Northern Valley Beacon

News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

South Dakota's emigrant problem: the flight from a fraudulent democracy

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We like to talk a lot about holding public officials and others who work for the public accountable.  But no one talks about holding the public accountable for the crimes it condones.  

The primary definition of crime is  doing something that can be punished  as a violation of law.  The secondary definition is doing something "that, although not illegal, is considered to be evil, shameful, or wrong."  To take that secondary definition out of the realm of individual perceptions,  one can look at comparative law.  What is a crime in one state or nation may not be illegal by law in another.  In South Dakota, many things are permissible which bring down the force of law in other states.  And in South Dakota, there are many laws which are simply ignored. Those who  examine the state of democracies throughout the world use the term "fraudulent democracy" to describe those countries, such as Russia,  which profess democratic governments but are, in fact, dictatorships and oligarchies.  South Dakota has long been an oligarchy with its laws devised to give the power and wealth to the oligarchs and those who help them.  The U.S is well on its way toward oligarchy.  

Folks in South Dakota like to point to Chicago and Illinois as the epitome of corruption.  When matters such as the EB-5 scam or the 
 Mid-Central Educational Cooperative embezzlement apparatus come to light,  good old South Dakotans point to Illinois and say, 'Well, we ain't like them."  Those good old folks are right, of course.  Illinois has corruption.  But it also has laws and people willing to enforce them.  Four of its last seven governors were sent to prison.  The former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools has been  indicted for bribery.  The people see crime exposed and justice at work in Illinois.  South Dakota's incidents of the EB-5 swindle and the MCEC fraud were exposed with the alleged suicides of key players in the schemes.  Although both schemes were conducted with the knowledge and participation of high officials in state government, no honest investigation was ever made to determine just how these incidents of swindle and embezzlement involving millions of dollars took place.  That is because the laws are written to enable and protect the financial predators, and a majority of the people think it's okay because in their minds it is  the way business is done.   According to the laws of Illinois, however, such acts are crimes and require accountability to the public.  

Ultimately, corruption is the responsibility of the people who vote officials into office and keep them there.  When people repeatedly endorse subterfuge as the relationship between business and government through the people they elect to office,  they are defining their moral and intellectual character and that of the place in which they live.  Thus, South Dakota is not a place that has caught and punished corrupt officials.  The state and the majority of its people are corrupt.  Of course, there are good, honest, hard-working people in South Dakota, but they are not the dominant characteristic of the state.  The fact is that South Dakota is a rotten place for a good, honest, hard-working person to work and live.  

More and more, the U.S. is following the cultural trend of tolerance, even admiration, for corruption that rules in South Dakota.  The current slate of GOP candidates for president  degenerate democracy in the way they conduct themselves.  They defame each other, potential opponents, and large groups of people.  There is a near-absolute absence of any proposals that would benefit the people.  The only time the declining status of citizens is mentioned by the GOP candidates is when they need something to blame someone for.  The true significance of this is that people accept this as the state of political thinking and discourse.  And that tacit acceptance is the result of an education system that has been intellectually and financially  subverted by the conservative agenda and by  communications media that are the hand-maidens of corporate feudalism.   What is unnoticed or denied in the current national conversation is the number of people who have come to realize that American democracy is fraudulent and has been displaced by an angry, malevolent fight for power and control to oppress and exclude masses of people.  

As the former keeper of a list of active Democrats,  I have noted a trend in the decline of voter registrations that most people choose to ignore.  The most recent figure on South Dakota voter registrations as reported by Bob Mercer show 237.636 registered Republicans, 167,272 Democrats, and 108,766 Independents at the first of the year.  Those figures reflect a two-year gain of 2,900 for Republicans,  almost a 14,000 gain for Independents, but a 9,500 loss for Democrats.  The surge in Independent registrations appears to be a reflection of how many people are wary and distrustful of the state of democracy.  Those who comment on politics in South Dakota tend to believe that the losses of the Democrats and the gains of the republicans are because the Republicans set forth a more convincing, appealing agenda.  But in this context, one must consider the large gains of the Independents.  The Independents do not have a political organization that advances an agenda.  The shifts in registrations reflect something other than a contest for political affections.  They represent a more fundamental change in the state's demography.

