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ASVAB Section 6 : Mathematics Knowledge
Question: 223
Whats the mode of the following series of numbers?
4, 4, 8, 8, 8, 10, 10, 12, 12
A. 9
B. 8
C. 11
D. 10
Answer: B
The mode of a series of numbers is the number that appears in the series the most frequently. In this case, its 8.
Question: 224
If a = 4, then a3 a = __________.
A. 4
B. 12
C. 64
D. 16
Answer: D
(4 4 4) 4 = 64 4 = 16
Question: 225
Which of the following is a prime number?
A. 27
B. 11
C. 8
D. 4
Answer: B
A prime number is a number that can be divided evenly by itself or by one, but not by any other number. Choices
27, 8 and 4 can all be divided evenly by other numbers.
Question: 226
(x + 4)(x + 2) =
A. x2 + 6x + 6
B. x2 + 8x + 8
C. x2 + 8x + 6
D. x2 + 6x + 8
Answer: D
Multiply the first variable in the first set of parentheses with the first variable in the second set of parentheses (x x = x2).
Next, multiply the first variable in the first set of parentheses with the second number in the second set of parentheses (x 2 = 2x). So far, the
results are x2+ 2x.
Now, multiply the second number in the first set of parentheses to the first variable in the second set of parentheses (4 x = 4x).
Next, multiply the second variable in the first set of parentheses to the second number in the second set of parentheses (4 2 = 8). The solution is
x2+ 2x + 4x + 8. Combining the like terms results in x2+ 6x + 8.
Question: 227
1.5 103= __________.
A. 45
B. 150
C. 1,500
D. 15
Answer: C
1.5 103= 1.5 (10 10 10) = 1.5 1,000 = 1,500.
Question: 228
(12 yards + 14 feet) 5 =
A. 12 feet
B. 51/5 feet
C. 10 feet
D. 21/2 yards
Answer: C
Convert 12 yards and 14 feet to feet:
(12 yards 3 feet per yard) + 14 feet = 36 feet + 14 feet = 50 feet. Divide by 5 as instructed: 50 feet 5 = 10 feet.
Question: 229
x3 x4 = __________.
A. x12
B. 27
C. 212
D. x7
Answer: D
If two powers have the same base, they can be multiplied by keeping the base and adding the powers together.
Question: 230
The fourth root of 16 is __________.
A. 4
B. 1
C. 3
D. 2
Answer: D
24 = 16; the fourth root of 16 is 2.
Question: 231
Whats the equation of a line that passes through points (0, 1) and (2, 3)?
A. y = 2x 1
B. y = 2x + 1
C. x = 2y 1
D. x = 2y + 1
Answer: A
The slope of the line is equal to the change in y values divided by the change in x values. The change in y values is 4(3 -1). The change in x
values is 2 (2 0). 4/2 = 2.
To find the intercept, substitute 0 for x in the equation y = 2x + b 1 = 2(0) + b. Therefore, b = -1, so the equation is y = 2x 1.
Question: 232
The cube of 5 is __________.
A. 125
B. 25
C. 15
D. 50
Answer: A
The cube of 5 = 5 5 5 = 125.
Question: 233
2.5 33 = __________.
A. 22.5
B. 75.0
C. 67.5
D. 675.0
Answer: C
2.5 33= 2.5 (3 3 3) = 2.5 27 = 67.50.
Question: 234
If x = 8, whats the value of y in the equation: y = (x2 4) 2?
A. 1
B. 1
C. 1
D. 2
Answer: A
Explanation: y = (x2 4)
2 y = (82 4) 2 y = (64
4) 2 y = 16 2 = 14
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Military Mathematics action - BingNews Search results Military Mathematics action - BingNews Over 100 Columbia professors sign letter defending students who supported Hamas’ ‘military action’

More than 100 Columbia University professors signed a letter Monday defending students who supported Hamas’ “military action” in Israel on Oct. 7 and called on administrators to protect those students from “disturbing reverberations” on the Manhattan campus.

As top donors vow to stop giving money to the university amid a swell of pro-Palestinian demonstrations, professors demanded that the administration protect demonstrators from doxxing efforts from trucks dubbing them “Columbia’s Leading Anti-Semites” and halt its educational outposts in Israel.

The Ivy League staffers also demanded that the administration “cease issuing statements that favor the suffering and death of Israelis or Jews over the suffering and deaths of Palestinians.”

“As scholars who are committed to robust inquiry about the most challenging matters of our time, we feel compelled to respond to those who label our students antisemitic if they express empathy for the lives and dignity of Palestinians and/or if they signed a student-written statement that situated the military action begun on Oct. 7 within the larger context of the occupation of Palestine by Israel,” the letter reads.

“In our view, the student statement aims to recontextualize the events of Oct. 7, 2023, pointing out that military operations and state violence did not begin that day, but rather it represented a military response by a people who had endured crushing and unrelenting state violence from an occupying power over many years,” they wrote of the brutal terror attack that killed more than 1,400 Israelis, most of them civillians.

