Just how bad is Chris Christie?

Why wouldn’t wealthy conservatives love Chris Christie? He zealously protects their interests: keep the poor working without perks and benefits for the benefit and comfort of the wealthy. Eradicate environmental friendly laws that put more value on people’s health than on businesses dumping toxic waste in communities where people live or incinerating it into their air supply; on developing projects that deplete, or destroy, natural resources which are everyone’s concern and responsibility, or pollute beyond imagination the land they occupy. Get the most money possible away from the public school system because an educated customer is not the most easily manipulated consumer or citizen. Raise transportation costs so high people need to work longer hours just to pay the cost of traveling to and from work. Fierce political competition? No problem, just beat them with a bat, call them names, or arrest them! read more

Early Lessons In Justice and Economics – at Foodtown

When I was a pretty young kid growing up in Englewood, New Jersey, Foodtown supermarket was the store that my mom used one day to teach me about a few important life issues. Mom always kept a shopping list going in the kitchen. One of the times her list had gotten pretty long and we were out running other errands in town, Mom stopped by the Foodtown which was located about a mile from our home and asked me to run in and purchase a couple of items for her. “I forgot there was a grocery store so near our home, Mom. We always shop somewhere else. Why don’t you park and we can go buy all of the items on your list?” I wanted to know. read more

What Is “Jim Crow”?

In 1829, Jim Crow was both the name of a song and the name of a satirized character written and portrayed on stage by Thomas Dartmouth “Daddy” Rice, who used blackface makeup to darken his skin in order to parody a Black man in this role. Later, Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965 (Wikipedia). They mandated de jure racial segregation in all public facilities. Ferris State University’s Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia explains, read more

‘Barbershop Punk’ documentary explains Net Neutrality and issues

Michelle Maisto of Connected Planet writes,

“Barbershop Punk,” a David-and-Goliath style documentary about Net Neutrality and citizen’s rights to the Internet has been touring the film festival scene and on Friday night — a day after the Senate voted to strike down a move to block the FCC’s net neutrality rules . . . Small audience by small audience, the film — which includes interviews with Henry Rollins, OK Go’s Damian Kulash, Clinton White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry and FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, among others — is educating viewers . . . read more

Colored Troop Reenactors Escort Occupy Through Trenton

At 5:00pm today Revolutionary War Reenactors will meet Occupy Wall Street Protestors who are marching from NYC to Washington DC and escort them through Trenton, New Jersey’s capital. The Occupiers will follow Route 206 out of Princeton.

16 year old Ari Wei of Fair Lawn, NJ joined the 6th US Colored Troops/1st Rhode Island Revolutionary War Regiment last spring and is one of the individuals who will escort the Occupiers. Ari says, “Joining with Occupy Wall Street as a colored troop reenactor is an exciting experience. Two of my passions – history and social justice – will come together today. Good thing my school is closed for a teacher’s conference so I can participate without having to play hooky.” read more

People of Color and Occupy Wall Street

Articles and comments on the People of Color Organize website share excellent perspectives on the issue of liberals disenfranchising non-whites from the progressive movement. At the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance meeting in Newark yesterday I was discussing this very same phenomenon.

. . . some communities of color are rightly suspicious of white left activist initiatives. Some whites react with defensiveness or, worse, as if they are at liberty to just ignore criticism because (they regard what they do) as more essential to the world than what disenfranchised people think (or do). read more

Columbus Day Not for Celebrating

I find it curious that a couple of Chinese language and culture schools with a large population of K-12 students with parents from Taiwan, plan to march in a Columbus Day Parade. Those who grew up in a community dominated by ongoing dialogue about social justice and the inaccuracies of history taught in school about the development of North American society, look upon Columbus Day as a day of mourning, and not celebration. The “settling” by Europeans of this region began the end for American people who had lived and loved this land for a long time before supposedly civilized people arrived to slaughter them by means both subtle and direct and to plunder the once abundant land and resources the indigenous people had been sustained by, and had protected, for as long as their people could remember. read more

Use It or Lose It: The Right to Observe

Veryshortlist.com, a reviewer of the short Stand Your Ground filmed in London, expresses concern over, “the privatization of our public spaces,” which is a growing issue in the United States as well – even if it doesn’t trouble citizens even half as much as it ought to. Meeting up with each other in semi-public spaces with “free wifi” such as Starbucks, restaurants and shopping malls provides us with the illusion that we’re free to meet when and where we want but in reality, this is far from true. At one NY Starbucks I was recently told, “If you want to use the occupy a space at the counter, you’re going to need to consume something,” (as if I wasn’t already consuming – oxygen, for starters), but the barista meant, “You need to buy something we sell.” read more

