Donald Trump Plans to Eliminate Legal Aid Funding That Supports Survivors of Domestic Violence

Sonota and her children.

Photo: Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

Cutting the Legal Services Corporation from the federal budget would deny millions of people access to civil representation and disproportionately impact women.

IT WASN’T LONG after Sonota got married that her husband began to abuse her. After her second child was born in 2012, the violence accelerated; police were often called to the couple’s St. Louis, Missouri, home, and Sonota had to seek medical attention more than once. With a 1-year-old son and newborn daughter, Sonota knew she was in trouble. “I had a lack of support and I was in an abusive situation and I had two babies,” she told The Intercept. “I was just very overwhelmed and lost and needed some type of guidance and help to get into a safe place in my life for my kids.”

Sonota found that help at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, a nonprofit legal aid organization that provides lawyers for low-income individuals navigating the civil justice system.

For Sonota, that meant helping her to obtain a protective order against her husband, to file for divorce, and to secure child support for her children.

Her legal aid attorney also helped her to get access to therapy, a cellphone for emergencies, and school supplies and Christmas presents for her children.

The assistance made it possible for Sonota to get her life back on track — into housing and back into school, where she obtained an associate degree in business management and accounting. “I love business,” she said. She intends to use her education in part “to teach my kids how to be employers and not employees.”

“Deliverance was everything,” Sonota said. Her legal aid champions “were compassionate and yet realistic and logical, you know, to direct me on a better path in life, and I just love them for that.”

But if President Donald Trump’s “skinny budget” blueprint is adopted and passed by Congress, the federal funding that supports Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and a network of other legal aid groups across the country would disappear.

That’s because the proposed budget eliminates the 43-year-old Legal Services Corporation, the federal entity that provides millions for state-based legal aid operations.

Cutting its funding would deny millions of poor people access to the civil justice system, a circumstance that would disproportionately impact women, who make up 70 percent of clients served by LSC funds.

Indeed, fully one-third of cases handled by LSC-affiliated groups involve women, like Sonota, who are victims of domestic violence.

Source: Donald Trump Plans to Eliminate Legal Aid Funding That Supports Survivors of Domestic Violence

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CURMUDGUCATION

CURMUDGUCATIONThe slightly-cranky voice navigating the world of educational “reform” while trying to still pursue the mission of providing quality education.

The Map of the World

Boston Public Schools just caused a stir by adopting a new map of the world.

Boston public schools map switch aims to amend 500 years of distortion“reads the headline in the The Guardian, and “amend” is a good choice of words, because BPS decided to replace one set of distortions with another.

Boston had been using the Mercator Projection (1569), a version that we’re all pretty familiar with.

Mercator distorts by spreading out the world as it approaches the poles, so that by the time we get to Greenland or Alaska, the land masses are looking much larger than they actually are. Mercator was mostly trying to help with navigation, and this map was fine for that. And since his audience/customers were mostly starting from Europe, his map reinforces the idea that Europe is the center of the world. And it makes Africa and South America look relatively smaller.

This is many people’s mental map of the world, complete with its built-in distortions.

BPS decided to switch to the Gall-Peters projection (1855/1967) a map that sets out to render each land mass equally, so that the relative sizes of the land masses are accurate.

But because the projection is still onto a rectangle, Gall-Peters combats one distortion with another distortion. The Marcator inflates land area by stretching it out at the bottom and the top; Gall-Peters fixes that by squishing the map in at the top and the bottom until the land areas are comparable and “correct.”

This version is not necessarily very useful for navigation, but in the late 20th century it stirred up a bit of a mess. Arno Peters was actually duplicating the 100-year-old work of James Gall, and he promoted it as a more just and socially aware map than the Mercator, annoying the crap out of the cartographic community, which had been trying to downplay, improve upon, and replace Mercator for a couple of centuries. But Peters managed to build a cottage industry around his map (and even eventually acknowledged that Gall had gotten there a century earlier). The Brits use the map, and UNESCO has based some of its mappery on it, the argument in favor of it being that it shows nations in their proper relative size, even if shapes and distances are distorted.

Are there other options? You bet there are.

Try, for instance, the Cassini projection (1745), which keeps its distances somewhat standard and lets you see the poles.

Or how about the various Eckert projections (1906) that avoid lots of distortion by not trying to fit the surface of the globe on a rectangle.

And once we’ve chucked the whole rectangular map thing, we can get the equal-area maps right and show every land mass in proper proportion to the others. Here’s the Goode homolosine projection (1923).

