Nel's New Day

April 19, 2011

Good/Bad News

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 1:52 PM

Some Good News:

The Los Angeles Lakers will be working with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation on ways to keep anti-gay slurs out of basketball.  The Lakers and GLAAD announced a partnership Friday, three days after Kobe Bryant was spotted on a national television broadcast yelling a common homophobic slur in frustration over a referee’s call. Bryant was fined $100,000 by the league, and the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history issued multiple apologies.

Across the country, 173 regional presbyteries have been voting on a constitutional amendment to return to qualifications for ordained leadership based upon faith and character, not marital status or sexual orientation. With seven more positive votes, the policy in the largest Presbyterian denomination in the country will change from exclusion to inclusion.

After filing recall petitions against Republican state Senators Dan Kapanke and Randy Hopper, Wisconsin Democrats are on the brink of filing a third recall petition against Shelia Harsdorf. Hopefully the Tea Party members will be accurate when they say, “Elections have consequences.”

Progressives Fight Tea Party Tax Cuts, Union Busting:

On tax day yesterday, progressives across the country protested the corporation rip-off that allows them to get away tax free. The Tea Party movement claims that America is broke, but the top 2 percent of the people should be exempt from any responsibility to fix the problem. At the same time, well-connected corporations continue to use their political power to dodge their taxes. In 2009, after helping crash the American economy, Bank of America paid $0 in taxes. GE had a tax bill of $0 in 2010. Republicans want to give a $50 billion tax bailout to big oil companies—and at the same time take away food aid to hungry pregnant women and children.

It should be noted, however, that the Tea Party protesters are still getting the media attention although their crowds have greatly shrunk in the past two years. Only Donald Trump in Boca Raton (FL) drew any more than 500 people in any one place.

Even the appearance of Sarah Palin in Madison (WI) last Saturday failed to bring the Tea Party rally a huge crowd of supporters. About 1,500 Tea Partiers—many bused in by the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity—came to hear Palin and Andrew Breitbart. Over 3,000 labor supporters surrounded the conservatives and shouted them down. It was reported that when they yelled “Shame” at the two speakers, Breitbart—conservative Internet entrepreneur, Faux fixture, and regular speaker for the Tea Party—shouted back at the crowd, “Go to hell!”

Be an Earth Day Activist:

Two courageous Girl Scouts, Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen, are trying to get rainforest-destroying palm oil out of Girl Scout cookies, a substance found in all except one of the 17 different brands and that causes clear-cutting of irreplaceable rainforests threatening the survival of orangutans. When Girl Scouts USA ignored their concerns, they took their campaign public. You can help their cause by signing their petition. It’s a great way to participate in Earth Day, April 22, 2011.

Yesterday, I mentioned the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. One of the best books about this tragedy is for kids. Instead of concentrating the entire book on the fire itself, Albert Marrin’s Flesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy (Knopf, 2011) begins with the history that led up to this moment in time: the story of immigration, the story of horrible working conditions and greedy bosses, the story of no regulations or unenforced ones that allowed the fire.  The book doesn’t finish with the fire: Marrin describes the mob control of the unions in the ensuing decades and the current sweatshops around the country today including those inNew York City. Large photographs, drawings, and sidebars make this book even more fascinating.  This is the story of the hard work and sacrifices required to create better living conditions, something that we will lose if we don’t fight the conservative politicians who want to take money from the middle class and poor to give to the wealthy and the corporations.

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