SEIU, UFCW Demand Hilda Solis’ Speedy Confirmation

hilda-solis

SEIU, UCFW, and other worker rights advocates are escalating their campaign against Republican efforts to obstruct the appointment of Congressmember Hilda Solis as the new Labor Secretary. Solis, who has been a hero to working people from her days as a California legislator through her tenure in Congress, is being opposed on the grounds that […]

Housing Pushing Up Numbers of U.S. Homeless

homlessness

Every Christmas season a large electric star visible for miles is illuminated on a mountainside overlooking Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to commemorate the time the holy family of Christianity took refuge in a manger on the night of Christ’s birth. This past Christmas, this city of 71,000 — whose principal landmark is the rusting remains of the […]

Court Rules Defense of Marriage Act Unconstitutional, Irrational

marriage-equality

Here is some great news that should be no surprise to anyone really paying attention — after the Proposition 8 kerfluffle, this was inevitable: A federal court ruling was just issued that is based upon the notion — one held by decent and intelligent people all along — that the un-American, anti-equality, anti-LGBT Defense of […]

Bicentennial for Two Great Emancipators: Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln

darwin_lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, The Great Emancipator, has been much on our minds recently as Barack Obama moved into the White House. Exactly 200 years after Lincoln’s birth, Obama’s presidency is one fulfillment of the work Lincoln started. Lincoln shares his birthday with Charles Darwin, the other Great Emancipator of the 19th century. Though in different ways, […]

Obama, Sandburg, Lincoln

carl_sandburg

Obama and Lincoln, okay; but “Obama, Sandburg, and Lincoln”? Lincoln scholar, poet, and folk singer Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) is seldom mentioned anymore, but that’s unfortunate. A half century ago he was, in the words of his friend Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson, “the one living man whose work and whose life epitomize the American dream.” During […]

Michael Steele — The Republican’s First Black Party Chair: For Real, or Another Cheap Trick?

michael-steele

Last week, after six ballots, the Republican Party elected its first African American party chair in the history of the party, former Maryland Lt. Governor, Michael Steele. This new “lovefest” with black America is almost too much to handle. First, a black president — now a black Republican Party Chair. We just don’t know what […]

Will June Be Gay Wedding Month — Again?

gay_marriage

The other shoe is about to be dropped. The California Supreme Court announced on February 3 that it would hear oral arguments March 5 over the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the November 2008 election ballot constitutional amendment which removed the right of same-sex couples to legally marry in California. And then the clock will begin […]

Ted Haggard’s Issues with His Homosexuality

Rev. Ted Haggard

After a publicity junket promoting the HBO documentary The Trials of Ted Haggard, which landed him on Oprah and Larry King Live, fallen evangelical star Haggard has risen from public obscurity to tell us he’s not gay. He’s “heterosexual with issues.” And the issues Haggard is referring to are his “sexual thoughts about men, but […]

California Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Prop 8 Legal Challenge on March 5

prop-8

The California Supreme Court announced today that it will hear oral arguments on Thursday, March 5, 2009 in the Proposition 8 legal challenge. On November 19, 2008, the California Supreme Court agreed to hear the legal challenges to Proposition 8 and set an expedited schedule. Briefing in the case was completed on January 21, 2009. […]

Republicans Now Led by a Black Man

michael-steele

Michael Steele has been selected to lead the Republican Party. He is the first African-American to chair the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the second African-American to chair either of the two major party’s National Committee after Ron Brown, who chaired the Democratic National Committee. Michael Steele was the first black to serve in a […]

Opera/Hopera: “The Magic Flute”/”Street Cred 101”

Deadlee and Down Low

Opera. Hopera. The Los Angeles Opera Company at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion presents Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” Italian-American tenor and musical genius Placido Domingo is the General Manager. Russian, Swedish, German, Canadian, English, Austrian, Korean and American artists, who are tenors, sopranos, baritones and bass, populate the roster. A full symphony orchestra occupies the pit […]

Why We Need Stronger Unions, and How to Get Them

union workers

Why is this recession so deep, and what can be done to reverse it? Hint: Go back about 50 years, when America’s middle class was expanding and the economy was soaring. Paychecks were big enough to allow us to buy all the goods and services we produced. It was a virtuous circle. Good pay meant […]

An Inaugural Poem

girl_pledge

America is the greatest country in the world… Or at least that’s what they tell me. The greatest country? Now, exactly what yardstick were you using just now? Such a bold statement with such paltry evidence! Sounds like the words of someone who hasn’t been anywhere, Yet those who have lived, traveled and studied Beyond […]

Why Millions Risk Lives to Enter the U.S.

illegalpeople

Immigration policy remains a hot button issue in the United States. Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel has described comprehensive immigration legislation as the “third rail” of American politics, and CNN provides Lou Dobbs with a daily forum for bashing undocumented immigrants. While opponents of creating a path to legalization for such immigrants recognize that […]