A pro-Palestinian demonstration at Columbia University on October 12, 2023.
AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura
Over 100 Columbia University professors have signed a letter defending students who supported supported Hamas’ “military action” in Israel earlier this month.
AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura

The professors wrote in the letter on Monday that the students believe peace and safety will remain elusive “unless the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory ends and accountability for that illegal occupation is achieved,” which they claim is “not a radical or essentially controversial opinion,” noting it is supported by the United Nations and several human rights organizations.

Professors also backed the university’s Palestine Solidarity Groups label of conditions in Gaza as “apartheid,” noting that groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have agreed.

Faculty members conclude their letter by saying, “One of the core responsibilities of a world-class university is to interrogate the underlying facts of both settled propositions and those that are ardently disputed.

The professors backed the school’s Palestine Solidarity Groups labeling the conditions in Gaza as “apartheid.”
AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura
Some of the more than 100 staff signatures.
Columbia University

“As faculty, we are committed to the project of holding discomfort and working across difference[s] with our students,” it reads.

Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of New York Board of Rabbis, told The Post the letter from Columbia professors was beyond the pale.

“I guess the Columbia professors wouldn’t have a problem with the Ku Klux Klan or the Nazis,” he said sarcastically.

“What we expect in college is that students at some point would be taught about moral clarity.

“To describe Hamas as a legitimate group rather than as terrorists is beyond comprehension and beyond contempt.”

Columbia administrators declined to comment on the letter, but pointed to the existence of a separate faculty statement being circulated encouraging the university’s ties with Israel, which had been signed by over 200 staff by Monday afternoon.

It reads in part: “In the wake of this sobering conflict, we write to express our commitment to the University’s ties with Israel.

“Our research and teaching missions benefit from these ties, and we encourage the University to build on them.”

A spokesperson for the university told The Post last week that “antisemitism or any other form of hate will never be tolerated in our community,” as officials canceled an on-campus student group event that had disinvited Zionists.

The Monday missive came in response to backlash over a student statement that claimed Gaza is an “open-air prison.”

People attempting to cover up a truck with names of “Columbia’s Leading Antisemites” sent by the watchdog Accuracy in Media.
Adam Guillette/Accuracy in Media

“The weight of responsibility for the war and casualties undeniably lies with the Israeli extremist government and other Western governments, including the US government, which fund and staunchly support Israeli aggression, apartheid and settler colonization,” it reads.

“The international judicial system must intervene and hold all parties, including the state of Israel, accountable for the violations it commits.”

Since the letter was written, a major New York City law firm rescinded job offers to those who signed.

A nonprofit news watchdog, Accuracy in Media, also sent a “doxxing truck” — featuring giant video screens on all sides, displaying the words “Columbia’s Leading Antisemites” in gothic script over a slideshow of the Ivy Leaguers’ headshots and names in red block letters — to the campus last Wednesday.

The display identified students allegedly involved in “a horribly hateful, antisemitic proclamation similar to the one signed at Harvard that blamed victims for their own death, rape and torture,” Accuracy in Media president Adam Guillette said in an interview with The Post on Thursday.

Jewish students had planned a rally Monday afternoon to “condemn recent acts of antisemitism displayed on campus by their fellow students and the University’s failure to act.”

Mon, 30 Oct 2023 05:54:00 -0500 en-US text/html
The Highest-Paying Jobs You Can Have In The US Military No result found, try new keyword!From disciplinary action to giving out awards ... Because of the high level of critical thinking, problem-solving, math, science, and technology design that goes into this job, only 726 military ... Sun, 05 Nov 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en-us text/html Concerning study reveals easy access to data of our military service members
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COLORADO SPRINGS — As consumers try to better defend themselves from fraud and the constant threat of identity theft, we’re following up on a recent study that shows the personal information of our military members is easy to access and it could pose a national security threat.

According to a recent report from Duke Universitythe personal information of U.S. military service members is being advertised by data brokers and researchers say it’s being sold for as little as 12-cents a person.

Things like names, phone numbers addresses, names of children, relationship status, net worth, and credit rating, could be acquired according to the study. Researchers say they bought records for nearly 50,000 service members for $10,000.

”I’m an Air Force veteran. My fifth week of basic training was September 11th, a pretty interesting day," said Rodney Gullate Jr. "Then I got out of the Air Force and started pursuing my career in IT and cyber.”

At the National Cybersecurity Center in Colorado Springs, he is providing his unique experience as both a military veteran and cybersecurity professional.

”Big data they don’t care. They care about money," said Gullate Jr. "They are just going to keep doing whatever it takes to exploit us.”

He says the recent study from Duke University showing how easy it is to access and purchase the data of military service members should get our attention.

”That information is an asset to our adversaries," said Gullate Jr. "You better believe that cyberwarfare component is coming. The AI warfare component is coming.”

While the specifics of this study detail the impact on military members and their families, he warns bad actors might just want the information to gain access to more targets.

”They can use you as leverage to get to other people. So they attack your social media account and they’ll use that to reach all of your friends list as you,” he said.

