Tag Archives: student

Draft Registration Has Hurt American Men for Decades. Now It May Hurt Women, Too.

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Every month, on the sixth floor of an office building in Arlington, Virginia, the employees of a mostly forgotten government agency practice sending you to war.

They gather in a windowless white-and-turquoise conference room for what feels like the world’s saddest, most ominous Pick 6 drawing. At the far end, ping-pong balls are racked up inside a pair of plastic drums, big, clear hexagons that sit on pedestals above industrial gray carpeting. One holds 366 balls, each blue and labeled with a different day of the year, including leap day. The white balls in the other drum are numbered 1 to 366. The lower the number, the likelier a young man will be told to pick up a rifle.

The workers drop the balls out of their racks and send them bouncing around the drums, lottery-style. After a minute, a woman plucks one out and reads off the date: September 1. Another worker double-checks and barks out the date a second time, over the whir of the drum fans. Off to the side, a TV screen keeps track of the drawing results, a Microsoft Office version of the NFL’s fancy draft ticker. Then two other employees repeat the process with a numbered ball. They pull 235; September 1 babies are probably safe.

This is all a dry run. An actual military draft would be broadcast live across the country, watched by the same mix of young men, frantic parents, and rubberneckers who tuned in to witness the lotteries held during the Vietnam War. The real thing hasn’t been held in more than 40 years, and virtually no one believes it will ever be held again. That hasn’t stopped the government from continuing to fund the 124-person Selective Service System to the tune of $23 million a year, saying the independent agency—whose sole function is to administer the draft—is needed in case we ever face another large-scale war. “We’re a very inexpensive insurance policy,” says Lawrence Romo, a stout 59-year-old former Air Force officer who’s now the agency’s director. Every American man between 18 and 25 still has to register for the draft or face the consequences.

Now women, finally allowed into front-line combat positions this year, may have to join them.

Failure to register is a felony. It can theoretically land you in prison for five years or cost you a $250,000 fine. Selective Service still sends lists of nonregistrants to the Department of Justice in case the government feels like prosecuting anyone. Prosecutions don’t occur during peacetime, Romo assures me, but “severe consequences” still lurk. Men who don’t register before age 26 can’t hold most federal jobs or get federal government student loans. Many immigrants who arrive in the United States before they turn 26 can’t become citizens if they don’t register. A majority of states even make registration a requirement to get a driver’s license. And once you’ve missed the deadline, there’s no going back. (In 2014, 12 percent of men ages 18 to 25 failed to register.)

No agency tracks how many people are cut off from college loans and other federal programs each year, but the potential scope is huge. Last year, just over 58,000 young men asked Selective Service for a “status information letter” that tells them whether they’re registered or if they’re exempt from registering. (The agency doesn’t track its answers.) Such letters are often requested when students are trying to figure out if they’re eligible to apply for federal loans, appeal aid denial, or seek federal government jobs.

Karen McCarthy, a senior policy analyst at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, calls linking federal loans to the draft a “whim of Congress to incorporate some kind of social agenda into the financial-aid eligibility process.” The federal student aid application, she points out, asks applicants only two specific questions about potential crimes: Did you register for Selective Service, and have you ever had a drug conviction? “We would love to see the Selective Service question removed entirely” from financial aid applications, she says.

But now the pool of registrants may be about to double. The Pentagon opened all of the military’s combat jobs to women in January, and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter called on Congress to reexamine draft laws. House and Senate lawmakers have done so—and they have apparently decided it’s time for women to sign up for the draft as well. (Romo estimates that expanding his agency to register women will cost another $8 million a year and require 36 more employees.) First two Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee, both opposed to women in combat, pushed an amendment to the 2017 defense spending bill that required women to register, intending it as a “gotcha amendment” to prove that Democrats weren’t serious about allowing women to take combat jobs. The effort backfired when the measure passed their committee. And while the full House removed that language from its defense bill, the Senate this week passed its own version that requires women to start registering with Selective Service beginning in 2018.

