ALEC corporate members

States Pushing ALEC Bill To Require Teaching Climate Change Denial In Schools

groundhog

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – known by its critics as a “corporate bill mill” – has hit the ground running in 2013, pushing “models bills” mandating the teaching of climate change denial in public school systems.

January hasn’t even ended, yet ALEC has already planted its “Environmental Literacy Improvement Act” – which mandates a “balanced” teaching of climate science in K-12 classrooms – in the state legislatures of Oklahoma, Colorado, and Arizona so far this year.

In the past five years since 2008, among the hottest years in U.S. history, ALEC has introduced its “Environmental Literacy Improvement Act” in 11 states, or over one-fifth of the statehouses nationwide. The bill has passed in four states, an undeniable form of “big government” this “free market” organization decries in its own literature. More →

Visit Delivering for America TODAY

here is something I received today that merits everyone’s attention:

A bad idea that could dismantle the U.S. Postal Service is gaining traction in Congress, and we need your help to stop it.

Working behind closed doors, holdover members of the House and Senate are trying to ram through harmful changes to the Postal Service before the end of the year — without consulting the American public.

The Postal Service needs reform, but this is not the way to do it. Any changes to this vital American institution should be made carefully, and must be based on a business model that ensures the Postal Service’s future success.

Unfortunately, the deal that is now being cobbled together takes a slash-and-burn approach. It would eliminate or drastically reduce Saturday and door service, and would slow delivery of mail and packages.

Visit Delivering for America TODAY to tell your members of Congress that you believe the Postal Service needs a workable business model that builds on the strength of its network, not tears it apart. Ask your member of Congress to wait until next year before they take up Postal Service reform.

Working behind closed doors?  If that sounds like ALEC--it is!  Furthering the aims of their corporate members who want to privatize the USPS and have been working on this plan for a long time.  If you have not read it already, please click here to read Bob Sloan’s excellent article – ALEC/Koch Cabal Pursuing Privatization of the US Postal Service for UPS and FedEx… exposing this grand theft of one of America’s most venerable resources.  More than 11 thousand people have read his report, and if you have not, you owe it to yourself to understand this situation which will affect everyone in America.

A Thought about those who Quit ALEC – Editorial

I watch the numbers grow.  It’s now 40 corporations, 4 non-profits, and 70 legislators which have quit ALEC.  Those are some impressive numbers.

But to me, the most significant number here does not get enough emphasis—70 legislators.

We’ve read that many of the corporations quitting ALEC have either started working with another member of the Cabal, or have increased their ongoing efforts with other Cabal members such as CSL and NCCPR,among others.  (I fear how many we don’t know about.)

For some, I suspect that ALEC had outlived its usefulness and the circumstances of public pressure provided great cover for them to quit and say how they didn’t know anything about ALEC’s political agenda.  They were just content to admit to liking the ability to meet directly with legislators to discuss the issues.  But hell, we know ALEC is a lobbying influence peddler.  That’s kind of a given at this point–due, I must point out, to the efforts of the progressive coalition.

But the legislators who quit are people (corporations will never be human) who are facing their constituents with their political careers on the line.  And that means a great lot.  It takes a certain degree of courage as well as a finding of one’s inner core values.

I’d like to see the progressive coalition, which is getting so many well-deserved kudos for getting an increasing number of corporations to quit ALEC, intensify their efforts to get more legislators to quit ALEC.  This will inject ALEC’s political agenda into election races where ALEC members are running–please, somebody tell Tim Kaine what this means–and make their members defend themselves for what ALEC has done, is doing, and plans to do.

Lifelong Democrat ready for fight in Charlotte over school reform

With the Democrats, alas, are coming some of the most powerful voices in so-called education “reform” — purveyors of policies whose failures we and other Charlotte parents have experienced first hand. They bring not the patience and determination required to build up struggling schools and students, but rather a sharp critique of teachers and a steamroller philosophy that the Broad Foundation (which funds many of these groups) calls “disruptive” change.

