levertovfan: (Default)
My bete noire? When doctors respond to me telling them I've been sick for a
month or two by saying, yeah, that's a predictable response to the
medication I've given you. And then they don't apologize, just prescribe
something else.

My favorite time this happened involved me getting mono, and doctors saying
that it was probably a function of the meds they proscribed.

And I get it, with medicine it can be a choice between bad and worse
options. But still, usually when you've done something that ruins someone's
*month,* it's good manners to apologize, or at least to acknowledge the
oversize impact that you have on this person's life. I'm pretty sure there
are probably studies that find that doctors apologizing leads to lawsuits.
But there's still got to be some way doctors can be a bit more
interpersonally sensitive around these things without apologizing.
Explaining, for example, that it isn't ideal, but they are making the best
choices they can. (Doctors? Interpersonal sensitivity? I know, I know,
ridiculous to expect.)
levertovfan: (Default)
The trip up to Huntington Lake took most of the day Sunday, but it was lovely nevertheless, especially the last bit of the journey that took me up into the Sierra Nevadas. It's been 18 years since I was last here. My mom and I went up here together every summer when I was a child. (I think the time served as a release valve for my parent's marriage, because we stopped going after my parent's divorce. But also Mom sold our share of the cabin we co-owned after fights with the co-owners.) Most of the old landmarks I remember from coming up here when I was young are unchanged. The wooden signs are still the same, even though they must have been repainted and maybe even replaced due to snow damage. Huntington Lake road still has the same three stores, in the same three locations. It has the same docks. Most of all, the smell is the same. I smelled it a bit coming through my car's A/C, then much more thickly when I got out to go into a store in Shaver Lake, Huntington's much bigger, more tourist-y older brother.

The smell in Huntington Lake is a rich combination of living pine trees, their composting remains, water and mountain air. It permeates everything, even the insides of this cabin where I am writing this while processing the end of another book. The smell is wonderful--maybe this specific smell wouldn't be as wonderful to other people as it is to me because of the specific force of my nostalgia.

When I was thinking about coming up here, I figured I only needed two or three days up here, but now that I'm here, I'm sad I'll only be here for four full days. All the same, I'm grateful I have this time. And time seems to move slower here. Something about the sunlight and slight swaying motion of the trees.

I remember why I used to read so much when I was here as a young person. You take a hat, some sunscreen and bug spray, maybe a towel, and go walking, then pause at boulders or beaches to sit down and read. You read under the covers when it's cold in the morning and before going to bed at night. At twilight, you sit on the porch, smell that wonderful Sierra Nevada smell on the breeze, and read. When I was young, the Big Creek Library only allowed 10 books to be checked out at a time, so Mom would drive me down there twice a week to refresh my supply. At some point Mom decreed I was spending too much time reading and was only allowed to read before breakfast, after dinner, and an hour during the day. I clandestinely snuck books with me when I went out on walks in order to make more reading time.

This time around, I knew I wasn't going to be going to the Big Creek library because the road there is a winding mountain road with a cliff on one side, and requires extensive backing up skills when you encounter lumber trucks going in the other direction, which happens frequently. My driving skills are not up to the challenge. But I also had a lot of specific books I want to read and have available for the writing I've been doing, so I brought a lot of books on autoimmune disease, disability and Buddhism I ordered from the Larkspur Public Library, as well as books I need to read as pre-work for the class I'm taking and a little fiction. And I don't feel so silly now that I came up here with 3 bags of books because yesterday I dipped into four or five books.





As far as my writing project goes, I'd been trying to understand Buddhist ideas of the self, specifically what sort of being we are left as if we abandon our self and/or ego. I got an answer yesterday while reading Charlotte Joko Beck's book Everyday Zen. Beck describes the effects of meditation practice, of sitting, labeling the thoughts that flit through our heads and letting them go: "More and more, I can be who I truly am: a no-self, an open and spacious response to life. My true self.." (I actually misread it as capacious, which I like better than spacious, because of the implication that it can hold a lot of things.) I like that idea, that thought, but I'm also trying to make sense of it and how it works for people with autoimmune disease and other hidden disabilities who might read what I am writing who live with a lot of limitations. Trying to have as open and spacious a response to life as possible even with limitations, I suppose.
levertovfan: (Default)
What follows is a super long, ramble-y post. Apologies in advance for lack of organization.

