Archives for: May 2009
By admin on May 31, 2009 | In Leaders & Decision-Making
THE GLOBAL VILLAGE
The Global Village presents analysis of political, economic and social issues at home and abroad. It will deconstruct and demystify some commonly-held assumptions including inaccuracies put forward by the established media and when necessary will "speak truth to power.”
Annette Walker is a writer, radio producer and educator. She worked in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic as a teacher-trainer and traveled throughout the Caribbean including Cuba. She has been a lecturer in the City University of New York, Aurora Community College and Metropolitan State College.
New York's Domestic Workers Demand Justice and Respect Legislation Pending and a Recent Court Victory
By Annette Walker
New York's 200,000 domestic workers have two good reasons for optimism. The first reason is that the state legislature is seriously considering enacting a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which will establish fair labor standards, a living wage, health care and basic benefits. The legislation was submitted by
"Sixty-four legislators in the Albany House of Representatives have indicated that they support the bill," said Ai-Jen Poo, lead organizer for Domestic Workers United (DWU). "Seventy-four votes will be needed for passage."
The second reason for optimism is that a DWU member recently won a court settlement against her employers for unpaid wages and damages for abuse. Marina (she only uses her first name) has been demanding justice for over four years.
Marina's story is also the first of a weekly series entitled Voices of Domestic Workers, currently being circulated to Albany legislators. It is a typical story of exploitation and abuse endured by homecare aides (nannies, elder caregivers, and housekeepers).
Marina's story: "I found work in a house, caring for a disabled youth. I ended up doing everything -- the houseclearning, the ironing, the food. I had to carry him and help him in the bathroom. I had to bathe him and even brush his teeth. And for all of this, I was paid $2.00 an hour.
"I slept in the basement, where the sewage often overflowed. I had to find cardboard in order to walk around and get out of the basement to go and perform my daily housework. I also had to pick up wood in addition to the cardboard in order to pass through and also to open the backdoor so I could step outside to the sun and for the stench to leave.
"Two and a half years later, my employer -- on my day off -- called to tell me she needed me early. I arrived and I tole her I am here like you asked me. And it was to tell me that I no longer had work. Well, you can imagine how one would feel -- after a shock like that -- without telling me why. She offered no explanation.
"I asked her for permission to stay in the house that night so I could go out and find another place to live. I could not even sleep thinking about where I would go next. No one know what I went through that night."
Domestic workers who live in their employer's home rely on their job for food and shelter. Under current law, they can be fired without notice, which can leave them with no place to go and no safety net.
The Domestic Workers Bill of rights would provide workers like Marina with the right to notice and severance pay upon termination, among other urgently needed protections.
Domestic Workers United, founded in 2000, is an organization of Caribbean, African and Latin American houssehold workers in New York. DWU has set a national precedent and serves as an inspiration for homecare aides nationally. At the US Social Forum held in Atlanta in 2007 a National Alliance was formed. In June of 2008 the first ever National Congress was held in New York.
DWU has held many actions in Albany aimed at generating interest in the legislation. Over 200 people attended the February 10 Day of Action there. In April there will be a National Day of Action. "We want to set the tone for domestic workers' legislation that will be submitted to the California legislature," said Poo.
By admin on May 28, 2009 | In Striving for Higher Ground By Rev. Dr. James Fouther Jr.
I am firmly convinced that we are spiritual people. Our hearts lead us in directions sometimes that our minds find unimaginable. Our minds strive to convince us of all that is rational and all that can be proved by our other senses. I was reading some stories from a little book called, Charleston's Ghosts. The book went into great detail about some of the ghost stories ...
Read the rest of this blog entry at http://revjamesfoutherjr.blogspot.com/2009/05/sorting-out-your-spiritual-season.html
Rev. Dr. James E. Fouther Jr. is the Senior Pastor at The United Church of Montbello (http://ucm.ctsmemberconnect.net). He's from Chicago originally and enjoying the mile high experience. He's married to Angelle Collins Fouther and father of two girls, Danielle and Daryn.
