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« February 2008 | Main | April 2008 »

Front Page » Monthly Archives » March 2008

By Dmitri Iglitzin on March 31, 2008

The increasing wealth gap between the rich, the middle class, and the poor has become too obvious too ignore. The top 10% of income earners in the United States now own 70% of the wealth, and the wealthiest 1% own more than the bottom 95%, according to the Federal Reserve. In 2005, the top 300,000 Americans enjoyed about the same share of the nation's income - 21.8% - as the bottom 150 million.

A study released on March 31, 2008, by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) demonstrates how unions can provide a key counterweight to this phenomenon, especially for African Americans, who remain in many ways at the bottom of this country’s economic food chain. This report shows that unionized African Americans make substantially more money and have substantially better benefits than their non-union counterparts.

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on March 31, 2008

I received this email from one of our college students. I thought it was powerful that despite her hectic schedule and her own fight to overcome her own learning disability, she sees the need to give back to a community similar to the one where she grew up. I love her attitude, her passion, and the way she is channeling her anger.

I bolded a statement in her email to which I think we should all listen closer.

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on March 31, 2008

"We wanted to know what assumptions Americans shared about people who are homeless and find out what Americans were willing to do to help homeless people. And we wanted to see how close homelessness had come to our neighbors." - Stacey D. Stewart, FannieMae Senior VP, Office of Community and Charitable Giving

On February 8, 2008, FannieMae released the findings of its national survey on the attitudes and perceptions of the American public toward homelessness. The report resulted in the production of a 26-minute video summation entitled, "Homeward Bound: The Path to Ending Homelessness." This presentation introduces viewers to organizations working to overcome homelessness, as well as a number of people who know homelessness personally. Among the findings of the survey were these interesting tidbits...

Read more from this post here ...

By Ally Klimkoski on March 30, 2008

Parishioners at St. Mary's Academy and College were incensed when they found out that Charles Baylor recently held a fundraiser in support of his Congresswoman Kansas Rep. Nancy Boyda.

They "organized a protest that drew from 15 to 25 people outside his apartment the day of the fundraiser," he said. The protesters included parishioners as well as other St. Marys residents.

"People wanted to lynch me," he said.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ally Klimkoski on March 30, 2008

In the past much fun has been made of John McCain's age because, lets face it ... he's old. Parallel to that is making fun of an aging campaign that does little to no outreach to young people and is surpassed considerably by democratic candidates on both MySpace and Facebook in terms of social networking excitment.

It seems however that John McCain has not only discovered technology, but he's going after votes in the Democrats' own camp...

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on March 30, 2008

It's not actually the dead that I have seen in the Middle East, the physical destruction, that takes the toll: It's this sense of this endless cycle. It's hard to go and watch the similar sort of circumstances play themselves out over and over again. - Christopher Anderson

Read more from this post here ...

By Randy Leer on March 29, 2008

God bless America, most of all God bless those who are wearing the uniform of our nation and their families. As I write this the Iraq military death toll is at 4007. I know we have gotten use to hearing these numbers, and we think that it isn’t as much as some past wars. The problem is that this is not a number to be compared. To do so is disgusting.

To just give some perspective to how bad this number is I invite you to take a look at a standard NFL football field. If we were to take the bodies of these 4007 brave men and women lost in Iraq and lay them out on that field they would cover the entire field, end-zone to end-zone, sideline to sideline. We would still need to utilize the Coach’s Box and Players area for the overflow. If football isn’t your sport then look at a basketball court. To place 4007 caskets on a basketball court you would fill it and be forced to stack them as much as 14 deep in some sections, making them more than twice as high as the goals.

Now that you have a better perspective on the number I would like you to do something else...

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on March 29, 2008

As the Democratic primaries roll on and the fight for the nomination between Hillary and Barack becomes more strident, many people are rightfully worried about how the negative turn in the primaries may affect the eventual Democratic chances for winning the White House this coming Fall. I share some of that worry, but I also feel that the primaries are an important time to test the qualities of both Hillary and Obama to know if they have the political savvy to counter political attacks and push their message through to the American people. Other worthy Presidential candidates over the past 30 years have floundered because they did not have the political savvy to overcome sudden political crisis and controversies that drowned out their messages, intelligent and otherwise capable candidates like Gary Hart, Michael Dukakis, John Kerry, Al Gore, Jesse Jackson, and Joe Biden.

