I’d been browsing through the news recently for a collection of articles to share on a rather broad topic: the influence of moneyed interests on the educational system. This is a longstanding interest of mine, having grown up during a time when a year in university cost about $1,200, and having watched tuition rates and living costs balloon exponentially ever since. But what shocked me into getting the links to this post up that much sooner is this emerging story from the US:
“The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday said it brought fraud charges against ITT Educational Services Inc. and two of its top executives, alleging they misled investors about the looming financial impact of two badly-performing student-loan programs on the for-profit educator. […] ITT formed the student-loan programs to provide off-balance-sheet loans for ITT’s students in the wake of the financial crisis, when the market for private student loans dried up and for-profit schools created new ways to help students pay their tuition bills.”
– source: Wall Street Journal
Let us further expand on the dialogue surrounding money in education for the benefit of those who haven’t been as immersed in the debate:
On October 22nd, gunshots rang out on Parliament Hill as a single gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, attacked a group of soldiers on ceremonial duty at the National War Memorial, causing the death of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. The gunman then proceeded indoors at Centre Block, where at the time caucuses were still in session, and fired several more rounds before being engaged and killed by House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers.
While the scene initially unfolded like the wild script of a Call of Duty game, with the added horror and panic among a multitude of onlookers, the difficult reality began to sink in as the events left a strong impression on our national psyche. Since that day, Canada as a nation and as a culture has been left to wrestle with the highly nuanced circumstances of these events and the incidents leading up to them.
This post follows a response to the Ottawa Citizen article from earlier today:
[ Punish the Clients, Not the Prostitutes ]
… which, in turn, follows this historic Supreme Court ruling from last year:
[ http://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/13389/index.do ]
So here’s the TL;DR for anyone who’s not been following the issue: the Bedford case ended with a ruling by the Court that Canada’s current laws addressing 3 key aspects of prostitution are unconstitutional, and that they, in and of themselves, have the effect of creating grossly disproportionate safety risks and other problems for the prostitutes themselves. The SCC struck down the laws and gave Parliament 12 months to rewrite this legislation.
This evening, I was doing some research about a group calling itself “Freemen on the Land.” For those who haven’t heard of them, it’s a fringe movement that operates on the erroneous belief one can remove himself from the rule, reach, and jurisdiction of his nation’s law.