The Continuing Collapse: February 2010

Discussion in 'Faith and Religion' started by survivalmonkey, Mar 28, 2010.

  1. survivalmonkey

    survivalmonkey Monkey+++

    By Bruce N. Shortt, J.D., Ph.D.
    Exposing Government Schools: The Youth Ministry of the State Church
    of Secular Humanism*
    February,*Anno Domini 2010
    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies."
    (Groucho Marx)*??*Here richly, with ridiculous display,The Politician's corpse was laid away.
    While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged
    I wept: for I had longed to see him hanged.
    (Hilaire Belloc)
    Nothing beats the schadenfreude that results from watching our highly trained education professionals receive their deserved comeuppance...except, perhaps, a well merited "I told you so."
    Here The Continuing Collapse leads with the best of all - a story of comeuppance and an occasion for a robust*"I told you so." For years TCC has pointed out that despite the massive cashflows enjoyed by our highly trained education professionals, the government school establishment is financially vulnerable.
    Why? Because the government school system is primarily a mechanism for allocating spoils among the various special interests that constitute the education establishment. That coalition, which represents wildly divergent interests, coexists peacefully when money is abundant, but when it becomes scarce the various constituent parts of the coalition begin to resemble a pack of jackals fighting over carrion.
    Here the Associated Press surveys the beginning of the collapse of government school funding.
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The nation's public schools are falling under severe financial stress as states slash education spending and drain federal stimulus money that staved off deep classroom cuts and widespread job losses.
    School districts have already suffered big budget cuts since the recession began two years ago, but experts say the cash crunch will get a lot worse as states run out of stimulus dollars.
    The result in many hard-hit districts: more teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, smaller paychecks, fewer electives and extracurricular activities, and decimated summer school programs...
    "The states are facing a dismal financial picture," said Jack Jennings, president of the Center on Education Policy.
    The Obama administration's $787 billion federal stimulus package provided roughly $100 billion for education, including $54 billion to stabilize state budgets. In October the White House said the stimulus created or saved 250,000 education jobs.
    But many states have used most of their stimulus money, leaving little to cushion budget cuts in the coming fiscal year.
    Experts say the looming cuts could weaken the nation's public schools, worsen unemployment, undermine President Obama's education goals and widen the achievement gap between students in rich and poor districts...
    In Michigan, which has the nation's highest unemployment rate, school districts lost 2 percent of their state money this year and could lose another 4 percent next year because of a projected government shortfall of $1.6 billion. Most of more than $1 billion in federal stimulus money is gone.
    Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm has proposed an incentive program to entice about 39,000 public school employees to retire, but that plan has been criticized by the state's largest teachers union.
    "Our districts don't know what the next step is," said Don Wotruba, deputy director with the Michigan Association of School Boards.
    In Washington state, school districts that lost $1.7 billion in state money over the past two years are bracing for another round of cuts as lawmakers try to plug a $2.8 billion state deficit.
    Seattle Public Schools, the state's largest district, plans to lay off nonunion staff, freeze hiring, create more efficient bus routes and increase class sizes further to close an expected budget shortfall of $24 million.
    In Florida, public schools are being squeezed by state budget cuts and an unexpected increase in student enrollment, including an influx of Haitian students in the aftermath of Haiti's devastating earthquake.
    Districts have been coping by closing schools during breaks, cutting energy costs and changing transportation routes, but the next round of cuts is expected to hit classrooms.
    "We're at a point now where you just can't stretch that rubber band any further," said Bill Montford, CEO of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents.
    In California, school districts have already laid off thousands of teachers, increased class sizes and slashed academic programs.
    But state officials are warning the worst is yet to come because the state has already handed out most of its $6 billion in stimulus money.
    Per-pupil spending for K-12 schools fell 4 percent last year and would be slashed another 8 percent under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed budget for 2010-2011, according to the state Legislative Analyst's Office.
    "It's cataclysmic. It hasn't been seen since the Great Depression," said Bruce Fuller, an education professor at the University of California, Berkeley. "Now you're talking about sizable layoffs and further increases in class sizes."*
    Now, consider what would happen if Christians removed their children and worked to defeat bond levies everywhere. Every one of us should ask ourselves what we AND our churches are doing to rescue children from the government schools.

