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A crazy world indeed

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/21/world/delta-air-lines-adam-saleh.html?emc=edit_th_20161222&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=63020495&_r=0

In May, an Italian professor was removed from an American Airlines flight because another passenger was alarmed by his handwritten notes, which were in fact math equations.

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Adam Saleh, center, and Slim Albaher, right, after arriving at Kennedy International Airport on Wednesday. The men said they had been asked to leave their flight at Heathrow Airport after Mr. Saleh spoke in Arabic to his mother by phone.
Credit
Kevin Hagen for The New York Times

Quand s’arrêtera la folie de l’HOMME!!!!!!

Quand s’arrêtera la folie de l’HOMME!!!!!!

 27 images qui montrent qu’il est peut-être déjà trop tard … #6 est très dérangeante.

voir toutes les images ici :
http://www.feroce.co/notre-monde/

Parfois, les mots peuvent paraître superflus. Ces images parlent d’elles-mêmes.
1. Une vue de dessus de la métropole surdéveloppée de Mexico City (20 millions d’habitants).
wpid-6aa8afd7be9133d6d91fe6ff57ce9800-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
2. Le cadavre pourri d’un éléphant tué par des braconniers.
wpid-767a6d013e6d3fcbb773eb6842715142-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
3. La forêt amazonienne en feu – des chèvres y pâturaient.
wpid-d5c62071a25ca7cde20ee409c5d4ec4f-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
4. Les trainées dus au trafic aérien au-dessus de Londres.
wpid-f0ee3e55972715f4c9264ec2d88dda36-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
5. Un camion immense livre une cargaison de sable pétrolifère.
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6. Un simple fermier ne peut plus supporter l’odeur putride du Fleuve Jaune en Mongolie-intérieure.
wpid-30950808668d9c4079b395e71400849e-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
7. Une usine d’incinération des déchets au Bangladesh.
wpid-9dc5f30aeae1a0f0fca81886f2dc46c3-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
8. Un incendie de forêt ravage le Colorado -une conséquence directe du changement climatique.
wpid-9a656c5f10b7742ae109fb2d6f305406-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
9. Les cicatrices de l’exploitation des sables pétrolifères dans la province canadienne d’Alberta.
wpid-b50311d56e0e90840ae69e97137f2688-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
10. Le spectacle nocturne quotidien de Los Angeles -la demande d’énergie est incalculable.
wpid-ead1a351a09c5ef20f819b40327800a3-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
11. Dans l’Oregon, cette forêt millénaire tombe victime des tronçonneuses pour construire un barrage.
wpid-8e97bb6baea459c0a12177f82039e9b8-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
12. La zone entourant Almeria en Espagne est truffée de serres aussi loin que l’on puisse voir.
wpid-f808f468eee4fa0de30243e0376edc25-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
13. Des braconniers posent avec la fourrure d’un tigre sibérien.
wpid-cf55d33292cd615401dbd8ca86fa8d90-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
14. La mine Mir en Russie, la plus grande mine de diamants au monde.
wpid-5dedabf52903c79f7ffbcaf00eedbdd1-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
15. Un albatros mort illustre ce qui se passe quand on jette ses ordures n’importe où.
wpid-2b792e9bc7b2d2dfee1c5fb3aab8c503-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
16. Une autre mégalopole : une vue aérienne de New Delhi (plus de 22 millions d’habitants).
wpid-9d7ca98534f0aa5c804dac3dd44cc566-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
17. Un paradis presque perdu : les Maldives, destination populaire qui risque d’être submergée.
wpid-3663fa42f74a2ba84ed6eb60b3741ced-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
18. Le début du “Vendredi Noir” dans un magasin d’électronique à Boise, Idaho.
wpid-182925fce36eb07a554cec093d41b09f-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
19. Des tonnes d’appareils électroniques, qui finissent dans des pays du tiers monde où ils sont décapés pour leurs métaux précieux.
wpid-1bfb0099ebd977a4b40d800e01ec63d9-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
20. Le drame de la forêt vierge se répète ici au Canada.
Imgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
21. Une décharge de pneus dans le désert du Nevada.
wpid-f0ea307c690005a703e655c6f92422df-2016-02-20-21-25.jpgImgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
22. Pendant que le monde était fixé sur Fukushima, une centrale électrique brûlait à quelques kilomètres. Ils n’ont pas réussi à éteindre le feu.
Imgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow
23. Cet ours polaire est mort de famine au Svalbard en Norvège. La fonte des glaces leur prive de leur habitat naturel.
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24. Jusqu’à la dernière goutte : ce champ pétrolifère en Californie illustre la surexploitation impitoyable de l’homme.
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25. Une chute d’eau sur une banquise.
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26. Une centrale au lignite contamine l’air avec ses émissions polluantes.
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27. Le surfeur indonésien Dede Surinya surfe sur une vague d’ordures à Java en Indonésie.
Imgur/WhoHasSmeltRainbow 
“Quand le dernier arbre aura été abattu, la dernière rivière empoisonnée et le dernier poisson péché, alors l’ homme s’apercevra que l’argent ne se mange pas.”
Ce vieux proverbe Cree devient une réalité de plus en plus brutale. Même aujourd’hui, beaucoup de personnes ne sont pas conscientes ou n’acceptent pas les conséquences de notre style de vie. Partagez donc ces images évocatrices.