Rev. Fouther enjoys golf, exploring, cooking and reading. His favorite books are many by W.E.B. DuBois, "Biography of a Race" by David Levering Lewis, "Prophetic Fragments" by Cornel West, "God of the Oppressed" by James Cone Lif, "Every Voice" by Susan Thistlewaite & Mary Potter Engel, and "The Third Wave" by Alvin Toffler.
By admin on May 27, 2009 | In Moving & Shaking: fitness, sports, recreation & active lifestyle topics
Being a bi-lateral hip replacement recipient of 9 years, I know the importance of continued exercise to strengthen the muscles around the joints that have replaced.
This major change in my life prompted me to become a personal trainer so that I could be conscientiously aware of the importance of taking care of myself. I am by no means suggesting you become a fitness trainer, but do take care of yourself.
Regular exercises to restore your normal hip motion and strength and a gradual return to everyday activities are important for your full recovery. Your orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist may recommend that you exercise 20 to 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a day during your early recovery.
I recommend that once you have gained strength and confidence in you new joint, that you exercise everyday, change your eating habits and develop a new attitude about yourself.
Advanced Exercises and Activities
A full recovery will take many months. The pain from your problem hip before your surgery and the pain and swelling after surgery have weakened your hip muscles. The following exercises and activities will help your hip muscles recover fully.
These exercises should be done in 10 repetitions four times a day with one end of the tubing around the ankle of your operated leg and the opposite end of the tubing attached to a stationary object such as a locked door or heavy furniture. Hold on to a chair or bar for balance.
Elastic Tube Exercises
Resistive Hip Flexion
Stand with your feet slightly apart. Bring your operated leg forward keeping the knee straight. Allow your leg to return to its previous position.
Resistive Hip Abduction
Stand sideways from the door and extend your operated leg out to the side. Allow your leg to return to its previous position.
Resistive Hip Extensions
Face the door or heavy object to which the tubing is attached and pull your leg straight back. Allow your leg to return to its previous position.
Exercycling is an excellent activity to help you regain muscle strength and hip mobility. Adjust the seat height so that the bottom of your foot just touches the pedal with your knee almost straight. Pedal backwards at first. Pedal forward only after comfortable cycling motion is possible backwards. As you become stronger (at about 4 to 6 weeks) slowly increase the tension on the exercycle. Exercycle forward 10 to 15 minutes twice a day, gradually building up to 20 to 30 minutes 3 to 4 times a week.
Take a cane with you until you have regained your balance skills. In the beginning, walk 5 or 10 minutes 3 or 4 times a day. As your strength and endurance improves, you can walk for 20 or 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a day. Once you have fully recovered, regular walks, 20 or 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week, will help maintain your strength.
Once again you see walking is one of the best exercises you can do. I have gone from being able to walk 10 feet before my surgery to over 5 miles since my surgery.
For more exercises and a physician approved video please go to: www.areyouaprofitness.com
Check out this blog for advice on how to maintain your strength, improve your posture, balance, hygiene ,sex life and work through your limitations so you will start to focus on the things you can do verses the things you can't. I will motivate and be very encouraging to everyone.
Rudy McClinon Jr. earned a bachelor of science degree in Physical Education, Health and Science from Xavier in Ohio. He is a former professional football player in the NFL –CFL. He has more than 35 years of experience as a Certified Fitness Trainer, and is a personal trainer for the Denver Rocky Mountain News Fitness Challenge, a motivational speaker, and president of Sankofa Wholistic Health Care.
By Randle Loeb on May 26, 2009 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
Gay Rights Takes Front and Center Stage But Human Rights Is the Prize
Iowa, Vermont and Maine have passed legislation that makes same sex marriage constitutional. New Hampshire, New York, New jersey will soon be free from malice toward people who choose to love one another. Standing on the side of love, 18,000 couples who have been married will continue their bonds of matrimony in California. Justice Carlos Moreno wrote the minority decision saying that, "Discrimination against a minority group on the basis of a suspect classification strikes at the core of the promise of equality." The core of our Bill of Rights is that all people are created equal. There is no one that can take away the right of a person to love another no matter what their gender and commitment may be. This is a fundamental principle that the California Supreme Court has failed to uphold.
