Saturday Open Thread

The O’Jays are a Canton, Ohio based soul and R&B group, originally consisting of Eddie Levert (b. June 16, 1942), Walter Williams (born August 25, 1942), William Powell (January 20, 1942–May 26, 1977), Bobby Massey and Bill Isles. The O’Jays were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004, and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. The O’Jays had their first hit with “Lonely Drifter”, in 1963. In spite of the record’s success, the group was considering quitting the music business until Gamble & Huff, a team of producers and songwriters, took an interest in the group. With Gamble & Huff, the O’Jays (now a trio after the departure of Isles and Massey) emerged at the forefront of Philadelphia soul with “Back Stabbers” (1972), a pop hit, and topped the U.S. singles charts the following year with “Love Train“.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
This entry was posted in Current Events, Music, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. Ametia says:

    Ohio Elementary School Hosts Classroom “Slave Auction”
    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Once again, a school is in trouble for hosting a totally inappropriate simulated experience in a classroom. A few months ago, it was high school students roaming the hallways dressed as KKK members

    dressed as KKK members, now it is an elementary school re-enactment of a slave auction. Seriously, what was this teacher thinking? How on Earth does designating half of the children in an elementary school class as “slaves” and the other half as “masters” teach anything but bad behavior? Has this teacher never heard of the Stanford Prison Experiment?

    This classroom exercise would do absolutely nothing to educate children as to the horrors of slavery. All it would succeed in doing is giving the children “a break” from the normal day to day grind of classwork, and allow them to play act roles of which that they are not mature enough to understand the significance. In this case, the mother of a Black child complained about her son being made to play the role of a “slave”, and an apology was issued. But, I am still trying to imagine in what context any teacher would consider this an appropriate exercise.

  2. Sarah Palin: Obama ‘Inexperienced’ In Private Sector & Government (VIDEO)

    Sarah Palin said President Barack Obama lacks experience in the public and private sectors in discussing his role in ongoing debate over unions, collective bargaining and the recent protests in Wisconsin.

    During an appearance on “America’s Nightly Scoreboard” on Fox Business on Friday night, she said, “See because our president is so inexperienced in the private sector and in government and in actually running anything and making any kind of budget that inexperience has really made manifest in some of the statements he makes.”

    Palin went on to take issue with the president’s handling of the economy and said he should be “engaging in free-market principles that work” such as reducing taxes. The Fox News contributor added, “His naive and destructive and terrifying anti-oil agenda is going to bring our nation to our knees and his agenda must be stopped.”

    At the end of the appearance, Palin was asked when she could be expected to reveal whether or not she plans to run for president in the next election cycle.

    “I still think it’s months away before people need to be lining up and making announcements as to what to do,” she said. “In the meantime, I’m going to keep chiming in on the issues that are important in this day.”

    Bye Bitch!

  3. Ametia says:

    Saturday, March 5, 2011
    France: US vs. the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

    PJ: Many American politicians have expressed their fear of a take-over of Egypt by the Muslim Brotherhood, an extreme religious group. Sadly, these claims are based mainly on fear mongering by people with a voice but without any real knowledge about the Brothers nor of the reality about the uprisings across the Middle East (which have little, to nothing, to do with religion). Many in the US paint the entire region by the extreme views held by a small minority.

    Pot calling the Kettle Black?

    While the threat of extremists gaining some control in countries like Egypt does exist, religion is playing a far less important role in the current uprisings in the Middle East than in US politics today. With the Tea Party playing the part of the Moral Majority of the 1980’s, God and religion have been pushed to the forefront of today’s political debate in the US. From the fear of having an Islamic Centre in New York City to flag waving “patriots” chanting “go home” at Muslims attending a fund raiser in California, religion is playing an ugly part of current political discord. Some voices from the right wing cry that President Obama is a Muslim (implying that there is something un-American about that) while the President is actually a devote Christian who practices his religion daily. Others claim that GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith is a definite problem for him to be elected to the highest office in the land. Of all the current would-be candidates for the GOP presidential nomination, all wear their religion on their sleeves invoking their Christian faith in every speech and expressing their desire for God to play a significant role in domestic and international US policy. But to be fair, those cries are for a Christian God, no others need apply.

