Renegade Editor’s Note: Paul Gottfried is the jew who coined the term “Alternative Right”, which was picked up by his protege Richard Spencer, who does not even discuss the jewish issue as explicitly as Gottfried.
Paul Gottfried talks about how a lot of Jews look at the Holocaust and white people and the effects those views have on white people, black people and others, and the Western world as a whole.
Fox News has reportedly decided to end its 21-year relationship with top-rated host Bill O’Reilly in the wake of multiple sexual harassment allegations and three names have emerged as likely replacements.
According to New York Magazine, those under consideration to replace O’Reilly include Eric Bolling, Dana Perino and Tucker Carlson.
Bolling, currently a co-host of The Five, is a frequent guest host for The O’Reilly Factor. Perino, also on The Five, hosted The O’Reilly Factor on Tuesday night, while Carlson, the host of his own program on Fox at 9 p.m. Eastern, would be bumped back to 8 p.m., creating a new opening at the later slot.
O’Reilly, now on vacation in Italy, was slated to return on April 24, but according to New York Magazine, it is not clear if Fox will allow him back on the air, even to do a sign-off to his faithful audience, which averages over 3 million viewers per night.
The top-rated host recently signed a multi-year contract worth a reported $20 million per year, which could mean Fox will have a large pay out, if they part ways with O’Reilly.
Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch resisted calls to remove O’Reilly from the the network’s line up, but his sons, Lachlan and James, executives with parent company 20th Century Fox, finally prevailed upon him to make the decision, the Daily Mail reported.
A New York Times story claimed that Fox and O’Reilly paid out a combined $13 million to five women who accused the news host of sexual harassment: Rachel Witlieb Bernstein, Andrea Mackris, Rebecca Gomez Diamond, Laurie Dhue, and Juliet Huddy.
Dozens of sponsors of the program pulled their advertisements following the story.
O’Reilly’s attorney, Marc E. Kasowitz, released a statement Tuesday saying his client “has been subjected to a brutal campaign of character assassination.”
Fox News CEO Roger Ailes was forced to step down last summer following multiple allegations of sexual harassment.
A central German regional railway is launching a special women and children only area for their trains, a move which has triggered controversy.
The announcement from the central German Regiobahn line came earlier this week, with the network stating the new compartment on their Leipzig and Chemnitz would admit women and young children only.
To ensure maximum peace for those choosing to travel in that compartment not only would it be sandwiched between the service’s two quiet coaches, but it would also be next to the on-board office of the “customer service representative. Traditionally known as a train guard or ticket inspector, the company said “the local proximity to the customer service representative is chosen deliberately”.
Yet despite the recent mass sex-attacks in Germany, and the official advice to young women that the best thing to do is to keep groping migrant men “at arms length” to prevent rape, the railway denies the segregated trains has anything to do with sexual harassment.
This denial has caused lively debate and controversy on German social media, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The launch of women’s only compartments puts Germany in a club of other nations who need to segregate the sexes on journeys including India, Mexico, Brazil, Egypt and Indonesia.
The suggestion of women’s only rail carriages was recently floated by British Labour Party leader and avid train enthusiast Jeremy Corbyn, who in contrast to Germany’s railway admitted it was to help combat harassment, as reported on by Breitbart London at the time.
Explaining the logic behind his idea, which was widely panned at the time, Mr. Corbyn said: “It is unacceptable that many women and girls adapt their daily lives in order to avoid being harassed on the street, public transport, and in other public places from the park to the supermarket.
“This could include taking longer routes to work, having self-imposed curfews or avoiding certain means of transport”.
Remarking he thought a solution to this could be women’s only carriages, Mr. Corbyn said: “piloting this at times and modes of transport where harassment is reported most frequently would be of interest”.
by Professor Revilo P. Oliver (Liberty Bell, July 1987)
IN ONE OF THESE “Postscripts,” published in May 1986, I described briefly one ominous symptom of the growing epidemic of unreason among scholars, an attempt to Christianize the oldest monument of English literature by atrocious mutilation and interpolation of the Anglo-Saxon text.
Now I learn from a review in Speculum, LXI (1986), pp.668-670, that another attempt to distort for Jesus the fundamentally pagan epic was made by Professor Bernard F. Huppe of the State University in Binghamton, New York, in The Hero in the Earthly City, a Reading of Beowulf, published by that university in 1984.
I have not looked at the book. As it is, to report incidents that seem to me noteworthy to the readers of Liberty Bell, I afflict myself by reading so much tripe that I am beginning to wonder whether I should be so supercilious when I refer to the Christian dolts who used to wear horsehair shirts to make themselves suffer.
I rely entirely on the review by Professor Edward B. Irving, Jr., who notes various errors of fact in the book and also remarks on the absurdity of an “Augustinian” interpretation of the poem. Huppe seems not to have tampered overmuch with the Anglo-Saxon text, but, as the reviewer remarks, he “smuggles in the Christian concept of grace” by simply giving to the Anglo-Saxon words meanings they could not possibly have had. “A tidy Christian poem is reconstructed from the ruins of its proper original contexts, …and the pressure to distort is constant.” Having thus Christianized the poem, Huppe then denounces its failure to adhere to his favorite theology: Beowulf ought to have remembered that Jesus said revenge was sinful, and he sins terribly by fighting the dragon without getting Yahweh’s permission.
