“comfort letters” in low-tax Luxembourg

Leaked Docs Expose More Than 340 Companies’ Tax Schemes In Luxembourg. HuffPo. 11/5/14.

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LA Study on Body Image Flexibility: Register for Study

body image LA research flyer



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hctiB G: Whoa, Whoa, Back the Hell Up!

originally posted Jan 9, 2008


Missouri Governor Convenes Abortion “Taskforce”:

The group’s members are examining “the physical, emotional, social and economic effects of abortion,” reports the Associated Press. Blunt has said that he will begin the taskforce with the “presumption that abortion has a negative impact on Missouri children, Missouri women, Missouri men, because it’s harmful to society.”

According to the Associated Press, the Governor’s taskforce is made up only of abortion opponents. John McCastle, president of Alliance for Life-Missouri and one of the main recruiters for the taskforce, said he plans to investigate whether abortion leads to crime and claims that he has read “unspecified studies” suggesting that a significant majority of female prisoners have had abortions, reports the Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy Report.

The warrant that abortion is “harmful to society” is based on what beliefs? That abortion is the murder of babies? That “life” begins when a sperm touches an egg? That abortion is criminal behavior because women are involved?

When I taught argument, students hated when I called them out for stacking their support, often in opposition to accepted or scientific fact and findings. If you only look for what already supports your opinion or religious faith, you are not investigating, doing research or analyzing. The anti-abortion groups who got a grand jury convened in Kansas also feel that the only way to find The Truth is to stack the deck:

Kansans for Life and Operation Rescue are upset that the prosecutor in charge of guiding the grand jury works for Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston, a Democrat.

On Tuesday, they asked Buchanan to dismiss Foulston’s office and appoint special counsel.

Ann Swegle, a deputy district attorney under Foulston, is the prosecutor of record for the grand jury, according to the instructions given to the panel Tuesday.

The leader for Operation Rescue said he hoped for an aggressive prosecutor for this grand jury. That’s why Troy Newman said his group and Kansans for Life sought to disqualify Foulston’s office.

“We have a serious situation of the appearance of impropriety,” Newman said Tuesday.

Anti-abortion groups see Foulston as aligned with abortion rights supporters. Foulston has said the duty of her office is to follow the law.

Anti-abortion groups empaneled a grand jury in the spring of 2006 to look into the death of a woman who had visited Tiller’s clinic. The grand jury brought no charges in the woman’s death, echoing the findings of state medical authorities. The groups publicly blamed Swegle for not pushing the charges.

That fall, then-Attorney General Phill Kline tried to file criminal charges against Tiller in Wichita. Foulston pointed to a state law that said Kline needed her permission to file a case in her district. A district judge sided with Foulston and dismissed the charges.

Though Dr. George Tiller is facing 19 misdemeanor charges from his dealings with another doctor, the grand jury was not convened for that but to find out if/that Dr. Tiller is performing illegal late-term abortions. Here, too, the anti-abortion side wants people who agree with them to investigate in spite or because of the blinding bias that can only be found in a true anti-abortion bark eater.

Disclosure: I’ve got my own bias on this issue. One, I’m a woman. Two, I’ve had an abortion. Three, I cannot think of many other medical procedures or medical decisions that are legislated like abortion. Four, I think there can be inherent problems with men deciding this issue since there is no male corollary—abortion is nothing like an angioplasty or a prostate exam. Five, I’m an atheist. Six, I do not believe that life as I see it begins at conception. I see life involving a certain degree of independence, and the embryo/fetus is not independent. Even after birth, the first 3 months of a baby’s life is a transition from fetus to baby. Scientists cannot agree when life begins and I’m not qualified to question or condemn the science available. Seven, as someone who has been pregnant, carried to term and given birth (without an epidural or morphine or anything, thank you very much), I find Susan Sontag’s analogy fitting—that pregnancy is like having another person connected to you via life support equipment—and agree with Adrienne Rich’s assertion that the fetus is not the same as the woman, as myself, and that even though it occupies part (and then much) of my body, it is also “Not-Me.” And eight, I know all too damn well that the anti-abortion warrant that women blithely enter clinics and rejoice at the “death of a child”‘ is hateful bullshit. It is not an easy decision, regardless of religion, political stance, law, medicine, etc.

And “When mothers don’t plan to get pregnant, adult children think less of themselves.” I know more about that than I’d like to.

