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« April 2008 | Main | June 2008 »


By Zola Jones on May 31, 2008

As an urban African American almost-college-educated single mother, under age thirty, I don't fit snugly in the Hillary Clinton demographic, according to the polls.

I'm betwixt and between the racism, sexism and ageism divides. While I don't like any "ism" much, I've been more offended by the sexist remarks I've heard about Clinton than I have been by the alleged racist remarks about Obama. Why? I've heard far more sexist talk than I have racist talk. I hear it on the news and out of the mouths of all kinds of people - children, men, white, black, brown and, yes, women too. The sexist remarks, sexist jokes and sexist hate speech seem to go largely unnoticed and unremarked by those around me - as if a large percentage of our society doesn't even recognize or acknowledge sexism as real. People are not sensitized to the damage of sexist language and attitudes, like they seem to be about racism. Ignoring sexism doesn't take the sting out of its effects.

It seems to me that our society is far more sexist than it is racist. It's no surprise to me that polls say that more Americans are amenable to having a generic African American male president - and fewer would vote for a generic Caucasian female president.

Even so, this isn't why I'm a supporter of Hillary Clinton. I support Clinton because Obama is not adequately addressing my concerns about health care.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ken Poland on May 31, 2008

Isn't it interesting how we choose specific laws or commandments, in the Old Testament, to hammer those who don't have proper life styles to suit us. We ignore those commandments and laws that might require us to change our ways.

The following is an excerpt taken from a Church World Service email, I received, urging me to encourage my Senators to back the bill. It has already passed in the House.

Faith reflection: "Every seventh year you shall grant a remission of debts," Deuteronomy 15: 1; "Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants; it shall be a jubilee for you." Leviticus 25: 10;

The Hebrew Scriptures talk to us about living in right relationship with God, the human community, and all of creation. One of the most profound practices is the observance of Jubilee, a time when slaves are set free, debts are forgiven, and land lost through debt is returned to its original owners. These are actions meant to restore the community to wholeness. While the full Jubilee liberation was set for a 50-year cycle, freedom for slaves, debt cancellation and rest for the soil were commanded for every seven years.

The Jubilee Act gives us an opportunity to apply the practice of Jubilee debt cancellation to our own time and world.

There is no record indicating this particular command was ever carried out in full.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on May 31, 2008

A few weeks ago I received the 75th anniversary issue of the Catholic Worker. The Catholic Worker is a progressive Catholic newspaper that was started by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin to apply Catholic Social Teaching to the issues of poverty in American society. I’ve always been a fan of Dorothy Day from biographies that I’ve read and from hearing of people who really admire her. I bought a used copy of her book By Little and By Little: The Selected Writings of Dorothy Day 5 or 6 years ago, but only started reading through the whole book last year. Inspired by the book, I subscribed to the Catholic Worker in December through Amazon and received my first issue in January. Since then, I’ve looked forward to looking in my mail and finding a new issue to read.

Dorothy Day kept the company of socialists, anarchists and communists in Greenwich Village when she was young, and she shared their radical views on politics and life. Her abiding passion was to help the poor, and she converted to Roman Catholicism when she found the same love of the poor in Catholic Social Teaching that she found in the radical politics of her friends. She did not forsake her radical political convictions, but melded it with a spirituality that nourished her inner self as she worked to help the outer world.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on May 30, 2008

During the 1980s, I thought it was funny, and sadly appropriate, for the head of the Catholic Church in the Philippines to be a man called Cardinal Sin.

Certainly, the crimes committed against the Filipino people at that time was a sin. Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos had been ruling the Philippines for 20 years, and they greedily plundered the economy and lived lavishly while much of the economy was mired in poverty. I remember reading news about the Philippines at that time with a certain sense of dread. Benigno Aquino got shot and killed. The Marcos government was cracking down and seemed to have friends in the Reagan administration that would let them get away with murder. The opposition turned to Aquino’s widow, a housewife with no political experience and no desire to lead a country. And the church stood by for 20 years as Marcos terrorized the country. I didn’t have high hopes for the Philippines as Marcos called snap elections in 1986. I didn’t see how things could wind up as anything except tragic.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ally Klimkoski on May 30, 2008

A few times this year bloggers got the wild hair to start talking about the potential we have to bring more people to our government by making Congress more 2.0 friendly.

