The Anti-Ivan Illich

By Atom Bergstrom

Atom’s Blog

Michael Milken — organizer of Operation Warp Speed — is everything Ivan Illich warned us about in his two books about (1) medicine and (2) education …

1) Medical Nemesis: The Expropriation of Health, 1973, 1974

2) Deschooling Society, 1971

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Peter Greene (“Watch Out: K12 Has Changed Its Name,” Curmudgucation, Jun. 8, 2021) …

“Back in November, when most of us were preoccupied with a few other things, K12, Inc, the giant cyber-school company, went and gave itself a new name — Stride, Inc. The rebranding came with some new acquisitions, but underneath it all, K12 is its same old self.

“K12 is a big fat for-profit cyber-edu-biz operation — in fact, the biggest and fattest. They were founded by Goldman-Sachs banker and McKinsey alum Ronald Packard with financial backing from junk bond king Michael Milken, who Wikipedia calls ‘convicted felon, financier and philanthropist’ (and, fun fact, he was pardoned by Donald Trump in February of 2020). Andrew Tische (Loews) and Larry Elison (Oracle) also tossed some venture capital in the kitty. Oh, and Dick DeVos, too. K12 was launched in 2000, with William Bennett as the public-facing face of the company. Packer is still the CEO of the company.”

According to the same source …

“‘What the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare is our nation’s dire need for more effective online learning options,’ said Jeanna Pignatiello, Stride’s Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer. ‘Thousands of students, families, teachers, and school districts across the country have turned to Stride K12-powered schools to find high-quality, personalized learning solutions that meet their needs during this unprecedented time. And the evidence is clear — these are programs that work.'”

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According to SourceWatch (last edited Dec. 25, 2019) …

“Ronald J. Packard has been K12’s CEO or executive chairman since 2000. He co-founded K12 with former Reagan education secretary William J. Bennett in 2000 after they secured an initial $10 million investment from his boss at Knowledge Learning and convicted junk bond king Michael Milken. The duo also received financial support from Larry Ellison of Oracle.

“He also closed a $20 million venture capital funding drive for K12 in 2003 with Constellation Ventures, an affiliate of Bear Stearns Asset Management, one of the Bear Stearns internal hedge funds that blew up in 2007 and contributed to the need for a government-backed bailout of the investment bank by JP Morgan. Packard has also teamed up with investment banker Michael Moe, who helped take K12 public. According to The Nation, ‘Moe has worked for almost fifteen years at converting the K-12 education system into a cash cow for Wall Street.'”

According to the same source …

“Packard is also a member of Digital Learning Council, a project of Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, which is funded by leading pro-school privatization interests such as the Broad, Gates and Walton Foundations. Bush has said that promoting digital learning, Packard’s bread and butter, is at the top of his education reform list because of its capacity ‘to disrupt the public education system.'”

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Why was junk bond guru Michael Milken “reincarnated”? Let’s take Stewie Griffin’s time machine back several decades and see.

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Kenneth J. Saltman (“Michael Milken and the Corporate Raid on Education,” electronic book review, Oct. 3, 2003) …

“The May 10, 1999 issue of Business Week magazine features a picture of convicted felon Michael Milken on its cover. In the picture Milken sits cross-legged in a meditation pose smiling with his hands outstretched. Instead of his fingers joining thumb and fourth finger to complete the Buddhistic pose, pieces of fruit fly from his hands. Milken is juggling fruit. His lap is filled with vegetables — broccoli, peppers, squash, tomatoes, artichokes. Carrots overflow one pocket and spinach leaves the other pocket of a blue work shirt, which looks as if he might have snuck it out of the minimum security Federal Penitentiary where he served two years on a ten-year sentence for ninety-eight counts of fraud. The headline reads, ‘The Reincarnation of Mike Milken: a close-up look at his life, his education business, and his quest to cure cancer.’ Business Week happens to be owned by McGraw Hill, the largest educational publisher and one of the biggest investors in precisely the kinds of for-profit education businesses that Milken is buying up.

“In a March 1998 article in Business Week regular Wall Street Journal financial reporter Craig Roberts argues that Michael Milken has done more to help mankind than Mother Theresa. Business Week, March 2, 1998, p. 28.

“Business Week and the Wall Street Journal are not the only mainstream publications singing the praises of Michael. The New York Times writes of ‘restoring the junk bond king’ while the Independent of London calls Milken’s entry into education and medical research a ‘resurrection.’ The Economist calls Milken ‘The Comeback King.’ Time, Newsweek, USA Today and a bevy of mainstream publications join in a chorus of praise for a man that federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission allege returned to lawbreaking ‘the moment he stepped out of prison.'”

According to the same source …

“Since his early release from prison, Milken has been building the first education conglomerate, Knowledge Universe, which is aimed at transforming public education into an investment opportunity for the wealthy by privatizing public schools, making kids into a captive audience for marketers, and redefining education as a corporate resource rather than a public good vital to the promotion of a democratic society.”

According to the same source …

“Corporate media is so concentrated that a group of five companies control almost all of American film and television: Time Warner, Viacom CBS, News Corp, Bertellsman/Westinghouse, and Disney ABC. Book and magazine publishing is even more concentrated and intersects with the film and television monopoly. Michael Milken directly contributed to the rise of the media monopoly by pioneering the use of the junk bond for corporate media mergers.

“The media monopoly relates directly to the rise of the educational conglomerates in that both share the ability to monopolize knowledge production. Private monopolies on the production of knowledge and culture threaten the possibility of democracy because they frame issues in the corporate interest, block public access to media production and content control, eliminate curriculum or content which challenges structural uninequalities, and fail to distinguish public from private interest.”

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'The Anti-Ivan Illich' have 5 comments

  1. August 22, 2021 @ 8:10 pm Atom

    Re: I was told everybody has blue eyes, and if they aren’t blue, it’s because of toxins.

    German eugenicists were — and still are — greatly involved in the worldwide “natural health” movement.

    http://solartiming.com/store–e-books.php#Color-Recycling

    Reply

  2. August 22, 2021 @ 8:12 pm Atom

    Re: What time is best for eggs?

    Circulation-Sex Time (7:00-9:00 p.m.).

    http://solartiming.com/store–e-books.php#Sun-Sync-Nutrition-Simplified
    http://solartiming.com/store–e-books.php#When-the-Sun-Sneezes

    Reply

  3. August 22, 2021 @ 8:17 pm Atom

    According to Marshall McLuhan …

    “Confronted with the new electric environment of radio, the American Negro created jazz — an art form that integrated all the cultures of the world. The Establishment hasn’t noticed this and goes on trying to ‘integrate’ the Negro.”

    http://solartiming.com/

    Reply

  4. August 22, 2021 @ 8:22 pm Atom

    Mind Hacking’s Cornerstone Technique finds specific traumas — no more guessing or reading prefab answers out of a book.

    Every body is a Wikipedia with hyperlinks to and fro.

    http://solartiming.com/store–e-books.php#Mind-Hacking

    Reply

  5. August 22, 2021 @ 8:25 pm Atom

    According to Vernon Coleman …

    “They’ve killed the grandparents. Now they want to kill the kids.”

    Reply


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