Archives for May 2012

Wrap it Up: Week in Review, May 27, 2012

Pragmatism and reason: two of my favourite words. Perhaps that’s because things that are so rare end up capturing a place that deserves special attention?…and those things do seem to be rare in politics these days. So what’s directing my attention today to those words? Well, as a sign of hope, we’ve seen that some places are trying to employ reason and pragmatism; it’s a matter of making progress.… [Read more]

Bob Page: Doing What’s Right

Bob Page is the the courageous founder of Replacements Limited, the world’s largest dealer in new and used china and silverware. Mr. Page’s company is losing business…because he publicly supported gay rights and, specifically, marriage equality in opposition to North Carolina’s Amendment 1. He is proof that although standing up for equality may come at a price, it’s the right thing to do.… [Read more]

Garden Party

A throwback song for progressives and liberals:

“Well, it’s alright now…

I learned my lesson well.

You can’t please everyone so you

Gotta please yourself.”

          ~ Ricky Nelson, Garden Party… [Read more]

Mid-Year Tax Update

Okay, so it’s not quite mid-year yet, but with the second quarter coming to a close, it’s time to start thinking about taxes (if you ever stopped).  Here are some tips to ensure that your tax bill is right where you want it to be next April.… [Read more]

Must Be Nice…

The #1 response I get when I tell people I am a teacher is, “It must be nice.  You get your summers off.”

And that is from polite people.

Less socially tactful people (like my grandpa) tend to lean more toward this response: “It must be nice to work only 9 months of the year.”

After 10 years in the biz, I now just reply with “yup.” or when I am feeling sassy with “that would be nice!”

But it used to make me hopping mad.… [Read more]

Wanna Get Outta Here?

It’s Memorial Day weekend. You live in a city, sold your car because it’s useless in urban life, and prefer to utilize public transportation because it has become a way of life. You want to go to a beach, but you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on getting there. Instead, you decide to research cheap options of getting out of a concrete jungle to decompress.… [Read more]

When It Comes to the Markets, Welcome to Bizarroland

The U.S. economy is a funny thing. It’s even funnier during a presidential election year. Ultimately, regardless of the true health of financial indicators, every four years it’s about the economy, stupid. And stupid is as stupid does. With that, I bring you Meg Whitman, the Stock Market, and Mitt Romney.

Yesterday, Hewlett Packard (HP) CEO Meg Whitman put a plan in motion to cut 27,000 jobs from her company.… [Read more]

Say Anything

“I’ll CUT the DEFICIT!” The words scream down from a billboard along I-15 in a rural part of the county north of me. I’ve seen it several times in the last few months during my drives from one end of the state to the other. The dude smiling in the picture isn’t even running for Congress anymore, so I guess maybe he was running a deficit of his own with regard to campaign finance.… [Read more]

Stumped, Part Four: Living In The Aftermath

So here we are, the grand finale of my little saga of pissing and moaning about how sick and mean and cruel our schools are. Reading back on the previous three installments, I sometimes cringed; I sounded petulant, whiny, brash in that sophomoric know-it-all way that many 15-to-21 year-olds are before they get tossed feet-first out of their little adolescent test tubes and get their asses kicked by real life.… [Read more]

Can You Hear?

This “In the Spotlight” post features writer, singer and guitarist Terry Sherven. The song, “Can You Hear,” was written with the Arab Spring, Wisconsin protests and Occupy movement in mind. Terry has toured all of the major Occupy sites in the Northwest — singing this song in the streets, protestors singing along with him.… [Read more]

Alabama, The Beautiful

I spent most of last week in Alabama, my home state. And I think, somewhere along the way, I began a love affair with it.

As y’all know, I’m hard on the South, particularly because I grew up in Alabama and, because, in a way, I guess I grew out of Alabama. As I write this now, I understand that in the process, I lost some appreciation for what Alabama has meant to me.… [Read more]

In Defense of Reason Part 3: A Parable in the Mouth of Fools

On April 26, 2012 Charles Taylor, the 64-year-old former president of Liberia, was convicted of war crimes by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), making his trial the first time a former head of state has been prosecuted in a court of law since the aftermath of World War II. Specifically, Taylor was found guilty of aiding and abetting the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) during Sierra Leone’s Civil War from 1991 to 2002.… [Read more]

The Land That Eats Its People

In Israel we have a saying, “ha eretz sheh okalet yoshvah:” the land that eats its people. Indeed, the cost of living in Israel is exorbitant. Rental prices are comparable to those in New York. Gasoline is almost $8.00/gallon. The cost of heating one’s home in the winter can be as high as $400/month and the cost of electricity steadily rises, this year by 6.6 percent.… [Read more]

Un-Occupied Chicago

It’s finally over in Chicago:  No more NATO summit, no more Occupy protesters. I breathed a sigh of relief today as I realized Chicago was Un-Occupied. Sunday, protesters clashed with Chicago cops, refusing to disperse a few blocks west of McCormick Place. A few injuries and some arrests later (worn like a badge of honor, I’m sure), and immediately we saw Facebook… [Read more]

In the Shadow of the American Dream, part 2

This is part two of my interview with Daniella P, a woman living and working in the United States without proper legal documentation, in the Shadows of The American Dream.

MI:  How did the events of 9/11 affect your chances of obtaining legal authorization to live and work in the U.S?

DP:  My family and I were in line for ten years, our petition for residency was done June of 1995.… [Read more]

Today’s WTF moment: US Selling Drones to Iraq

In one of this week’s top bad ideas, the U.S. is selling unarmed surveillance drones to Iraq. Let me list the reasons why this is something we should not do.

1. Drone use is ethically questionable to start with, and there isn’t much of a step, technologically-speaking, from surveillance drones to the ones used for warfare. … [Read more]

Madame Lazonga Speaks

Prediction is a hazardous occupation. The past is littered with the mangled corpses of dead predictions – some accurate, but most not. Wildly wrong, even (I’m thinking about the Rapture…). So why would anyone want to try to predict anything at all? I think there’s something hard-wired into our DNA, something that makes us want to control the world around us, both the present and the future.… [Read more]

Sleeping Your Way to Health

Ever heard the phrase ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead?’  Well, the reality is that the lack of sleep will bring death to one’s door sooner than one may think. Across the United States, it’s evident that American culture has been blessed by its ingenuity and determination to pursue goals, dreams and careers. However it has also been plagued by this drive, which forces one to sacrifice… [Read more]

Good Grief, Mitt, What Planet Are You From?

As election day draws closer, here’s something to consider. Rightfully so, we’ve pounced on Mitt Romney’s character (or lack thereof); his inability to remember the Lord of the Flies style bullying incident in which he was the ringleader; the fact that he’s incredibly phony and boring; and his Etch-A-Sketching being indicative of his unquenchable thirst for power — but what about this: What if he truly believes what he says?… [Read more]

Meg Whitman: Job Creator?

When Meg Whitman ran for governor of California in 2010, she did so on a platform of cutting red tape and improving efficiency; it was, after all, the way to “create jobs.” After all, we all know that one can run a government just like a corporation, right? We get it; eliminating obstacles that get in the way of improving an organisation’s operational efficiency is important towards growing the company but, Ms.[Read more]