George Joseph

Why Do Border Deaths Persist When Border Crossings Are Decreasing?

In July, a sweltering tractor trailer ride in Texas became the latest harrowing example of the perils of crossing the U.S. border illegally. From the hospital, one survivor told authorities that he had paid smugglers to get him across the Rio Grande and then cram him on a northbound truck with what he guessed were nearly 100 people. The survivor managed to keep breathing in the pitch black trailer without food or water. But when the doors were opened in a San Antonio Walmart parking lot, eight migrants were dead, their bodies “lying on the floor like meat,” the truck’s driver subsequently said. Another two expired later.

Keep reading... Show less

5 Alarming Revelations About White Supremacists in the Aftermath of Charlottesville

Nearly a month before a car driven by an alleged neo-Nazi plowed into counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, white supremacists planning the "Unite the Right" rally joked about using vehicles to run over their opponents.

Keep reading... Show less

Will Trump and Charter Schools Be Another Scam? Just Look at Pal Carl Icahn's Lucrative School 'Charity'

Most people know Carl Icahn as a real-life Gordon Gekko—the investor who helped drive Trans World Airlines to bankruptcy, selling the company’s prime routes and saddling it with debt, while pocketing millions for himself. Today, Icahn is once again in the national spotlight with Donald Trump, his former business associate, floating the possibility of making him Treasury Secretary.

Like Trump, Carl Icahn has also named a school after himself—seven charter schools in New York City to be exact (Icahn Charter School 1, Icahn Charter School 2, Icahn Charter School 3, etc.). And as with Trump University, the money trail suggests the organization running these schools may have served to enrich its billionaire founder, Icahn, at the expense of its own students. An AlterNet investigation finds that Carl Icahn appears to have treated his charity like a personal piggy bank, using it to make potentially tens of millions for himself while benefiting from tens of millions in tax deductions.

In 1997, Carl Icahn made a $100 million tax-deductible “contribution” to his public charity, the Foundation for a Greater Opportunity, scoring about a $45 million income tax reduction, according to an estimate by Gregg Polsky, a law professor at UNC. In January 2006, Icahn’s foundation suddenly sold back the stock gift to an Icahn corporation, Modal LLC. The $100 million gift in American Railcar Industries Inc. shares was conspicuously sold three days before the company was to go public, a process that often sparks a short-term hike in share value. The convenient date of the sale strongly suggests Icahn knew his limited liability corporation, rather than his educational charity, would make a killing off the public offering.

Keep reading... Show less

Happy Holidays!