Black Activists in Missouri Are Fighting to Preserve the Right to Vote

BEFORE SHE DIED six years ago, Rev. Cassandra Gould’s mother used to say that “everybody marched with Dr. King” but that she had been in Selma, Alabama, “before Dr. King got there.” As a 19-year-old from a nearby town, she would ask an older cousin to drive her to the city, where she registered voters, joined sit-ins, and marched. For the rest of her life, she carried a gash on her thigh, a reminder of the police officer who shot her on March 7, 1965, “Bloody Sunday,” the day that perhaps more than any other precipitated the passage of that year’s Voting Rights Act.

Gould and her siblings grew up faithful to their mother’s directive — “If you don’t do anything else, you vote” — but never experienced firsthand the ferocious racism of those days. Gould moved to St. Louis, Missouri — “Mississippi North,” as she only half-jokingly calls it — and became a reverend and activist. She quickly learned the subtle and insidious ways in which racism had survived and adapted in the aftermath of the civil rights era, but like many of her generation she remained relatively sheltered from racial violence.

Then, in August 2014, a few days after an unarmed black teenager was killed by a white police officer in nearby Ferguson, she found herself within feet of tanks, rows of police in riot gear, and the smell of tear gas. She wondered, “Is this what it was like for my mother?”

“Never in my life I thought I’d see something like that,” she told The Interceptduring a recent interview. “That was the night that I thought, I am now living in my mother’s world, and why in the world am I living in that world when I thought that those who fought during that time fought so I wouldn’t have to?”

SELMA, AL - MARCH 06:  A mural depicts police violence that occured during the Semla to Montgomery civil rights march on March 6, 2015 in Selma, Alabama. Selma is preparing to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the famed civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery that resulted in a violent confrontation with Selma police and State Troopers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A mural depicting police violence during the 1965 Selma to Montgomery civil rights march. March 6, 2015, Selma, Alabama.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Something else she never thought she’d be doing in 2016 was fighting to preserve the right to vote. Yet that’s exactly what she and dozens of other black activists have undertaken across the country, some for the second timein their lives, after a 2013 Supreme Court decision gutted a major provision of the Voting Rights Act. The elimination of that provision, which required nine states and many other localities with a history of racial discrimination to secure federal approval before changing election laws and procedures, sparked a series of measures across the country effectively restricting access to the polls with a disproportionate impact, once again, on black voters.

In Missouri, that resulted in renewed efforts to…

Read the full story here: Black Activists in Missouri Are Fighting to Preserve the Right to Vote

Apple says EU tax ruling will harm investment, job creation – from Business Insider

Apple to the EU: The $14.5 billion back tax ruling “will have a profound and harmful effect on investment and job creation in Europe.”

Dr. Robert Reich comments on Facebook:
“Apple’s long-standing assertion that it does not pay corporate taxes in the U.S. because its foreign (i.e., non-American) revenues are reinvested in the foreign countries where it earns them, turns out to be questionable. Apple’s effective European tax rate has been just 1 percent (it sank to 0.005 percent in 2014), which, according to the European Union, reflects some tax cheating. The EU just ruled that Apple must pay $14.5 billion in back taxes it owes.

The story isn’t over, of course. Apple says the ruling “will have profound and harmful effect on investment and job creation in Europe.” Translated: Apple may pull jobs out. Apple, like most global corporations, exchanges low taxes for jobs.”

What do you think?

Apple says EU tax ruling will harm investment, job creation – from Business Insider

Apple’s official statement on the European Union ruling against its Irish tax arrangements tells you all you need to know about what is at stake: You can have taxes or you can have jobs, but Apple is in no mood to deliver both.

After learning Tuesday morning that the EU expects Apple to pay €13 billion (£11 billion, $14.5 billion) in back taxes, the company said, “It will have a profound and harmful effect on investment and job creation in Europe.”

That is not a threat, technically. But it will be seen as one by EU politicians who want to attract new companies to their countries.

Back in 1991, Apple struck a tax deal with Ireland that was completely aboveboard and legal. The Irish government provided Apple with a “comfort letter” that said the company would pay very low rates of tax if it based its European operations in Ireland.

In the 25 years since, Apple has created thousands of jobs in Ireland. By 2015 it had 5,000 employees in the country. Another 1,000 jobs are planned for the headquarters in the Irish city of Cork. This year Apple will open its site near the town of Athenry, with another 200 jobs in the making.
The result of the deal between Apple and Ireland, intended or not, was pretty clear: Give us low taxes, and we will give you jobs. A note from a meeting between the government and an Apple tax adviser in 1990 said:

Follow this link to read the full report: Apple says EU tax ruling will harm investment, job creation – Business Insider

“Deadly Heat” in U.S. Prisons Is Killing Inmates and Spawning Lawsuits

Many state officials would rather spend money on legal fees than provide air conditioning to prisoners.

