— Noam Chomsky (via thought-emancipation)
More Americans lived in poverty in 2010 than in any other time that records have been collected, according to US Census data released yesterday. Median household income fell, too, and a growing number of people are without health insurance.
An additional 2.6 million people became officially poor last year, raising the poverty rate from 14.3 percent in 2009 to 15.1 percent. It was the fourth year in a row that the ranks of the poor grew, and Sawhill predicts poverty rates will rise to 16 percent by 2014.
I promoted this to the Education tag yesterday for a very important reason, that being that the single biggest indicator we’ve found for academic underperformance is poverty. And I can only imagine where things go if this trend continues. THIS is what we need to change if we want to improve education in a meaningful way.
VALOR President Obama applauded after awarding Dakota Meyer, a former active duty Marine Corps Corporal, the Medal of Honor. In September, 2009, Meyer ignored orders to stay put and fought his way five times into an ambush in an Afghan ravine, helping to rescue three dozen comrades and to recover the remains of four dead American servicemen. He is now a sergeant in the inactive service. (Photo: Doug Mills / The New York Times)
— Dana Priest, on the huge ‘terrorism industrial complex’ created after September 11. (via nprfreshair)
Syrian forces beat then broke the hands of Ali Farzat, Syria’s leading political cartoonist.
Via the Guardian:
Ali Ferzat, 60, is one of the Arab world’s most famous cultural figures, and his drawings have pushed at the boundaries of freedom of expression in Syria…
…In a recent cartoon he critiqued the regime’s offers of reforms, with a picture of an official with rosebuds in his speech bubble – and a turd in his head.
Another cartoon showed Assad hurriedly painting railway tracks to escape from a fast-approaching train. His most recent picture showed Assad trying to hitch a lift with outgoing Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
Assad has shrugged off international condemnation and continues to use security forces and thugs to kill and arrest his opponents. Arrests and raids continued across the country on Thursday with at least five people shot dead across the country and tanks sent into al-Boukamal on the Iraqi border, activists said.
Images: Selected cartoons of Ali Farzat. A slideshow of his work can be seen at Creative Syria.
— Ken Livingstone, commenting on the causes of the London Riots on BBC News (via jcook818)
Transitional federal government soldiers try to keep the crowds calm just before a stampede erupted at the gates of a makeshift hospital in the Hawlwadag district, Mogadishu, Somalia, on Monday. The United Nations airlifted humanitarian aid on Monday to Mogadishu, for the first time since Islamist fighters withdrew from the city over the weekend, but a funding shortfall continued to cast a shadow over future operations. This was the first time in five years that UNHCR brought in aid via an air delivery. Photo: Antoine De Ras