United States senators on both sides of the aisle have already come out saying there needs to be changes in policy to better protect the data of both civilians and our military service members. Gullatte Jr. says it’s important that we do our part to speak up too.

”Reaching out to these legislators and telling them what these issues are, sharing those articles of things that are happening, and sharing concerns," said Gullatte Jr. "For us who are professionals in this field, it’s going to our legislators and saying hey we’re here to help.”

According to NBC Newsthere are European countries that have established strict regulations on the collecting, packaging, buying and selling personal information. Meanwhile, here in the United States aside from some limitations on medical data and information on children, our lawmakers haven’t moved on a general data privacy bill.

If you'd like to take a closer look at the Duke University study that is inspiting these important conversationsyou can follow this link.


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Wed, 15 Nov 2023 23:33:00 -0600 en text/html
Leadership Institute Training: Action Items for Newly Conservative School Boards

This weekend, approximately 30 school board members, activists, and engaged citizens attended the Leadership Institute’s School Board and Education Policy Summit at the Colorado Springs Marriott. Founded in 1979 by Morton C. Blackwell, the conservative activist who was the youngest delegate for Barry Goldwater in 1964 and served as special assistant to Ronald Reagan, the Leadership Institute is an “explicitly conservative” 501(c)3 nonprofit that conducts a variety of political trainings across the country.

The event kicked off Friday with a panel discussion featuring Holly Horn, the Douglas County political operative who has served as campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), 18th Judicial District Attorney John Kellner’s failed attorney general bid, and most recently for conservative school board candidates in Cherry Creek and Douglas County school districts. Horn is also the deputy director for the Leadership Institute’s Grassroots program in Colorado.

“I take trainings of all types to places around the country with the Leadership Institute, but I’m also trying to build a program for us here Colorado,” said Horn. “Leadership Institute has not been present in Colorado for the last four to five years, and so we’re so glad to be back.”

Saturday’s events included a crash-course in campaigning from the Leadership Institute’s Byron Clark, a Florida-based educator with experience running successful school board campaigns in Kansas. Clark’s session included suggestions on everything from building effective coalitions and networking with activist groups, such as Moms for Liberty, to developing effective platforms and slogans and managing social media and messaging. Clark also provided suggestions for how to use campaign volunteers and activists to further policy goals after taking office.

The afternoon session was presented by Ted Mische, who serves as the public/private partnership liaison for Woodland Park Superintendent Ken Witt’s ERBOCES, and is the trainer for the Truth and Liberty Coalition’sCandidate Academy.” Mische provided a list of priorities for the attendees — among whom was Academy School District 20 board member and Woodland Park School District chief operations officer Aaron Salt — a list of priorities after achieving a conservative majority in a school district.

“The first really important thing that all board members need to consider is their superintendent,” said Mische. “Is that superintendent on board? Do they want what you want? If they don’t, then you need to replace them. Either you need to retrain them, get them thinking the way you’re thinking, or you need to replace them. That is not an easy thing to do to replace a superintendent. If you do, you’re going to get a lot of flak from the left.”

After a conservative majority was elected to Colorado Springs School District 11’s board in 2021, then-superintendent Michael Thomas was replaced by Michael Gaal, after Thomas stepped down due to “the political divisions, public meltdowns and fighting,” according to reporting from the Colorado Springs Independent.

“Finding new superintendents is very difficult — conservative ones anyway,” warned Mische. “Only about one in ten nationally is conservative, and as we take school boards across the country, there are going to be fewer and fewer of those. The universities are very, very leftist, very progressive. They are not turning out new conservatives. They are only turning out leftists. So what do we do? Well, there’s a number of different ways to find solutions. One is there are still a handful of conservative universities. There are Christian universities that are usually conservative.”

Mische also suggested hiring ideologically-aligned superintendents over those with experience in education. “We don’t necessarily have to have people in education,” he said. “It’s good if they have a background, but they don’t have to have that background. So business leaders, CEOs who bring in a business perspective into the school districts, because school districts should be run to some degree as a business for saving money — really looking at that money carefully. We can also use military officers, generals who have a lot of experience managing huge organizations and lots of people. There’ll be a learning curve for them. Both of those don’t know a whole lot about education. They’ll have to learn. The question is — you have to make the choice — is that background in education more important than their mindset?”

Activists in Woodland Park raised concerns over Witt’s appointment as superintendent, noting in an online petition that, “Ken Witt is underqualified to be a superintendent for our district. He graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. He does not hold any qualifications for being a superintendent and has minimal experience with students, other than making schools less of a place for education and more of a place for business.”

After replacing the superintendent, Mische recommended that new boards also replace the district’s legal counsel. “After you look at the superintendent, then you need to look at the school district’s attorney,” he said. “Most school district attorneys are very progressive. They will not help you. They will stop you from doing the things you need to do. You can have a majority board, but if you don’t have a superintendent and a [school] district attorney who is on your side you will get nothing done.”