I have written often on my experience in maintaining that list of active Democrats and of its declining numbers.  A huge factor is attrition:  Democrats die and move away and no people are taking their places.  But equally significant is the number of Democrats who have lost interest in politics.  They think that our current political system is not capable of honesty and fair play, and a majority of the voters in the state place power over integrity in making their choices.  Put starkly,  South Dakota is corrupt and members of the political party in power like it that way, and there is little hope for changing it.  Rather than get ensnared in degenerate political games, many people choose to disassociate themselves from South Dakota politics and remain aloof, while looking for the chance to escape. 

The state has a conflicting history with its white settlement by homesteaders and its subjugation of the American Indian people.  It has a culture that at once built rural communities while conducting nefarious  destruction of an entire people.  Those rural communities have been largely decimated by the integration of farms into the corporate economic structure, which set up the pattern of emigration from the state.  In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the 14-counry area around Aberdeen led the nation in the number of people emigrating, leaving for other places.  

That emigration was also noted in recent high school and college graduates.  For years, some state officials complained about the "brain drain."  The brightest high school graduates left to go to college in other places and did not return.  A second wave of emigrants was college graduates who regarded their college degrees as passports to better lives in other places.  There have been efforts in recent years to extoll the virtues of South Dakota, but the harsh reality is that state is corrupt.  It is attractive only to those who tolerate and esteem   enterprises such as the EB-5 fraud and the Gear-Up embezzlements--and the few who maintain some sentimental attachments to a time when the state did hold out some prospects for the honest and hard-working.  

South Dakota is among the many places that are facing a teacher shortage.  Oddly, district superintendents and principals are complaining about the difficulty in filling teaching staff positions while the governor insists that the state has 400 too many teachers.   Educators and their profession have been under attack by a public that is increasingly resentful of people who try to combat ignorance and stupidity and by  government officials who have devised programs such as No Child Left Behind which have further deteriorated education rather than improved it.  There is a diminished interest in going into a profession that is undercut and held in low regard by so many people.  But South Dakota has an added impediment in attracting teaching talent because it pays teacher the lowest wages by far in the nation for teachers.  The problem goes far beyond the conservative efforts to keep the young ignorant, stupid, and docile  The contempt for education and educators is a bi-partisan value.  A usually liberal-leaning  blogger in South Dakota recently wrote:

I’m not going to link all the feel good stories about getting taxed more to give a pay raise to people who work 9 months out of the year to educate children that are not mine.
I already pay their wages with my property taxes.
Those sentiments have been expressed with great frequency every time teacher pay comes up in the state.  And over the years, I have heard a consistent response from promising projsjpectife teachers:  why would anyone who values real education work in a state that devalues it ways reflected by those comments?  The fact is that people who want to teach and contribute significantly to the development of children know better than to try and work where the profession is so repressively demeaned.  

South Dakotans deeply resent being characterized as mean and small-minded.  But the things that happen on the floor of its legislature and in the halls of government and the things said on its blogs provide plenty of justification for such characterizations.  What person of some education and cultural discernment wants to live and workk in an atmosphere of small-minded malevolence?  And that is a factor faced not only by teachers with  talent and potential but by any person who wants to shape a good life.  

The corrupt and degenerative political culture of South Dakota has spread to the rest of the nation, as evidenced by the campaigns conducted by the GOP presidential candidates.  While a few of the candidates, such as Rand Paul and John Kasich,  have adopted somewhat conciliatory and positive tones (Paul has ended his candidacy), the thrust of the leading contenders is what insult and abuse they heap on groups of people and the damage they propose to do to them.  The messages of the contenders are hateful discrimination and overt oppression.   They speak to the attitudes held by a huge segment of the American population.   When they speak of the decline of America, they are referring to the extension of civil rights, the replacement of military aggression with diplomacy, and movement toward providing Americans with the kind of health care offered by the rest of the civilized world. 

That segment of the population does, indeed, take on the aspects of Germany of the 1930s.  