Are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) really so bad for us & the environment?

http://earthtalk.org/are-genetically-modified-organisms-really-so-bad-for-us-the-environment/

Are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) really so bad for us & the environment?

Dear EarthTalk: Are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) really so bad for us and the environment, and given their prevalence in our food supply already, how can I avoid them?

—Dianne Mercurio, Richmond, VA

Unless you only buy foods that are certified organic or marked as “GMO-free,” odds are that a great deal of the food you eat contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). But are you risking your health and damaging the environment by eating GMOs? Not according to Monsanto, the agricultural biotechnology company that is a leading producer of GM seed. Monsanto contends that GMOs are safe to eat and that seeds with GM traits have been tested more than any other crops in the history of agriculture—with no credible evidence of harm to humans or animals.

The company also points to studies that have positively assessed the safety of GMOs, including the 2010 European Commission report summarizing the results of 50 research projects addressing the safety of GMOs for the environment as well as for animal and human health. In announcing the report, the Commission stated that “there is, as of today, no scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants.”

Non-GMO Project
Since the U.S. does not require food producers to label products containing genetically-modified organisms, the non-profit Non-GMO Project has taken matters into its own hands and released its own certification label for the industry.

Of course, not everyone agrees. According to the non-profit Non-GMO Project, genetically modified crops and food items can contaminate conventional crops and foods through cross-pollination and/or contamination. Also, since many GM crops are designed to be immune to herbicides and pesticides, farmers have increased their use of various weed and bug killing chemicals to keep competition for their cash crops at bay. The resulting overuse of these chemicals has led to a rapid evolution of “super weeds” and “super bugs” that can quickly take over unmaintained or wild lands.

Given the prevalence of GMOs in our food supply already, the non-profit Just Label It believes labeling everything that contains GMOs would be a start so at least consumers can choose on their own what they put in their bodies. Some 64 countries around the world—including China, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia and 28 nations in the European Union—currently require labeling on foods created with GMOs. Just Label It is one of many activist voices calling on the United States to follow suit. The group has created an online petition so everyday Americans can let the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) know that they have the right to know what’s in their food, especially when it comes to GMOs.

But until we have federal rules in place requiring labeling, concerned consumers will have to take matters into their own hands when it comes to ferreting out the GMO content of what they eat. Luckily the Non-GMO Project is helping make it easier by offering verified products the opportunity to display its “Non-GMO” symbol on their labels. Currently the group has verified some 35,000 food products across 1,900 different brands commonly available on U.S. store shelves as GMO-free, representing annual sales topping $13.5 billion. Meanwhile, Whole Foods has stepped up its support of GMO labeling by instituting a new policy of “full GMO transparency” in all of its North American stores by 2018.

Beyond just labeling, though, Whole Foods is also working with many of its suppliers to transition to ingredients from non-GMO sources altogether. Activists hope that this leadership will trickle down to mainstream grocers as well.

GMOs: Why no labeling in the United States?

