Category Archives: Economy

New York City’s public schools join fight against ‘white power’

New York City tax dollars at work in the public indoctrination system.

Principal Darlene Cameron

Principal Darlene Cameron

Via NY Post: On the last day of school, Principal Darlene Cameron of Star Academy-PS 63 in the East Village gave her small faculty a chart defining racist and non-racist institutions and asked them to think about where their school fits in.

A non-racist institution, among other things, is conscious of and aims to wipe out a culture of “white power,” “white privilege” and “inherent white advantage.” “We fit into the category of white power and privilege!” a white teacher at the K-5 school told her colleagues. The concept that whites enjoy everyday benefits simply because of their skin color has become the rage.

Elite private schools have grappled with the notion. The Post exposed an extreme case — how the Bank Street School for Children on the Upper West Side made white kids feel guilty about their “whiteness” while heaping praise and cupcakes on kids of color. The school’s diversity director stepped down after the report.

Now public schools are jumping on the bandwagon.

Carmen Farina/AP Photo

Carmen Farina/AP Photo

After recent killings of black men by cops and murders of police officers, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña called on educators to tackle “tough conversations” about race, violence and guns.

In addition, Fariña announced a new curriculum that emphasizes social justice. She also recommended a K-12 reading list compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center, “Perspectives for a Diverse America,” which includes selections on race, gender and LGBTQ issues. In K-2, for instance, kids can learn the true story of Z and Vielpunk, a couple of gay male penguins rearing a chick in a German zoo.

The ninth-through-12th-grade readings include a 1990 essay, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” which lists 50 hidden benefits whites enjoy. No. 17: “I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.”

The chart handed out at Star Academy, written by an Illinois-based anti-racism ministry, angered some parents questioned by The Post. “When you start sending out things like this, it divides us,” said Robert Powell, a black dad in The Bronx who served on the city’s Panel for Educational Policy. “It’s a subtle form of racism.”

Education author Sol Stern called the chart “left-wing propaganda” and “brainwashing.” White privilege “is an argument, not a fact,” he said.

David Bloomfield

David Bloomfield

But David Bloomfield, a Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center education professor, who is white, lauds the idea. “It reminds me a bit of when ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’ was recommended reading by the DOE before same-sex couples became mainstream,” he said. Greater awareness can help teachers pick books that reflect other races, he added.

It can also spur classroom discussion. “If you put the US presidents on your classroom wall, it sends a signal of who’s in charge,” Bloomfield said. “The teacher might point out to students that these are all white, except one, and all, currently, males.”

Cameron told The Post she plans to have teachers discuss the race-based issues in the fall. “We want to be sure we’re as inclusive and welcoming as possible, and that we’re all aware of the different backgrounds that come together to make up our community,” she said.

Star Academy students are 65 percent Hispanic, 20 percent black, 10 percent white and 4 percent Asian, records show.

An essay included in city high-schoolers’ reading list seeks to explain the hidden benefits supposedly enjoyed by white people. Some examples of so-called “white privilege”:

  • I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.
  • I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.
  • I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.
  • I can choose…bandages in “flesh” color and have them more or less match my skin.
  • I will feel welcomed and “normal” in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.

DCG

$15 minimum wage shutters old-school Brooklyn diner

#FightFor15 must be so proud.

del rio diner

From NY Post: Say goodbye to the late-night fries and gravy. One of the last classic Brooklyn diners is biting the dust — and soon they’ll all die off due to the state’s minimum-wage increase and other factors, restaurateurs and economic experts predicted Friday.

The owner of the four-decade-old, 24-hour greasy spoon, Del Rio Diner in Gravesend, said his place is closing down because he can’t afford to pay cooks $15 an hour, along with rising rents and expensive Health Department inspection fees.

The minimum-wage law was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We’d need to raise the burger to $9 from $6.45. I don’t want to do that to my customers. They’ve been good to me. These are middle-class people,” said owner Larry Georgeton, 66.

