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If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this picture is worth many thousands of bison. This photo from the 1870s shows a man proudly standing in front of a mountain of tens of thousands of bison skulls - an iconic American species that was systematically slaughtered by the millions as European Americans settled the west.
The US Army actively endorsed the wholesale slaughter of these animals for two main reasons: to remove any competition with cattle, and to starve Native American tribes who greatly depended on the bison for food. Without the bison, the resisting tribes of the Great Plains would either be forced to leave or die of starvation.
More than a century after this dark period in our history, the bison is making a comeback. After living on the brink of extinction, this American icon is slowly but steadily returning to the Great Plains - one baby bison at a time.
But according to White folks the ecological turmoil of the planet is ALL of our faults. ALL OF US. *sucks teef and rolls eyes*
Segregation continues in urban schools (photo)
July 11, 2012
Nearly 60 years have passed since the Supreme Court made its landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision, legally ending school segregation across the U.S. Today, the legacy of school segregation persists, as racial isolation remains the reality of many students nationwide.
Though it is expected that the U.S. population will shift from a white-majority to a minority-majority by 2046, currently most students do not see that diversity reflected in their school experience. Nationally, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 52 percent of black students and 58 percent of Latino students attend school where minority students make up 75 percent or more of the entire student body.
In Chicago, America’s most segregated city, it’s typical for students to go through their entire K-12 education without ever having met a classmate of another race, as “GOOD reported this week. In a recent radio interview on a local station, a Chicago student described having thought that schools were still legally segregated, based solely on her surroundings.
Advocates for reform argue that the incentives to foster greater diversity in schools are clear: Exposing students to racially and culturally diverse environments prepares them for the world outside school doors. Recent studies have also shown that students fare better academically in schools with greater levels of socioeconomic diversity.
Throughout the past decade, public school reformers have focused largely on building schools in the 90/90/90 model — schools with populations made up of more than 90 percent low-income students, more than 90 percent ethnic minorities and more than 90 percent students who meet set academic standards — as a way to provide high-performing schools to students in their own neighborhoods.
Some argue that the model fails to address issues of segregation, as discriminatory housing practices continue to create segregated communities — a fact that is especially problematic given that housing prices have been linked to school quality.
A recent study by the Brookings Institute reports that homes located in neighborhoods with high-performing schools cost, on average, about 2.4 times as much as those located in neighborhoods with low-performing schools. Since students of color are more likely to live in low-income neighborhoods than their white peers, students of color thereby have less access to high-performing schools.
Though redlining has long been part of the desegregation conversation, reformers are increasingly focusing their attention on charter schools — a model that has radically changed the landscape of the U.S. public school system in the last 30 years.
The popularity of charter schools has continued to escalate in recent years, despite the fact that charter schools have been found to be, on average, more segregated than traditional schools.
A policy brief recently issued by the National Poverty Center (NPC) reveals that the number of households in the US living on less than $2 a day per person has increased by 130 percent since 1996, from 636,000 to some 1.46 million today.
This means that some 4 million people in “the richest country on earth” (according to US capitalism’s apologists) are surviving on less than $60 a month each, i.e., essentially on no income whatsoever.
The whopping medical bill faced by the family of Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke, who died from a head injury while practising at Park City, Utah, has triggered a spasm of embarrassment among Americans over their health-care system.
Burke, of Squamish, B.C., died at a Salt Lake City hospital nine days after crashing on the half-pipe course at Park City. The accident tore a vertebral artery in her neck, causing bleeding into her brain.
Her care wasn’t covered by competitor insurance provided by the Canadian Freestyle Ski Associationbecause the Park City event was unsanctioned.
That left the Burke family with a bill initially estimated at $550,000, later revised downward to around $200,000, some of which will be covered by B.C. Medicare.
Burke’s husband, Rory Bushfield, also set up a web site to solicit donations, while the event’s sponsor, drink-maker Monster Energy Co., belatedly promised to assist the family.
But the Salt Lake City Tribune reported Tuesday that the medical-bill flap has been cited by U.S. and international media “as proof of what ails the U.S. health-care system.”
Wendell Potter, a former U.S. insurance industry executive but now a critic of the American system, wrote in the Huffington Post this week that the Burke family’s plight compounded their grief.
“The irony is that had the accident occurred in Canada, her family would not be having to come up with more than half a million dollars to pay for her care,” wrote Potter, an analyst for the Center for Public Integrity. “Her care would have been covered because, unlike the U.S., Canada has a system of universal coverage.”
An estimated 700,000 American families file for bankruptcy each year because of medical debt, he wrote.
“No one in Canada finds themselves in that predicament, nor do they face losing their homes as many Americans do when they become critically ill or suffer an injury,” Potter wrote.
Calgary Herald columnist Robert Remington, who along with Potter was cited in the Tribune story, quoted an un-named commentator who summed up the Burke family’s experience this way: “Sorry for your loss. Here’s your bill.”
Steve Morgan, a health policy analyst at the University of British Columbia, told Remington that U.S. insurance companies routinely negotiate down such big medical tabs but uninsured Americans pay full retail because they have no bargaining power.
“Morgan says Burke’s case should be a sobering reminder to Canadians of what could happen in a privately-insured market, rather than a public system where everyone is insured against a catastrophic event,” Remington wrote.
U.S. Health Care System: Ranked #1 on cost of care; ranked #37 on quality of care.
US Ranks Near Bottom On Income Inequality
“The U.S., in purple with a Gini coefficient of 0.450, ranks near the extreme end of the inequality scale. Looking for the other countries marked in purple gives you a quick sense of countries with comparable income inequality, and it’s an unflattering list: Cameroon, Madagascar, Rwanda, Uganda, Ecuador. A number are currently embroiled in or just emerging from deeply destabilizing conflicts, some of them linked to income inequality: Mexico, Côte d’Ivoire, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Serbia.”
Full story here.