Carol Larson is an Emmy award-winning alumnus of Madison and Milwaukee television news, with more than three decades of broadcasting and journalism experience. A native of Madison, she’s now a writer and co-founder of RetireeRebels.com, and a voice artist at CarolsVoice.com.

That’s so Soviet!

Authoritarian-style Governance Becoming the American Way?


October 2017

BY CAROL  LARSON

“We don’t need more teachers in this country, what we need are more ditch diggers!”

Trying to guess who said that? An American politician? A conservative talk show host?

No blame to you for thinking either of those possibilities. With the public bashing of teachers over the last few years, union busting, and fewer classes for art, music or any kind of critical thinking, the above sentiment—ruling class vs. worker drones—definitely feels familiar.

Yet the quote is actually a 1999 statement attributed to Sara Alpysqyzy Nazarbayev, the wife of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the then-and-still president of the Central Asian nation Kazakhstan. (He was also the former top Soviet boss there before Kazakhstan officially declared its independence in 1991.)

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Tay Ramey (drinking a soda), surrounded by family members in the 1970s in North Richmond, California.

Kim Whiting sits on The Reporters Inc’s Board of Directors. To learn more about her, click here.

Birth of a “Shooter”

Roots of Black Violence Can Be Found in a Community’s History


October 2017

BY KIM WHITING

Tay Ramey was a “shooter,” a violent young man who handled conflicts and emotions with guns. He grew up in the 1970s and ’80s, in a small and equally violent enclave outside of San Francisco that, like Tay, became more violent with time.  The evolution of a bright, happy, life-loving child into an exceedingly violent criminal, and the town that bred him, is deep and complex. Tay explains:

When you’re young and successful on the street, you’re a target. I was 14 and had a thriving drug business when a guy who had just gotten out of prison started hanging out in the area of the street where I was hustling. It didn’t take him long to notice that I was making good money. He came up to me and asked for a bag of weed and a loan of $6. This was an innocent enough request so I wasn’t careful to hide how much money I had as I pulled a wad of about $300 out of my pocket. I saw him notice the money and he said, “Looks like you’re doing good out here Lil’ Nigga.” And so it began.  (more…)