Darren Wilson will face no charges in Michael Brown’s shooting death

This decision and hostility of the prosecutor towards those pressing for a trial is troubling. He blasting people for spreading incorrect information, but they were just quoting the eyewitnesses. We need to examine all the evidence when they release it( at least they said they would if no indictment was issued). If Michael Brown cannot get justice, then legislation must be passed to make certain this does not happen again. The ACLU has a petition asking that the federal government ban racial profiling. That would be a good first step. NOTE: I just got a notification that President Obama wil speak on Ferguson at 10 p.m. I hope that he can help heal.

Above all, though, please no one engage in any violence. Violence never solves anything.

Michael Brown Grand Jury a Decision

The prosecutor will announce the decision in a few minutes. Much of this nation waits tensely. Update: CNN says Darren Wilson’s legal team expects no indictment. Not a surprise (to put it mildly), but they are probably right. Update: CNN says a crowd is growing outside the Ferguson courthouse and it is growing. They were chanting “indict that cop” earlier. Update: the grand jury returned NO indictment of Darren Wilson. Despite their having reviewed all the evidence, this is only going to raise more questions. I fear two things:

1) Although reasons exist to question the decision, especially with regard to the witnesses, most people will not listen.

2) Violence in streets of Ferguson and other cities


One can only hope for restraint on the part of both protestors and police and an honest debate of the issue.

President Infuriates GOP with Immigration Executive Order

Good. Let us hope he goes on infuriating them.

Nel's New Day

Last night, mainstream television stations refused to run President Obama’s speech, but the message still came across loud and clear: the president is moving forward on immigration reform because the GOP House won’t take action. In the first minute of the speech, he announced that about 4.4 million undocumented immigrants—parents, children, and others who have lived at least five years in the country—will not be forced out of their homes.

Undocumented parents of U.S. citizen and legal permanent children can legally stay in the country and work if they pass a background check. His 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy will be expanded by removing the top age limit of 31 and applying to all those who came to the U.S. before January 1, 2010. Relief from the deferred action will be three years, an increase from the two-year DACA program. Executive orders are temporary, made on a case-by-case basis…

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Art Project “Funk, God, Jazz & Medicine” Celebrates Black Heritage in Brooklyn This Weekend

Black Heritage weekend is being celebrated in Brooklyn this weekend. This an important part of our history that does not get enough attention in history books.


“Funk, God, Jazz & Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn” (Credit: Todd Heisler/The New York Times)

New York City so knows how to lose — and save, and lose again — its history. Among notable rescues of the past several decades were material remains of the vanished 19th-century African-American village of Weeksville in Brooklyn, snatched from the jaws of 1960s urban renewal. Once in parts of what are now Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, the village is currently getting fresh and needed attention in an art project organized by the Weeksville Heritage Center and Creative Time called “Funk, God, Jazz & Medicine: Black Radical Brooklyn,which runs Friday through Sunday (October 10-12).

Spread over four sites, the project roughly maps the footprint of the original settlement. More important, it strengthens the memory of a local past that could easily be swallowed up by gentrification.

The village was named for James…

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What President Obama didn’t mention in his immigration address

President Obama outlined his executive order three and a half hours ago. Approximately 4.1 are expected to qualify to avoid deportation for three years and obtain work permits. This is a reprieve, but it sounds too much like the Bracero program of the mid-twentieth century. Granting work permits without citizenship is exploitation pure and simple. The above article is right in pointing out that this will lower labor costs ( wages, of course) and suits employers, but wrong in asserting that Obama is as bought and paid for as Republicans; corporations spent much more money to defeat him than to elect him ( most of his money came from small donations, while most of Romney’s came from corporations).

Deportation would lower wages here even more; exporting problems never works). Delaying deportation is better than nothing, but these people and the other seven million undocumented immigrants need and deserve citizenship! Because they could not afford to get documentation or to wait to be processed, these people deserve Amnesty. That’s right, I said the A word! Let me shout it out: AMNESTY! The undocumented deserve amnesty from our unjust immigration laws just as evaders of unjust draft evaders for an unjust and useless war deserved amnesty over 40 years ago.

Therefore, we must not only support the president’s historic action, but push him and Congress to go further. The undocumented deserve a hearing without having to suffer in detention for weeks, months years, and they deserve a path to citizenship. From here on out we must fight the pig-headed and xenophobic right-wing opposition to justice.