    La Monde diplomatique

    The new Arab awakening
    The Muslim Brothers in Egypt’s ‘orderly transition’
    After the revolution, a newly respectable Muslim Brotherhood, supportive of the army, is emerging. Could it become the best bet for the ‘orderly transition’ that Egypt, and the US, hope for?
    by Gilbert Achcar

    Egypt’s uprising, contrary to most predictions, was initiated and driven by coalitions – including political parties, associations and internet networks – which were dominated by secular and democratic forces. Islamic organisations or their individual members took part on an equal footing with groups of marginal importance before the uprising, and with groups closer to eastern European dissidents of 1989 than to the usual mass parties or revolutionary elites of social revolutions.

    The discretion of Tunisia’s Islamist movement can be explained to a large extent by the harshness of its suppression under Ben Ali, impeding the ability of the Islamic Nahda party to act. However, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was also discreet, but for the opposite reason: because it was a party tolerated by the military regime (although not legalised).

    Anwar Sadat, when he came to power after Gamal Abdel Nasser’s death in 1970, favoured the Brotherhood’s return to the public stage and its enhanced position as a counterbalance to the Nasserist or radical left. The Brothers fully subscribed to the economic liberalisation (infitah) of Sadat when he embarked on dismantling Nasser’s legacy. This led to increased influence of members of the new Egyptian bourgeoisie within the Brotherhood. Even so, it continued to assert its piety against rampant corruption; this was a key argument for the petit bourgeois, the Brothers’ favourite constituency.

    The Brotherhood built itself as a reactionary religious political movement, whose main concern was – and still is – the Islamisation of Egypt’s political and cultural institutions and the promotion of sharia as the basis for legislation. This programme is summed up by its main slogan: “Islam is the solution”. At the same time, the Brotherhood has served as a political antidote to extreme and violent fundamentalist groups.

    Sadat continued to play the religious card to legitimise his power ideologically in the face of social and nationalist opposition. He tried to compensate for the impact of the unpopular peace treaty he signed with Israel in March 1979 (less than six weeks after the Iranian revolution) by amending the constitution in 1980, making sharia the “principal source of all legislation”, even though Egypt has a sizeable Christian minority. The concession was not enough to win the Brothers’ support for the peace treaty. So Sadat decided to deal them a stopping blow. In 1981, only months before his assassination by extreme Islamic fundamentalists, he launched a major wave of arrests against the Brothers.

    Hosni Mubarak, succeeding Sadat as president, soon released them. At the beginning, Mubarak played it restrained and moderate, in contrast to Sadat’s flamboyant style. He tried in his turn to come to terms with the Brothers in order to win popular support, while perpetuating the controlled freedom introduced by Sadat to check their development.

    The Brotherhood’s relations with the regime were strained in 1991 when Egypt joined the US-led coalition against Iraq in the first Gulf war. This was a turning point in relations between the US and its Saudi ally, on the one side, and the regional camp of moderate Sunni Islamic fundamentalism to which the popular Algerian, Egyptian and Tunisian Islamist parties belonged. To the great displeasure of the Saudi monarchy, which had been cultivating links with these parties, they joined the anti-war protest. Their rupture with Saudi Arabia accelerated the repression that struck them at various degrees during the 1990s, with the consent of the US and Europe.

    Attempts to please

    Since the turn of the century, the Brotherhood has been torn between the conservative timidity of its older leaders and pressure from part of its younger members for active demands for political freedoms. It was thus careful not to antagonise the regime, while engaging in democratic and nationalist protest. Its members took part in the protest coalition Kefaya (Enough). This began out of solidarity with the second Palestinian intifada, developed in opposition to the 2003 war against Iraq and established itself as a force fighting against Egypt’s dictatorial government and a likely dynastic succession.

