Non profit living

California experiments with social democracy

In summary

A flurry of laws signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom is an experiment in European social democracy. Will it work?

California, as everyone should know by now, has the highest poverty rate in the country, as determined by the Census Bureau when the cost of living is included in the calculation.

While family incomes in California aren’t particularly low compared to other states, our extremely high living costs, especially on housing, mean that those incomes don’t stretch as far as they would. elsewhere.

The Public Policy Institute of California takes it a step further by calculating how many Californians live in near poverty, using a methodology similar to that of the Census Bureau.

In total, more than a third of the state’s roughly 40 million people are in severe economic distress. They are, for the most part, workers in low-paying jobs and their families, and their plight has been exacerbated by the nearly two-year COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit them the hardest both in terms of medical than economic.

Backed by unions, Gov. Gavin Newsom and his fellow Democrats pledged to reduce the state’s high levels of poverty and income disparity and this year generated a basket of bushels of laws that they say will reduce deviations.

California is indeed testing the long-held beliefs of the political left that America should move closer to the European model of “social democracy” by expanding supportive public services and empowering workers in their dealings with it. employers.

The former include increasing eligibility for Medi-Cal, the state health care system for the poor that already covers more than a third of California’s residents, expanding early childhood education childhood to both improve learning outcomes and free up more parents to work, and increase housing expenses for low- and middle-income families.

The latter is a variety of bills that impose new labor and pay standards on industries that employ large numbers of low-paid workers, including clothing production, agriculture, and the ever-growing distribution centers operated by Amazon and other big companies.

“We can’t allow companies to put profit before people,” Newsom said as he signed a law to relax production quotas at Amazon’s huge “distribution centers”.

“The hard-working warehouse workers who have helped support us during this unprecedented time should not have to risk injury or be punished because of operating quotas that violate basic health and safety.” , Newsom added.

“California holds corporations accountable and recognizes the dignity and humanity of our workers, who have helped build the world’s fifth-largest economy,” Newsom said later as he signed a bill banning piece-work in the garment industry centered in Los Angeles.

Newsom also signed bills to extend protections for domestic workers, increase the minimum wage for workers with disabilities, increase criminal penalties for “wage theft” by employers, and provide agricultural workers with smoke protection equipment. forest fires.

This is not, however, a 100% sweep for union-backed legislation. Newsom has vetoed a bill allowing postal voting in elections for the agricultural workers’ union organization and one that would extend paid family leave.

Expanding government services will of course cost the state billions of dollars, which it can afford now as income taxes pour into its treasury, but its sustainability is questionable. California is overly dependent on high-income taxpayers, which means its income plummets during an economic downturn.

New benefits for workers, meanwhile, will drive up costs for employers, potentially prompting some to move their operations and jobs to less expensive locations. The clothing industry is particularly competitive, which is why a large part has already gone abroad.

Higher public and private costs are the flip side of the California experiment in social democracy. Ultimately, Newsom and the legislature cannot repeal the laws of economics.

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History organization

First Tuesday Talks – Coos Head Food Co-Op: 50 years of growing community | Local News

Bring your intellectual appetite to Coos History Museum at 6.30 p.m., October 5 for the next one Speech of the first Tuesday program. This month’s conference will be “Coos Head Food Co-Op: 50 years of a growing community “ cooked by Jamar ruff, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Coos Head Food Co-Op.

Ruff will feed your thirst for knowledge by sharing approximately 50 years of Coos Head Food Co-Op history. Learn how the cooperative business practice works and learn about the community education and accessibility that are at the heart of our community cooperative. Help the co-op celebrate its 50th anniversary by taking a bite out of this incredible conference.

The museum will be open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the conference will start at 6.30 p.m. The program is accessible to all, with an entrance fee of $ 7 for non-members (payable at the door) or free with your CHM membership. A live broadcast of the conference will be available on Facebook with a suggested donation of $ 5 and a recording of the show will be available on the CHM’s YouTube channel after the conference. For more information, visit the Coos History Museum website or call 541-756-6320.