"The artificial rule created by the majority allows same sex couples to be stripped of the right to marry that the court recognized last year and weakens the California Constitution as a bastion of protection of the rights of minorities to find protection under the law."
We cannot stand down from the malice against all people by preserving discrimination of any group of people by the unyielding decisions of any court to uphold the law. The fundamentalists beware that when freedom is abridged for any group that the end is limiting the rights of all people. No court has that power and no government can sanction discriminating against another human being anywhere on earth.
Tuesday, May 26 at 3 pm outside the Webb Municipal Building lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Coloradans joined thousands of Americans throughout the United States celebrating and protesting the California Supreme Court’s ruling on the validity of Prop 8. There were 94 events in 22 states, D.C. and Canada.
Hundreds attended a prayer service at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco the day before. Hundreds of people with love on their side were arrested for displaying the right to be married.
No matter what happens we will experience strength when we stand together in unity.
Human rights are hard to ignore. The rights of all people to live out their personal choices and be regarded as equal in the eyes of the civil law is a guaranteed expression of the formation of this nation. People throughout the world are examining how we respond in including all people in our heritage as an equal nation. Proposition 8 was one of the most sinister acts of the modern era, trampling the rights of the community to protection from persecution of a vulnerable group. Until we restore justice there will be no virtue in this county and all of our acts to impose our ways on others are vacuous echoes of the same disturbing limits of freedom and responsibility.
This is the time to rise and demonstrate solidarity in the struggle for equal rights and the protection of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
By admin on May 26, 2009 | In Leaders & Decision-Making
BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE
A Simple Question: Would God Condone Torture?
Maybe I'm missing something but I find it uniquely ironic that some the same people who clamor for prayer in school, claim that same-sex marriage is an abomination under God,who insist that America is a Christian nation, and fight for the Biblical version of creationism over science, are also the very same people who demand the right to be armed to the teeth with some of the most destructive private weapons on Earth, the right to slaughter and bring the most excruciating kinds of death upon God's other creatures for nothing more than their own entertainment, and now, condone the torture of other human beings as a legitimate tool of government. Is it just me, or does anyone else see this as the very height of hypocrisy?
It seems to me that the mere fact that we're even debating the merits of torture is a clear indication that we've gone much too far towards allowing America to become a decadent nation. It has become clear that due to our all consuming preoccupation with personal titillation and hedonistic materialism to the exclusion of intellectual, moral, and ethical development, we're rapidly transforming this nation from that shining light on the hill, to a decadent hellhole in the valley of iniquity. Hypocrisy, self-delusion, deceit is no longer the exception, it has become the rule.
And this is no accident. I've been watching this nation gradually sink into the abyss for the past thirty years. The late Sen. Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, and sponsor of the Pell Grant said, "The strength of the United States is not the gold at Fort Knox or the weapons of mass destruction that we have, but the sum total of the education and the character of our people." No truer words were ever spoken, and they directly address the source of many, if not all of the problems that we face today. We've allowed ourselves to be manipulated, robbed, and cheated, as a direct result of becoming morally and intellectually bankrupt.
We've become so preoccupied with big houses, big cars, and the pursuit of pleasure that we've completely lost perspective regarding what is real, and what is important in life. A prime example of that is a guy who was in the news earlier this week - I forgot his name, and it's not even worth researching, but in any case - after catching a football and running a few yards, he thought he was so important that he could thumb his nose at the President of the United States.
This guy is so caught up in the superficial, and has become so completely overwhelmed with his own delusion of importance that the meaning of graciousness and simple courtesy has been completely lost on him. He was quoted as saying the only reason the president invited us to the White House was because we won the super bowl. Well, of course that's the reason! He failed to realize that an invitation from the president represents the people of the United States congratulating him and his teammates for a job well done. But obviously, he misunderstands the relative importance between the president of the United States, and a guy who caught a football.