And cartographers haven’t stopped playing. This Bottomley (that’s the guy’s name) equal-area projection from 2003:

We’ll stop now, but there are even freakier versions of the earth in existence. There are many, many maps of the world out there– some good for navigation, some good for figuring distances, some for showing proper relationships between land masses, some focused on ocean shaped and depths. But here’s one thing we know about all of them–

They are all wrong. They are all incomplete. They are all distorted in some fairly major way.

This is to be expected. When you take something that is huge and complex and multidimensional and try to render it onto a small two-dimensional surface, you must sacrifice some major chunks of the truth. For that reason, you have to be fairly deliberate about and conscious of what parts of the truth you are sacrificing for whatever specific utility you wish to get from your map. And you have to keep trying, because every solution you come up with will be inadequate in some major way. And you must always remember that your map is inadequate in some major ways and not mistake the two-dimensional rendering for the real thing.

That’s the lesson here, or rather the reminder, because we already knew all this but certain people prefer to pretend they don’t, is that whenever you try to render, describe, display, or create a measured model of something complicated (like a school or a teacher or a student’s mind or learning) you will absolutely fail in some major ways. Furthermore, if you get to thinking your map of that world is perfect, you will make terrible mistakes.

It is hard to make a map of the world. You will always fail, and if your goal is to achieve perfection, you are doomed to lose in a fool’s game. If, on the other hand, you do the best you can, keep trying, and remain aware of your shortcomings so that you don’t bet the farm or attach huge stakes to a map that’s not True– well, you might have a chance. If you think your Big Standardized Tests and data sets based on them and numbers kicked out by your fancy formulae are a perfect guide to what’s going on in schools, you are doomed to be lost. And it would be really nice if you didn’t drag the rest of us with you on your doomed journey.

Source: CURMUDGUCATION

When Did Christians Become Comfortable with the Loss of Truth? | Sojourners

It’s curious that in our culture of ‘alternative facts,’ so many Christians seem comfortable with a loss of truth.

By Courtney Hall Lee 02-15-2017

In the wake of Michael Flynn’s resignation from national security adviser and inconsistent timelines of the Trump team’s interaction with Russian officials, many are rightly asking questions about national security and election integrity.

The administration’s reaction has been outrage over leaks within the intelligence community — even though Trump himself celebrated Wikileaks releasing the DNC’s hacked emails during the campaign season, even going as far as to egg Russia on to find Hillary Clinton’s emails. This all points to a clear lack of transparency and culture of dishonesty from the Trump administration.

Truth is an essential part of Christianity: the Ten Commandments told Moses and his people not to bear false witness; in the Gospel of John, Jesus calls himself the way, the truth, and the light. And in Revelation 21:8, we read a very serious condemnation of liars:

“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

It is fair to say that a value for truth is completely woven into our theology. So it’s curious that in our culture of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” so many Christians seem comfortable with a loss of truth.

READ MORE HERE: When Did Christians Become Comfortable with the Loss of Truth? | Sojourners

Trump’s Proposed 2018 Budget for K-12 Education: What It Means

Trump’s Proposed 2018 Budget for K-12 Education: What It Means
by janresseger
Yesterday the Trump administration released what’s being called its “skinny” budget. A president’s budget proposal does NOT work like an executive order, however. It is merely a declaration of the president’s priorities, and it must be discussed and enacted by Congress, which then appropriates the money.

And this is a budget that outlines only what is called “discretionary” spending. That is the part that actually gets appropriated every year, and it is a very small part of the federal budget, which mostly goes to “mandatory” programs, another term for entitlements.

A large part of discretionary spending is for the military. And the military is definitely a priority of Donald Trump’s. Yesterday’s budget proposal adds $52 billion to the military and a 7 percent increase for the Department of Homeland Security and a 6 percent increase for Veterans Affairs.

VOX explains the nature of “non-defense” federal discretionary spending: — READ MORE HERE https://janresseger.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/12789/

janresseger

Yesterday the Trump administration released what’s being called its “skinny” budget.  A president’s budget proposal does NOT work like an executive order, however.  It is merely a declaration of the president’s priorities, and it must be discussed and enacted by Congress, which then appropriates the money.

And this is a budget that outlines only what is called “discretionary” spending. That is the part that actually gets appropriated every year, and it is a very small part of the federal budget, which mostly goes to “mandatory” programs, another term for entitlements.

A large part of discretionary spending is for the military. And the military is definitely a priority of Donald Trump’s.  Yesterday’s budget proposal adds $52 billion to the military and a 7 percent increase for the Department of Homeland Security and a 6 percent increase for Veterans Affairs.