http://www.emagazine.com/blog/gmos-why-no-labeling-in-the-united-states1

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By Victoria Vonancken
Conceivably, you would think you know what you are eating everyday. You had some cereal, a Subway sandwich, and then pizza for dinner. But nowadays food is so much more than you would think. What are you actually putting into your body? With the use of genetically modified organisms there could be all sorts of different things deep inside your food that you would never think could be there. The worst part is that in the United States, we are not able to identify if our food has been modified because GMO labeling is not mandated.
Technically, genetically modified organisms or “GMOs” are organisms that are injected with foreign DNA from different animals, bacteria, viruses and plants. The genetic material of these species is completely altered. It is an unnatural process, which is why places like the European Union, Japan, and Australia have already adopted policies mandating the labeling of genetically modified organisms, unlike the United States.
The effects of these GMO foods are questionable. There have been allegations that they are toxic, degrading to the environment and even can increase a person’s risk for cancer.
Possibly Toxic:  “Twelve dairy cows died on a farm in Hesse Germany, after being fed a diet with significant amounts of the GM corn variety, Bt 176.” Other cows in the herd developed a mysterious illness and had to be killed.
Risk for Cancer:
Research conducted by Dr. Pusztai revealed information showing graphic pictures of rats with deforming tumors from the genetically modified potatoes they were given with the hormone rBGH. Due to this study, the government of Canada banned rBGH in 1999. In the United States, rBGH is still injected into ten percent of all dairy cows. Europe has banned it since 1994.
Food allergies: Have you been hearing more and more talk recently about gluten? I am sure that you know at least one person with the allergy. Recently, it’s become so common that it’s almost as trendy as Brooklyn itself. Well, this increased allergy among people could possibly be because of GMOs. The Bt toxin in genetically modified foods can pass through human digestion but has been found that it can puncture holes in our cell walls, just as it does to the insects they are trying to weed away. This in turn can cause intestinal problems in humans, possibly exacerbating the gluten allergy. The trend of gluten allergies and intolerance increasing along with the increased use of GMOs may not be a coincidence.

At least 21 countries and the European Union have established some form of mandatory labeling. In Europe, if any ingredient in a food has .9% or higher of genetically modified organisms, it must be labeled. This gives the people of Europe a choice on whether or not to take part in genetically modified food. The U.S still has no labeling policy.
As the years go on, more information seems to be sneaking out about the truth of genetically engineered foods and their possible adverse effects. Genetically modified organisms are still relatively new and even with these small doses of evidence, there is still so much unknown about GMOS.
For more info:
Just Label It Campaign
Everything you need to know about GMOs
Shock Findings in New GMO Study: Rats Fed Lifetime of GM Corn Grow Horrifying Tumors, 70% of Females Die Early
Should Use Of Genetically Modified Organisms Be Labeled?
Genetically Modified Crops Have Led To Pesticide Increase, Study Finds

