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« June 2008 | Main | August 2008 »

Front Page » Monthly Archives » July 2008

By Sarah Burris on July 31, 2008

At a time when organizations across the country are focused on increasing voter registration, the Student Association for Voter Empowerment (SAVE) has worked hard to make sure that when those newly registered voters go to the polls, their votes will count.

Today the movement to protect our votes will take a giant leap forward when SAVE teamed up with Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois and Congresswoman Jan Shakowsky of Illinois and Congressman Steve LaTourette of Ohio present the Student VOTER Bill of 2008.

Read more from this post here ...

By Donald Betts on July 31, 2008

I am pleased to be back here to visit my friends on Everyday Citizen. As I speak to citizens all over the Fourth Congressional district in Kansas, I'm amazed at how people are ready to get involved and take a stand for our economic future.

Whether it be in towns like Howard, Sedan, and Eureka, or in cities like Wichita, people are ready for a change. Partisan bickering, political rhetoric and wedge issues have diverted us from our true mission. A mission that would enhance the quality of life for all Americans, by regenerating a vibrant economy that supports a proper healthcare and education system.

If we are to get away from our dependence on foreign oil, it is imperative that we work together to conserve, and create alternative energy sources for the future. T. Boone Pickens said it best: "We have walked into a trap." We must support alternatives like wind, natural gas, solar, and biofuels because we can not just dig our way out of this crisis. Our blank-check policy with foreign oil has driven us into an economic crisis. As the next Congressman for the 4th District of Kansas, I will work to create innovative ways that provide a balance to our energy needs.

The economic picture is particularly daunting for the everyday citizen. Big Oil's profits no longer border on the obscene. They ARE obscene!

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on July 31, 2008

I serve on the board of directors at Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, the non-profit organization that operates our city's new homeless assistance center, The Bridge. Last Thursday afternoon, I sat in a strategic planning committee session at The Bridge. We met in one of the new classrooms. One side of the room is almost all glass that provides a window onto the street just outside.

During our conversation, a woman walked down the sidewalk as she made her way to the front gate of the facility. She wore only a hospital patient gown with a matching outer robe, most likely just another bed gown creatively positioned to provide her at least a bit of modesty.

Identification and treatment wristbands still in place, she cradled a small box in her arms, no doubt containing some treasure she retrieved from her stay in the hospital. What I saw on her person was likely all that she owned in the world.

Read more from this post here ...

By Glenn Staab on July 31, 2008

I'm a little bit giddy. The Democratic National Convention is a little more than four weeks away and I can't wait! I will celebrate my 40th anniversary of being glued to the television watching speeches; some good, some not, and every once in awhile a masterful oration.

Since I don't like the speeches interrupted by idle chit chat, I usually watch alone. This is serious stuff going on. I do get a visitor from time-to-time, but they know talking is for breaks between speakers only; or they soon learn. No wonder my circle of friends is not very big around.

During the '96 convention, then State House candidate Eber Phelps was watching the convention with me. It was later in the evening for the headliners. I noticed he kept staring at the VCR. Finally, he looked over at me and asked, "Are you taping this?"

I replied that I did tape the conventions from the afternoon through the evening sessions. I explained that if there was a really, really good speech, I could watch it again. I then would watch the taped afternoon sessions which feature the non-headliners; and try to predict who would be the next Bill Clinton.

He looked at me and exclaimed, "I'm proud that you are my chair!"

Read more from this post here ...

By John Petty on July 31, 2008

Greta Vosper is pastor of West Hill United Church in Toronto, Canada. She has just written a book titled With or Without God. The National Post featured her in this article from May, 2008 in which she expresses doubt about, if not outright rejection of, the virgin birth, the resurrection, miracles, and sacraments, and says, "The story about Jesus as the symbol of everything that Christianity is will fade away."

That is exactly the wrong way to go. Let's tell the truth instead. Fact is: When Constantine made Christianity legal, the church went from being an alternative culture to being the center of culture. We went from being somewhat anti-establishment to being the establishment itself. It took courage to be a Christian in AD 280. It took courage not to be a Christian in AD 380.

Read more from this post here ...

By Gerald Britt on July 30, 2008

Balancing budgets on the backs of poor communities is fiscally unsound and invariably delays costs that come back around again.
The City of Dallas is facing a budget shortfall, just like most cities. The tendency, during times like this is to look for areas to trim the budget. That's understandable. The problem is that all too often budget cuts impact the most vulnerable citizens disproportionately.