“This is going to kill me to leave. But I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place,” said Georgeton — who has served everyone from movie stars to sports heroes at the fabled neighborhood hangout on Kings Highway near West 12th Street.

The Del Rio’s closing was first reported Friday by the Web site BrooklynDaily.com.

“The outlook for this business model is bleak. If you’re a diner, going automated isn’t an option. Neither is raising prices on your working-class customers — a $20 sandwich isn’t going to work,” said Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute, which studies job growth. “It’s too bad because it’s these sorts of restaurants that make neighborhoods unique.”

Other old-school Brooklyn diners such as the Vegas in Dyker Heights, the Mirage in Midwood and the Floridian in Marine Park are also at risk, Saltsman said.

“I’m happy for McDonald’s workers. God bless them. I hope you get $30 an hour. But we can’t handle it,” Georgeton said.

Over the years, the Del Rio has served former Yankees star Joe Pepitone, actress Jessica Biel and late “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini, Georgeton said. It will close its doors for good Monday at 7 a.m.

Georgette Barrile, 69, who worked as a Del Rio waitress in the ’80s added, “I never thought this place would close. It’s heartbreaking.”

DCG

Governor Malloy Bypassed Airport Security Checkpoint With Son’s Backpack

Rules are for little people.

dannel malloy

From The Courant: Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (demorat) bypassed a federal security checkpoint at Bradley International Airport last Nov. 27 while carrying a backpack belonging to his son, Samuel Malloy, through a private corridor to the departure gate area as he and first lady Cathy Malloy saw their son off for a flight, a Courant investigation of the episode has found.

Security camera footage shows Malloy carrying the red backpack on his shoulder through a side door within the Bradley terminal to which airport security personnel admitted him. Then he was ushered by state police with his wife through a secure, non-public interior corridor and ended up at the airport’s departure gates, the video shows.

The corridor bypassed one of the now-familiar security checkpoints where U.S. Transportation Security Administration agents electronically screen travelers’ bodies and baggage with X-ray devices 2 million times a day, the investigation found.

Malloy, in an interview, confirmed the bag was not screened.

Malloy’s 23-year-old son went, separately from his parents, through the regular public security checkpoint while carrying no baggage, then caught up to them at the departure gate area. The videos do not show Malloy turning the backpack over to his son – but Malloy said it was at the gate area where his son took the pack from him, and then boarded the plane headed toward his home in Los Angeles after a Thanksgiving visit.

The episode was flagged by airport personnel, who objected to the Malloys getting special VIP treatment that enabled them to get the son’s backpack around the public security checkpoint, and into the gate area where no member of the public can go without a boarding pass. At least one expressed alarm at a backpack getting onto a commercial jet without undergoing normal scrutiny.

Internal emails written by one or more individuals who work at the airport said it was “a violation” of security rules and that “this Governor is not above any law.”

Asked about the bag and security, Malloy apologized and said he’d been in a hurry to get his son on the flight because “we were running a little behind.”

“It was kind of an absent-minded mistake,” Malloy said in an interview on Wednesday. “And I am sorry. You know, to cause anybody consternation is not what I was trying to do. I was just trying to see my son off with his mother.”

“It would have been very easy…to have had him take his own bag” through the security checkpoint, he said.

Malloy said his state police security detail made all arrangements for his family’s movements at the airport – including going through the secure corridor to the gate area, rather than saying goodbye before the security checkpoint as the general public must.

“The reality is, I’m kind of led around a little bit” by the state police security detail assigned to protect him, Malloy said. “I haven’t been outside of my house without somebody standing beside me in many years. And so my security knows what the mission is, and I basically follow them.”

TSA higher-ups later reviewed the incident, examining the videos, and found no violation, saying the backpack wasn’t a threat. TSA officials declined to release a copy of their investigation.

Freedom of Information Act requests by The Courant for security footage and other information relating to the incident – which happened during a 20-minute period between 11 a.m. and noon on the day after Thanksgiving – were denied in recent months by the TSA, the Connecticut Airport Authority, and the Connecticut state police.