Founded in 1891, the Coos County Historical Society is an Oregon 501 (c) 3 nonprofit and the second oldest historical society in the state.

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Canadian army

Pakistani generals use offshore accounts to get rich

New Delhi (IANS): The window into the personal finances of individual Pakistani generals is particularly rare and provides insight into how senior military officers – known in Pakistan as the “establishment” – are using the offshore system to get rich. quietly while preserving, until now, the image of the army as a bulwark against civil corruption.

The revelations are part of the Pandora Papers, a new global investigation into the dark offshore financial system that allows multinational corporations, the rich, famous and powerful to avoid taxes and otherwise protect their wealth. The investigation is based on more than 11.9 million confidential files from 14 offshore service companies disclosed to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and shared with 150 news agencies around the world.

The Pandora Papers investigation exposes the civilian government and military leaders who have hidden vast amounts of wealth in a country plagued by widespread poverty and tax evasion.

One of the legacies of colonial rule is the wealth of the military. The combined commercial holdings of the military make up Pakistan’s largest conglomerate, and it controls 12% of the country’s land. Most land holdings are owned by current or former rulers.

The Pandora Papers reveal that in 2007, the wife of General Shafaat Ullah Shah, then a leading Pakistani generals and former aide to President Pervez Musharraf, purchased a $ 1.2 million apartment in London with a discreet offshore transaction.

In one of the many offshore operations involving military leaders and their families, a luxury London apartment has been transferred from the son of a famous Indian director to the wife of a three-star general. The general told the ICIJ that the purchase of the property had been disclosed and appropriate; his wife did not answer.

Ownership was transferred to General Shah’s wife by an offshore company owned by Akbar Asif, a wealthy businessman who has opened restaurants in London and Dubai. Asif is the son of Indian director K. Asif.

Asif’s sister, Heena Kausar, is the widow of Iqbal Mirchi, a senior official at prominent organized crime group D-company. Mirchi was at the time under sanction as a drug dealer by the United States. Before his death in 2013, Mirchi was one of the most wanted men in India.

Young Asif met Musharraf at the Dorchester Hotel in London to request a waiver of Pakistan’s 40-year ban on Indian films to allow the release of one of his father’s most acclaimed films. . Musharraf granted the exception and later lifted the ban.

Leaked documents show Asif owned a multi-million dollar real estate portfolio through a network of offshore companies.

One of these companies, called Talah Ltd. and registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), was used to transfer the London apartment to Shafaat Shah’s wife. Talah bought an apartment near the Canary Wharf financial district in 2006. The following year Asif transferred ownership of the business to Fariha Shah.

Shah said his wife had never met Asif and had only met him once, while he was Musharaff’s assistant, when Asif briefly pressured the president for his film. father “in the corridors of the Dorchester hotel while he had accompanied the hairdresser, who had come to cut Mrs. Musharraf’s hair”.

The ICIJ has revealed that information on the private wealth of top military officers and their families is extremely scarce; journalists who wrote about the military in Pakistan have been jailed, tortured and killed.

The Pandora Papers also reveal that Raja Nadir Pervez, a retired army lieutenant colonel and former government minister, owned International Finance & Equipment Ltd, a company registered in the BVI. In the leaked files, the company is involved in machinery and related activities in India, Thailand, Russia and China. Records show that in 2003, Pervez transferred his shares in the company to a trust that controls several offshore companies.

One of the beneficiaries of the trust is a British arms dealer. According to UK court documents, one of the trust’s other companies helped negotiate arms sales from Belgian manufacturer FN Herstal SA to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, an Indian state-owned defense company.

While he owned International Finance & Equipment, Pervez also held several senior positions in the Pakistani government. He was elected to the National Assembly in 1985 and then joined Imran Khan’s party. Pervez did not respond to questions from reporters.