    Those Muslim Brothers favouring greater political boldness were encouraged in 2002 by the electoral rise to power in Turkey of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), a conservative Muslim party. Its success in government seemed to confirm the possibility of a model previously thought unworkable. The brutal end of the electoral process in January 1992 in Algeria, and the forced resignation of Necmettin Erbakan in 1997 in Turkey (removed by the army a year after becoming head of government), suggested that the parliamentary route was blocked to Islamic inspired movements in countries where the military stood behind political power.

    The new AKP Turkish experience was a change, as both the US and EU gave it their blessing. The Bush administration, after the collapse of the “weapons of mass destruction” pretext that it had given for the invasion of Iraq, took up “democracy promotion” as its prominent policy goal in the Middle East. Encouraged by developments in Turkey, voices in Washington extolled the virtues of a more open attitude to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Under pressure from the US, Mubarak introduced greater pluralism in the 2005 elections and granted more seats to the opposition, mainly the Brothers. He hoped to demonstrate that free elections in Egypt would benefit the Brotherhood more than any others. A few months later, in January 2006, the electoral victory of Hamas in Palestine ultimatey convinced the Bush administration to give up on democracy in the region, particularly in Egypt.

    Barack Obama’s accession to the US presidency, and his speech in Cairo on 4 June 2009 supporting the democratisation of the region (and his snubbing of Mubarak) galvanised Egyptian opposition. After some hesitation, the Brothers associated themselves with the National Association for Change, the predominantly liberal coalition created in February 2010 with Mohamed ElBaradei as its figurehead. But several months later, ignoring the liberal opposition’s calls to boycott the parliamentary elections, the Brotherhood participated in the first round, hoping to retain a good share of representation in parliament. The result meant that it had to boycott the second round. It was left with a single MP (expelled from the Brotherhood for failing to observe the boycott), against 88 in the outgoing parliament.

    These elections exasperated Egypt, where 44% live on less than $2 a day, where a greedy, self-serving bourgeoisie flaunt a luxurious lifestyle only matched locally by the rich from the Gulf’s oil monarchies seeking a “One Thousand and One Nights” experience on the Nile. Egypt was a powder keg. Tunisia was the spark. Networks and coalitions of young opposition called for demonstrations on 25 January. The Brotherhood decided not to associate itself with this for fear of the regime, and it wasn’t until the third day that it joined the movement. Its leaders were careful to praise the army, knowing that this hard kernel of the regime would be called upon to resolve the situation.

    When Mubarak appointed as vice-president the chief of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate, Omar Suleiman, and he in turn called the opposition to “dialogue”, the Brothers’ leadership agreed to meet. This concession, after their refusal to join the initial phase of the protest, contributed to discrediting them in the eyes of the youth leadership (the shabab). When Mubarak finally stood down, the Brotherhood praised the military junta, while demanding the release of prisoners and lifting of the state of emergency, and announced a plan to establish a legal political party.
    No dominant role

    The Brotherhood got in line to contribute to the “orderly transition” that the US had advocated from the start of the Egyptian uprising. It declared it had no aspiration to take office, and wanted only democratic rights. Essam el-Errian, one of its leaders, explained in The New York Times on 9 February: “We do not intend to take a dominant role in the forthcoming political transition. We are not putting forward a candidate for the presidential elections scheduled for September.” The Brothers “envision the establishment of a democratic, civil state” but oppose the “secular liberal democracy of the American and European variety, with its firm rejection of religion in public life” (1).

    During a press conference the same day in Cairo, el-Errian emphasised that the Brotherhood is “against a religious state”, that is, a state run by religious leaders as in Iran, but stands “for a civil state with a religious reference” (2). The Arab term used – marja’iyya – can refer to a legal-theological authority responsible for verifying the compatibility of laws voted by parliament with Islam, and equipped with a legislative veto. This is what the Brotherhood’s draft programme, made public in 2007, envisaged, but it was not formally adopted. It had been criticised in particular for declaring that women and non-Muslims would be barred from becoming president of Egypt.

