Students for Sale

Imagine you’re with me in a room full of educators, mostly public school teachers and administrators. We are there to learn how to incorporate principles of entrepreneurship and innovation into a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-based learning environment. Ben, the professional development facilitator, is showing us how to use a business model canvas, a simple diagram used by start-ups to map out their business model.

 “Let’s take a simple example of an innovative firm, like Uber, and break this down a little bit…”

“Can we do something a little more relatable,” one of the attendees chimes in, “like a nonprofit organization or a school?”

We shift gears and map out a typical public school program, defining customers and value propositions. We describe delivery channels and key partners.

Things get more complicated when we try to define cost structures and identify revenue streams.

“You know,” Ben interjects, “we may be looking at this all wrong. Based on this current business model, maybe students and parents are not the actual customers of your services.”


He continues, but the sudden weight of the air in the room seems to pull his words to the floor before they reach my peers sitting nearby. The uncomfortable truth he spoke is so repulsive to everyone, as educators, that the very laws of nature seem to resist. There are even a couple of audible gasps as some of the teachers realize that “customer” is really some kind of entrepreneur’s code word for “people whose opinions you should value.”

Here we were, professional educators, having relegated ourselves to a career of self-sacrifice and meager pay for the greater good, and this capitalist had the gall to imply that our mantra of “doing it for the children” was hollow!

I had to suppress any hint of a grin triggered by their reaction so as not to out myself as a capitalist, somehow complicit in dishing out all this cognitive…

Obamacare enrollees ‘must double’ to stay solvent

(WASHINGTON TIMES) — President Obama will need to more than double the number of Americans enrolled in Obamacare exchange plans to reach 21 million next year, the target set in budget projections, in what is shaping up as the next major test for the health care law.

As of June, the Department of Health and Human Services counted 9.9 million customers who have bought plans through the federal portal and a handful of state-run exchanges.

That puts the administration ahead of it’s own estimates for 2015, but is less than half what the Congressional Budget Office projected for 2016, showing just how much work officials have ahead of them as the next round of enrollment begins in less than two months.

If Men Were Angels, We Wouldn’t Need the Blockchain

“Don’t you think replacing humans is a bad idea?” an audience member asked Andrew Wagner after his talk on the future of blockchain technologies.

Wagner’s reply: “God, no. People suck.

Do we hear a crude echo of James Madison in Federalist No. 51?

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” — James Madison 

Wagner was giving a talk on replacing human bureaucracies with what he calls decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). His focus was not on government bureaucracies specifically, but at least one of his arguments in favor of automation is quite Madisonian.

The Worst Rise to the Top

The full title of Madison’s essay, first published in 1788, is “The Structure of the Government Must Furnish the Proper Checks and Balances between the Different Departments.” As its title suggests, Madison argued for the importance of decentralizing coercive authority. The same human condition that calls for the existence of government — our nonangelic nature — also makes government’s existence a great danger to liberty.

As Robert Higgs writes in his own consideration of Federalist No. 51, “The most vicious people in society will tend to gain control of the state.”

Madison’s argument, Higgs contends, “does more than emphasize that human nature is something less than angelic.”

It also serves as a springboard that propels Madison directly into a consideration of “framing a govern…

Savage: ‘There’s a retrovirus in the White House’

Michael Savage, the No. 2 top talker in America with a Ph.D. in epidemiology, has come up with a diagnosis for what’s wrong with America.

“There’s a retrovirus in the White House,” he said on his show Friday.

It wasn’t the ’60s that destroyed America, he said, after watching a collection of home movies he collected from that era.

“We keep hearing the ’60s were bad,” he said. “They say the hippie movement destroyed America. But I want to tell you the ’60s weren’t all bad.”

The movies brought him some clarity.

“I saw myself as a very straight young social worker, teacher,” he said. “Then suddenly the movie jumps to 1968 and I have a beard, I have long hair, I look like Charles Manson. The last scene of the movie is a scene of me as a free spirit on the roof of a hospital in Hawaii, a research hospital I was working in as a grad student, moving freely on this roof with the ocean behind me. … I saw myself up on the roof of that hospital and I had to make a note that the ’60s were not so bad.”

The doctor is in … at the WND Superstore. Read ALL of Michael Savage’s books.

Savage told his listeners: “It wasn’t the hippies who ruined America. It was the Communists who ruined the hippies who ruined America. You see, a free spirit is more easily manipulated or penetrated than a rigid spirit. The ’60s allowed millions of us to become freer spirits. The Communists entered our spirits just as retroviruses infect humans, causing the common cold and AIDs for example. And today we have a retrovirus in the White House named Barack Obama. He has infected the body politic with his hateful, anti-American view and invaded many other cells or people with his destructive ideas.”

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A retrovirus uses an enzyme to become part of the cells it invades and facilitates many copies of the host cells, he explained.

“Does this sound like what Obama has done to this country?” he asked. “That’s exactly what he has done. The entire Democratic Party has been invaded and infected by him. Not all of them were like this originally. Not all of them were like this even seven years ago. Some of them had a scintilla of patriotism and a scintilla of sanity. Today the entire Democrat Party has been invaded by the retrovirus of Barack Obama that has infected them with his worldview that is so crazy they don’t even know what they are doing, because they are just like him now.”