Why English Majors are the Hot New Hires | OPEN Forum

After years of emphasis being put on math and engineering degrees, here’s why English majors may be in high demand.
JULY 11, 2013
Years ago while interviewing an English major, I mentioned that—for many reasons—I liked hiring individuals who have a degree in the humanities. When I finished speaking, I noticed that the applicant was slightly choked up. He said, « You are the only person who has made me feel good about my degree. » It’s not uncommon for English majors—or anyone majoring in the humanities for that matter—to get a bad rap. Even Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape, not too long ago said that people should get math-oriented degrees; otherwise, they will end up working in shoe stores.
We place a great value on a STEM education (degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics). But are the tables turning? Are hiring managers beginning to see the value that a liberal arts education—and an English major in particular—brings to the workplace? Recently, some high-profile businesspeople came out in favor of hiring English majors. Bestselling author and small-business expert Steve Strauss, for example, has admitted that « English majors are my employee of choice. » And Bracken Darrell, CEO of Logitech, had this to say: « When I look at where our business is going, I think, boy, you do need to have a good technical understanding somewhere in there, to be relevant. But you’re really differentiated if you understand humanities. »
The Popularity of English Majors
Employers are looking to hire English majors because these applicants bring a set of skills that businesses need:
Communication skills: In a recent Job Outlook Survey, employers rated the « ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization” as the most important candidate skill. Communication is at the heart of any business. Everything that happens in an organization requires communication. This is one of the areas in which English majors excel: They have learned to speak well; they are well-read and have an extensive vocabulary; they spend years learning how to present a thesis coherently, and how to construct an argument; and they are trained to debate and defend their point of view logically. Bringing an English major to the fold is a much needed salve for organizations today, where poor communication skills are the norm rather than the exception.
Writing skills: A Metlife survey found that 97 percent of business executives rate writing skills as very important. English majors—perhaps more than any other major—are trained to write well. A major part of what business owners do to gain clients has to do with writing, whether it’s writing an advertisement or a marketing brochure, a good sales letter or an email sales campaign. Businesses also need people who can create powerful content for the company blog, develop a strong social media presence and craft a compelling description of products and services for the company website. Even companies that conduct their sales on the phone or use telemarketers need to start with a good script. The ROI of writing is invaluable for any business.
Researching skills: All business owners need to stay current on changes and developments in their field. They also need to have absolute accuracy in any communications with clients. Having someone on staff who excels in conducting research is a very viable asset. English majors are drilled in conducting in-depth research.
Critical thinking skills: The ability to analyze an issue and question assumptions applies to all kinds of information in a business setting. English majors are taught to deconstruct and analyze a problem, and package their conclusion so others can understand their line of thought. These are highly transferable skills that are vital for the success of a business.
Empathy: More and more, businesses are recognizing the importance of empathy in the workplace. In The ‘Soft Skill’ That Pays $100,000+, author George Anders discovered over 1,000 listings for highly paid jobs where employers list empathy as a necessary qualification. And these were not just jobs in traditionally compassionate sectors, such as health care and nonprofits; they included companies in technology, finance, consulting and aerospace, to name a few. Think Microsoft, Dell, Raytheon, Symantec, Pfizer and McKinsey.
There are numerous studies that correlate empathy with increased sales, with the best performing managers of product development teams and with greater efficiency in an increasingly diverse workforce. Empathy is indeed the oil that keeps relationships running smoothly. Dan Pink, in A Whole Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future, lists six areas that are vital for success in the new economy market—one of these is empathy. As he puts it, you can’t outsource empathy, or automate it. You need to have empathic people in your organization. 
