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Gender: Female
Hometown: Wisconsin
Current location: Tejas
Member since: Thu Jan 17, 2008, 12:44 PM
Number of posts: 25,206

About Me

You may say I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one

Journal Archives

Building, Not Rebuilding, Public Education

Building, Not Rebuilding, Public Education
7.23.14 ~ by Lois Weiner

Fighting corporate education reform is less about restoring the old system to its former glory than building a just one for the first time.

In 1954, I was in the first grade at David W. Harlan Elementary School in Wilmington, Delaware. I could buy a hot lunch prepared by cafeteria workers who were employed by the Wilmington Public Schools. I took music lessons for free, using a violin the city schools lent me. We had a school library, chorus, and band. We had art classes three times a week.

Yet schools on Wilmington’s east side got the leftover musical instruments and much less money for books, supplies, and maintaining school facilities like the playground. Harlan was all white, intentionally segregated. Real estate developers and brokers in its attendance zone had homeowners sign racial covenants that prohibited the sale of homes to blacks.

When decrying today’s corporate reform, too many gloss over the second experience and universalize my own, appealing to a past that was always deeply unequal.

Across the United States, there is a great struggle over the nation’s education system. But many working class parents of color see the current battle differently than do those from the white middle class. To be credible to the poor and working-class parents and community members who should be natural allies, labor must acknowledge its complicity in allowing the gross inequality in American education to persist ...

More here: https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/07/building-not-rebuilding-public-education/

The Heart of the Problem With Israel (labor tie in)

(Note: The thing I find most interesting about this story is the hatred of the Labor Party - that alone tells us what we're dealing with here imo):

The Heart of the Problem With Israel: The Mass Expulsion of the Palestinian People
by: Donna Nevel on July 21st, 2014

(Originally published on Alternet)

As Israeli government violence against the Palestinians in Gaza intensifies (the latest news being an aggressive ground invasion), I saw a discussion on-line about whether Israel has become more brutal or the brutality has simply become more visible to the public.

I remembered listening to Benjamin Netanyahu when he was at MIT in the 1970s. He called himself Bibi Nitai and said he was in self-exile until the Labor Party, which he despised, was out of power. He spoke contemptuously about Arabs, and predicted he would be the leader of Israel someday and would protect the Jewish state in the way it deserved. The immediate response many of us had was: “Heaven help us all if he ever gets into power in Israel.”

I also remember the many Israeli leaders I met in the 1970′s from Labor and Mapam and from smaller parties on the “Zionist left” who seemed kind and caring and markedly different from Benjamin Netanyahu – and in many ways they were, not just in their political rhetoric (they all said they were socialists) but as human beings, or so it seemed. But when I finally dug a little deeper and read my history, I learned how they, too, were participants – in fact, often leaders – in the plan to drive the Palestinians out of their homes and off their land. Nothing very kind or caring about that, to say the least.

The bottom line: Israel was created based on the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinians from their land and from their homes (what Palestinians call the Nakba, the catastrophe). This is the heart of the problem ...

Much more here: http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2014/07/21/the-heart-of-the-problem-with-israel-the-mass-expulsion-of-the-palestinian-people/

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Christians at the Border -

Bernie Sanders: Health Care is a Right

Debunking Myths About Why Central American Children Are Migrating

Debunking 8 Myths About Why Central American Children Are Migrating

‘Lax enforcement’ is not the culprit—U.S. trade and immigration policies are.
BY David Bacon ~ July 8, 2014

The mass migration of children from Central America has been at the center of a political firestorm over the past few weeks. The mainstream media has run dozens of stories blaming families, especially mothers, for sending or bringing their children north. The president himself has lectured them, as though they were simply bad parents. “Do not send your children to the borders,” he said in a June 27 interview with George Stephanopoulos. “If they do make it, they'll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it.”

< snip>

In truth, the United States’ meddling foreign policy and a history of the U.S.’s own harsh immigration measures are responsible for much of the pressure causing this flow of people from Central America. These eight facts, ignored by the mainstream press and the president, document that culpability and point out the need for change:

1. There is no “lax enforcement” on the U.S./Mexico border. There are over 20,000 Border Patrol Agents; that number was as low as 9,800 in 2001. We have walls and a system of large, centralized detention centers that didn't exist just 15 years ago. Now more than 350,000 people spend some time in an immigrant detention center every year. The U.S. spends more on immigration enforcement than all other enforcement activities of the federal government combined, including the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The growing numbers of people in detention—young people as well as families and adults— is being used as a pretext by the anti-immigrant lobby in Washington, including the Tea Party and the Border Patrol itself, for demanding increases in the budget for enforcement. The Obama administration has given way before this pressure.