A conversation at an INFJ meetup with James’s friend Greg introduced me to a concept I had not hear of before: Sudbury Schools. Maybe they are a more familiar concept to Amherst planworlders, since the original Sudbury School, the Sudbury Valley School, is in Massachusetts and Amherst’s relationship to Hampshire College might make you more familiar with the ideas surrounding radically self-driven education. But I had never heard of them before and was curious to learn more.

While I was waiting for the directly related books I ordered sent to the library, I picked up Creating Innovators by Tony Wagner from the education section of the library. The part of my mind that is trained in quantitative social science is dissatisfied with Wagner’s primarily case study based presentation, even if he assures the readers that the young innovators he interviews are representative of all of the young innovators he interviewed. But the narratives he presents about the early lives of these young innovators are compelling.

Young innovators tend to have parents who are supportive of their children’s choices and passions, who give them room to play, and who question schools’ priorities when schools get in the way of their children’s interests. In Wagner’s presentation, schools are mixed blessings, and occasionally detriments for these young people as they develop and seek to pursue the three “P”s Wagner finds critical: passion, play, and purpose. Young innovators tend to find mentors who are employed at the periphery of their educational institutions, for example, at universities in non-tenure-track positions. Some of the material is in line with what I’ve read about how Google tries to select its employees.

Many of the themes of Wagner’s book are also present in the book I ordered about Sudbury School: Free At Last: The Sudbury Valley School by Daniel Greenberg. I highly recommend the book, which is short and fascinating.

Students at Sudbury schools are fully in charge of their own learning. Play is emphasized as children’s developmental “work.” Free age-mixing allows for students to learn from other students who are older and younger than they are. When students want to embark on some collective course of learning or activity, they put up signs to recruit people to their activity. They might decide that they want to learn something from a teacher, so the student would initiate an agreement with a teacher to meet at some particular time for lessons. Teachers are there as a resource for the students to consult if they want to. They are not in charge of students’ learning.

Sudbury Schools operate as a total democracy. The school is run by regular school meetings where everyone in attendance, students age 5-19, teachers, and parents, gets an equal vote. Teachers are paid at the end of each year from the net sum of all of the tuition minus the expenses of running the school. In a dramatic expression of Sudbury Schools’ democratic spirit, at the end of each year, the school votes on which teachers they want to retain.

Adolescents, in our society, spend a lot of their effort resisting what authority wants them to do and to be. Greenberg claims this doesn’t happen at Sudbury Valley School. Because the students are responsible to themselves for how they spend their time, there isn’t a “man” for the students to rebel against because they, as a member of their community, are the man.

Greenberg makes a few very striking assertions in his book.

-He asserts that even though there aren’t any teachers pushing students to learn to read, all of the students eventually learn to read. He claims there aren’t any cases of learning disabilities at Sudbury Valley. Effectively, he relegates learning disabilities to a side-effect of adults pushing children to read at too young an age. I’m not sure I quite believe that. He does have a small sample size. Nevertheless, it’s striking.

-He tells the story of a group of 9-12 year olds who hadn’t taken any math classes and whose parents and relatives were starting to become concerned. He says that he taught the students the equivalent of six years of math education--addition, subtraction, multiplication and division--in 20 hours. The implication that our schools spend so much time teaching math when they could postpone it until students are ready to learn is staggering, as is the idea that on some level, our schools may be teaching math so as to demonstrate to the world that they are fulfilling their responsibilities to teach math and not because it’s actually a useful thing to do to 6 or 7 year olds.

-He says that Sudbury Valley has three distinct groups of adolescents: adolescents who have been at Sudbury Valley since they were young, adolescents who were “trouble-makers” at their previous schools, and adolescents who were high achievers at their old schools. He asserts that of that group, the high achievers have the most trouble at Sudbury Valley because they are used to trying to achieve the approval of their teachers, and when their teachers are not so immediately forthcoming with their praise, they have trouble knowing what to do. It’s an interesting comment on the power dynamics of traditional schooling. Frankly, I think it’s a problem I had coming out of school, and going into my PhD program with an advisor who subscribed to Sheldon Kopp’s existentialist worldview.

Overall, Greenberg’s account is so rosy, so idyllic, that I wonder what he’s missing and what might be found out from other sources. On the other hand, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something a little miraculous in putting responsibility for their own learning into children’s hands.