VOX explains the nature of “non-defense” federal discretionary spending: “This is…

View original post 1,369 more words

Book Review: Savage Kingdom: Recommended for high school students, with a caveat, and adults

Book Review: Savage Kingdom: Recommended for high school students, with a caveat, and adults
by seattleducation2010
Editor’s note: This book review was originally posted at Literary Leisure and written by Taylor Baysinger. “And thy blush being turned to indignation, thou shalt wash, hast washed thy feet in the blood of those native unnatural Traitors, and now becomest a pure English Virgin; a new other Britain, in that new other World; and let […]

Read more of this post

Seattle Education

Editor’s note: This book review was originally posted at Literary Leisure  and written by Taylor Baysinger.

jamestown

“And thy blush being turned to indignation, thou shalt wash, hast washed thy feet in the blood of those native unnatural Traitors, and now becomest a pure English Virgin; a new other Britain, in that new other World; and let all English say and pray, GOD BLESS VIRGINIA.”

Samuel Purchas, Purchas his Pilgramage (1623)

641710

Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America

by Benjamin Woolley

★★★★☆

Four centuries ago, and fourteen years before the Mayflower, a group of men — led by a one-armed ex-pirate, an epileptic aristocrat, a reprobate cleric and a government spy — left London aboard a fleet of three ships to start a new life in America. They arrived in Virginia in the spring of 1607 and set about trying to create a settlement on…

View original post 864 more words

One word at a time | Live to Write – Write to Live

I took this in Hawaii two years ago. I keep it handy because it reminds me to breathe deep.

I don’t like to whine, but I do like to keep it real.

I am having a creative crisis.

I think I’ve mostly worked through it, but there are still days …

As I’ve mentioned before, like most of us, I do not write full time. I am a caregiver, and I work in marketing and communications for a boutique technology firm, that specializes in digital signage for airports. And, I write personal essays and fiction.

I finished the first draft of my novel a little over a year ago. YAY! I knew when I finished it that there were more holes than a fishing net, but I was okay with that. I gave myself another year to finish the second and third drafts. I had goals, a schedule and deadlines.

Then 2016 happened and the universe laughed as my deadlines whizzed by unmet. Come the turn of the new year when I sat down to map out my goals for 2017, I had the same goals I’d had for 2016. I felt defeated and overwhelmed.

Why am I bothering?

READ MORE HERE TO FIND OUT: One word at a time | Live to Write – Write to Live

Why is the #FakeNews Media Pretending Trump Is Not Just a Tool of the Political Establishment? |

Why is the #FakeNews Media Pretending Trump Is Not Just a Tool of the Political Establishment?

by John Laurits

For much of the 81.8% of voting-age citizens who would have liked someone other than Trump to be occupying the White House for the next 4 years, these last months have been a bit rough. On one side of the despair-spectrum, there was that sign-waving activist who called for #resistance as soon as King Tiny-Hands was crowned president-elect and, at the opposite end, that person on CNN saying […]

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Source: Why is the #FakeNews Media Pretending Trump Is Not Just a Tool of the Political Establishment? |

The Misleading and Unverified claims of Betsy DeVos

The Misleading and Unverified claims of Betsy DeVos
by Jeff Smith (GRIID)
Last Thursday, it was reported that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was claiming that the administration’s education budget, “places power in the hands of parents and families.”

MLive reported on this story last week, with the announcement that the Trump administration’s budget cuts would take out $9 Billion from the Department of Education.

In a statement released by Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education said: https://griid.org/2017/03/20/the-misleading-and-unverified-claims-of-betsy-devos/

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Last Thursday, it was reported that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was claiming that the administration’s education budget, “places power in the hands of parents and families.”

MLive reported on this story last week, with the announcement that the Trump administration’s budget cuts would take out $9 Billion from the Department of Education.

In a statement released by Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education said:

“The budget places power in the hands of parents and families to choose schools that are best for their children by investing an additional $1.4 billion in school choice programs. It continues support for the nation’s most vulnerable populations, such as students with disabilities, while streamlining and simplifying funding for college and continuing to help make college education more affordable.”

The MLive article also includes some additional breakdown of the proposed budget, but beyond that there is no verification of the claims made by…

View original post 373 more words

Episode 24 – The slow-motion rise of an American authoritarian regime wsg Sarah Kendzior | Eclectablog

Eclectablog has posted a new item, ‘Episode 24 – The slow-motion rise of an
American authoritarian regime wsg Sarah Kendzior’, at Eclectablog

You may view the latest post at
http://www.eclectablog.com/2017/03/episode-24-the-slow-motion-rise-of-an-american-authoritarian-regime-wsg-sarah-kendzior.html

Source: Episode 24 – The slow-motion rise of an American authoritarian regime wsg Sarah Kendzior | Eclectablog