The House and Senate now have to come up with a compromise version of the defense bill, and President Barack Obama has threatened to veto it because of a provision that bans closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Drafting women doesn’t sit well with opponents of Selective Service, including Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who has repeatedly introduced bills to kill the draft altogether during peacetime. He argues that the current system has “outmoded computers” and “inaccurate lists” and wouldn’t be effective even if needed. “I am not about to revise the Selective Service and say we should now take the other half of young people in America and subject them to the same stupid, unnecessary, mean-spirited, wasteful bureaucracy,” he says of including women.

The United States first conscripted soldiers during the Civil War and did so again for World Wars I and II. All three times, the draft went away when the wars ended. It wasn’t until the Cold War that the draft became a peacetime fixture. It remained in effect until the US military became an all-volunteer force in 1973. Only in 1980 did registration return, and the impetus was geopolitical brinksmanship. “President Carter decided that, given the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, we wanted to show our resolve—and that we would do that by registering,” says Bernard Rostker, then the head of the Selective Service agency and now a senior fellow at the RAND Corporation.

Despite once overseeing the process, Rostker argues that registration has always been pointless. Young men are required to keep Selective Service apprised of address changes, but few do. In 1982, just two years after draft registration had resumed, the US General Accounting Office (now called the Government Accountability Office) found that 20 to 40 percent of the addresses for 20-year-olds were outdated. The GAO pegged the number at 75 percent for 26-year-olds. In the event of an emergency call-up, Rostker says, a huge chunk of records would be useless.

Then there’s the question of whether draftees would even be helpful to the military. “The fact of the matter is we have a high-tech military,” Rostker says. “I don’t see us needing 600,000 untrained people. I don’t have any idea what the hell we would do with them.”

See more here:  

Draft Registration Has Hurt American Men for Decades. Now It May Hurt Women, Too.

Posted in Casio, Citizen, FF, GE, LG, ONA, Radius, Stout, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Draft Registration Has Hurt American Men for Decades. Now It May Hurt Women, Too.

Is Bernie Sanders Just the Latest Goo-Goo Candidate?

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Jonathan Chait argues that the appeal of Bernie Sanders isn’t truly rooted in his ideology:

It is certainly true that Sanders pushed the debate leftward, by bringing previously marginal left-wing ideas into the Democratic discussion….But to understand the Sanders campaign as primarily a demand for more radical economic policies misses a crucial source of his appeal: as a candidate of good government.

American liberalism contains a long-standing tradition, dating back to the Progressive Era, of disdain for the grubby, transactional elements of politics….Candidates who have fashioned themselves in this earnest style have included Adlai Stevenson, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart, Jerry Brown, Howard Dean, and Barack Obama. These candidates often have distinct and powerful issue positions, but their appeal rests in large part on the promise of a better, cleaner, more honest practice of politics and government.

I’ve made much the same argument myself, so you’d think I’d agree with Chait. But after hearing from a lot of pissed-off Bernie supporters over the past few days, I’m not so sure anymore. For example, here is Ryan Cooper explaining why non-Boomers like Bernie’s ideas:

Though I can’t speak for everyone, I’d wager that young people are attracted to those ideas because they know what it’s like to graduate with a crushing load of student debt or to have a baby in a country with no paid leave but which also expects both parents to work full-time. Or maybe they can just feel that the bottom half of the income ladder is getting a raw deal. They’re not idiots in thrall to a political charlatan.

I’ve gotten an awful lot of responses like this. The gist is usually a combination of (a) my “statistics” about the state of the economy are totally bogus, and (b) I’m too fat and contented to understand what life is like for anyone less fortunate than me. But here’s the thing: most of these responses seem to come from folks who themselves have student debt or low incomes. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I’d fully expect these folks to appreciate Bernie’s message. But they’re not arguing for good government, they’re arguing for policies that would help them personally. That’s your basic transactional politics, no matter how you dress it up.

POSTSCRIPT: I think Cooper is very, very wrong about the history of health care reform too, but I’ll leave that for another time.

View this article:  

Is Bernie Sanders Just the Latest Goo-Goo Candidate?

Posted in ATTRA, Everyone, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Is Bernie Sanders Just the Latest Goo-Goo Candidate?

Here’s What Bernie Sanders Actually Did in the Civil Rights Movement

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Civil rights icon John Lewis told reporters that he never encountered Bernie Sanders when the Vermont senator was working with Lewis’ Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s. Because he made his remarks at a press conference announcing the Congressional Black Caucus PAC’s endorsement of Sanders’ opponent, Hillary Clinton, Lewis’ comments can be seen as a mild dig at Sanders. (In the same breath he said he had met Bill and Hillary Clinton.)