    To secure the Brotherhood’s support, the military named a prominent member – the lawyer and former member of parliament (and author of an anti-secular book), Sobhi Saleh – to its constitutional revision committee. As head of this committee, the military chose Tariq al-Bishri, a judge who went from Nasserist-inspired nationalism to ideas that underlined Egypt’s Islamic identity and the need to base its laws on sharia. In the sermon he gave in Cairo during the huge rallies on 18 February, the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, urged workers on strike to desist and give the army time, while also calling for a change of government.

  4. Ametia says:

    A Slice of Black Life Found At Garage Sale
    By Douglas Keister on Mar 5th 2011 11:00AM

    One of the most important events in my early life as a photographer occurred in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1965, when I chanced upon a clutch of over 280 5″x7″ glass plate negatives. Glass plate negatives? Before digital images and even before film, images were often captured on plates of glass coated with photographic emulsion.Stumbled upon at a garage sale, the negatives contained a number of city views of Lincoln including some circa 1915 construction photos. I made a few selected prints of the city scenes and sold them to people in Lincoln. Thus, my first sales as a photographer were from someone else’s negatives. Further inspection of the glass plates revealed that most of the photographs were of people and most of the people were African American.

    As a kid fresh out of high school, somehow I knew the images were important but I didn’t have the resources for further exploration. I packed the negatives away in shoeboxes and stored them in my parents’ basement. A couple years later I was off to California to pursue my dream of becoming a professional photographer. Over the next three decades the weighty shoeboxes traveled with me wherever I moved.

    In the spring of 1999 my mother was reading an article in the Lincoln newspaper about a researcher who found 36 glass negatives in a closet in Lincoln. They were superbly crafted images of Lincoln’s African-American community. The photographer was identified as Earl McWilliams, a light-skinned African American with red hair, who was employed at a photo studio in Lincoln. My mother clipped the article and sent it to me with a note saying, “Don’t you have some old glass negatives?” Indeed I did. 280 of them. And by the same photographer.

    The re-discovery of my negatives coupled with the other 36 negatives set off a firestorm of activity. Multi-page illustrated articles ran in the newspaper. Newsweek picked up on the story. The Governor of Nebraska declared March 22nd “Earl McWilliams Day.” My shoe boxes of negatives were deemed a state treasure.

  5. Ametia says:

    Go to Wisconsin, President Obama
    Submitted by BuzzFlash on Sat, 03/05/2011 – 10:47am. Guest Commentary

    Dear President Obama,

    I’m glad you’ve opposed the attacks on Wisconsin’s public workers, but you need to do more. You need to go there and speak out, or at least speak out again and more strongly, because Americans need to understand what’s at stake, and those who are standing up there and elsewhere need to see you standing beside them. If you speak out powerfully enough, you might not only help stop Scott Walker’s raw power grab and the similar actions of Walker’s compatriots in other states. You might even help revive the long-demoralized spirits of those whose volunteer efforts carried you to the presidency.

    You could talk, if you went, about the value to America of the teachers, nurses, firefighters, crisis counselors, and other public sector workers who are under attack, and of the hypocrisy of a governor whose corporate tax breaks launched this supposed fiscal crisis to begin with. You could make clear the stakes for all of us–that if Walker or other Republican governors can end the ability of public workers to join together for a common voice, ordinary citizens will end up with far less power to shape the course of our democracy, and predatory corporate interests will have even more. You can talk in your in style. You can be calm and reflective. You don’t have to scream. But you have to show the American public and your discouraged supporters just how high the stakes are. You have to do your best to draw the line.

    You actually promised to speak out in just such a situation on the 2007 campaign trail, explaining, eloquently, “If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I’ll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself; I’ll walk on that picket line with you as President of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody’s in their corner.”

    Now it’s time to redeem that promise. It’s time to put on those shoes and stand with those who are speaking out in a way that can make the choices clear to the distracted and overloaded Americans watching from the sidelines. That doesn’t mean you’ll own the protests or should. Participants have led with their courage, and you need to make clear that you’re not telling them what to do or hijacking their moment, but standing in solidarity and encouraging all Americans to speak out and participate on these critical issues.