The details of the travesty do not matter. As I said in my “Postscript,” the Anglo-Saxon epic is fundamentally and unmistakably a pagan composition, and the only question is who introduced the bits of Christian or ambiguous phraseolgy that are found here and there in our only extant text and are as conspicuous and incongruous as patches of red calico on a dinner jacket. Everyone knew that in 1920, when what is still the best edition of the text and commentary was published, and it is only sheer perversity to pretend otherwise today and use the methods of scholarship to defeat the very purpose of scholarship.
The pernicious factor in such misbegotten studies is their effect, not on scholars who have read and understood the poem, but on students in cognate fields, who may have to rely on the reports of “specialists” in Anglo-Saxon. A multiplication of books that distort the epic is apt to create an impression that “modern scholarship” has discovered that it sprang from a Christian society. And that application of the “democratic” principle of ascertaining truth by counting noses will deceive many earnest students and may confuse or even vitiate some of their work in their own fields of research.
Academicians want to be fashionable, and it is likely the next few years will bring us more “studies” that affirm the factitious Christianization of our earliest extant monument of English literature, but that, of course, will prove nothing. It will be as meaningless as the Jews’ current efforts to shore up their crumbling Holohoax by producing more and more Yids, who pop out of the bushes and suddenly remember that they watched the wicked Germans cram millions of God’s Darlings into gas chambers or ovens, it being assumed that the notoriously methodical Germans inexplicably and unforgivably forgot to include the watchers with their fellow tribesmen. Lies do not become truth by multiplication. 50,000 x 0 = 0.
The continuing flurry of “critical reinterpretations” of Beowulf is symptomatic and highly signficant because it is, in a way, so comparatively trivial. The number of persons who read Anglo-Saxon is very small, and I cannot believe that multitudes are reading one or another of the translations into modern English. And does it really matter whether or not the poem is basically “pagan”? Is not that just a bit of antiquarian lore, comparable, for example, to identification of the corpse in the famous ship-burial at Sutton Hoo, interesting, no doubt, to some people, but of no relevance to the present?
That is precisely my point. If these were efforts to deceive Americans about something that will affect their thinking (such as it is) about their present plight, the explanation would be obvious. Manufacture of “evidence” to support the Jews’ great swindle, or production of a revelation that Karl Marx was, like Jesus, an avatar of old Yahweh, or even endorsement of the prevalent hokum about what is mendaciously called our Civil War, would have an obvious purpose.
If a man labors long to devise and perfect an elaborate swindle that will net him a billion of the ersatz-dollars now in use, we understand and have no more doubts about his rationality than about his morality. But if he makes the same prolonged and arduous effort to filch a dime, he is a problem in psychonosology. The contagion of unreason among scholars is so ominous and frightening precisely because it is so gratuitous.
This article originally appeared in Liberty Bell magazine, published monthly by George P. Dietz from September 1973 to February 1999.
In May 2004, one year after the U.S. commenced a full-scale invasion of Iraq, the New York Timesissued a half-baked apology for its abysmal coverage of the “intelligence” used to convince America that Iraq was a threat.
“Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge,” wrote the NYT editors. They also lamented their dependence on Iraqi defectors who made spurious claims to further the goal of regime change.
It was a grudging admission that the famous newspaper played a critical role in pushing lies and propaganda, to lead the U.S. into a ‘pre-emptive’ war of choice. Other corporate media outlets, including those in the neoconservative (i.e. The Weekly Standard) and liberal interventionist camps, apparently felt no remorse at betraying the public.
To be fair, it wasn’t all the fault of ‘patriotic’ American media. In Sept. 2002, the Bush-Cheney cabal installed a special Pentagon intelligence unit to create the web of lies and spin needed to bring forth the Iraq war drums.
The Office of Special Plans (OSP), led by Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, used their imagination and hard-line neocon belief in “regime change” to create Iraqi WMD and ties to terror out of thin air. With the “war on terror” as an excuse and Dick Cheney as their cover, OSP bypassed normal intelligence routes and brought what they wanted straight to President Bush.
In January 2004, Mother Jones exposed the workings of this “secret Pentagon intelligence unit and of the Defense Department’s war-planning task force,” made up of “a close-knit team of ideologues who spent a decade or more hammering out plans for an attack on Iraq and who used the events of September 11, 2001, to set it into motion.”
An essential part of this operation was input from the infamous defector, Ahmed Chalabi, and the Iraqi National Congress.
Mother Jones reported:
According to multiple sources, Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress sent a steady stream of misleading and often faked intelligence reports into U.S. intelligence channels. That information would flow sometimes into NESA/OSP directly, sometimes through Defense Intelligence Agency debriefings of Iraqi defectors via the Defense Human Intelligence Service, and sometimes through the INC’s own U.S.-funded Intelligence Collection Program, which was overseen by the Pentagon. The INC’s intelligence “isn’t reliable at all,” according to Vincent Cannistraro, a former CIA chief of counterterrorism. “Much of it is propaganda. Much of it is telling the Defense Department what they want to hear, using alleged informants and defectors who say what Chalabi wants them to say, [creating] cooked information that goes right into presidential and vice presidential speeches.