But it’s also undoubtedly true.

The Georgia congressman was a titan of the civil rights movement. A participant in the Freedom Rides organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), he went on to lead the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and still bears the scars he received at Selma. Sanders’ involvement was, by comparison, brief and localized, his sacrifices limited to one arrest for protesting and a bad GPA from neglecting his studies. But Sanders was, in his own right, an active participant in the movement during his three years at the University of Chicago.

Although Sanders did attend the 1963 March on Washington, at which Lewis spoke, most of his work was in and around Hyde Park, where he became involved with the campus chapter of CORE shortly after transferring from Brooklyn College in 1961. During Sanders’ first year in Chicago, a group of apartment-hunting white and black students had discovered that off-campus buildings owned by the university were refusing to rent to black students, in violation of the school’s policies. CORE organized a 15-day sit-in at the administration building, which Sanders helped lead. (James Farmer, who co-founded CORE and had been a Freedom Rider with Lewis, came to the University of Chicago that winter to praise the activists’ work.) The protest ended when George Beadle, the university’s president, agreed to form a commission to study the school’s housing policies.

Sanders was one of two students from CORE appointed to the commission, which included the neighborhood’s alderman and state representative, in addition to members of the administration. But not long afterward, Sanders blew up at the administration, accusing Beadle of reneging on his promise and refusing to answer questions from students on its integration plan. In an open letter in the student newspaper, the Chicago Maroon, Sanders vented about the double-cross:

Chicago Maroon

That spring, with Sanders as its chairman, the university chapter of CORE merged with the university chapter of SNCC. Sanders announced plans to take the fight to the city of Chicago, and in the fall of 1962 he followed through, organizing picketers at a Howard Johnson in Cicero. Sanders told the Chicago Maroon, the student newspaper, that he wanted to keep the pressure on the restaurant chain after the arrest of 12 CORE demonstrators in North Carolina for trying to eat at a Howard Johnson there:

Chicago Maroon

Sanders left his leadership role at the organization not long afterward; his grades suffered so much from his activism that a dean asked him to take some time off from school. (He didn’t take much interest in his studies, anyway.) But he continued his activism with CORE and SNCC. In August of 1963, not long after returning to Chicago from the March on Washington, Sanders was charged with resisting arrest after protesting segregation at a school on the city’s South Side. He was later fined $25, according to the Chicago Tribune:

Chicago Tribune

Excerpt from: 

Here’s What Bernie Sanders Actually Did in the Civil Rights Movement

Posted in Anchor, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Here’s What Bernie Sanders Actually Did in the Civil Rights Movement

How Campus Racism Just Became the Biggest Story in America

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Tim Wolfe, president of the University of Missouri system, resigned from his post on Monday amid growing pressure from students, faculty, and alumni over a series of racial incidents that have plagued the system’s flagship campus in Columbia this fall. Wolfe’s decision to step down came a week after Missouri graduate student Jonathan Butler went on a hunger strike to demand the president’s ouster, after weeks of protests over university inaction. The issue was thrust into the national spotlight on Saturday when a group of black players on the Missouri football team declared they would refuse to participate in football-related activities until Wolfe was removed or stepped down. The players drew support from coaches and the athletic department, though some within the team were unhappy with the protest.

But the matter escalated remarkably fast from Saturday, with Gov. Jay Nixon and US Sen. Claire McCaskill calling for reform, Wolfe resigning, and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin of the University of Missouri, Columbia, announcing late Monday that he would also resign at the end of the year.

Here’s how the chain of events unfolded since mid September. (For more, check out this timeline from the Maneater, the university’s student newspaper, and one from the Missourian.)