However, the video footage and several emails were obtained by The Courant.

Malloy has been vocal in urging vigilance for against terrorism – saying “if you see something, say something.” Asked Wednesday if he thought airport personnel were right to “say something” about the incident involving him and his son’s backpack, he said “absolutely.”

He said if he had it to do over, “I would have thought about it and it wouldn’t happen. There’s no reason for it to happen except that we were trying to get my son on a plane to say goodbye and we were running a little late.”

The governor said as far as he knows, the backpack went onto the jet with its contents unexamined. Asked if it was inspected at Bradley, he said, “No, it was not.” Had his security detail examined the contents earlier? “I wouldn’t think so,” he said. But he also said he didn’t think anything in it would have been a problem at the checkpoint. “No,” he said, “Not that I know of.”

Read the whole story here.

h/t Hot Air

DCG

New USDA Rules Eliminate Junk Food in Schools

Apparently Michelle hasn’t ruined the kids’ lunches enough already.

An example of Michelle Obama's mandated school lunches

An example of Michelle Obama’s mandated school lunches

From Yahoo:  Students might notice some changes in the cafeteria when they go back to school in a few weeks.  The USDA will announce rules today that require schools to get rid of unhealthy snacks and eliminate students’ exposure to junk food, ABC News has exclusively learned.

The biggest difference this year will be what students see around the school. If a snack, food item or beverage is not healthy enough for a school to sell or serve, it can’t be advertised either. That means no more pictures of soda on vending machines or in the cafeteria.

Katie Wilson, USDA deputy under secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, said many schools requested these changes.  “Education and wellness and advertising to kids about healthier choices [and] that all has to be part of the school environment just like making sure they have pencils and paper and computers,” Wilson said.

One study found that 70 percent of elementary and middle school students see ads for junk food at school and research published earlier this month showed that kids tend to eat more after seeing ads for unhealthy food.

Another lovely school lunch

Another lovely school lunch

Snacks can’t have too many calories or too much sodium, fat or sugar, according to the guidelines for schools. Foods that are “whole grain-rich” or mostly made up of fruits or vegetables are emphasized, and schools are recommended to sell only water, low-fat milk or milk alternatives, or 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice.

Wilson said 98 percent of schools around the country already meet these standards. Now that the rules are finalized, she said the USDA will continue its efforts to educate parents, communities and school staff about better nutritional food choices.

Healthier food in schools is nothing new. Guidelines about healthy school lunches and snacks have been rolling out for several years and are part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign launched in 2010 to fight childhood obesity.

mooch eating

DCG

Socialist Sawant wants to cap fees landlords charge Seattle renters

Is the socialist going to pick up the tab for any unpaid fees? Don’t hold your breath.

Socialist Kshama Sawant

Socialist Kshama Sawant

From the Seattle Times: Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant on Thursday proposed legislation that would put a cap on the amount of money landlords charge incoming renters.

The ordinance would limit move-in fees — including a security deposit and any nonrefundable, one-time payments — to no more than the cost of one month’s rent.

Sawant’s legislation also would require landlords to allow renters to pay their move-in fees in installments rather than immediately and in full. Landlords asking for last month’s rent up front would likewise be required to accept that sum in installments.

The council member said her proposal is aimed at reducing costs for Seattle renters during a time in which many of them are struggling to make ends meet.

“Seattle renters are facing a serious crisis. In May, one-bedroom apartment rentals rose 11 percent, the highest increase in the nation,” Sawant said in a statement, referring to a report by the rental-search website Abodo. “We need to reduce all barriers faced by renters. The cost of moving into a rental unit is first on that list.”

The Abodo report said the price for an average one-bedroom apartment in Seattle rose to $1,906 in May from $1,722 in April. The company’s most recent report said the price for an average one-bedroom in Seattle fell 9 percent from June to July.

Read the whole story here.

See also:

DCG

Trump’s acceptance speech pivots on America & Americans First

Did you watch Donald Trump’s speech as the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nominee last night?

