This comes from my State Senator:
I applaud Attorney General Holder and the Obama administration for the decision by the Justice Department to abandon the defense of DOMA and its institutionalization of discrimination against one group of citizens.
"We the People" have every right to expect equal application of the law and equal protection under the law. This controversy has again shown us that the ideals of America must be continually renewed, and today's decision serves as another landmark we can celebrate in the expanding application of freedom to all our citizens.
This is the right moment for the Federal Government to make this bold and just decision for the protection of all Americans. Again, I offer my thanks and congratulations to Attorney General Holder and the Obama administration for this latest step towards equality and justice.
NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery
18th NYS Senate District read more »
Last night the Knicks obtained Carmelo Anthony in a trade with the Denver Nuggets. All in all it was a trade that had to be made. In the end the Knicks may have paid a “tad” too much for “Melo”: but I'm not going to bitch about that. The Garden needed this player as much as Sarah Palin needs some more college credits: real bad. Plus, the Knicks obtained a few throw-in players who will be quite useful over the next year or two (namely, Billups, Williams, Carter and Brewer); useful off the bench, or useful as trading-fodder.
So now the Knickerbockers have acquired themselves two bona fide NBA stars: Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. Offensively speaking, both are very talented individuals. Defensively speaking, both are just barely adequate. And the question now becomes: where do we go from here? How do you win an NBA crown (after a 37-year drought), without good defense? read more »
Alright NYC! Can we show Madison, Wisconsin some love?
It has been a long time since the progressive movement has been as together as it is right now, and we have the unions of Wisconsin to thank for it. Now is the time for real solidarity and it is up to us to step up to the plate and support the unions, protesters and Democrats of Wisconsin.
Here is a round up of some great ways to help jump start the progressive movement in America and show the Teabaggers (and before a Teabagger whines about my use of that word, THEY came up with it!) that America does NOT suppport their extremist agenda.
First, let's get to real basics. What could better encourage the masses to stand up to the Teabagger Republican extremists than pizza! They gotta eat, so why not send them a pizza. This comes from a Tennessee blog. From KnoxViews:
Looking for a way to show solidarity with the Wisconsin protesters? Send a Solidarity Pizza.
For Immediate Release: Feb 16, 2011
Contact: Roy Moskowitz, Reciprocal Results (718) 370-3977 Mobile: (917) 992-1873 Email: R2ceo@aol.com
Richard Reichard SIDA ((718) 440-6717 Email: ReichardRA@aol.com
The Staten Island Democratic Association (SIDA) celebrates 3 Million jobs being created or saved
Press conference celebrating Stimulus Bill signing second anniversary
2 p.m. February 17 at the St George Staten Island Ferry Terminal
Statement from former Congressman Michael McMahon (NY 13 CD Staten Island/Brooklyn)
McMahon strongly supported the Stimulus Bill
(Staten Island) The Staten Island Democratic Association (SIDA) applauds the 3 million jobs created or saved by the Stimulus Bill in a 2 p.m. Thursday February 17 press conference at the St George Staten Island Ferry Terminal.
read more »
Throughout his political career, Assemblyman Darryl Towns (Brooklyn/54AD) has labored under the heavy shadow cast by his amiable congressman-father Ed (Brooklyn/10th congressional district): although it has apparently been more of a help than a hindrance. But now, it looks like that's about to change. Darryl is stepping-out folks. He was recently selected by freshman governor Andrew Cuomo to become the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New York State's Housing and Community Renewal. This is the agency that oversees finance, development and preservation of housing here. He also automatically becomes CEO of the state's Housing Finance Agency, plus CEO of the State of New York Mortgage Finance Agency: many caps for his shaved head. read more »
Every year on Darwin's birthday, I like to repost/update my essay explaining evolution and the evidence for it. Darwin's theory of evolution has been one of the most robust theories in science. With some modifications, it is still the basis of our understanding of most of biology. Every Feb 12th (Darwin's Birthday) I post an article or series of articles discussing evolution and the evidence for Darwin's theory.