How does this relate to English majors? A University of Toronto study on the effects of literature on empathy shows that those who read fiction frequently have higher levels of cognitive empathy; i.e., the ability to understand how another person feels. Keith Oatley, one of the researchers, said the reason fiction improves empathy is because it helps us to « understand characters’ actions from their interior point of view, by entering into their situations and minds, rather than the more exterior view of them that we usually have. » This improves interpersonal understanding and enhances relationships with customers and business associates. When you hire an English major, you’re likely hiring someone who brings cognitive empathy to the table.
The Beginning of a Trend
So is a wider range of employers recognizing the value of a liberal arts education? « There is a pattern, » says Dr. Jane Robbins of the University of Arizona, « of employers asking for more liberal-arts training for all kinds of professions—engineering, medicine, the law, and certainly management. » She adds, « Many people may not know that philosophy and English, not just biology, are common undergraduate majors for physicians. »  
David Boyes, CEO of Sine Nomine, a technology consulting company, says, “We don’t need mono-focused people. We need well-rounded people.” His company puts all new hires through a one-year training program that covers the basics—like how to write an effective business document—and includes some philosophy and history.
The Association of American Colleges and Universities conducted a recent survey of what employers want from new hires. Its survey report, It Takes More Than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success, shows that more than half of business executives want college graduates to have not only field-specific knowledge and skills, but a broad range of skills and knowledge. They place less value on the undergraduate major and more on a capacity to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems. In an interview, Debra Humphreys, vice president at The AACU, said that the economic downturn has “put a premium on college graduates who are really multifaceted … people who have both broad knowledge and skills, as well as field-specific skills.” According to Humphreys, this concern has intensified over the years.
What Does This Trend Mean for You?
The trend of employers looking for both field-specific skills and broad skills indicates that employees who combine a liberal arts major—especially an English major—with another major degree, such as business, science or technology, will have a competitive advantage. If businesses continue to look for  and hire such individuals, they will no doubt have a positive impact on the workplace by creating more diversity in an organization.
All companies can benefit from having a mix of left-brained and right-brained individuals on the team. Take IDEO, one of the most innovative companies in the world: One of the components for innovation at IDEO is having extremely diversified teams solve problems that are traditionally handled by monolithic groups, such as just engineers or just designers. Instead, IDEO‘s innovation teams include 10 different types. One of these is The Caregiver, who uses empathy to understand each individual customer and create a relationship; another is The Storyteller, who captures the imagination with compelling narratives in whatever medium best fits the message: video, animation, even comic strips.
As a business owner, you could gain an edge in the global marketplace and be better positioned for success with such multifaceted individuals in your camp. Have you hired an English major yet?
Read more articles on hiring.
Bruna Martinuzzi is the founder of Clarion Enterprises Ltd., and the author of two books: Presenting with Credibility: Practical Tools and Techniques for Effective Presentations and The Leader as a Mensch: Become the Kind of Person Others Want to Follow.

Why English Majors are the Hot New Hires | OPEN Forum
https://www.openforum.com/articles/why-english-majors-are-the-hot-new-hires/?fb_action_ids=10151776434776260&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B490877267659584%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.likes%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D

Fitnah Campaign

End sex segregation at UK Universities
 
 
24 November 2013
 
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Universities UK (UUK) has issued guidance on external speakers saying that the segregation of the sexes at universities is not discriminatory as long as “both men and women are being treated equally, as they are both being segregated in the same way.” The guidance has been supported by the National Union of Students.
 
UUK add that universities should bear in mind that “concerns to accommodate the wishes or beliefs of those opposed to segregation should not result in a religious group being prevented from having a debate in accordance with its belief system” and that if “imposing an unsegregated seating area in addition to the segregated areas contravenes the genuinely-held religious beliefs of the group hosting the event, or those of the speaker, the institution should be mindful to ensure that the freedom of speech of the religious group or speaker is not curtailed unlawfully.”
 