This guy is apparently under the impression that he's become so important that by rejecting the invitation to the White House he was depriving the president of the honor of meeting him. He fails to realize that playing football represents the toy department of life - just like too many more of us. Thus, I must admit it was partially the president's fault for inviting him in the first place. The president should have invited all of the young people across this country who graduated as the top scholars in their respective classes. By doing so, it not only would have placed what's important to the nation in perspective, but they would have also had the intellect to recognize the honor that had been bestowed upon them.
Education is the key to a viable society, and the lack thereof is the key to our destruction. We often discuss, for example, how badly we need campaign reform, and how unrestricted lobbying prevents the government from functioning as it should. While that is undoubtedly true in our current circumstance, if we had a better educated electorate it wouldn't matter how much money poured into a politician's campaign coffers, he still couldn't be elected without being responsive to the needs of the people. After all, the only thing campaign funds are good for is brainwashing the ignorant.
An educated electorate wouldn't be as prone to respond to the ten second sound bite, or the logical inconsistencies that demagogues present as patriotism. And they'd understand enough about America's traditions to recognize that torture is the perfect anthesis of not only Christianity, but the very foundation that this nation was built upon. They'd also recognize that promoting the interests of the people wasn't some sort of evil, socialist plot, and they'd see the inconsistency of attacking Iraq, while the people who attacked the United States were in Afghanistan. They'd also ask pertinent questions like"Why aren't the children of the rich, and political class, dying in this war like our love ones?"
An educated electorate would have demanded to know what Cheney discussed with the business leaders he gathered together when the Bush administration first entered office - and they wouldn't have accepted "it's none of your business" as an answer. And a red flag would have immediately gone up when the corporation that Cheney headed received a lucrative no-bid contract as a result of invading an oil-rich nation.
A thoughtful electorate would have asked early on why would an administration who claim to love and honor our troops send them into harms way without the wherewithal to protect their lives. And why would a patriotic administration throw billions of dollars at their cronies without any accountability, yet make the troops that they so honor have to pay for equipment lost on the field of battle, and are even forced to pay for their own meals while lying in the hospital after being wounded? After all, even prisoners of war don't have to pay for their own meals.
Finally a thinking electorate would ask themselveswhy did the Bush/Cheney administration forced our troops to endure multiple deployments, and even held them hostage after their enlistment was up, when virtually every member of the administration moved hell and Earth to avoid military service when it was their time to serve the nation? Then, and even more curious, why did they do everything that they could to block an enhanced GI Bill to assist these same troops that they so honored, upon their return to civilian life.
And now Cheney comes before us once again - at this point, filthy rich - to convince a grossly undereducated, naive, and self-absorbed public that he did it all for America. And you know what, he went up 10 points in the polls.
God help America.
Eric L. Wattree
A moderate is one who embraces truth over ideology, and reason over conflict.
By Randle Loeb on May 25, 2009 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
Koreans Have a long Legacy of Hardship for More than Sixty Years
January 29, 1951 I was born and the period in which I was conceived verily was one of the most tragic in world history. Astrologers refer to the children born in the era of the 1940 to 1950's as "war babies." In the consciousness of the people who were born in that period was the pervasive and unmitigated escalation of nuclear proliferation, the invasion of Korea by Chinese and American soldiers, the precursor of the imagined safety rind throughout Asia and the call for military occupation that has not abated in sixty years.
Presidents like J.F.K. were judged on how tough they were and how they stood up for the principles that Harry S. Truman set in motion in the policy of, "making the world safe for democracy." A policy of division and thwarting all opposition to our principles is responsible for the destruction of the earth. How much time is needed before we realize that all use of missiles and violence costs the earth in sustenance and ability for the environment to function?
When you lay waste to the world and it is desolate it will be too late to hold a memorial for the earth. Humans create 200,000 people every day, which is coupled with the dramatic numbers who are dying. The number is staggering. Violence has a share in the ratio of new lives. People feel that they must have children in order to sustain the world order. Instead of us taking care of the orphaned and those who are left to their own devices world wide we are plunging head long into our extinction.
