The two sides of Jodi Rudoren

Thanks Bill Gates!

“Would you rather have a personal iPad in class, or a water faucet that works? Two Los Angeles teachers assert that their school district has neglected basic upkeep and repairs in favor of purchasing expensive iPads, leaving classrooms in a condition reminiscent of a “Third World” country.

To highlight deteriorating conditions at the L.A. Unified School District, Matthew Kogan and another unidentified teacher created the Facebook page “Repairs Not IPads.” The site shows damning images of schools and criticizes the district’s budget spending plan — namely, the $1 billion iPad program that would provide a portable computer to every student and teacher.

In December, the site displayed a photo of a large cockroach crawling on a plate near a dirty faucet. On Monday, there was a picture of a toilet completely dismantled from the wall…”

In my current city of residence, our nation’s capital, where the local budget is flush with cash:

“…unexpected and unprecedented rise in family homelessness in the District this winter — bringing homelessness to levels not seen since the crises of the 1980s….

…many D.C. hotels where homeless families are staying need the rooms for the already-booked Cherry Blossom Festival and the coming tourist season. Homeless families currently are being sent to two D.C. recreation centers to sleep on cots in large, open spaces.

“It sounds bad, and it’s worse than it sounds,” Berns said. ….

Advocates, homeless families and city leaders at Monday’s roundtable hearing described thehomeless family crisis this cold winter as “catastrophic,” ….

They urged city leaders to tap into some of the $300 million budget surplus from last year to get people into permanent housing with rent subsidies…”

Jodi Rudoren of the NYT has run a quite good piece on Palestinians pushed by the occupation-driven labor market into jobs that further the very same occupation. It’s significant that the Times is now publishing such pieces. Curiously, this is the same Rudoren who has also just published an execrable OpEd about the topic.

““I feel like I’m not a human being — we are serving the occupation,” said Mr. Jalaita, 47, a father of five, two of them university students. “I am forced to work here because I have a house, I have a family. Tomorrow, if there is another place to work, if there is work in Palestine, I will do it.” ….

Israeli industries operating in settlements that most of the world considers illegal and a prime obstacle to peace have become a focus of global attention in recent weeks, amid growing momentum for a boycott movement targeting Israeli businesses and institutions. The flash point was the actress Scarlett Johansson, who resigned her position with Oxfam, the antipoverty group, on Jan. 30 after Oxfam criticized her for signing on as a spokeswoman forSodaStream, the maker of home-carbonation systems whose largest factory is here in Mishor Adumim.

Underlying the dispute is a complicated economic and political landscape of factories and farms that at once entrench the Israeli occupation and help feed the Palestinian families that oppose it. About 25,000 Palestinians work legally for Israelis in the West Bank, many in construction, building the settlements they hope will soon be dismantled.”

I usually groan when someone starts quoting Audre Lorde but when it’s coming from this Texas sportscaster (Dale Hansen) even I have to smile…


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