Stoller went off about the Franking Laws that are out of step with reality back in March and I've not stopped thinking about it since then. Well, in reality I had been thinking about it before that back when Obama's campaign announced that it would make the Chief Technology Officer a cabinet position.

Franking Rules are decided by a committee who decide what members of Congress can do in outreach to their constituents. Sometimes too much outreach from a Congressional office can be seen as "campaigning" and the Franking Rules protect taxpayers from essentially paying for campaigns and creating an unfair advantage for incumbents.

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on May 30, 2008

As I'm sitting in my office at Turner Courts, I see this huge truck with a trailer holding some equipment attached... a backhoe maybe?

It made me think about the crime report statistics I read this morning: "STOLEN VEH RAN INTO TRANSFORMER IN GRASSY COMMON AREA OF APTS."

As I watched the truck park and get ready to unload, I thought of how much it costs to bring in big equipment to fix all of the things that knuckleheads decide to damage... at no expense to themselves. I thought about how it's no wonder DHA (Dallas Housing Authority) and the city gets frustrated with our requests to fix things only to have them broken again.

I then had to adjust my thinking.

Read more from this post here ...

By John Petty on May 30, 2008

Talking points memo (TPM) goes through paroxysms trying to find a way for Obama to "thread the electoral needle" and win the election. They start by giving Obama all the states Kerry won in 2004.

Win Ohio or Florida and it's over. Unfortunately, he currently trails in both, and by a fairly large margin in Florida. Without Ohio, he needs to "flip" either Virginia or Colorado. Colorado is likely to go for Obama. Virginia is currently a toss-up. Win both and that would give him 274 electoral votes and a victory.

But would Obama win all the states Kerry won in 2004? He currently trails in Michigan, and if McCain chooses Romney as VP, that would probably take Michigan away.

Read more from this post here ...

By Melissa Tuckey on May 29, 2008

Thank you, Obama, for asking supporters not to show up at the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Rules and Bylaws meeting on Saturday. Because the meeting is in DC and there are bus loads of Clinton supporters pouring in, I was wondering if we needed a counter-protest, and what a relief to be encouraged to stay home. It is a signal that the Obama campaign has faith in the process. For Obama supporters there is nothing at this point for us to protest. And protesting against Clinton supporters would only serve to further inflame emotions and increase the divide within our party. This kind of wisdom and cool-headed response reinforces my confidence in Obama.

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on May 29, 2008

"If your child's high school grades and test scores are in the bottom half for his class, resist the attempts of four-year colleges to woo him or her. Colleges make money despite whether a student learns or graduates or finds good employment. Consider an associate-degree program at a community college, or such nondegree options as apprenticeship programs (examples can be found at www.khake.com). Also consider shorter career-preparation programs at community colleges, the military and on-the-job training, especially at the elbow of a successful small-business owner." (from Marty Nemko, in Overrated: College diploma)
That recent opinion column in the Dallas Morning News suggests that college isn't for everybody. Though I am very much in agreement that colleges are businesses looking for profit and agree with many of Mr. Nemko's suggestions that college give much fuller disclosure to the students they serve, I sense he is also saying that some students just shouldn't waste their time.

I disagree...

Read more from this post here ...

By Lola Wheeler on May 29, 2008

Globally, food prices have almost doubled over the last three years, and the futures for basic commodities – wheat, corn, and soybeans – have jumped up by two-thirds in the last 12 months. Since poor people in developing countries spend the bulk of their income on basic commodities, world hunger has increased significantly. High food prices have incited riots and other social unrest in about thirty countries.

This makes the issue of solving the world’s hunger crisis not just vital for those in need but also important for the political stability of the world. However, measuring the role that subsidies for corn-based ethanol play in increasing domestic hunger is more nuanced and requires a more thoughtful discussion...