Many people with whom I know through political work have abandoned South Dakota as a lost cause.  I have watched many of them move out of state.  Some have resumed their political interests in their new  locations.  A couple of them are working with their new legislators to end the federal subsidization of states like South Dakota which complain about big government.   They think it is time to take federal programs out of such states and end the federal money.  But many of the people who have moved have resigned themselves to the fact that American democracy has failed and the country has deteriorated into a corporate oligarchy.  The distribution of wealth and power is evidence of it,  and a majority of the voters seem to endorse it.  

If there is hope, it is among young people who recognize the failure of democracy in America and the political fraud our government represents.  Many of those young have emigrated from South Dakota.  And many young people--and older ones, too--are examining where they can go now.  Their ancestors left the Old World when their opportunities were limited and restricted by the old feudal rules and masters.  America is now in the hands of the same kind of restrictive,  oppressive feudal masters.  

Europe is besieged by Middle Eastern immigrants who are trying to  escape the violence and horrors of discrimination and oppression.  But America has its set of incipient emigrants who are looking for places to go if America's descent into fraudulence,  hate-based policies, and economic serfdom cannot be somewhat reversed.  

What is happening occurs with the assent of the people.  The country will become what the majority wants.  South Dakota sets an example of what happens when corruption is legalized and promoted as a way of doing business.  What honest, hard-working person wants to live under such a regime?  And where can one go from here? 

Political leaders cannot reverse the trend.  It happens with the will of the people.  And the people have willed the failure of a democracy that strives for liberty, equality, and justice.   



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A look at the human race you might not want to see

Seventy years after the end of World War II,  the French are releasing documents of the Vichy regime that collaborated with the Nazis during their occupation of France.  Some people, the New York Times account reports, have looked at the documents for evidence of how their relatives resisted the Nazis, only to find that they were, in fact, collaborators.  For those people who believed that their heritage was one of heroic resistance to the perpetrators of the Holocaust only to find from documents that was not so, it is a wrenching time.  

The Scandinavian countries produce stories about their resistance to the Nazis.  Many such stories are true.  But so are stories about those who collaborated with the Nazis. Those stories of collaboration and intense fascist hatreds in part of the Swedish population, for example, were revived when the late writer Stieg Larsson launched his millennial trilogy  with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Although a fiction, the book portrayed and presented a reality not often confronted.

As an undergraduate at a college with Swedish Lutheran origins, the stories of collaborators and sympathizers with the Nazis were familiar to me.   Some of the professors and students--World War II veterans on the G.I. Bill were on campus--warned that some professors had racist sympathies that tended toward Nordic purity.  The response by the majority of the professors and students was not to mention those partialities.  The idea seemed to be that if they were ignored, they would go away.  But  racial hatreds are like the shingle virus that is left in the body from chicken pox.  They lie dormant but can break out with a virulence after decades.

We've found that out when Barack Obama became president.  Tea Partiers produced posters of him as a witch doctor.  Racist jokes circulated through their e-mails.  And those who had been restrained from displaying racial hatreds became emboldened.  They could put a facade of political disagreement over their expressions of racist hatred, but the pretenses are belied by the intensity of the hatred.  

The advent of Donald Trump has encouraged people to express themselves more directly, and while journalistic analysts attribute the hatefulness to the frustrations of a middle class under attack,  many of his supporters are giving true voice to hate-based philosophies and attitudes.  

Places such as Grand Forks, North Dakota, a fairly peaceful university town, have felt the effects of America's contemporary racism.   Grand Forks has a contingent of Somali people, and a restaurant run and patronized by Somalis was fire-bombed earlier this month.  At a public hearing on race relations, one citizen said,  “We don’t need to learn about the cultures these refugees left behind.  Another said with others applauding in agreement, "This town’s built by white people.  Not by blacks. Not by Mexicans. Not by Indians.”

That fire-bombing was a part of what is America's Kristal Nacht.   The questions are how many Americans can see their fellow citizens for what they are, and if and how they will react? 






