Zuckerberg: $120 Million to SF Schools

Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are granting $120 million to public schools in San Francisco’s Bay Area to improve the quality of public education in the world’s technology capital, according to Business Insider.

The announcement arrives just four years after Zuckerberg launched the education startup with an infusion of $100 million into Newark, New Jersey’s academically deficient public schools, which then-mayor Corey Booker was leading. 

Booker, who is now a U.S. Senator, has been asked about where the funds have gone, as Newark’s abysmal school performance remains at an all-time low. 

Zuckerberg said the $120 million, which he plans on dispensing over a five-year period, will go towards providing computers and Internet access to students; training teachers; and getting parents more involved in their children’s academic performance. 

The creation of a new school district and new charter schools is also part of the planned investment in a region that is one of the world’s most prosperous, yet has a large population which suffers from a lack of resources, according to the Insider.

Zuckerberg noted that “the investments we’ve made are a drop in the bucket compared to the challenges schools face,” and highlighted his and wife Priscilla’s intent to “change” the often dismal quality of education throughout “our country and our community,” the Insider notes. The couple met during their time at Harvard.

Despite Zuckerberg’s admission that he knew very little about urban education reform at the time he launched Startup: Education in 2010, he seems optimistic for what he hopes to achieve in the Bay Area: “We’ve seen that targeted investments can be catalysts for much bigger changes in communities,” he said.

Source: Breitbart Feed

Whistleblower Calls Texas VA ‘Crime Syndicate’ – Rep. Ted Poe Speaks Out

HOUSTON, Texas—A Veterans Administration whistleblower claims that the VA hospital system in Texas is an “organized crime syndicate.” Now, it appears that VA administrators in Texas may be attempting to cover up policies that have allegedly created fake waiting lists to ensure that the administrators receive bonuses.

Breitbart Texas previously reported that members of the Texas Congressional Delegation signed a letter to the VA Inspector General’s Office demanding an investigation. This week, the Daily Beast reported about the newly found whistleblower working within the VA hospital system in Texas who has revealed emails and documents that implicate an award-winning VA hospital in Texas in widespread wrongdoing that appears to be “systemic fraud.”

Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, spoke to Breitbart Texas in an exclusive interview and said, “Americans have died overseas fighting for United States interests and now we’ve got Americans, warriors, dying in America while they’re waiting in line to get Veterans Administration health care.”

“This is awful,” Poe exclaimed. “The more we learn, the worse it gets, and now it spreads to twenty-seven different facilities in the United States. The whistleblower in one of the facilities calls this a ‘criminal syndicate,’ and I think he lays out the argument pretty well.”

“It comes across as a criminal syndicate because you have the higher-ups,” Poe continued, “juggling the books and allegedly forcing people below them to juggle the books for the wait times. In the Veterans Administration, apparently, if the wait times for veterans to see a doctor is low, bureaucrats get bonuses. The shorter the wait time, the higher the bonus.”

The Daily Beast report confirms this, explaining:

There’s enormous pressure to report favorable wait times for VA patients, the Texas whistleblower explained, even if those wait times are completely false.

“If [VA] directors report low numbers, they’re the outlier. They won’t stay a director very long and they certainly won’t get promoted. No one is getting rewarded for honesty. They pretty much have to lie, if they don’t they won’t go anywhere,” the whistleblower added. Weighted more heavily than other performance measures, the wait time numbers alone “count for 50% of the executive career field bonus, which is a pretty powerful motivator.”

“So they cook the books!” They do so “just like the mafia would do,” Poe expounded. “Juggle the books to make the wait times that are very long seem very short, have secret records. It’s widespread, and, as the whistleblower said, it comes across as a criminal syndicate.”

According to The Daily Beast, official investigations within the VA may actually be hiding the problems they are sent there to expose. Dr. Joseph Spann, who recently retired from the Texas VA system, said that Dr. Gordon Vincent (who worked at the VA Medical Center in Temple, Texas, near Fort Hood) did not just break VA policy by manipulating veterans’ records himself; he ordered VA employees across central Texas to engage in the same fraudulent practice. However, the VA allegedly investigated this and cleared Vincent and the Texas VA. The Daily Beast produced documents showing Dr. Vincent doing precisely what Spann accused him of.