Read more from this post here ...

By Zola Jones on March 29, 2008

Here's the most important thing you need to know about this race: it's neck-and-neck. But now we're hearing people -- elected officials, party members, and Obama campaign surrogates -- call for Hillary to pull out. Only 130 delegates separate Hillary from Senator Obama. The difference in popular vote is less than 1 percent, and millions of voters have yet to make their voices heard. This election should be about their choice. (Bill Clinton, March 29, 2008)
I agree with President Clinton. This primary has not been a landslide for Senator Obama. Neither candidate has the requisite number of delegates yet. It's wrong to disenfranchise the voters in states (like Pennsylvania) that haven't voted yet. It's wrong to ask anyone to capitulate until every American who wishes to do so is able to vote. Every vote counts. No matter who we may want as our next president, all of us need to value and respect the proper process. Democracy is a citizen process - not a horse race.

By Larry James on March 29, 2008

I care about the cities of our nation. Millions and millions of us call the city home. Cities concentrate both amazing opportunity and staggering difficulty. The inner cities of our nation need renewal.

Renewal costs. At present, funds are drying up for housing, public and higher education, health care, nutrition, infrastructure maintenance and development, employment training and many other necessities of life and growth. Our inner city communities need help, leadership and new life -- the kind of investment that could lift an entire generation of youth out of poverty and onto a new path. What I have in mind is a "Marshall Plan-type" approach that could break the cycles of generational poverty that continue to devastate our children.

As a nation, we were actually making progress in this direction. Then came the war.

Read more from this post here ...

By Dmitri Iglitzin on March 28, 2008

It’s been exactly one year since March 28, 2007, the date Circuit City Stores set a new low in corporate morality by laying off 3400 experienced workers whose relatively high salaries – typically, about $15 per hour – allegedly made them a liability. The company’s plan was to hire other new, untrained workers at $10.22 an hour to do the same work, thus saving the company … well, something. Not much, apparently, if you look at the steady decline of the company’s stock price, which has dropped from over $19 per share down to around $4 per share since they implemented this decision.

A year is a long time. After four months of unemployment, according to the Economics Policy Institute, most workers will no longer be covered by their state’s unemployment benefits program. They will have either found a new job, been disqualified for some alleged infraction – such as supposedly having given up looking for work – or will have exhausted the monetary benefits to which they are entitled. After one year, these laid-off Circuit City workers will certainly, in one way or another, have moved on.

Read more from this post here ...

By Stuart Elliott on March 28, 2008

I've been busy with other projects - web and otherwise - and posting has been inexcusably light. So let's start with a round-up of websites I've just recently discovered...

Read more from this post here ...

By Ally Klimkoski on March 28, 2008

A new TIME Spring supplement Style and Design addresses the influence the Millennial Generation has over products and even purchase power they have in influencing their Baby Boomer parents.

The first piece, a feature article, claims that Millennials seek the luxury and name brand products their parents do but they want them without the financial stability their parents have worked their lives to build.

"According to Resource Interactive, an Ohio-based marketing company, young adults influence 88% of household apparel purchases. It makes sense since members of the millennial generation—those born between 1980 and 2000—are closer to their parents than are members of any previous generation."

Read more from this post here ...

By Jean Binder on March 28, 2008

Happened across this. It is "out there" for the conservative ear, a type of rap and poetry none the less. It deeply conveys the passionate hope that Obama represents for many whites but perhaps especially blacks. Let me warn you that there is "language," but I know you are all grown ups enough to survive it and believe you may well appreciate this unique and moving poetry.

By Larry James on March 27, 2008

Did you see the report on the group of men who took part in a spiritual retreat in Austin, Texas during Holy Week? It seems the leader of a homeless ministry in that city leads such a group of "seekers" onto the streets for three days. The goal of the retreat is "to connect with God" by striping away the normal creature comforts of the participants.

The intention is to "walk among the poor as Jesus did" to grasp the power of the resurrection. Appropriate Easter theme. One of the participants commented, "We're made aware again just how much of a chasm there is between who we are and who we could be." You know, there but for the grace of God go I.

Another confesses that he wants to "see Jesus in the faces of people who live here permanently." The experience of detachment from the materialism of his normal life causes him to feel like standing on a mountaintop and shouting, "Don't you see where the peace is?"