Sunday, December 6, 2015

The U.S. is repeating the history of 1930s Germany; it's the will of a lot of people

Begin with Donald Trump.  He is the quintessential asshole, albeit unusually productive with what assholes produce.  He is everything that is an offense to intelligent society.  He brags.  He belittles.  He insults.  He is sexist.  He is racist.  He lies. He doubles down on his lies when they are proven untrue.  He demands apologies when people point out his lies.  He is ignorant.  Stupendously ignorant.  Remarkably stupid.  He is demonstrably dishonest.  He flaunts his wealth.  He has no redeeming characteristics.  But he leads in the popularity polls for GOP presidential candidates.  

Why?

Because he appeals to a large segment of the people.  

As a soldier stationed in Germany, I, like many of my fellows in arms, was wary and skeptical about how much the people supported Hitler and the Nazi regime.  When my unit, which was bringing guided missiles to Germany, landed in Frankfort, there were protestors outside the airbase with signs saying "Sputnik go home."  Many of the German people showed resentment toward us.  We were trained to be friendly and helpful to the German people and not to bring up the Nazi past, but among ourselves we wondered if Hitler was not just what the people wanted. At the time, which was twelve years after Germany surrendered, we were aware that there were underground Nazi sympathizers around, but the U.S. was more concerned at the time about some Marxist groups forming what later became known as the Red Army Faction.  However, the official U.S. position was that the vast majority of Germans were good, peace-loving, hard-working people who had been duped and intimidated by the Third Reich and were happy to be liberated from that regime's rule.  

A women who I got to know graduated from a U.S. military high school in Germany while her father was stationed there in the Air Force, became fluent in German, and became friends with many German students through cooperative programs her school had with German schools.  Her friendships sparked curiosity in her about just what the attitude was among the older generations regarding the Nazi regime.  Her contemporaries were sensitive about the Nazi past and avoided much query about what the attitudes of the elders had been.  Years later, she graduated from a college which required a senior thesis for graduation.  She returned to Germany and wrote about how the Germans responded to the Nazi history.  She found evidence which suggested that the Germans had to have known that a holocaust was taking place and that many people supported and collaborated with the Nazis.
  
A 2001 book, The Good German by Joesph Kanon  took up the issue and sparked a film starring George Clooney and a number of similar works that examined the collaborations and support of the Nazis by the German people and the glossing over of those relationships during the Cold War.    

Hilter had a legitimate political appeal to the Germans.  They were  hit hard by the Great Depression and were struggling economically.  Hitler promised measures to lift Germany  out of the depression.  He also appealed to national pride.  Much like Trump promises to "make America great again," Hilter promised to "make Germany proud again."  

However, he also provided scapegoats for the problems faced by Germans by blaming all the ills faced by the people on the Jews and other minorities.  After the surrender of Germany in 1945,  a claim by the German people was that they didn't know about the Holocaust taking place and the extermination of the Jews.  That claim has been refuted.  The German press during the war was full of reports about the program against the Jews.  Tump and some of his cohorts in candidacy also lavishes the public with scapegoats to  blame and persecute.  

The Holocaust is the human act through which we define atrocities.  It is true that ignorant and petty people invoke Hitler and the Holocaust in stupid and specious ways in their discussions,  producing Godwin's law:  "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."  Some have contorted the law into claiming that anyone who invokes the Nazi past in an argument loses it.  But that is merely a ploy to avoid referencing the deliberate atrocity when it does parallel gross mental and moral failures of humankind in our time.   

Trump is one of those failures.  His claims about America becoming a nation of "losers" is not supported by any factual measures of the nation's economic status or its reputation among other nations.   As far as American exceptionalism is concerned,  many nations have surpassed it in terms of providing a high standard of living for all, for extending liberty, for making equality more than a slogan, and for making justice available to all.  If America has elements of decline,  they are in the inequality and in the malevolence against other humans   caused by the likes of Donal Trump.  

But what is significant about Trump is not his character and personality, but the number of people who seek refuge behind his inane bullying.  They do not represent what is good and admirable about America.