“It’s all about the money,” Poe said. “Getting more money – taxpayer money going to bureaucrats who don’t treat one veteran for their health at all.”

Following is the entire interview with Congressman Poe:

Congressman Poe concluded the interview by stating:

It’s a very sad commentary on bureaucracy and government because not only have people died, but these are America’s warriors. They’re our war fighters. They went overseas, volunteered. Some of them sacrificed and didn’t come home. And the ones that came home were treated this way? Oh, this is a shameful way to treat these good Americans.

Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.

Source: Breitbart Feed

‘I Promise From Now on Only to Sleep with Andrea Dworkin Lookalikes’ Vows Chastened Footballer Joey Barton

A footballer you haven’t heard of has been forced to apologise after suggesting on television that some women are more attractive than others and that if four girls were political parties the least ugly one would be UKIP.

I’m very grateful to the mainstream media for drawing my attention to the fact that this is a newsworthy story. Otherwise, I’m ashamed to say, I might have overlooked it completely. It’s because, unfortunately, I happen to be a throwback to the terrible era when young men would frequently assess women on the basis of their pulchritudinousness and when, amazingly, this was considered quite normal, healthy behaviour. Indeed, we even used to have these things called Beauty Contests in which – I kid you not – young women willingly participated in competitions where they were judged according to their looks, mostly by middle aged males, and didn’t die of sexism or misogyny poisoning afterwards.

Nowadays, I am given to understand, sexual mores have changed completely. Today’s young men are so fantastically enlightened that, were they to find themselves at a raunchy party with Megan Fox, Pippa Middleton, the Mother of Dragons from Game of Thrones and – at the UKIP end of the spectrum – feminist campaigner Caroline Criado Perez, Stella Creasy MP, posh, public-educated, comedy lefty impersonator “Penny Red” and the winner of the 2014 Andrea Dworkin lookalike contest, they simply would not know which one to pick as a sexual partner.

It’s a simple, basic, undeniable fact that men (with only extremely rare exceptions, such as footballer Joey Barton)  just don’t care about women’s looks any more. Thanks to generations of important books like The Female Eunuch and to articles like the many that Caitlin Moran has written on the subject of “vajazzling”, men’s brains have now been rewired so that they are completely looks-non-judgemental.

The implications of this development for the human race are huge. Whereas before, better-looking women were more likely to find rich or powerful sexual partners, leading to a Darwinian process in which the sum total of human pulchritudinousness inevitably increased with each generation, we are now entering a new era of sexual and lookist fairness and equality. Probably, as a result of this, the human race will grow significantly uglier. But the great thing is, our brains will all have been so well trained by campaigners like Caroline Criado Perez and Stella Creasy that none of us will even notice.

Source: Breitbart Feed

‘Duck Dynasty’s’ Phil Robertson on Dems: Party of ‘Endorsing Perversion,’ Ripping Babies out of Mother’s Wombs

On Thursday’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” Phil Robertson, the so-called patriarch of the hit reality show “Duck Dynasty” appeared with Sean Hannity at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, LA and gave a wide-ranging interview about faith and how it had changed his life over a course of 40 years.

Robertson, one of the featured speakers at the RLC, also explained how he arrived at his affiliation with the Republican Party, which was a case of not identifying with the Democratic Party platform more than being a Republican.

HANNITY: So you’re here. Do you consider yourself, like for example, I live in New York — I’m a registered conservative. Are you a Republican? Are you a conservative? Are you a –

ROBERTSON: I read the platforms when I repented back 40 years ago. And I said, Ms. Kay and I never voted before because I’ve been too busy see getting drunk and acting like a heathen. I said if I’m a productive member of society I need to vote. I said so give me the platforms.

HANNITY: And you read them.

