Recent air pollution in London. Photo By: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images on The Guardian

It’s hard to ever miss out on any opportunity to share footage of Boris Johnson stuck on a zip wire. But I’m not sure if this, or the evidence of his many other blunders (him falling over into a river was particularly enjoyable) can really be used to show the kind of idiot he is. Truth is that the people of London (who refer to him simply as “Boris”) have twice chosen to elect a clownish mascot for their mayor, and for years he has cunningly used his own clumsiness to further his political career.

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Today America wants to have amnesia about its racist past, much less face its racially challenged present. While people of color, women and LGBT advocates are not quite melting into the white-dominant-patriarchal-hetero-pot as they demand rights and recognition, the rug is slipping out from under black people who led the way toward justice in the King era. Right wing bigots are quoting Dr. King in a Machiavellian attempt to confound the truth of their regressive agenda.

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Of course who can blame Republican candidate hopefuls from distancing themselves from a party whose pointy white hood is showing. It’s embarrassing as well as downright unelectable in the 21st century. And with this new debate on the Second Amendment and white men in camouflage cargo pants (tricky) hunkered down in the wilderness with their assault rifles selling wolf tickets to the government, well, it smacks a little of the Civil War. What with meddling in women’s underwear with ultrasound abortion legislation and insulting people of just about every color, the optics for Republicans are not good.

Veterans protest the deployment of traumatized soldiers. (Source:

In financial terms, the Veterans Administration (VA) and commercial insurance companies are totally different. One, a government funded institution, cares for all recently returned and disabled veterans. The other, a market-based approach, offers only the services patients can afford. Nevertheless, patients in both systems are angry. They aren’t getting the services they need. I spoke with veterans and civilians about their experiences in these bureaucracies and discovered strikingly similar barriers to health care.

Students Not Scores! Activism at McKeldin Square. Photo By: Iris Kirsch. (Note: EDS and the ISO are unaffiliated.)

To Teachers, Students, Parents, and citizens:

As teachers, and as activists for social justice, Educators for Democratic Schools is proudly in solidarity with all teachers, parents and students who are standing up to the madness of standardized testing

Computer-generated image of the future 25th Street Station. (source:

On January 22, the Maryland Court of Appeals threw out the last remaining legal case brought against the planned development known as 25th Street Station. Like most previous attempts by critics of the project—a handful of community and business groups—the recent ruling never addressed the real issue behind the entire controversy: whether or not local businesses would suffer from the appearance of a retail giant like Walmart.

Trayvon Martin In Post Racial America by vagabond ©

The entrenched structural and institutional vestiges of slavery, Jim Crow, and its aftermath have not been dismantled, although the modern optics of racial inclusion obscure the facts. It is understandable that Americans, white people in particular, are breathing a sigh of relief that racism is on the run with the election of our black president. It is comforting to be able to point to the Tea Party as “the problem” and the few bad apples in whom reside the vestiges of our racially embarrassing history. Indeed, it is thrilling to see the LGBT agenda on the president’s desk and Hispanics courted at every turn. But just as Sonia Sotomayor did not single-handedly obliterate racial animosity toward Hispanics, Barack Obama cannot erase structural racism over which he does not preside.

"The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century" By: Peter Dreier

On January 29th, 2013, Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse welcomed Peter Dreier, "long time politically engaged scholar and advocate for social justice, currently the Dr. E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics, and director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Department, at Occidental College in Los Angeles", to The 2640 Space for a lecture and discussion on his new book The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century.

Students protest tuition hikes. Source: CNN.

My mother was the oldest of 5 children, raised in a small apartment in the Bronx. Her immigrant parents had no opportunity to go to college, and were very proud of her when she graduated near the top of her class and got a full scholarship to study math at Mercy College.


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