    In Utah, the budget crisis leads a legislator to speak words previously thought unspeakable.
    The sudden buzz over the relative value of senior year stems from a recent proposal by state Sen. Chris Buttars that Utah make a dent in its budget gap by eliminating the 12th grade.??The notion quickly gained some traction among supporters who agreed with the Republican's assessment that many seniors fritter away their final year of high school...
    TCC suspects that Utahns aren't feeling very smart these days about having listened to the education special interests and* having voted down a voucher program would have effectively privatized education in Utah. What a difference a*couple of*years make.
    Fair's fair. Once a decade or so someone in the education establishment does something that deserves an accolade. In a single stroke Frances Gallo, a Rhode Island superintendent, has punctured the "Dear Old Mr. Chips" facade of our highly trained (and highly overpaid) education professionals and has also performed an "incomectomy" on them. Three cheers for Superintendent Gallo!
    A school superintendent in Rhode Island is trying to fix an abysmally bad school system.
    Her plan calls for teachers at a local high school to work 25 minutes longer per day, each lunch with students once in a while, and help with tutoring.* The teachers' union has refused to accept these apparently onerous demands.
    The teachers at the high school make $70,000-$78,000, as compared to a median income in the town of $22,000.* This exemplifies a nationwide trend in which public sector workers make far more than their private-sector counterparts (with better benefits).
    The school superintendent has responded to the union's stubbornness by firing every teacher and administrator at the school.
    "I know it's a strong statement, but it'sactually quite accurate. It [the New Orleans school system]*was a pathetic system before the storm."*
    Education Secretary Arne Duncan called Hurricane Katrina "the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans" because it forced the community to take steps to improve low-performing public schools, according to excerpts from a television interview made public Friday...
    Duncan was quoted as replying: "It's a fascinating one. I spent a lot of time in New Orleans, and this is a tough thing to say, but let me be really honest. I think the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans was Hurricane Katrina. That education system was a disaster, and it took Hurricane Katrina to wake up the community to say that 'we have to do better.'...
    Paul Pastorek, Louisiana superintendent of education, said of Duncan's comments: "I know it's a strong statement, but it's actually quite accurate. It was a pathetic system before the storm."
    The New Orleans school system isn't the only one that would benefit from a storm.
    You can't fix stupid.*
    NEW ORLEANS – A student at a Maurepas school was sent home by the principal for refusing to take off an Indianapolis Colts jersey, according to a statement from the American Civil Liberties Union.
    “(T)he Principal of Maurepas High School, which had declared that students could wear jerseys in support of the New Orleans Saints, punished a student for wearing a jersey in support of the Indianapolis Colts,” said ACLU Executive Director Margie Esman in an e-mail. ??“The student, who had lived most of his life in Indianapolis and has an outstanding academic record, was called out of class and told that he was not allowed to wear that shirt. When he refused to change his shirt, the principal sent him home.”??This prompted the ACLU of Louisiana to take up the case of the student. ??Esman said she sent a letter to Principal Steven Vampran, demanding that the unnamed student’s tarnished record is restored and the school erase any disciplinary action....*
    For years apologists for the government school system*tried to justify compulsory education by government as necessary to create a common culture - to turn the "Pluribus" into an "Unum".