How much of the run-up in food prices is attributable to [corn ethanol] fuel mandates is a question on which reasonable people disagree. Modeling done by the International Food Policy Research Institute puts the effect at between 25 and 30 percent. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization puts the impact at 10 to 15 percent, while the Bush administration reported at a May 1 press briefing that the impact of increased ethanol on global food prices is only 2 to 3 percent. - David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World, May 7, 2008

A couple of days ago, Ally wrote a blog at EverydayCitizen.com about the corn-ethanol's role in (or the lack of its role in) inflating the cost of food. Her blog attracted a record number of comments.

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on May 29, 2008

My friend, Dave, called to ask if I had any applications of kids applying to his summer program. I had called a few teenagers, but hadn’t heard back from any of them.

Knowing I wanted kids in his program, I went into my email and scrolled through my “student” list to see if I had missed any of the kids I know who live in South Dallas (his program's requirement). As I scrolled, Tracey’s name jumped out at me. Tracey! He’s a junior in high school now... and he's in South Dallas! Perfect!

I went through the numbers on my phone and called the number I had for his sister. “The mobile number you have called is no longer in service.” Darn. I checked to see if I might have a number for Tracey. Luckily I did...

Read more from this post here ...

By Pamela Jean on May 28, 2008

A former Wall Street executive, Peter Salem, left prison and headed for the small town of Bunker Hill, Kansas, where his ex-wife and their children had started a new life, alongside a powerful local leader, Jim McLain. Bunker Hill is in Russell County in the central plains of western Kansas. The town's humble population numbers 101 citizens, according to the most recent federal census.

Soon after Salem arrived in town, all electric power went down. In short order, gasoline supplies were used up and new fuel deliveries never came. Energy was no longer available. Without outside communication, community leaders and the town sheriff were at a loss to explain what had happened.

Is it the rapture? A massive terrorist attack? Aliens? Cut off from the world, the town's historic "wild west" militant past quickly reawakened and new forces coalesced to protect Bunker Hill citizens from its unseen enemy - one represented to some by Mr. Farook, an elderly Pakistani immigrant who owns the local convenience store. The town's fear led to the creation of a posse of gunmen headed by McLain's brother Delmar. All of this resulted in torture, illegal searches and eventually murder.

Next month, the Kansas Governor is going to Washington D.C. to talk with people about this.

Read more from this post here ...

By Henry Schwaller on May 28, 2008

The "stimulus" checks are on their way; perhaps you are one of the approximately 130 million Americans who will receive a rebate from the IRS.

Here's how Nick in Pennsylvania spent his big rebate:

"I used my $600 to bail myself out of prison, along with $6900 more."
Nick, 28, Welder, Ephrata, PA

By Larry James on May 28, 2008

[Urban planners] asked residents [of an underdeveloped neighborhood] what they would like to see in the way of economic development. Residents mentioned things like a grocery store, a pharmacy, a laundromat, a dry cleaners and a dollar store. Seven years later, residents of this area still await these conveniences within reasonable proximity to where they live.
We can do just about whatever we decide should be done. Our failings are related more to will than to any lack of capacity. As a follow-up to yesterday's conversation regarding property values and race, be sure and read the following essay offered by Gerald Britt, one of my partners here at Central Dallas Ministries. What Gerald says makes a lot of sense and begins to get at solutions for improving the quality of life in heretofore marginalized neighborhoods. To check out his wisdom, turn this page...

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on May 27, 2008

Whenever I address the subject of race or racial prejudice here, I brace myself. I always get negative feedback, some of which suggests that I should leave the subject alone. The assumption of many of my critics is that race and racism are no longer problems in our society. Oh, the bliss of wishful thinking. Last week I attended the first few minutes of a seminar dealing with property values in neighborhoods as an index for determining "livability" or more comprehensive measures of community health. The presenters were accomplished academics, people who really knew their stuff. I'm sure the seminar was brilliant and full of at least some useful insights. But, I left after the first twenty minutes.

Read more from this post here ...

By Bill Smith on May 27, 2008

How can McCain defend his opposition to a bill that would expand educational benefits to our Veterans? And justify his opposition by saying that the new GI Bill would hurt the military?