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on July 30, 2008

Something happens when I stand beside or, better, in a stream. The farther away from civilization the better, although I've had the experience on streams rolling through towns and cities!

The river, the stream, the surroundings, the relative quiet, the imposed and delightful silence, the pesky fish, the wonderful fatigue of simply walking a stream for several hours -- all combine to drive home the truth that all of us are a part of the magnificent, mysterious whole.

Read more from this post here ...

By Sarah Burris on July 30, 2008

Right now T. Boone Pickens is in Topeka Kansas launching his Townhall program that discusses his plan to drastically reduce the $700 Billion dollars we spend on foreign oil. has graciously done a broadcast live, please check out below the jump...

Read more from this post here ...

By John Petty on July 30, 2008

Tim Kaine: He's the "hot item" du jour. Supposedly, he'd provide a boost in 50/50 Virginia, which is essential if Obama doesn't win Ohio. What's more, Kaine is the third most popular Democrat in the state!

Evan Bayh: Birch Bayh, yes! A man responsible for not one, but two amendments to the Constitution. His son, Evan, would have been on Hillary's list too. He's everybody's safe choice, and would help in normally Republican Indiana.

Kathleen Sebelius: Hillary's my first choice, but Sebelius would be my second. She's the darling of the Obama bloggers, some of whom see her selection as another way to diss the Clintons. Weird.

Joe Biden: My friends Jimmy and Eddie think he's a "great guy," and I admit that I was flattered when he used to flirt with my ex-wife prior to the Iowa caucuses back in the 80's. Still, it's hard for me to see what he brings to the ticket.

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on July 30, 2008

For the last year and a half, several of us have been advocating with and for our three DREAM Act students -- Monica, Jose, and Jesse. (To find out more, search for DREAM Act at this site, or read this, this, this, this, this, this, this, or this about Monica.)

As the three of them have gone through multiple deportation hearings, they have also taken their time to speak to groups of people, helped initiate the DREAM Act coalition, worked toward getting the word out about immigrants' rights, and even traveled to Washington D.C. to talk to their state Senators. They also attend college and work to help their families.

Recently, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson filed a private bill on their behalf. The Dallas Morning News wrote about it, which has now caught the attention of the national media.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on July 30, 2008

I hope people don't mind a plug. I'm having an art show this coming September in Gallery Saratoga in Saratoga, California. It'll be from September 2 to October 5. I'll have a reception on Saturday, September 6, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. If any of you are in the San Francisco Bay Area at this time, I'll be happy if you'd be able to see my art.

This year I did more ink drawings than paintings, and they'll be featured in my show. I do a weekly cartoon for a local California newspaper, the TriCity Voice, where I try to comment on what I see for a general audience.

I also put a more overtly political message in the cartoons that I've submitted for Z Magazine, a political magazine based in Boston. Each week I do cartoon of the Sunday readings for the Sunday bulletin of my church, St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Sunnyvale, California. If you like cartoons, you might enjoy my show...

Read more from this post here ...

By Ally Klimkoski on July 29, 2008

At a time when organizations across the country are focused on increasing voter registration, the lobbying and advocacy organization Student Association for Voter Empowerment (SAVE) has worked to make sure that when those newly registered voters go to the polls, their votes will count.

On July 25, SAVE held a jam-packed forum to discuss the representation of young people in the media. The forum, called Asserting the Youth Voice, had a panel that included Thomas Friedman, author of the best selling book The World Is Flat; Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent for The News Hour With Jim Lehrer; U.S. Congressman Joe Scarborough; Newsweek editor Eleanor Clift, and former white house press secretary Mike McCurry. According to a press release for the event...

Read more from this post here ...

By Gerald Britt on July 29, 2008

One other metaphor that encourages me when I think about the future of race, race relations and our country's ability to deal with these issues.

I was in Baltimore a few years ago at a meeting to talk about community organizing among African-American churches. There were about 30 plus Black pastors present. A bishop from the COGIC church (Church of God in Christ), told the story of an elderly church member who wanted to ride with him to a church service. He told her he would be glad to pick her up and on the day of the service he came to the woman’s house to pick her up.

The woman was dressed to go, but she was sitting in the house in tears. When he asked what was wrong, she told him her problem. She lived in a dangerous neighborhood. She had burglar bars on every window and every door in the house. She had a skylight in the living room and even that was covered with burglar bars! She was ready to go, but she couldn’t find the key to lock the burglar bar to the front door! She was locked in, even though the door was open.