    Unfortunately, as survey after survey and test after test have shown, American government school students know about as much about the history and institutions of the United States*as they do about the history and institutions of Bulgaria.
    Not willing to admit defeat, North Carolina's highly trained education professionals have "reinterpreted" the goal of having a common culture. Now North Carolinians will be unified in abject historical and cultural ignorance - the new "Unum."
    Aw....who cares anyway? That history stuff is mainly just about the magnificent achievements of dead white men.**
    North Carolina public high*schools are trying to*erase all early U.S. history from the curriculum, ranging from*the Founding Fathers to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil exchange for things like environmental issues.
    This kind of blatant*propagandistic*slant has become routine in public schools.
    Even though many Americans are increasingly*convinced that*we need to*be embracing*the Founding principles now more than ever, the far left teachers' unions driving*this latest attempt to accommodate mediocrity disagree. They insist that*lowering educational standards*even further to*such*completely dysfunctional levels will somehow*enable public school students to gain a more in-depth understanding of current events. *
    (or, maintaining our image, cashflow,*and parent's "self-esteem" can be expensive)
    There's a reason the top public relations people who work for government school districts*are paid*considerably more than principals. When you're trying to convince the public that the educational dog food you are selling is really an elegant academic pate, you need all the help you can get.
    Here we have a story about a government school public relations trifecta: a scheme for "building the brand", increasing cash flow, and helping parents maintain their ridiculous belief that "their schools are different."
    Please note the brazen way in which the district superintendent justifies this "stolen honor" by pointing how it can increase the district's cashflow by bringing in new little revenue units (aka "students"). As TCC has repeatedly told you, it is mainly about the money.
    The banner ad across the Lincoln school district’s website proudly proclaims it has been recognized as one of the best school districts in Michigan.
    The criteria for Lincoln and eight other districts being selected?
    A $25,000 check.
    Nine southeast Michigan school districts paid $25,000 each to a Detroit-area public relations firm to be “named,” a top school district. That firm, in turn, bought airtime on a Detroit-area television station to broadcast a feature on the state’s best schools. A website - - also features the nine schools.
    Mentioned nowhere on the videos or the website is the fact that the districts paid for the honor...
    As a “schools of choice” district, Lincoln accepts students who don’t live in its attendance boundaries. Under the state’s current school funding plan, each student is worth $7,300 to the district.
    Lincoln has a marketing budget of about $30,000 a year, but most years it doesn’t spend it all, Cleary said.
    Dearborn Superintendent David Mustonen said the money a district gains from increasing enrollment makes the investment worth it. Dearborn is one of the nine districts highlighted in the program.
    “We had a new program starting in the fall of 2009 (district-wide all day kindergarten), and we felt that this was a good opportunity to get the word out,” Mustonen said.
    “We felt the cost of the program was reasonable for what we received, and if we attracted three new students, the cost was covered. Our district did have a 350-student increase this year. We have no way of knowing how many of those students, if any, are a result of the program, but you never know. The show did get very good ratings the night it aired.”
    The Lincoln school district has 4,764 students enrolled this year, a loss of 27 students from the previous year...
    Next time someone tells you his government schools are "different", you have TCC's permission to guffaw.