Another influential former military leader who appears in the leaked documents is Major General Nusrat Naeem, former ISI Counterintelligence Director General. He owned a BVI company, Afghan Oil & Gas Ltd, which was registered in 2009, shortly after his retirement. He said the company was started by a friend and he was not using it for any financial transactions.

Islamabad police then charged Naeem with fraud relating to the attempted purchase of a steel plant for $ 1.7 million. The case was closed.

The Pandora Papers also shed light on notable offshore holdings of close relatives of three senior military officials.

Umar and Ahad Khattak, sons of former Pakistani Air Force chief Abbas Khattak, in 2010 registered a BVI company to invest what the documents call “family business profits” in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and real estate.

The Khattaks did not respond to questions from journalists.

In an example of intergenerational wealth transfer, Shahnaz Sajjad Ahmad inherited a fortune from his father, a retired lieutenant general, through an offshore trust that owns two London apartments, bought in 1997 and 2011 in Knightsbridge, a few no Harrods. She, in turn, created a trust for her daughters in 2003 in Guernsey, the Channel’s tax haven. His father was a favorite of Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan, the country’s first military dictator (1958-1969). After his father retired from the military, he founded one of Pakistan’s largest business conglomerates. Ayub Khan’s son then married the family and sits on the boards of several companies in the group.

Shahnaz did not respond to requests for comment from the ICIJ.

Taken together, the results paint a portrait of an irresponsible military elite with vast personal and family assets abroad.

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International headquarters

DVIDS – News – CFHA 2021 closes, senior executives deliver closing remarks

The African Land Forces Symposium 2021 concluded at the 7th Army Training Command Headquarters in Grafenwoehr, Germany on September 24, 2021.

The US Army’s task force for Southern Europe, Africa had coordinated with 7th ATC to welcome senior leaders from across the African continent, allied and partner countries, US servicemen, officers from country-specific liaison and other representatives.

General Christopher G. Cavoli, US Army Commander for Europe and Africa, addressed attendees at the event’s final meeting.

“The first step in real assistance is to ask the person, or the country, that we are trying to help, what we can do to help. This is often the step we skip and (this symposium) was a good reminder, ”Cavoli said. .

Cavoli stressed the importance of bringing countries together at events such as CFHA, as it provides an opportunity to find common solutions to similar challenges and issues facing countries around the world.

“The life of a soldier is similar, regardless of his country of origin,” Cavoli said. “If we examine our conversations over the past two days, we find that we have more in common with our partners and allies than we realize.”

CFHA 2021 offered African and European leaders the opportunity to view US military training centers at 7th ATC training facilities in Grafenwoehr and at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany.

Leaders were able to see the variety of training centers and facilities at the two sites, as well as network and foster relationships with leaders of African countries as well as other allied partners.

The U.S. Army for Europe and Africa remains committed to supporting its African partners to foster relationships, promote regional security and stability, and strengthen our national defense and security interests in the region.

Based in Vicenza, Italy, SETAF-AF supports the US military’s campaign goals in 53 African countries. The skilled, dedicated and highly trained soldiers and civilians of SETAF-AF protect and promote the national security interests of the United States, while supporting African partners who share our security objectives. The command joins forces with the African land forces; directs and supports the activities of US Army personnel serving in Africa; conducts security cooperation activities; conducts joint and multinational exercises; protects United States personnel and facilities; ensures the readiness of the US military to respond to crises; and works alongside our joint and international partners to address common security concerns in Africa.

Date taken: 10.01.2021
Date posted: 10.03.2021 16:00
Story ID: 406605

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Non profit living

Living in the North in brief: 10/03/2021 | Lifestyles

Yoga class scheduled for October 5

INTERLOCHEN – A Vinyasa yoga practice begins at 4 p.m. on October 5 at the Interlochen Public Library. Bring a yoga mat, water, and a towel. Donations are appreciated.

