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Sat May 02, 2015 at 06:18 PM PDT

You Can't Read That!

by pwoodford

Reposted from Readers and Book Lovers by Ojibwa

You Can’t Read That! is a periodic post featuring banned book reviews and news roundups.

bogart book_1

YCRT! Banned Book News

I linked to an earlier story on this in a previous YCRT! diary, but here's more on the censorship of an 85-year-old Tintin comic in Canada.

After a single parental complaint, a Connecticut school superintendent overruled teachers and the school board and removed James Dickey's novel Deliverance from a 9th grade reading list.

An eight-year-old girl has been told she can no longer read on the school bus. It's too risky, according to the bus driver, who is being backed up by the school board. Other students on the bus "might stand up to see what she was reading, or she might poke herself in the eye with the corners of the book." Now that is one dangerous book!

More banned book news ... and a banned book review ... below the orange squiggle.

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Reposted from Community Fundraisers by mettle fatigue
Heap of US pennies, nickels, and dimes
This is a followup diary to the one I posted last week, which was itself a followup to the one in January (please see these for more details). Longtime Sacramento-area kossack aitchdee found herself disabled by rheumatoid arthritis, unable to work, and facing immediate tax auction of her modest condo. Serious roof leaks had consumed her savings and now made it impossible to sell the condo for enough to pay the tax liability, so she turned to us fearing that she was about to become homeless.

The good advice she received here helped her file the correct form of bankruptcy just in time. This does NOT discharge her tax debt, but it forces the county to wait one year before the auction. Meanwhile, she's received assistance from another expert kossack in completing her application for SSDI benefits, and is thought to have a good chance of success (because she is so obviously ill in ways that interest SSA). Now, she needs financial help to keep going for the estimated 4-5 weeks until she gets a response. (If the response is negative, she's in trouble and she knows it, but if she is accepted, then she can figure out how to find a living situation that's affordable for her once she loses the condo.)

If you can help at all, now or in a week or two or three, please continue below the fold to learn how. She is so close to being okay, and even small amounts can help her eat, feed pets, keep the lights and water on, get the expired car registration renewed -- all life's expenses that do not wait just because there is no income. And if you have nothing to spare, please consider helping with recs, republishes, mention in open threads, and social media shares and tweets, to help us reach others who might have more resources.

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Reposted from Kitchen Table Kibitzing by mettle fatigue

Input for improvement welcome: comment or kosmail to diary writer. Revision is in process.

JOB  1:  Someone with permission of the kosak in trouble has written a diary stating who's the kosak in trouble, what help is needed, and what means are in place so help is receivable. Often you'll see the diary published by Community Fundraisers or a group the kosak in trouble is a member of (group publishing reaches friends immediately & makes updates possible by other group editors/admins in case the original diarist can't, says belinda ridgewood who magnificently writes a lot of them; also that anyone writing such diaries can kosmail to a Comm'ty Fndrsrs admin, ask to be made a contributor there, explain what your diary will be and when it needs to post; and group members there will help you if they can, if you keep communications open.)


JOB  2:  Go to the profile page of the kosak in trouble, find all groups in which the kosak is a member, and:

         2A:  Readers who are editors/admins there republish the diary to those groups.

         2B:  Contributors see if that's been done and if not queue it and kosmail repub requests "to help a member of the group" to 1 or 2 eds/admins at each whose profile page shows them currently active in DK.

               Don't bother with Message-to-Group: it won't put a New Message alert in any
               WELCOME BACK box & can go unseen forever. Don't worry if others are doing
               the same as you: together the bases get covered better than any 1 or 3 alone.

         2C:  Non-members check is it repub'ed at those groups? If not, kosmail the diary link to 1 or 2 active eds/admins at each, requesting repub to help group-member.  Don't worry etc.

JOB  3:  If the diary says where the kosak is, find groups in a 200-or-so mile radius in Where The Kogs Are — folks there may have friends/relatives nearer who might be able to help.
                  3A:  See 2A  ◄►  3B:  See 2B  ◄►  3C:  See 2C

JOB  4:  Check the DK Health-Med & Related Groups & Series to find groups focused on health or socioeconomic needs cited in the diary — members there may be knowledgeable about resources & coping.
                  4A:  See 2A  ◄►  4B:  See 2B  ◄►  4C:  See 2C

JOB  5:  Send the diary link to individual kosaks you know with expertise in that kind of emergency, or who are near it but not in a group where they'd read of it.