The circumstances of Korea are fueling the fires of hatred and violence. We cannot idly sit by and watch the Koreans destroy one another without getting the rest of the world in the cauldron of terror. What are we going to do? Watch while the Koreans detonate a nuclear weapon? Help to eradicate yet anther sovereign nation, while we desperately hold on for dear life? All of these scenarios are untenable.
North Koreans are suffering and our responsibility is to make their lives easier, and not shoot them or hold blockades like Kennedy did. Imagine that the same conditions that were in evidence in Palestine, Cuba and Korea at the beginning of my brief existence are still escalating or roiling and troubled? We cannot solve the world's problems with guns.
We cannot serve anyone except as advocates for peace and justice. Mr. President Obama, tear down the wall that exists between us and everyone else. Make peace and not war. Find means of caring for others and not depleting them of their basic human dignity and rights. Make a plan for population control that is permanent everywhere and tied to the quality of life and these issues will dissipate to the extent that the earth may be healed. Bless everyone on earth and every inhabitant thereof, as long as we walk together may this be our legacy.
By Randle Loeb on May 24, 2009 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
If you haven’t already, now is the time to establish a dialogue about Health Care Reform with your federal and state legislators, and to help our leaders frame the issue of Health Care Reform. Below are 4 Colorado events around the National Health Care Days of Action, May 30-June 2.
Democrats have started negotiation with their compromise position, failing to make the best case for real health care reform, and too often echoing the language of the corporate right. Republicans promote the "free market" notion that what we need is a "choice" of, and "competition" among, for-profit health insurances - the message of the specious Ad featuring former disgraced Colombia/HCA hospital CEO and multimillionaire Rick Scott under the name of "Conservatives for Patient Rights."
However, rather than a choice of inadequate insurances, a majority of Americans want the true choice of health care providers permitted by a Single Public-Payer, Private Provider health care model. Instead of competition based on the lowest value of coverage provided by for-profit insurances, competition should be among providers and hospitals based on quality health care. A 2008 Study by CU Medical School revealed that over 36% of Coloradans are underinsured - in total, over 50% of Coloradans are either under- or uninsured.
False choices are being offered by Washington leaders who cling to an outdated model of employer-managed health care, even as 14,000 people daily lose employer-provided health coverage ("Consumer Reports, May 2009). It is important to tell our legislators that we do not want taxpayers to subsidize private insurers with a Massachusetts-style Mandate to purchase private insurance.
"Massachusetts blew it," said journalist T.R. Reid on Colorado State of Mind (5-8-09). "They mandated the most expensive insurance system in the world for everyone, without any cost controls." Reid, who made the documentary Sick Around the World, notes that the U.S. alone among industrialized nations has never made a moral commitment to provide health care for all. "Other countries have agreed - anyone who needs access to a doctor can have it," and they achieve comprehensive health care for all at much less cost using many different not-for-profit models.
Watch TR Reid & Rep. John Kefalas on Colorado State of Mind 5-8-09.
Legislators who have willingly funneled billions of taxpayer dollars to corporate kleptocrats on Wall St., and bailed out automobile companies, are unwilling to provide relief to the working class with a model of health care that can save $400 billion annually by eliminating for-profit health insurances, and provide comprehensive coverage for all. It is unconsionable that the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies should once more dictate health care reform, as they did with Medicare prescription drug reform.
Even if you cannot participate in one of the following Colorado actions the last week of May or the first week of June around health care reform, please contact your legislators. Identify state & federal legislators at www.Vote-Smart.org. - Michele Swenson
Health Care National Day of Action – Week of May 27-June 6, 2009
Events Planned in Over 40 U.S. Cities - 4 Colorado Events
May 30, 2009 2-3:30 P.M
Northern Colorado Health Care Forum
Where: Avogadro's Number, Courtyard 605 S. Mason St.