George Bush and Bill Clinton — in Bed Together

bush_clinton

Of all the damaging things George Bush did, let’s not forget his “War on Sex” and his “War on Abortion.” During the last eight years, anti-abortion, anti-birth control/contraception, anti-homosexual, and anti-sex education advocates have had free reign to implement their policies with full support of government funds, agencies and personnel. Through directives, cutting-of-funds, non-enforcement, and […]

Ladies First

ladies_first

Black women are accustomed to being referred to and treated as females and workhorses, but not ladies. We are at once the clean-up woman whose tenacity, independence and bull-headedness may render us manless, or increasingly taking care of them in an inversion of traditional gender roles, a la the latest head-nodding about-face to the sistas […]

Barack H. Obama, 44th President Of The United States: Has “The Dream” Been Fulfilled?

obama_swearingin

The day of an African American President of the United States is no longer coming. That day is here. Witnessing Barack Obama take the oath of office, in the freezing cold with a million other people, is surely one of the seven highlights of my life (along with the witnessing the birth of my four […]

Obama Pimp-Slaps Queer Community by Omitting Robinson’s Invocation

Rev. Gene Robinson

As quietly as it would like to be kept by the Obama team and even by many in the LGBTQ community, Obama exploits the queer community for his political gains. And like pawns on his chessboard, Obama checkmates us each time when our hopes to be included in his big tent are dashed. Our most […]

Walmart Against EFCA

same-direction

Walmart Against Employee Free Choice Act t’s estimated 86,000 workers got fired trying to exercise their legal right to organize a union during the Bush years and signs are Corporate America will fight to keep things that way. “We like driving the car,” Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott says, “and we’re not going to give the […]

Response to ACLU Racial Profiling Study: Los Angeles Police Department Never Met a Reform Report It Agrees With

dwb

The nation’s most abusive, and aggrieved law enforcement agency, the Los Angeles Police Department, is still “doin’ what it do” as it presented its response this week to a racial profiling study released to its civilian Police Commission in October 2008. The study, titled, “Racial Profiling & The LAPD,” documents that deep and pervasive racial […]

Obama’s Inauguration Brings Mixed Feelings for Many Black LGBTQ Americans

king_rustin

The last time a nation came to Washington and was mesmerized and stirred to action by the oratorical brilliance of an African American man was at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech. In that speech, King said: “I have […]

Marriage – Gay Grassroots Style

love-is-not-about-gender

I had conversations with four recently married same-sex couples during the first week of January. There were two lesbian couples, one from the Sacramento area (Davis) and the other from West Hollywood. The two gay couples were from the Bay Area and Orange County. Along with my spouse, we represented five of the over 18,000 […]

Bigotry Still Rules

Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King Jr.

In the summer of 2006 I attended the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard. One of the guest presenters was 95-year-old Johnnie Carr, the woman who took over the Montgomery Improvement Association in 1956 after the successful Montgomery bus boycott when Martin Luther King, Jr. went […]

“Please Cry For Me, I’m Al Gonzales.”

fredo

Like tens of millions – and growing – of his increasingly desperate countrymen, he is out of work and cannot find a job; worse, nobody in his chosen profession will even interview him. His previously good friends don’t want to publish his story so he is reduced to keeping a journal for his sons. He […]

The 10 Worst People Of The Year; Wait, Actually There’s Only One

bush_bottles

by Charley James – I detest the Top 10 lists sprouting up daily: Newspapers, magazines, television, cable, blogs, whatever. One acquaintance in New Mexico sent a mass e-mail to everyone in her Outlook directory asking each of us to submit our own Top 10 list of whatever we want to rank.

Honor the People of Conscience

albertomora

As the President-elect prepares to fulfill his word to close Guantánamo and ban torture, there’s more he can do. Sure, I’d love to see members of the outgoing administration prosecuted and hope it will happen. I doubt, however, that President-elect Obama will move in that direction. But if he truly wants to be a healer, […]

White House, US Media, Picking Sides In Israeli Terror Bombings

gaza_bombing

by Charley James – By now, no one should be surprised that the White House is taking its usual, uneven and heavy-handed approach in reacting to the gargantuan Israeli shock-and-awe bombing of densely populated areas of the Gaza Strip.

Brinks or Blackwater: My Frightening Encounter With A Combat-Mode Guard & His Gun

armed_guard

For years since the United States invaded Iraq, I’ve witnessed countless photo and video images of innocent civilians – men, women, teens and children – being rudely and aggressively threatened by hired uniformed militants (mostly men), wielding guns

Printing Poetry

navita

by Wendy Block – Back from Best Buy one recent evening with my new all-in-one inkjet, I finally began connecting it to the computer just before midnight. When I next glanced at a clock, it was way later and I’d utterly failed. Time for another disjointed tech call.

Exclusion, Inclusion and Change: Is Rick Warren Today’s Ebenezer Scrooge?

scrooge-warren

by Tom Hall – Do you remember what Scrooge did when he woke after that terrible night with the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and yet to be? He flung open his window and told a boy in the street to run around to the butcher shop and buy the prize turkey hanging in the […]