Fast-forward to 2017, and the U.S. is backing other “rebel” groups in other Middle Eastern countries long targeted for regime change – and using bogus intel.
The 2013 sarin gas attack that killed at least 281 Syrian civilians was immediately blamed on Assad, trumpeted by Establishment media as a “red line” meaning Assad should be forcefully removed. But it turns out the chemicals most likely came from Turkish intelligence and were fired from rebel-controlled territory.
Soon after President Trump made the comment that regime change in Syria was no longer the goal, the April 4, 2017 sarin gas attack took place in Khan Sheikhoun, killing at least 74 Syrian people. Yet again, American corporate media parroted the government line. No skepticism, no questioning.
With the Tomahawk missile response, Trump had finally come around to the neocon/liberal interventionist agenda – and the MSM were positively thrilled.
Pundits were quick to cement the narrative that ‘Assad did it’ before people could think too much, despite quickly mounting evidence that the official narrative was suspect. Former CIA agents were questioning the rationale, and then video proof emerged of evidence tampering at the chemical attack site.
In fact, an MIT weapons expert and former DoD science advisor released his analysis, saying the evidence for the April sarin gas attack was tampered with or staged. Theodore Postol stated that the White House’s supposed proof “does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun.”
The parallels are easy to draw between Syrian war propaganda and Iraq war propaganda, and no less troubling in their potential to draw the U.S. into launching another “regime change” invasion. Countless lives lost and unimaginable destruction.
Neocons and liberal interventionists are gnashing their teeth at the prospect of bringing Syria into the Western fold through military might.
The Wolfowitz of today appears to be National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster – a darling of the neocon cabal and “golden child” of disgraced General David Petraeus. It was recently revealed that McMaster is “manipulating intelligence reports given to President Donald Trump” and “seeking to involve the U.S. in a full scale war in Syria” with 150,000 American ground troops.
McMaster may not have the Office of Special Plans (or he may have something else entirely), but the threat of bogus intelligence to justify full-scale war is just as real.
If the mainstream media have an ounce of credibility, they will begin questioning the government narrative instead of immediately reporting it as fact. We cannot be led into another war based on government propaganda and the abandonment of skepticism.
Travel guide guru Rick Steves just gave a $4 million apartment complex to homeless women and kids who need housing.
Steves realized, early on, the importance of affordable housing, during his travel adventures (how else?) as a young man in Europe.
He described his personal backpacking trip as “Europe Through the Gutter,” a wandering teen embarking on the daily challenge of finding an affordable (i.e., free) place to sleep.With his rail pass, he’d sleep on trains, ferries, the pews of Greek churches, the concrete floors of Dutch construction projects, and in barns at the edge of unaffordable Swiss alpine resorts.
“How else would a white, middle-class American kid gain a firsthand appreciation for the value of a safe and comfortable place to sleep?”
Twenty years ago, he devised a scheme where he could put my retirement savings not into a bank to get interest, but into cheap apartments that could house struggling neighbors.
“I would retain my capital, my equity would grow as the apartment complex appreciated,” Steves explained on his travel blog. “Rather than collecting rent, my “income” would be the joy of housing otherwise desperate people. I found this a creative, compassionate and more enlightened way to “invest” while retaining my long-term security.”
The 24-unit apartment complex became began housing single moms who were recovering from drug addiction and were now ready to get custody of their children back.
“Imagine the joy of knowing that I could provide a simple two-bedroom apartment for a mom and her kids as she fought to get her life back on track.”
Recently, Steves took his personal affordable housing project one step further: he gave his 24-unit apartment complex to the YWCA. The group will now be able to plan into the future, knowing the facility is theirs.
The casino magnate and philanthropist Sheldon G. Adelson wants some big things from the Trump administration: banning the online poker sites that compete with his luxury casinos, for example, and moving the United States Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
And while President Trump was not Mr. Adelson’s first choice during the Republican primary season last year, he has been generous since: The billionaire donated $5 million to the committee organizing Mr. Trump’s inauguration festivities — the largest single contribution given to any president’s inaugural committee.
Some of the country’s wealthiest Republicans and its largest corporations had similar impulses. Documents released this week by Mr. Trump’s inaugural organizers provide a glimpse of the big-dollar frenzy of influence-seeking and peacemaking surrounding Mr. Trump’s swearing-in, which raised $107 million, twice as much money as any other inauguration.
The stream of money is a striking contrast to the way Mr. Trump funded his campaign, chiefly with small donations and his own fortune. While some big checks for the inauguration came from longtime Trump friends and associates, much of the money came from the industries that have traditionally excelled at wielding Washington influence: telecommunications, tobacco and pharmaceutical giants, which have bankrolled presidential inaugurations for Republicans and Democrats alike. And a generous amount came from people who had been hostile to his candidacy.
If the crowds at Mr. Trump’s swearing-in celebrations were relatively small, the checks paying for all the nonofficial festivities were not: Freed of many of the voluntary restrictions adopted by Mr. Trump’s predecessors, 48 people or corporations gave $1 million or more, according to the disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission. Besides Mr. Adelson, they included a trust controlled by the coal industry billionaire Joseph W. Craft III; the parent company of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company; and Robert Mercer, the billionaire investor and close ally of Stephen K. Bannon, a White House adviser.
