Events negatively impacting American quality and well-being of life are unfolding in such rapid succession that following the top news stories is enough to make one’s head spin. This last week, we learned that our government has secretly put in place a massive surveillance system beyond Orwellian proportions to spy on American citizens, and on the press, with the press being threatened by some members of Congress with prosecution for doing what the press is supposed to do—report and inform on what our government is doing. This scandal dovetails with Bradley Manning’s trial which began this week—Manning who has pleaded guilty of releasing public documents to WikiLeaks.
But to continue with the breaking stories: While many cities and states are cutting public education funds, two major cities (Chicago and Philadelphia) are closing large numbers of public schools, primarily in neighborhoods that serve the poor and black neighborhoods, leaving students adrift, and throwing our nation’s highly qualified teachers out of work. Chicago’s Democratic mayor and President Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, claimed the need for budget cuts, shuttered fifty schools, yet spent millions of tax-payer funds—those savings from gutting public education—on a sports arena on an elite private college campus. Emanuel and Obama have both heralded Charter Schools as the mechanism for ‘improving education’ in the United States.
Moving on to more new stories: International trade agreements are being negotiated in secret, without public knowledge or debate—trade agreements that do not benefit the people of any of the countries involved, including (and especially) the U.S.—indeed, the terms of which supersede national laws allowing corporations to further destroy the environment as well as wage and labor conditions.
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