A vast majority of conservative school districts and charter schools in Colorado are represented by attorney Brad Miller. Both Mische and Miller are graduates of the Leadership Program of the Rockies.

Mische also suggested that new majority conservative boards wait to be sworn into their new positions, in order to collaborate privately without violating Colorado Open Meeting Laws. “Try to make those decisions long before you’re elected, but certainly before you’re sworn in and swear-in date is really, really important,” he said. “By law, you have to be sworn in within 10 days after the election is certified. You can push that back. That’s in Colorado. Different states are different, but in Colorado, within 10 days after the election is certified. Oftentimes, especially if you’re working with a very liberal district, they’re going to tell you you have to be sworn in right away, sometimes within a week of being elected. You don’t in Colorado, you can push that date back, and you should if you have a majority. If you’re a minority, it doesn’t matter so much because you can’t make any significant changes anyway, but if you have a majority, you want to push that date back so you have more time to speak to each other.”

After replacing the district superintendent and attorney, Mische suggested boards work to weaken unions in their districts. “Teachers unions are our opposition, unfortunately, with regards to the campaigns,” he said. “So what can we do? We can defund them. Right. There’s a couple different ways to defund the teachers union. And we’re doing this and I’ve seen multiple districts that are doing this. One is you provide them an alternative.”

The alternatives Mische proposed are groups like the Professional Association of Colorado Educators, which has been pushed by education conspiracist Deborah Flora, and Christian Educators. 

“They also provide $2 million worth of liability insurance for $20 a month from a Christian perspective, and they get Christians legal protections,” said Mische. “If there’s religious issues happening in the schools, they’ll protect them from that perspective.”

Conservative districts in Colorado Springs, District 11, District 49 and District 20, all received letters from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in 2022 for allegedly violating the separation of church and state.

Mische also suggested conservative boards end payroll deductions for union dues. “The second way is, in almost every school district, the school district does a direct deposit of the teachers union dues, so that teachers never see the money in their paycheck,” he said. “For the most part, it goes directly from the district to the unions, and the teachers never write a check. They have no idea how much money is being taken from them every month or every year. So what we can do if we’re elected and we have a majority is we stop doing that. The teachers actually write the check and every single month they will leave. They will leave the teachers union when they see how much money they have to pay in.”

Should changing the superintendent, attorney, and interfering with union activity prove unpopular, Mische suggests making changes to the district’s communications team. “Once you flip that board, the left is coming at you like you would not believe,” he said. ”You have to have somebody who is exceptional with communications, somebody who has experience in it and hiring full time because you’re going to need it and person is going to push back on all the negativity that comes towards the district and they’re going to present positive things and things that you as a board are accomplishing on a regular basis, at least twice a week, sending out information either through social media or through the regular media as well. But make sure that information is getting out there. Oftentimes what I see in school boards, conservatives get elected, they do fantastic work, and the public has no idea what they’re doing.”

Prior this year’s elections, Colorado Springs School District 11 gave a sole-sourced, $40,000 contract to Tsogt Research and Consulting, a company that has only existed in Colorado since April 7, 2023. The registered agent for the company, Michael Tsogt, graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2022 with a political science degree and was a Koch fellow in 2019.

In Academy School District 20, activists in a leaked Discord chat urged then-candidates Derrick Willburn and Amy Shandy to “fire Allison Cortez [D20’s Chief Communications Officer] and Tanya Thompson [D20’s general counsel].”

Mische also urged new board members to cultivate a network of conservative informants amongst the district faculty. “Conservative teachers are in the closet and they don’t want to come out,” he said. “They’re scared, but those are the ones we need to work with. We need to find out who they are. We need to get them to report what’s happening in the classrooms and in the hallways and what other teachers are doing. If it’s bad. If it’s not bad, then good, things are going well, but we have to have those things reported to the board members so the board members can make those changes.”

Should these tactics lead to contentious public comment sessions during board meetings, Mische assured the audience not to worry. “It is not really the public,” he said. “These are paid activists.”

Mon, 13 Nov 2023 12:09:00 -0600 Heidi Beedle en-US text/html
Georgian military volunteer killed in action in Ukraine

A Georgian military volunteer, Irakli Kurtsikidze, has been killed in action in Ukraine.

Source: Georgian office of Radio Liberty; Lieutenant Colonel Vano Nadiradze, head of the Georgian group in the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces, on Facebook

Details: Radio Liberty noted that the Georgian Foreign Ministry has confirmed the death of Irakli Kurtsikidze.

Nadiradze noted that "the Georgian officer heroically perished two days ago". He said the death of the military volunteer was not reported "until his family found out".

Radio Liberty added that over 50 Georgian volunteers have been killed in the war in Ukraine since February 2022, fighting on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

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Sun, 12 Nov 2023 09:59:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Affirmative-action foe's military lawsuits are flawed, but does that matter?

Oct 26 (Reuters) - Two recent lawsuits led by right-wing activist Edward Blum that challenge the U.S. military’s race-conscious admissions practices could produce another monumental ruling that would effectively invalidate affirmative action across an even broader range of institutions and sectors – although you’d hardly know that from looking at the complaints.

