Archives for April 2012

There They Go Again…

Just when you thought they had all the various groups of vulnerable citizens adequately disenfranchised, the Republican Party decides to stick it to students as well (now, they are attempting to stick it to women and children instead. I’ll explain in a minute). How can these guys and gals possibly get re-elected? It’s a mystery to many thinking folks.… [Read more]

Producing the City, Producing Dissent

Radicals, said David Graeber, while holding a plastic Roman legion helmet (he just returned from an action protesting student debt), radicals have had a long unspoken pact with liberals: we incite, provoke, ask controversial questions, and liberals, now regarded as holding a more reasonable alternative to us, gain political power and enforce change. This, he went on to explain, is how political progress occurs: the Haymarket Affair was what pushed legislators to enact 8-hour workdays, it was factory occupations in the early 20th century which led to the rise of unions, and it is radical direct action which will turn the wheel of change now, in 2012.… [Read more]

Ann Romney Hangs Around to Cheer Up Cleaning Women

Ann Romney, wife of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, told a group of women last week (Apr. 23) how happy she is that there are so many mommies out there who have to work outside of the house.

“I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids.… [Read more]

Polio Vaccination in Third World – Savior or Killer?

For decades, polio vaccination in poor and underdeveloped countries has been presented as a message of hope for millions of children across the world who otherwise would risk contracting the paralyzing disease. However, there always have been concerns about the safety of this vaccine and cases of children paralyzed by this same vaccine have been reported off and on from various parts of the world.… [Read more]

Week in Review, April 29, 2012

We’re in an election year and people across the nation are stepping up to make their voices heard. Some are fighting for progressive change while others are simply hoping that the nation will not move backwards. Of course, unfortunately for those of us who are free-thinking liberals, there are too many among us who are fighting the war against time…and progress.… [Read more]

Rupert Murdoch: Apology NOT Accepted

Rupert Murdoch…you’ve been SUCH a busy man! Admitting to the Leveson Inquiry that there was a “cover up” at News of the World was a big deal for you. Saying that you were the “victim”?…well, that falls a wee bit short, don’t you think? That’s as laughable as Fox News saying that they report…NEWS.… [Read more]

The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Watching the landscape, or cityscape, pass by in the windows as music is playing too loudly in the background, and I sometimes feel like I’ve warped into a music-video world. It helps if the music is fast enough to keep time with the view, is catchy, but more obscure than pop (this isn’t about a sing-a-long), and bonus points for esoteric lyrics that require some level of reflection.… [Read more]

Making Your Money Matter — Part 3 of 4

This is part three of a four-part series on aligning your personal finances with your values.  Find parts one and two here. 

Okay, now we get to the fun stuff. And by “fun”, I mean “the part where you actually have to face your realities and how that may or may not be in line with what you think.”  Don’t be afraid; I’m here to hold your hand, and I promise I’ve heard it all before.… [Read more]

Toddlers and Tablets

I am an English teacher.

I have my degree in reading and writing.

I love words. Printed words. On paper.

I swore I would never ever get a Kindle or a Nook. Not me. I would always get real  books. And my kids? They would have a huge collection of actual books and they would love them.… [Read more]

One of These Things Does Not Belong — Group Mentality

Now, I know you loved Sesame Street just as much as I did. I still watch it to stay on the up and up with my letter learning. The tunes are quite catchy, aren’t they?  I really love the letter, “C.”  Cookie Monster, although people have tried to change him into what they want him to be, has stayed the same.… [Read more]

Rethinking the Four Year Degree

Education is going to be a hot button issue during this election cycle. The GOP will call President Obama an elitist for insisting the youth of America learn stuff. Liberals will yell that the real elitists are rich white kids who get into Harvard and Dartmouth on legacy merit alone while the poor and middle class try to compete.… [Read more]

False Security

Living in Utah, I never really paid much mind to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). After all, even if DOMA is repealed, my state defines marriage as “one man and one woman,” which is irony at its best since the very folks who demanded that amendment to our state’s constitution head into Mormon temples every day to perform spiritual polygamist marriages.… [Read more]

James’ War

The Confession:

I sometimes ask myself, “What the hell am I doing writing a ‘news’ column?” I’m just some guy, right? Just another opinion, just one more voice out of millions pushing and shoving through a fatally overcrowded mob scene, one more vulture scavenging for a bone to pick dry.

Just reading the news is an excruciating process for me.… [Read more]

Rumor Has It

“Questions have been raised…”

This is the phrase uttered by Megyn Kelly today on Fox News. “Questions have been raised ” about White House staffers in connection to the Colombian prostitution scandal. “Now Senators are asking more questions about the White House advance team’s possible involvement.”

Yes. Questions have been raised. By Fox News. Just pull up the website.… [Read more]

History Should Never Repeat

Last week, our 12 year-old son brought home a form for us to sign. His sixth grade social studies class was getting ready to study the Holocaust and the teacher wanted to make certain we knew what El Kiddo was in for.

As his father and I looked over the form, El Kiddo’s grandmother and I tried to engage him in conversation regarding what he knew about World War II.… [Read more]

Free Speech?

We’ve all heard, and probably said more than a time or two, “Talk is cheap!” or “Actions speak louder than words!”  Goodness knows on any given day in America you can hear someone crying “Free speech!” in defense of something better left unsaid, as they vigorously exercise their First Amendment right.

Yet despite the many channels we have through which our voices can be heard, speech is not literally free.  … [Read more]

Haatzmaut Bli Shalom….Independence Without Peace

After months of arguments in favor and opposing, pleas and petitions, November 29, 1947 the United  Nations voted to approve Resolution 181, the partition of a Jewish state and Arab state.  The vote was 33 in favor, 13 opposed and 10 abstentions.  Quite naturally the Resolution was rejected by the Arab nations, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Iran and others.… [Read more]

Talkin’ ’bout My Generation: Stop Bankrupting Our Future

On Wednesday, April 25th, the youth and students of America are taking action and sending a message to big banks and Wall Street: they need to stop destroying our climate and bankrupting our future. It is a nationwide day of action against both crippling student loan debt and Bank of America, the number one financier of the coal industry AND the number one fore closer on American homes.… [Read more]

Confessions of an Environmentalist: Why I Hate Earth Day

In a lot of ways, I feel the same way about Earth Day that I feel about Black History Month and Women’s History Month. These holidays are important for raising awareness about specific issues and creating a space to talk about them, until they become entrenched traditions and periods of time in which corporate PR takes over and we do little but pay lip service to an idea. … [Read more]

The Ass and His Purchaser

A Fable by Aesop

A man wished to purchase an ass, and agreed with its owner that he should try him before he bought him.  He took the ass home, and put him in the straw-yard with his other asses, upon which he left all the others, and joined himself at once to the most idle and the greatest eater of them all. [Read more]