    Over the years The Continuing Collapse has sedulously pointed out* that "school reform" serves three sinister purposes: 1.*Prying ever*larger amounts of*money out of taxpayers to fund*heretofore unknown levels of educational failure and corruption., 2. Distracting the public from the current failure and corruption of the government school establishment with visions of*a future educational utopia, and 3. Giving ever more power to our highly trained education professionals.
    Of course, "school reform" is in fact a swindle. The "New! Improved!" reform ideas*periodically trotted out by our highly trained education professionals to gull the public merely lay the foundation for*future problems, which become, in turn,the basis for the next round of "school reform".* This is a really great racket...if you are a sociopath.
    Which brings us to a couple of stories about the fruit of two reforms whose "chickens" are coming home to roost: "zero-tolerance" and charter schools.
    In the 1980’s a new movement began implementing policies, such as “zero tolerance” and “high-stakes testing,” that were more punitive and penalizing in both the criminal justice and public education school systems. Recent studies show the U.S. graduates fewer than seven out of every 10 high school students.* Have these two disciplinary policies produced a threat to the educational opportunities of America’s youth and consequently created a dropout crisis?
    In President Obama’s first address to Congress, he cited America’s school dropout rate as one of the three most pressing issues facing our country. Researchers believe policymakers are looking in the wrong places for their answers to the cause of this “crisis."
    According to the report from the Advancement Project, low graduation rates aren’t the problem. Instead they are simply a symptom of the problem. The current education system is not designed for every child to succeed, they assert. Instead, the educational opportunities of young people are threatened by policies that set them up to fail.
    Both “zero tolerance” and “high-stakes testing” have been pinpointed as the two policies that pose the most direct threat to American youth’s educational opportunities. Together they turn schools into hostile and alienating environments and as a result, huge numbers of students are treated as if they are disposable, routinely being pushed out of school and toward the juvenile and criminal justice systems.
    Ah, but not only do we find that zero-tolerance policies are contributing to a high dropout rate, but our sainted charter schools are*leading to racial segregation.*Golly, what's a social engineer to do? Give up on charters, or give up on integration? TCC leaves this dilemma to the strutting princes and princesses who control our single-payer education system.
    A UCLA study is one of two finding that the increasingly popular [charter school] campuses skew toward racially separate student bodies...
    The growth of charter schools has promoted segregation both in California and nationwide, increasing the odds that black, Latino and white students will attend class with fewer children who look different from themselves, according to two new studies.??Charter school advocates contend that the researchers' presumptions about racial separation are out of date. They said parents -- including low-income minority parents -- are turning to charters for a quality education that traditional schools have not provided.??Charters are independently managed public schools that are exempt from some rules that govern traditional schools. About 2.5% of the nation's students attend charters -- a threefold increase over seven years. The Los Angeles Unified School District has more charters -- enrolling about 9% of district students -- than any school system in the country.??The trend toward segregation was especially notable for African American students. Nationally, 70% of black charter students attend schools where at least 90% of students are minorities. That's double the figure for traditional public schools. The typical black charter-school student attends a campus where nearly three in four students also are black, researchers with the Civil Rights Project at UCLA said Thursday.??The other researchers also focused on economic segregation, looking at private companies that manage schools, in most cases charters. The enrollments at most of these campuses exacerbated income extremes, they concluded. Charters tended to serve higher-income students or lower-income students. Charters also were likely to serve fewer disabled students and fewer English learners. This report, soon to be officially released, was developed by education policy centers at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Arizona State University...??"We don't want the Race to the Top to become a race to the past," said Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project, alluding to the era of enforced segregation.??Orfield's UCLA team previously documented how court decisions since 1991 had gradually eroded the halting progress in integration. Segregation remains a marker for inequality, just as it was in the 1950s, he said...??The school district itself has left behind integration as a primary goal. Its school construction program, for example, is aimed at returning students to their neighborhood schools rather than their being bused elsewhere. But segregation is exacerbated in the process...??Orfield's team isn't ready to surrender on integration. He proposes expanding magnet schools, which are special programs designed to attract diverse enrollments and thus promote desegregation. Alternatively, he said, charters should be required -- and helped -- to promote diversity.?,0,3300930.story
    (that is, the*teachers who could find indoor work with no heavy lifting outside the government school system)
    Roughly 40% of government school teachers quit within the first five years or so. Here*are some of the results of*a Public Agenda survey that remind us that the increasingly sclerotic, bureaucratized government school system is a rotten work environment.*
    Two out of five of America’s 4 million K-12 teachers appear disheartened and disappointed about their jobs, while others express a variety of reasons for contentment with teaching and their current school environments, new research by Public Agenda and Learning Point Associates shows...
    The view that teaching is “so demanding, it’s a wonder that more people don’t burn out” is remarkably pervasive, particularly among the Disheartened,—they are twice as likely as other teachers to strongly agree with this view. Members of that group, which accounts for 40 percent of K-12 teachers in the United States, tend to have been teaching longer and are older than the Idealists, and more than half teach in low-income schools. They are more likely to voice high levels of frustration about the school administration, disorder in the classroom, and the undue focus on testing.
    Only 14 percent rate their principals as “excellent” at supporting them as teachers, and 61 percent cite lack of support from administrators as a major drawback to teaching. Nearly three-quarters cite “discipline and behavior issues” in the classroom, and 7 in 10 say that testing are major drawbacks as well...