Book folding course at the Bellaire library

BELLAIRE – Sue Geshel is leading a 6 p.m. book folding event on October 5 at the Bellaire Public Library. Fold the pages of a book so that it shows the word “joy”. All supplies provided. Space is limited. Register online or call the library at 231-533-8814.

Glen Arbor Drawing Workshop Set

GLEN ARBOR – David Westerfield is leading the “Drawing Demystified” class from 10 am to 3 pm on October 9 at the Glen Arbor Arts Center. Those 13 and older can learn the basics of drawing, including building shapes, lines, shading, and other techniques. The cost is $ 75 for GAAC members, $ 85 for others. Registration is due October 6 at

Basketry sessions on Wednesdays

ALDEN – Dorothy Walter leads the basketry activities from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays at the Helena Township Community Center. Experience is not required. A fee of $ 5 covers the material. More information: 231-331-6583.

Money management workshops

INTERLOCHEN – The Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency is presenting workshops on money management from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. October 6 to November 3 at the Interlochen Public Library. These Wednesday events cover consumer protection, debt reduction, banking basics and more. Registration: 231-276-6767 or

Book club meets in Interlochen

INTERLOCHEN – Discuss “Educated” by Tara Westover at 6:30 pm on October 6 at the Interlochen Public Library. Discover the book from the library. Contact: 231-276-6767.

Sons of Norway meets on October 7

SUTTONS BAY —The local sons of Christian Radich Lodge from Norway meet at 6:30 pm on October 7 at the Immanuel Lutheran Church. This monthly event includes a business section and a program. More information: 248-890-9221.

NWS Presents Virtual Book Conference

TRAVERSE CITY – The National Writers’ Series features science author Mary Roach at 7 p.m. on October 7 via a live broadcast. Roach talks about his latest book “Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law”. Find tickets for $ 10.50 each on the NWS website.

Recruitment of mentors

TRAVERSE CITY – Big Brothers Big Sisters is launching the “30 adults in 30 days” campaign to recruit 30 new mentors in October. Mentors (Bigs) meet with mentees (Littles) four to six hours per month. In-person training is offered.

Scheduled peer support events

TRAVERSE CITY – Disability Network Northern Michigan is offering virtual support activities in October.

A group of men meets on Mondays at 10 a.m. via the Zoom app.

Peer advocacy group sessions begin at 2 p.m. on October 7 and the quarantine kitchen continues at 2 p.m. on October 12 and 26.

Spirit Club organizes events on Fridays from 11 a.m. and Wednesdays at 3 p.m. The free program includes exercises led by an instructor.

Race fundraising results published

TRAVERSE CITY – The TVC5K Run the Runway supported the nonprofit Wings of Mercy with over $ 20,000. Over 200 runners participated in the September race at Cherry Capital Airport.

Library sale brings in more than $ 19,000

ELK RAPIDS – Friends of the Elk Rapids District Library raised over $ 19,000 at the Glamor, Glitter and Glitz event in September. The funds will support library events and activities.

The hospital receives a regional grant

FRANKFURT – The Anchor and Heart Endowment of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation recently awarded the Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital. Its new specialty clinic receives a grant of $ 94,320 to provide local patients with services such as cardiology, orthopedic surgery and urology.

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History organization

A high level of organization keeps the farm store running smoothly

Other features include:

— Light. This shop faces south. On the east and west sides are 20 foot by 120 foot outcrops that slope toward the main building and meet. Above their roofs, six windows of 4 feet by 4 feet bring in a lot of light. Paired with natural light, four rows of high efficiency fluorescent fixtures extend from the front to the back of the store. A switch controls each row to supplement the window light as much – or as little – as needed. Breitkreutz painted the floor with a glossy epoxy paint, creating an ambient light source at floor level.

— Electrical circuit. Breitkreutz installed a cable tray for the conduits all around the store about 10 feet high on the walls. It can cut drops from the cable tray to power new receptacles or switches. Cord winders are strategically placed so that at least one of them can reach the middle of the store.