Darwin's theory grew out of an era when a considerable amount of careful observation from around the world was beginning to be formulated into careful scientific ideas. Not all ideas from this era were equally scientific, nor equally valid. Charles Darwin's theory was formulated based on a huge amount of observation both personally made by Darwin and made by correspondents he wrote to from all over the world. It took many years for Darwin to put his ideas into words and his book, Origin of Species, spends a great deal of time addressing criticisms of the theory of Evolution. When Darwin formulated his theory, the Mendelian rules of genetics were unknown, and DNA wasn't even conceived of. So, in essence, the mechanisms and rules that govern evolution were unknown. Darwin defined the patterns of how living things changed and competed, and it was only later that those mechanisms were discovered, giving the statistical and molecular context for Darwin's theory. Those later discoveries have only strengthened Darwin's theory, never contradicting his ideas. read more »
February 12th is Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Time to revisit my annual article on Lincoln, slavery and the Civil War.
Awhile back I was reading some old reference books I have and some things about the Civil War struck me. First off, one thing is clear: Abraham Lincoln, though a great man in his own right, would have been a minor figure in history and a minor, probably one-term, President had it not been for the Civil War. By seceding, the Southern States catapulted Lincoln into history. Lincoln won below 40% of the popular vote. Lincoln's Republican Party won a majority in neither House of Congress. According to The Presidents, edited by Henry Graff, Stephen Douglas felt that had the Southern States not seceded, Lincoln would have been powerless:
...an object of pity and commiseration rather than of fear and apprehension by a brave and chivalrous people.
But that is not what happened. The South DID secede and this gave Lincoln the opportunity to be a great figure in history. And Lincoln certainly rose to the occasion.
The claim that secession had nothing to do with slavery is bunk, mere revisionism by the losing side that didn't want to be tarred forever for defending slavery. Southern secession was EXPLICITLY (though not necessarily exclusively) about slavery. The North did not fight primarily over the issue of slavery, but over preservation of the Union. But for the South, preservation, and even expansion, of slavery was the prime issue for at least 2 decades before the Civil War, and was the main reason explicitly stated for secession. In fact, the issue of slavery almost led to secession more than once before South Carolina finally made good on the constant Southern threat. Slavery was the issue that dominated American politics. Perhaps the South and individual Southerners had reasons other than JUST slavery for fighting. But the single issue that led to secession was slavery. Period. Any other claims are false. read more »
Dear Mr. President:
Let me preface this by saying that I am not only a supporter, I am also a fan and admirer of you on many levels. And with that out of the way, let me also say that you have pissed me off so many times in the last two years that I need a mulligan now; thus I write this letter.
There is no doubt in my mind that you are one of the most cunning politicians I have ever encountered in my lifetime: but that's for another venue. And I presently have no doubt that you will be re-elected next year, since you have outmaneuvered the Republicans in ways they can't even discern (as yet). But there comes a time -skillfulness aside- when the situation demands displaying some gonads; and I am calling your attention to two of these times that are quickly approaching. read more »
This month's Central Brooklyn Eating Liberally meeting will be Tuesday, February 8th, 7 PM at Cafe Steinhof restaurant in the South Slope. This is a great Austrian Restaurant, so lots of good sausages, schnitzel and beer.
422 7th Avenue
(between 13th and 14th Sts)
New York, NY 11215
We are getting people from both Prospect Heights and the South Slope attending, so I figure maybe I will try alternating neighborhoods to see what people like better.
Come join us for some good food and some intense political discussion. There are always local political scandals to discuss as well as general discussions about how progressives can fight back against the resurgent Bush Republicans. This month we can also talk about what is going on in the Middle East.
NYU Medical School Seminar: Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Time
This sounds like an excellent talk, and a topic too rarely discussed.
5th Annual NYU Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Week
Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
February 7, 2011
5:30 - 8:15pm
550 1st Avenue
Alumni Hall B
“Washington, a journalist and former ethics fellow at Harvard Medical School, tells some harrowing stories, and claims that throughout the 19th century, medical schools disproportionately used blacks in live surgical demonstrations. In more recent times, she writes, they have been disproportionately enrolled in risky, nonbeneficial research in gynecology, oncology, surgery, pediatrics, infectious disease and genetics. While the worst excesses are a thing of the past, blacks are still ‘at greater risks than whites of being conscripted into ... research without giving their consent.’ ”
-The New York Times
The Office of Diversity Affairs
The Black and Latino Student Association
The Master Scholars Program in Medical Humanism read more »