What do you think of it?

If you haven’t watched it, here it is:

It was long, because Trump did not rush his words, but clearly and emphatically articulated (and sometimes shouted) important points he wanted to impress on Americans, and because he paused often, to acknowledge the reaction from the Convention delegates. All of which was not the performance of someone just reading from a teleprompter. Instead, this was a speaker who wanted to convey and impress on his listeners the gravity of America’s problems and how he would deal with those problems.

The heart of Trump’s message is a simple one:

America and Americans First

That principle should be self-evident, requiring no defense or justification — for who else but Americans would and should put America and Americans first? Don’t you put your own and your family’s wellbeing first? How is America to help others if America falls apart? And yet, we haven’t heard this overriding principle from other politicians, not even from Trump’s GOP primary rivals. It is also a message that the Left and their MSM accomplices, as well as the GOP elites, distort and malign as something evil — that standing up for and putting America first is “nativist,” “jingoist,” “fascist”…, as if the obligation of America and Americans is to be a doormat for the rest of the world.

From his central principle of “America and Americans First” — of making America rich and strong again — flows these derivative values and principles:

  1. Law and Order: A country that is in chaos cannot thrive economically. A fundamental responsibility of government is to protect and ensure the safety of the governed against criminals, whether criminals here illegally or those gunning down police. To ensure Americans’ safety, Trump is committed to our right to arm ourselves which is guaranteed by the Second Amendment. It is also on the theme of Law and Order that Trump indicts Hillary Clinton for her lawlessness in having a private email-server while she was secretary of state, and for the Obama FBI’s refusal to indict her for violating U.S. laws and endangering national security with unsecured emails containing classified state secrets and names of CIA agents.
  2. Secure Our Borders, to protect Americans against the flood of illegals, many of whom are criminals, and of Muslim “refugees” who the FBI has admitted cannot be vetted to exclude terrorists. On this, Trump reminds blacks that they are the economic victims of Obama’s and Hillary’s open-border policy, and that LGBTs were the victims of a Muslim gunman in Orlando. In so doing, without explicitly saying it, Trump reminds whites and straights that blacks and LGBTs are Americans, and putting “America First” should also mean putting all “Americans First”.
  3. A strong military, and better treatment for our veterans.
  4. In foreign policy and affairs, the United States will jealously guard our interests, be they financial, trade, or security. Trade treaties and arrangements will be rexamined and renegotiated, in order to restore America’s manufacturing industries and jobs. Our allies will have to pay their “fair share” for military defense (Japan, South Korea, but no mention of Israel) and step up to the plate against terrorism (NATO).
  5. Revive U.S. economy: Via restoring manufacturing jobs, getting allies to pay their fair share of defense costs, and lowering taxes.
  6. Populism: Trump ended his speech by telling America that unlike Hillary, who asks if Democrats are “with her,” his message is that he is “with you, the American people”.

Trump also graciously thanked Christians and Evangelicals for their support, saying he’s not sure he deserves it, which is uncharacteristically humble for him.

So how was Trump’s speech received by GOP elites?

If the editor of a supposedly conservative publication is an indication, it’s bad news for anyone hoping for Republican party unity to defeat Hillary, who will complete the destruction of America. Below is the shockingly vicious “The Demagogue Rises,” by Matthew Continetti, editor-in-chief of The Washington Free Beacon:

Donald Trump delivered the longest, loudest convention speech in recent memory when he accepted the Republican nomination for president Thursday evening. He made no attempt to “pivot to the general election,” moderate his agenda, smooth over rough rhetoric. Gone was Mitt Romney’s Etch-a-Sketch, tossed into a dustbin with George W. Bush’s Freedom Agenda, George H.W. Bush’s Thousand Points of Light, Ronald Reagan’s Morning in America. Trump was his usual self: brash, boisterous, overbearing, defiant, inimitable, roiling with anger over the state of the country and the corruption, ineffectiveness, and arrogance of the nation’s elite. Trump won’t change, won’t learn, won’t listen, won’t apologize, won’t cavil, won’t conform to the traditions of presidential politics or adhere to the norms of political discourse. He doesn’t care about facts, he wants to overturn the postwar international order, he champions the will to power, he mercilessly attacks opponents. He’s a demagogue in dark suits, electric ties. I can only imagine what he’d be capable of if he were competent.

