Monthly Archives: February 2011

Retreat from integration

Jonathan Kozol, in The Shame of the Nation: the restoration of apartheid schooling in America (New York: Crown Publishing, 2005), wrote that school segregation, which seemed to be on the way out in the years after he started teaching and writing about education in 1964, has now come full circle.

Many urban school districts and schools have no more than 5-10% white students (p. 8).

Speaking with a teacher at an elementary school who had a white child in her class, Kozol “asked how many white kids she had taught in the South Bronx in her career. “I’ve been at this school for 18 years,’ she said. ‘This is the first white student I have ever taught'” (p. 9).

“…’It’s like we’re being hidden,’ said a fifteen-year old girl named Isabel I met some years ago in Harlem, in attempting to explain to me the ways in which she and her classmates understood the racial segregation of their neighborhoods and schools. ‘It’s as if you have been put in a garage where, if they don’t have room for something but aren’t sure if they should throw it out, they put it there where they don’t need to think of it again.'” (p. 28)

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Filed under Education and schools

State Department Offers Support ‘to Whoever Winds Up Winning’

Promises ‘Strongest Possible Monitoring of Events from Afar’

WASHINGTON – (The Borowitz Report, 2/22/11) – As pro-democracy protests spread around the world, the US State Department today issued its strongest words to date about the situation, offering “to stand by whichever side winds up winning.”

That pro-winning-side message, articulated today by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was intended to send a clear signal that the United States is willing to put all of its power and prestige on the line as soon as matters are settled by others.

“The United States has and will always be a beacon of freedom and democracy,” Secretary Clinton said. “And in that capacity, we are vigilantly standing on the sidelines and offering the strongest possible monitoring of events from afar.”

Joining her at the State Department press conference, President Barack Obama echoed her statement, telling reporters, “I am behind Secretary Clinton’s mixed message one hundred percent.”

“To dictators who think they can get away with oppressing their people, let me say this,” President Obama continued. “The United States of America is standing by, thousands of miles away, to see how this mess turns out.”

As for any possible change in policy in the future, Secretary Clinton seemed to rule that out: “We will remain consistent in our policy of issuing meaningless statements at random intervals.”

Sec. Clinton, however, did urge dictators to resist the temptation to pass power on to their sons: “If that had happened on ‘The West Wing,’ that would have been Charlie Sheen.”

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Filed under International - other, Satire

Jeffrey Sachs on taxes and politics: A game that won’t end well

On YouTube

Jeffrey Sachs, a professor at Columbia University, shows how the US government favors the rich who buy up US government favors while investing abroad.

“We give up massive amounts at the top in tax cuts and then we turn around and squeeze the poorest of the poor….”

“This is a game that is going to come to an end in a bad way….”

“Both parties are financed by wealthy people….”

“American influence is waning, American infrastructure is deteriorating….”

“Our politics is so odd right now, because it’s driven just by the top….”

“We’re cutting the budget on things that our vital to our national security and our international security….”

“All of this is campaign financing games….”

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Filed under Economy, Labor, Tax

More on “diplomat” Raymond Davis and the US media coverup

The New York Times, now released from the administration’s request not to write about purported diplomat Raymond Davis’s CIA functions, now has published his prior association with Blackwater plus these picturesque details:

Davis, now imprisoned in Pakistan, “at the time of his arrest was carrying a Glock pistol, a long-range wireless set, a small telescope and a headlamp….”

And he claimed to be a diplomat!

Update from Press Trust of India, “Raymond Davis Had Taliban Links: Pak Media,” 2/22/11, at ICH:

“Investigators had reportedly recovered 158 items from Davis, including a 9mm Glock pistol, 75 bullets, a GPS device, an infrared torch, a wireless set, two mobile phones, a digital camera, a survival kit, five ATM cards and Pakistani and US currency. The camera allegedly had photographs of Pakistani defence installations.”

In addition:

…The Express Tribune quoting unnamed sources said that call records retrieved from mobile phones found on Davis had allegedly established his links with 33 Pakistanis, including 27 militants from the banned Taliban and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

The report claimed Davis was “said to be working on a plan to give credence to the American notion that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are not safe.”

“For this purpose, he was setting up a group of the Taliban which would do his bidding,” it said.

Davis’ job was to trace the links of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in different parts of Pakistan but instead investigators found that he had developed “close links” with the Taliban, the report said quoting a source….

(read the full article at ICH)

For more on how the US media takes direction from the US government, see “The NYT’s Journalistic Obedience” by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, 2/22/11 (with ongoing updates)

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Filed under International - other, Media