The bad back that awakened me at 6:00 a.m. on this birthday morning and that spurred unpleasant thoughts of growing old dissipated in an instant with an email alert that our long-awaited decision in the voter ID had issued. I didn’t have the opinion, but I had the result – we won! Thousands of hours of hard work in collaboration with my fantastic colleagues had not been a total waste. And that adrenaline rush only increased when I read the opinion. “Disenfranchising voters ‘through [no] fault of the voter himself’ is plainly unconstitutional,” (p.43), wrote the judge, echoing something I’d been saying for two years. The judge agreed with virtually every argument we made in concluding that this law didn’t promote any valid governmental objective while disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of eligible voters.
WASHINGTON (NNPA) – Thirty years ago, one year of tuition, room, and board at a nation’s four-year, degree-granting institution cost $8,756 on average (or $3,499, when adjusted for inflation). As of 2010, that figure had almost tripled to $22,092 – and that’s just for one year. To meet this economic hurdle, 39.6 million Americans have turned to the student loan market, taking on more than $1 trillion in debt of last year, according to the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office. Higher education, once a pipeline to the American Dream, is quickly becoming just a pipedream for low-income and underserved Americans.
Documentary: Old People Driving chronicles the adventures of 96-year-old Milton and 99-year-old Herbert
Old People Driving chronicles the adventures of 96-year-old Milton and 99-year-old Herbert as they confront the end of their driving years. The film follows Herbert as he takes his last drive, hands over his keys and comes to terms with the reality of life without a car. Milton, meanwhile, continues to drive every day and vows to do so until he feels he’s no longer safe on the road. Through their stories, and a review of the latest traffic safety research, the film dispels some of the myths about elderly drivers without shying away from the fact that many will outlive their ability to drive safely. Old People Driving has screened at film festivals around the country and has received awards including Best Short Documentary at the Phoenix Film Festival and theMargaret and William Hearst Award for Excellence in Documentary Film. It was broadcast on PBS as part of the NewsHour/Economist Film Project and is distributed to the educational market by New Day Films.
Readers will have to pardon me this week as I confess to the sin of pride. But proud I am and so should be the millions around the country threatened by and fighting against voter suppression. Last week the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania declared that the Pennsylvania voter ID law was unconstitutional. This is the most important voter rights decision since the Supreme Court gutted the voting rights in June of 2013. This decision will be used in lawsuits around the country by other litigators fighting voter suppression.
April 4, 1968. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is gunned down on the balcony of a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. It was all caught on film, tape and audio. So why have we seen so little of it? The well-known photograph of Dr. King's aides pointing toward the direction of the gunfire is iconic, but tells only part of the story. For the first time, a remarkable collection of recently rediscovered footage has been chronologically reassembled. The resulting documentary allows us to revisit the tumultuous events surrounding one of the most shocking assassinations in America and relive history through the voices of the era.
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