Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Neil Bush and the Origin of Ignite!, Inc.

Barbara Bush has long milked the posture of a doting, innocent granny goodness character when campaigning for her sons and husband. She understands her audience.

Neil Bush needed a legitimizing reason for starting an education company in 1999. The resulting heart-wrenching tale of young Neil's difficulty in middle-school would be attributed to being diagnosed with dyslexia. And soon, Neil's story became decorated with tales of momma Bush's struggle to help Neil become a reader. The fact that Barbara Bush failed in making either Neil or brother George Jr a reader is a fact that never enters the conversation.

From my reading of the public record, aside from a smoky anecdotal diagnosis, no evidence or documentation seems to exist to prove that Neil, in fact, is dyslexic. What is clear is that the political meme that Neil was/is dyslexic was so compelling an explanation for George W.'s shocking public speaking gaffs that both brothers were suspected of having learning disabilities with W. having to insist he needed no disability to function as he had.

All of which raises the suspicion that Neil's diagnosis may be wrong. The Bush's may simply have raised at least two sons who were not the sharpest tools in the family shed. And the dyslexia meme, real or imagined conveniently serves a marketing purpose that sells well. And I bring up this topic because the dyslexia meme later becomes a smokescreen for the Ignite product.

The 1999 Assault on America

One can choose to believe that Neil Bush's heartfelt compassion for the children of America suffering from learning disabilities was his motivation for starting Ignite, Inc. And Neil's commitment to improving the lives of these poor afflicted children was so myopic that luring investors - any investor no matter what their background became his calling.

And in the activity by Neil's investors we find a pattern of investment that seemingly contradicts and transcends Neil's pithy dyslexia story.

In 1999, Bill Bennett's educational venture K12, Inc. received $4M of taxpayer NCLB funding. The controversy is documented here:
Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education, drug czar, and conservative author and pundit, founded K12 in 1999 as an option to traditional brick-and-mortar schools.
The publication also reported that ED awarded the grants despite the fact that the Arkansas project scored lower on a series of independent reviews than at least one other program that wasn't funded--a highly unusual occurrence, ED insiders said, and one that raises the question of whether the program received preferential treatment as a result of the political ties among Bennett, Arkansas state officials, and Bush administration officials.

The key to our discussion is the 1999 timeframe. This is the year that the American election is stolen in Florida with Gore and the Democrats not knowing what hit them.

Yet, neo-conservative forces like Bennett and Bush's brother are being heavily financed to profit from the education industry (variously reported to be a multi-billion dollar market) a priori of the election results.

And who financed Bennett?
Bill teamed with a Virginia company backed by the education firm Knowledge Universe that is Michael Milikin's(sic) money to start up his home / cyber learning for profit school which is also commodisizing educational products.

Millkin, of junk bond fame, re-appears in 2006 as an investor in Ignite! whose original investors include Neil's parents and "Neil Bush had raised about $23 million from more than a dozen outside investors, including Mohammed Al Saddah, the head of a Kuwaiti company, and Winston Wong, the head of a Chinese computer firm."

Now, after five years of development and backing by investors like Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and onetime junk-bond king Michael R. Milken, Neil Bush aims to roll his high-tech teacher's helpers into classrooms nationwide.

This perfect storm of foreign investment did not happen overnight. The assault on the American public education system started much earlier and its history is as seedy as anything this series will cover. All such evidence is in the public record.

What is important is that by 1999, a coup of American education is being poised to take control. Not only does it shock and awe progressive educational initiatives, it violates the rhetoric of conservatism that is enlisted to empower this takeover.

And even in 1999, like a bad Austin Powers movie script, the scope of ambition in controlling the education of students everywhere with a uniform and politically correct curriculum of compliance and servitude is obvious to international observers.

In a paper by Angela C. Siqueira presented to the Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society called "The World Bank New Discourse and the 1999 Education Strategy", secret documentation is examined that already describes global education policies that will be applied to education initiatives around the world that eerily predict the form and deployment of NCLB in America.

Based on the 1999 education sector strategy and World Bank documents... -snip- seems that the main target is to create intellectual dependence and impose a one-sided solution and view of the world, by eliminating the possibility for the emergence of alternative perspectives.

In summary, the Knowledge Management Bank and its Education Knowledge Management System seem to be an attempt to foster the commodification, sterilization, and standardization of knowledge. Therefore, it constitutes a serious peril to democracy, which presupposes diversity and not homogeneity.

Ignite!, Inc. is created from the seeds of a long-simmering desire on the part of globally controlled media conglomerates and mideast players with politically incestuous ties to the Bush clan and the neo-con factions of the Republican party to prototype in America a closed, tightly controlled public school curriculum that would uniformly classify its graduates according to the needs of these international power brokers.

They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. In the end, Neil Bush emerges as little more than an errand boy. The Bush presidency little more than a well-compensated political ratchet with which to implement a brilliant swindle that brings America's education system to its intellectual knees and under the jackboot of right-wing dogmatists.

Previous: Neil Bush: Igniting an Investigation
next: Neil Bush: Bait, Switch, Deposit Tax Dollars, Repeat

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