Because he’s not competent. He is actually truly, magnificently inept. The convention was a mess, haphazard, disorganized, weird. The botched roll call vote, Melania’s plagiarism, Ted Cruz’s hand grenade, the leaked speech draft—all of these gaffes and scandals occurred against the backdrop of dismal attendance, chants to put Hillary in prison, bizarre speakers, rambling addresses, early departures, and testimonies to Trump’s greatness. His campaign has practically no money, no advertising, no infrastructure, no grassroots operation. The other day, when he expressed uncertainty about whether the United States would lead NATO in defense of the Baltic States if they were attacked by Russia, Trump made history by provoking an international incident without even being president. Many GOP officials wouldn’t come near the convention, including Ohio’s popular governor. There are two Republican parties for the moment: the party led by Trump and the Republican Party in exile, the party of Kasich and Larry Hogan and Nikki Haley and Charlie Baker and Brian Sandoval and Mark Kirk and Ted Cruz. Election Day won’t just determine who will succeed President Obama. It will also determine the fate of Donald J. Trump’s hostile takeover of the GOP.

Continetti all but calls Trump a Hitler, and Americans who support Trump mindless Nazis.

Note that Continetti’s criticisms of Trump are all about style, not substantive issues — that Trump was “brash,” “boisterous,” and “mercilessly attacks opponents,” and that he did not pay obeisance to GOP old guard elites, who to the end strove to undermine Trump and boycotted the Republican National Convention. As for the “opponents” whom Trump “mercilessly attacked,” since the only “opponents” Trump attacked were Hillary Clinton and big business fat-cats (with apologies to cats) who hollowed out the U.S. economy with their outsourcing of jobs, that should tell us whose side Continetti is on.

If Hillary wins, it will be because of Republicans like Matthew Continetti who reserve their most vicious venom not for Democrats, but for a fellow Republican and patriot who simply wants to put America and Americans first. Should Hillary become president, the victory of Continetti, Bill Kristol, the Bushes, et al., against Trump will be pyrrhic because all that will be left of their Republican Party is an empty shell, devoid of rank-and-file members.

So what do you think of Trump’s speech? Take our simple short poll!

~Eowyn

 

Middle-class Venezuelans liquidate savings to stockpile food

Ain’t socialism grand?

Typical grocery story in Venezuela

Typical grocery story in Venezuela

From Yahoo: Tebie Gonzalez and Ramiro Ramirez still have their sleek apartment, a fridge covered with souvenir magnets from vacations abroad, and closets full of name brand clothes. But they feel hunger drawing near.

So when the Venezuelan government opened the long-closed border with Colombia this weekend, the couple decided to drain what remained of the savings they put away before the country spun into economic crisis and stock up on food. They left their two young sons with relatives and joined more than 100,000 other Venezuelans trudging across what Colombian officials are calling a “humanitarian corridor” to buy as many basic goods as possible.

“This is money we had been saving for an emergency, and this is an emergency,” Ramirez said. “It’s scary to spend it, but we’re finding less food each day and we need to prepare for what’s coming.”

Gonzalez, 36, earns several times the minimum wage with her job as a sales manager for a chain of furniture stores in the western mountain town of San Cristobal. But lately, her salary is no match for Venezuela’s 700 percent inflation. Ramirez’s auto parts shop went bust after President Nicolas Maduro closed the border with Colombia a year ago, citing uncontrolled smuggling, and cut off the region’s best avenue for imported goods.

The couple stopped eating out this year, abandoned plans to buy a house and put a “for sale” sign on their second car. There is no more sugar for coffee, no more butter for bread and no more infant formula for their 1-year-old son.