    The Continuing Collapse for years has pointed out that the government schools, not the Mexican drug lords,*are by far*the world's largest drug pusher. Psychotropic drugs are given daily by school nurses*to children across the country in the name of managing "disorders" that have been invented over the past few decades by psycholgists, psychiatrists, and big pharma.
    Apart from the questionable legitimacy of the diagnoses, no one really knows what the long term effects of these drugs are on young bodies and still developing brains. But, for highly trained education professionals, drugging children*has become an indispensible tool for maintaining order, so they don't care.
    Now the witch-doctor branch of the medical profession has released the latest revision of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, known as "DSM V". The DSM is actually a goldmine for doctors, psychologists, and big pharma. By giving a child*a DSM-based diagnosis drug companies and health professionals get to tap into third-party payers for the child's "treatment".
    The following article mentions just a few of the problems created by the*government school/big pharma complex, but the money quote is from Edward Shorter, a historian of psychiatry: "...the bad news is that the scientific status of the main diseases in the previous editions of the DSM - the keystones of the vault of psychiatry -*is fragile."
    Give that man a medal for euphemism above and beyond the call of duty.
    One significant change would be adding a childhood disorder called temper dysregulation disorder with dysphoria, a recommendation that grew out of recent findings that many wildly aggressive, irritable children who have been given a diagnosis of bipolar disorder do not have it.
    The misdiagnosis led many children to be given powerful antipsychotic drugs, which have serious side effects, including metabolic changes.
    “The treatment of bipolar disorder is meds first, meds second and meds third,” said Dr. Jack McClellan, a psychiatrist at the University of Washington who is not working on the manual. “Whereas if these kids have a behavior disorder, then behavioral treatment should be considered the primary treatment.”
    Some diagnoses of bipolar disorder have been in children as young as 2, and there have been widespread reports that doctors promoting the diagnosis received consulting and speaking fees from the makers of the drugs.
    ...The good news, said Edward Shorter, a historian of psychiatry who has been critical of the manual, is that most patients will be spared the confusion of a changed diagnosis. But “the bad news,” he added, “is that the scientific status of the main diseases in previous editions of the D.S.M. — the keystones of the vault of psychiatry — is fragile.”
    (German for "Assault Section"...Just call it Dear Leader's S.A. Or, if that seems harsh, we can just call them Dear Leader's "Brownies")*
    Dear Leader is working to unleash on an unsuspecting public an army of cognitively-impaired, knowledge-deprived government school inmates hoping "to make a difference." Of course, they have no idea at all what the difference they may make is, but that doesn't matter. Those directing their activities will make them FEEL important no matter what they do.
    Reminiscent of the Hitler Youth, President Obama’s army of citizen volunteers, Organizing for America, is recruiting high school students as interns to organize the President’s agenda in the 2010 election cycle. I quote,
    “Organizing for America, the successor organization to Obama for America, is building on the movement that elected President Obama by empowering students across the country to help us bring about our agenda”
    Pam Geller at Atlas Shrugs reports on students at Perry Local High School *in Massillon, Ohio who were given*propaganda recruiting papers in government class*to enlist students to sign up as interns for Obama’s Organizing for America.
    With weekly curricula titled “Strategizing for Effective Change,” “Managing Events,” and “Working With The Media” one wonders exactly what training the students will receive. But you needn’t wonder much further than the next page of the application....
    Under the pretense of “Earn credit for school and help change the world!” Obama is mobilizing America’s youth to campaign for his agenda and assist re-election of Democrat’s in 2010, while indoctrinating them into Saul Alinsky’s radical tactics and ideology.’s-“rules-for-radicals/
    Our left has been enamored of the more advanced success of their European counterparts in getting rid of all that "repressive" Christianity stuff and replacing it with something "more enlightened".
    Consequently, it is always instructive to look across the Atlantic to see what the left is up to there so that we know what our home-grown leftists have*in mind for the next step in our cultural transformation.
    You may think that this can't happen here, but our psychologist/psychiatric witch doctors have already begun laying the ground work by*treating bestiality*as a mere paraphilia in the DSM (that is, bestiality is not a problem unless " is accompanied by distress or interference with normal functioning on the part of the individual"). Moreover, professors such as Peter Singer are arguing that there is nothing inherently wrong with transspecies sex.*
    Parent organizations in Spain are fiercely protesting the curriculum of the Socialist government’s required education course, “Education for the Citizenry,” after it was revealed that in one Spanish city, students are being taught that sex can be freely practiced, even with animals.
    According to the organization “Professionals for Ethics,” third grade students in Cordoba, located in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, are using course material stating that “nature has given us sex so we can use it with another girl, with a boy or with an animal.”...*
    Our highly trained education professionals will probably wait on incorporating bestiality into the government school sex-ed curriculum until after they have*engineered wider acceptance of*"polyamory" and "intergenerational intimacy".

