Go Bears!

That’s the first time I ever expressed this archetypal UC Berkeley battle-cry from my Alma Mater. How come never before? To quote Kevin McCarthy from INNERSPACE, “Frankly, I don’t give a shit.” But I do care about these ridiculous UC tuition hikes that will further keep a brain drain on the state that’s already lost its collective mind by electing The Terminator twice. Blame our foreign entanglements. The eventual trillions being spent and squandered in Iraq and Afghanistan could help reduce our deficit and provide real health care for every American citizen. Not to mention pumping more funds into schools, the intellectual engines that hardwire the country into social and technological evolution. As a 60’s radical who wasn’t there, I always applaud the students in their revolts and it’s important to put a face on these struggles. Oh…Go Bears!


6 Responses to “Go Bears!”

  1. Bears of all type frighten THE FUTURIST! Not even bears that wear pork pie hats and neck ties and have a friend named Boo Boo can calm the fear. That haberdashery adornment masks a smirking killer of feral strength.

  2. this will be unpopular … but i regard the protesters as spoiled brats, unhappy with the amount of taxpayer subsidy already being received. Can’t afford UC? Quite yer bitching and attend a CSU.

  3. If they were spoiled, money wouldn’t be an issue. And ever since Reagan dismantled California’s education system in the 60’s, we’ve been paying. Of course, keeping those without money from our colleges is a wonderful way to keep a class system entrenched. Not to mention narrow diversity while ensuring other nations who make it easy for all to attend school, will continue to outpace us in education. We’re a very stupid nation sometimes.

  4. I’ve just promoted you to California Czar. What do you do tomorrow to fix this?

    I’m not suggesting no education. I’m suggesting attending a college that can be afforded. If what you state is true, then the Sac. Bee did a horrible job of reporting the problem, cause every personal story they cited was cry-me-a-river bs IMO. Go into debt and work full-time like everyone else I know –myself included.

    I was unable to locate any info on Reagan 60’s misdeeds. Can you provide a reference?

  5. John, Reagan has a widely reported history of mis-deeds regarding education when he tok over as Governor — from sending out the National Guards to gas and shoot at students tostripping the budgets of schools left and right — this was the same time he decided that the state shouldn’t pay for crazy people to be secured in mental hospitals, resulting in the state being filled with the mentally ill wandering.

    Here’s nice precise on Reagan’s legacy:

    What is Mr. Reagan’s educational legacy? Let’s begin with a look at his record as governor of California. While running for the governorship, Mr. Reagan shrewdly made the most of disorder on University of California campuses. For instance, he demanded a legislative investigation of alleged Communism and sexual misconduct at the University of California at Berkeley. He insisted on public hearings, claiming “a small minority of hippies, radicals and filthy speech advocates” had caused disorder and that they should “be taken by the scruff of the neck and thrown off campus — permanently”,[1]

    Once elected, Mr. Reagan set the educational tone for his administration by:

    a. calling for an end to free tuition for state college and university students,

    b. annually demanding 20% across-the-board cuts in higher education funding,[2]

    c. repeatedly slashing construction funds for state campuses

    d. engineering the firing of Clark Kerr, the popular President of the University of California, and

    e. declaring that the state “should not subsidize intellectual curiosity,[3]”

    And he certainly did not let up on the criticisms of campus protestors that had aided his election. Mr. Reagan’s denunciations of student protesters were both frequent and particularly venomous. He called protesting students “brats,” “freaks,” and “cowardly fascists.” And when it came to “restoring order” on unruly campuses he observed, “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with. No more appeasement!”

    Several days later four Kent State students were shot to death. In the aftermath of this tragedy Mr. Reagan declared his remark was only a “figure of speech.” He added that anyone who was upset by it was “neurotic.”[4] One wonders if this reveals him as a demagogue or merely unfeeling.

    Governor Reagan not only slashed spending on higher education. Throughout his tenure as governor Mr. Reagan consistently and effectively opposed additional funding for basic education. This led to painful increases in local taxes and the deterioration of California’s public schools. Los Angeles voters got so fed up picking up the slack that on five separate occasions they refused to support any further increases in local school taxes. The consequent under-funding resulted in overcrowded classrooms, ancient worn-out textbooks, crumbling buildings and badly demoralized teachers. Ultimately half of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s teachers walked off the job to protest conditions in their schools.[5] Mr. Reagan was unmoved.

    Ronald Reagan left California public education worse than he found it. A system that had been the envy of the nation when he was elected was in decline when he left. Nevertheless, Mr. Reagan’s actions had political appeal, particularly to his core conservative constituency, many of whom had no time for public education.

    In campaigning for the Presidency, Mr. Reagan called for the total elimination the US Department of Education, severe curtailment of bilingual education, and massive cutbacks in the Federal role in education. Upon his election he tried to do that and more.

    Significantly, President Reagan also took steps to increase state power over education at the expense of local school districts. Federal funds that had flowed directly to local districts were redirected to state government. Moreover, federal monies were provided to beef up education staffing at the state level. The result was to seriously erode the power of local school districts.[6]

    As in California, Mr. Reagan also made drastic cuts in the federal education budget. Over his eight years in office he diminished it by half. When he was elected the federal share of total education spending was 12%. When he left office it stood at just 6%.

    He also advocated amending the Constitution to permit public school prayer, demanded a stronger emphasis on values education and proposed federal tuition tax credits for parents who opted for private schooling. The later two initiatives stalled in Congress. There were desultory efforts to promote greater values education but theyeventually misfired because of an obvious lack of consensus on whose values were to be taught.

    Mr. Reagan was far more successful in giving corporate managers unprecedented influence over the future of public education. Reagan’s avowed purpose was to make America more competitive in the world economy. But corporate executives dabbling in public education had no discernable influence on America’s competitiveness. But the influence of big business did undermine the power of parents and locally elected school board members. It also suggested that it was far more important for schools to turn out good employees than good citizens or decent human beings.

    In California Mr. Reagan had made political hay by heaping scorn on college students and their professors. As President his administration’s repeatedly issued or encouraged uncommonly bitter denunciations of public education. William Bennett, the President’s demagogic Secretary of Education, took the lead in this. He toured the nation making unprecedented and unprincipled attacks on most aspects of public education including teacher certification, teacher’s unions and the “multi-layered, self-perpetuating, bureaucracy of administrators that weighs down most school systems.” “The Blob” was what Bennett dismissively called them.


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