Here in Charlotte, we are all too familiar with the damage such “disruptive” policies have done to children, schools and communities.

photo of Pam Grundy by Peter Wong

In the fall of 2010, despite pleas and warnings from students, parents and community members, our board of education voted to abruptly close a set of “failing” schools, most of which served low-income neighborhoods. As students were crowded into other schools, discipline infractions rose and test scores fell. The deep damage done to school system-community relations has yet to be repaired.

* A few months later, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) unveiled a battery of 52 new standardized tests, with the goal of testing every child in every subject, from kindergarten through high school, and then using the scores in teacher salary calculations. Our schools quickly became testing factories, and learning ground to a halt. Community protest managed to stop that madness, but we now face a similar barrage of state exams, mandated by our president’s Race to the Top initiative. Fed up with all the testing, more parents are abandoning the public schools for private institutions.

* Finally, two weeks ago, a pair of longtime CMS employees spoke out about the “crisis of heart” our district is experiencing, describing a stress-filled, dehumanizing atmosphere whose results include “too many fine educators, both novice and veteran, deciding to leave their beloved profession or questioning how much longer they can endure the stressful madness.” Statistics on principal and teacher departures from our district bear out their words.

Yet despite such on-the-ground experiences — as well as a stunning lack of evidence that these “disruptive” measures do anything to improve teaching or learning — the “reform” bandwagon rolls on, dragging federal policy along with it. The programs of the president I worked so hard to get elected have become just another obstacle.

I know many right-wingers want to dismantle our nation’s public education system, using charter and voucher laws to fragment education into a plethora of privately run institutions. When the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) held a summit here last spring, it felt good to be outside, protesting their attacks on public schools. It’s much harder to watch members of the party I support strike equally devastating blows, seemingly unaware of their effects.

We here at the grass roots face quite a challenge. Groups like StudentsFirst and Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) spend a lot of money…We hold home-printed signs and yellow pencils crafted from pool noodles.

The difference says a lot. There’s big money in many of the endeavors these “reformers” propose: money for testing companies, for charter school management firms, for computer and software producers.

To read this entire article and sign on to their very important petition, please click here

 

Mail Handlers Union to Protest at DNC on Labor Day

We generally do not post articles about up-and-coming events, but our support for all USPS workers does not waver.  Please see the event details in our EVENTS section.  And please, support the USPS against privatization as laid out and executed by ALEC and their corporate members UPS and FedEx.

The Gates Foundation’s Leveraged Philanthropy

Corporate Profit Versus Humanity on Three Fronts – The Effect of ALEC Members/Policies on the World

The Gates Foundation, and Gates personally, also own stock and reap profits from many of these same partner corporations. In addition, the Foundation owns a profit-generating portfolio of stocks which would seem to work against the Foundation’s declared missions…

Gates’ leveraged philanthropy model is a public-private partnership
to improve the world, partly through targeted research support but principally through public advocacy and tax-free lobbying to influence government policy. The goal of these policies is often to explicitly support profitability for corporate investors, whose enterprises are seen by the Gates Foundation as advancing human good. However, maximum corporate profit and public good often clash when its projects are implemented.

For example, chemical giant Monsanto has partnered with the Gates Foundation, which reportedly works to suppress local seed exchanges and environmentally sustainable agricultural practices through its global agricultural charity work. Fraud-prone drug giant GlaxoSmithKline  is a partner in the Foundation’s work to leverage its own relatively fractional contribution to vaccination efforts, so that it centrally controls enormous world funds for purchase, pricing, and delivery of vaccines for world public health. And in its U.S. education reform charity work, the Gates Foundation has increasingly shifted its funding to promote market domination by its British corporate education services partner, Pearson Education.

To read all about the ramifications of the various Gates Foundations intentions, please click here

BREAKING: Intuit Out of ALEC; Coke, Kraft, Pepsi, too, while Koch Stands Ground

By Rebekah Wilce at Center for Media and Democracy

“A stampede seems to be on the way as more and more groups break ties and dump ALEC. Intuit, Inc. (maker of Quicken and QuickBooks accounting software) told the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) that Intuit also decided not to renew its membership after it expired in 2011. That comment came from Bernie McKay, Vice President of Government Affairs.”

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