Harry Underwood:

#MayorHodges of Minneapolis responds to her city’s idiot police union on #pointergate.

Originally posted on Mayor Betsy Hodges:

A few days before the November 4th election, I took a photo with an organizer while doorknocking to get the vote out. In that photo, the organizer and I pointed at one another (after, it has often been remarked, an awkward moment of set-up). A local news station ran a story that the pointing of our fingers constituted gang signs, that the photo undermined the morale of the officers in the Minneapolis Police Department, and that participating in the photo constituted poor judgment on my part. The head of the Minneapolis Police Federation — the union that represents Minneapolis police officers — made a comment publicly to that effect. He said, “She should know better” and asked, “Is she on the side of the cops or the gangs?”

As one of the two people pointing in the photo, I’ve tried to understand what the head of the police union…

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More Love Somewhere: The unedited hymn

Harry Underwood:

I’m divided about this, after reading this post.

Originally posted on Held In The Light:

I have long been uneasy with a recent practice among Unitarian Universalists of singing changed words to a particular song in Singing the Living Tradition, the hymnal published by the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Granted, we are always changing words to make them more palatable and therefore singable in our congregations. We free original hymns of their sexism and God-talk, for example, in an effort for our worship to be more inclusive.

The changed lyrics I am thinking of are to the old African American song, “There Is More Love Somewhere.” I have heard it sung by UUs as “There is more love right here.”

And as much explaining as I have done from the pulpit about understanding and respecting the history and context of the song, I field questions from congregation members who protest the song’s words when we sing it as is.

There is much to be troubled…

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We became silent about things that matter. That’s why we lost.

The good news: Muscogee County went blue for Carter, Nunn and Bishop. Incumbent state reps Hugley (unopposed), Buckner (against a Republican challenger), and Smyre (unopposed) all won Muscogee, and no Democratic incumbents lost in the General Assembly.

The bad news: Only Bishop is going to federal office. None of the Democratic slate won statewide officeRoslund lost against McKoon for the state Senate. Wasn’t even close.

The post-mortem meeting for the Democrats in Columbus-Muscogee is on Saturday morning. Words will be traded. Fireworks may go off.

But I appreciate this month that I spent volunteering on the campaign with so many forward thinking, proactive people.

  • Patricia Lassiter, who spent months out of this year working campaigns, making and answering calls, taking crap from some fools and desperate activists, knocking on doors across Columbus to get the vote out – first for Mayor Tomlinson in May and second for the statewide Democratic slate of candidates. I personally admire Patricia’s personality, work ethic, ability to organize and progressive politics.
  • Mary-Kate Clement, who graduated from Marquette and flew from Chicago to Georgia to join Patricia in helping the county’s coordinated campaign. I stayed late in the office with Patricia and Mary-Kate on several nights when they had to get things wrapped up and called in. I am so sorry that she had to see her own home state go to a Republican governor (and Wisconsin, where she previously interned for Mary Burke, going back to Walker for another term). Her mother, who came by our office several times, is cool. Hope they do well in the future.
  • David Smith, spirited and knowledgeable 17-year-old who made phone calls and knocked on doors for the campaign. He is a party activist in the making.
  • William Viruet, native New Yorker who GOTV’s on a very down-to-earth level and does a mean massage.
  • All of the people – of all ages, even slightly underage – who gave their time and energy to this campaign – Berlinda, Tom, both Bills from the UU Fellowship of Columbus, Charlotte, LaVon, Marlyne, Alice, Eddie (Mr. “Souls to the Polls”), James, and several others. You all did the great work for a Blue Muscogee.

But now I am furious, and the colleagues who I met over this month know how furious I am with what just happened.

The Democrats lost across this country. Low turnout happened in several states, and yet it was not for a lack of African-American voters. Older voters, as usual, turned out more for the vote than younger voters.

And yet, progressive legislations won on the ballot at the SAME DAMN TIME. Across the country!

  • Minimum wage increases passed by voters in Arkansas, Nebraska, Illinois (advisory), Alaska and South Dakota
  • Marijuana possession decriminalized by voters in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., while Florida gained 57% in favor but not the 60% necessary for passage. 6 Michigan municipalities’ voters passed similar measures.
  • California voters passing the reduction of dozens of nonviolent property and drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, resulting in potential thousands leaving California’s prisons.
  • A severe anti-choice “personhood” amendment being defeated in Colorado and North Dakota.
  • A fracking ban being passed in Denton, Texas and Athens, Ohio.
  • Dallas voters retain SOGI-inclusive NDO for city workers
  • Washington voters backed a criminal background check on all guns.

And I’m not the only one who noticed this. The Nation noticed this contradiction of voters supporting progressive legislation and voting for regressive candidates in the same election, so did Ring of Fire Radio. And I wonder “WTF just happened?”