The donor rolls also included a host of blue-chip American companies, like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Intel, Google and Bank of America, which contribute significant sums regardless of the incoming president’s political party.
Many of the companies and donors have major interests at stake in Washington in the coming months. At least $10 million — about one out of every $10 raised — came from coal, oil, and gas companies or their executives. They are the chief beneficiaries of Mr. Trump’s aggressive efforts to weaken federal rules aimed at limiting pollution in streams and wetlands, cutting back on greenhouse gases and closing coal-burning power plants.
The inauguration received $500,000 from Citgo Petroleum, a Houston-based United States affiliate of Venezuela’s state oil company. The donation came in December as Venezuela’s president, Nicolás Maduro, grappled with food and medicine shortages and a cratering economy. The Trump administration has been critical of Mr. Maduro’s government.
“During the campaign, he attacked over and over again precisely these kinds of huge contributions,” said Fred Wertheimer, the president of the watchdog group Democracy 21 and a longtime advocate of tighter campaign finance rules. “He also said he knew from personal experience that you can buy influence with politicians by making these kinds of contributions. That didn’t seem to bother him in raising ridiculous amounts of money to pay for the inauguration.”
Boeing, the country’s biggest exporter, made a million-dollar contribution in January. This month, Boeing won a major victory when Mr. Trump abandoned his campaign pledge to eliminate the Export-Import Bank, which has provided billions in loan guarantees to help Boeing’s overseas customers finance plane purchases.
The country’s biggest cable and wireless companies, Verizon, Comcast and AT&T, donated more than $2 million combined. In the weeks since, Mr. Trump’s pick for chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, has moved quickly to nullify or curtail consumer protection measures, such as “net neutrality” rules, that were established under President Obama over the industry’s objections.
Central to the money-raising effort was Thomas Barrack Jr., a private equity investor who is one of Mr. Trump’s closest and oldest friends. It was Mr. Barrack who hosted one of Mr. Trump’s first major fund-raisers at his home in Santa Monica, Calif., last May, and who spoke in Cleveland the night Mr. Trump accepted the Republican nomination. As inaugural chairman, Mr. Barrack was one of Mr. Trump’s chief liaisons to those business executives who had kept him at arm’s length.
Contributions to the festivities were not intended to accrue favor with the new president, Mr. Barrack said in a text message, but were made “in support of the coming together of our country and its people to commemorate the cornerstone of our American democratic process.”
But the democratic process moves along more quickly for some than for others. While Mr. Trump promised during the campaign to give Medicare and Medicaid the power to negotiate prices they pay for prescription drugs, two of the biggest drugmakers, Pfizer and Amgen, gave a combined $1.5 million in December.
Amgen’s chief executive was among the industry executives who attended a February meeting with Mr. Trump. After entering the meeting promising to do something “to get prices down,” Mr. Trump exited with a more industry-friendly line, saying he would oppose “price-fixing by the biggest dog in the market, Medicare.” (A White House spokesman later said Mr. Trump remained in favor of negotiating prices.)
Few industries have stood to gain as much under Mr. Trump as private prison operators, and they gave generously to his inauguration. Two of the largest such companies, the Corrections Corporation of America, now known as CoreCivic, and the GEO Group, each contributed $250,000.
Since then, the outlook for both companies has greatly improved. In February, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era order that would have phased out the use of such prisons by the Justice Department. And Mr. Trump directed his administration to prioritize the detention and deportation of unauthorized immigrants, proposing hundreds of millions of dollars for a vast new network of detention facilities like the ones the companies already operate for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Neither company responded to requests for comment on Wednesday.
For many Washington interests and for large donors — particularly those who had not anticipated a Trump victory or had no relationship with his insurgent campaign, or had actively opposed him — Mr. Trump’s inaugural was an easy way to make inroads with the president-elect.
The Ansary family, prominent Iranian-Americans in Dallas who are longtime allies of the Bushes, gave $2 million to Mr. Trump’s inauguration. Paul Singer, the billionaire Republican investor who opposed Mr. Trump and once predicted that his policies were “close to a guarantee of a global depression,” donated $1 million on Dec. 6.
The two have mended fences recently. In February, Mr. Singer visited Mr. Trump in the Oval Office, and Mr. Trump declared afterward that “now he’s a very strong ally and I appreciate that.”
A $900,000 donation came in December from Avenue Ventures, a California-based boutique money management firm founded by the entrepreneur Imaad Zuberi. Mr. Zuberi was a top fund-raiser for President Barack Obama and for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Zuberi was also paid millions of dollars to work in Washington on behalf of the scandal-plagued government of Sri Lanka and its central bank, work he did not initially disclose to the Justice Department as required by federal law, according to a report in Foreign Policy magazine.
Mr. Zuberi is now making inroads in Mr. Trump’s circle. After making the donation, he earned a coveted spot at the Chairman’s Global Dinner, a pre-inauguration, black-tie gathering intended to introduce the incoming president to the foreign diplomatic corps. A photo from the event shows Mr. Zuberi in conversation with Mr. Trump and other guests.