We, the undersigned, condemn the endorsement of gender apartheid by Universities UK. Any form of segregation, whether by race, sex or otherwise is discriminatory. Separate is never equal and segregation is never applied to those who are considered equal. By justifying segregation, Universities UK sides with Islamist values at the expense of the many Muslims and others who oppose sex apartheid and demand equality between women and men.
 
The guidance must be immediately rescinded and sex segregation at universities must come to an end.
 
Join initial list of signatories below by signing the petition here.
 
Initial List of Signatories:
 
A C Grayling, Philosopher
Abhishek N. Phadnis, President, London School of Economics Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
Anissa Helie, Academic
Charlie Klendjian, Secretary of Lawyers’ Secular Society
Chris Moos, Secretary, London School of Economics Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society
Deborah Hyde, Editor of Skeptic magazine
Deeyah Khan, Film Director and Music Producer
Dilip Simeon, Chairperson of the Aman Trust
Elham Manea, Author
Faisal Gazi, Writer and Blogger
Fatou Sow, International Coordinator of Women Living Under Muslim Laws
Gita Sahgal, Director, Centre for Secular Space
Harsh Kapoor, South Asia Citizen’s Web
Helen Palmer, Chair of London Humanists
Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian and Activist
Marieme Helie Lucas, Coordinator, Secularism is a Women’s Issue
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson for One Law for All and Fitnah
Mina Ahadi, International Committee against Stoning
Nadia El Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker
Nahla Mahmoud, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Ophelia Benson, Writer
Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs of the British Humanist Association
Peter Tatchell, Director of Peter Tatchell Foundation
Polly Toynbee, Journalist
Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters
Raheem Kassam, Director of Student Rights
Richard Dawkins, Scientist
Rohini Hensman, Social Activist
Rory Fenton, President of The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies of the UK and ROI
Rupert Sutton, Lead Researcher of Student Rights
Safia Lebdi, Founder, “Les insoumis-es”
Salil Tripathi, Writer
Soad Baba Aissa, President, of Association pour l’ Egalité, la Mixité et la Laicité en Algérie
Terry Sanderson, President of National Secular Society
Yasmin Rehman, Women’s Rights Campaigner
 
*  There will be a protest in London on 10 December 2013, International Human Rights Day, to oppose sex segregation. You can join Facebook Events Page here.
 
* Teams of Sex Apartheid Busters are being organised to break segregation wherever it is instituted. To join email maryamnamazie@gmail.com

Fitnah Campaign
http://fitnah.org/fitnah_campaign_english/uk_sex_segregation.html

The End of the Public University? | LinkedIn

About 8 out of every 10 college students attends a public college or university, from the local community college down the street to the massive flagship university in the middle of the state usually known for its football team. Of those students who go to public universities, most of them—some 70%—go to smaller, regional public colleges that train a majority of our teachers, nurses, and local business leaders.
The vastness and popularity of our public colleges and universities typically surprises audiences when I mention them in talks about my book on the future of higher ed. After all, only two of the top 25 national universities as ranked by U.S. News & World Report are public institutions, and the first one of those (University of California at Berkeley) doesn’t appear until #20. And if you pay attention to the national media, most of the attention is showered on universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, or small liberal-arts colleges such as Amherst and Williams.
Public universities rarely get much attention unless they reject your son or daughter, raise their tuition, or if their football team wins a national championship.
But given how many Americans are educated at public universities, especially at a time when a college degree is about the only ticket left to the middle class, we all have a stake in their future health. And right now, the signs for the health of many of these public institutions are not good.
Just this past week, Moody’s Investors Service, which rates the debt of mostly stable colleges, reported that 72% of four-year public universities are experiencing essentially flat or declining net-tuition revenue. That’s the money these colleges have left over after giving out financial aid to invest in buildings, academic programs, and faculty. In other words, most of these colleges are either treading water when it comes to new revenue or losing money every year.
“Public universities have not experienced such poor prospects for tuition-revenue growth in more than two decades,” the report said.
Now, if you’re a student or parent paying tuition at one of these colleges, you’re probably wondering why they are crying poor when your bill goes up every year even as it gets more difficult to enroll in the classes needed to complete a degree.
The problem is that these institutions have been raising tuition year after year to make up for declines in dollars from the state. Since 2008, 41 states have cut funds to higher education. At just 1 in 10 public universities do state funds make up the largest proportion of the university’s budget; in 2003, states made up the largest provider at half of the public universities.
Not all of these institutions, of course, are innocent victims in this tale. Even after years of budget cuts, many are still inefficient in their operations and in desperate need of adopting more innovative business models. But such changes can only go so far before the core of the academic product suffers.
As the numbers from Moody’s seem to indicate, public colleges and universities don’t have much pricing power left to raise tuition to make up for cuts in state aid. So unless they get infusions of cash from elsewhere, what’s likely to happen is what is already occurring in places like California, where public colleges are turning away qualified applicants and where current students find it more difficult each semester to get into the classes they need to graduate.
What’s happening to public higher education is reaching crisis proportions. So as you cheer for State U. in the big football game this weekend, be thankful for the system we have that has educated generations of Americans because it might not be around much longer, at least in its current form.
Jeffrey Selingo is author of College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students, contributing editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education, and a professor of practice at Arizona State University. Follow him here by clicking the FOLLOW button above, at jeffselingo.com, and on Twitter @jselingo