September 12: Payton Head, president of the Missouri Students Association, took to Facebook to reflect on the university’s racial climate after a group of people repeatedly screamed “nigger” at him, he said, while he was walking through campus. Head told the Missourian: “I’d had experience with racism before, like microaggressions, but that was the first time I’d experienced in-your-face racism.” (Read his lengthy, impassioned post here.)
October 5: The Legion of Black Collegians, the university’s black student government, described an incident of overt racism, when, according to a letter released by the group, an intoxicated “white male” disrupted a group rehearsal of a play on campus and referred to members as “niggers.” That day, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin condemned the incident in a video, noting that “hate and racism were alive and well at Mizzou.” Loftin called for mandatory diversity training for students, faculty, and staff: “It’s enough. Let’s stop this. Let’s end hatred and racism at Mizzou. We’re part of the same family. You don’t hate your family.”
October 10: Members of Concerned Student 1950, an activist group whose name alludes to the year the first black student was admitted to the university, took to the streets during the university’s homecoming parade to condemn the university’s history of racism; they blocked Wolfe’s car, demanding a response from him. Wolfe did not acknowledge them or get out of the car, and police dispersed the protestors without an arrest, the Missourian reported. Jonathan Butler later told the Missourian: “We’ve sent emails, we’ve sent tweets, we’ve messaged but we’ve gotten no response back from the upper officials at Mizzou to really make change on this campus.”
October 21: Concerned Student 1950 released a list of demands calling for Wolfe’s ouster, and for institutional changes at the university to promote racial inclusion.
October 24: An incident in a bathroom in one of the campus residence halls prompted further outcry: Someone reportedly drew “a swastika on the wall with their own feces,” according to a letter released by the university’s Residence Halls Association. The group called it an “act of hate.”
October 27: Concerned Student 1950 met with Wolfe to discuss its demands; according to the Missourian, the group noted that Wolfe “also reported he was ‘not completely’ aware of systemic racism, sexism, and patriarchy on campus.” The group said in a statement: “Not understanding these systems of oppression therefore renders him incapable of effectively performing his core duties.”
November 2: Graduate student Jonathan Butler announced he would go on a hunger strike, calling for Wolfe’s resignation for failure to adequately respond to the string of racial incidents. Concerned Student 1950 would later call for demonstrations at university events, including Missouri’s football game against Mississippi State. Since November 2, students have camped out at the heart of the university’s campus, Carnahan Quadrangle, in support of Butler’s hunger strike.
November 6: Wolfe issues a statement expressing concern for Butler’s health and apologized for his behavior at the homecoming parade. “My behavior seemed like I did not care,” he said. “That was not my intention. I was caught off guard in that moment. Nonetheless, had I gotten out of the car to acknowledge the students and talk with them perhaps we wouldn’t be where we are today.” He acknowledged that racism existed at the university. “Together we must rise to the challenge of combating racism, injustice, and intolerance.”
November 7: Members of Missouri’s football team took a stand. In a statement posted by the Legion of Black Collegians on Twitter, many of the team’s black athletes said they would decline to participate in practice until Butler’s strike was resolved.
November 9: In an emotional statement before the University of Missouri Board of Curators, Wolfe resigned, saying he hoped his taking responsibility would heal the campus. “I ask everybody — from students to faculty to staff to my friends, everybody — use my resignation to heal and to start talking again. To make the changes necessary and let’s focus on changing what we can change today and in the future, and not what we can’t change, which is what happened in the past.”

Students flooded onto the university’s Columbia campus following the resignation on Monday, chanting and calling for change. They drew support from those at the university and well beyond, including from congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, and from Michael Sam, the former Missouri football star who became the first openly gay player drafted by a NFL team.

As the day went on, members of Concerned Student 1950 linked arms around the encampment on a campus plaza to create a “no media safe space.”

Video shot on the ground shows supporters, including a Greek life administrator and a mass communications professor, blocking a student photographer from taking pictures on public ground and asking him to back up.

On Monday, Butler addressed a large crowd of protesters: “This is not a moment,” he said, “This is a movement.”

View original article:

How Campus Racism Just Became the Biggest Story in America

Posted in Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How Campus Racism Just Became the Biggest Story in America

Question of the Day: With Friends Like This….

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Last month, Donald Trump said he didn’t consider John McCain a war hero because “I like people who weren’t captured.” Who said this afterward?

Mr. Trump’s remarks were insulting to me as a veteran and as a person whose family sacrificed for 25 years as I missed anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, Christmases and Easters….I was offended by a man who sought and gained four student deferments to avoid the draft and who has never served this nation a day — not a day — in any fashion or way.