Mr. Zuberi did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Because inaugural committees face few of the regulations that limit campaign fund-raising, each administration sets its own restrictions.
George W. Bush, for example, capped gifts at $100,000 for his first inaugural and at $250,000 for his second. Mr. Obama accepted gifts up to only $50,000 in 2009, while banning all gifts from lobbyists and corporations altogether. He loosened those restrictions in 2013, accepting corporate gifts up to $1 million and individual gifts up to $250,000.
Perhaps no donors were granted greater access than the Adelson family. Mr. Trump singled out Mr. Adelson and his wife to thank them for their support during a luncheon honoring congressional Republicans on inauguration eve. The next morning, the pair sat along the aisle just a few rows back from Mr. Trump on the inaugural platform as he took the oath of office. (Mr. Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah, sat some rows farther back.) A representative of Mr. Adelson had no comment.
Just what other perks and souvenirs their donations helped pay for will probably remain a mystery. While donations must be reported, the Federal Election Commission does not require inaugural committees to account for what they spend or how much is left in their coffers when the revelers head home.
Mr. Trump’s committee said it was still identifying charities toward which it would direct leftover money.
The Network for Public Education is challenging the Trump/DeVos anti-public school agenda. According to NPE, “DeVos and her allies have worked for decades pushing charters, vouchers and neo-vouchers such as education tax credits. DeVos even supports virtual charter schools that have a horrific track record when it comes to student success.”
This campaign picks up urgency as Arizona just passed legislation providing its entire student population with vouchers to attend private, for-profit, and religious schools. The law is modeled on Trump/DeVos proposals.
The public is often confused by the Trump/DeVos assault on public schools because they frame it as promoting “choice.” In response, The Network for Public Education prepared a thirteen-point question/answer toolkit to expose the lies and distortions of charter school, voucher, and tax credit advocates. The full toolkit is available online. This report excerpts key items from the toolkit.
1. Are charter schools truly public schools? Charter schools are contractors that receive taxpayer money to operate privately controlled schools that do not have the same rules and responsibilities as public schools. Investigations of charter school operations in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, and elsewhere have found numerous cases where charters used taxpayer money to procure school buildings, supplies, and equipment that they retained ownership of, even if the school closed. In most states, charter schools are exempt from most state and local laws, rules, regulations, and policies governing public and private schools, including those related to personnel and students. Calling charter schools “public schools” because they receive public tax dollars is like calling defense contractors public companies. There are so many substantive differences between charter schools and traditional public schools that charters can’t be defined as public schools. Our communities deserve a school system that is truly public and democratically governed by the community they serve.
2. Do charter schools and school vouchers “hurt” public schools? Charter schools, vouchers, and other “choice” options redirect public money to privately operated education enterprises, which often operate for profit. That harms your public schools by siphoning off students, resources, and funding and reducing the ability of public schools to serve the full range of student needs and interests. In Nashville, TN, an independent research firm MGT of America estimated the net negative fiscal impact of charter school growth on the district’s public schools resulted in more than $300 million in direct costs to public schools over a five-year period. While alternatives to public schools may provide better options for some children, on the whole charter and voucher schools perform no better than the public school system, and often worse. At the same time, they have a negative fiscal impact on existing public schools and are creating a parallel school system that duplicates services and costs. The idea that funds should follow the child (portability) will seriously reduce public school services. Let’s stop draining our public schools and work together to strengthen them.
3. Do charter schools get better academic results than public schools? The charter school sector does not get better academic results than public schools and often performs worse. Charters sometimes appear to do better because they can control the types of students they choose to serve. The most rigorous and most expensive study of charter school performance commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education found no overall positive effect for charter schools. A recent study of charter schools in Texas found charters overall have no positive impact on test scores and have a negative impact on earnings later in life. Despite the advantages charter school have to selectively enroll students, concentrate instruction on teaching to the test, and push out students who pose the most challenging academic and behavior problems, these schools still do not out-perform public schools.
4. Are charter schools and vouchers a civil rights cause? Charter schools, vouchers, and other choice options increase the segregation of students. This results in separate, unequal schools that isolate black and Hispanic students, English language learners, and students with disabilities in schools with fewer resources and less experienced teachers. Segregation robs all children of the benefits of learning with others who have different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. A comprehensive analysis found 70% of black charter school students attend intensely segregated minority charter schools – double the share of intensely segregated black students in public schools. Half of Latino charter school students attended racially isolated minority schools. A national study of charter school operated by education management organizations found only one-fourth of these schools had a racial composition similar to public schools. We need a public system that is about advancing the well-being of all, not just helping some families and children get ahead while leaving the rest behind.
5. Are charter schools “more accountable” than public schools?Charter schools that fail to perform as expected are rarely held accountable. In theory, if a charter school does not meet its stated goals or if academic results are below stated expectations, the charter sponsor can revoke its charter or refuse to renew it, and families will withdraw their children from the school. This theory doesn’t work in reality. A national assessment by the charter industry found only about 3% of charter schools are closed for academic reasons. The vast majority of charter school closures are for financial reasons. In Ohio, only one of 10 charter school students attend a school rated high performing. In Florida, where millions are wasted every year on charter schools that eventually close, 21 of those that remain open scored a grade of D or below on state assessments. The flood of poor performing charters and the cost to taxpayers will only get worse until we get to the bottom of why this is happening and insist on transparency.