There are a lot of things about Sudbury Schools that are open questions to me. I’m curious about how Sudbury School alumni fare in the job world as underlings, when they don’t get to self-direct. Greenberg claims that the cooperative play and projects that Sudbury students engage in teaches them how to work with others in a way that the largely individual work in traditional schools does not, and I believe him. But much of the work world has explicit hierarchies that don’t explicitly exist between students or even between students and teachers at the intensely egalitarian schools. A great many Sudbury students go on to be entrepreneurs, which could suggest they learn, in school and then maybe in the work world, that they don’t want to work for other people. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is certainly a thing of which to be aware.

I’m curious whether something like the Tyranny of Structurelessness dynamic might be at play in Sudbury Schools.

A lot of people claim that young children need structure. I’m curious how the need for structure plays out at Sudbury schools, or if such a need exists for young people. Greenberg says of the young children at Sudbury Valley that they “are too busy to talk, to eat, to sit still. They never walk; they run. They don’t tire. Until they get home.” I wonder whether the people who talk about young children’s need for structure mistake structure for stimulation. But I also wonder whether the Sudbury Schools might be missing something there.

I’m also curious about the intersection of Sudbury schools and socioeconomic class. It’s possible that Sudbury schools are able to function as intended because the families that choose to send their children to Sudbury schools are unusually independent-minded members of the middle and upper-middle classes. I wonder what would happen with other students, especially students whose parents don’t actively concern themselves with their children’s education or whose parents don’t provide structure or model discipline. From what I’ve read about how childrens’ upbringing varies by their parent’s occupation and socioeconomic class, it is pretty clear to me that parents want their children to learn the values that allowed the parents to make money. For upper-middle class parents, this is frequently self-direction, which is congruent with a Sudbury education. But for lower-middle or working class parents who make their money in low wage, repetitive work, it is often discipline and respect for authority. At very least the latter and maybe the former are opposed to the values one would learn at Sudbury school (see Annette Lareau’s Unequal Childhoods). Parents might object.

I also picked up Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto. He’s very extreme in his criticism of traditional schooling. I think most people are well-intentioned most of the time, especially when it comes to children’s education. This makes me disinclined to believe his theory that modern schooling represents a giant conspiracy on the part of the rich to blunt people’s potential. Daniel Greenberg makes some of the same points in Free At Last about how the structure of traditional schools tends to suppress rather than foster children’s innate curiosity and intelligence, but because he is giving a positive example rather than going on jeremiad, his book is much easier to digest.

I’m also planning to learn more about Montessori education, which seems to share some features with Sudbury education but to be more structured. I wonder if the contrast between Montessori educational methods and Sudbury educational methods can shed some light on another criticism of Sudbury education, which is that it doesn’t turn out well-rounded students with a knowledge of a variety of content areas.

I don’t have a totally set opinion about whether there is something really inherently valuable about our culture’s decision that children need to know about fiction/language, history/social studies, math, science, foreign language, sports and art. As many teachers will agree, just because you teach a subject, there is no guarantee that the students are going to remember it. That specific set of subjects could just be a historical relic. Part of me says “yes, science education is important!” and “yes, history education is important!” etc. because I see the value in each of these fields. But I also see value in some fields that aren’t universally taught to young people by our schools and that I think it’s valuable to know: psychology, sociology, economics, civics, cooking, sewing, plumbing, basic construction skills, accounting, non-fiction writing, how to do your taxes.

I’m sure there is an argument in teaching these subjects because that is what everyone else does, and knows, and maybe simply fitting into society is what following this curriculum guarantees. But I don’t think that’s a good enough argument unto itself.

The proponents of Sudbury education tend to agree with their opponents who object that Sudbury schools don’t produce well-rounded students. But they say that the freedom to pursue their interests, and pursue them with vigor, teaches them how to concentrate, develops discipline, and teaches them to learn and reason. Sudbury education allows students to set their own standards for their work, and develop their ability to criticize themselves when they do not meet those standards. Proponents would say that Sudbury graduates graduate knowing how to teach themselves new content areas if they need them. I’d be curious to know if this really is the case, if Sudbury graduates ever get frustrated because their education lacked something that they now find to be essential and they have passed the developmental point where they can teach themselves if they really want to.