Photo: ML Harris / Getty Images

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The End of the Public University? | LinkedIn
http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131126141548-17000124-the-end-of-the-public-university

Tunisie : témoignage et billet d’humeur

Tunisie : témoignage et billet d’humeur
Dimanche 24 novembre 2013

Par Rabâa Ben Achour-Abdelkéfi
Agrégée et docteur en Lettres et Civilisation françaises, a enseigné à l’université de Tunis.
Permalien vers cet article

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Afficher cet article dans son contexte d’origine (source : http://www.lapresse.tn/1811201…)

« Que nos erreurs ne fassent point nos calamités » (titre original de l’article)
Traité sur la tolérance, Chapitre XXIII, « Prière à Dieu »

On parle beaucoup en Tunisie. Les débats politiques rythment  nos journées, polluent nos rêves et perturbent notre appréciation du temps comme de l’espace. La valse des mots nous entraine dans sa folle cadence ;  nous sommes comme anesthésiés, réduits à n’être plus que les infatigables récepteurs de discours sans cesse ressassés. Un désir compulsif d’en savoir toujours plus nous fige devant nos écrans. Depuis trois ans, nous sommes tenus en haleine par le feuilleton politique, par des coups de théâtre savamment  construits et par l’attente d’un improbable dénouement.
Le temps passe et nous emporte dans ses circonvolutions, nous empêchant de marquer la pause qui nous permettra de nous dresser contre la mort programmée de l’institution scolaire républicaine et l’embrigadement des enfants. Dans les écoles coraniques rénovées, on leur enseigne la haine de l’autre et le mépris des femmes, le culte de la virilité et de la violence, le rejet de l’histoire nationale, la honte d’être libres et les péchés capitaux: aimer, rire, créer, penser et douter.
Tandis que les associations caritatives et les écoles religieuses et bon nombre de prédicateurs, ministres et  cadres de l’administration poursuivent insidieusement mais sûrement leur travail d’endoctrinement et de remodelage de la société tunisienne, nous  observons, ironiques mais sourds à notre faiblesse, la chevauchée fantastique de l’intégrisme religieux, heureux de relever ses dérapages, l’ignorance et l’incompétence de ses représentants, l’inélégance de ses militants ; soucieux de contrecarrer son avancée par nos marches massives, nos cris de révolte, nos  slogans, nos pancartes, sûrs de nous-mêmes, de notre histoire et  de nos institutions, de nos jeunes et de nos femmes.
« Les femmes sauveront le pays », répète-t-on à l’envi. Oui, sans doute, mais il est possible d’ajouter que les femmes  ont aussi le pouvoir d’anéantir le pays quand, renonçant à leurs droits, à leur liberté et leur dignité, elles ne sont plus qu’un corps voilé dont on use et abuse. Les islamistes le savent. Leurs discours misogynes et parfois obscènes révèlent que l’enjeu est de taille. Cacher les femmes, c’est tenir un pays sous tutelle.
Les Nahdhaouis ne nous craignent pas : ni les grandes manifestations populaires dans la capitale ou à l’intérieur du pays, ni la répression de la marche du 9 avril 2012, ni l’attaque  de l’ambassade des USA, en septembre 2012, ni la violente répression des jeunes contestataires de Siliana, en novembre 2012, ni les assassinats de Lotfi Nagdh, de Chokri Bélaïd, de Mohamed Brahmi, de Mohamed El-Mufti, des soldats au mont Châambi n’ont suffi à amoindrir leur arrogance de vainqueurs du scrutin  du 23 octobre 2012.
Leur surprenante résistance tient tant à leur psychologie qu’à l’assise sociale et aux liens politiques qu’ils se sont appliqués à constituer. Convaincus qu’ils sont les élus de Dieu et que leur endurance les conduira tôt ou tard vers la gloire terrestre et éternelle, ils ne craignent ni la souffrance, ni les brimades. Que peut-il leur arriver qu’ils n’aient déjà vécu ? Ne sont-ils pas déjà morts et ressuscités ?
Les Nahdhaouis nous échappent. Comment pourrions-nous les comprendre et comment pourraient-ils nous comprendre quand notre appréciation de l’espace et du temps diffère. Si leur idéologie les projettent dans un passé révolu, elle les conduit aussi à l’étendre, à en effacer les contours temporels et à l’universaliser  en adoptant les moyens que leur offrent la science et les progrès techniques et technologiques.  Qu’est la Tunisie pour eux ? Rien. C’’est juste une petite parcelle d’un monde corrompu qui,  tout comme les autres pays du monde, doit mourir pour ressusciter débarrassée des mécréants et des impies, artistes, intellectuels, journalistes et touristes.
Le terrorisme, la crise économique, la détérioration des villes ne les inquiètent pas, la culture de la mort constitue au contraire, à leur sens, les conditions nécessaires à l’émergence d’un homme nouveau. Le dépérissement du pays n’est pas accidentel, il est sciemment programmé et s’inscrit dans  le projet islamiste international qui comporte deux temps : La destruction systématique et, simultanément, la formation des jeunes, puis la construction du califat.
Que leur importe que le pays tout entier croule sous les ordures, que les trottoirs de la ville soient squattés  par les marchands ambulants et les cafetiers, que l’irrespect des lois soit devenu une règle de conduite, que l’absentéisme des fonctionnaires soit considéré comme un droit, que les malades agressent les médecins et les élèves les professeurs, que le vol et la corruption soient érigés en système, que leur importe en effet la misère matérielle, morale, la mort du civisme et de la citoyenneté, l’essentiel n’est-il pas pour eux de parvenir à créer l’anarchie, à détruire les repères sociaux et à contraindre un peuple enfin fragilisé et désabusé à accepter la théocratie, ses cadres et son idéologie.
Cette politique de mise à mort de la Tunisie s’accompagne d’un travail visant à inculquer aux jeunes l’idée qu’ils sont élus par Dieu pour un destin exceptionnel et que leur vie, ici-bas, n’est qu’une étape obligée dans le parcours initiatique qui doit les conduire au paradis. Missionnaires de Dieu, ils sont investis du rôle de réformer les hommes, en particulier les mauvais musulmans, par la prédication ou par la force. C’est ainsi que de jeunes tunisiens, garçons et filles, adolescents pour la plupart, ont choisi respectivement de sacrifier leur corps, dans le djihad ou dans le commerce du sexe.