6. Do charter schools profit from educating students? Charter schools are structured and operate in ways that introduce new actors into public education who skim money from the system without returning any benefit to students and taxpayers. Even charters labeled “nonprofit” expand opportunities to profit from public tax dollars and privatize public assets. In Michigan, nearly 80 percent of charter schools have all or a significant part of their operations under the control of for-profit companies. Charter schools are businesses in which both the cost and risk are fully funded by the taxpayers. The initial “investment” often comes from the government or wealthy individuals. And if the business fails, the “owners” are not out a dime, but the customers, who are in this case children, are stranded. Education should not be about making money from tax dollars intended for our children and families.
7. Do school vouchers help kids in struggling schools? Vouchers, often misleadingly called “scholarships,” divert tax dollars meant for public education to private schools that are not accountable to the public and generally do not serve the interests of struggling, low-income students. In Wisconsin, 75% of students who applied for the statewide voucher program already attended private schools. A national analysis of voucher programs found most programs do not cover enough of the tuition to enable poor minority children to access the best private schools. Vouchers are a gift of taxpayer funds to private and religious schools that if expanded will cost American taxpayers billions of dollars.
8. Are charter schools innovative? Charter schools were intended to be centers of education experimentation and innovation, but they generally don’t invent new teaching methods or develop and spread new education practices. They’re businesses first, and schools second. An analysis of 75 Arizona charter schools found little evidence the schools were developing new classroom practices. A study of Colorado charters found that more than 60% of the schools used reform models that are common elsewhere, and their instructional approaches were already being used in district public schools. Public schools have used innovative education models, such as Montessori and project based learning, for decades – well before the advent of charter schools.
9. Are online charter schools good options for families? Online charter schools, also called cyber schools and virtual schools, are a poor choice for students almost every time. A study of online charters in Ohio found students attending these schools perform worse than their peers in bricks-and-mortar schools in all tested grades and subjects. A widely cited national study found students enrolled in full-time, online only schools lost an average of about 72 days of learning in reading and 180 days of learning in math over a 180- day school year – meaning, in math, an entire year of lost instruction. Online charters run by private education management organizations account for 74.4% of all enrollments in online schools.
10. Do “Education Savings Accounts” lead to better results for families? “Education Savings Accounts” are another voucher-like scheme that redirects public money for educating all children to private, unaccountable education businesses, homeschoolers, and religious institutions. Privatization advocates created these programs because school vouchers are unpopular and because these programs are a way around prohibitions against using public dollars for religious schools. Wealthier families in urban and suburban communities would benefit the most from the program because they have more access to private schools and services. An analysis of Arizona’s ESA program found that most families using the program are leaving high-performing public schools in wealthy districts to attend private schools. Rather than diverting tax dollars away from public schools, we should adequately fund our schools so they can have smaller class sizes, more specialized resources for student needs, and more education opportunities to meet the high expectations of parents.
11. Do education tax credits scholarships provide opportunity?Privatization advocates have created tax credit programs because school vouchers are unpopular. These programs are a way to get around prohibitions against using public dollars for religious schools which often discriminate on the basis of religion, gender preference, disciplinary history, or ability level. In Georgia, a popular tax credit program allows public money to be used for tuition at more than 100 private schools that refuse to enroll gay, lesbian, or bisexual students. Because the amount of scholarship money rarely covers the cost of tuition at the best private schools, the money subsidizes sub-standard private schools that have less accountability than public schools, discriminate against students, and on average, do not provide children with better education opportunities.
12. Are tax credits scholarships a voucher by a different name? Like vouchers, these programs redirect public money for educating all children to private schools, including religion-based schools. Diverting funds from public schools harms our children’s education because schools are forced to respond to the lost money by cutting staff and programs. In Georgia, the state does not track who is receiving scholarships under the program, and state lawmakers made it a criminal offense to disclose information about the program to the public. Public schools in Arizona get about $4,200 per pupil from the state, but the state’s education tax credit program awards $5,200 on average to parents participating in the program – an additional $1,000 for every child who leaves a public school for a private or religious school. If the goal is to make more high-quality school choices available for parents, then the emphasis should be on helping current public schools be the best they can be. This is no more than a gift of public funds and a scheme to help the wealthy and corporations avoid paying taxes.
13. Do charter schools and vouchers save money? Charter schools increase education costs to taxpayers because they have become a parallel school system that drains money from what’s available to serve all students. School voucher programs can add extra layers of administrative costs and make education funds less transparent and accountable. The result of both programs is more money going to more service providers instead of directly to students and classrooms. A national study found charter schools on average spend $774 more per pupil per year on administration and $1141 less on instruction than traditional public schools. In New Orleans, where all schools converted to charters, administrative spending increased by 66 percent while instructional spending dropped by 10 percent. In New York City, some charter schools occupy public school buildings practically rent free. Charter schools and vouchers are not a way to get better education on the cheap. Because each school or network of schools is its own financial entity, they don’t have the economies of scale that public schools have. So charters and private schools supported with vouchers have to continually find more ways to tap into public school budgets or generate funds from the private sector. This drain on resources threatens the capacity of public education budgets to serve all students.