The cases were filed in September and October by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), the Blum-founded group whose arguments prompted the U.S. Supreme Court in June to outlaw many existing race-conscious college admissions policies and overturn precedent that had allowed limited forms of affirmative action since at least 1978.

The federal lawsuits filed in New York and Baltimore allege that the Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy discriminate against white applicants, arguing that many of the military’s asserted justifications for considering race were rejected in the Supreme Court’s anti-affirmative action decision last summer.

The cases have particular significance because the military has received more deference from the high court regarding affirmative action than other institutions, like colleges and private businesses. The court's June decision in SFFA v. Harvard exempted military academies from the new restrictions, saying they may have "potentially distinct interests" that justify affirmative action. Blum's lawsuits challenge that exemption.

The U.S. Justice Department, which is representing the academies, declined to comment. Blum and attorneys representing SFFA didn’t respond to requests for comment.

SFFA’s complaints are unusually sparse, considering the major questions of civil rights and social policy presented – barely 30 pages, and have little in the way of facts and evidence.

The complaint against West Point in particular made a number of unsupported assumptions, inaccurately described the few empirical sources it does cite, and relied largely on descriptions of West Point’s programs from government reports compiled in 1999 and 1994.

In most circumstances, a race discrimination suit by a typical – or non-white – plaintiff that includes those kinds of apparent defects would likely be quickly dismissed – especially where the defendant is the federal government. But things aren’t so simple here, in my view.

To my mind, SFFA's reverse discrimination lawsuits are thin and conclusory – and that's often all the law has required to overturn remedial race-conscious programs. In other words, the complaints simply reflect the standards the Supreme Court has developed for assessing the legality of programs to increase minority representation – standards that are either impossibly high or impossible to pin down and define.

The complaints thus say as much about the merits of the case as they do about the Supreme Court's unwillingness to remedy the effects of historic and ongoing discrimination.

Here’s how Justice Sonia Sotomayor put that point in her dissent in June, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson.

The dissenters pointed out that their conservative colleagues had held that race can’t be considered unless an organization’s goals are sufficiently “measurable” and “concrete,” – but had offered zero guidance on how entities might meet those requirements, or prove they’ve done so in court.

That lack of clarity is "exactly the point,” Sotomayor wrote. “The Court is not interested in crafting a workable framework,” but is instead announcing a set of amorphous standards "designed to ensure all race-conscious plans fail.”

Perhaps the most glaring unfounded assumption is SFFA's allegation that racial hostility in the armed forces “has been virtually nonexistent post-Vietnam” – an attempt to undermine one expected justification.

Of course, non-white servicemembers have continuously reported discriminatory and extremist behavior in the armed forces. The government announced military-wide stand-downs to address white supremacists within military ranks in 2021, for example, saying it would temporarily pause regular activities to address the problem.

SFFA also alleged that the military is essentially trying to meet racial "quotas," which the Supreme Court has prohibited. The group alleged that the academy openly attempts "to balance the Corps" of cadets by setting "desired percentages ... of blacks, Hispanics and other minorities," citing a 1994 Government Accountability Office report.

But that isn’t what the document says. The section in the report SFFA purports to reference actually says the academy “attempts to balance the Corps geographically,” and sets “desired percentages of scholars, leaders, athletes, women, blacks, Hispanics and other minorities.”

SFFA also cited a 1999 Department of Defense report to support the same allegation regarding quotas. But SFFA omitted a detailed explanation on the preceding page, which says the programs involved “goals,” and “are not based on a quota.”

The group also claimed that a West Point admissions director “acknowledged that 'West Point does use race as a determinant'” in an interview with the military news publication Task & Purpose. But the full sentence ends with the official making clear that race is not determinative, in and of itself. And the officer added the following in the very next sentence: “I wouldn’t say that affirmative action plays a role in the appointment process.”

There are other similar flaws throughout the complaint. Yet, historically, such defects have proven hardly fatal for affirmative action plaintiffs.

Indeed, the Supreme Court’s seminal 1978 ruling that established the foundations of affirmative action law itself "relied on various incorrect assumptions," sometimes "treating fiction as fact," Meera Deo, professor at Southwestern Law School, wrote in a 2019 paper.

The justices who decided Bakke v. UC Regents were unjustifiably skeptical about ongoing racism, for example, rejecting arguments that addressing general societal discrimination also rose to the level of a compelling government interest.

Bakke established that racial classification must be justified by “compelling interests,” and must be “narrowly tailored” to achieve only those goals – imprecise standards that were already difficult, though not impossible, to meet.

The Bakke court added, without much explanation, that distinguishing people by race is “inherently suspect,” even if done for benign or reparative reasons.

As Sotomayor pointed out in June, the deficiency of that principle is evident when considering how routinely the private sector and government uses racial classification, including in urban planning, social studies and other academic research, and in the U.S. Census.