Notre pays agonise, mettons fin à notre logorrhée, que nous appelons abusivement liberté d’expression, et veillons à sauver nos enfants, nos villes et nos campagnes, nos  institutions scolaires et notre administration en cessant de nous entredéchirer et de nous méfier les uns des autres.
L’heure n’est plus à la guerre des chefs. Les discordes de nos responsables politiques démocrates d’autant plus stériles   qu’elles contribuent à la démobilisation populaire, au désenchantement et à la morosité des Tunisiens et qu’elle sert, par conséquent, le parti islamiste et ses alliés.
Nos divergences ont offert le pouvoir aux Nahdhaouis, le 23  octobre 2011 ; nos dissensions ne feront que leur donner la force et la vigueur qui leur permettra achever le travail d’anéantissement de notre pays et de poser les fondements du califat dont ils rêvent.

Under Strain, France Examine.textClipping

Under Strain, France Examines Its Safety Net

ST.-ÉTIENNE, France — Patrick Jouve, the owner of a game store on the Rue Louis Braille here, assails the government regulations that limit the size of the bright chess set and bouncing balls he has painted on his storefront. If the painting covers more than 36 feet, it constitutes advertising and he has to pay a fee of $1,350.
At 57, Mr. Jouve, is, however, looking forward to the generous government pension that will help pay for his planned retirement in the countryside at 62.
Down the street, Virginie Chargros, a baker’s wife, depends on the $404 monthly “family subsidy” she gets from the government to help raise the couple’s three children. She and her husband work six days a week and bring in about $2,200 a month, but without the subsidy, they would have trouble providing the family with “small pleasures,” she said.
The pervasive presence of government in French life, from workplace rules to health and education benefits, is now the subject of a great debate as the nation grapples with whether it can sustain the post-World War II model of social democracy.
The spiraling costs of cradle-to-grave social welfare programs have all but exhausted the French government’s ability to raise the taxes necessary to pay for it all, creating growing political problems for President François Hollande, a Socialist. The nation’s capability to innovate and compete globally is being called into question, and investors are shying away from the layers of government regulation and high taxes.
But on the streets of this midsize city 325 miles southeast of Paris, the discussion is not abstract or even overtly political. Conversations here bring to life how many people, almost unconsciously, tailor their education, work habits and aspirations to benefits they see as intrinsic elements of their lives.
“You cannot take away guns from Americans, and in the same way you cannot take away social benefits from French people,” said Louis Paris, the 25-year-old son of a couple who live on the Rue Louis Braille, a typical neighborhood in St.-Étienne, which has deep working-class roots and historically has leaned Socialist.
“They won’t stand for it,” said Mr. Paris, who is unemployed and has been searching since leaving college for a full-time job that offers benefits.
This reality on the Rue Louis Braille, named for the Frenchman who invented the system of raised lettering for the blind, helps explain why successive French leaders have made only modest changes in social benefits.
One of the largest buildings on the relatively prosperous-looking first block of the street is the local office for state-financed health benefits. The second block has eight empty storefronts, testimony to the last four years of economic downturn.
The median household income in the city is $25,000, about half the national figure for the United States and slightly lower than the average for France. But that figure does not capture how many things the government pays for here.
In France, most child care and higher education are paid for by the government, and are universally available, as is health care, three of the most costly elements in the budgets of most American families.
The cost of health care in France is embedded in the taxes imposed on workers and employers; workers make mandatory contributions worth about 10 percent of their paycheck to cover health insurance and a total of about 22 percent to pay for all their benefits.
The payroll tax for employers can amount to as much as 48 percent, meaning that for an employee paid $1,000 a month, the cost to the employer would be $1,480, according to French government figures.
For that, the employee gets up to two years of government-paid unemployment insurance. Parents get a monthly payment for each child after the first, starting at $176 for their second child, and most salaried workers are required to take five weeks of vacation, although professionals and those who own businesses, as do many on the Rue Louis Braille, take far less.
The political opposition to even modest cuts in social programs has been intense. Mr. Hollande’s predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, a conservative, reduced some social security payments, narrowed the criteria for obtaining unemployment and minimum income benefits and made other proposals he was unable to implement in the face of protests that sometimes drew hundreds of thousands of people into the streets.
Mr. Hollande is facing stiff opposition for a proposal that would require people to work 18 months longer before qualifying for retirement benefits.
The tension between the pressure for budget cuts and the deeply embedded nature of government programs is playing out in individual lives.
Sarah Revet, 31, who lives on Rue Louis Braille, was able to go back to work in a local government office after having children because of a public program that allowed her get a degree that she could use to work in local government. She also had government-subsidized preschool for her 3-year-old and received the government’s family payments, which helped her to afford a babysitter for her 1-year-old.
But when she was laid off because of budget cuts, she did not qualify for unemployment benefits because her job had been part time and temporary.
Yet, she still believes in a government system that ensures that the poor, especially, have an ample safety net.
“I would absolutely make the choice to continue this,” Ms. Revet said.
Just down the street, Mr. Jouve, the owner of the game store Tapis Vert, or Green Carpet, believes that the reason the government is in such dire straits is that there are too many civil servants. Government spending accounts for about 56 percent of France’s gross domestic product, in contrast to 44 percent in Germany and 40 percent in the United States, according to Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics arm.
“There are too many government functionaries,” Mr. Jouve said as he demonstrated magic tricks to a customer. Referring to the city officials who come to measure the dimensions of his storefront painting, he said, “They make up jobs for themselves.”
The mayor, Maurice Vincent, said that there were only 3,500 city employees, but acknowledged that the number did not include the police, the hospital staff, the university’s professors and staff members, and the civil servants who work for the greater metropolitan area. Add those, and the government-paid workers top 25,000.
Mr. Vincent’s office also has several thousand workers on “temporary” contracts of less than three years; the positions were created when unemployment in St.-Étienne reached 17 percent, he said.
Yet small business owners here, along with many employers large and small across the country, say they cannot afford to hire more workers because of the mandatory 48 percent in payroll taxes on top of wages.
Mireille Rogers, who lives on the Rue Louis Braille, runs the Babet Center, a nonprofit social service organization supported by the government that serves one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
Since most of the center’s clients live in an area where at least one in four young people are jobless, they see government aid as a necessity.
“I would be glad to pay more in payroll taxes so that there would be more for others,” Ms. Rogers said.
Some people at the center receive an income supplement from the government to ensure that they have a minimum amount to live on. In September, that was $1,664 for a single person and about $3,100 for a family of four with children over the age of 3. Some people also qualify for a housing subsidy and other benefits.
“The state has put in place a system,” said Salvatore Garaffa-Botta, a butcher and the deputy secretary of the largest union in St.-Étienne, the C.G.T. “But we are also slaves to this system.”
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Maïa de la Baume contributed reporting.