Over the years, we have had to move away from what we know is right for kids to what we are told we must do in order to prepare students for the tests.
Paul Buchheit at Common Dreams takes a look at The Project on Government Oversight’s latest report on privatization. They found that in 33 of 35 cases the federal government spent more on private contractors than on public employees for the same services. The authors of the report said “Our findings were shocking.”
For the U.S. Postal Service, for instance, it costs less than 50 cents to send a letter to any remote location in the United States. For an envelope with a two-day guarantee, FedEx and UPS charge about four to five times as much.
USPS is so inexpensive, in fact, that Fedex actually uses the U.S. Post Office for about 30 percent of its ground shipments. As Ralph Nader notes, the USPS has not taken any taxpayer money since 1971, and if it weren’t required by an inexplicable requirement to pre-fund employee benefits for 75 years, it would be making a profit. Instead, this national institution has been forced to cut jobs and routes and mailing centers.
In other words, privatization places profits over people.
If you are poor, ill or addicted, don’t worry. We can warehouse you almost indefinitely and you’ll never have to worry.
From a new report by the Vera Institute of Justice:
“Local jails, which exist in nearly every town and city in America, are built to hold people deemed too dangerous to release pending trial or at high risk of flight. This, however, is no longer primarily what jails do or whom they hold, as people too poor to post bail languish there and racial disparities disproportionately impact communities of color. This report reviews existing research and data to take a deeper look at our nation’s misuse of local jails and to determine how we arrived at this point.”
Here are the highlights of President Obama’s proposed “Middle Class” budget.
- INCREASE Military Spending by $38 BILLION
- CUT Corporate Tax Rates by One-Fifth
- CUT $400 BILLION from Medicare, Medicaid and the Department of Human Services
What a champion of the average family! No?
In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by The New York Times, the Justice Department has partially declassified a report about the F.B.I.’s involvement in administering the warrantless surveillance program authorized by the FISA Amendments Act. When the report was completed in September 2012, it was entirely classified and the department announced only that it existed.
You can also read the Times’ story concerning the report here: F.B.I. is Broadening Surveillance Role, Report Shows – NYTimes.com.
Peak Oil Theory says that the rate of production worldwide may soon be in terminal decline, with dire consequences. It’s been called “the world’s biggest serious question.”
When will the peak happen? What will it mean to our lives?
Find out on Learnist.
“DOWN OUTRIGHT MURDER”: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE SHOOTING OF MICHAEL BROWN BY DARREN WILSON | Ryan Devereaux, The Intercept
A State-by-State Look at TANF | The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
A generation jeopardized by obsession with testing | Wendy Lecker, The Stamford Advocate
WALL STREET IS TAKING OVER AMERICA’S PENSION PLANS | Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept
The war on giving | Jessica Hansen-Weaver, Socialist Worker
How Police Use Military Tactics to Quash Dissent | Aaron Cantú, Alternet
Wal-Mart’s Bottomless Greed: Dodging Billions in Taxes, Scheming to Avoid Billions More | Steven Rosenfeld, Alyssa Figueroa, Alternet
David Long reports on the eruption of protest in Jefferson County, Colo., in response to a conservative school board’s attempt to censor the U.S. history curriculum.
Read the report: The Jeffco rebels | SocialistWorker.org.
Peter Montgomery from People for the American Way puts this week’s Supreme Court decisions in historical context.
Samuel Alito is the single most pro-corporate Justice on the most pro-business Court since the New Deal. Still, Alito’s one-two punch was another extraordinary milestone for the strategists who have been working for the past 40 years to put business firmly in the driver’s seat of American politics.
Many would suggest that the modern right-wing movement began with the failed presidential bid of Barry Goldwater. But there’s a strong case to be made that it begins in earnest with a 1971 memo by Lewis Powell, who argued that American businesses were losing public support and called for a massive, continuing campaign to wage war on leftist academics, progressive nonprofit groups, and politicians. The memo by Powell, who was later appointed to the Supreme Court via a nomination by Richard Nixon, inspired a few very wealthy men like Adolph Coors, John M. Olin, and Richard Mellon Scaife, who set about creating and funding a massive infrastructure of think tanks, endowed academic chairs, law schools and right-wing legal groups, including the Federalist Society, which has nurtured Alito’s career.
Read the full article: Samuel Alito: A Movement Man Makes Good on Right-Wing Investments | Peter Montgomery.
Just ran across this on the Book of Faces and had to share.
Breaking Brown notes that “blacks comprise 22 percent of the poor, but blacks only take in 14 percent of government benefits. Conversely, whites make up 42 percent of the poor, but take in a disproportionate 69 percent of government benefits.”
The Postal Service has been reporting revenue increases for five straight quarters. So why is Postmaster General Donahoe minimizing that winning streak? Over the last few years, faced with falling revenue, postal management has closed post offices, slashed rural office hours, sold historic buildings, cut jobs, and consolidated processing plants. It continues to seek closings and service cuts, such as eliminating Saturday delivery; but some of these moves have been delayed or curtailed by pushback from the public, from employees, and from legislators.
Adopting a “school reform” agenda that encourages privatization actually makes the problems worse, according to a new study.
“In pushing these efforts, politicians, rightwing think tanks, chambers of commerce, and, most of all, the American Legislative Exchange Council are actually creating the very problem of failure in the school system they claim their privatization plans will help address.”
Deborah Meier writes at Talking Union about the greed behind the “new reform” movement in Education.
“Having failed time after time with vouchers—direct public funding of private schools, the new reformers saw a way around it. Their instincts also suggested that history favors reforms that make repeal difficult, almost impossible. So the motto is: move fast and thoroughly.”
Read the full article: Follow the money to understand education reform | Talking Union.
Peter Van Buren unpacks ten myths about NSA surveillance that need debunking.
Professor Chomsky speaks on American politics’ descent into madness.