Alan Singer is a social studies educator, Hofstra University. Follow him on Twitter @ReecesPieces8.
WASHINGTON — Ever since F.B.I. investigators discovered in 2013 that a Russian spy was trying to recruit an American businessman named Carter Page, the bureau maintained an occasional interest in Mr. Page. So when he became a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign last year and gave a Russia-friendly speech at a prestigious Moscow institute, it soon caught the bureau’s attention.
That trip last July was a catalyst for the F.B.I. investigation into connections between Russia and President Trump’s campaign, according to current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials.
It is unclear exactly what about Mr. Page’s visit caught the F.B.I.’s attention: meetings he had during his three days in Moscow, intercepted communications of Russian officials speaking about him, or something else.
After Mr. Page, 45 — a Navy veteran and businessman who had lived in Moscow for three years — stepped down from the Trump campaign in September, the F.B.I. obtained a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing the authorities to monitor his communications on the suspicion that he was a Russian agent.
From the Russia trip of the once-obscure Mr. Page grew a wide-ranging investigation, now accompanied by two congressional inquiries, that has cast a shadow over the early months of the Trump administration. At a House Intelligence Committee hearing last month, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, took the unusual step of publicly acknowledging the investigation of Russian interference in the election, which he said included possible links between Russia and Trump associates.
Developments beyond Mr. Page’s trip may have heightened the F.B.I.’s concern about Russian meddling in the campaign. Paul Manafort, then Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, was already under criminal investigation in connection with payments from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine. WikiLeaks and two websites later identified as Russian intelligence fronts had begun releasing emails obtained when Democratic Party servers were hacked.
When the F.B.I. opened its investigation in late July, agents were just beginning to explore whether Mr. Trump’s advisers had contacts with Russian government officials or intelligence operatives, according to the current and former American officials, who spoke about the continuing inquiry on the condition of anonymity. In the months that followed, they said, more evidence came to light, including intercepts of Russian officials discussing Mr. Page and other Trump associates.
In his talk at the New Economic School in Moscow, Mr. Page criticized American policy toward Russia in terms that echoed the position of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, declaring, “Washington and other Western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption and regime change.” His remarks accorded with Mr. Trump’s positive view of the Russian president, which had prompted speculation about what Mr. Trump saw in Mr. Putin — more commonly denounced in the United States as a ruthless, anti-Western autocrat.
Mr. Page’s relationship with Mr. Trump appears to have been fleeting. According to former Trump campaign officials, the two men have never met, though Mr. Page has said he attended some meetings where Mr. Trump was present.
But last spring, when Republican foreign policy experts were distancing themselves from Mr. Trump, Mr. Page served a purpose for the flailing Trump campaign. Dismissing the notion that his campaign was bereft of foreign policy expertise, the candidate read aloud a list of five people who had offered to advise him on world affairs — including “Carter Page, Ph.D.”
Mr. Page was unknown in Washington foreign policy circles. But his doctorate and his Russian experience were real. He had worked as a junior investment banker for Merrill Lynch for a time, living in Moscow from 2004 to 2007.
He subsequently started his own investment firm, Global Energy Capital L.L.C., and partnered on some deals with a Russian businessman, Sergey Yatsenko. Mr. Yatsenko had been deputy chief financial officer for the Russian energy giant Gazprom, which is majority-owned by the government and has close ties to Mr. Putin.
Mr. Page’s role in the Trump campaign appears to have been minimal. Papers he wrote on energy policy languished unread. Former campaign officials play down his significance almost to the vanishing point, saying Mr. Page had no ID badge, desk or email address from the campaign.
“If the Russians were attempting to collude with him, they were attempting to collude with someone who had no influence on the Trump campaign,” said Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Mr. Trump. “I think he’s a self-promoter — not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
But for Mr. Page, temporarily wearing the title of adviser to the man who would become president appears to have been gratifying. “The half year I spent on the Trump campaign meant more to me than the five years I spent in the Navy,” he said in an interview last month.
He denies that there was ever any possibility of his being recruited to spy for Russia, including his 2013 encounter with the Russian intelligence officer. “Zero risk then or ever in my life,” Mr. Page said.
After The Washington Post broke the news last week of the court warrant the F.B.I. had obtained, Mr. Page went on a Trump-like media blitz, defending his bona fides and asserting that he was the victim of a smear campaign by Obama administration officials and Hillary Clinton aides.
“You talk about fake narratives,” Mr. Page said on Fox News. “When you introduce false evidence in a court of law, including the FISA court,” he said, referring to the court that issued the warrant targeting him, “that is illegal. So, let’s see what happens.”
He added, “I’m very encouraged that all of the lies that have been a drag on this administration are finally coming out into the open.”
Few who have met Mr. Page during his career appear to have pegged him as a likely prospect for either suspected spy or statesman. Born in 1971 in Minnesota and raised in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., he graduated in 1993 from the Naval Academy, where he was in the selective Trident Scholar Program, but left the Navy before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He earned an M.B.A. at New York University and completed a doctorate a decade later at SOAS University of London.
