You Can’t Just Say No

I am always hearing someone or the other say that this is the age of irony, that there are no more heroes, etc. Somehow being smart has gotten all mixed up with being cynical or negative. Here are two people that I think are heroic, both recently interviewed on Democracy Now.

First is Augustin Aguayo, a U.S. solider who decided to become a conscientious objector instead of fighting in Iraq. Aguayo will likely go to jail. You can read about him here:

http://www.aguayodefense.org/index.html

His interview on Democracy Now is available on his site (look up at the top-right corner of the page).

No less heroic is Army Specialist Suzanne Swift who also refused to serve in the U.S. military in Iraq. Swift alleges that she was was sexually harassed both here and abroad. Her Democracy Now interview is here:

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/09/18/1351245

These are courageous people we should all admire and support.

More Education Resources Than You Can Shake a Stick At

MIT’s OpenCourseWare: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/index.htm

MIT’s OpenCourseWare is described on the site as “ a free and open educational resource (OER) for educators, students, and self-learners around the world. It is true to MIT’s values of excellence, innovation, and leadership.” And here is a bit of text from the about page:

MIT OCW’s goals are to:

  • Provide free, searchable, access to MIT’s course materials for educators, students, and self-learners around the world.
  • Extend the reach and impact of MIT OCW and the “opencourseware” concept.

MIT OCW would not be possible without the support and generosity of the MIT faculty who choose to share their research, pedagogy, and knowledge to benefit others. We expect MIT OCW to reach a steady – though never static – state by 2008. Between now and then, we will publish the materials from virtually all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses.

We will be continually evaluating the Access , Use , and Impact of MIT OCW. With 1,400 courses published as of May 1, 2006, we are still in a learning stage of this MIT initiative and we will benefit enormously from your feedback, as we strive to make MIT OCW as rich and useful as possible for our users.

Honestly, there is too much there to list, much less describe, and it is still growing.

And another: Edcuforge http://eduforge.org/

Here’s their spiel:

Eduforge is an open access environment designed for the sharing of ideas, research outcomes, open content and open source software for education. You are welcome to use our community resources or start your own project space.

That should keep you in assignments for a while.

The Center for Union Facts; Not!

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Speaking of creepy, there’s an ongoing and/or emerging anti-union propaganda campaign centered around a website and organization called The Center for Union Facts. The campaign accelerated with a recent ad in the Chicago Sun Times.

The website is here:

http://www.unionfacts.com/

It’s pretty silly stuff really, but these things can have an impact even when they are basically nonsensical. (Repeat something long enough…)

Luckily, some smart folks out there have provided plenty of good information that exposes the center as another ‘big-lie’ ad campaign. A good place to start is the Center for Media and Democracy’s Source Watch:

project:http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Center_for_Union_Facts

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