Since then, the court has added other unique and ill-defined standards that affirmative action programs must meet, including requiring cut-off dates and the latest "measurability" requirement, established in June.

SFFA's complaint may include some serious defects, but the bigger issue is whether the courts will view them as such.

Get the latest legal news of the day delivered straight to your inbox with The Afternoon Docket.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Opinions expressed are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of Reuters News, which, under the Trust Principles, is committed to integrity, independence, and freedom from bias.

Hassan Kanu writes about access to justice, race, and equality under law. Kanu, who was born in Sierra Leone and grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, worked in public interest law after graduating from Duke University School of Law. After that, he spent five years reporting on mostly employment law. He lives in Washington, D.C. Reach Kanu at

Thu, 26 Oct 2023 05:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Military action ‘delays release’ of Luis Díaz’s father

The rebel group holding Luis Díaz’s father claim military action is delaying his release and putting him at risk.

Díaz’s parents were kidnapped more than a week ago — his mother was freed quickly — and despite pledges from the National Liberation Army (ELN) of Colombia to expedite the return of his father, it is taking longer than expected.

“On November 2, we informed the country of the decision to release Mr Luis Manuel Díaz, father of the player Luis Díaz,” said a statement, signed by the unit leader Commander Jose Manuel Martinez Quiroz, released to Colombian media.

The statement continued: “From that date we began the process to accomplish this as soon as possible. We are making efforts to avoid incidents with government forces.

Mon, 06 Nov 2023 07:00:00 -0600 en text/html
Good times for the military-industrial complex: American arms makers cashing in on conflict

The New York Times headline said it all: “Middle East War Adds to Surge in International Arms Sales.” The conflicts in Gaza, Ukraine, and beyond may be causing immense and unconscionable human suffering, but they are also boosting the bottom lines of the world’s arms manufacturers. There was a time when such weapons sales at least sparked talk of “the merchants of death” or of “war profiteers.” Now, however, is distinctly not that time, given the treatment of the industry by the mainstream media and the Washington establishment, as well as the nature of current conflicts. Mind you, the American arms industry already dominates the international market in a staggering fashion, controlling 45% of all such sales globally, a gap only likely to grow more extreme in the rush to further arm allies in Europe and the Middle East in the context of the ongoing wars in those regions.

In his nationally televised address about the Israel-Hamas and Russia-Ukraine wars, President Biden described the American arms industry in remarkably glowing terms, noting that, “just as in World War II, today patriotic American workers are building the arsenal of democracy and serving the cause of freedom.” From a political and messaging perspective, the president cleverly focused on the workers involved in producing such weaponry rather than the giant corporations that profit from arming Israel, Ukraine, and other nations at war. But profit they do and, even more strikingly, much of the revenues that flow to those firms is pocketed as staggering executive salaries and stock buybacks that only boost shareholder earnings further.

President Biden also used that speech as an opportunity to tout the benefits of military aid and weapons sales to the U.S. economy:

“We send Ukraine equipment sitting in our stockpiles. And when we use the money allocated by Congress, we use it to replenish our own stores, our own stockpiles, with new equipment. Equipment that defends America and is made in America. Patriot missiles for air defense batteries, made in Arizona. Artillery shells manufactured in 12 states across the country, in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas. And so much more.”

In short, the military-industrial complex is riding high, with revenues pouring in and accolades emanating from the top political levels in Washington. But is it, in fact, an arsenal of democracy? Or is it an amoral enterprise, willing to sell to any nation, whether a democracy, an autocracy, or anything in between?

Arming Current Conflicts

The U.S. should certainly provide Ukraine with what it needs to defend itself from Russia’s invasion. Sending arms alone, however, without an accompanying diplomatic strategy is a recipe for an endless, grinding war (and endless profits for those arms makers) that could always escalate into a far more direct and devastating conflict between the U.S., NATO, and Russia. Nevertheless, given the current urgent need to keep supplying Ukraine, the sources of the relevant weapons systems are bound to be corporate giants like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. No surprise there, but keep in mind that they’re not doing any of this out of charity.

Raytheon CEO Gregory Hayes acknowledged as much, however modestly, in an interview with the Harvard Business Review early in the Ukraine War:

“[W]e don’t apologize for making these systems, making these weapons… the fact is eventually we will see some benefit in the business over time. Everything that’s being shipped into Ukraine today, of course, is coming out of stockpiles, either at DoD [the Department of Defense] or from our NATO allies, and that’s all great news. Eventually we’ll have to replenish it and we will see a benefit to the business over the next coming years.”

Hayes made a similar point recently in response to a question from a researcher at Morgan Stanley on a call with Wall Street analysts. The researcher noted that President Biden’s proposed multi-billion-dollar package of military aid for Israel and Ukraine “seems to fit quite nicely with Raytheon’s defense portfolio.” Hayes responded that “across the entire Raytheon portfolio you’re going to see a benefit of this restocking on top of what we think will be an increase in the DoD topline as we continue to replenish these stocks.” Supplying Ukraine alone, he suggested, would yield billions in revenues over the coming few years with profit margins of 10% to 12%.