….Why should I not be suspicious of an individual who was pro-choice until he decided to run for president? Why should I not be suspicious of a person who advocates for universal healthcare? Why should I not be suspicious of someone who says he hates lobbyists and yet has spread millions of dollars around to Republicans and Democrats to enrich himself? Why should I not be suspicious of someone who cannot come to say that he believes in God, that he has never asked for forgiveness and that communion is simply wine and a cracker.

….Trump left me with questions about his moral center and his foundational beliefs….His comments reveal no foundation in Christ, which is a big deal.

If you answered Sam Clovis, the conservative Iowan who is now Trump’s national campaign co-chair, give yourself a gold star! The Des Moines Register says dryly that this raises questions about whether Clovis was motivated to join Trump’s campaign “less by ideology and more by the promise of a big paycheck from a business mogul who has said he is willing to spend as much as a billion dollars to get elected.”

Huh. I guess it does. You really think that might have been in the back of Clovis’s mind?

Read this article:  

Question of the Day: With Friends Like This….

Posted in FF, GE, LG, ONA, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Question of the Day: With Friends Like This….

As Federal Aid Goes Up, College Costs Rise Enough to Gobble It All Up

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Josh Mitchell of the Wall Street Journal writes today about the spiraling cost of college:

The federal government has boosted aid to families in recent decades to make college more affordable. A new study from the New York Federal Reserve faults these policies for enabling college institutions to aggressively raise tuitions.

….Conservatives have long held that generous federal-aid policies inflate higher-education costs, a viewpoint famously articulated by then-Education Secretary William Bennett in a 1987 column that came to be dubbed the Bennett Hypothesis.

Regular readers know that I have at least a bit of sympathy for this view. But Mitchell doesn’t really explain how the data supports this hypothesis. So I’ll give it a try. As you can see on the right, federal aid increased very modestly from 2000 to 2009. Then it went up sharply starting around 2010. If this aid were truly helping make college more affordable, out-of-pocket expenses for students (i.e., actual cash outlays net of loans and grants) would start to flatten out or even go down.

But that hasn’t happened. You can lay a straightedge on the red line in the bottom chart. Basically, families received no net benefit from increased federal aid. Actual cash outlays rose at exactly the same rate as they had been rising before.

My guess is that this will continue until universities get to the point at which students and families simply don’t value higher education enough to pay any more. That’s the gating item, not aid programs. When out-of-pocket expenses finally equal the value that students put on a college degree, prices will stabilize.1 That’s my guess, anyway.

The Journal article has more on this, and the Fed study is here if you want to read more about the methodology—much more sophisticated than mine—that the authors used to come to a similar conclusion.

1Actually, it’s when the perceived value of a college degree equals current cash outlays plus whatever burden students associate with future loan paybacks. However, the latter is pretty tricky to quantify since it varies widely depending on the university, the student’s major, and their subjective discount rate.

Original article:

As Federal Aid Goes Up, College Costs Rise Enough to Gobble It All Up

Posted in FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on As Federal Aid Goes Up, College Costs Rise Enough to Gobble It All Up

Louisiana Ran Out of Money. You Won’t Believe What They Did Next.

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Bobby Jindal has become such an increasingly pathetic figure that I find it hard to work up the nastiness to even mock him in a blog post these days. But Jordan Weissmann links today to a piece in the Baton Rouge Advocate that’s truly mind bending. Jindal desperately needs to raise revenue this year because he’s left Louisiana in a huge budget hole thanks to his true-believer tax-cutting mania. But Grover Norquist won’t allow him to raise revenues. What to do? Here’s the Advocate explaining the Jindal/Norquist-approved SAVE program:

It would assess a fee of about $1,500 per higher education student and raise about $350 million total, but only on paper. Students wouldn’t have to pay anything because an offsetting tax credit for the $1,500. Nor would universities receive any new money.

However, the SAVE fund would create a tax credit for the $350 million that Jindal could use to offset $350 million of the new revenue that legislators are proposing to raise.

