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Showing posts from 2022
 November 5, 2022 "When her husband was taken hostage, she found her voice." PBS has released a story about the wife of one of the Americans taken hostage during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1980-81, and it was titled - " When her husband was taken hostage, she found her voice."  There is an implied assumption that she was quiet before this. I wonder if any journalist would have written that statement about a husband whose wife had been taken hostage. I don't think so.  Our culture still makes the assumption that somehow a woman in marriage loses something. That somehow she is passive. This woman was a wife, a mother and a teacher. She has always had a voice. She may not have been active in the public arena but most people, male or female, are not. She clearly led a very active life before the horror of the hostage situation.  What if the opening had said, "When her husband was taken hostage, she used the media to fight for her husband's freedom."
 August 17, 2022 Austerity Politics: The Difference in Mayoral Leadership Lynne A. Weikart, PhD Introduction This book is a book about leadership. It is the story of how each of six New York City mayors since the 1975 fiscal crisis coped with state and financial interference. New York State government in close cooperation with the major banking institutions strongly asserted their power over New York City during the city’s 1975 fiscal crisis. Both state government officials and bankers created strong institutional structures that prevented the City from investing in its citizens in a myriad of ways – City officials no longer had control of its resources – institutions created by these two external powers did. By the summer of 1975, City officials could no longer sell its bonds in the bond market. Because the city had accumulated billions of dollars in short-term debt, it faced bankruptcy unless it could borrow the money in the bond market to meet payroll. Bankruptcy was not an o

Free Speech

I want to share Bloomberg's article about free speech in the Wall Street Journal.  Republican Censorship Goes for Woke Ron DeSantis’s efforts to control educational and corporate speech are no better than the left’s. By  Michael R. Bloomberg Aug. 15, 2022 in Wall Street Journal Republicans often rightly complain that college campuses are hostile to the free exchange of ideas. Speakers over the past decade have regularly been disinvited, shouted down and even physically attacked by student activists unwilling to entertain different ideas and perspectives. This behavior is anathema to a university’s mission and deeply damaging to our nation. Unfortunately, instead of taking a principled stand for free speech, many Republicans are now saying: “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” Consider Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who signed a bill that as of July 1 bars professors from expressing any view in a classroom that “espouses, promotes, [or] advances” anything that could make

To My Students: What is Happening to our Country?

 Voting is a form of speech . And this country has had trouble with free speech since its inception. America was split ideologically at its beginning. When John Adams won the presidency in 1797 following eight years of George Washington's two terms of office, he demonstrated the split in our countrty., He proceeded to weaken the First Amendment - freedom of speech and press - by jailing those who criticized his administration. Since his party, the Federalist Pary, had taken the legislature and the presidency, he had the legislative support to get the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1797 passed by Congress to charge all those who opposed him with sedition. It was an ugly time. Fortunately, the Alien and Sedition Acts had a sunset provision so that those legislative acts evaported at the end of his one presidential term in office. But it set the precedent for the First Admendment to be under attack and not so sacroscant as you might have been taught in your education   Since that time th

Converting Hotels for the Homeless

 In June 2021, the NYS Legislature passed a bill with a $100 million price tag that would permit hotel owners to convert their closed hotels to low income housing for the homeless. It is almost a year later and not one conversion has taken place. Housing advocates celebrated when the state legislature passed the bill. But the state legislature was only half done. The legislators needed to get rid of the needless regulations so that the closed hotels could become residences. Nothing has happened. There are two classes of hotels - those in commercial zoning and not in residential zoning so that it is not possible to convert these hotels without a zoning change. A simple fix is to suspend zoning for any hotel in a commercial zone. Such a fix has not happened. Another class of hotels are those already in residential zoning but need to come up to code. A simple fix is to suspend the code. There are almost 50,000 homeless people in the city of New York. Does it really matter if the doorways

President Biden's Dilemma

 Main Street is hurting. Inflation has arrived; the kids are still not back in school on a regular basis; Covid is worse than ever. Wall Street is still booming although it is increasingly edgy. President Biden enters the room and tells us all the good things he has done. He even called on Tom Hanks to put out a video sharing the good things that have happened. But that is not the way Americans are feeling. And yes, job growth is terrific and unemployment is low. But what Biden doesn't get is that the kids are still not back in school, and that we are paying more for groceries, and the cost of a new car is out of sight. Biden needs to take a page from FDR. Yes, the Democrat who changed the course of American history. FDR did not deny that times were bad. He said so and then he told the American people everything he had done to improve their lot. And then he asked them to do something - in FDR's case, the people had to go to the banks and put their money back into the banks. FDR
 Class: Budgeting and Financial Management for Nonprofits I have a series of videos about budgeting and financial management for nonprofits that might be useful to those interested in nonprofits. Here is the first one - Week 1: Budgeting & Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations

Trump Era and Nazism

In James Whitman's book, Hitler's American Model, he writes that the German Nazis regime in the 1930s learned much from American racism. In 1935, the Nazis sent 45 lawyers to America to study our race-based legal system. These lawyers had a reception with the NYC Bar Association. Whitman found document after document in the German archives about the lessons Nazis had learned from the United States. We knew before he was elected that Trump was a racist. He demonstrated that time and again in New York City. His most infamous action - asking for the death penalty for the "Central park Five" who, ten years after imprisonment, were found to have been innocent. Trump continued as president to be incredibly racist. After Charlottesville, Timothy Snyder in the New York Times writes that President Trump faced an easy test , and failed. When presented with an obvious opportunity to condemn the evil that was and is Nazism, he first waited, then equivocated, then read from a te
Letter to the Editor, New York Times, December 21, 2021 A lead article in Monday’s paper reads, “Biden Tries to Salvage Domestic Policy Bill After Rift With Manchin.” Why doesn’t the article read, “Manchin’s Betrays Americans, Stays Loyal to Financial Interests.” I don’t understand why the New York Times is providing so much help to obstructionists whose chief aim is to stop Biden’s reform agenda. Many senators are quite corrupt and are paid off by the oil, pharmaceutical and/or financial interests. The media, including the Times, needs to step up and question why Manchin takes the positions that he does. Manchin doesn’t support taxing the highest incomes to pay for Biden’s ambitious and desperately needed policies for working families. Manchin’s position serves millionaires like himself. If the media doesn’t dig deeper, the media contributes to the miseducation of countless Americans. And that leads us back to 2016.