Beyond such direct profits, there’s a larger issue here: the way this country’s arms lobby is using the war to argue for a variety of favorable actions that go well beyond anything needed to support Ukraine. Those include less restrictive, multi-year contracts; reductions in protections against price gouging; faster approval of foreign sales; and the construction of new weapons plants. And keep in mind that all of this is happening as a soaring Pentagon budget threatens to hit an astonishing $1 trillion within the next few years.

As for arming Israel, including $14 billion in emergency military aid recently proposed by President Biden, the horrific attacks perpetrated by Hamas simply don’t justify the all-out war President Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has launched against more than two million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, with so many thousands of lives already lost and untold additional casualties to come. That devastating approach to Gaza in no way fits the category of defending democracy, which means that weapons companies profiting from it will be complicit in the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe.

Repression Enabled, Democracy Denied

Over the years, far from being a reliable arsenal of democracy, American arms manufacturers have often helped undermine democracy globally, while enabling ever greater repression and conflict — a fact largely ignored in recent mainstream coverage of the industry. For example, in a 2022 report for the Quincy Institute, I noted that, of the 46 then-active conflicts globally, 34 involved one or more parties armed by the United States. In some cases, American arms supplies were modest, but in many other conflicts such weaponry was central to the military capabilities of one or more of the warring parties.

Nor do such weapons sales promote democracy over autocracy, a watchword of the Biden administration’s approach to foreign policy. In 2021, the most recent year for which full statistics are available, the U.S. armed 31 nations that Freedom House, a non-profit that tracks global trends in democracy, political freedom, and human rights, designated as “not free.”

The most egregious recent example in which the American arms industry is distinctly culpable when it comes to staggering numbers of civilian deaths would be the Saudi Arabian/United Arab Emirates (UAE)-led coalition’s intervention in Yemen, which began in March 2015 and has yet to truly end. Although the active military part of the conflict is now in relative abeyance, a partial blockade of that country continues to cause needless suffering for millions of Yemenis.  Between bombing, fighting on the ground, and the impact of that blockade, there have been nearly 400,000 casualties. Saudi air strikes, using American-produced planes and weaponry, caused the bulk of civilian deaths from direct military action.

Congress did make unprecedented efforts to block specific arms sales to Saudi Arabia and rein in the American role in the conflict via a War Powers Resolution, only to see legislation vetoed by President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, bombs provided by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin were routinely used to target civilians, destroying residential neighborhoods, factories, hospitals, a wedding, and even a school bus.

When questioned about whether they feel any responsibility for how their weapons have been used, arms companies generally pose as passive bystanders, arguing that all they’re doing is following policies made in Washington. At the height of the Yemen war, Amnesty International asked firms that were supplying military equipment and services to the Saudi/UAE coalition whether they were ensuring that their weaponry wouldn’t be used for egregious human rights abuses. Lockheed Martin typically offered a robotic response, asserting that “defense exports are regulated by the U.S. government and approved by both the Executive Branch and Congress to ensure that they support U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives.” Raytheon simply stated that its sales “of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia have been and remain in compliance with U.S. law.”

How the Arms Industry Shapes Policy

Of course, weapons firms are not merely subject to U.S. laws, but actively seek to shape them, including exerting considerable effort to block legislative efforts to limit arms sales. Raytheon typically put major behind-the-scenes effort into keeping a significant sale of precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia on track. In May 2018, then-CEO Thomas Kennedy even personally visited the office of Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Robert Menendez, D-NJ, to (unsuccessfully) press him to drop a hold on that deal. That firm also cultivated close ties with the Trump administration, including presidential trade adviser Peter Navarro, to ensure its support for continuing sales to the Saudi regime even after the murder of prominent Saudi journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi.

The list of major human rights abusers that receive U.S.-supplied weaponry is long and includes (but isn’t faintly limited to) Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Turkey, Nigeria, and the Philippines. Such sales can have devastating human consequences. They also support regimes that all too often destabilize their regions and risk embroiling the United States directly in conflicts.

U.S.-supplied arms also far too regularly fall into the hands of Washington’s adversaries. As an example consider the way the UAE transferred small arms and armored vehicles produced by American weapons makers to extremist militias in Yemen, with no apparent consequences, even though such acts clearly violated American arms export laws. Sometimes, recipients of such weaponry even end up fighting each other, as when Turkey used U.S.-supplied F-16s in 2019 to bomb U.S.-backed Syrian forces involved in the fight against Islamic State terrorists.

Such examples underscore the need to scrutinize U.S. arms exports far more carefully. Instead, the arms industry has promoted an increasingly “streamlined” process of approval of such weapons sales, campaigning for numerous measures that would make it even easier to arm foreign regimes regardless of their human-rights records or support for the interests Washington theoretically promotes. These have included an “Export Control Reform Initiative” heavily promoted by the industry during the Obama and Trump administrations that ended up ensuring a further relaxation of scrutiny over firearms exports. It has, in fact, eased the way for sales that, in the future, could put U.S.-produced weaponry in the hands of tyrants, terrorists, and criminal organizations.