And I’ve learned so much from reading articles about how populism won at the local and state levels, even as the GOP expanded their reach in many state legislatures.

A few words to the Democrats and to progressives all over Georgia, especially the state leadership in Georgia.

  • Stop being cowards on our principles. Stop apologizing.
  • Support our president and Obamacare.
  • If party leaders are cowards, throw them out. They are bums.
  • Shut up about money. No seriously, DNC/DSCC/DCCC/DGA/DLCC, stop sending me emails asking for contributions to the party’s war chest every damn day. I’m sick of being begged by career party activists for money when they don’t pull their weight.
  • Embrace your constituencies like your life depended on it.
  • Campaign on economic justice like your life depended on it.
  • Meet more often, like the party is your second, more secular church.
  • Don’t be afraid to remove those who don’t adhere to progressive principles.
  • If you can’t throw out the bums, do everything to make their political lives difficult.
  • Primary those who won’t carry their weight or have gotten too soft in their seats.
  • Campaign on issues. Not party, not personality, not demographics. ISSUES. Hear the issues, speak the issues, vote on the issues, poll the issues, build alliances around the issues, raise money on issues, publicize the issues, saturate local media with issues, recruit and test your candidates on the issues.
  • Do NOT disrespect progressive activists who are doing the work if you’re not doing it yourself. Or else you will get ripped a new butthole, in public, by me.

I have more to say, but all in all, let’s up off of our asses and campaign as progressives, not the “NON-REPUBLICANS”.

As MLK said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter“. The voters cared about issues. We didn’t. We need to care about issues, to push them by whatever means necessary, and to embrace those who care about them, like our President. We need to care about the compassion of our government, and we must say it every time we get. Or else, there is nothing progressive about us.


Make the Minimum Wage a Living Wage

Harry Underwood:

I agree with this:

Originally posted on Rcooley123's Blog:

During his State of the Union Address to Congress on February 12, 2013, President Obama stated,“Tonight, let’s declare that, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty – and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.”

The idea that people working full time should not have to live in poverty is not new. It has been put forth for many years, including by FDR. President Obama went on further to say, “Let’s tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on.” This approach of using automatic cost-of-living-adjustments has been in place for Social Security benefits for years, and negates the necessity to pass new laws every time the minimum wage becomes so outdated in purchasing power that it is no longer a living wage.

If the…

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Gay Activism and the Christian Persecution Complex: Ducking Responsibility

Harry Underwood:

Relevant in light of the Houston right-wing pastors’ freak-out against Mayor Annise Parker.

Originally posted on The Propaganda Professor:

Duck Dynasty - A&E

By now you’ve surely heard more than you ever, ever wanted to hear about the whole Duck Dynasty flap (if you live in The United States). But chances are you haven’t heard anything at all about the important lessons to be learned from it. So here are a few observations for your consideration.

1. Disapproval is NOT censorship.

It’s become an automatic response of anyone on the receiving end of a backlash for expressing bigotry or general idiocy to say, “Hey, you’re trying to censor me”. Or “you’re trying to suppress my First Amendment rights.”  Poppycock, horsefeathers, balderdash and codswallop.

Duck Dynasty’s head  mallard, Phil Robertson, expressed his mind (such as it is) and nobody tried to stop him. GLAAD and A&E expressed their disapproval. All were perfectly within their constitutional rights.  So was the network’s decision to suspend Robertson temporarily while they reassessed their relationship with him.

The constitutional…

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Australian Opposition Leader gives the business to right-wing Christian lobby

Amazing speech. And its not just because he directly supports marriage equality in his speech. Or the fact that he said this in front of the right-wing, anti-gay Australian Christian Lobby. Or the fact that he quotes MLK and JFK. Or that he directly addresses income inequality and cuts in foreign aid. YES.

via Bill Shorten speech to the Australian Christian Lobby 2014 Conference – YouTube.

Gizmodo reviews the fictional city of San Fransokyo for “Big Hero 6″

The original comic took place in Tokyo, but to make it their own, Hall and Williams decided to set the story in a brand new yet familiar city, melding the original locale with a near-future San Francisco. “It’s a very high-tech city that blends Eastern and Western culture, so we wanted it to be a mashup, just like the movie is a mashup between Disney and Marvel,” says Hall.

The resulting animated metropolis—which truly is its own character in the film, although people say that a lot—is a celebration of futuristic urban life and the high-tech culture that drives its residents. And it’s brought to life thanks to several new animation technologies developed in-house by Disney itself.

via A Tour of ‘San Fransokyo,’ the Hybrid City Disney Built for Big Hero 6.

I’m rather enamored of the trailers, and the city looks freaking amazing so far. I want to see it.