Each year when tax time roles around, I think to myself that it would be really good if I could fully understand our tax system. Sudbury proponents, proponents of individually-driven learning, might say that the fact that I don’t actually try indicates I don’t really want to. They might have a point. But I wonder whether this sort of reasoning (“if you don’t do something, then it indicates you don’t really want to do that thing”) makes a hash of the Sudbury proponent’s claim that a Sudbury education develops discipline.
levertovfan: (Default)
I finally got back to updating my blog about soup, A Blog Named Soup.

[livejournal.com profile] darthbitsy created an RSS feed for it on dreamwidth at http://a-blog-named-soup-feed.dreamwidth.org/
levertovfan: (Default)
Ever since I heard about the The Hunger Games being made into a movie, I
believed it was A Very Bad Idea. It ran counter to the human tenancy that
the books criticize, human suffering being made into a pageant or a
spectacle. And yet I felt protective of the books and so I was one of a
crowd of young people treking from the Fenway T stop to the movie theater to
see The Hunger Games opening weekend. I wanted to determine for myself
whether the movie does justice to the books before conversations among my
peers might prejudice me about the movie.Mild spoilers ahead )
levertovfan: (Default)
I occasionally run carrots through the shredder on my cuisinart and make several servings of carrots so that I can use some of the shredded carrots in a salad and preserve the rest in the fridge for future salads or lentil dishes. Today I did that, putting some of the carrots in a container for future use, putting some in a salad bowl with lots of arugula, and leaving a small amount in the cuisinart. Then I switched out the shredder extension with the general chopping extension and chopped:

The small amount of carrots
One large clove of garlic (equivalent of two usual cloves of garlic)

And then I added in other stuff:
Half a single container of plain yogurt
Two spoonfuls of tahini
A single puff each of mace, tumeric, and curry powder
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Lemon juice

And blended. Then I added thin sliced cucumber, sunflower seeds, and white pepper to the salad bowl and poured the yogurt dressing on top.

It tasted yummy, although the taste mainly came from the raw garlic and spices and yogurt. I bet I could make it without the olive oil, and maybe even without the tahini, or I could substitute shredded sweet potatoes and/or apples for the carrots. I think I could also add in some coriander or mustard, although I would have to eliminate some of the other spices.
levertovfan: (Default)
http://open.salon.com/blog/lost_in_berlin/2010/08/24/doing_enough_the_challenge_of_long-distance_caregiving

"But for most people, the guilt is “only” making their lives miserable. I think this provides an opportunity to look at what this guilt is. Now, in my case, there is a lot of guilt. One question I would always ask myself is, Am I doing enough? I should be doing more for him and for my son! How can my son thrive if I'm always focused on my father? Am I a good daughter, mother, partner? What more should I be doing? You see, that “should” is so strong because, after all, I can never do enough. And not only can I never do enough, I can never do it well enough. So a lot of guilt statements come up.

What I do with a client is try to find out what those guilt statements are. Find the one guilt statement that is the kingpin for all the others. Then we talk about it and find out where it comes from. What value has it had for them over the years in helping them get through school or be better at work? What was important about it? What’s important about it now? And I try to get them to ask these basic questions: How do you know when you’ve done enough? What does it look like to do enough? What does it mean and what impact does it have? When you ask the question, you reach an “aha,” that little shift, when you move from passively accepting outside forces to actively asking what you want. And then maybe you discover that what you want is to give your family members the best care and have a healthy life for yourself."

"What final advice can you give readers who are faced with the challenge of providing long-distance care to a family member?

You have to give yourself permission to be honest with yourself. Otherwise you will be fighting but not accomplishing anything. It won’t be good for the person you’re caring for, and it certainly won’t be good for you as a caregiver."
levertovfan: (Default)
So I consume a lot of soup. It's generally noodle or quinoa soup that I make by heating up water and adding soup mix or bouillon cubes or Better Than Bouillon, sometimes sauteing garlic, ginger and/or onions in the bottom of the pot beforehand, then adding noodles or quinoa to the boiling water, then tofu or eggs, and finally fresh or frozen veggies and a dash of pepper. It's easy, quick, satisfying, and a good one portion meal for one person.

However, lately I've been noticing that all of the salt in pre-made broths or soup mixes is making me feel a bit "icky" (the technical term). I've been wanting to investigate making my own broth.. but not having a huge amount of space in my freezer, which I share, means I can't just boil up a big pot and freeze it. I'm also generally not a huge fan of the pre-made broths you can get in stores.

