I only have two articles this week which really call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them – and one that announces a way that people with talent (different kinds of talent, so don't disqualify yourself without reading further) can help them out. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."
The first story is happening in my home state of Colorado. Michael Bennet's term as a Democratic US Senator is expiring, he is running for reelection, and the Republicans want him out, naturally. Though he's kind of a DINO, he is infinitely better than any Republican. The Daily Kos Election Digest has the race listed as "safe Democrat," so it is unlikely that whoever gets the Republican nod will win. But apparently, whether it matters or not, they just can't seem to help cheating.
One of them, Jon Keyser, was told he didn't have enough signatures to get on that ballot, since numerous signatures were disqualified because the petition circulator's address on the petitions did not match his (I think it was a he) address of registration. Turned out he had moved and forgotten to change his address with the election department. OK, technically that's illegal. But a technicality is exactly what it is. I have no problem with the Secretary of State deciding to go ahead and put him on the ballot after all. Two other Republicans were told the same thing – one is not now on the ballot, the other managed to get onto the ballot but is suing the (Republican) Secretary of State anyway. That's typical Republican circus, and not the issue.
Here's the thing: after Jon Keyser was put onto the ballot, someone looked a little harder, and discovered possible fraud – so now he's off again. Here's the deal. One Republican in Littleton has her name on both Keyser's petition and also that for Jack Graham. That's kind of illegal too – you're only supposed to be supporting one candidate. After all, you can't vote twice (legally). But the potential for actual, tangible, provable fraud comes in when you look at both petitions and see that the same name is in totally different handwritings, with totally different signatures.
You can see this is PROBABLY not a case of two voters with the same name (who also just happen to live at the same address.) In any case one now wonders whether ANY Republican will now make it onto the Colorado Senate ballot. Under one of probably the ten most Republican Secretaries of State in the nation. I'm sure this is boring for you ladies – but maybe you can crack the whip a little to encourage the people sorting through these documents to get it right. They don't have a lot of time.
The other story comes from California, but is national in scope. I heard it through In The Public Interest, a group which I learned about through their work on exposing private prisons and the private contractors who supply them substandard food, poor medical care, expensive prisoner-to-family communications, etc. Now ITPI is looking at for profit schools in direct competition with public schools in kindergarten through high school.
Despite receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from California’s taxpayers, California Virtual Academies (CAVA), the state’s largest provider of online public education, is failing key tests used to measure educational success. According to an investigation by The San Jose Mercury News, fewer than half of the thousands of students who enroll in CAVA schools graduate, and almost none of them are qualified to attend the state's public universities.
All the while, the publicly traded corporation that owns the network, K12 Inc., continues to rake in massive profits.
Just like a brick-and-mortar charter school, an on-line charter school receives taxpayer funding which would (IMO should) have gone to the local public school. And, since those funds are based on attendance, just how does an online school take attendance? Simple – if you log in, you are "present." When you log out is no one's business. And this also irks me: "(W)hile records show that the company’s employees launched each of K12 Inc.’s 17 online schools in California, the applications they filed to open the schools described the founders as a “group of parents,” none of whom were named."
Probably not that surprising for an enterprise launched by a former Goldman Sachs bankster. Tisiphone, I usually ask for you when some vile human is being vengefully destructive. But if you decided to vengefully destroy these corporations, I wouldn't shed a tear.
Finally, the call for entries – "Calling all painters, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, dancers, graffiti artists, fine art students, animators, sculptors, designers, actors, advertisers, poets, writers, illustrators, tech specialists, crafters and anyone with a passion for creating, we’d love to hear from you." The topic is "Where's wetiko?"
I personally am more familiar with the Ojibway form of the word, "windingo," than the Algonquin form they chose, but I suspect they chose it because it moves faster in the mouth, like the "Waldo" they are probably alluding to in the topic title. But, you may be asking, WHAT is it? Well …
All over the world, there is a feeling that something is deeply wrong. It is often felt more than seen, an unnamed darkness that keeps millions (even billions) of people disconnected from the reality of authentic life-affirming experience….
Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit that is driven by greed, excess and selfish consumption (in Ojibwa it is windingo, wintiko in Powhatan). It deludes its host into believing that cannibalizing the life-force of others (others in the broad sense, including animals and other forms of Gaian life) is a logical and morally upright way to live.
•Every time someone is seen justifying the destruction of life for profit – it is wetiko.
•Every time compassion is vitally missing during a time of suffering – it is wetiko.
•Every time a privileged person uses another as a “throw away” toy – it is wetiko.
•Every time, in every way a community or country is impoverished so that others can be rich – it is wetiko.
So the answer to "Where's wetiko?" is "EVERYWHERE – but it needs to be SEEN."
The call for entries I have linked to has itself further links for anyone who wants to go deeper – but it's a good introduction, it's short and to the point, and repays reading through even if you think you do not have a creative nerve in your body. And maybe we can help out the furies by raising awareness of injustice and consequent opposition to it.
The Furies and I will be back.