Singapore’s PAP continues to penalize critics – Amnesty International report – Asian Correspondent

SINGAPORE’S People’s Action Party (PAP) “continued to penalize government critics for exercising their right to freedom of expression,” said Amnesty International in its annual report [PDF].

Source: Singapore’s PAP continues to penalize critics – Amnesty International report – Asian Correspondent

Amnesty: 2015 witnessed continued assaults on Freedom of Assembly in Turkey

Amnesty International’s Annual Report detailed continued attacks on the right to peaceful assembly in Turkey this past year: The practice of arbitrary detentions at assemblies was given legal…

Source: Amnesty: 2015 witnessed continued assaults on Freedom of Assembly in Turkey

Dreamer’s World February 28 2016 – Wrapping Up The Weekend







Sunday evening has arrived and I am already longing for next weekend. This one was far too short, especially today with beautiful clear skies and temperatures near 70 degrees. With some luck, the nice weather will last a few more days even though Winter still has 3 full weeks remaining. I got out and did some walking today rather than simply walking around the building and it felt wonderful being in the sunshine. Today reminded me of California weather rather than Virginia.
There are other things to talk about. My high school class lost another member over the weekend. It seems that so many of them are already gone and the 35 year reunion isn’t until next year. I wonder how much of this has to do with so many people remaining in my hometown and going into, to be blunt, dead-end jobs in order to stay near their families and start families of their own. I never felt that level of attachment to my hometown to be honest. My objective was to get away and become something in this world. I cannot say that I have fulfilled all of my dreams, but I am happy and moderately successful and I know that I made the right choice.
Of course, small towns tend to keep people around when there are things like family businesses and medical and legal practices that always seem to migrate from parent to child because that is the way things have always been. I didn’t have that reason to stay.
None of this diminishes the tragedy of hearing that another classmate is no longer with us. We are too young to be dying off. I want to live as ling as I can without being an invalid or a vegetable, but I have a hard time figuring out why so many of the friends I had are dying so young.
Since there is nothing that I can do about any of that, I tend to give it some thought and then move on to other things. People tend to see me as cold an uncaring for this reason, I think it shows ability to process information and then continue onwards because that is why we are all here. We cannot simply stop when tragedy occurs, we have to keep moving.
When I start work tomorrow, I will be doing some file maintenance on my work laptop because i am FINALLY going to get my upgrade from the company. They are moving me to the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and this will means virtually no storage space for documents on my new machine. I will be editing things and moving important items to the corporate cloud storage that is being provided. It does seem a bit daunting of a challenge at first, but it is also a chance to learn new ways of taking care of business.
The Surface Pro 4 is supposed to arrive by the end of the day on Wednesday, so I want to be all set by then. I will be keeping my old laptop for 5 weeks as a precaution per company policy, but I hope that there are no major problems.

Jim Crow lives on in Missouri: Student banned from St. Louis charter school because he’s black


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Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 11:45 AM EST

Student banned from St. Louis charter school because he’s black


Missouri law forbids black students in certain districts from attending, echoing racist history of charter schools

Ben Norton

Topics: Missouri, Segregation, Jim Crow, Charter schools, News, Politics News

Student banned from St. Louis charter school because he

Edmund Lee (Credit:

The echoes of Jim Crow continue today, five decades after it officially ended.

Edmund Lee is a third-grader at Gateway Science Academy in St. Louis, Missouri, a charter school he has attended since he was in kindergarten. Yet his family recently learned that he will no longer be able to attend the charter school because he is black.


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Lee’s family is moving to a new suburban school district, where a decades-old state law does not allow black students to attend charter schools in the city.

“When I read the guidelines I was in shock,” Lee’s mother LaShieka White told a local Fox affilliate. “I was crying.”

School officials say they are unable to override the state law. But the school’s principal and staff have come out in support of the young boy and his family.

“To not see his face in the halls next year would be extremely sad,” Lee’s third grade teacher told local media. “The family is saying they want to stay. I don’t understand why they can’t.”

The young boy’s mother created a petition, imploring Missouri state officials: “Don’t let race determine my son’s enrollment.”

“My son Edmund is an awesome young man. He currently has a 3.83 GPA, and has above average testing scores in language arts, math, and science. Edmund is very loving and the first to extend a helping hand if a fellow student needs help,” White writes in the petition.

“So imagine our shock when we found out Edmund would no longer be allowed to attend Gateway Science Academy because he is African-American,” she continues.

“The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education should not deny my son admission based on his race,” White adds. “We are going to show Edmund that his parents, community, and people across the country will fight for what is right.”

As of Thursday morning, more than 20,000 people had signed the petition. Some staff members at the charter school have signed it as well.

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This incident echoes the racist history of charter schools, which were used at the time of desegregation in order to continue running de facto white-only schools.

Critics say charter schools — which are strongly backed by large corporations and hedge funds — not only undermine public education and leave poor students with access to less resources and opportunities; they also reinforce racism and segregation.

The Civil Rights Project, an initiative at the University of California, Los Angeles, found in a 2010 report titled “Choice without Equity: Charter School Segregation and the Need for Civil Rights Standards” that, while “segregation for blacks among all public schools has been increasing for nearly two decades, black students in charter schools are far more likely than their traditional public school counterparts to be educated in intensely segregated settings.”

“At the national level, 70 percent of black charter school students attend intensely segregated minority charter schools (which enroll 90-100 percent of students from under-represented minority backgrounds), or twice as many as the share of intensely segregated black students in traditional public schools,” the report noted.

The Civil Rights Project points out, “Patterns in the West and in a few areas in the South, the two most racially diverse regions of the country, also suggest that charters serve as havens for white flight from public schools.”

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Dreamer’s World February 23 2016 – Tuesday

For some reason. I can never quite figure out Tuesdays. We are all glad that it is no longer Monday, but once the novelty of that wears off, what does Tuesday have to offer us? It certainly seems rather uninspiring, but at least Tuesday doesn’t generate the fear and loathing and hatred that Monday stirs in everyone.
At times I think that even the name “Tuesday” is indicative of some evil malicious nature associated with this day. Tuesday can at times be a continuation of Monday, while at other times it beckons us with the promise of Wednesday and the halfway point in the week. As I am trying to get my company laptop started this TUESDAY morning, I am tempted to agree with the former choice. I know that in reality the day has nothing to do with the old laptop, but is does make a convenient scapegoat.
It is rainy this morning, but that is not necessarily Tuesday’s fault. I suppose that Tuesday is just the day that will never get any credit for being anything special.
Eventually I had to call tech support about my company laptop. Still no timeframe on when I will get the new machine, although this morning’s adventure should help to push things along. I am an optimist.
The day is moving along. I am taking part in what should be the last meeting of the day. I will be glad to finish Tuesday this time around and move on to Wednesday.