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Above: Lake Geneva, Switzerland. At Montreux.

Fodderize v.t. 1. To break down individual components; to make fungible; to disregard difference; to render one easily substituted for another 2. To impose sub-quality goods or services upon, with little recourse 3. To cap role choices, hinder access to resources regardless of merit, and so avoid competition 4. To manage perception by propaganda-spin techniques, while concealing dispositive facts 5. To manipulate, lure, exploit, deceive

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Trevor Noah for Secretary of Education. Reject Betsy DeVos. Unregulated capitalism exploits.

1.  Choose Trevor Noah.

This is a wise, seasoned man, with black mother, white father, raised in South Africa, who now is running interference on late night TV.  He knows legions about the broad aspirations and barriers to accomplishment that people of color experience. That is a universal issue.  He also has the perspective, humor, and articulation skills to have figured out what is needed in criminal justice and to make education work (both fields blend). He lays out the problems, and solution ideas, better than any proposal for progress that nominee Trump has come up with to date.

Hey, Trump. Why not. Education and Justice under Trevor Noah and the United States may begin to grow its democracy again, if that is indeed your goal.  As it is, we see your current nominees fostering the demise of democracy -- even its failure, in favor of entrenching the elite. Meanwhile, the autocrats, oligarchs, kleptocrats,  those whose control we used to deride in Russia, succeed here as well. Our people (your people) are taking a page out of the Russian playbook.  Can we get back to our own roots.
  • No! comes the voice from offstage right. Your so-called roots don't count. You didn't get your turn at bat before because we hid the bat; but now we get it all, so sit down.

Did we say the issues of Trevor Noah's life are universals?

Yet he can deal with them without making enemies.  Begin reading his memoir, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/28/books/review-born-a-crime-trevor-noahs-raw-account-of-life-under-apartheid.html?_r=0. Find a brilliant organization:   a) A serious overview, in one form of typeface throughout; that  b) precedes each chapter's memoir section related to it, and in another typeface throughout.

To read the history-informational-philosophy sections first:
  • The contents list the chapter headings, so go to the immediately preceding pages for the short course in issues first. The overview may offers history, differences between ethnic and racial groups in South Africa; or the differing townships, and who lives there; or insights into a parent's reasons for behavior, as in how the child is raised; and why actions are taken to instill what life-lessons.
  • For your own short course, go to the the introduction to the jail episode: what jail is like, that precedes Chapter 17 -- the chapter about Trevor Noah ending up there, and why, and what happened and what he learned. Hooked, go on to Chapter 18, about his mother's life.
2.  Reject Betsy DeVos.

Betsy DeVos. Did we say no loudly enough? That Trevor-Noah perspective of experience, wisdom, ability to articulate, all foster a working-together ability to see many sides to issues. This is lacking in the billionaire-blinders-wearing ideological candidate for Education Secretary now: a Betsy DeVos.

DeVos?  Of Vos?  From Vos? Why the capital V?  De Vos is middle Dutch for "the fox" -- a nickname, say, for someone with red hair; or a "crafty man." See Everyman's experts at http://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=devossomebody hammed that up but good.  Apt.

This fox's adulation of unregulated capitalism, totally free market, is a ticket to ongoing exploitation. As Trevor Noah says, it's fine to say we'll teach people to fish, but not if we withhold access to the poles. 

3.  Why? America -- is it failing as a democracy, while Russia's unmitigated oligarch succeed?  That kind of observation about Russia and the United States is by Karen Dawisha, author of Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia (2014), library copy on request, see review at  https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/30/books/review/putins-kleptocracy-by-karen-dawisha.html.

Dawisha sees an authoritarian government there in process of succeeding, and a democratic one here in process of failing. Is that so.

  • Learn about the larger issue: undue influence unrestrained, patterns. See a documentary Putin biographical video 2016 with stated agenda of concern, and basic information:  This is the government Trump and his nominees want to perpetuate: Average Russian is poorer than the average (India) Indian. So there is deprivation, for those not at the top. Who is at the top? Only 110 people own 35% of the wealth. What does that kind of disparity breed: more resentment, more need for force?  See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E06j7azz0AM.
These choices are important to whether we pursue exploitation as the goal; or a mutual prosperity. No, say the voices. If people live sustainable lives, they may compete with us.  Can't have that, is that so? 

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