Join a public forum with state legislators to talk about what's happening with health care reform in Colorado and the nation. Legislators will share their assessment of where the reform process stands today, and the best strategy for moving forward to achieve a sustainable, universal health care system for America. |
Sponsor: Health Care Action Team of Foothills Unitarian Church.
May 30, 9am-Noon
Town Hall on Health Care Reform
Where: Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1865 14th Ave., Greeley, CO
Info: Kathy Hagihara Email: email@example.com or 970-304-1859
Eliza Carney Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 970-416-0636
How is the current US system of health care working for you? Share your experiences and your ideas for reform. Hear from a panel of representatives of local health care agencies about their concerns. Find out what you can do to help bring about real change.Sponsored by Health Care for All Colorado, No. Colorado Chapter
May 30, 10 am to 12 noon
Rally: West steps of the Colorado State Capitol
Discuss future action for meaningful health care reform at the state and federal levels with providers, legislators, and those with personal stories.
Info: Roya Brown at email@example.com or Michael Clapman, firstname.lastname@example.org 721-231-1433, www.ArapaHope.org
Sponsored by Arapahope Community Team & Health Care for All Colorado, Metro Denver
Tuesday, June 2, 2009 6:45 pm - 8:30pm
Forum: What’s the Future of YOUR Health Care?
Speakers will include Rep. Sal Pace, Dr. Louis Balizet, Dr. Pam Parks, and Bill Sprouse.
When: Tuesday, June 2, 2009, 6:45 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: County Conference Room, 1001 N. Santa Fe, Pueblo, CO
More Info: Call 719-543-5148
Sponsored by Health Care for All Colorado, Southeast Colorado Chapter
By Randle Loeb on May 23, 2009 | In Caring and Surviving, Citizenship and Stewards By Randle Loeb
There are many examples of Citizen responses to neglect throughout the world. Exploitation and control of poor people has always been a constant. There are those who would throw the poor on the dung heap of civilization as little more than slaves. Throughout the mediocre history of civilization the people have fought for the rights to be heard and recognized. Socially disenfranchised people have always found little sympathy for their plight except on rare occasions by leaders whose mettle was forged in a furnace of virtue and regard for the poor as equals. People such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Robert Kennedy had a feeling for this equality as did spiritual leaders such as Mohammades Gandhi and Martin Luther King. If you notice though, many of them were sacrificed for their beliefs in equality.
What is the reason for this effort to subvert the wisdom of spiritual teachings and the blessing of caring for the poor? Largely, we fail to recognize the essential worth and dignity of everyone but worst of all we do not recognize that we are alike. This perception comes from arrogance, self grandeur, greed and a lack of awareness.
In today's world there is less and less room for the poor. As resources become scarcer there is a feeling that people can be tortured, subjected to slavery, beaten, starved, imprisoned indefinitely and neglected. Our most significant crisis exists with children. Half of the homeless are families and of them fully two thirds are children under the age of eighteen. Add to this the bizarre effort to conscript more and more youngsters as grunts in the military, while the elders of the community blithely watch them die.
Look at the roles of the dead and maimed. These are always the children and then the soldiers who suffer the injustice of having their promising lives sacrificed for the glory of the empire.
This empire is specious. It is not a real nation but a conglomerate of business interests whose only desire is to promote profits. These interests are detached from national interests and do not have a thing to do with the care of anyone. In fact the sacrifice of the earth is the most important expectation of the business interests. Every time that money is confused with social or environmental concerns the people lose and the generations of the children must suffer in the wake of the profits and interests of the wealthy, elite industrialists.
What we need in the world is a new order, which will not sacrifice billions of people for the survival of a few. The wealth that we have accumulated must be redistributed. The suffering of the poor must be alleviated. People in general must stop from being avaricious and self-centered and give their resources for the care of those without anything.
Rights of those who are victims must be protected and the quality of life of the poor kept in focus as the highest priority of a just social order. If we are capable of taking care of the least of our world than armaments can be buried and peace will prevail. Our survival is predicated on our willingness to watch over the earth as stewards and compassionate inhabitants.