Richard Guerin, who was in his academy class and remains in regular touch, said Mr. Page had “a complicated mind.” “He’s genuinely one of the smartest people I’ve ever met,” Mr. Guerin said. “I get a bit offended when I read reports of people calling him an ‘idiot.’”
Mr. Guerin also said that, ever since Mr. Page’s Navy days, when he drove a black Mercedes, his friend had reveled in lavish spending that sometimes seemed to exceed his means.
Oksana Antonenko, a senior political counselor at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, who was friendly with Mr. Page in London while he earned his Ph.D., said, “I think he is a nice, decent and perhaps a bit naïve guy.”
While the biographical sketch Mr. Page has used highlights his work at Merrill Lynch with Gazprom and a Russian electric power conglomerate called RAO UES, he appears not to have played a leading role in major deals. He later ran an international affairs program at Bard College in New York before founding Global Energy Capital. The private equity firm operates out of a co-working space in a Manhattan high-rise that Mr. Page has described, accurately though perhaps misleadingly, as “around the corner from Trump Tower.”
American businessmen in the tight-knit expatriate community in Moscow say they did not know Mr. Page and were not familiar with his business activities in Russia. “People I deal with on my board of directors just shrug their shoulders,” Alexis Rodzianko, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, said in an interview. “They’ve never heard of him.”
In April 2013, Mr. Page was caught on an F.B.I. wiretap in an investigation of suspected Russian intelligence officers in New York. Victor Podobnyy, one of three men later charged with being unregistered agents of a foreign power, had met Mr. Page at an energy symposium and was recorded describing him as “an idiot” with dreams of lucrative deals. There is no evidence that Mr. Page knew the man was an intelligence officer.
In 2014 and 2015, in articles for an online journal, Mr. Page mixed quirky observations with praise for Russia and criticism of American policy. The war in Ukraine, he wrote, was “precipitated by U.S. meddling.” And Igor Sechin, a close Putin ally and chief executive of the oil company Rosneft, Mr. Page wrote, “has done more to advance U.S.-Russian relations than any individual in or out of government from either side of the Atlantic over the past decade.”
In March of last year, Sam Clovis, an economics professor and Tea Party activist in Iowa, was asked by the Trump campaign to line up some foreign policy advisers. He produced the list that included Mr. Page.
After several tries, Mr. Page got the campaign’s permission to speak at the New Economic School, where Mr. Obama spoke in 2009. Denis Klimentov, a spokesman for the school, said some alumni knew of Mr. Page’s work at Merrill Lynch in Moscow. But his role as a Trump adviser also played into the decision to invite him, Mr. Klimentov said in an email.
“We did not arrange any meetings for Mr. Page outside of the school, and we were not aware then if he had any further meetings or contacts,” Mr. Klimentov added. “Our strong recollection is that there was simply not enough time for Mr. Page to have any meetings outside of the school.”
In recent months, Mr. Page has often seemed to revel in the attention he has drawn. In December, he gave another speech at the New Economic School, complaining that “fake news” had hurt United States-Russia relations.
His conduct has disturbed some who know him. Mr. Guerin said it was “disheartening” to hear that Mr. Page rated his time at the margins of the Trump campaign more highly than his Navy service. “I thought we were both patriotic,” Mr. Guerin said. “I would like to assume that as well right now. But events are unfolding that make you question that.”
Last Thursday, Mr. Page appeared on “Good Morning America” for questioning by George Stephanopoulos. He seemed feisty but upbeat, denying any impropriety and complaining about “a ton of false evidence.”
“These same lies keep swirling around,” Mr. Page said, “having a really negative impact on U.S.-Russian relations.”
Something big is going down at Fort Stewart, Georgia.
On Tuesday, the base was placed on lockdown and several soldiers were arrested because authorities believe that they either have in the past or are currently selling, possessing, or using cocaine, Popular Military reported.
While the investigation is continuing, Popular Military reports that it had been told by a source there could be as many as 64 soldiers from the “3-15 Infantry Battalion and the 1-30 Infantry Battalion” involved in the affair.
UIt wasn’t clear how many had actually been arrested, but Popular Military said its source had reported that the drug ring’s leader had ties to a known drug cartel.
One of those arrested on drug trafficking charges was Pfc. Mario Figueroa, 22, according to Popular Military.
The Associated Press reported via the Army Times that several of the soldiers from the Tuesday apprehensions had been cleared of wrongdoing.
Maj. Gen. James Rainey, senior commander of Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield issued a short statement to the media — if you can call it that.
It seemed like he wanted to remain pretty tight-lipped, at least for the moment.
“We dedicate resources and work closely with our local law enforcement partners to identify and suppress illegal drug use in our ranks,” he said according to WSAV. “We take this seriously, and we will continue to do everything we can to ensure our Army and communities are drug free.”
He felt it important to note that this incident should not distract from the work done at the military base by American servicemen.
“There are over 25,000 men and women serving in the Army at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield who selflessly defend our country every day,” the general continued. “This incident does not diminish their hard work and sacrifices.”