And it goes beyond the Democratic Party, he said. The Republican Party has been infected too. The media are nearly all infected.

This didn’t take place in the ’60s, Savage explained. It’s happening now.

“The ’60s were not all bad,” Savage reiterated after a nostalgic view of his home movies. The problem, he said, was that some ’60s people became “frozen in time to this minute … they never evolved … they don’t know they destroyed their own country … they are stuck in the past, stuck in the past, unable to see what they are doing to this country.”

“But make no mistake about it, a president is a very powerful man,” said Savage. “And what this man is doing is beyond comprehension – like granting the most terroristic nation on the planet the right to develop nuclear weapons. It would be like, after Baltimore was burned down, instead of putting the perpetrators in jail, it would be like giving them all RPGs and tanks thinking they won’t do any more harm.”

Bringing it all home, Savage said the reason the ’60s were not all bad is because there’s nothing wrong with being a free spirit: “I would say I’m still a free spirit and I don’t want the government telling me what to do, and I don’t want you telling me what to do, and I don’t want ‘Black Lives’ telling me what to do, and I don’t want anyone telling me what to do. How’s that?”

Sex offender raped man suffering seizure

(Akron Journal) A convicted sex offender pleaded guilty to raping a man who suffered a seizure.

Richard Leese, 46, entered the plea Wednesday to one count of first-degree felony rape. Summit County Common Pleas Judge Todd McKenney scheduled Leese’s sentencing for Sept. 16.

On March 26, Leese asked a co-worker to help him get tools from his apartment. The 27-year-old man suffered a seizure while at the apartment, according to his statement to police.

World War III – Who Will Be Blamed? [Sources & Transcript]

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If you want to start a to war, the unwashed masses must be convinced to send their brothers, sons and fathers to die on the front lines. The specter of an external enemy must be etched into their collective mind through trauma, exaggeration and repetition. History must be whitewashed, twisted and cherry picked down to a politicized nursery rhyme. At no point should the real motives or consequences of such an endeavor be discussed.

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He Played Each Game as If It Were His Last

Each week, Mr. Reed will relate the stories of people whose choices and actions make them heroes. See the table of contents for previous installments.

In both Puerto Rico and Pittsburgh, more than four decades after his untimely death at the age of 38, the name of Roberto Clemente brings a smile to almost every face.

Clemente is number 21 in this “Real Heroes” series — the very number on the jersey he wore during all 18 seasons he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, from 1955 to 1972.

He was one of the greatest right fielders in baseball history. He could run, hit, and throw better than almost anybody who ever played the game. Black and Puerto Rican by birth, he transcended race, nationality, and culture to become American Major League Baseball’s first Latino superstar.

Growing up in western Pennsylvania in the 1960s, I heard his name every day, always wrapped in glowing admiration. He had so much talent and character that Pulitzer Prize–winning author David Maraniss could write a 400-page biography of him, Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero.

The youngest of seven siblings, Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker (in Spanish, the last name is the maternal family name) was born in 1934 in Carolina, Puerto Rico. As a young boy, he worked in the sugar cane fields with his father. “I learned the right way to live from my parents,” he said years later.

I never heard any hate in my house. I never heard my father say a mean word to my mother, or my mother to my father, either. During the war, when food was hard to get, my parents fed their children first and they ate what was left. They always thought of us.

The Clemen…

Occupy protester who ditched family loses suit

(New York Post) The Florida mom who ditched her family to join the raggedy Occupy Wall Street crowd turned out to be an even bigger loser on Thursday when a jury rejected her claims that cops violently arrested her during a 2011 protest, after deliberating for just 40 minutes.

Stacey Hessler, 42, sued the city in 2013, claiming the NYPD cops dragged her around by her dreadlocks.

But city attorneys said Hessler blocked pedestrian traffic and refused to move when cops politely asked her to make way, then tried to escape when they finally moved to arrest her.

The Manhattan federal- court jury quickly returned a verdict siding with the city.

If You Haven’t Engaged with the Work, Your Opinion Is Worthless

In one of the greatest works of Western literature, personifications of fear and adventure argue over the dangers of the unknown. For pages, they argue back and forth, caught at a dramatic standstill, until at the book’s great turning point, the personification of adventure (here known as Sam-I-Am) counsels the personification of fear, “You do not like them, so you say. Try them, try them, and you may. Try them, and you may, I say.”

The book is, of course, Dr. Seuss’s classic Green Eggs and Ham. Its debate over the wisdom of trying something new has enchanted children and their parents for decades.

Green Eggs and Ham has been much on my mind of late because of two recent news stories.

First, there is the story about the student at Duke who has declined to complete the assigned summer reading that forms the core of the Duke Common Experience program because he feels the work’s depiction of sex is pornographic and immoral. He wishes to “avoid any titillating content and encourage like-minded students to do the same.”

Second, there is the recent blog post at the Guardian that dismisses the late Terry Pratchett as “a mediocrity” who produced “trash” for “a middlebrow cult of the popular [that] is holding literature to ransom.” The post was written by an arts columnist who smugly confesses to never having read a word that Pratchett produced.

I would like to know when it became an acceptable critical stance to condemn a work of art without ever having engaged with it.

Even the Supreme Court, when debating whether <a href="…