In my humble opinion - Senate Bill S-22 the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007 or commonly referred to as the new GI Bill is long over due. Our service members who have been putting their lives at risk - voluntarily - deserve nothing less than our highest respect and support.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ken Poland on May 26, 2008

We have just celebrated Memorial Day. This day was declared and set aside, originally, to honor all those who served and died in the defense of our nation. It has been expanded to include, not only memorializing the men and women who have died in the defense of our nation and culture, but to honor all those who served in days gone by or are serving today. It has also been expanded to include a formal recognition of family and friends, whether they served militarily or not.

I have received several emails urging me to become actively involved in flag waving and eulogizing the military causalities and the need to heap praises upon those actively serving today. Most of them expand the idea that our military might is what has created and protected our freedoms.

I fully agree that we owe those who have served or are serving our recognition of the sacrifice and dedication of all who gave up their civilian freedoms to serve. But I disagree with the indication that it is only the military who have given us our freedoms and protected them.

Read more from this post here ...

By Dmitri Iglitzin on May 26, 2008

Following the historic precedent of Seattle’s divestment from companies doing business in apartheid South Africa (Seattle Resolution No. 27220, adopted December 17, 1984), an organization named “Seattle Divest from War and Occupation” has sponsored “Initiative No. 97,” which, if adopted, would force the Seattle Employees’ Retirement System funds to divest from corporations that fund war and occupation in the Middle East.

More specifically, this initiative would set policies and guidelines that would ensure that the city’s retirement funds not be invested in corporations (1) that profit directly from the U.S. presence in Iraq, or (2) that do business in or with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, or the Golan Heights. The City must also withdraw retirement funds invested with the Israeli government if Israel attacks Iran without U.N. authorization.

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on May 26, 2008

I feel the need to post, but I'm not quite sure how to summarize what I'm feeling right now.

I wasn't looking too forward to this weekend because it was going to be busy. Event after event, graduation after graduation. I am always tired after weekends like these... especially knowing I have to work on Monday.

But, this weekend has been different.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on May 26, 2008

A few years ago I first saw the documentary, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision. It was made in 1995 by Freida Lee Mock, and it documents the career of Mara Lin, the architect who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, the Yale Women’s Table and many other wonderful buildings. Her most famous buildings have political and well as aesthetic motivations, that elicit strong emotions in people based on how they encapsulate their age. Maya unexpectedly won the design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial while a Yale student, and it threw her into a huge storm of controversy. The controversy over Maya Lin’s design showed the raw emotional wounds that still had not healed when it erupted in 1980, and Maya Lin’s finished memorial showed the power of art to affect people and touch upon important issues of society.

Read more from this post here ...

Earlier posts in this month:

My Fallen Hero: Fly Girl from Kalamazoo, May 26, 2008
Two Soldiers, May 26, 2008
Corn-fused?, May 26, 2008
Iraq War Death Toll: 4,083 Americans, 84,050 Iraqis, May 26, 2008
Adelante Con Clinton!, May 25, 2008
Methodist Leaders Want To Stop George W. Bush, May 25, 2008
Self-Indulgence: Our enduring excuse for poverty?, May 25, 2008
Clinton Catapulting Too Much Mud, May 24, 2008
John McCain: 2 months, 24 days & 5 hours later..., May 23, 2008
Asiatic Mode of Production and Bureaucratic Collectivism, May 23, 2008
Nation in Crisis, May 23, 2008
Debating Conservative Friends, May 23, 2008
Food Banks Need Your Help, May 23, 2008
Americans Worry..., May 22, 2008
Americans are Guilty..., May 22, 2008
KS-04 Don Betts Live Blogs FM, May 22, 2008
Barack Obama and Jewish Voters, May 22, 2008
KS Rep. Jerry Moran Votes Against Veterans, Again, May 21, 2008
O Lucky Man!? Part 2, May 21, 2008
Enough is Enough! How about some truth?, May 20, 2008
Next Step for Big Thinkers, Part 4: Is Bad Organizing Biblical?, May 20, 2008
A little time for the momentous and the minute, May 20, 2008
YD's Stand Up to Power Lose $1 Million, May 19, 2008
Next Step for Christian Big Thinkers, Part 3, May 19, 2008
Democracy in Action, May 19, 2008
Dropping like Flies, May 19, 2008
A Connection: World Hunger and U.S. Public Policy, May 19, 2008
New GI Bill Not Enough, May 19, 2008
Unfit Troops Deployed and Still the Law Denies LGBT to Serve, May 19, 2008
Still a lot of love living in the promise land, May 19, 2008
Market forces, when unchecked, tend to devour the poor, May 18, 2008
Best wishes, Ted, May 17, 2008
Liberals and Radicals, Part 2, May 17, 2008
How Low Will They Go?, May 16, 2008
KS-Sen: Slattery Nearly There, May 16, 2008
The Next Step for Christian Big Thinkers: Part 2, May 16, 2008
The Wire: Great Drama, Bad Message, May 16, 2008
Take It: The 2008 Ask a Working Woman Survey, May 16, 2008
Why we challenge the government, May 16, 2008
They have what all children should have, May 16, 2008
Embedded with the Delegates at Democratic National Convention!, May 16, 2008
DREAMERS: To D.R.E.A.M. or not to D.R.E.A.M?, May 16, 2008
How to Ask For a Raise (Hint: Don't Do It Alone!), May 15, 2008
A Very Special Thank You..., May 15, 2008
Think poor people are scamming the system? Think again!, May 15, 2008
Clinton Campaign Using the Right Wing to Destroy Obama?, May 15, 2008
The Next Step for Christian Big Thinkers: Part 1, May 15, 2008
Indigo Girls and Activism in Music, May 15, 2008
My Dream, May 15, 2008
O Lucky Man!?, May 14, 2008
I hope President Bush was watching, May 14, 2008
Edwards to Endorse Obama, May 14, 2008
Liberationists and Liberation Theology, May 14, 2008
Breaking: Dem wins in MS-01, Kleeb in NE-Sen!, May 13, 2008
Oligarchy's Modest Proposal, May 13, 2008
Shame on McCain, May 13, 2008
Jesus Endorsed by Galilean Fisherman's Union, May 13, 2008
Vote No on Judge Phill Kline, May 13, 2008
Comfort Level, May 13, 2008
People of all ages just want to move forward, May 13, 2008
What do the Stars and Stripes mean to me?, May 12, 2008
Raw Deal Fuels New Deal, May 12, 2008
Slow Motion Disasters: Just As Devastating, May 12, 2008
Give Civil Rights a Face, May 11, 2008
It's The War, Stupid, May 11, 2008
John Edwards for Vice President!, May 11, 2008
Gallup poll shows support for income re-distribution, May 11, 2008
Strangers and Bread, May 10, 2008
Spike Lee - Movie Maker and Activist, May 10, 2008
Why I Won't Tone Down My Crazy Feminism Stuff, May 9, 2008
Poverty, Wealth, Place: What's Our Collective Responsibility?, May 9, 2008
Judicial Appointments or Elections, May 9, 2008
Gratitude, Shock and Disappointment, May 9, 2008
Why McCain Can't Close the Deal, May 8, 2008
Some politics is local, May 8, 2008
The Character of Our People: Our Collective Ego, May 8, 2008
Premature, but Inevitable, May 7, 2008
IN and NC Set Precedents (or Presidents?), May 7, 2008
Breaking: Indiana Voters Turned Away, May 6, 2008
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors, May 6, 2008
A Dying Breed, May 6, 2008
A Better Deal, May 6, 2008
After some broken promises, DART comes through, May 6, 2008
BARACK ‘N the Indiana Vote - from Hays, KS, May 6, 2008
People Always Ask, May 6, 2008
Enough, Already, May 5, 2008
Hillary longs for the good ol’ days of cold war deterrence, May 5, 2008
The Beginning...., May 5, 2008
Arizona Faces the Facts, May 5, 2008
Electrocuted at Age 22, May 5, 2008
Feliz Cinco de Mayo!, May 5, 2008
Renewable Energy Hypocrisy, May 4, 2008
Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, by Ronald Sider, May 4, 2008
From little things, big things grow, May 4, 2008
Bush Struggles to Be Relevant, May 3, 2008
Death on the Job, May 3, 2008
Bill Moyers commentary on Jeremiah Wright, May 3, 2008
The capacity is in the community, May 2, 2008
Race in America, Part 6, May 2, 2008
Senator Obama and Reverend Wright, May 1, 2008

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