— Pressurized air. Directly below the electric raceway are compressed air lines. They are barely visible unless you are looking for them. Strategically placed hose reels allow easy access to compressed air. In a clever design, Breitkreutz placed a switch near the main door. When the light is on, so is the air compressor.

— Effective. The Breitkreutz building is energy efficient, with R28 insulation in the walls and R48 in the ceiling. The heating is a natural gas radiant mounted on the ceiling. Cooling is provided by central air conditioning.

– Filtering. A CAMFIL air filtration system takes indoor air pushed outside to large filters, then recycles it in the store. The system operates several times a day for 10 to 15 minutes. Its external filters automatically purge particles.

– Welding. Breitkreutz does a lot of welding with its employee Dale Havelka. On the wall closest to the welding machine, Breitkreutz affixed smooth aluminum sheets 8 feet high. Welding smoke sticks to painted metal walls but not to unpainted aluminum, he says. The sheets help keep the welding area clean.

– Steel storage. Behind the welding machine are shelves for steel storage. Breitkreutz oriented them so he could use a forklift to slide the metal off the shelves; no manpower. Next to the racks there is a steel bending station. Dragging the steel out of the racks and folding it is a seamless process.

— And more. Breitkreutz added other important features for farm work. One room is dedicated to working with hydraulic pipes and fittings. There is a tire change station. Another room is an oil and hydraulic fluid service area. Breitkreutz built a passage in the wall so that he could access 100-foot hose reels when filling his equipment with fluids. A rolling receptacle collects the used oil and pumps it to storage tanks.

– A design tip. The storage cabinets near the main door have a story. Breitkreutz bought rolling storage cabinets from John Deere, removed the wheels, and put a steel work surface on them. But before placing the cabinets permanently, he built 2 by 2 wood models of them. That way he could be sure he had them exactly where he wanted them, and he had electrical outlets exactly where he wanted them to be. he needed it. It’s a little trick he and Pam learned when they designed their new kitchen. There, too, he built models with 2-by-2s. “There were no doubts.”

The Breitkreutz store is organized and well thought out. Heaven help the guy who puts the wrong bolt in the wrong bin.

Send us your Great Shop ideas. If we publish a story on your store, we’ll pay you $ 500.

To send your ideas, contact Dan Miller at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @DMillerPF

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Canadian army

Breaking news from Wisconsin, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 am CDT | State News


Decatur semi-accident spills slurry and injures driver

MADISON. Wis (AP) – Authorities say about 5,500 gallons of slurry spilled after a tractor-trailer overturned in Decatur, injuring the driver. Deputies from the Green County Sheriff’s Office responded to the crash at around 12:44 p.m. Friday. Authorities said Jeffrey M. Brewer, of Evansville, was driving a tractor-tractor carrying fertilizer over a county and failed to negotiate a curve. The semi-tractor left the road and ended up in a ditch where it overturned. Authorities say the driver suffered minor injuries. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources also responded to the scene.


Gableman sends subpoenas to Milwaukee and Green Bay officials

MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – A former state Supreme Court justice leading Assembly Republicans’ inquiry into the 2020 election has sent subpoenas to officials in Milwaukee, Green Bay , Madison, Kenosha and Racine as well as Wisconsin Election Commission administrator Meagan Wolfe, seeking information about the private funds they used to manage voting operations. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Michael Gableman’s subpoenas are the first issued by state lawmakers in four decades. The subpoenas, dated Thursday and delivered Friday, target documents related to the Center for Tech And Civic Life, which has given more than $ 10 million to more than 200 Wisconsin communities to help cover election costs during the pandemic of COVID-19. The subpoenas require officials to appear before him on Oct. 15 with the documents.