    Even if you and those protesting don’t block or completely block Walker’s draconian laws, you’ll have defined a key issue going forward, and made clear how strongly you stand against his arrogance of power. So will you walk the walk, now that Wisconsin is the test case for whether Republican governors and legislators can destroy a social contract that’s been in place for 50 years or more? You can do this without the Republican Congress, Mitch McConnell, or the Koch Brothers. You just have to stand up for your beliefs, and be willing to make clear the differences between an America where our fates are tied together, and one where our common decisions benefit only the wealthiest. You can tell this story from DC, and you need to tell it more, but telling it from Wisconsin would be far more powerful.

    Of course you’d get some heat for such a talk, and you’d need to make clear that you’re simply lending your support to the Wisconsin workers whose lives and livelihoods are on the line. But there’s a risk any time you speak out for justice. And given that 60 percent of Americans support the rights that the Wisconsin state workers are fighting for, you’d be building the momentum that the protests have already created. Scott Walker’s also a good person to highlight as an opponent, because he’s made so clear his open contempt for unions, because he’s already lost a half million dollar judgment for breaking a contract with Milwaukee public sector unions (in the process putting a former felon in charge of courthouse security), and because he’s now on the record in a phone call he thought was with David Koch, saying he’d considered hiring provocateur “troublemakers” to create disruptions in the crowd, and was planning to pretend to negotiate to trap fugitive Democratic lawmakers into returning. The same bill of Walker’s that ends public employee collective bargaining also gives Walker the right to privatize state assets at will, and to sell them to whatever cronies he chooses, an affront to the barest notion of political leadership as stewardship. Wisconsin Democrats are already working to recall key Republican Senators and can try to recall Walker after he’s served a year, so even if you lose on the immediate battle, you may help Wisconsin’s public employees and those of states across the country win for the long-term.

    The Republican master story blames those workers who still cling to middle class jobs for America’s problems, along with the ungrateful poor and those who’d dare to believe they could count on Social Security and Medicare in their old age. You need to complement the voices of ordinary citizens who are working to put forth a more accurate story, about how this country has been run into the ground by the rampant greed of a tiny group at the top, who need to begin contributing their share. Actions like your extending Republican tax cuts for the wealthiest in return for extending unemployment and making some other modest investments in our economy have blurred these key differences (you talked at first about being “held hostage” but alas quickly switched to praising bipartisanship). Speaking out now could begin to highlight the real choices.

    If you help the Wisconsin movement grow stronger, as Roosevelt supported the labor movements of his time, it could not only provide a deterrent to other governors following or considering following Walker’s lead (like Ohio’s John Kasich and Florida’s Rick Scott). It would also give heart to a base that’s been consistently demoralized by your actions, something critically important for 2012, much as key generals visiting Tahrir Square further empowered the Egyptian protests. Walker and his compatriots would never have gotten elected had Democratic turnout not plummeted, in large part because those who participated with such high hopes in 2008 felt them so consistently dashed during your first two years. One-time supporters became demoralized not just by Republican obstructionism, but also by your appointment of people who’d help cause the financial meltdown to begin with, like Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, and Rahm Emmanuel. And by your escalation of an unwinnable war in Afghanistan. And by your reluctance to seriously fight and keep fighting for many of the key issues he’d run on, compromising again and again before he’d even begun to negotiate. As a result, volunteers who turned out in 2008 to bring about massive levels of turnout stayed home–and so did those they’d have otherwise brought to the polls.

    Now many of those who’d helped carry you to office have begun once again publicly acting, taking to the street instead of hoping that mere online petitions and emails can magically change history. Perhaps inspired by the courage of those who’ve faced down dictatorships in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, these grassroots citizens just might rebuild a movement to turn American culture around, as the Tea Party helped turn it away from the hopes so many had when you first took office. But you could help by speaking out. On the day of the 100,000 Madison march, I stood with 2,500 to 4,000 others in my state capitol of Olympia, Washington, on a snowy day and in an inconvenient location. We cheered when state legislators came to the podium, reminding us that we weren’t alone. If you stand with us, and help shift the debate back towards the real roots of the crises facing America, we’re more likely to energetically support him and with candidates in the next election cycle who will be open to your initiatives. Wisconsin is the test case for both the Republican roll-backs and the responses that just might recapture the fire of barely two years ago. It would help immensely if you stood beside those ordinary citizens who’ve already stepped up to lead.