In some way that is our country’s dilemma.

Read more from this post here ...

By Beth Boisvert on July 29, 2008

I ran across this AP article today and felt like giving the South Los Angeles City Council a round of applause. In short, they have placed a moratorium on the opening of new fast food restaurants in the area, hoping to give healthier restaurants and grocery stores an opportunity to step in.

Bravo! Studies have long shown that those living in economically poorer neighborhoods are much more obese than their middle or upper class counterparts. At first, this wouldn't make sense. If you have no money, you don't eat as much, so you'd be thinner, right? Well, in developing countries that may certainly be the case, but here in these United States, we've got these things called dollar menus, in which one can buy a whole meal for less than a tank of gas. Well, that's great for the poor, right? Cheap food is easier on the budget, no wonder poor neighborhoods are filled with fast food restaurants.

Oh, wait, one problem: the foods on those menus (and the majority of the foods these restaurants serve) aren't healthy. They're high in calories, high in fat and cholesterol, and low in nutritional value.

Opponents of the moratorium argue with this blanket conception.

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on July 29, 2008

"You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." Exodus 22:21
Here's a classic case of religious practice and the terms of "faithfulness" completely missing the point of life, justice, truth and, yes, common, human decency. This particular example comes from an Orthodox Jewish business. It could just as well have been a story connected to some Christian entrepreneur.

Did you see the story? It seems that immigration authorities raided a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa. and found lots to report. In fact, the raid provides a horrifying glimpse into the lives and struggles of undocumented immigrants who work long hours in terrible conditions.

Read more from this post here ...

By Gerald Britt on July 28, 2008

I am generally pretty hopeful about the plight of America with regard to the issues of race and poverty. Some may argue that I am being more naïve and Pollyannaish as opposed to hopeful. But what I know about history, the human drama and what I believe God shows us in that history and drama, is that ultimately we find a way to achieve measures of triumph in spite of the challenge.

Peoples and cultures live, thrive and pass off the scene, and at some point they are replaced by the glory and gore of new peoples and cultures who inherit and live by the legends and lore of those who have gone on.

Read more from this post here ...

By Stuart Elliott on July 27, 2008

I'm not sure if "hero" is the right word, but I've decided to start a weekly series featuring some of the political and intellectual giants of the American democratic left. (I may include some non-Americans such as George Orwell or Tommy Douglass who have had a profound lasting impact on the American democratic left.)

Norman Thomas is first up, partly because Rick Hertzberg recently blogged about him after neo-con David Frumm mistakenly called Thomas an "adamant isolationist."

Here's what Hertzberg wrote...

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on July 27, 2008

The last time I went to a drive-in movie was in 1979. We watched one of the Star Wars movies. Yep...quite a while ago.

They were going out of style then. But I think, on some level, they are coming back.

I saw the Ennis theater (Galaxy Drive In) on a late night trip back from Houston one night. All four screens were showing...a very cool scene from the window of a bus driving down the freeway. So, when my friend asked if I wanted to go, I couldn't wait!

We went early so we could get a good spot. The movie doesn't start until 9:00, but they play 50s music from the movie speakers and have a little putt-putt golf course to keep early patrons entertained.

Read more from this post here ...

By Stuart Elliott on July 26, 2008

In May of 2005, a 3-member subcommittee of the Kansas State Board of Education held hearings to determine whether Darwin's long-held Theory of Evolution should be challenged in public-school science curriculum. At stake was, in effect, the definition of science for Kansas schoolchildren.

Kansas vs. Darwin takes you inside the hearings to meet the characters who captured the world's attention: school board members who believe their literal interpretation of the Bible trumps modern scientific evidence, and members of the Intelligent Design Network who believe mainstream science is conspiring to suppress evidence that would overturn evolution. You'll also get face to face with an organization of Kansas scientists, educators, and citizens that organizes a worldwide response to put an end to what they see as a religiously-motivated kangaroo court.

Kansas vs. Darwin is a heady, absorbing swirl of politics, science, religion, education and emotion in which the filmmakers unflinchingly race from one, compelling point of view to its polar opposite in order to challenge the viewer's own opinions. Audiences may experience discomfort as they plunge to the heart of one of mankind's most central questions of existence - and to the epicenter of the American culture war.

Read more from this post here ...