In Texas prisons, which mostly lack air conditioning, temperatures can reach 140 degrees. Prisoners have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and human rights lawyers have documented more than a dozen deaths resulting from extreme heat exposure

. They believe many more have died in prisons and jails across the U.S. No national standards exist for temperatures in prisons — other than the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

Deadly heat isn’t the only cruel punishment routinely dispensed in Texas, which boasts one of the nation’s busiest execution chambers. As a result of an unusual Texas law and testimony based on junk science, Jeff Wood faces the death penalty for a crime everyone agrees he did not commit

. Now the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has granted a last-minute stay, and one judge even suggested that Wood is “categorically ineligible” for execution.

Roger Hodge

 National Editor

Source: “Deadly Heat” in U.S. Prisons Is Killing Inmates and Spawning Lawsuits

How grades and tests fail kids — and how to do learning right – from

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, an expert in child learning, says there’s more to education than just grades and test scores for 21st century success.

Source: How grades and tests fail kids — and how to do learning right –

“There are a lot of people out there who are capitalizing on our fears that we won’t be good enough to compete with the rest of the world,” Kathy Hirsh-Pasek says.
We’ve gotten very narrow in the way we think about education. We think: When it’s back to school, that’s when learning starts. But, of course, it has to seep over the walls of the school and extend into our everyday lives — into our homes and communities, too.

We’ve also gotten very used to thinking the grade on our report card and how we do on a bubble test is all there is to learning. But scientists have been almost at the point of screaming that that’s not what it’s all about.

In fact, having social skills, the ability to think critically and the ability to “learn how to learn” may be even more important than what’s otherwise tested on those bubble exams.

So as we send our children back to school, I hope we will consider the breadth of skills they need as we rethink success for the 21st century.

Why the learning industry has it wrong

There are a lot of people out there capitalizing on our fears that we won’t be good enough to compete with the rest of the world. That leads to a proliferation of products that feed those fears.

My “favorite” recent one was the tampon with the speaker on the end. Apparently now, we are lucky enough to have a product like this so we can talk to our fetus even before the child is born. That’s kind of outrageous.

We have more than 82,000 so-called educational apps on the market right now. Yet, it’s a market that’s completely unregulated, so we don’t know if these are educational or not.

We have test companies that are making millions of dollars because it’s so profitable once you decide learning is just about how you do on a particular test. Then we feed and fuel those fears so that children will do better on those tests.

That’s not what real learning is about.

Read the full story here:



Colin Kaepernick Is Righter Than You Know: The National Anthem Is a Celebration of Slavery

Almost no one seems to be aware that even if the U.S. were a perfect country today, it would be bizarre to expect African-American players to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Why? Because it literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans.

Few people know this because we only ever sing the first verse. But read the end of the third verse and you’ll see why “The Star-Spangled Banner” is not just a musical atrocity, it’s an intellectual and moral one, too:

No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

“The Star-Spangled Banner,” Americans hazily remember, was written by Francis Scott Key about the Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812. But we don’t ever talk about how the War of 1812 was a war of aggression that began with an attempt by the U.S. to grab Canada from the British Empire.

However, we’d wildly overestimated the strength of the U.S. military. By the time of the Battle of Fort McHenry in 1814, the British had counterattacked and overrun Washington, D.C., setting fire to the White House.

And one of the key tactics behind the British military’s success was its active recruitment of American slaves. As a detailed 2014 articlein Harper’s explains, the orders given to the Royal Navy’s Admiral Sir George Cockburn read

more here…

john pavlovitz

Stuff That Needs To Be Said


My thoughts on public education and other things

Diane Ravitch's blog

A site to discuss better education for all

Nancy Bailey's Education Website

Revive, Rally and Recover Public Schools


Elected school boards are the bedrock of American democracy.

The Catalysts for Change

Bringing awareness to mental illness and sexual assault

Superintendent's Notes

Communications for the Godfrey-Lee Public Schools community

LaMonte M. Fowler

an indie author writing to stay sane


Just another Delaware weblog

Education Under Attack

Attacks on our public education system hurt America


Independent Thought for an Independent World


"That all citizens will be given an equal start through a sound education is one of the most basic, promised rights of our democracy. Our chronic refusal as a nation to guarantee that right for all children.... is rooted in a kind of moral blindness, or at least a failure of moral imagination.... It is a failure which threatens our future as a nation of citizens called to a common purpose... tied to one another by a common bond." —Senator Paul Wellstone --- March 31, 2000

David R. Taylor

Speaking My MInd

%d bloggers like this: