“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” ~ Matthew 7:5
Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation and Former Chess World Champion Garry Kasparov recently evoke Nelson Mandela in addressing the sentence of opposition leader Alexei Navalny:
It is symbolic that it came on the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela, likely the most famous political prisoner of the 20th century. He was jailed for 27 years. Navalny’s sentence was for five years, but we all know he will be in jail until Putin falls, and that he won’t be free a moment before that or jailed a moment after that.
Kasparov freely and often talks about the corruption and oppression of the Putin regime in Russia but seems to have no problem promoting and supporting the oppression and corruption of the 1% in the United States. One recent example is Kasparov’s visit to the Success Academy charter school in Harlem, New York.
The Board of Directors for the Success Academy includes many hedge fund-managers such as Joel Greenblatt, John Petry, Jay Bryant, Steven M. Galbraith, Kevin Hall, W. Yen Liow, Daniel S. Loeb, Richard S. Pzena, and John H. Scully. Wall Street is looking to privatize America’s public schools. Using a number of policy schemes including school vouchers and for-profit charter schools, the education privatization movement seeks to take over America’s largely public K-12 education system and put it in the hands of some of the very same people who caused the financial crash on Wall Street. Kasparov seems to have no problem with these plans.
Daily News Columnists and Democracy Now! co-host reported on the relationship between Wall Street and charter schools:
I’ve been trying now for a couple of years is to try to figure out why is it that so many hedge fund managers, wealthy Americans and big banks, Wall Street banks, have — executives of Wall Street banks, have all lined up supporting and getting involved in the development of charter schools. And I think I may have come across one of the reasons: there’s a lot of money to be made in charter schools. And I’m not talking just about the for-profit management companies that run a lot of these charter schools.
It turns out that at the tail end of the Clinton administration in 2000, Congress passed a new kind of tax credit called a New Markets Tax Credit. And what this allows is it gives an enormous federal tax credit to banks and equity funds that invest in community projects in underserved communities, and it’s been used heavily now for the last several years for charter schools.
The top hedge manager, David Tepper, earned $1,057,692 an HOUR in 2012 — that’s as much as the average American family makes in 21 years!
Over the last thirty years, the United States has been taken over by an amoral financial oligarchy, and the American dream of opportunity, education, and upward mobility is now largely confined to the top few percent of the population. ~ Predator Nation by Charles H. Ferguson
The economic disaster was driven, Ferguson writes, by a combination of “very low interest rates, pervasive dishonesty through the financial system, massive lending fraud, speculation, demand for high yield securities, and not insignificantly, a squeezed American consumer desperate to maintain living standards, and told by everyone – including George Bush and Alan Greenspan, the brokers and the banks, that home borrowing was the way to do it.”
A documentary called BROOKLYN CASTLE tells the stories of five members of the chess team at Intermediate School 318, a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school that has won more national championships than any other in the country and the first middle school team to win the United States Chess Federation’s national high school championship.
Mayor Bloomberg cut the budget, and there is no money for after school programs like the chess team at I.S. 318. Unless the kids can raise $20,000, the famous chess team is dead. Yet, Eva Moskowitz Founder and CEO of the Success Academy held a fundraiser for her charter school chain and raised $7 million in one night.
Instead of visiting the far more successful program at I.S. 318 that would greatly benefit by his visit, Kasparov chose to visit a program that never seems to be need of money or political connections.