    Paul Loeb is author of Soul of a Citizen, with 130,000 copies in print including a newly updated second edition. He’s also the author of The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear, named the #3 political book of 2004 by the History Channel and the American Book Association.

    See To receive Paul’s articles directly You can sign up here for his HuffPo posts.

  6. Charlie Sheen Going To Haiti After Sean Penn Invite

    Whether they need it or not, tragically struggling Haiti is receiving a transfusion of Tiger Blood.

    Sean Penn, who has tirelessly worked to bring attention and relief to the earthquake-
    stricken and impoverished country, invited old friend Charlie Sheen down to the island nation on Friday to lend a hand in the relief efforts.

    In a statement, Penn said: “I think his energies, intelligence and passion could be both of service and servicing to him, as it is to all who are touched by the struggle of the Haitian people.

    “Charlie is one of the very few public people who cannot be accused of using the media to his own benefit. I would very much like to show my old friend the world of needs on the ground in Haiti, and introduce him and his tremendous wit to our hard working Haitian staff.”

    Well, consider the invitation accepted.

    In a conversation with “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush, Sheen said, “I’m excited as hell because, you know, if I can bring the attention of the world down there, then clearly this tsunami keeps cresting.”

    Probably not the right metaphor. And who knows if it’ll be positive media attention. But you can’t blame a guy for trying.

  7. Ametia says:

    Public Employee Unions Don’t Get One Penny from Taxpayers and Can’t Require Membership, But the Big Lie That They Do Is Everywhere

    Nobody has to belong to a union or support its political activities, but you’d never know that from reading the news.
    March 5, 2011 |
    Photo Credit: vaxomatic Let us begin with this simple, indisputable truth: public employees’ unions don’t get a single red cent from taxpayers. And they aren’t a mechanism to “force” working people to support Democrats – that’s completely illegal.

    Public sector workers are employed by the government, but they are private citizens. Once a private citizen earns a dollar from the sweat of his or her brow, it no longer belongs to his or her employer. In the case of public workers, it is no longer a “taxpayer dollar”; it is a dollar held privately by an American citizen. Public sector unions are financed through the dues paid by these private citizens, who elected to be part of a union – not a single taxpayer dollar is involved, and no worker is forced to join a union against his or her wishes. No worker in the United States is required to give one red cent to support a political cause he or she doesn’t agree with.

    • dannie22 says:

      Great video

    • Ametia says:

      Best 2 minutes on unions thus far!

    • Ametia says:

      Here are the visuals for folks who want to print it out

      REPORT: Five Things Unions Have Done For All Americans

      title= Over the past few weeks, right-wing legislators have unleashed a torrent of radical legislation upon the American electorate designed to gut collective bargaining rights and attack the middle class. As these conservatives have launched their assault, a Main Street Movement consisting of ordinary Americans fed up with living in such an unequal country has fought back.

      Conservatives have sought to malign this movement by claiming that it is simply defending the parochial interests of labor unions, who they claim are imposing huge costs on taxpayers with little benefit. Yet the truth is that America’s public and private unions have been one of the major forces in building a robust and vibrant middle class and have fought over the past century to improve the lives of all Americans in a variety of ways. ThinkProgress has assembled just five of the many things that Americans can thank the nation’s unions for giving us all:

      1. Unions Gave Us The Weekend: Even the ultra-conservative Mises Institute notes that the relatively labor-free 1870, the average workweek for most Americans was 61 hours — almost double what most Americans work now. Yet in the late nineteenth century and the twentieth century, labor unions engaged in massive strikes in order to demand shorter workweeks so that Americans could be home with their loved ones instead of constantly toiling for their employers with no leisure time. By 1937, these labor actions created enough political momentum to pass the Fair Labor Standards Act, which helped create a federal framework for a shorter workweek that included room for leisure time.

