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« February 2010 | Main | April 2010 »

Front Page » Monthly Archives » March 2010

By Tatiana McKinney on March 31, 2010

According to, "Last night, David Letterman interviewed Tea Partier Pam Stout, who has some interesting ideas about Obama's "documentation," Glenn Beck, and, for a little blast from the past, weapons of mass destruction."

Read more from this post here ...

By Isaac Robinson on March 30, 2010

Democracy Matters sound like a group more people should know about.

Charlie Cavell, an 18 year old Wayne State Student from Detroit (originally from Ann Arbor), first told me about the group a few months ago at Franklin Wright Settlements on Detroit's Eastside at a Detroit Charter Commission meeting in the dead of winter. I recruited him to join YDA. He is now working with Jina Sawani on the Ann Arbor Young Dems. He started to pitch Democracy Matters.

Not very often do you see an 18 year old at local governmental meetings. My late mentor Marty Slobin headed the Northwest Detroit Teen Dems in 1960 at the age of 16 or so. I find it very interesting when folks that young are engaged in the political process at high levels. At 18, I was more interested in playing basketball.

Read more from this post here ...

By Bob Hooper on March 29, 2010

His name was Floyd, but everybody called him Smoke. He was legendary--in his day the strongest man in town.

1965. Not yet sun-up, maybe 7:30. Foggy. Walking the couple of blocks from home to Bogue High School where I then teach English and journalism. Across the street from Elsie's Cafe comes the quavery voice.

"Bob...Bob!" Leaning against an old Chevy pickup, he waves. I cross over. Smoke is fighting for air.

"Bob. You mind...going.....Elsie's. Get me... packa Winstons?" I smoked then, too. Maybe that's why I obliged.

Not long after Smoke died, I watched my neighbor Vera come out, sit down on her front porch, choking and coughing, and slowly, sadly, suck in the smoke. Thin, gray as a ghost, she maybe got temporary relief. I dunno. They both died from tobacco addiction. But that wasn't on the death certificate, I'm sure.

As a high school sophomore, I remember how my grandfather Steve Stone lived his last few months with us before lung cancer got him. My mother was what then was called a "practical nurse" -- no degree but a big heart. Granddad had paid so many medical bills he was broke. He was proud, too. Didn't want us fussin' over him. We burned his mattress after he died. I don't know exactly why.

Read more from this post here ...

By Jenifer Daniels on March 29, 2010

What's the big deal about returning your census form? Everything.

The past few days I've been glued to my netbook. My husband has looked on, perplexed, as I go from computer to cell phone back to my computer.

My mom, however, well she is ecstatic. It seems as if I've picked up one her personal attributes - curiosity.

What has my 3 year old begging me to get off the 'puter and play with her'?

The census. That's right, the census.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on March 29, 2010

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By Janet Morrison on March 28, 2010

I went to dinner with one of the college students last night. Now that she's in college, we go to dinner every once in a while to talk and catch up. As she has continued in college, she has found that, unfortunately, most of her friends from high school did not. Though she keeps up with some of them, most have babies now and she doesn't feel like she has a lot of similar interests. I am so impressed with her determination to persevere on her own. She often feels like the lone rider on her trek to graduate from college.

I am in awe of her hard work. Not only does she commute an hour back and forth to Denton each day to attend school at UNT, she also works with her mom cleaning houses and mentoring her brothers and sister. She's the oldest. She wants to ensure her siblings move in the right direction as well so despite her exhaustion, she makes sure to help them with homework, talk to them about college, and help the oldest brother try to figure out what he wants to be and encourage him to find a direction after high school.

Read more from this post here ...

By Weeden Nichols on March 27, 2010

It may seem odd to review a film that is 50 years old; however, the fact that it remains on my mind may be a good enough reason. The first time I saw this film was 39 years ago, and I have been haunted ever since by the image of what may be the most remarkable dramatic/tragic performance in Alec Guinness’ entire remarkable career. I must say, before I really immerse myself in the review, that the first time I saw the film, I was largely in sympathy with Major (Acting Lieutenant Colonel) Jock Sinclair, as played by Alec Guinness. That may have been projection based upon my own military history and experience. The second time I saw the film, about twelve years ago, I was much more sympathetic to the character of Lieutenant Colonel Basil Barrow, as played by John Mills. Two years ago, when I ordered the film on DVD from NetFlix and viewed it again carefully, I saw the entire unwinding of the plot as an inevitability resulting from the personalities, styles, and histories of these two characters, plus the circumstances of the battalion and the time-frame.

Read more from this post here ...

By John Atlas on March 25, 2010

(Co-authored with Peter Dreier)

The New York Times hit ACORN with a one-two punch last weekend, making sure that the community organizing group -- flattened by attacks from the right and withdrawal of funding from liberal foundations -- stays knocked out. Both articles -- Ian Urbana's Saturday story, "Acorn on Brink of Bankruptcy, Officials Say" and public editor Clark Hoyt's Sunday column, "The Acorn Sting Revisited" -- reflect the paper's obsession with being so even-handed that the truth gets lost.