Such analysis always prompts me to think or to say...

Read more from this post here ...

By Ally Klimkoski on March 26, 2008

A new fun viral video takes the Kansas GOP and national republicans to task for some of the failures we are seeing and urges folks to register to vote.

The video addresses several issues that are facing Kansans at the state and federal level.

"Conservative Republicans are playing politics by cutting funding for all of Kansas' veterans programs, several popular childcare programs like all day kindergarten and successful programs like Meals on Wheels for elderly Kansans. Why would they do this? Either they will introduce them back into the budget one at a time so they can accuse Democrats of voting for "reckless spending," or they won't – and Kansans will be left to face the consequences." (According to the Hays Daily News 3-20-08)
As for children's health insurance...

Read more from this post here ...

By Lucy Belnora on March 25, 2008

Sen. John McCain's weeklong overseas trip to Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Britain and France was tricky for him, in regards to accuracy. For example, while in Israel during a news conference with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, McCain likened the Jewish holiday of Purim to "their version of Halloween." Other than the fact that some use costumes in celebrating Purim, there's no similarity between the two at all.

More troubling, during a press conference in Jordan last week, John McCain brought up the charge that Iran was training al Qaeda operatives and sending them to Iraq. McCain adjusted his story after Senator Joseph Lieberman whispered a recommended correction in his ear. It was handy that he had Sen. Joe Lieberman for a traveling companion.

It was the fourth time in a little over three weeks, however, that McCain had made the same charge. He had made the same (grossly incorrect) assertion during a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt the day before.

Sure, there were numerous gaffes and goofs. Yet, we should ask, were these just harmless and accidental goof-ups? Are they just funny little blips in the news - or - could some of them be harbingers of more serious and coordinated propaganda attempts? If so, why? What's the end game?

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on March 25, 2008

Over the weekend, I saw Jim Wallis on a CNN interview talking about the speech Senator Barack Obama delivered last week in Philadelphia dealing with race relations in the United States.

Wallis made an important comment that stood out from the other participants who were being interviewed. He suggested that every parent in the nation should sit down with their children and watch the speech together and talk about it. Wallis, and many others, believe that the speech's importance transcends the current political battle going on in the Democratic primary process.

Read more from this post here ...

By Bob Hooper on March 24, 2008

Dick Armey: "Now, the fact of the matter is, the party isn't so upset with John Wayne as some personalities are upset with John Wayne ..."

Tucker Carlson: "John Wayne? A euphemism for John McCain?"

Dick Armey: I'm sorry, I'm sorry, John McCain."
(MSNBC, Jan. 30)
In an interview with conservative TV talking head Tucker Carlson, Dick Armey played the girl in the Freudian slip.

Armey, a former Republican congressman from Texas, is credited as the author of the Contract with America which led to a Republican takeover of Congress in the 1990's Whether or not his slip of the tongue was intentional, he was dead-on.

My friends, the understated machismo of John Wayne is precisely the strategy that McCain McBush hopes will win him the White House.

The John Wayne McCain movie now playing is, of course, "The War in Iraq." And we hear the predictable paranoia monologue...

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on March 23, 2008

Close your eyes for a minute. What comes to mind when you think of "at-risk"... at-risk schools, at-risk kids, at-risk communities?

What does the community look like?

What are the schools like?

The families?

The homes?

The initiative of the people?

What did you see??

Read more from this post here ...

Earlier posts in this month:

He rode a donkey into town, March 23, 2008
This We Do Know: Obama and Clinton Remain Head to Head, March 22, 2008
Swashbuckling Through the Mailbag, March 22, 2008
Class War: Necessities Rising Faster Than Luxuries, March 22, 2008
Oklahoma Rep. Kern: An Astonishing Truth, March 21, 2008
Two Groups of Thieves, March 21, 2008
Clay Bennett and the Christian Science Monitor, March 20, 2008
Neighbors Together: Jim and David, March 20, 2008
Revealing Our Inner Thoughts, March 20, 2008
Moving Toward a More Unified Country, March 19, 2008
Amazing Story: Amanda Dye, March 19, 2008
To Effectively Respond With Depth and Scale, March 19, 2008
Leonard Zeskind on the Minutemen, March 19, 2008
Sustainability: Community Development for the Long Haul, March 18, 2008
Amazing Story: Eddie Compass, March 18, 2008
About His Church: Love of Jesus, or Audacious Racism?, March 18, 2008
These are the times that try men's souls, March 17, 2008
Goin' Green on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2008
As the Strongest Thrive, March 17, 2008
Modeling New Ways, March 17, 2008
Freedom, March 17, 2008
The DNC Needs to Get Started - Without a Nominee, March 16, 2008
Better Than Charity: Genuine Community, Real Engagement, March 16, 2008
Nancy Boyda and FISA: Gratitude for Kansas Representative, March 15, 2008
Amazing Story: Pat Clarke, March 15, 2008
Good For Us: Fishy Budgets, March 15, 2008
We Is the Enemy (or, Thank God for Sex!), March 14, 2008
American Kamikazes and Zealots Await Their Rewards, March 14, 2008
Race, Class and Income: Still Carry the Greatest Weight, March 14, 2008
The Economy Can Bite Me, March 14, 2008
GOP Poster Child, March 13, 2008
Peace and Reconciliation, March 13, 2008
Too Much XXX to Talk About Politics, March 13, 2008
Patriotism: The Lesson Learned, March 12, 2008
Mississippi Youth Vote Triples, March 12, 2008
Government Squandering My Investment, March 12, 2008
The Power of Community, March 11, 2008
The New Mortal Sins: To Whom?, March 11, 2008
All Were Working People, March 11, 2008
Convoy of Hope, March 10, 2008
Spreading Fear with Fallacious Emails, March 10, 2008
'Can't We All Just Get Along?' Let the Nomination Play Out!, March 10, 2008
This Father Wants Affordable Health Care for Everybody, March 10, 2008
Monica's Final Hearing, March 10, 2008
Grace Paley - Writer/Activist, March 9, 2008
Changing the face of education, March 9, 2008
The Same Old Story, Just Older (Literally), March 9, 2008
Black and White Fundamentalism, March 9, 2008
Lower 9th Ward Health Clinic, March 8, 2008
Bridge of Hope, March 8, 2008
Unifying Faith, March 8, 2008
Overheard in doctor's office, March 7, 2008
Fairness Foundation, March 7, 2008
The Beatles and I, March 7, 2008
New School Evangelicals, March 7, 2008
We encounter the personal plunge on a daily basis, March 7, 2008
Doing the Math, March 7, 2008
Education Becomes Relevant, March 7, 2008
This Thing We Call Time, March 6, 2008
Nanking and the Wounds of War, March 6, 2008
Anxieties of a High School Graduate, March 6, 2008
Green Street UMC, March 6, 2008
Jewish Family Services, March 6, 2008
Top U.S. Defense Contractors Move Offshore to Avoid Taxes, March 6, 2008
KS-02: Making Tom DeLay Smile, March 6, 2008
Questioning the Rules of the Game, March 6, 2008
Talking to kids about sexuality makes a difference!, March 6, 2008
This Just In, March 5, 2008
Small Churches; Big Visions, March 5, 2008
The Hill Says Young Voters Don't Matter, March 5, 2008
Real Democracy, March 5, 2008
March 4: Young Voters Smackdown the Vote, March 5, 2008
Falsely Accused: Prisoners of the Streets, March 5, 2008
Late Deciders: Is Barack Obama Texan Enough?, March 4, 2008
Her Legacy, March 4, 2008
Building Africa’s Youth, March 4, 2008
Say what you will: Nader sticks to his guns, March 4, 2008
Can people who work in cities afford to live in their cities?, March 4, 2008
Jobs for Life, March 3, 2008
Hope Ministries, March 3, 2008
When Barack Obama Clinches the Nomination, March 3, 2008
Jose Deported: All Our Hopes Dashed, March 3, 2008
Conscience and Courage, by Eva Fogelman, March 2, 2008
March 6: International Day of Solidarity with Iranian Workers, March 2, 2008
What would happen if those who follow also act?, March 2, 2008
Inspiring inspiration, March 2, 2008
Let me get this one straight, March 2, 2008
College (un)Readiness: What's wrong with this picture?, March 1, 2008
Time to Invest Your Opinion, March 1, 2008
Health Care Books and Hospital Management Resources, March 1, 2008

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