< snip >

3. The recent increase in the numbers of child migrants is not just a response to gang violence, although this is the most-cited cause in U.S. media coverage. Migration is as much or more a consequence of the increasing economic crisis for rural people in Central America and Mexico, as well as the failure of those economies to produce jobs. People are leaving because they can't survive where they are ...

Much more here: http://inthesetimes.com/article/16919/8_reasons_u.s._trade_and_immigration_policies_have_caused_migration_from_ce

The arms trade and Israel’s attack on Gaza

The arms trade and Israel’s attack on Gaza
Translated Tuesday 22 July 2014 (Originally in the French version of the Guardian)

Seven Peace Nobel Prizes, intellectuals and artists from the whole world call for a military embargo toward Israël

Israel has once again unleashed the full force of its military against the captive Palestinian population, particularly in the besieged Gaza Strip, in an inhumane and illegal act of military aggression. Israel’s ability to launch such devastating attacks with impunity largely stems from the vast international military cooperation and trade that it maintains with complicit governments across the world. Over the period 2008-19, the US is set to provide military aid to Israel worth $30bn, while Israeli annual military exports to the world have reached billions of dollars.

In recent years, European countries have exported billions of euros’ worth of weapons to Israel, and the EU has furnished Israeli military companies with research grants worth hundreds of millions. Emerging economies such as India, Brazil and Chile are rapidly increasing their military trade and cooperation with Israel, despite their stated support for Palestinian rights. By importing and exporting arms to Israel and facilitating the development of Israeli military technology, governments are effectively sending a clear message of approval for Israel’s military aggression, including its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity ...

More here - http://www.humaniteinenglish.com/spip.php?article2505

Owning the Machinery

Source: Labor 411 on Facebook

Detroit activists block trucks sent to shut off water

Detroit activists block trucks sent to shut off water

Protesters say direct action will continue until city stops turning off taps to delinquent customers
July 10, 2014 1:27PM ET
by Peter Moskowitz

As Detroit’s water provider continues to carry out its plan to turn off the taps for tens of thousands of nonpaying customers across the city, activists are resorting to civil disobedience in an attempt to stop what they call a human rights violation.

Some 50 demonstrators on Thursday held a protest outside the offices of Homrich, a company contracted by the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) to stop the flow to residences at least two months past due on their accounts. At least nine of the activists were arrested by Detroit police and charged with disorderly conduct when they temporarily blocked trucks from leaving the company’s parking lot. They were released on bail hours later.

While the protest was relatively small, activists say it’s a sign of things to come if DWSD continues shutting off water lines. The activists say that in a city with a poverty rate of 44 percent, and where water bills are higher than in much of the country, Detroit should work out a solution with poor residents instead of leaving them dry. Otherwise, they say, they’ll have no other choice but to take to the streets ...

Much more here: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/7/10/detroit-water-protests.html

"There are, despite everything, reasons to be hopeful”

Veronique De Keyser: “There are, despite everything, reasons to be hopeful”

Translated Sunday 20 July 2014, by Michael Peters

A Belgian Member of the European Parliament until last month, Veronique de Keyser actively fought there in favour of the creation of an independent Palestinian state and against the Israeli occupation. We met her at Avignon as the bombs were once again raining down on Gaza.

What was your reaction to this new Israeli outburst against the Gaza strip?

Veroniqe de Keyser: It didn’t surprise me. It was clear that Israel was going to do everything to prevent the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah which was announced a month ago. We have already seen this several times: as soon as such a possibility takes shape in this sense, something happens implicating Hamas. Israel forces Hamas into a mistake, which isn’t very difficult. A section of Hamas do not want peace and in the Israeli extremists, who are gaining more and more ground, including within the government, they find a willing adversary.

The moderate members of the two sides must stop this orchestrated escalation of violence. If not, we will witness this terrible piece of history repeating itself, worse and worse every time.

Is the risk not increased by the current situation in the region, with the advance of Jihadists in Iraq and Syria?
Veronique de Keyser: Of course. All the more so since they are already present in Palestine, even as an ultra-minority. The current chaos can only increase the risk. Israel is playing with fire. It sold us the story of Hamas as terrorists, but it risks awakening an even more dangerous force. Until now, Palestine and Israel have remained outside the chaos of the region. Now, they are on top of the volcano.

Are you not angered by the weakness of the European reaction?
Veronique de Keyser: In its relations with Israel, the EU has always been in total contradiction with its values and treaties ...

More here: http://www.humaniteinenglish.com/spip.php?article2504
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