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« May 2011 | Main | July 2011 »

Front Page » Monthly Archives » June 2011

By Stuart Elliott on June 25, 2011

The AFL-CIO has a new, informative, clever website on Collective Bargaining. It features three entertaining, funny videos by director/writer Negin Farsad, producer Justin Krebs, writer Lee Camp and punchup artist Katie Halper of Vaguely Qualified productions. Here's the first one. They use humor to show why workers need collective bargaining.

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on June 24, 2011

Frederick Douglass is best known as an abolitionist and a champion of African American rights. One of the most compelling orators of the nineteenth century, Douglass delivered countless abolitionist speeches and civil rights speeches to defend the African American community from slavery, discrimination and lynching. Frederick Douglass, though, did not fight for only the rights of African Americans. He fought for the human rights of all groups that he saw as being harassed or discriminated against and he involved himself in the great reform movements of his time. Douglass participated in the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls in 1848 and signed the Declaration of Sentiments. He supported the labor movement, the temperance movement, and he fought against peonage. One of the little known facts about Frederick Douglass is his advocacy of equal rights for immigrants, especially Chinese laborers. In the book Ripples Of Hope: Great American Civil Rights Speeches edited by Josh Gottheimer, I found a speech that Douglass made on December 7, 1869 attacking the discrimination and violence that Chinese immigrants were facing. In light of the controversy over immigrant rights today, we could draw lessons from Frederick Douglass's speech.

Read more from this post here ...

By Diane Wahto on June 14, 2011

In the 1960s, during the heat of the civil rights, student rights and anti-war movements, women, both black and white, found themselves relegated to the domestic side of leftist activism. Much to the surprise and disgust of leftist activist women, left-wing males let movement women know that their role was to cook, clean, make the coffee, and make themselves available for sex whenever the men wanted it. Author Gail Collins covers this issue in her book, When Everything Changed, an overview of the women’s movement during the last fifty years.

Not every man treated every woman as a subservient being, but the treatment was widespread enough that many women finally decided to form their own movement groups, giving birth to the Second Wave of the women’s liberation movement.

Read more from this post here ...

By Weeden Nichols on June 7, 2011

During my military career, I discovered some things about myself. Though descended from warriors, I discovered that I was not (and am not) a warrior. I discovered also that I had no taste for military undertakings that were not truly a part of defense. (Many military efforts are represented as defense but, seemingly, are really something else.) At any rate, I decided to be a soldier as a small child, during World War II. Even though I honestly cannot qualify as a warrior, I believe my service was valuable to the United States of America. I did not enter upon a military career for the retirement benefits, but certain promises were made to me nevertheless. One of these was free medical care for myself and my spouse for the rest of our lives following my retirement. Any dependent children would have been included also (my children are middle-aged, and no longer dependent). A few years ago, it was required that my wife and I subscribe to Medicare Part B, in order to receive medical care (a couple hundred dollars a month -- no longer free). Now it is proposed that the earned benefits of military retirement, particularly health care, be reduced again. Any who served for the benefits alone should be sorely disappointed. In my case, I still have the satisfaction of having served, and I am not surprised at broken promises.

By James Bordonaro on June 6, 2011

Congressman Anthony Weiner has finally admitted that he sent an inappropriate sexual photo to a supporter via Twitter after having lied to the media about having his Twitter account hacked. His situation is similar to former Republican Congressman Chris Lee (also from New York) who resigned after sending a shirtless photo to a prospective date on Craigslist.

This is not a quid pro quo. Weiner should resign regardless of Lee's problems. Although he has now admitted his indiscretions, he must be held to a very high standard and should resign.

By Angelo Lopez on June 3, 2011

Alexander Hamilton has always been the one Founding Father that I didn't like. There are many reasons for this. Two of my favorite Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, couldn't stand Hamilton. Though I am to the left of the political spectrum, I've always felt that some of the Left's criticism of the Founding Fathers are unfair. The criticism of the Left that the Founding Father's were capitalistic and imperialistic seems to apply though to Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton was a supporter of a strong professional military and championed the North's merchant class, stock markets and a central banking system. While reading Ron Chernow's book Alexander Hamilton, though, I found out that Hamilton was a strong advocate for the abolition of slavery. During the 1780s, Hamilton was one of the founders of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, which was instrumental in the abolition of slavery in the state of New York. After reading about Alexander Hamilton's work for the New York Manumission Society, I gained a greater appreciation of Alexander Hamilton.

Alexander Hamilton was born in Nevis in the British West Indies in 1757, the illegitimate child of common-in-law couple James and Rachel Hamilton. James abandoned the family when Alexander was ten, and two years later, his mother Rachel died from an unspecified disease. After his mother died, Alexander Hamilton and his brother James were brought under the legal guardianship of their cousin Peter Lytton, who unfortunately committed suicide. During this chaotic childhood, Alexander Hamilton lived in poverty and was a social outcast due to his illegitimate birth. His intelligence was noticed though, and he soon lived with a respected merchant, Thomas Stevens and his wife, Ann.

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