JOB  6:  Come back and recommend and tip the diary, and comment on:
      6A:  what groups you repub'ed or queued or kosmailed the diary to with reasons why, so readers who don't know The JOB will learn it from you.
      6B:  resources you have reason to know may be available where the kosak in trouble is, and how to reach those resources.
      6c:  offer whatever donations and words of fellowship as always.

Why not "6c" first? Because time is of the essence to spread word far & wide in DK which mobilizes fully effective help fast and gets the diary heavily rec'd and tipped so word goes even further.  But emotion can pull us so deep into events that we get sidetracked from what's personally immediately powerful to do, while every delay multiplies geometrically all along the line, and things get scarier and worse than maybe have to. Since forever, telephone-trees, amazingly global 'ham' radio (my heroes!), bicyclers town to town, foot-runners, drums — come fire, flood, famine, avalanche, bush-war — people send out the call. And stay connected to check on each other in case of emergency, like Itzel Alert Network (in the first of the 2 lists in DK Health-Med&Etc Grps). Like all of DK can. So, spread the word - that's why.

Later, Job 7: kosaks wanting to stay help-ready can republish this to your groups (the section above the green line will shrink as revision addresses omissions), and periodically Move To Top so even in disorienting emergencies Dk grps have checklists to help us come through for each other.

New folks join DK constantly. Let's give them opportunities like this to matter, by their actions, right from the get-go.

What other virtual first-responder actions and groups should we remember and/or include, and where in the sequence? Are there diaries good to link here and repub and Move To Top at our groups? What ways of spreading word and mobilizing help do you recall from when you were a kid, or how your parents or g'parents did it? Or thru'out history!

BTW, reading the please-help diaries, I kept thinking: "when [troubles] come, they come not single spies, but in battalions" ...from Hamlet, Act IV, Sc 5. This week we also had diaries on how Shakespeare continues to speak to our lives.  10-Q 4 the inspiration of all the diaries.

Reposted from Readers and Book Lovers by Ojibwa

I think I have mentioned before that I have a predilection towards mostly British novels of the nineteenth century up through WWI with some spillover to pre WWII.

I guess I was imprinted as a child with a love of the more intricate, descriptive and leisurely writing style of those times; I don't mind a detour by the narrator or an ironic aside commentary, or multiple subplots, or characters who are overtly villainous or virtuous, or over reliance on coincidental twists of fate or doppelganger physical similarities in some characters.

I also am fascinated by the role of women in novels of these times. Women are completely dominated by the demands of society to become wives and mothers. If they fail in this most basic of tasks, they are then relegated to lives of attempting to be socially useful and committing themselves to "good works" in their social enclaves or to becoming unpaid domestics or companions in the households of siblings or parents or even worse, being forced to going out "in service" as governesses or paid companions outside the family circle or attempting to earn their livings in the few occupations that were open to them such as seamstress or music teacher. After marinating in Victoriana even for a little while, there can thankfully be no doubt that yes, we have come a long way baby.

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Thu Apr 02, 2015 at 11:26 AM PDT

"Christian Nation" by Frederic C. Rich

by Weezle

Reposted from Weezle by Ojibwa

It has been nearly two weeks since senator Ted Cruz (nutjob-TX) announced his candidacy for the highest office in the nation.  And while I don't believe for one moment that he has a snowball's chance in hell, we must note that he is only one of several dozen potential candidates who would love nothing more than to turn the United States into a totalitarian theocracy.

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Sat Mar 28, 2015 at 09:35 AM PDT

You Can't Read That!

by pwoodford

Reposted from Readers and Book Lovers by Ojibwa

You Can't Read That! is a periodic post featuring banned book reviews and news roundups.

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 7.32.45 AM

Poor guy can't catch a break. Tintin's in Dutch again, this time in Canada, where, as in the USA and other countries, there's a misguided push to pull racially-dated books, written during the days when stereotypes were more widely accepted, from library shelves. (See what I did there with "Tintin's in Dutch again"? Huh? Huh?)

More banned book news below the orange squiggle ...

