Abraham Lincoln on Ferguson

CaptureI recently picked up a book at a thrift store on the Upper West Side called “Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly” by Jennifer Fleischner for a cool $2.00. The book is a dual biography that goes between the lives of Mary Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckly. The former being the wife of our 16th President and the latter being a freed black woman who became close to the Lincolns as a caretaker and dressmaker. The book is good, I definitely recommend it to any history or Lincoln fans, but there was one part that caught my eye in relation to current events, specifically the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

As you may or may not  should know, the conversation on race relations in America has flared up again after 18-year-old Ferguson resident, Michael Brown, was shot by police. Missouri has a long and fraught record when it comes to the treatment of African-Americans that goes back hundreds of years. Take 1847, the year Elizabeth Keckly arrived in St. Louis, Missouri. By this year, the state assembly had passed laws “outlawing schools ‘for the instruction of negroes and mulattoes in reading or writing'”, preventing free (and presumably better educated) blacks from entering the state, and barring all forms of assembly. On top of all this, the slave trade was extremely present in St. Louis with slave traders being “noted for…barbarity” by a mixed-race slave named William Wells Brown, who would later become an antislavery activist and writer.
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Remember that time that oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico for 3 months?

Yea, it can be easy to forget that this happened. It was officially 4 years on April 20th when this tragedy happened that kept us on edge the whole summer. Whatever the validity of claims from either a pro-oil/corporate or environmentalist standpoint, there is NO way that over 200 million gallons of oil (a toxic substance by the way) can leak into the Gulf of Mexico and that everyone is totally fine now. People and animals are sick or have died from exposure to oil or chemical dispersants. I hope that we can at the VERY LEAST learn from this and not easily go into things for short term gain (think Keystone XL Pipeline) without truly listening to residents and the environment.

See also:

Deepwater Horizon oil spill timeline – Al.com

BP: Four Years On, No Restoration in Sight – Truthout

The Deepwater Horizon Threat – New York Times

Deepwater Horizon: Cleaning up – Financial Times

Fair and Balanced Reporting Often Means Seeing Two Perspectives…

Image Courtesy of Politico

…Even if they’re from the same publication! Going through my Twitter feed this morning, I saw a Politico tweet that asked “What’s wrong with President Obama?”. Just before clicking into it to get insight from the other side I saw a tweet that then asked “And what’s right with President Obama?” I was surprised to find that both articles were written by the same people who were able to offer their critiques and praise of the President. Though they both touched on similar points, it was refreshing to see these articles promoted side by side by Politco. As I like to say, the truth is never on one side but always in the middle. But apparently being gray can be a bad thing so read on, educate yourselves and make your own opinions. As of this writing, “Right ” is number one on Politico and “Wrong” is number “three.

Elsewhere on the Web:
The New York Times | Obama Sees Defiance in his Own Party
Fox News | What is Obama afraid of?
Bloomberg | Yellen said to top Obama’s list after Summers’ Exit
Huffington Post | Obama Enraged by NYT Editorials

the thin line between constitutional and not

After the much anticipated SCOTUS decision concerning The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (more  commonly known as Obamacare) came out as supportive, political conservatives all over the country have a renewed interest in bringing out a Romney presidency and a flat our repeal to the act and all of it’s benefits.

The only way a law can be brought down is through legislative action which many analysts say would be fairly difficult without a Republican majority in Congress and Republican President. This is the wonder of checks and balances. If President Romney were to try to simply bring it down with an executive order or simply not enforce it, he could only be accused of doing the same things President Obama has done in some instances like practically granting amnesty to young immigrants or not enforcing DOMA. Then again, no President has ever been against doing things they previously argued against.

This post came about after seeing Senator Rand Paul come out and declare that the PPACA is still unconstitutional despite a ruling to the contrary. Frankly, I find it to be really dangerous that anyone is doubting the legality of the health care law (or ANY law for that matter) even after the SCOTUS ruling. It shows blatant disregard for judicial review and the Constitution. Sorry guys, when the law is approved by ALL THREE BRANCHES of our government, that’s about as legal as it gets.

its friday: nyc etiquette

Happy Summer, my friends! The time we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Weekend trips to the beach, lying out in Central Park, outdoor seating at your favorite restaurants, Summer Fridays at work and an excuse to wear less clothing outside.

There are also bad things about summer, especially in New York. The suffocating humidity, influx of more tourists, trash days, black/brown outs, crowded Central Park, summer traffic on the thru way and an excuse to wear less clothing outside.

You’ll notice that I made wearing less clothing a good AND bad thing. New York City in the summer is a field of sleeveless tops and mini shorts and there is so much skin to be seen. With this skin comes two things that are completely repulsing to me and the should be to you too.
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