ROBERTSON: Yeah, and I took the Democratic platform and read it. I said one thing is for sure. I ain’t no Democrat. I go, who’s is next? And I read the Republican platform. I said, well they don’t rip human babies from the mother’s womb. I said, they are not endorsing perversions, so I said you know what, I think I’m a Republican.

Watch (Part 2):

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

Source: Breitbart Feed

Girls Raped Then Hung in Uttar Pradesh, India, Force Focus on Rape Worldwide

Early Thursday, two teenage Indian girls, aged 14 and 15, cousins, were found dead, hanging from a mango tree, in Uttar Pradesh, where their heartless gang-rapists had left them. Both are Dalits, formerly considered “untouchables.”

One (or possibly two) men are in custody; two or three more men are being sought. Three police officers have been removed from duty because they did not register the girls as missing when their families first reported it. One or possibly two police officers have, reportedly, been arrested for having sided with the criminals and delayed acting on a report of the missing girls. The superintendent of police said, “We now believe the girls were assaulted for their low caste.” A post mortem determined that, indeed, they had been gang-raped and then hung.

Despite the fact that India is a constitutional democracy and a modern country, caste still plagues the country. Hindu honor killings are perpetrated mainly for reasons of caste-violation. In general, Dalits may be viewed as even more justifiable prey than other women—even by other Dalit men. One police officer believes this was a Dalit-on-Dalit crime.

Sexual violence against women is a huge problem, not only in India, but also all over central and southeast Asia, as well as in Hindu Bali. I recently screened a 2013 film, Bitter Honey, about Hindu polygamy in Bali which documented how a woman, even accompanied by her mother, is treated by the police when she alleges beatings or rape by a husband or by a stranger. The police do not look at her, turn away from her, walk away, or keep staring at her. Often, the police are bought off by the offender and his family, in which case the police threaten the woman if she dares persist.

In India, rampant, public sexual harassment of girls and women (known as “eve-teasing”), rapes, and gang-rapes are as pandemic as they are in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Indian police are corrupt, the rape victims hesitant about ruining their own and their families’ reputations and marriage eligibility. Rape victims do not want to be raped again by the police, many of whom are easy to bribe and who may share the same view of women-as-man’s-natural-prey that rapists believe in.

And so, two very young and innocent girls have been rape-murdered in India.

Rape-murder is condemned. But is “mere” rape being condemned?

Only if a rape victim has also been murdered is she then presumed “innocent”—unless, of course, she is a prostitute, or too independent a woman.

In 1971, I was one of the keynote speakers at the first-ever feminist Speak Out in New York City about rape. Woman after woman approached the mike to describe her rape in the United States. At the time, admitting that one had been raped was considered shameful, taboo; the victim was never seen as blameless but rather as “provocative,” “lying,” “a prostitute.” Juries believed the accused, not the victim. Female jurors did not want to ruin the lives of men for whom they felt compassion, and they did not want to believe that the rape victim was blameless. If they did—that meant it could happen to them, and that was too frightening a prospect.

Contrary to myth, most rapes are perpetrated by someone familiar to the victim: neighbors, family members, co-workers, on dates, in college dormitories, in one’s own building. Stranger rape is less common—except where gang-rape is involved.

For the last forty-seven years, American and European women have toiled to have rape understood and prosecuted, and we have accomplished a great deal—not enough—but still, a great deal. In the United States, the rape victim’s past cannot be brought into court. We understand that rape has nothing to do with lust or “justified” sexual frustration and everything to do with the need to humiliate and destroy a woman.

We also know that rape has long-lasting repercussions and that one cannot just “shut up and get over it.” Even if a woman refuses to be seen as a “victim,” even if she insists on carrying on, (and many do), still, she will probably suffer from nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety, and depression, and may have trust issues for a long time. She may not be able to enjoy intimate affection. If a rape victim is allowed to talk about what has happened in a comforting and knowledgeable setting, these symptoms will eventually subside—not completely, but enough to allow her to go on with her life.

