Sunday, April 05, 2015

Early April 2015 News on Monday

Recently, four elementary school teachers, two principals, and five administrators in Atlanta, Georgia were convicted. They were convicted on state racketeering charges for inflating the results on standardized tests taken by public schools students. These educators made mistakes, but even they didn’t deserve to face 20 years or more in prison. That is blatantly excessive. This whole scandal has been exploited by the forces of reaction to vilify teachers and end the public education system in America as we know it. The educators were charged under the state’s RICO Act. RICO stands for Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations. The Fulton County prosecutor wanted the teachers to be convicted. The investigation by the Georgia governor’s office in 2009 found that a “culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation infested the district,” led by then-Superintendent Beverly Hall, with teachers facing humiliation, demotion and firing if they did not meet student achievement targets. There was an unprecedented seven year probe by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The defense attorney for the elementary school teacher Dessa Curb sad that the investigation was like a “Salem witchcraft mentality.” Dessa Curb has been acquitted of all charges. The trial lasted for seven months. The pages of the defendants were shown across websites and in the pages of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Some of the educators made plea deals and some didn’t. Doctoring test scores is evil, but we can’t omit how this situation came about. This situation came about by the “teacher accountability” schemes being promoted by big business parties to scapegoat all teachers. There have been decades of budget cutting, teacher layoffs, and the growth of poverty. Even the best of teachers will have difficulty in these circumstances. These neoliberal policies has been promoted by excessive standardized testing via President George W. Bush’s 2001 “No Child Left Behind Act” (the late Democrat Edward Kennedy co-authored the plan) and the Obama’s Race to the Top programs (it rewards teachers with pay and jobs based on performance while closing of schools continue with charter schools in its place). Teachers need smaller class sizes, more supplies, job security, and modern technology. We have an educational system that favors the wealthy (with money to buy the best school system on Earth) and the poor lacking in total educational resources. Resources are lax in the poor communities and these resources are providing tax breaks and business opportunities for the super-rich. . These include the billionaire oligarchs Eli Broad and Bill Gates, the Pearson textbook and testing empire, and other corporations seeking to cash in on the $1.3 trillion “education market.” The White House and the Educational Secretary Arne Duncan (who made disrespectful comments about the Katrina event) oversaw the closing of more than 4,000 schools. Wall Street criminals are not readily prosecuted or jailed. The U.S. capitalist economy is based on racketeering and conspiracy against the people. We know that the Wall Street banks, credit rating agencies, federal regulators, news media and politicians from both big business parties conspired to cover up the financial criminality that led to the 2008 economic crash. While millions lost their homes, jobs and savings, the financial aristocracy was not only held accountable; it was made richer than ever. The U.S. government launch wars based on lies, invades countries, and form regime change in violation of international law. The military industrial complex engages in torture and no one is held accountable. The White House has used drones to assassinate anyone it wants. The American domestic spying network has illegally violated human civil liberties. Whistleblowers are in jail or are in risk of jail for exposing these unconstitutional crimes. We have militarized police and protesters being slandered by reactionaries. We have racism and classism. Things must change.

Yemenite Jewish people arrive in Israel via Operation “Magic Carpet.” They settled in the old British camp while the nearby town of Rosh Ha-‘Ayin was being built in 1949-1950. The nation of Egypt on 1956 was headed by the charismatic nationalist named Gamer Nasser. He wanted Egypt to have interdependence from colonialism. He wanted more control of the Suez Canal, which was opened in 1869. Egypt owned the canal and the operating company was sold to the British government of Benjamin Disraeli (back during the 19th century). They were willing buyers and obtained a 44 percent share in the canal's operations for less than £4 million; this maintained the majority shareholdings of the mostly French private investors. In the late 1800’s, British imperialists took over the canal, its finances, and operations. In October of 1951, the Egyptian government abrogated the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 (which granted Britain a lease on the Suez base for 20 more years). Britain refused to withdraw from the Suez. The British refused to give the canal up. After the 1952 military coup, the national President Gamal Abdul Nasser became President via the overthrow of King Farouk. Nasser for a time allied with America since he wanted to use America as a buffer against British aggression. Nasser rejected Dulles’ claim that the Soviet Union wanted to take over the Middle East. Nasser later changed and viewed America (via Eisenhower, Dulles, etc.) as an ally of Israeli expansion. Britain, France, and Israel united in attacking Egypt first (because Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal and Israel wanted to neutralize Palestinian commando attacks on Israel from the Gaza strip). Israeli forces captured Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula during the 1956 Suez canal war. Egypt responded and a cease fire came about. America and the Soviet Union pressured Britain, France, and Israel to enact a cease fire, because America and the Soviet Union wanted Egypt as an ally. Tensions would rise into the 1960’s. The Six Day War of 1967 had a complex history. During the Spring of 1967, the Soviet Union misinformed the Syrian government that Israeli forces were massing in northern Israel to attack Syria. There was no Israeli mobilization. There have been clashes between Israel and Syria for a time. Israeli leaders contemplated bringing down the Syrian regime if it failed to end Palestinian guerilla attacks from Syrian territory. Syria wanted assistance, so in May of 1967, Egyptian troops entered the Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel. Days later, Nasser asked the UN observer forces stationed between Israel and Egypt to redeploy from their positions. The Egyptians occupied Sharm al-Sheik at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula. They proclaimed a blockade of the Israeli port of Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba saying that access to Eilat passed through Egyptian territorial waters. Many Israelis felt that Egypt was planning an attack on Israel. This crisis continued. On June 5, 1967, Israel preemptively attacked Egypt and Syria. That destroyed their air forces within a few hours. Jordan joined the fighting and Israel attack Jordan too. The Egyptian, Syrian, and Jordanian armies were decisively defeated. Israel occupied the West Bank from Jordan, the Gaza Strip, and the Sinai Peninsula form Egypt, and the Golan Heights from Syria. It lasted only six days which is why the war is called the 1967 Six Days War.