Both pieces reported conservative allegations against ACORN as if they were true, without seeking to verify them. Yet since 2008 the paper has consistently ignored ACORN's community organizing successes while focusing on its enemies' accusations, belying its reputation as a "liberal" newspaper

This reflects the Times' more general failure to cover grassroots organizing, except when groups engage in protest or otherwise disrupt business-as-usual.

Read more from this post here ...

By James Bordonaro on March 24, 2010

Senator Chris Dodd (Dem. CT) has recently said that he plans to proceed to bring his own legislation to the Senate for to reform the financial oversight system. Dodd, who is chairman of the Senate's Banking Committee, has come to the conclusion that the Republican members of the Committee are not serious about changing the way the government regulates large banks, hedge funds and various other investment companies.

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on March 23, 2010

I absolutely LOVE being around kids...well, during certain moments. :) ...and today was one of those moments.

I went downstairs to the After-School Academy to get some footage of the mural the kids designed, drew, and are now painting. (I'll put it together in a post soon). As I stood watching three of the kids paint, one of the other kids stood beside me. Quite honestly, I wasn't paying him any attention whatsoever. I was focused on the mural painting for one, but I've also learned to ignore his antics at times when he decides to act out. So I guess I was unconsciously tuning him out.

Read more from this post here ...

By Anna Lambertson on March 21, 2010

While life distracted me, February and March offered a myriad of opportunities to talk about women’s issues.

International Women’s Day was observed on March 8th, a Colorado bill ending gender discrimination in health insurance rates moved into the Senate after passing the House with only 2 “no” votes, and Half the Sky, a national simulcast event, placed a well-deserved spotlight on heroes who are fighting abusive practices against women around the world.

It’s a nice way to shepherd in the spring. But distractions or no distractions, this post is late.

Well, better late than never.

Read more from this post here ...

By Diane Wahto on March 20, 2010

Pres. Barack Obama: “[I] support the school board’s decision to dismiss the faculty and staff members.” New York Times, March 1, 2010.

Diane Ravitch, professor of education, New York University: "In choosing his education agenda, President Obama sided with the economists and the corporate-style reformers." Washington Post, Feb. 26, 2010.

I once “fired” myself from a teaching job. Actually, I quit the job, but if I had been the supervisor of the school, I would have fired myself. In Michigan in the ‘60s, a person who had completed his or her sophomore year of college could get a certificate to substitute teach. I did this for a year in Decatur, a small town a few miles from Kalamazoo. During the summer, a woman called to ask me to teach at a one-room country school. She said the school took students grades K-8 and the student population was low. Later I found out the school, which was not certified by the state board of education, was run by a bunch of rural parents who didn’t want to send their students to the Decatur schools.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on March 19, 2010

Last November the Sunnyvale Art Gallery opened in Sunnyvale, California, at 251 W El Camino Real. It was a culmination of a year of hard work. The gallery is owned by the Kimm family and they have combined a gallery, a flower shop, a sandwich shop and an art supply store. Sue Kim, one of the owners, is an accomplished oil painter of portraits, and takes classes in San Francisco. She is also a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and allowed them to be a part of the gallery's first ever show, to celebrate the club's 50th year of existence. As can be seen in various reviews in Yelp the gallery and cafe have been enthusiastically received by the local populace. The gallery is a showcase for many local artists and art organizations in the Sunnyvale area, and represents a thriving local art scene in the Silicon Valley.

Read more from this post here ...

By Danielle Lee on March 18, 2010

Whenever a news source or blog community claims to be a go-to source of information for African-American audiences, I take a quick look at the tabs or regular feature titles and I always find one major subject area lacking: Science.

To be fair, science coverage across all media outlets has been severely cut back. However, long before the threat of extinction of print media, Black Newspapers and Magazines didn't have much to offer in the area of science coverage. And when online media became more popular, the trend didn't change. Where's the science? Other than the occasional Black health update and the annual Black History Month profile articles, Black periodicals do not feature science news. The lone exception is if the article has a Black angle, in other words, if the article can be tied directly to issues that identify with the African-American community, such as disparity statistics or African-American firsts.

Read more from this post here ...

By Tatiana McKinney on March 18, 2010

According to Barrie Examiner, "In 2010, tuberculosis (TB) is one of the leading infectious killers of women around the world, taking the lives of 1.8 million people per year. About 4.9 million lives have been saved since 2001 through the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and malaria with help from donor countries like Canada. "

Population growth, the HIV epidemic, increasing poverty and rising levels of drug resistance will inevitably increase the burden of this disease in women. Women are at increased risk of progression to disease during their reproductive years. However, in most low-income countries, twice as many men are notified with tuberculosis as women, reports PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Read more from this post here ...