But in failures of moral character and intellectual competence,  Trump is only the leader of a pack.  His fellow GOP candidates are for the most part raging hate mongers.  One of the things they hate is Barack Obama.  The election of a black man to the presidency has excited old racial hatreds and made them a prominent part of American life again.  For a time after the civil rights movement, overt expressions of racial hatred were suppressed.  However, we  now live in a time when people feel no compunction about expressing racist attitudes.  They can say that they are expressing disagreement with the policies of a president who happens to be black.  But the belligerence and raging hatred with which those disagreements are expressed unveil the deep malignancy of racism and intolerance.  Trump,  the practiced playground bully,  knows how to tap into this malignancy and provide a voice for those who are possessed by it.  HIs fellow candidates follow suit.

One of the things that works with these mentalities is to affirm their hatreds by making up incidents that never occurred.  Trump insists that he saw on television Muslims in New Jersey cheering and celebrating the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.  Fact checkers and news media have shown that there is no record of such celebrations having taken place, but Trump insists he saw it and that is evidence enough for those who want to believe it.  Much of what Trump claims is made up and false, but that facts and honesty do not matter with his supporters.  The false claims feed their malice and their need to defame and persecute.  It creates the illusion in their limited minds that they are not the lowest creatures in the human dog pack.

In the devout belief in things that never happened department,  Carly Fiorina comes in at a close second.  She claims to have seen a video of Planned Parenthood personnel dissecting a baby, although she cannot provide evidence of any such video existing and journalists have established that it never did exist.  Still, Fiorina,  like Trump, insists she saw it, and that satisfies the malevolent craving of those who need something to hate and defame.  

Other in the GOP candidate cohort also show great talent in errors and falsehoods of fact and an underlying misanthropy at the root of their political philosophies.  Ted Cruz says he'll carpet bomb ISIS out of existence,  but Cruz has buried himself so deep in raving offense that even his Republican fellow senators detest him

Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, and many of the lesser lights have also had their moments in trying to lead the nation in its rituals of hate and falsehood.  But the real significance is in the number of Americans who put up with it and even revel in it.  

In the mid-1930s,  Sinclair Lewis wrote a satiric novel, It Can't Happen Here, which showed that the same kind of mentality that was taking over Germany existed and was operating in America.  

It's happening again.   With a vengeance.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Congress rewriting education law to make graft easier for places like South Dakota

Congress is rewriting the No Child Left Behind law to remove oversight from the federal government and make the states the determiners of where and how the $14 billion 
is spent.

This is great news for the South Dakota Education Department which has presided over the syphoning of federal money in the GEAR UP and College Access programs into corporations set up to steer the funds into the pockets of department operatives and their cronies.  

Those few people in South Dakota who do not think that graft is merely free enterprise at work have little recourse.  They might want to write to a senator or congress person from a neighboring state to see if a little honesty, competence, and responsibility can be brought to bear on educational funds.  Legislators in other states might be interested to learn what happened with the GEAR UP and College Access funds.  Click on the state listed for members and their contact information:

                               North Dakota

                                   Minnesota

                                   Iowa

Sometimes the corruption is the people

There are people, some of them native South Dakotans, who detest the state.  They do not think that the state is a place of nice, benign  people who unwittingly elected predatory and devious people into state government.  They think the people responsible for the EB-5, GEAR UP, Secretary of State shambles, and other instances such as the abject cronyism of the current Brown County Commission, are elected into office because they represent the values and attitudes of a majority of the voters. 

A hypocrisy particularly galling to the South Dakota detesters is the state's reliance on federal money while it constantly berates and denigrates programs that help the needy and build the infrastructure.  Leaders of the state garner voter support by flaunting the dishonesty.  They think the EB-5 and GEAR UP schemes are smart and clever, even though some participants  who got caught in the scheming seem to have resorted to suicide and murder to remove themselves from the schemes.  

Federal aid to state budgets, 2012
StateTotal federal aid ($ in thousands)Federal aid as a % of general revenueRanking
South Dakota$1,630,22040.84%4
Minnesota$9,608,01828.13%39
Nebraska$3,141,41334.22%22
North Dakota$1,750,13424.76%45
SourceUnited States Census Bureau, "State Government Finances: 2012," accessed February 24, 2014 http://ballotpedia.org/South_Dakota_state_budget_and_finances
Staff for Congressional members from other states have reported that the people they work for have been getting calls and letters from South Dakotans who ask if something cannot be done about the mishandling and misuse of money coming into South Dakota through federal programs.  People in nearby states who are aware of the news of the financial scandals have also registered with their  representatives that they resent taxpayer money being put to   dishonest and wasteful use, and they ask if the state cannot be excluded from getting such money and if the federal government does not have the authority to take action when fraud and incompetence are discovered.  

