As Above So Below: Part Two

Remember The Drones Club, Woolcott Fans?

Remember The Drones Club, Wodehouse Fans?

Now that I have all the silliness out of my system, let’s take a serious look at the new trend in dorm rooms.  The designer creations featured in the Time pictorial that I featured yesterday was by an outfit called American Campus Communities.   From their website:

American Campus Communities is one of the nation’s largest developers, owners and managers of high-quality student housing communities.  We led the industry to a new plateau in 2004 when we became the first publicly traded student housing REIT (NYSE: ACC).  Since 1996, we’ve developed more than $1.5 billion in properties for our own account and our university clients, and we have acquired in excess of $2 billion in student housing assets. Also, we’ve become a national leader in third-party development and management of on-campus student housing, having been awarded the development of 46 on-campus projects (in addition to our 11 projects developed off campus).  We have forged strong relationships through our on-campus developments: 11 of our college, university and system partners have called ACC back for 24 additional projects or phases after we completed their initial communities.

There we go folks; it’s a real estate scam.  Universities get to increase their real estate values without having to manage the properties.   Then they pass on the added expenses with their tuitions.   University regents live in a make-believe world where they can raise tuition without limit.  Rather than create an atmosphere where all students are equal, colleges are now enforcing the capitalist class system where wealthy students will be isolated from their less wealthy fellow students.   This will certainly help to assure that what happened in the Sixties will never happen again.  Different classes of people will never mix.  The upper class kids will never be exposed to poverty, and never see that there is anything wrong in our society. So there is one class of students living in dorms with their own 7-11s and private gyms . Then there is another class of students who have to go to the food pantry to survive.

As above, so below, folks.   This is a reflection of America today.  As more and more Americans lose their homes and jobs, more and more Americans are eating from food pantries.   At the same time, more and more Americans are living in luxury.   So which America does the media focus on?  Time Magazine does a a puff piece on American Campus Communities and present this as if all college students are living that lifestyle.

What amazes me is that people are actually going to believe this.   They have their heads so far up their butts that they are going to start kvetching about how easy college kids have it these days.  Of course they are going to ignore the kids who are eating out of food pantries.  People have a tendency to see what they want to see.  So while the world looks through its rose colored glasses, corporate America is busily stealing everything that’s not nailed down and returning with crowbars.

I think the next paragraph from their website brings a greater understanding of this idiocy:

Today’s sophisticated student consumers demand more and expect the modern conveniences they grew up with.  Private bedrooms, private baths, Internet connectivity, fully equipped kitchens, spacious living areas and resort-style amenities are seen as necessities – and universities are catching on.  They now know that to recruit and retain students, they must offer modern housing options that support their academic mission.  With college enrollment at an all-time high, universities are turning to private developers to meet this rising demand for amenity-rich student housing both on and off campus.

Show of hands here. How many of us have grown up in this sort of atmosphere?   Internet connectivity is no big deal.  There are homeless shelters with WiFi for the residents who managed to hang on to their laptops. I grew up with a fully equipped kitchen and I used it, too.   Nobody in their right minds would have let my mother anywhere near a frying pan.   Really folks, how many of us grew up with resort style amenities?  Show of hands. Whatever happened to the good old fashioned cafeteria?   I got my first two years of college mad money washing dishes.

Education has become class-driven.  We are no longer training our young people to become the best they can be.   We gave up the space race.  We surrendered the war on poverty.  Colleges are no longer places of learning. They have devolved into places where kids go to make contact with people of their own class.  Is it any wonder the very people who screwed the pooch and caused a world wide stock market crash simply don’t see that they have done the slightest thing wrong?

Republican Housing Plan

Republican Housing Plan

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China and the Olympics, Perfect Together.

What Do the Olympics Have to do with Human Rights?

What Do the Olympics Have to do with Human Rights?

It is absolutely amazing how similar Chinese society is to our own here in America. I cannot believe that when I was a kid, I was actually raised to be afraid of our dearest friends and trading partners in the far east. Now that the “bamboo curtain” has fallen and Chinese goods are freely available at your local Wal-Mart, I am wondering what the hell all the fuss was about. Take Mao for example. Back in my day we pictured Mao with horns and a tail, but the truth is that he was simply a senile old man who sat as a figure-head. In that respect, he was no different than Reagan.

For example, take the rumors that China frowns on free speech. China respects free speech just as much as America does. Why China even has Free Speech Zones in the Beijing parks just as we have free speech zones in front of the Democratic Convention in Denver. Visitors to Beijing can enjoy the excitement and the pageant of the Olympics without having to be bothered by the people whose homes had been torn down to build the stadium. Democrats in Denver can go about the important business of government without having to be bothered with the the voices of the governed. So really, are the Chinese really that much different than we are?

True, the Chinese do tend to arrest the people who try to use their free speech zones, but so do we. The difference is that the Chinese tend to arrest their dissidents before the police start a riot. Here the police incite the riots first. So really, the Chinese are so much more civilized about it. I can remember my son being traumatized when we witnessed the police riot at the KPFA arrests in Berkeley in 1999. We saw a 50 something year old woman of our acquaintance being hit in the head by a police stick. Chinese children are not subjected to that kind of trauma. The Chinese method doesn’t have the public violence. The violence is hidden behind closed doors where children can’t see it, unless it is children who have been arrested.

The Chinese understand that appearances are everything. If you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. This is why the free speech zones are so far away from the Olympic Stadium. If the thousands of visitors and athletes don’t see dissidents than the dissidents don’t exist. What can be simpler? Google certainly understands this. They are the ones who designed the censorship filters that the Chinese use on their Internet service. Yahoo understands that it only takes one loud mouth dissident to screw up the world’s denial. That’s why they are so eager to turn private Internet usage records over to China as well as the United States.

So let’s be honest. The Olympics are not about human rights; they are about appearances. What does it matter that the Chinese Gymnastics team are all underage? The important thing is that they looked good. So what if a prettier older girl lip-synced to the voice of another little girl. She looked good. So what if the fireworks were computer generated? They made Beijing look good. China is telling the world that they are ready to do business just like America. Never mind that they made thousands homeless to build the Olympic Stadium. How is that any different than the thousands who had been made homeless in the Bay Area for the Internet boom? China has joined the Capitalist world. They are just like us now.

The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same

The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same

Support our Tibetan Friends and Neighbors.  Boycott Coca-Cola and all other Olympic Sponsors.

Support our Tibetan Friends and Neighbors. Boycott Coca-Cola and all other Olympic Sponsors.