I’m not sure that’s entirely clear, but I think I understand what’s going on. Let’s break it down:

  1. SAVE raises $350 million in revenue to help close the budget hole.
  2. It also creates a tax credit that—in theory—offsets the new revenue with a $350 million tax cut. So far this is kosher because there’s no net tax increase.
  3. However, SAVE also creates $350 million in new student fees.
  4. Then the tax credit is used—in actual practice—to offset the student fees so students don’t have to pay any more than they did before.
  5. The net result is $350 million in new revenue that’s not offset.

WTF? All these years Grover Norquist has been terrorizing Washington with his no-new-taxes pledge, but it turns out that this is all it takes to wiggle your way around it? If we’d known this we sure could have avoided an awful lot of stubborn confrontation on Capitol Hill over the past couple of decades. I can think of a hundred ways we can use this dodge in the future.

You know, I live in California and we’ve engaged in a whole lot of budget smoke and mirrors over the years. So I hardly need smelling salts when I hear about state governments pushing the envelope during budget season. But this truly boggles the mind when it comes to sheer dumbness. Maybe next they’ll just start minting their own Louisiana bucks and paying for stuff that way.

Visit site: 

Louisiana Ran Out of Money. You Won’t Believe What They Did Next.

Posted in alo, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Louisiana Ran Out of Money. You Won’t Believe What They Did Next.

Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn’t Start the Way You Think

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

After Baltimore police and a crowd of teens clashed near the Mondawmin Mall in northwest Baltimore on Monday afternoon, news reports described the violence as a riot triggered by kids who had been itching for a fight all day. But in interviews with Mother Jones and other media outlets, teachers and parents maintain that police actions inflamed a tense-but-stable situation.

The funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody this month, had ended hours earlier at a nearby church. According to the Baltimore Sun, a call to “purge”—a reference to the 2013 dystopian film in which all crime is made legal for one night—circulated on social media among school-aged Baltimoreans that morning. The rumored plan—which was not traced to any specific person or group—was to assemble at the Mondawmin Mall at 3:00 p.m. and proceed down Pennsylvania Avenue toward downtown Baltimore. The Baltimore police department, which was aware of the “purge” call, prepared for the worst. Shortly before noon, the department issued a statement saying it had “received credible information that members of various gangs…have entered into a partnership to ‘take-out’ law enforcement officers.”

When school let out that afternoon, police were in the area equipped with full riot gear. According to eyewitnesses in the Mondawmin neighborhood, the police were stopping busses and forcing riders, including many students who were trying to get home, to disembark. Cops shut down the local subway stop. They also blockaded roads near the Mondawmin Mall and Frederick Douglass High School, which is across the street from the mall, and essentially corralled young people in the area. That is, they did not allow the after-school crowd to disperse.

Meghann Harris, a teacher at a nearby school, described on Facebook what happened:

Police were forcing busses to stop and unload all their passengers. Then, Frederick Douglass High School students, in huge herds, were trying to leave on various busses but couldn’t catch any because they were all shut down. No kids were yet around except about 20, who looked like they were waiting for police to do something. The cops, on the other hand, were in full riot gear, marching toward any small social clique of students…It looked as if there were hundreds of cops.

The kids were “standing around in groups of 3-4,” Harris said in a Facebook message to Mother Jones. “They weren’t doing anything. No rock throwing, nothing…The cops started marching toward groups of kids who were just milling about.”

A teacher at Douglass High School, who asked not to be identified, tells a similar story: “When school was winding down, many students were leaving early with their parents or of their own accord.” Those who didn’t depart early, she says, were stranded. Many of the students still at school at that point, she notes, wanted to get out of the area and avoid any Purge-like violence. Some were requesting rides home from teachers. But by now, it was difficult to leave the neighborhood. “I rode with another teacher home,” this teacher recalls, “and we had to route our travel around the police in riot gear blocking the road… The majority of my students thought what was going to happen was stupid or were frightened at the idea. Very few seemed to want to participate in ‘the purge.'”

A parent who picked up his children from a nearby elementary school, says via Twitter, “The kids stood across from the police and looked like they were asking them ‘why can’t we get on the buses’ but the police were just gazing…Majority of those kids aren’t from around that neighborhood. They NEED those buses and trains in order to get home.” He continued: “If they would’ve let them children go home, yesterday wouldn’t have even turned out like that.”