Now, the industry is promoting efforts to get weapons out the door ever more quickly through “reforms” to the Foreign Military Sales program in which the Pentagon essentially serves as an arms broker between those weapons corporations and foreign governments.

Reining in the MIC

The impetus to move ever more quickly on arms exports and so further supersize this country’s already staggering weapons manufacturing base will only lead to yet more price gouging by arms corporations. It should be a government imperative to guard against such a future, rather than fuel it. Alleged security concerns, whether in Ukraine, Israel, or elsewhere, shouldn’t stand in the way of vigorous congressional oversight. Even at the height of World War II, a time of daunting challenges to American security, then-Senator Harry Truman established a committee to root out war profiteering.

Yes, your tax dollars are being squandered in the rush to build and sell ever more weaponry abroad. Worse yet, for every arms transfer that serves a legitimate defensive purpose, there is another — not to say others — that fuels conflict and repression, while only increasing the risk that, as the giant weapons corporations and their executives make fortunes, this country will become embroiled in more costly foreign conflicts.

One possible way to at least slow that rush to sell would be to “flip the script” on how Congress reviews weapons exports. Current law requires a veto-proof majority of both houses of Congress to block a questionable sale. That standard — perhaps you won’t be surprised to learn — has never (yes, never!) been met, thanks to the millions of dollars in annual election financial support that the weapons companies offer our congressional representatives. Flipping the script would mean requiring affirmative congressional approval of any major sales to key nations, greatly increasing the chances of stopping dangerous deals before they reach completion.

Praising the U.S. arms industry as the “arsenal of democracy” obscures the numerous ways it undermines our security and wastes our tax dollars. Rather than romanticizing the military-industrial complex, isn’t it time to place it under greater democratic control? After all, so many lives depend on it.

Wed, 15 Nov 2023 05:00:00 -0600 en text/html
Smithfield Foods Donates $25,000 to Support Military Missions in Action

SMITHFIELD, Va., Nov. 6, 2023  /PRNewswire/ -- Smithfield Foods recently donated $25,000 to support Military Missions in Action, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting veterans in need, members of all armed forces, and their families.

The donation will support the organization's Homes for Healing program, which provides new or gently-used furniture and household goods to veterans, active-duty servicemembers and families in need of establishing housing stability.

"We owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans for their service on behalf of our country," said Steve Evans, vice president of community development for Smithfield Foods. "Smithfield is committed to helping veterans transition back to civilian life and strengthening their community and family support systems. We're honored to partner with Military Missions in Action to help at-risk military families get back on their feet."  

"Military Missions In Action is blessed to partner with a world-class organization that uniquely understands the needs of veterans and their families," said Greg Gebhardt, executive director at Military Missions in Action. "Housing affordability continues to impact our veteran community, and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with Smithfield to Excellerate the lives our nation's heroes. Together, we all stand stronger."

Military Missions in Action will use Smithfield's $25,000 donation to purchase household items including furniture, appliances, dishes, cutlery, linens, bedding, lighting and electronics to deliver to veterans in need.

In October, representatives and volunteers from Military Missions In Action and Smithfield Foods delivered furniture to the home of Illisha Lear, a disabled veteran who recently moved to Laurinburg, North Carolina, with her four children after serving in the U.S. Army. Read more here.

Smithfield honors the service and sacrifice of American veterans and their families through its Helping

Our Heroes program, which includes hiring initiatives, career development and programs to strengthen the community and family support systems veterans rely on. The company also supports veterans through its employee business resource group, Smithfield Salutes, which provides resources for existing employees with prior military service.

For more information on Smithfield's veteran programs, please visit

About Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is a U.S. food company that employs nearly 60,000 people in seven countries and partners with thousands of American farmers. As one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies, we are dedicated to producing "Good food. Responsibly.®" to feed a growing world population. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in our U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30% across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs in all 50 U.S. states. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Gwaltney® and Nathan's Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit and connect with us on FacebookX, formerly known as Twitter, LinkedInInstagram and Threads

About Military Missions in Action

Founded in 2008, Military Missions in Action (MMIA) is dedicated to assisting Veterans with disabilities, homeless Veterans and members of the Armed Forces, and their families with three main programs: Operation Building Hope, which provides home modification services to ensure that Veterans with mental and physical disabilities can live independently in their homes; Homes For Healing which provides new or gently-used furniture and household goods to formerly homeless Veterans; and Fill The Footlocker which provides support to active-duty service members and military working dogs serving in combat zones along with North Carolina homeless Veterans with health and hygiene items, clothing, shoes, and blankets. MMIA is a registered 501(c)3 organization and a Gold GuideStar nonprofit Headquartered in Fuquay-Varina, NC with an additional location in the Southern Pines area, which provides services for all 100 counties in the state.

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SOURCE Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Sun, 05 Nov 2023 19:41:00 -0600 en text/html

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