia media, the voices of the parents, students and teachers who will suffer were omitted from most accounts. 

It's all about balancing the budgets of cities that have lost revenues from the economic downturn. Supposedly, there is simply no money for the luxury of providing an education for the people.

Where will those children find an education? Where will the teachers find work?  Almost certainly in an explosion of private sector "charter schools," where the quality of education -- from the curriculum to books to the food served at lunch -- will be sacrificed to the lowest bidder, and teachers' salaries and benefits will be sacrificed to the profits of the new private owners, who will also eat up many millions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies. 

Why does there always seem to be enough money for military expansion, prisons, bank bailouts and tax cuts for the wealthy, but not enough for education--or for jobs, housing, healthcare, or old age pensions?  These are not "welfare" but are part of the social contract for which we pay taxes and make social security payments.

  In an article reprinted on Truthout on May 10th titled " Why Isn't Closing 40 Philadelphia Public Schools National News?," Bruce Dixon posed this answer:   

"The city has a lot of poor and black children. Our ruling classes don't want to invest in educating these young people, preferring instead to track into lifetimes of insecure, low-wage labor and/or prison. Our elites don't need a populace educated in critical thinking. So low-cost holding tanks that deliver standardized lessons and tests, via computer if possible, operated by profit-making 'educational entrepreneurs' are the way to go."    

"Lifetimes of insecure, low-wage labor or prison"--this is very close to the "indentured servitude" that was abolished along with slavery by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1865.  The freed slaves are being recaptured by debt, beginning with the debt of school loans, followed by credit card debt, mortgage debt, and healthcare costs.    As was cynically observed in a document called the Hazard Circular, allegedly circulated by British banking interests among their American banking counterparts in July 1862:  

"[S]lavery is but the owning of labor and carries with it the care of the laborers, while the European plan, led by England, is that capital shall control labor by controlling wages. This can be done by controlling the money. The great debt that capitalists will see to it is made out of the war, must be used as a means to control the volume of money. . . . It will not do to allow the greenback, as it is called, to circulate as money any length of time, as we cannot control that.  [Quoted in Charles Lindburgh, Banking and Currency and the Money Trust (Washington D.C.: National Capital Press, 1913), page 102.]"

The quotation may be apocryphal, but it graphically conveys the fate of our burgeoning indentured class.  It also suggests the way out: we must recapture the control of our money and banking systems, including the issuance of debt-free money ("greenbacks") by the government.    

Meanwhile, in Other Unreported News . . .              

That alternative vision was put before a conference in Philadelphia in late April that drew delegates from all over the United States.  The theme of the first Public Banking in America conference, held at the Quaker Friends Center on April 28-29th, was that to fix the economy, we first need to take back the "money power"--the power to create currency and credit. 

Led by keynote speakers Gar Alperovitz and Hazel Henderson and highlighted in an electric speech by twelve-year-old Victoria Grant, the conference was all about solutions.  As summarized by OpEdNews editor Josh Mitteldorf: 

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Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling WEB OF DEBT. In THE PUBLIC BANK SOLUTION, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and (more...)
 

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DHS orders 450 million rounds of Hollow-Point bull... by Deborah Dills on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 2:34:23 PM
I am hoping that local Occupiers and community de... by manifesto 2000 on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 3:19:47 PM
Agreed.  The difficult thing about leaderless... by Ellen Brown on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 5:28:29 PM
...and the arrests may be much sooner than any of ... by Michael Rose on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 10:55:15 AM
The stock market is a rip-off because it's rigged ... by Ernie Messerschmidt on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 2:34:32 PM
Public banking is the frontline of this revolution... by Russell Scaggs on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 5:03:58 PM
Agreed.  In North Dakota, the conservatives a... by Ellen Brown on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 5:31:22 PM
Once several cities or states adopt public banks, ... by Russell Scaggs on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 8:54:24 PM
Short, concise and right to the point on all count... by Tom James on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 7:19:46 PM
Ellen, thanks so much for pointing at a growing tr... by Bayard Waterbury on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 3:46:15 PM
Agreed on money printing not being inflationary if... by Ellen Brown on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 5:36:15 PM
Ellen, again, paints a bleak picture of our future... by James Tennier on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 9:11:42 PM
James - the best thing that the elderly can do fo... by manifesto 2000 on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 6:36:15 AM
legitimate/reliable index for tracking stock marke... by bogi666 on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 7:24:47 AM