Some say that rape is a form of “soul murder,” a form of torture that has increasingly been used, not as a spoil of war, but as a systematic weapon of war. Repeated public gang-rapes of girls and women in Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Congo, Guatemala, Rwanda, and Sudan have also been a form of  gender or ethnic cleansing, if and when the rapists belong to another tribe or religion. In many cases, the victim no longer wishes to live. She loses her power to resist. She is shamed, tends to blame herself; her family may blame or even kill her.

Whenever I read about violence against women in Utter Pradesh, I fondly recall their Bandit Queen, Phoolan Devi. She was a born rebel. She protested when a male relative stole her father’s land—and was therefore married off at eleven to a 33-year-old man who beat her viciously. She kept running away. Ultimately, she became an outcast and was known as a “runaway” wife.

Phoolan became a dacoit, a bandit, and in the course of that life was kidnapped by upper-caste men, held for three weeks, and repeatedly raped. She escaped, with the help from her own caste, and continued the bandit life. Eventually, she and her gang wreaked revenge on the men who had captured her, and she murdered them all. After doing jail-time, Phoolan ran for public office, won, and represented Uttar Pradesh in Parliament.

The fact that a woman can go on and even triumph after being raped does not mean that she has not been wounded.

The heroism of Hindu and Muslim women under siege is quite extraordinary. In India, there is the Pink Sari revolution—women who support each other, all wearing pink saris, in confronting men who have beaten or raped one of them.

Hindu nationalist Tapan Ghosh is known for his heroic rescues of Hindu girls who have taken by Muslims, forcibly converted, raped, and “married.” He returns them to their families and villages.

By now, we have all heard about Nujood Ali, the incredibly heroic ten-year-old girl in Yemen who fled her abusive husband and demanded a divorce. This act was the first of its kind in a country where girls as young as eight are given away in marriage.

Forced by her father to marry a man three times her age, young Nujood Ali was sent away from her parents and beloved sisters and made to live with her husband and his family in an isolated village in rural Yemen. There she suffered daily from physical and emotional abuse by her mother-in-law and nightly at the rough hands of her spouse. Flouting his oath to wait to have sexual relations with Nujood until she was no longer a child, he took her virginity on their wedding night. She was only ten years old.

Unable to endure the pain and distress any longer, Nujood fled—not for home, but to the courthouse of the capital, paying for a taxi ride with a few precious coins of bread money. When a renowned Yemeni lawyer (Shada Nasser) heard about the young victim, she took on Nujood’s case and fought the archaic system in a country where almost half the girls are married while still under the legal age. Since their unprecedented victory in April 2008, Nujood’s courageous defiance of both Yemeni customs and her own family has attracted a storm of international attention.

We want her as an ally. We want her counterparts in the Muslim world as allies. We want Mukhtaran Bibi (Muhktar Mai) on our side. She is the young Pakistani woman who was gang-raped by her alleged social superiors in order to cover up their own considerable crimes. She escaped. She was not silenced by shame. She did not kill herself. Bibi did not join a gang of outlaws and then exact personal and caste revenge. Despite numerous death threats, Mukhtaran Bibi legally pursued the criminals–and won. And then she moved on to rescue, shelter, and educate other women who are facing similar circumstances. She remains in danger and under police protection.

Personally, I wish we had more women like Nujood Ali, Mukhtaran Bibi (alright, like Phoolan Devi too) right here. Their bravery is astounding. Although they have much to lose—their lives for starters—they also have much to gain since they are debased from morning to night from the moment of their birth.

What must be said, what must be done? The same hard activist work that has been done in the West—and that is still ongoing—deserves a global platform. This is painstaking work that must be done if a country wishes to consider itself civilized.

May these unnamed young girls’ deaths lead India’s new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, into taking radically bold steps to criminalize caste distinctions as well as to prosecute and one day abolish the epidemic of sexual violence against girls and women.

May these innocent girls rest in peace.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum and the author of fifteen books, including her latest, An American Bride in Kabul.

Source: Breitbart Feed