When the state declined to make a thorough investigation and report on the EB-5 scandal, people assumed that the investigation conducted by the FBI would  eventually produce a comprehensive explanation of who was all involved and what they did.  The people were stunned when the Department of Justice dismissed the case saying there was no evidence for any charges.  Requests under the Freedom of Information Act for documents produced by the FBI investigation have not, as yet, been responded to.  However, the absence of any information from the U.S. Attorney's office when there is so much prima facie evidence of wrong doing has cast deep shadows of doubt that extend over party lines.  Congressional sources have said there is a desperation on the part of some South Dakotans who are looking for some accounting from officials who are supposed to be looking out for their interests as citizens.  

The state hides behind the exemptions in state records laws and the absence of a freedom of information law.  In a 2008 ranking, the Better Government Association Integrity Index put South Dakota at the absolute bottom at number 50 among the states.  A 2013 review moved it up to 47, but noted its laws as impediments to any public access to information.  The control and suppression of any information about how the fleecing operations with EB-5 and the Mid-Central Education Coop-GEAR UP grant clearly is designed to deflect any responsibility of government agencies and officials under whose auspices they were run. 

When people resort to appealing to elected officials in other states to rein in the tax money poured into South Dakota and to get control of the graft it spawns,  they indicate that their only hope for a voice in a responsible government is to find an honest politician in another state.  

As long as the vote of  the people chooses the government,  the people are utimatey responsible for what kind of government they have.  Corruption has deep sources in South Dakota. 











Monday, November 23, 2015

That bill to subject Syrian refugees to more scrutiny is really needed


1. Registration with the United Nations.
2. Interview with the United Nations.
3. Refugee status granted by the United Nations.
4. Referral for resettlement in the United States.
The United Nations decides if the person fits the definition of a refugee and whether to refer the person to a country for resettlement. Only the most vulnerable are referred, accounting for fewer than 1 percent of refugees worldwide. Some people spend years waiting in refugee camps.
5. Interview with State Department contractors.
6. First background check.
7. Higher-level background check for some.
8. Another background check.
The refugee’s name is run through law enforcement and intelligence databases for terrorist or criminal history. Some go through a higher-level clearance before they can continue. A third background check was introduced in 2008 for Iraqis but has since been expanded to all refugees ages 14 to 65.
9. First fingerprint screening; photo taken.
10. Second fingerprint screening.
11. Third fingerprint screening.
The refugee’s fingerprints are screened against F.B.I. and Homeland Security databases, which contain watch list information and past immigration encounters, including if the refugee previously applied for a visa at a United States embassy. Fingerprints are also checked against those collected by the Defense Department during operations in Iraq.
12. Case reviewed at United States immigration headquarters.
13. Some cases referred for additional review.
Syrian applicants must undergo these two additional steps. Each is reviewed by a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services refugee specialist. Cases with “national security indicators” are given to the Homeland Security Department’s fraud detection unit.
14. Extensive, in-person interview with Homeland Security officer.
Most of the interviews with Syrians have been done in Jordan and Turkey.
15. Homeland Security approval is required.
If the House bill becomes law, the director of the F.B.I., the Homeland Security secretary and the director of national intelligence would be required to confirm that the applicant poses no threat.
16. Screening for contagious diseases.
17. Cultural orientation class.
18. Matched with an American resettlement agency.
19. Multi-agency security check before leaving for the United States.
Because of the long amount of time between the initial screening and departure, officials conduct a final check before the refugee leaves for the United States.
20. Final security check at an American airport.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Regents: the coyotes watching the foxes raid the henhouse

When the state Department of Education canceled Its contract with the Mid-Central Educational Cooperative to administer the multi-million dollar federal grant for the Gear Up program, it proposed turning the administration of that grant over to the Board of Regents.  Which it did.  There were murmurs of approval in the press and the internet posts, as if the problem with the wasteful and apparently greed-syphoned dispersal of those funds was solved. 

