Saturday, August 21, 2004

Spread the word: Progressive Book Club

We've already discussed the power of voting with your wallet on C101. Here's a new opportunity:

This fall the Progressive Book Club is launching as a way to buy books and invest money in the progressive community at the same time.

Read all about it here.

I realize that most of you will have your hands full with schoolbook purchases for the next few years but if your family or friends might be interested, spread the word.

The Germinating Left-Wing Machine

Bop's Matt Stoller discusses that state of the germinating left-wing machine and the direction that progressive infrastructre is and should be taking.

Check it out for a great list of online progressive information sources.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Generation Joshua

a/k/a another urgent reason to set up YD clubs
The Christian-right Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is organizing up to 4,000 homeschooled kids "to do grass-roots campaigning for socially conservative candidates in hotly contested races throughout the country. The effort, dubbed "Generation Joshua" — round and round the walls of separation of church and state they'll go, till the walls come a-tumblin' down — is not an isolated new developement."

Read more here
Either we out-organize, or we lose.

It's that simple.


If you need more proof of why we need ot organize NOW, the Gadflyer brings us Backlash 101:
An asymmetric political war is raging at universities across the country, and once again conservatives are running circles around progressives.

Read more here.
Via Pandagon.

this is your brain on drugs, this is your school on tax cuts

Cribbed shamelessly from Scout at And Then :

What Lower Taxes Can Buy

High School Football will cost you $150. Baseball, $80.00. Middle school kids will have to pay $100, no matter what sport. But the worst off are the cheerleaders: $1,200 each to cheer on the $100.00 a head football team.

This isn't a hypothetical warning about a Bush world where taxes simply don't exist. It's the reality for students in Michigan, where budget cuts as a result of your tax "relief" is forcing 30% of its schools to charge for the expense of after school activities, according to the Detroit Free Press today.

What was the total of your tax cut? Because Windy Mack will pay $1,784 for her 14-year-old twins, Cassandra and Ashley Garcia, to be on the cheerleading and pom-pom teams at Canton High. She'll also pay $150 for her son's participation on the Canton High School football team. Then she'll pay another $80 when he plays baseball in the spring.

Now of course, you don't care about your money being used to fund kids who aren't yours to participate in sports you don't like. But consider this, from a Government study on the subject:

- The rate for juvenile crime peaks in the after-school hours. About 10 percent of violent juvenile crimes are committed between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Children are also at a much greater risk of being the victim of a violent crime (murder, a violent sex offense, robbery, or assault) after the school day, roughly 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

- "Latchkey" children are at a substantially higher risk for risk-taking behavior, including substance abuse. Youth ages 10-16 who have a relationship with a mentor, an important component of a quality after-school program, are 46 percent less likely to start using drugs and 27 percent less likely to start drinking alcohol."

Alternatively, you could buy yourself a new big screen tv and help fuel the Korean Manufacturing economy. Because lower taxes means more jobs. Right?

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Truth, Science, & Reality

Al Gore has a review in the New York Times this week on Russ Gelbspan's new book on Global Warming.

Now, Global Warming may not be "your thing." I know we all adopt issues, and in a world where we are bombarded with information, we make conscious decisions about what we monitor, what we scrutinize, and what we filter out and ignore--not necessarily from lack of interest, but from a mental triage that prioritizes how much information and which topics we can accommodate.

Given that the C101 gang is headed for college, either this fall or shortly, I particularly implore you to follow the link and read this brief article, for 2 reasons.
  1. Global Warming isn't an obscure environmental theory. It is a real climate phenomenon, that is taking place right now. (It is probably responsible for all the rain this year, as those of you who are getting washed out of Richmond like I am this weekend can attest.) Global Warming is creating a new social-political problem: environmental refugees, flooded out of their homes because of melting icecaps raising sea levels. Global Warming is yet another fossil-fuel problem and political hot cake that our generation has inherited, that the Republicans are sweeping under the rug for the sake of their own oil profits, and that is growing more severe so quickly that we can not pretend to ignore it for much longer. We will be the ones that fix this mess, too. We need to know what we are dealing with.

  2. Unfortunately, our generation can no longer take "science" at face value. In the book, Gelbspan analyzes how "the media have been duped and intimidated by an aggressive and persistent campaign organized and financed by coal and oil companies." Lobbyists are now powerful enough to buy their own "scientific" (sic) studies:
    Gelbspan's first book, ''The Heat Is On'' (1997), remains the best, and virtually only, study of how the coal and oil industry has provided financing to a small group of contrarian scientists who began to make themselves available for mass media interviews as so-called skeptics on the subject of global warming. In fact, these scientists played a key role in Gelbspan's personal journey on this issue. When he got letters disputing the facts in his very first article, he was at first chastened -- until he realized the letters were merely citing the industry-funded scientists. He accuses this group of ''stealing our reality.''
I don't want my reality stolen and I believe that you don't, either. I suspect that your high school educations have not prepared you for the skepticism we need to discern between reality and the ersatz propaganda dished up by the GOP in the name of science.

So please, read Al Gore's review here, and steel yourself for life in a world where scientific facts are now up for sale.