Wisconsin woman convicted of paid murder conspiracy

MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – A Wisconsin woman has been sentenced to six years in federal prison for attempting to hire a hitman using bitcoin currency. Federal prosecutors have announced that Kelly Harper of Columbus, 38, has been sentenced after pleading guilty to using the internet to hire a hitman. Harper provided height, weight, eye color, cell phone number and photos of his man’s vehicle. She also shared a screenshot of a bitcoin wallet worth approximately $ 5,633 to the site administrator. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a message.


Federal Judge Holds Hearing on Wisconsin Wolf Hunt Blockage

MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – A federal judge has scheduled a hearing later this month on whether to block the fall wolf hunt in Wisconsin. Six Chippewa tribes filed a lawsuit on September 21 seeking to block the hunt, claiming that hunters killed too many wolves during the state’s February season and that fall hunt kill quotas are not being met. not based on science. U.S. District Judge James Peterson has scheduled a hearing Friday on the tribes’ request for a preliminary injunction blocking the fall hunt for October 29, six days before the season begins on November 6.


La Crosse man sentenced to 66 years in accident that killed 2

BARABOO, WIs. (AP) – A La Crosse man with a history of drunk driving has been sentenced to 66 years in prison for an accident that killed two men and seriously injured two others. Albart B. Shores, 59, sentenced in April, apologized in Sauk County court Thursday for driving drunk on Interstate 94/90 near Wisconsin Dells in 2018. He had a rate blood alcohol level just above the legal limit and used cocaine the day before. The Baraboo News Republic reports that the prosecutor predicted that Shores, who was convicted of his seventh drinking and driving offense, would kill again if he was ever released.


Prosecutors: Neo-Nazis discussed assassination and prison break

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) – Federal prosecutors in Maryland recommend 25-year prison sentences for two members of a neo-Nazi group who were arrested by the FBI ahead of a gun rights rally on the Virginia Capitol . In a filing on Thursday, prosecutors described former Canadian Armed Forces reservist Patrik Jordan Mathews and U.S. Army veteran Brian Mark Lemley Jr. as national terrorists who prepared for a civil war and spoke of plan an attack at the January 2020 rally in Virginia. Mathews and Lemley Jr. are set to be sentenced on October 28 after pleading guilty to gun charges in June. They were indicted along with a third member of The Base, a white supremacist organization. Defense lawyers have filed their conviction notes under seal.


Wisconsin judges assess the challenge of swapping a park

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A conservation group on Friday asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court for leave to challenge the state’s decision to transfer state park lands to a company planning to build a golf. Friends of the Black River Forest argue that the decision by the Department of Natural Resources board of directors to give Kohler Company a 5-acre parcel and nearly 2-acre easement in Kohler-Andrae State Park prevent the public from enjoying this land and harm wildlife. habitat. Kohler and the DNR want the Supreme Court to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the conservation group does not have standing to sue because construction of the course has not started and until it does, no one does. ‘suffered harm. It is not known when the court could rule.


Wisconsin Army post visit reveals grateful, bored Afghans

FORT MCCOY, Wis. (AP) – Journalists get a glimpse of life at a Wisconsin army post for newly arrived Afghan refugees. During a tightly controlled tour of Fort McCoy on Thursday hosted by the U.S. Army and the State Department, reporters saw the newcomers playing football and basketball with soldiers and bringing supplies to the barracks where they are housed while waiting for their new lives in America to really begin. The fort is one of eight military installations in the country temporarily housing Afghans who were forced to flee their homeland in August. Almost 13,000 were sent to Fort McCoy.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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History organization

Conservative Koch Network Disavows Critical Bans on Racial Theory | Education

In this June 29, 2019 file photo, Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries, is shown at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As conservative political groups rally to ban what they call Critical Race Theory in schools, prominent support for Republican causes and candidates is notably absent. Leaders of the network built by the billionaire Koch family say they oppose government bans and efforts to remind school board members about teaching race and history in schools.