      2. Unions Gave Us Fair Wages And Relative Income Equality: As ThinkProgress reported earlier in the week, the relative decline of unions over the past 35 years has mirrored a decline in the middle class’s share of national income. It is also true that at the time when most Americans belonged to a union — a period of time between the 1940′s and 1950′s — income inequality in the U.S. was at its lowest point in the history of the country.

      3. Unions Helped End Child Labor: “Union organizing and child labor reform were often intertwined” in U.S. history, with organization’s like the “National Consumers’ League” and the National Child Labor Committee” working together in the early 20th century to ban child labor. The very first American Federation of Labor (AFL) national convention passed “a resolution calling on states to ban children under 14 from all gainful employment” in 1881, and soon after states across the country adopted similar recommendations, leading up to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act which regulated child labor on the federal level for the first time.

      4. Unions Won Widespread Employer-Based Health Coverage: “The rise of unions in the 1930′s and 1940′s led to the first great expansion of health care” for all Americans, as labor unions banded workers together to negotiate for health coverage plans from employers. In 1942, “the US set up a National War Labor Board. It had the power to set a cap on all wage increases. But it let employers circumvent the cap by offering “fringe benefits” – notably, health insurance.” By 1950, “half of all companies with fewer than 250 workers and two-thirds of all companies with more than 250 workers offered health insurance of one kind or another.”

      5. Unions Spearheaded The Fight For The Family And Medical Leave Act: Labor unions like the AFL-CIO federation led the fight for this 1993 law, which “requires state agencies and private employers with more than 50 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave annually for workers to care for a newborn, newly adopted child, seriously ill family member or for the worker’s own illness.”

      In 2007, Australia’s Manic Studios produced a short film titled, “What Have Unions Ever Done For Us?” which satirically portrays a handful of employers asking that question and realizing that unions have actually done a lot for the average person in their country. Although the film deal’s with Australia’s unions and not the United States, many of the rights mentioned by the mock executives — like workers’ compensation and expanded health care — are exactly the same. Watch it:

  8. Ametia says:

    Given his recent televised diatribes, Charlie Sheen would probably make a fairly entertaining commencement speaker.

    At least that’s what some students at George Washington University are saying. A small campaign has started to bring the disgraced actor to campus to send next year’s graduating class into the real world with, we assume, quips about tiger’s blood and prostitute sleeping arrangements.

    A Facebook page titled Charlie Sheen for Commencement Speaker GWU 2012 has nearly 800 likes (there’s an official site, called Winning GW, too).

    Similar campaigns have cropped up at West Chester University and the University of Georgia.

    What do you think Sheen’s best advice for graduates would be? Let us know in the comments section.

  9. Ametia says:

    NBC is doing a special titled “Charlie Sheen Winning Ways” today.

    What gives Sheen who is obviously sick with addiction and dangerous behaviors the paltform to continue with his absurdity and continue to fill his head with dellusions of GRANDUER? And colleges are inviting Sheen to give commencement addresses?


  10. Ametia says:

  11. Ametia says:

  12. Ametia says:

    Rodney King stopped after traffic violation, police say
    March 4, 2011 | 7:45 am

    Rodney King was stopped by Arcadia police after driving erratically in a green Mitsubishi, authorities said Friday.

    The stop took place about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday near Santa Anita Avenue and the 210 Freeway.

    In recent years, King has battled substance abuse and in 2008 appeared on the reality TV show “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.”

    In an interview with The Times, King said he was on the show to demonstrate he had reformed and was not the same person captured in the grainy videotape that showed him being pummeled by four Los Angeles Police Department officers in 1991.

  13. Ametia says:

    Let the game continue. The media is trying to paint a pretty pciture of the Koch boys.

    Cancer Research Before Activism, Billionaire Conservative Donor Says
    Published: March 4, 2011

    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — More than a thousand miles from the labor tumult in Wisconsin — where his name shows up on the signs of protesters and a liberal blogger impersonating him got through to the governor on the phone and said “gotta crush that union!” — the real David H. Koch was greeted rather more warmly here Friday when he officially opened a new cancer research institute bearing his name.

  14. Ametia says:

Leave a Reply