Additional reading:

Both sides protest as Tiller grand jury empaneled

Operation Rescue Files 11th Hour Motions to Remove District Attorney, AG from Abortion Grand Jury

Grand Jury Set to Convene on Dr Tiller

Analysis: Blunt task force examining how abortions affect women

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“Any body is a good place to be if you’re listening to it and taking care of it”: Lizzo

also see “Resource”!


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When Victims Get Life in Prison

…they are generally women:


Maximum Possible Prison Time under Failure-to-Protect Laws: Buzzfeed News


If a violent partner threatened her child, “I would sacrifice my life 10 times out of 10,” said Carmen White, the Dallas prosecutor — and mother — who pressed charges against Lindley. The law provides justice for child victims, she said, and it sends a message to mothers about their duties.

Only a few states provide an exception for parents who feared for their safety at the time the violence occurred. In some of these states, that exception is narrow or limited, leaving battered women open to prosecution.

Prosecutors often use the violence a mother endured as evidence against her. Since she was battered, they sometimes argue, she should have left the relationship, taking herself and her child to safety.

Advocates have tried but failed to compile national figures on how many women get prosecuted and sentenced under these laws. BuzzFeed News created its tally by focusing on 29 states that allow for sentences of at least 10 years. But because of limitations in the data provided by different states, BuzzFeed News’ tally is conservative; the actual number of cases is likely higher.

Where there is evidence of the women being battered, the case files describe them being punched, throttled, kicked, whipped, or raped — often in combination — at or around the time their assailants were doing the same to their children. “My husband took full possession of me and my life,” a mother in Tennessee told the court right before her 15-year sentence was handed down.

Domestic violence advocates say these cases signal a deep misunderstanding of what it means for women to be trapped in abusive relationships. Many such women fear alerting authorities, because doing so can provoke their partners to extreme violence. Moreover, authorities often fail to protect battered women and their children. Advocates also say that imprisoning these women serves little purpose and deprives any surviving children of their mother. [emphasis added]

The laws against failing to prevent child abuse are written to cover both fathers and mothers. And, in fact, women perpetrate 34% of serious or fatal cases of physical abuse of children, according to the latest congressionally mandated national study of child abuse. But interviews and BuzzFeed News’ analysis of cases show that fathers rarely face prosecution for failing to stop their partners from harming their children. Overwhelmingly, women bear the weight of these laws.

BuzzFeed News found a total of 73 cases of mothers who, regardless of whether they were battered, were sentenced to 10 years or more. For fathers, BuzzFeed News found only four cases.

From a different perspective, White agreed, saying that severe punishments generally fit “what people believe” should happen to mothers who shirk their duty to their children.

So my male partner nearly beats me to death and in that same time frame beats one of my children to death but I as The Mother am held to a higher standard of responsibility so deserve more punishment for being dominated and terrorized by a man who could have chosen not to do any of that violence? The woman is more responsible because…oh, right, she’s a fucking woman, I forgot. Her life is supposed to mean shit in the face of another human’s suffering, need, impending death at the hand of an adult who could, if he chose, stop what the fuck he’s doing and not kill the child, rape his spouse, punch the cop. So if she doesn’t die at his hands in some delusional attempt to save a child’s life—once she’s dead, what stops him from killing the child anyway? Or is it simply that her death is expected, needed, a blood sacrifice demanded because of a man’s actions—she is the one to blame, she is the one who “failed” the child, and the male partner who beat the child to death, in some states, can get less time than the mother? 2014 and too many still think of women as baby vessels and child rearers with no value of their own. Appendage or die because who fucking needs you.

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“we stand by every righteous being”

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better in tune with the infinite

Jay Electronica


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“declare an academic crisis…change the definition of a failing school”

A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools Part One 17 Days in November from N.O. Education Equity Roundtable on Vimeo.

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The Retracted Cowen Institute Report

Not gone and not forgotten thanks to deutsch29: PDF here [and below].

BTW, the Cowen Institute has been cooking its numbers from the beginning.

And read Louisiana Educator’s post “Louisiana Recovery District: Still Failing” on the failures the report and the Cowen Institute and Leslie Jacobs and all the rest have tried to cover up so they can spread this shit-lie across the nation.