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Reposted from weinenkel by Ojibwa
Dr. Seuss' Cat In The Hat (cropped)
the sun did not shine.
it was too wet to play.
so we sat in the house
all that cold, cold, wet day.
A few days ago, Springfield Museums posted a press release:
Plans are now underway for the creation of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum, which will feature a highly interactive literacy-based exhibition featuring beloved Seuss characters, as well as exhibits to honor Geisel himself and the community which fostered his early development and creative genius. The museum will be housed in the William Pynchon Memorial building on the Springfield Museums campus in downtown Springfield, MA.
I've seen many a museum
But this new McGreum museum
Might even have a fluffy tailed Illeum.
Visitors will enter the 3,200 square-foot exhibition through a large entry hall designed to simulate elements of And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. In succeeding galleries, visitors will explore a series of environments that replicate scenes from Dr. Seuss’s imagination and encounter life-sized three-dimensional characters and places from the books. Designers from 42 Design Fab, 5 WITS and Boston Productions are beginning initial fabrication of interactive elements for the first floor, which is scheduled for completion by mid-2016.

The building’s second floor is slated to house additional exhibits including a re-creation of Ted Geisel’s studio, an exhibition about the making of the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden and other related displays. These additional elements are slated for completion in 2017. A new website titled will be launched in June 2015 and will include detailed information on the new museum, the National Memorial Sculpture Garden, and interactive features to reinforce the literacy-based message of the museum.

Time to plan a trip to Massachusetts. I hear they have a good healthcare thing going on.
Reposted from dirkster42 by Ojibwa

I've spent the weekend feeling fairly depressed, much of which I think is a reaction to recent news about how imminent a real global warming catastrophe is, about the fact that for Brazil, it's already here.  I think of my students, the future I am hoping to help them create, and everything that's coalescing to deny them that future.  

Of course, depression is not going to do anything to stop this.  And I think back to the wisdom of one of my teachers:

What we need is neither optimism nor pessimism ... but committed love.  This means we remain committed to a vision and to concrete communities of life no matter what the "trends" may be.  Whether we are immediately "winning" or "losing" cannot shake our rooted understandings of what biophilic life is and should be.
These words come from Gaia and God: An Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing, by Rosemary Radford Ruether.  Published in 1992, her argument followed the World Conference on Environment and Development in expecting that the trends of modern society give us until about 2030 to make major changes in how we live before a series of disasters forces changes on us..  In the meantime, the news from climate scientists has only grown more alarming.  I reviewed this book some years back, but it's still pertinent.  More on the flip.

The world is in crisis, but polls are fun.

19%19 votes
35%34 votes
44%43 votes

| 96 votes | Vote | Results

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Sat Feb 28, 2015 at 09:27 AM PST

You Can't Read That!

by pwoodford

Reposted from Readers and Book Lovers by Ojibwa

You Can't Read That! is a periodic post featuring banned book reviews and news roundups.

Great news! Instead of trying to preemptively ban controversial material in state schools, Florida instead plans to proactively expose 8th graders to new ideas. Oh, wait.

More below the orange squiggle ...

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Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 09:51 AM PST

Struggle and Spirituality

by StewartAcuff

Reposted from StewartAcuff by Ojibwa
My friend and 30 year union and community organizer and labor educator Victor Narro has just released a brand new book I can’t wait to read called, Living Peace: Connecting Your Spirituality With Your Work for Justice.

Another great friend, Peter Olney, former organizing director for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, has written a great review of Victor’s book.

I’ve long thought that those of us who organize or who are active in progressive politics or movements should not hide our faith. For many of us our faith motivates our politics. And faith is an excellent way to connect with many we are working to organize or mobilize.

For those of us who organized in the South, the church was the only organizational model for so many workers and average people.

Famous, of course, Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference mobilized and organized through African-American churches and appealed to people of all faiths.

Many Latino civil rights, unions, and other worker organizations continue to appeal to people through their faith. Baldemar Velásquez is a great Protestant preacher and head of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee who appeals to the faith of workers.

I’ve seen the Coalition of Immokalee Workers include both indigenous religious leaders and Catholic Priests in their marches and demonstrations.

Part of the importance of our faith is cultural, allowing people unfamiliar with collective action to find familiarity in our work.

Also importantly, an ecumenical approach can provide a common set of values which people individually and collectively ground our work in.