    (Information and Regulatory Affairs Czar*seeks 'cognitive' provocateurs)
    Dear Leader's Information and Regulatory Affairs "Czar", Cass Sunstein, is the poster child for our university-based, tenured radical, self-appointed "elites". Here we have Sunstein candidly outlining a totalitarian government program to encourage*thinking approved by Sunstein and Dear Leader.
    By Marc Estrin / The Rag Blog / January 11, 2010

    Cass Sunstein is President Obama's Harvard Law School friend, and recently appointed Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

    In a recent scholarly article, he and coauthor Adrian Vermeule take up the question of "Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures." (J. Political Philosophy, 7 (2009), 202-227). This is a man with the president's ear. This is a man who would process information and regulate things. What does he here propose?

    [W]e suggest a distinctive tactic for breaking up the hard core of extremists who supply conspiracy theories: cognitive infiltration of extremist groups, whereby government agents or their allies (acting either virtually or in real space, and either openly or anonymously) will undermine the crippled epistemology of believers by planting doubts about the theories and stylized facts that circulate within such groups, thereby introducing beneficial cognitive diversity. (Page 219.)

    Read this paragraph again. Unpack it. Work your way through the language and the intent. Imagine the application. What do we learn?

    ¥ It is "extremists" who "supply" "conspiracy theories."
    ¥ Their "hard core" must be "broken up" with distinctive tactics. What tactics?
    ¥ "Infiltration" ("cognitive") of groups with questions about official explanations or obfuscations or lies. Who is to infiltrate?
    ¥ "Government agents or their allies," virtually (i.e. on-line) or in "real-space" (as at meetings), and "either openly or anonymously," though "infiltration" would imply the latter. What will these agents do?
    ¥ Undermine "crippled epistemology" -- one's theory and technique of knowledge. How will they do this?
    ¥ By "planting doubts" which will "circulate." Will these doubts be beneficial?
    ¥ Certainly. Because they will introduce "cognitive diversity."

    Put into English, what Sunstein is proposing is government infiltration of groups opposing prevailing policy. Palestinian Liberation? 9/11 Truth? Anti-nuclear power? Stop the wars? End the Fed? Support Nader? Eat the Rich?

    It's easy to destroy groups with "cognitive diversity." You just take up meeting time with arguments to the point where people don't come back. You make protest signs which alienate 90% of colleagues. You demand revolutionary violence from pacifist groups.

    We expect such tactics from undercover cops, or FBI. There the agents are called "provocateurs" -- even if only "cognitive." One learns to smell or deal with them in a group, or recognize trolling online. But even suspicion or partial exposure can “sow uncertainty and distrust within conspiratorial groups [now conflated with conspiracy theory discussion groups] and among their members,” and “raise the costs of organization and communication” -- which Sunstein applauds as "desirable." "[N]ew recruits will be suspect and participants in the group’s virtual networks will doubt each other’s bona fides." (p.225).

    And are we now expected to applaud such tactics frankly proposed in a scholarly journal by a high-level presidential advisor?

    The full text of a slightly earlier version of Sunstein's article is available for download here. *
    That's a wrap for this edition of The Continuing Collapse. So, TCC bids you a fond adieu and asks you to??REMEMBER:
    ?1. Feel free to circulate The Continuing Collapse.
    2. If you aren't hearing about at least some these government school problems from your pastor, why is he your pastor??*?3. FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS*SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS.*
    “I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves. … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.”(Aldous Huxley [evolutionist, leftist, and grandson of T.H. Huxley, known as "Darwin's bulldog"]: Ends and Means, pp. 270 ff.)
    *?“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm – but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.”
    *T.S. Eliot

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