After the 1967 war, Israel began the dominant regional military power. Ironically, the PLO or the Palestine Liberation Organization became more militant after the war. The PLO was created in 1964 as a way to promote Palestinian nationalism. After the 1967 war, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 242, which notes the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,” and calls for Israeli withdrawal from lands seized in the war and the right of all states in the area to peaceful existence within secure and recognized boundaries. The grammatical construction of the French version of Resolution 242 says Israel should withdraw from “the territories,” whereas the English version of the text calls for withdrawal from “territories.” (Both English and French are official languages of the UN.) Israel and the United States use the English version as an excuse to withdrawal from some not all of the territories occupied in the 1967 war. Me personally, Israel should withdrawal from all occupied territories. For many years, the Palestinians rejected resolution 242 as not going far enough. They felt that it doesn’t recognize the Palestinian right to national self-determination and the right of them to return to their homeland. Its call for “just settlement” for refugees is ambiguous. By calling for recognition of every state in the area, Resolution 242 entailed unilateral Palestinian recognition of Israel without reciprocal recognition of Palestinian national rights. From 1948-1967, the West Bank including East Jerusalem was ruled by Jordan. Jordan annexed the area in 1950 and gave citizenship to Palestinians living there. In the same period, the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian military administration. After 1967, the occupied territories are today ruled by Israel. The occupied lands of the West Bank and Gaza today are ruled by an Israeli military administration. From June 1967 to the present, Israel rules East Jerusalem too from Jordan. Most of the international community views East Jerusalem as part of occupied West Bank.

I’m not surprised at Cosmo’s racist, sexist descriptions of women. Corporate magazines have used racism and other microaggressions against black women for decades. Black women have every right to defend their dignity and their humanity. This story proves that we don’t live in a post-racial, color neutral society. There must be revolutionary change in society wherefore women of color are truly respected. Classifying a woman as RIP in that way is truly abhorrent and evil. I’m glad that people in Twitter are exposing Cosmopolitan for advancing faux white supremacist beauty standards. We know the truth. The truth is that beauty is diverse and it exists in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Black women are never inferior to non-black women in beauty at all for black is beautiful. The stupid actions of Cosmopolitan (which exploit women in general) are the reasons why the Black Girls Rock movement is in existence. Black Girls Rock is about black females having the right to express their dreams, aspirations, goals, and their own self-determination in general (as human beings). We can’t be totally free until all humans are treated as full human beings. Cosmo should be ashamed of themselves. We aren't worried about Cosmo. We will move forward and advance real wisdom. There should be a balance between the artists' right to promote their content and the customers' right to have the choice to buy whatever music that he or she wants to. Tidal came in response in part, because many artists didn't like the free musical downloads from many years ago. Also, record labels and corporate power structures (not the customers or even entities like Pandora or Spotify) have to do with how some artists are not truly compensated for their art. I found out Tidal charges more if people want greater quality. If people don't like Tidal, they don't have to buy it. Yet, Tidal may or may not change the wheel in my view since the Tidal deal is not going against the corporate bosses per se (who orchestrated many of the bad music deals in the first place. Many of these artists, who support Tidal, are multimillionaires while numerous independent artists struggle because of corporate forces). Numerous young black Brothers and black Sisters have heard of Sister Ida B. Wells. Ida B. Wells defended the human dignity of black people when numerous black people were lynched by racists. She protested racism and she stood up for the truth. She traveled the world and Ida B. Wells loved to teach others. She worked in Chicago, New York, and across America. The establishment certainly feared the strong intellectual strength and courageousness of the Sister Ida B. Wells. That's great for Harlem to have the Museum of African American History. Harlem itself has a strong cultural history then and now involving black culture.

Just because society sees us as "nothing" doesn't mean that we are nothing. We are somebody. We fought back against Confederates, slave owners, and other evil racists. We made inventions, and came out to promote justice for our people. We are not inferior. The more we learn about our real history and our real culture, the more inspired that we are in living out our lives in a positive direction. We have the responsibility to do what is right. Also, black people collectively should never be blamed for environmental racism, for racism in general, for discrimination, for imperialism, and for the criminal injustice system. I will never have a defeatist attitude, because that doesn't work and it's a slap in the face to our ancestors. We will be victorious in the future by working hard, sacrificing, resisting evil, and standing up for the truth. It is ironic that evil people mock us, but they want to try to be like us via them tanning, by them using various surgeries, and by them even mimicking our culture. Yet, they can never duplicate us. Our black souls are precious and we will defend our human rights. I don't know why some white folks view Black Girls rock as racist or divisive when it is not. We shouldn't care what any racist would say. Black Girls Rock is a great movement and Jada has the right to her views. People have the right to agree or disagree with her. Yet, black women have been so maligned (suffering the two evils of racism and sexism) by so many forces that black women coming together to stand up for their dignity and opposing the system of white supremacy is a great thing. Women, of every color, should have equality and justice. Yet, I have no problem with black women affirming their self-determination in the positive, inspirational Black Girls Rock movement. There are issues that black women have the right to exclusively discuss and talk about. Many of the same ones complaining about Black Girls Rock refuse to complain about Latin Music award shows, they refuse to complain about Jewish organizations, they refuse to complain about Irish including German celebrations year round (beyond just one day per year). So, those hypocrites are just that, hypocrites. Sisters have every right to love their own beings and to not care what anyone has to say about it. Black Girls Rock is about black females coming together in celebrating their humanity, their achievements, their goals, and their humanity in general.

#Black Girls Rock.

By Timothy

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