By Ken Poland on March 14, 2010

Is that what Supreme Court Justice Thomas is indicating when he never asks questions at a hearing? Is it time to question the integrity of the court and lifetime appointment of the judges? Where do these judges come from? They usually come up through the ranks, starting from our local courts. I have an example of where they come from.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on March 14, 2010

Last Saturday I volunteered to do a phone bank for the group Organizing for America to help in Barack Obama's efforts to pass his health care reform bill. These past few months I've grown passionate about getting this health care reform bill passed, as I've seen friends and family members lose jobs and struggle with their health care. A recent March 6, 2010 editorial of the New York Times makes a strong argument for the passing for the bill, noting how it'll help 30 million people who are at present uninsured. The same paper has a graphic that shows the 20 times since 1980 that the reconcilation process has been used, as the Democrats may use that tactic to avoid a possible Republican filibuster. To support Obama and the Democrats in their efforts to pass this bill, supporters of health care reform should contact their Senators and Representatives, to show that many voters in their area support such a measure. To contact your Senator or Congressman, you can click the links to find your Representative or your Senator.

Read more from this post here ...

By Tatiana McKinney on March 13, 2010

According to CNN, "Basma al-Khateeb, of the Iraqi Women's Network, said it was vital for Iraqi legislators of both genders to defend the Iraqi "Law of Personal Status," which protects women and families, and limits the influence of religious courts."

"It's considered one of the most advanced family laws in the region. It's based on Sharia law, but takes the best (of it) for the benefit of women and family," she told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on International Women's Day
Women's rights has been a hard fight for Iraqi women. Many are tortured, raped, and beaten because of religious beliefs. The new parliament is a vital part of their survival and freedom.
Al-Khateeb said the 25 percent quota was a "double-edged sword" for women because political parties choose candidates who are not trained or outspoken, and who will do as they are told.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on March 13, 2010

A few weeks ago President Obama had a health care reform conference with Democrats and Republicans to try to reach a bipartisan consensus on a health care reform bill. From what I read and what I watched on youtube, some interesting debates occurred between the participants, but no real consensus was formed. I personally think that a lack of consensus was reached because the idealogical gap between conservative Republicans and moderate and liberal Democrats is just too great for there to be much compromise. The Republicans in Congress right now have too strong a belief in the ability of the markets to resolve major national issues to jibe with the Democrats belief in the government's role in curbing the worst excesses of a market economy. I strongly support the efforts of President Obama and the Democrats to pass the health care reform bill, and support their tactic of using the legislative maneuver of reconciliation to achieve it. Though partisan politics have always been a part of the United States history, why have so few Republicans crossed party lines to work with Democrats in an important national issue? To find the solution, I think one needs to look at the history of the Republican Party and the rise and fall of the Progressive Republican within its ranks.

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on March 13, 2010

Getting out of the office is always the best thing I do. It's not the most productive in terms of what needs to get crossed off my to do list, but it oftentimes feels way more productive and beneficial than checking off the list of things I need to do for work.

So, I was happy to show off our programs on a tour. Guests are always impressed by the way all of our youth greet with a formal handshake, eye contact, and, "How are you today?" Because we expect the kids to greet every new person they see, it also challenges me to do the same. So, as we toured, I introduced myself to an adult who walked in.

She introduced herself as Rose Martin, David's mother. I knew immediately who she was talking about. David will be 6 years old next month. He is enrolled in the After-School Academy. I hear funny stories about David all the time because he answers with incessant stream of consciousness when you ask him a question. His stream of consciousness talking makes you think his brain is working so much faster than he can tell you, but he's going to keep talking until he gets his point across. Though David talks a lot, his verbal skills are not that great. He is a little difficult to understand. However, like just about any person, when you listen long enough, you begin to understand everything he says.

Read more from this post here ...

Earlier posts in this month:

District of Columbia has the World's First Female Football Coach, March 12, 2010
Words, March 10, 2010
Bishops Are Running the Health Care Reform Show, March 10, 2010
Making Hamburger of Denier Bull, March 10, 2010
Engaged parents, March 10, 2010
Fallen Fly Girl Finally Honored: Congressional Gold Medal, March 8, 2010
Split This Rock: Washington DC Festival of Poetry, Activism, March 7, 2010
Republican Donors Dissed By Their Own Party, March 7, 2010
The Coalition For Clean and Safe Ports, March 5, 2010
Women in Middle East Win More Rights; Obstacles Still Remain!, March 4, 2010
Small Newspapers, Newsletters, and Alternative Papers, March 4, 2010
Which Inequalities Will Society Tolerate?, March 3, 2010
U.N. Examines Progress, Challenges in Women Empowerment!, March 3, 2010
After the Bell: Roseland Jr. Reporters, March 3, 2010
Anti-Choicer Releases Undercover Planned Parenthood Video, March 2, 2010
Turning the tables, March 2, 2010
More: Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care, March 1, 2010
For Those Who Would Change the Wind, March 1, 2010
Healthcare Summit: Rep. Slaughter Represents Women Everywhere!, March 1, 2010
What Is Torture?, March 1, 2010

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