When Ramirez, 37, went to get a late night snack on Friday, he found nothing in the refrigerator. So Sunday, the couple donned their nicest clothes and hid fat wads of bills in their bags. Before heading to the border, they surveyed the stocks in their renovated granite kitchen: An inch of vegetable oil at the bottom of a plastic jug. A single package of flour. Some leftover cooked rice. No coffee.

Then they set off in a 2011 Jeep SUV onto bandit-plagued highways, the lights of hillside shantytowns glinting in the blue darkness like stars.

At the crossing, scowling soldiers with automatic weapons patrolled a line that wrapped around more than a dozen blocks. The couple considered turning back. But within minutes, people started shouting that immigration officials were waving everyone through, and the line broke into a stampede.

A mad dash to Columbia

A mad dash to Columbia

Gonzalez and Ramirez ran with thousands of others toward a bridge barely wide enough for two cars to pass. Soon, it was packed as tightly as a rush-hour subway train. Some people cradled newborns, others toted dogs as they headed to a new life in Colombia. Most carried suitcases and backpacks to fill with groceries.

The couple held hands to stop the crowd from pushing them apart. Two hours passed. People sang the national anthem. Gonzalez’s feet ached in Tommy Hilfiger wedge heels. People who couldn’t stand the claustrophobia and heat doubled back to try to swim across the river, but soldiers stopped them.

At last, the Colombian flags came into view. Soon, the bridge opened out onto a road lined with officials waving, cheering, even doling out cake. No one checked ID cards. Beyond the reception line, folk music played and kiosks sold products that have become treasures in Venezuela: rice, toothpaste, detergent, and sacks of sugar.

Gonzalez was crying behind her oversized aviator glasses. “I thought the crossing would be easier. It made me feel so humiliated, like I was an animal; a refugee,” she said.

“But look how different things are on this side. It’s like Disneyland,” responded Ramirez. Not only was the town filled with prized groceries, but everything was much cheaper than on Venezuelan black market, now the only alternative for people who don’t have time to spend in the hours-long lines for scarce goods that have become the most salient feature of the oil country’s economic crisis.

They changed their Venezuelan money into Colombian currency at a mall, where Gonzalez luxuriated in the clean, air-conditioned space as she window-shopped for watches and handbags.

As she browsed past the shoes, a TV report flashed on the store television: It was an aerial shot of the bridge she had crossed over, crammed with people. “Humanitarian crisis,” the headline said. “Oh no,” Gonzalez whispered.

Other shoppers were indignant. “That isn’t Venezuela. That isn’t us,” said a woman who was looking at sneakers. Gonzalez crossed herself and left. It was time to go food shopping and get home.

The variety at the mall supermarket felt unreal after so many months of scrounging in near-empty stores. The couple debated over the best baby toothpaste. Gonzalez ran her hand over seven varieties of shampoo. She examined each option in an aisle of pasta.

But while things were cheaper than in shortage-hit Venezuela, they were pricier than they had expected. They decided to skip the flour and sugar, instead choosing seven packages of the cheapest pasta. They went for cloudy off-brand cooking oil instead of the more expensive canola. Every price was checked and rechecked as the couple spent three hours deciding how to allocate their emergency fund. “It’s more expensive than we had hoped, but what matters is that it’s available at all,” Ramirez said.

Other Venezuelans in the store — teachers, small business owners and office workers — pored over prices and reluctantly put things back.

In the end, the couple bought enough food to fill two suitcases and a duffel bag, then slipped into the stream of exhausted shoppers filing back to Venezuela. Colombian officials said Monday there would be no more one-day border openings.

Colombian soldiers shook hands with the departing Venezuelans and wished them well. But the kindness didn’t lift the shoppers’ spirits the same way it had when they entered Colombia hours earlier. At home, Ramirez and Gonzalez stacked their hard-won supplies into gleaming white pantry cabinets. They still looked pretty bare.

Venezuelans line up in state-run supermarket

Venezuelans line up in state-run supermarket

See also:

 

DCG