FROM THE WEB
Net Briefs - 05/11
Caustic Political Speech
STOP THE DAM
8 Years of Occupation
Hezbollah in Lebanon
The Master's Plan
Kristen L. Buras
30th Years of FNB
War, Prisons, Torture
Angola 3 News
What Happened in Wisconsin
A Serious Fight
The Libya Intervention Debate
Stop Bombing Libya
On Libya & Crises
Stephen Shalom and Michael Albert
A Q&A on Libya
Stephen Shalom and Michael Albert
Civil Wars U.S. Labor
Guide to Green Politics
Toward Climate Justice
Zaps - 05/11
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Net Briefs - May 2011
Charter Schools Failing
The website www.propublica.org sent information that, since 2008, an Ohio-based company, White Hat Management, has collected around $230 million to run charter schools in that state. The company has grown into a national chain with about 20,000 students across the country. But now ten of its own schools and the state of Ohio are suing, complaining that many White Hat students are failing and that the company has refused to account for how it has spent the money.
Contrary to the idea of charters as small, locally run schools, approximately a third of them rely on management companies to perform many school services, such as hiring and firing staff, developing curricula, and disciplining students.
Charles R. Saxbe, the attorney representing White Hat in the lawsuit, said the company has complied with its legal and contractual requirements and that public funds become private once they enter White Hat’s accounts. “If I’m Coca-Cola and you’re a Coca-Cola distributor or a Coca-Cola purchaser,” said Saxbe, “that doesn’t entitle you to know the Coke formula or find any financial information you’d be interested in learning from the Coca-Cola company. And that’s kind of what they’re demanding.”
From email@example.com comes word of an April 13 protest at California State University, East Bay. Students and faculty marched to the administration building and occupied it in protest. Organized by Students for a Quality Education (SQE) and the California Faculty Association, the civil disobedience protested budget cuts, fee increases for students, and cutbacks in staff and benefits while administrators’ salaries increased. The building occupation demanded the resignation of CSU Chancellor Chuck Reed. A list of other demands was discussed and adopted during the occupation, including democratizing the state university’s board of trustees, budget transparency, fair treatment for unions and workers, and a recommitment to the California Master Plan for Higher Education.
Social Security Looting
Sherwood Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org) forwarded news of “U.S. Government Looting Social Security To Wage Wars.” In an article titled “Stealing from Social Security to Pay for Wars and Bailouts,” published in the April issue of the Rock Creek Free Press of Washington, DC, Paul Craig Roberts (of all people), former Assistant Treasury Secretary under President Reagan, said that Republicans are calling Social Security and Medicare “entitlements”—making them sound like welfare—when, in fact, workers over their lifetimes have contributed 15 percent of all their earnings to the payroll tax that funds these benefits and have every right to them. And far from Social Security being in the red, between 1984 and 2009, Roberts writes, “the American people contributed $2 trillion more to Social Security and Medicare in payroll taxes than was paid out in benefits” but “the government stole” that sum to fund wars and pork-barrel projects.
The Iraq War alone cost 20 percent of the size of last year’s entire U.S. economy. Roberts says, “The U.S. government spent a huge sum of money committing war crimes, while millions of Americans were thrown out of their jobs and foreclosed out of their homes.”
The website SavetheInternet.com sent word of AT&T’s plan to take over T-Mobile, setting the stage for Washington’s high-tech policy battle of 2011. AT&T Inc. said it will buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $39 billion, becoming the largest cellphone company in the U.S. If AT&T succeeds, it will form a communications colossus to rival Ma Bell. Two companies, AT&T and Verizon, would control close to 80 percent of the mobile marketplace in America, a percentage that could exceed 90 percent, if, as many anticipate, Verizon buys Sprint.
The website Legitgov.org sent news of a U.S. Army “kill team” in Afghanistan posing with photos of murdered civilians. The pictures show the aftermath of the deliberate murders of Afghan civilians by a “rogue” U.S. Stryker tank unit that operated in the southern province of Kandahar last year. The U.S. military responded with an apology. Still, NATO fears that reactions in Afghanistan could be violent. The suspects are accused of having killed civilians for no reason and then trying to make it look as though the killings had been acts of self-defense.
Send Net Briefs to email@example.com.
Z Magazine Archive
CUBAN 5 - From May 30 to June 5, supporters of the Cuban 5 will gather in Washington DC to raise awareness about the case and to demand a humanitarian solution that will allow the return of these men to their homeland.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike- A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides, music, exhibitors, and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; mailbikesnotbombs.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in NYC.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16 in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; convention @adc. org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5-day Seminar at the University of Havana, plus visits to a co-op and educational and medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljustice center.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process in the U.S.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from across the continent to learn skills and build one big union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13, the 11th Annual Peacestock will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers, and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www. peacestockvfp.org.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations, and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.