Peter Olney writes, “Narro’s spiritual faith in a greater ‘Good’ is the product of his own amazing work as a labor and community organizer in Los Angeles for thirty years and his study of the teachings of St Francis of Assisi and a Vietnamese spiritualist and teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh.”

Reposted from lawrencegoodman by Ojibwa
Not sure if it's a coincidence or there is a sudden surge of awareness and interest that will lead to reform, but there's been a lot of excellent books and articles on the prison industrial complex lately. As gets pointed out again and again, the incarceration rate of the United States of America is the highest in the world. African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population.

(Much credit to Book Forum for helping me track these down.)

The Seattle Times did an excellent investigative series on Washington state's abuse of prisoner labor. Despite claims by the state government, there is no evidence that having inmates work while in jail encourages them to find jobs once they're released. Mostly the state has used the program to generate large revenues for itself.

Far from being self-sufficient, CI has cost taxpayers at least $20 million since 2007, including $750,000 spent over three years on a fish farm to raise tilapia that has yet to yield a single meal.
In the latest issue of Mother Jones, there's a riveting piece about Ohio's policy of locking up juveniles in solitary confinement. Not surprisingly, this doesn't lead to rehabilitation.
"They locked me in that little room with nothing," Kenny countered when I reached him by phone a few weeks later. He was cold and lonely in the isolation room, Kenny told me, but that was nothing compared with the psychological torment. "I wasn't even thinking straight, banging my head on the door and everything else. I was acting like a crazy person," he said. "I had some of the roughest nights in there that I've ever had in my life."
The wise and erudite David Cole reviews several new books in the New York Review of Books, showing how f--ed up the prison system is.
Just Mercy demonstrates, as powerfully as any book on criminal justice that I’ve ever read, the extent to which brutality, unfairness, and racial bias continue to infect criminal law in the United States.
But Cole also strikes a number of hopeful notes:
And there are promising signs that the tide is finally beginning to turn in American criminal justice. The national per capita incarceration rate (combined state and federal prisons) reached an all-time high in 2007, but has fallen each year since then. Last year, the number of federal prisoners fell by 4,800, the first decline in about four decades. It is expected to drop by another 12,000 over the next two years. That’s the equivalent of closing six prisons.
If you're looking for something more academic, try Marie Gottschalk, a professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, who offers an alternative to current reform efforts, which she says are not working well enough.

This grabbed my attention:

Bluntly stated, the United States would still have an incarceration crisis even if African Americans were sent to prison and jail at “only” the rate at which whites in the United States are currently locked up,
She recognizes that African Americans are much more likely to be incarcerated than whites, but says whites are now being targeted as well:
But a new front in the war on drugs has opened up in rural, predominantly white areas that reportedly are facing the scourge of methamphetamine labs, prescription drug abuse, and heroin. Furthermore, since the 1990s, U.S. politicians and policy makers have been laying the institutional and political groundwork for a large-scale war against sex offenders, as discussed in chapter 9. The wider public has been a willing conscript in this new war, which has eerie parallels with the origins and development of the war on drugs four decades ago. The wave of draconian sex offender laws has struck hardest at older white men.
For a historical perspective, see the Los Angeles Review of Books' take  An Eye for an Eye: A Global History of Crime and Punishment, which charts the history of imprisonment back to thousands of years ago.

Finally, Slate does a pieceon a new theory on why so many Americans are in prison:

What appears to happen during this time—the years I look at are 1994 to 2008, just based on the data that’s available—is that the probability that a district attorneys file a felony charge against an arrestee goes from about 1 in 3, to 2 in 3. So over the course of the ’90s and 2000s, district attorneys just got much more aggressive in how they filed charges.
Reposted from The Book Bear by mettle fatigue

This has always been one of my favorite educator and writer gatherings.

I hope to see you there:

I invite you to the 2015 Conference on College Composition and Communication Annual Convention in Tampa, Florida, for a different kind of R&R: Risk and Reward. This theme acknowledges that risk is critical for innovation and action, two key outcomes I hope we can all foster at the 2015 CCCC Convention. When you join us in Tampa, you’ll see that many of our members are transforming the work of writing and composition. - Joyce Locke Carter Program Chair 2015 CCCC Annual Convention
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