Thomas Beaumont Associate Press

MONKS – While conservative political groups are mobilizing to ban what they call critical race theory in schools, a prominent supporter of Republican causes and candidates is notably absent.

Leaders of the network built by the billionaire Koch family say they are opposed to government bans on teaching race and history in schools. While they note that they disagree with the ideas at the center of the struggle, they argue that government bans, now enacted in 11 states, stifle debate essential to democracy.

“Using the government to ban ideas, even ones we don’t agree with, is also contrary to basic American principles – the principles that contribute to social progress,” said Evan Feinberg, executive director of the Stand Together Foundation. affiliated with Koch.

This position is in keeping with the network’s long-standing libertarian streak. But it sparked new accusations of hypocrisy from critics of the megadonator. After spending years pouring money into conservative groups, Koch groups cannot distance themselves from the movement they helped build, they argue.

“They have this great position that they want to brag about from a public relations standpoint. But their money has gone to these groups which have the opposite effect on this program, ”said Lisa Graves, chair of the board of directors of the liberal watchdog Center for Media and Democracy.

The Koch organization made its position public last spring, as state lawmakers and conservative groups began to pass legislation banning specific concepts in classrooms, including the idea that racism is systemic in society and the American legal system.

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Non profit living

A Year of Service for All: The Key to Rebuilding the Fabric of Our Nation

As our nation moves away from the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and Congress moves closer to requiring women to register for selective serviceI can’t help but think of the 13 soldiers who died on August 26 in Kabul. How they were linked in service to the nation. How they answered the call at such a young age – five of them were only 20 when they died. How they represent a cross-section of America – cities, men and women, different ethnicities, serving side by side on behalf of our great nation.

I can’t help but think about how divided our country has become. We live in individual Americas bubbles – physically and culturally, in person and online. The contrasts between our Americas were highlighted for me recently, during our first family vacation since the pandemic. We were in the Great Basin, on the border of Nevada and Utah, a decidedly rural area, different in every conceivable way from the dense New York suburbs that I call my home. Our motorhome broke down on a washed out gravel road in the middle of a dusty field, and a few good souls came to help us. Through my military service and that of my husband, we instantly forged a connection, a shared humanity, because they helped us out of the gap.

Having been fortunate enough to visit a few national parks on our trip, I remembered the excellent work of the Civilian Conservation Corps. 1930s engineering and the blood, sweat and tears of a representative sample of Americans created the Angel’s Landing Trail in Zion, among many others. What is my generation’s lasting gift to Americans a century from now, I wondered? What will our Angel’s Landings be?

Taking all of these thoughts – our fallen servicemen, our divided country, our aging infrastructure – together, it seems to me that maybe, for so many reasons, it’s time to broaden the conversation of the women signing up for the project – to all 18-25 year olds serving our nation to some extent.

I feel very lucky to be born into a family that values ​​service before oneself. My maternal grandparents both served in World War II and my parents both moved thousands of miles from home to work in the Navajo Nation. These values ​​are, in large part, what drove me to go to West Point and serve in the military.

The irony is that now, over a decade after my military service, living squarely in an unrepresentative slice of America, I realize that my time in uniform has given me far more than I have ever had. never given – and I also realized that national service can be the key to mending the tattered fabric of our national narrative. As our country has become more and more divided, what I appreciate most is that through my service I was able to experience all from America. Like those 13 brave servicemen, I too was side by side with a cross-section of America. I have lived in places very different from where I grew up, be it rural Missouri, the metropolis of Oahu, a German village, or a large base in Iraq. These experiences help me understand, appreciate, respect and love the diverse perspectives of the countless parts of America that exist in our fractured country – and allow me not only to coexist, but to connect and thrive in places. away from where I now call home.

I feel that encouraging more national service or, better yet, making it compulsory, is the most important solution we have to one of the most fundamental challenges we face: fixing the divisions in our country and fundamentally strengthen the fabric that binds all of us together. This fall, as Congress discusses including all women in selective service, let’s take it a step further and start discussing how to include all 18-25 year olds in a national service program.