The most recent Cowen report has been totally removed from the web site so it is now impossible to analyze it in detail for its distortions, and the Cowen Institute is not eager to discuss the reasons for their retraction. But here are a few key flaws in the report: (1) The report continued to use inaccurate and inflated graduation rates for RSD schools and concluded that many of the schools had “Beat the Odds” in graduating a higher than expected percentage of at-risk students. The truth is that these schools had pushed out the lowest performing students and called many of them transfers so they would not be counted in the calculation of the graduation rate. The LDOE recently reported that the overall graduation rate for the RSD in New Orleans was now a dismal 59.5%. And this does not even count the students forced out before they get to 9th grade. (2) The Cowen study used an inaccurate value added calculation for students which produced the conclusion that even though the at-risk students in the RSD were performing poorly on state tests, they were still doing better than their socioeconomic status would predict. This conclusion is easily discredited when one observes that the report admits that RSD at-risk students on the whole still perform below similar students in our regular public schools across the state. (3) The inclusion of more advanced placement courses in the RSD has demonstrated the utter failure of the charter schools in preparing students for college. The pass rate of only 5% on the AP tests is the lowest in the state. An appallingly low percentage of these students are being adequately prepared for college even though college prep has been the primary stated goal of the RSD charters.

If only 5% are “passing,” which means 3, 4 or 5, the state pays ETS for curricula and books, materials, and tests that 95% of the students don’t benefit enough from, or at all. I’ve scored for AP. Nothing is more heartbreaking than a blank exam book, a kid who couldn’t even try, who sat for almost 3 hours doing nothing after some person or entity paid ETS $91 just for the test. [I blame the adults, not the students.] Or the batches of exam books repeating the same structural and logical errors, clearly taught by someone or something. But when AP courses offered make schools on paper look “rigorous” and “college prep,” the actual results don’t mean much, do they? This “reform” has been fueled by illusion, delusion, and outright fucking lying.


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hctiB G: The Perpetually Prodigal Daughter

originally posted Sep 15, 2006

I’ve left and returned to NO a few times. I left for college, came back for a while, left to work (not enough, not well, not lucratively or in any truly beneficial way), came back, left again for school, stayed away a while and came back with husband and daughter in tow, a husband who had fallen in love with the city through Jazz Fest and brass bands. I saw the city again showing him and could finally sort the shit from the sweet. And we never thought we’d leave. It wasn’t an option in any way. We’d moved for good.

Until 2006.

It wasn’t just Katrina. It wasn’t just the shredding of universities, a shredding Mister escaped and I got caught in, then taped back together to put in more hard time. It wasn’t just the state of the city post-Katrina. It was abject fear. Fear my job would disappear or, worse, cause more confusion and damage by not disappearing. And the despair. There is nothing like watching someone suffer. It scrapes the insides raw. Watching, listening to, feeling hundreds of thousands of people suffer made me ready to run again. And fury. The despair fuels (at least some of) my anger. There’s still a precocious child in me screeching that shit has got to be fair.

What’s stopping me is that every time I left, NO didn’t leave me. I celebrated Mardi Gras, made beignets, made coffee and chicory that stained cups and spoons, kept Tabasco in the house at all times, cooked red beans and rice (often on Mondays), and always thought of myself as a visitor where I was, not settled, ever, just passing through, sometimes for years. I spent 10 years away and moved every 2 years. There was no home outside of NO.

I wasn’t born here but I am a NO girl. Crape myrtle trees on Broad St., shopping at the Gentilly shopping center and Schweggman’s and Canal Villere; going to Jackson Square on weekends to hear my grandfather’s brass band, and others, play; wandering Jazz Fest talking to European tourists, playing with whomever I found and being fed from the coolers of people who anywhere else at any other time would be strangers. My grandfather taught me to stomp doubloons and beads, too, fingers and all, and if someone else stomped on the beads and wouldn’t let go, he taught me to bend down and break the beads. We shopped at Goudchaux’s and Maison Blanche and Holmes on Canal St. I went to Catholic schools then a magnet school and rode the streetcar and discovered Uptown. I lived near the fairgrounds, in New Orleans East, in Gentilly and knew Algiers and Central City through my grandfather and the other old men he’d sit with. I recall buildings, corners, now-abandoned stores but no street names. It’s not about knowledge of geography or friends or family ties but something visceral. I feel this place and only this place.

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