Meg Gibson, another Baltimore teacher, described a similar scene to Gawker: “The riot police were already at the bus stop on the other side of the mall, turning buses that transport the students away, not allowing students to board. They were waiting for the kids.…Those kids were set up, they were treated like criminals before the first brick was thrown.” With police unloading busses, and with the nearby metro station shut down, there were few ways for students to clear out.

Several eyewitnesses in the area that afternoon say that police seemed to arrive at Mondawmin anticipating mobs and violence—prior to any looting. At 3:01 p.m., the Baltimore Police Department posted on its Facebook page: “There is a group of juveniles in the area of Mondawmin Mall. Expect traffic delays in the area.” But many of the kids, according to eyewitnesses, were stuck there because of police actions.

The Baltimore Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.

Around 3:30, the police reported that juveniles had begun to throw bottles and bricks. Fifteen minutes later, the police department noted that one of its officers had been injured. After that the violence escalated, and rioters started looting the Mondawmin Mall, and Baltimore was in for a long night of trouble and violence. But as the event is reviewed and investigated, an important question warrants attention: What might have happened had the police not prevented students from leaving the area? Did the department’s own actions increase the chances of conflict?

As Meghann Harris put it, “if I were a Douglas student that just got trapped in the middle of a minefield BY cops without any way to get home and completely in harm’s way, I’d be ready to pop off, too.”

On social media, eyewitnesses chronicled the dramatic police presence before the rioting began:

#LIVE #SATELLITE #MondawminMall …”Cops in Body Armor for H.S. STUDENT”

A photo posted by Antonio Butcher (@magava_da_9) on Apr 27, 2015 at 12:26pm PDT

#praying4Baltimore #mondawminmall

A video posted by BE-Z Clothing Comp (@mrbez4ever) on Apr 27, 2015 at 12:10pm PDT

On Twitter, Baltimore residents vented their frustration with the situation.


Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn’t Start the Way You Think

Posted in Anchor, FF, GE, LG, ONA, PUR, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Eyewitnesses: The Baltimore Riots Didn’t Start the Way You Think

Police: There Is "No Evidence" of Gang Rape Detailed in Rolling Stone’s UVA Story

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

In a news conference on Monday, the Charlottesville Police Department announced it would suspend an investigation into the University of Virginia rape allegations first detailed in an explosive Rolling Stone article published last November. The police said they found “no evidence” supporting the claims of the student Rolling Stone identified as Jackie.

“I can’t prove that something didn’t happen, and there may come a point in time in which this survivor, or this complaining party or someone else, may come forward with some information that might help us move this investigation further,” Police Chief Tim Longo told reporters. He also stressed the inquiry was not permanently closed.

According to Longo, Jackie did not cooperate with police officials, who conducted nearly 70 interviews, including speaking with Jackie’s friends and members of UVA’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Jackie alleged her 2012 rape occurred in Phi Kappa Psi’s fraternity house.

The results of the investigation follow a turbulent four months for the magazine, after news outlets such as Slate and the Washington Post unearthed major errors compromising Rolling Stone‘s story. The magazine acknowledged the discrepancies, saying it had “misplaced its trust” in Jackie.

The story, however, fueled a national conversation over campus sexual assault. An independent investigation led by Columbia University’s School of Journalism is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

This article:  

Police: There Is "No Evidence" of Gang Rape Detailed in Rolling Stone’s UVA Story

Posted in Anchor, FF, G & F, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, organic, PUR, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Police: There Is "No Evidence" of Gang Rape Detailed in Rolling Stone’s UVA Story

Watch John Oliver Explain the Insanity of Our Student Debt Crisis

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

The price of attending college in America continues to spiral out of control. In 2012, the average cost of attending a 4-year undergraduate institution in the US hit a record $23,872, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. For comparison, 35% of American workers made less than $22,500 in 2012.

On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, liberal piñata-destroyer John Oliver took on this insanity with a typically entertaining and blood boiling segment. “Essentially, student debt is like HPV. If you go to college, you’re almost certainly going to get it, and if you do, it will follow you for the rest of your life.”


For more, here are 9 charts about the student debt crisis that will drive you crazy.

View original post here:  

Watch John Oliver Explain the Insanity of Our Student Debt Crisis

Posted in Anchor, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Watch John Oliver Explain the Insanity of Our Student Debt Crisis