Obama’s Positive Accomplishments

I’m an openly enthusiastic fan of Obama. If you’re one of those people thinking that our president doesn’t deserve admiration, maybe an item from the list below will change your opinion. And if you’re a fellow Obama fan, enjoy the read! (I’ll be updating this list)

A Columbia University historian says this about the 111th Congress: “This is probably the most productive session of Congress since at least the ‘60s,” said Alan Brinkley, a historian at New York’s Columbia University. “It’s all the more impressive given how polarized the Congress has been.” “See for yourself, what is only a partial list of nearly 400 pieces of legislation that became law out of the 111th Congress” FB Page: “Things Obama has done…” Major Accomplishments of Barack Obama (a @StCyrlyMe2 find.) I love this format: the list is broken up into categories and every one can be expanded to give you a brief synopsis of the type of change Obama made happen. Click on the link (or several links) supplied for each entry to see the official public information page or news article where verification of the change can be viewed. What a fabulous way of presenting this information!

Obamaachievements.org read more

Christie Claims Budget Cuts Backpedalling As Increases

Republicans are masters of brainwashing.

Christie’s claiming $850 in “new aid” to schools but the reality is that the $850 million allocated includes $820 million Christie’s first budget draft took away from New Jersey schools. This is how Christie math works:

Christie ignored a state Supreme Court ruling from last May calling for $500 million more for the state’s neediest school districts. After restoring $820 million of funds he himself cut in his original budget proposal, Christie’s present budget added only $30 million of school aid: he must still add $470 million to comply with Supreme Court ruling. read more

One Issue Voter

I was chatting with a fascinating guy today. (Son) Ivan and I met him at a Latino culture event at Puffin‘s Teaneck location. Morty was telling Ivan that he should get into ballroom dancing instead of ballet (which Ivan has thought about trying) – said that if a workout is what he’s looking for, doing the Lindsey and throwing his partner out in spins is maybe more physicality than he’ll get in ballet. Impressive statement coming from a guy who’s 80 years old but looks and sounds like someone 20 or so years young. Morty also grows orchids. Wow! read more

Media Outlets Serving Up REAL, accurate News

Telling the truth, Orwell
Source: Twitter
Here’s a running list of media and advocacy organizations that are courageously bringing you the hard-hitting truths you can’t see on TV and in most newspapers any more. It will receive additions – hopefully, many of them …

Please also take a look at companion piece on which organizations are serving up bad news, and what it is about their news that makes it bad.

Campaign for America’s Future

The Campaign for America’s Future is the strategy center for the progressive movement. Our goal is to forge the enduring progressive majority needed to realize the America of shared prosperity and equal opportunity that our country was meant to be. read more

Chaos? Blame It On Retrograde Mercury

Every once in a while I’ll have a series of failures occur that couldn’t have been predicted and which weren’t logical at all. Logically, they should never have happened. Like the time that my computer, our DVD player and my car, all failed one after the other in a couple day timeframe. Even odder: for a few days we used a spare DVD player that was so noisy it drove my family crazy and took all the pleasure out of watching movies. I told my sons we should plug back in our old DVD player because if it was going to have reset itself that would have happened already and sure thing, the player which had been completely, brick dead a few days prior worked perfectly once again, and has ever since. My car had to be repaired though, and my computer needed to receive massive massaging to finally get it back on line. read more

Overcoming the Bush legacy: a people bled, betrayed and frightened

The Power of Propaganda

Just before election day I understood what they had meant to accomplish when, only one month after Obama’s inauguration, Republicans began reciting the litany I would hear many times over the next 20 months, “Just look at the mess Obama’s gotten us into.”

I was so astonished the first time I heard a friend say this, I was literally struck dumb. After a moment, I recovered the power of speech enough to ask, “How can you say that, Barry? Obama hasn’t been in office long enough to know his way around his desktop yet, let alone take any action which could affect the country in any radical sense. What we’re dealing with is directly due to the policies Bush enacted over eight years of bleeding the country dry.” read more

Roza Jaffe: Forced Journeys, a holocaust survivor remembers

Family friend Roza Jaffe recounts,

“My grandfather was a big merchant, my mother helped in the store. They were 9 children, 6 survived by coming to America in their twenties.

One sister died of hunger during the holocaust . . Khotyn, my hometown, was set on on fire and my house along with everything in it was destroyed. My family members and I were forced to travel by foot from Khotyn to the Ukraine. I was the only survivor, an orphan, begging in the streets, until I was taken on a transport to Romainia with a group of other survivors. The Russians came into Romania and I was taken to an orphanage in Odesa . . .” read more