I was quite intrigued when I saw a recipe for borscht on salon.com that didn't require broth, only water. I wasn't in fact only intrigued by that, but also the fact that it called for two potatoes to be cooked in the water, taken out and mashed, and then returned to the pot. I made it three days ago, using golden beets for the color and an entire container of fresh dill, minus the stems. I also added in celery at the end to round out the taste and also shiitake mushroom tops, because I had them lying around. Curiously, the shiitake mushrooms didn't really change the flavor, although the celery was an addition that added some robustness. It made a huge pot of soup, so I froze half of it. It tasted pretty good the first day, but awesome the second. It definitely tapped into some sort of taste memory of the soup that I ate with my grandparents when we went out to Jewish delis when I was young and not yet vegetarian. Also, it would make a great party food: the ingredients cost probably only $20 at most (cabbage is cheap) for a dish that might feed 12, and along with some crusty bread and feta cheese, it makes a satisfying winter meal.

I looked at some other recipes for doukhobor borscht on the web, and one of them called for the tomatoes to be mashed with the mashed potatos before they are added in, which I think would be nice.

My next foray into pre-made-broth-less soups was my own variant of vegetarian pho. Yes, vegetarian pho is indeed a contradiction in terms, because pho is traditionally made with beef broth, but I looked up vegetarian pho on the internet and found out there are recipes. Pho generally calls for ginger root, cinnamon, star anise, and sometimes cloves. I made a two-meal pot by sauteing the chopped up bottom of three green onions with minced ginger root and chunks of carrots and celery. I added cinnamon, cloves, fennel instead of star anise because I didn't have any star anise, half a spoonful of mild curry purchased in an Indian grocery store, black pepper, salt, and a few flakes of crushed red pepper to the saute and stirred it around a bit with the veggies. Then I added water to the pot, added six large crimini mushrooms, brought it all to a boil, and added pho noodles, beet greens, and tofu. Not quite enough flavor to the broth, and spices sank to the bottom of the bowl so the bottom felt a bit dusty with spices, but it's all a work in progress. It was still a good, hearty portion of not-salty soup. Next time, I will likely add the celery in later, because by the time it was done with all of that cooking, it tasted washed out.

Kindle

Jan. 6th, 2010 05:17 pm
levertovfan: (Default)
I requested and got a Kindle for the holidays. When I requested it, I imagined myself indulging in long, way-too-weighty-to-carry-around-in-my-purse nineteenth century novels while quite industriously reading up on recent academic journal articles and classic books from my field on the bus. Classic literature, classic books by Peter Drucker and Erving Goffman, Administrative Science Quarterly, the Journal of Organizational Behavior--they would all be at my fingertips when I got a kindle. It seemed like everywhere I looked in library catalogs, there were e-books available.

But I finally got around to playing with my Kindle and trying to load it up with goodies today, and it turns out that most of what I want, aside from the classic literature, is either not available or not available conveniently. Somehow I had imagined that it would be easy to upload entire volumes of academic journals in one fell swoop. But no, I have to individually select each article. Then, with each file, I have to download it, wait to attach each large file (at least when it is a massive nineteenth century novel) to an email, and then wait as Yahoo sends the email to kindle. Somehow I also imagined that classic books by Goffman and Drucker would magically be available as ebooks. But it turns out that there's not a big enough market for them yet, it seems. It also turns out that not all of the books that Google is cataloging are available for download even if you can read them in their entirety on the web. And somehow, having to stay connected to the internet while you read them online using the kindle's online access seems to defeat the purpose of having so much memory, especially since the bus might move out of internet range. Annoying. Maybe the Harvard Business Review won't have to be uploaded as a bunch of separate articles?
levertovfan: (Default)
And it only took me making 4 pies to get there...
Well, someone's got to do it.

Emily's Spiced Sweet Potato Custard Pie
2 cups worth of sweet potato
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs (or 2 complete eggs and 2 egg whites)
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons Brandy
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon of about equal parts ground nutmeg, cardamon, allspice, and turmeric (you could also use ground cloves, and/or omit the allspice)
1 graham cracker crust (I used pre-made)

1. Peel and cut up the raw sweet potato. Steam for 12-14 minutes. Let cool, at least for a few minutes.
2. Mash the sweet potato until smooth and then mix with the other ingredients until smooth. I used an immersion blender, mixing the sweet potato, sugar, egg and spices first, and then mixing in the liquid.
3. Pour mixture into the pie crust. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then lower to 350 for 50 minutes or until a fork emerges clean.