A number of stories and letters bloomed forth extolling the virtue of the program and  the people who delivered it.  When it comes to the people who actually deliver programs to students that benefit them and help them advance to a more accomplished status of education,  those people are for the most part diligent and effective.  But trying to redeem a program on the basis of their honest, productive  work misses the point.  The  Mid-Central administrators set up a layer of incorporated sub-administrators to insure that the trickle-down theory was in operation.  Instead of seeing that a healthy, clear and steady stream of finances flow down to the delivery points of the Gear Up program, it set up an apparatus of diversion that directed the money to  executive basins, which allowed only a measly trickle through to the intended recipients of the program.  It fully committed the program to being run like a business, which meant that the CEOs, or those who think of themselves as such, would capture a  large portion of the cash for themselves and their sycophants who assisted them in the capture.  

This is not to say that all of those who oversee educational programs connive ways to serve their greed.  Many are after power and the prestige of having a bevy of underlings to fuck over, to put the motive most precisely.  They are the ones who deeply resent the idea of being equal to those over whom they rule.  

When people say that educational enterprises need to be run like a business, they are setting up the justifications which lead to the exercise of power and the raiding of treasuries.  Their rationales are listed on an internet site which purports to list those values and philosophies which distinguish capitalism from communism.  Those distinctions are:


  • Driven by free enterprise 
  • Wealth distributed unevenly 
  • Class distinctions: upper class, middle class and working class 
  • When people compete against one another, they achieve greater things 
  • Some people have more than others because they make better use of their abilities 
  • Governments should not interfere with the rights of individuals to make their own living 
  • The government should interfere in the economy as little as possible 
And that leads to the reasons why putting the Regents in charge of administering the Gear Up grant is absurd.  Perhaps, duplicitous.  The Regents are the ones who set up the mechanisms for the EB-5 scandal.  In 1991, they established the Center for Excellence in International Business at NSU, which puzzled the state's faculty and most of the administrators on sister campuses.  Then in 1994, the Regents incorporated the South Dakota International Business Institute, which became the facility for raising the EB-5 funds and the schemes those funds were to finance.  A university had become an arm in the activities which, according to the preachers of predatory, anti-demoractic capitalism, serve their ideology and their motive.  

So, now the designers and advocates of that scheme are the overseers of the federal Gear Up funds.  

First of all, there exists a philosophy of honest capitalism in which businesses compete to create the best goods and services for the consumer.  But according to the canons of predatory capitalism, as listed above, businesses should be allowed to compete without government interference in the  generation of wealth by any means it devises,  even when the money it is after comes from the government .  Predatory capitalism's primary need is to refute the principles of democracy.  

In the 1980s when Gov. Janklow purged the Board of Regents of anyone who represented education at its delivery point,  he stacked the board with people who saw professors and other teachers as the working class that needed to be ruled by the overclass.  

After this coups,  I was on the negotiating team for the faculty with the Board of Regent.  Their side had a member from the business office of the Regents who constantly complained that the faculty thought it had a mission and place in society different from the rest of workers.  Explanations that all professions have rules of ethics and procedure and specially defined relationships with their clients that guide their responsibilities were dismissed by him as pretenses.  He represented the Regent's philosophy and attitude toward their professors and their institutions,  which was that the essential goal of education was to prepare docile, obedient workers to make the job of ruling by the overclass easier.  The underlying notion was that higher education was to further the schemes of capitalism, making no distinction between democratic enterprises and those of predatory and parasitic classes.

So, the body which created an entity within the higher education system for the function of advancing predation and parasitism of educational funds is now in charge of  the Gear Up grant.  

At one time,  I thought that South Dakota higher education could be improved if the Regents were elected rather than appointed.  But a plurality of the electorate clearly believes in running education like a business.  If students have no other opportunity,  I point out that there are people of competence and integrity at the delivery points of education.   But if they want the knowledge and experience of an education committed to the democratic principles in our nation's founding documents,  they should look elsewhere than the institutions under the direction of the state's educational bureaucracy. In South Dakota where  they are likely to to get caught up in one of its fraudulent schemes.  

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States

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