By Gerald Britt on July 26, 2008

I support the DREAM Act (The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act). I believe it to be legislation that speaks to America's fundamental commitment to justice, fairness and compassion. Besides, it just makes sense!

As a minister for more than 30 years who believed his ministry would be spent almost entirely in and among the African-American community, I've found there the foundational lessons in leadership I would learn in the Black Church and community, seasoned by many different influences.

Read more from this post here ...

Earlier posts in this month:

Real Conspiracies, July 26, 2008
Don't Lose Heart, Just Yet, July 26, 2008
What can we learn from young people?, July 25, 2008
Bush on Economy: Wall Street Got Drunk, July 25, 2008
Recap: Netroots Nation With Video, July 25, 2008
We Should Never Forget, July 25, 2008
Make Voting Accessible in My County, July 25, 2008
Is This Raise Too Little Too Late?, July 24, 2008
KS-04: Donald Betts Jr. Liveblogs Future Majority, July 24, 2008
carPATbagger Roberts, July 24, 2008
It's Not All In Our Heads, July 23, 2008
Is Libby Dole the Most Out-of-Touch US Senator?, July 22, 2008
A Crisis Threatens the Health and Prosperity of Our Nation, July 21, 2008
So What's This All About?, July 21, 2008
Mutual Interview with Colin Delany, July 20, 2008
Guilty - Until Proven Innocent, July 20, 2008
The Sub-Prime Blues, July 20, 2008
Meet Everyday Citizen's Newest Author, Gerald Britt, July 20, 2008
Opening Doors To People, July 19, 2008
Can we really start that conversation if nobody's listening?, July 18, 2008
KS-Sen: NN08, Rural America, and Jim Slattery, July 18, 2008
Bayard Rustin - Activist and American, July 17, 2008
Reporting Live from Netroots Nation 2008, July 17, 2008
Community Bids Farewell to Jana Mackey, July 16, 2008
Economic Development Starts at the School House Door..., July 16, 2008
U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson Takes Up Good Cause, July 16, 2008
A Story From My World: People Getting 'Regular', July 16, 2008
An apology to my community, July 16, 2008
New Strategy for a New World, July 16, 2008
Our Mantra: Housing First, July 15, 2008
Over-working to make our lives easy, July 14, 2008
The Case for Genocide, July 14, 2008
KDP Files FEC Complaint Against Roberts, July 14, 2008
We have the power to make a difference, July 12, 2008
Jesse Helms: I’m going to sing ‘Dixie’ until she cries, July 12, 2008
The Time is NOW!, July 11, 2008
Let Our Congress Tweet, July 11, 2008
Work Supports Can Make a Critical Difference, July 11, 2008
Louisiana’s Assault on Science: Freedom of Ignorance, July 11, 2008
Jim Slattery: Why He's Running for the US Senate, July 11, 2008
Put one back in the Mennonite column, July 11, 2008
Union Vets Speak Out Against McCain, July 10, 2008
Where do you get your funding?, July 10, 2008
George Washington and the Freeing of His Slaves, July 9, 2008
Live in Dallas? Action needed!, July 9, 2008
Punished for Crimes You Didn't Commit, July 8, 2008
The Frog Theory and Politics, July 7, 2008
Allowing for the music, July 7, 2008
Community Stunned by Murder of Young Activist, July 7, 2008
The 'Group Think' of Debt, July 6, 2008
Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln and America's Capacity to Grow, July 6, 2008
This much we pledge, July 6, 2008
Our Freedom, Constitution, National Anthem and Flag, July 5, 2008
Long Live the Memory of Jana Mackey, July 4, 2008
America, the Beautiful, July 4, 2008
Thoughts For This Independence Day, July 4, 2008
McCain Wants More 'Liberal Economics' For Latin America, July 4, 2008
Discovering Young Voters, Part 5, July 3, 2008
Obama On Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, July 3, 2008
Discovering Young Voters, Part 4, July 2, 2008
Thomas Hart Benton - An American Artist, July 2, 2008
Senator Obama, Lies and the Constitution, July 2, 2008
One Day: Commitment to Peace, July 2, 2008
New life begins, a great one ends, July 2, 2008
Upclose Activism, July 1, 2008
Citizens Deserve Explanation for Ron Thornburgh's Actions, July 1, 2008
Sam Merten: Hunting Down the Garbage, July 1, 2008
Discovering Young Voters, Part 3, July 1, 2008
Don't Betray Yourself Barack!!!, July 1, 2008

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