Progressive Culture | Scholars & Rogues

There’s a sequence of 6 letters that appears nowhere in the transcript

President Obama finally addressed the nation today regarding the executive actions he’s taking in regard to our broken immigration system. If you’re looking for a strident pro or con piece, this isn’t it. If you’re looking for a call to see him impeached, yeah, good luck with that. If you’re acting like this is the first time a sitting president has ever had the temerity to go it alone on the issue, maybe you might want to bone up on the administrations of Ronnie “Golf? I NAP!” Reagan and creepy ex-chief of the secret police George “I Threw Up on Helmut Kohl and All I Got Was this Lousy T-Shirt” Bush, the Elder. Even so, I’m here to throw our friends on the right a bone.

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Obama Will Give Legal Status to Almost 5 Million Undocumented Immigrants

Tonight is a big night. President Obama will outline the executive order he will give grant relief to undocumented immigrants. It will not be a path to citizenship, but it will give some temporary legal status. It is modest step forward on the issue, but it is a start and it is a massive humanitarian action.
Opposition to this move will be fierce. We must fight in support of the president’s action and for going further, I.e. a path to citizenship with all of our might.


image image I got home from the concert almost two hours ago. The cover of the program and the list of pieces within are posted above. Both performances went well. The sanctuary was packed for first one in the afternoon and half full for the second one at night. Both lasted about one hour and twenty minutes and drew standing ovations. We all loved singing for the audience. I greatly look forward to our next concerts in the spring. rehearsals begin in January.

Voices Rising Concert Tomorrow (Sunday Nov. 16)

  • imageThe Voices Rising Chorus of Gainesville is giving two concerts tomorrow (Sunday November 16 ) at 3:oo p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church on 419 NE 1st Street in Gainesville, Florida (downtown).

The program includes a mix of  pieces by the full chorus (115 strong), by the women, by the men, ensembles, and solos. The full chorus will perform eight(8) pieces:


  •   “We are the Music Makers,” poem by Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessey (1884-1881) set to music by Victor C. Anderson;
  • “O Music”, poem by Kahlil Gibran set to music by David L. Bruner;
  • “Banquet Fugue,” music by John Rutter (part of a larger work called “The Reluctant Dragon” ) and lyrics by David Grant;
  • “Sic Locutus Est,” by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (from Magnificat BWV 243);
  • “How Lovely are the Messengers,” music by Felix Mendelsson Bartholdy (1809-1847) (from “Saint Paul”) and lyrics from Romans, 10:15 (edited by Dr. Archibald T. Davison);
  • “All Ye Who Music Love, ” a madrigal for mixed voices by Baldassare Donato (1548-12) and edited by Augustus D. Zanzig;
  • “The Seal Lullaby,” a poem by Rudyard Kipling (from a short story of the same name) set to music by Eric Whitacre. This piece was written as a part of an animated feature that was to be made of the story, but “Kung Fu Panda” was made instead. The piece was featured in the 2008 motion picture “The Wrestler.;
  • “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” (from the motion picture and Broadway musical “The Lion King”) music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice;

The women (altos and sopranos of the choir) will perform two pieces as a section:

  • “Altos’ Lament,” music by Zina Goldrich and lyrics by Marcy Heisler;
  • “Iraqi Peace Song,” (a lullaby told by a mother to a child) solo arrangement by Knut Reiersrud, choral arrangement by Lori Tennenhouse with a solo in Arabic and accompanied by cello;

The men (tenors, baritones, and bases) also perform two pieces as a section:

  • “Inscription of Hope,” an inscription on put on the wall of a cologne cellar by Jewish people hiding in World War II set to the music of a Russian folk song by J. Randall Stroope”
  • “We Sail the Ocean Blue,” (from the operetta H.M.S Pinafore) music by Sir Arthur Sullivan, lyrics by William S. Gilbert;

Additionally a small ensemble will sing John Ono Lennon’s immortal song “Imagine” accompanied by guitar. Several solos will also be on the program. This is the third concert date for Voices Rising, which first start rehearsals in September 2013 with 70 members and has grown to 115. Ruth Lewis is the music director and conductor.