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate Christmas.
levertovfan: (Default)
This is really hitting the spot at the start of this winter.

Olive oil
Chopped large onion or two small onions
One peeled celery root (AKA celeriac), thinly sliced and cut into pieces
One carrot, thinly sliced
3 large cloves garlic
Italian spices: I used oregano, marjoram, thyme, and basil
A few red pepper flakes
3 or 4 small jalapenos, sliced in half with 2/3rds of the seeds removed, cut into pieces
A veggie broth cube or veggie Better Than Bouillon
A can of kidney beans
A can of black beans
A scant cup tomato juice (although tomato sauce would also work, also a few tablespoons tomato paste and a bit more water)
[Other optional things I might add include potatoes, pre-cooked pasta, or radishes]

Heat up the olive oil. Saute the onions on low heat until they are mostly cooked, then add carrot, celery root, and garlic. Let saute for about seven minutes, periodically stirring. Add Italian spices and red pepper flakes. Saute for about two more minutes, stirring the spices around. Add veggie broth cube and enough water to just barely cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, add jalapenos, and simmer until the veggie broth has been absorbed. Drain and wash the beans, and then add to the mixture along with the tomato juice. Keep over heat for a few more minutes to blend the flavors.
levertovfan: (Default)
Squash and pumpkin (pumpkin being a variety of squash) tend to.. hem!.. temporarily incapacitate me, which is very sad, because I love the taste of pumpkin pie, as well as many other squash dishes. Historically, I have compensated for this by making persimmon custard pie. However, my persimmon custard pie did not work out terribly well this Thanksgiving, because my mother pressured me to use substandard Fuyu persimmons from her kitchen. This pie gave me the idea of using half sweet potato to half persimmon pulp in the pie to compensate for some of the extremes that substandard persimmons can sometimes exhibit. So tonight, I made a sweet potato-persimmon pie. I'd say it's an even better substitute in texture and taste for pumpkin than persimmon custard--my step-mother, who had real pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, even said that it tasted like pumpkin pie.

One store-bought graham cracker crust
1 egg
1 cup milk or half and half
3 normal spoonfuls of brown sugar
1 tbs cornstarch
1 large hachiya persimmon
1 cup of cooked sweet potato or yam
Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Quarter the persimmons and scoop the pulp out from the persimmon skin. Dissolve the cornstarch in the persimmon pulp. Add all of the rest of the raw ingredients and blend. Pour into the pie crust. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 and then reduce the heat to 350 and cook for 50 more minutes. Yum!
levertovfan: (Default)
Chino Latino is a local restaurant with a habit of attention-getting billboards.

The current message on the Chino Latino billboard that looms over Hennepin between 22nd and Franklin: "Delegates, try our Capitalist Pig Roast."

One point. I may even have to go eat there sometime, in spite of their not having much vegetarian fare for groups (most of their food is for large groups of people).
levertovfan: (Default)
"In a month, the Republicans will convene a few blocks from my house and I'd like to stand across the street with a sign, but I can't come up with the right wording. 'Bleaughhhh,' maybe, or 'Arghhhh.'"
-Garrison Keillor
http://www.salon.com/opinion/keillor/2008/07/30/mccain/

Sign this!

Apr. 18th, 2008 12:29 pm
levertovfan: (Default)
A while back, the Supreme Court ruled that people could not sue for back pay if they determined they had experienced pay discrimination over six months after the fact. In my opinion, this is one of the worst decisions to come out of the Supreme Courts in the last few years, and they've had a few humdingers. Effectively, it allows employers to get away with pay discrimination if the workers don't talk amongst themselves about how much they are being paid. Many workplaces expressly (and I think legally) forbid workers to talk amongst themselves about their pay.

Anyway, Congress will be voting on whether to adopt a law that overturns this ruling as soon as next Wednesday. I urge to you take a moment and sign this petition with the ACLU:

https://secure.aclu.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&id=855&page=UserAction
levertovfan: (Default)
This is some of the more appalling news I've read in a long time. And the news recently has not been lacking in appalling.

The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars... Either way, said Susan Urahn.. “we aren’t really getting the return in public safety from this level of incarceration.”

No kidding!?!?
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