Service can take many forms, such as joining the military or AmeriCorps, working at a nonprofit, joining a parks system, or teaching at an underserved school. What matters most is not only that the service helps strengthen our country and its citizens, but that it is designed for young Americans to work closely with teammates with significantly different lived experiences, serve in places different from where they come from, do more important work and accomplish difficult feats.

As we work on policy changes to make service mandatory, there are steps we can take now to make service feel mandatory and celebrated. What if recruiters asked about service experience during interviews? What if it was included in college applications? What if there was a way to give diplomas and certifications at the end, who would then help people find future employment? Measures like these can start now to give more credibility to such an important activity.

Imagine a country in which all 18-25 year olds spend a lot of time alongside other Americans who come from very different parts of the country and serve in parts of the country very different from where they grew up. Imagine not only the positive impact this can have on our country’s infrastructure – our 21st Century Angel Landing – but also the impact it will have on every individual. “Other Americas” will no longer feel like foreigners, and we will appreciate the values ​​that unite us all as Americans, which are greater than any political party, demographic, or city big or small in our great country. These experiences will leave an indelible mark on every person who serves, and as a group, it will strengthen our country in ways we sorely need.

Elizabeth Young McNally is Executive Vice President of Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative of Eric and Wendy Schmidt, former partner and global leader of McKinsey Academy, and veteran of service in Iraq in the US military. Liz was also named president of the visiting council of the US Military Academy. A Rhodes and Truman scholar, she began her career as a military police officer in the United States Army. She and her husband John are raising their three school-aged children outside of New York City and taking every opportunity to introduce them to and serve the diversity that makes up our nation.

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Narrator of ISIS videos sent to US to face terrorism charge

Although Mr. Khalifa played down his contributions to the Islamic State in the interview, prosecutors and the FBI made it clear that he was a “prominent figure” within the Islamic State’s media unit, who ‘he joined in April 2014. An FBI agent described him as “essential” due to his fluency in Arabic and English and said he was in charge of the “media section in English ”Islamic State, according to the criminal complaint.

Prosecutors said he helped translate and narrate about 15 videos created and distributed by Islamic State. According to prosecutors, two of the most “influential and extremely violent” propaganda videos were titled “Flames of War: Fighting Has Just Begun” and “Flames of War II: Until the Final Hour”. The first was distributed in September 2014 and the second in November 2017.

According to court documents, Mr. Khalifa was not only a propagandist but engaged in fighting. In the days leading up to his capture by the Syrian Democratic Forces, he threw “grenades at opposing fighters,” prosecutors said.

FBI agents interviewed Mr. Khalifa in March 2019, just months after his capture. He said he was motivated to travel to Syria after watching Syrian government videos and listening to lectures from Anwar al-Awlaki, the main voice of Al Qaeda in English, who was killed for years. early in a drone strike.

In an August 2013 email obtained by the FBI, Mr. Khalifa revealed to a close relative that he had gone to Syria, and not Egypt, as the relative had been led to believe, to fight. “I came here to join the Mujahedin who are fighting Bashar and the Syrian army,” he wrote.

The FBI said Mr. Khalifa flew to Turkey and then used a smuggler to enter Syria. He joined a battalion led by Omar al-Shishani, a Georgian activist. He received military training and participated in fighting against Syrian government forces in the Aleppo countryside. Around November 2013, he joined the Islamic State, pledging allegiance to its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. While a member of the Islamic State, he was known as “Abu Ridwan al-Kanadi” and “Abu Muthanna al-Muhajir,” the FBI said.

Mr. Khalifa believed he would be sent to an Islamic State training camp, but instead he was recruited to join the media unit. The FBI said Mr. Khalifa’s recruitment into the media unit would mark a period of nearly five years in which he would become “a leading figure in the operations of creating and distributing English propaganda in the United States.” Islamic State ”.

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