The weekend and I need a break!
As per my tradition I would like to offer up some news that was missing from your nightly report.
I write a lot about education because I think the some states are failing the people and children under their care all in the name of party politics…..like…..
Gov. Greg Abbott said Texas may fight a Supreme Court ruling mandating that public education for all children, including undocumented immigrants, be provided free by the states. Texas already sued the federal government over the cost of complying with the ruling, the Hill reports. That was a loss for the state, in the Supreme Court case Plyler v. Doe. “I think we will resurrect that case and challenge this issue again, because the expenses are extraordinary and the times are different than when Plyler versus Doe was issued many decades ago,” Abbott said.
Texas changed its laws in 1975 to keep children who were not “legally admitted” to the US out of its public schools and refuse funding for their education, per KHOU. The US Supreme Court voted 5-4 in 1982 that the law was unconstitutional. The ruling guaranteed all children, documented and undocumented, a free public education. Abbott made the comments Wednesday on “The Joe Pags Show,” a radio program.
And Texas is not alone in their hate of education.
Speaking of Texas (why? only a pack of morons can be this stupid)…..
Some experts are warning that Christian nationalism is on the rise, shaping American politics. Hate crimes recently skyrocketed to the highest point in 12 years, led by a spike in offenses against Black and Asian people.
But certain Texas Republicans see things a little differently, according to a new poll. Some believe it’s white people and God-fearing Christians who face the most hate.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc on a variety of fronts, and gun violence hasn’t escaped its path. According to a new report from the CDC, the firearm homicide rate in 2020 reached its highest rate since 1994, increasing nearly 35% from the previous year, reports Axios. “That’s nearly 5,000 more lives lost to firearm homicides in one year,” Thomas Simon, associate director for science at the CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention, said during a Tuesday news conference, per NBC News. About 79% of homicides and 53% of suicides in the nation were linked to firearms during that first year of the pandemic, with the CDC calling both of those types of deaths in America a “persistent and significant concern,” per Axios. The report also parses the demographics: The largest spikes in gun murders were found among Black males ages 10 to 44, and among Native American or Alaska Native men ages 25 to 44
“Unfortunately I am not surprised, but it is heartbreaking,” Debra Houry, director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control and acting principal deputy director of the CDC, tells ABC News. The outlet notes that the rise during the pandemic in the buying of firearms, as well as the associated violence and murder, can be tied to the accompanying pressures of the last two years, such as people losing jobs and not being able to pay for rent or arrange for child care. “The COVID-19 pandemic might have exacerbated existing social and economic stressors” already in place due to “long-standing systemic inequities and structural racism”—all of which could have contributed to the violence, the CDC report notes.
The CDC researchers point to pandemic lockdowns and social distancing as adding to the overall tension. Houry cites an urgent need to modify policies to curb the current trends in the US. “[Gun] violence is not inevitable, it’s preventable,” she tells ABC. The CDC report’s suggestions include bolstering welfare initiatives, looking more closely at urban renewal proposals, and hospital-based violence prevention programs (ie, helping young people who are brought to hospitals with gunshot wounds). Meanwhile, though the report gives us a lot of figures to absorb, Simon reminds us of the people behind them. “Our reports contain statistics and numbers, but it’s also important to reflect on the individual lives lost,” Simon said at Tuesday’s presser. “Even one homicide or suicide is too many.”
Did you know that supposedly there a 2 jobs for every unemployed person? The AP points out that, on average, two jobs are now available for every unemployed person, which is the highest proportion in history. Related to that, a record 4.5 million quit their jobs in March, apparently unworried about landing another one.
A small bit of good news….
The Biden administration said Monday that 20 internet companies—including Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T—have agreed to provide discounted service to low-income Americans. The program could effectively make tens of millions of households eligible for free service through an already existing federal subsidy, per the AP. The $1 trillion infrastructure package passed by Congress last year included $14.2 billion funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides $30 monthly subsidies ($75 in tribal areas) on internet service for millions of lower-income households. With the new commitment from the internet providers, some 48 million households will be eligible for $30 monthly plans for higher-speed service—making internet service fully paid for with the government subsidy if they sign up with one of the participating providers.
- Providers: The providers are Allo Communications; AltaFiber (and Hawaiian Telecom); Altice USA (Optimum and Suddenlink); Astound; AT&T; Breezeline; Comcast; Comporium; Frontier; IdeaTek; Cox Communications; Jackson Energy Authority; MediaCom; MLGC; Spectrum (Charter Communications); Starry; Verizon (Fios only); Vermont Telephone Co.; Vexus Fiber; and Wow! Internet, Cable, and TV.
- Eligibility: American households are eligible for subsidies through the Affordable Connectivity Program if their income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, or if a member of their family participates in one of several programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA), and Veterans Pension and Survivors Benefit.
Ukraine’s newest ‘hero’……
A very special awards ceremony was held over the weekend in Kyiv to honor the nation’s newest hero amid the Russian invasion: a 2 1/2-year-old dog named Patron, reports the BBC. A medal was bestowed upon the Jack Russell terrier at a Sunday news conference by none other than Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was in town on a surprise visit, at his side. Patron—whose name means “cartridge” or “ammo” in Ukrainian, per the Washington Post and New York Times—received his badge of honor for sniffing out more than 200 land mines across the country.
Zelensky praised Patron, “a wonderful little sapper … who helps not only to neutralize explosives, but also to teach our children the necessary safety rules in areas where there is a mine threat.” Patron is already a well-known character across the land, seen in videos on social media and serving as the inspiration for kids’ artwork and knit toys. It’s not clear if Patron, decked out in his trademark safety vest for the occasion, totally understood the weight of the moment, but Trudeau, who announced $50 million in added military aid from Canada to Ukraine, seemed to get the pooch’s attention when he patted his pockets as if searching for a dog treat, causing Patron to bark. “Even if the dog barked at me, we’re helping fund that,” Trudeau joked.
There you have the news that I dived into the news dumpster to retrieve for your enjoyment.
Have a great day…..
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”