The Forward Five – Monday, 7/27/20

12 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

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— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! One of the things we all deal with, if we follow the news, is conspiracy theories (CT, for short).

Some of them are so ridiculous that we don’t need to even consider them before dismissing them:

  • The government is turning abandoned WalMarts into detention centers and they’re going to arrest all the right-wingers and throw them into those centers. (popular during the Obama era)
  • Trump is actually working behind the scenes with the Justice Department to arrest, all in one day, a lot of high-profile liberals who are part of a massive child-sex ring. (the Qanon theory, popular now)

Okay, so those are obviously false. But sometimes, you put something out there, and it FEELS like CT. But later you find out that it, or some version of it, was correct. As a cynical friend of mine once said, “When it comes to actions by elected leaders, there’s the stated reason, and the REAL reason.”

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece positing that the reason Betsy DeVos (secretary of education) wanted public schools to open in person was to destroy public schools, and drive students out of public schools and into private ones – preferably, private schools operated by her friends. (Remember, public schools get funded by how many students attend.)

I worried that any number of people would accuse me of trafficking in conspiracy theory. And I wondered, myself, if I was attributing too much ill intent to Ms. DeVos.

Then this morning, I saw this headline at the Washington Post:
As public schools go all virtual in fall,
parents eye private schools that say they will open their campuses

On the one hand, I felt a little justified. On the other hand, it is still bad news, and more evidence of either the unintentional failure of this administration, or the intentional failure of this administration.

So, whenever you hear a conspiracy theory that strikes you as remotely possible, do what research you can, knock it down if you can, but then file it away. Because conspiracies really do happen.

And by the way, COVID-19 is not CT. So wear your mask, wash your hands, and take care of yourself. We’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Beshear promises ‘additional steps’ on virus – 7/26 update
After meeting with the response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Gov. Beshear said he would announce new steps Monday for thwarting the spread of the virus. (Forward Kentucky)

These western KY Dems are ‘signing up’ to Ditch Mitch and Dump Trump
Remember Burma Shave signs? Sometimes, an old-school advertising method can help you get your campaign message out without breaking the bank. These western KY Democrats are showing the way. (Forward Kentucky)

Opposing armed militias converge in Louisville, escalating tensions but avoiding violence
Two opposing, heavily armed militia groups came within a few dozen yards of each of other in downtown Louisville on Saturday in a tense standoff that ended without violence, but marked an escalation after two months of ongoing protests over the police shooting of a Black woman.

More than 300 members of the Atlanta-based Black militia NFAC, or “Not F**king Around Coalition” came to Louisville demanding justice for 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, an ER technician who was fatally shot by officers in March. Wearing all black and carrying assault rifles, members marched in military-style formation from Baxter Park in the Russell neighborhood to Metro Hall where they stopped around 2:45 p.m. at police barricades.

Right across was a smaller group of 50 far-right “Three Percenter” militia members, who were also heavily armed. (Courier-Journal)

Note: Forward Kentucky’s Del Ramey was at the protest on Saturday, taking photos. We will have a gallery of his work up on the site later today.

Ky. officials have ‘robust discussion’ with virus White House coordinator
Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, met with reporters after her meeting with community, business, and health leaders about dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. (Forward Kentucky)

Berea Council strikes down Juneteenth resolution 
Despite the written support of a handful of Berea citizens, a majority of Berea Council members voted against supporting a Juneteenth resolution earlier this week. Juneteenth is a holiday which commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States.

Council member Emily LaDouceur brought the resolution before her colleagues several weeks ago on the anniversary of the holiday (June 19th), but took it down when another council member requested “all lives matter” be added to the language. (Richmond Register)

Did you miss any of these?

Featured Content on Forward Kentucky

([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)

— News —

🔥 Kentucky surges into coronavirus ‘red zone’ – 7/25 update – As cases surged into a “red zone” of the Coronavirus Task Force, Gov. Beshear said he may take additional steps to curb its spread next week if the cases don’t stabilize. (read)

Got a passion for change? Need a job? These groups are hiring. – Looking for a way to make a difference AND get paid? Check out these full- and part-time openings with two Kentucky organizations. (read)

KY AFL-CIO endorses McGrath, Hicks – The state AFL-CIO also backed McGrath in her unsuccessful 2018 bid to unseat Rep. Andy Barr (R-Lexington) in the Sixth Congressional District. (read)

🔥 ‘I am someone’s daughter too’: AOC gives powerful speech after sexist attack by Florida congressman – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to the House floor to respond to the vulgar, sexist encounter she had with Rep. Ted Yoho and Rep. Roger Williams on Monday. Watch (or read) one of her most powerful speeches to date. (read or watch)

🔥 Four KY representatives vote against removing statues from U.S. Capitol – Four of Kentucky’s six congressional representatives voted against a resolution to remove statues associated with white supremacy from display in the U.S. Capitol. (read)

🔥 State House candidate issues statement on Lee statue, challenges opponent to debate – In two separate statements, Shannon Davis-Roberts, a candidate for Kentucky House from western Kentucky has spoken out on the Lee statue in Calloway County, and challenged her opponent to a debate. (read)

🔥 Kentucky voters reject every McConnell stance on COVID-19 relief – The voters of Kentucky roundly support the key provisions of the HEROES relief bill from House Democrats, and roundly oppose Sen. McConnell’s push to reopen schools in the middle of the pandemic. (read)

— Commentary —

[new] Will this election “rhyme” with 1932 and 1980? – Mark Twain supposedly said “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” That truism could apply to this year’s Presidential election, which certainly resembles 1932 and 1980. (read)

Betsy DeVos isn’t serious about reopening schools; here’s how we know. And what we should do anyway. – DeVos has yet to suggest any measures to open schools. Why? Because every dollar spent on schooling children is a dollar less for her corporate allies. But we know what to do. Here’s the list. (read)

— Policy —

When is it public business, and when is it just the weather? – If a quorum of a governing body have a conference call, is it a public meeting, even if they only have discussion and share information? (read)

Georgia’s election disaster shows how bad voting in 2020 can be – Georgia’s presidential primary election on June 9 was a nightmare mix of inefficiency and discrimination. It has implications beyond Georgia, and carries warnings for problems with the presidential election and the legitimacy of the results. (read)

— Media —

🔥 [new video and podcast] Young Activists on the Front Lines – TSOK for 7/24 – On this week’s show, we interview some students and their teacher about their involvement in protests and politics. Then, we talk with two citizen journalists who are doing live-streaming of protests. (watch or listen)

🔥 [podcast] The worst COVID week yet, plus Pam Dossett interview – This week Jazmin and Robert dig into the two big stories of the summer, COVID-19 and the ongoing protest movement. Then Pam Dossett, candidate for the 8th District, joined us for an interview. (listen)

[photo gallery] Louisville Kids’ March – A Kids’ March was held on Friday, July 17, in Louisville as part of the ongoing racial justice and Breonna Taylor protests in that city. Del Ramey was there and captured these photos of the event. (view)

Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days

(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)

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Forward Kentucky is an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky. Our objectives are to provide journalism that is objective, policies that are effective, and commentary that is progressive. Our goal is to help Kentucky become all that it can be through government that works, for all. We are "the progressive voice for Kentucky politics."

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