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Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Civics – 5 in a Series – Tracking Federal Legislation in Process with

December 16th, 2020 Comments off

Tracking in-process legislation, especially at the Federal level, can be a bit difficult, but has made it easier by listing bills in chronological order, Trending Bills in the news, and those bills of most interest to their users. 

Civics - 5 in a Series - Tracking Federal Legislation in Process with

Too often we don’t know what a bill is proposing unless we read the text itself. Sure, the text can be a bit dense and legalize, as is to be expected, but it is still the primary source for understanding the bill. You can’t know how people are spinning a bill to their own ends unless you know what the bill contains.

You can also set alerts on bills so that you get notified when new bills are introduced, changes are made, new laws are passed, and additional legislative activity. Let the information come to you instead of having to go seek it out.

One more great feature is the ability to see who voted Aye/Nay on every single bill. Is your representative supporting your wishes or voting against them. You may not know without checking their votes and voting record.

As always, an informed citizenry is a good citizenry!

So, just what is “civics” anyway?

Civics is defined as: the study or science of the privileges and obligations of citizens.

Civic education is the study of the theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship, as well as its rights and duties. It includes the study of civil law and civil code, and the study of government with attention to the role of citizens―as opposed to external factors―in the operation and oversight of government. League of Women Voters of Delaware.

In order to have the government we want, we need to both understand and engage in civics activities in our local communities. I am dedicated to doing better in 2021. How about you? 

What is Labor Day?

September 5th, 2020 Comments off

Labor Day is a federal holiday in the United States celebrated on the first Monday in September to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States.[1][2][3] It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend.

Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor. “Labor Day” was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, which organized the first parade in New York City. In 1887, Oregon was the first state of the United States to make it an official public holiday. By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty states in the United States officially celebrated Labor Day.[4]

Canada’s Labour Day is also celebrated on the first Monday of September. More than 80 countries celebrate International Workers’ Day on May 1 – the ancient European holiday of May Day. (May Day was chosen by the Second Internationale of socialist and communist parties to commemorate the Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago on May 4, 1886.[5][6]) — Wikipedia

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Read my column, Labor Day from Career Opportunities

Although Labor Day seems to be more about the unofficial end of summer, it should also be a time for everyone to reflect on their careers and see just where they are headed. You can think of it as the New Year’s Day of career planning. It is time to take stock, make some resolutions and move forward in the knowledge that your
career is under your control.

Read/Listen to this podcast

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History of Labor Day from the US Department of Labor

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The Very First Labor Day from America’s Library
September 5, 1882

If you could create a holiday, what would it be called? What date would you choose for your holiday? Peter J. McGuire, a carpenter and labor union leader, was the person who came up with the idea for Labor Day. He thought American workers should be honored with their own day. He proposed his idea to New York’s Central Labor Union early in 1882, and they thought the holiday was a good idea, too. With four long months between Independence Day and Thanksgiving, Peter suggested a month halfway in between. But what date should they choose?

Read the entire article

The US Department of Justice was originally created to tackle white supremacy via Boing Boing

July 31st, 2020 Comments off

Americanism has a weird obsession with vague notions of “law and order.” At its core, there’s nothing unique about a society whose existence depends on a collective respect for its own internal rule system — indeed, that’s basically just a society. But those who buy the narrative of Good Ol’ American Jingoism love to toss around their platitudes about being a “nation of laws,” without giving much thought to what that actually means, or who is served by that law and order. Whatever the status quo they got used to, that’s the way things have always been, and thus, it is right.

Consider the US Department of Justice. I’ve never even given much thought to its founding; I hadn’t thought much about the origins of police departments growing out of slave patrols until it was explicitly brought to my attention either.

But Smithsonian Magazine has a great new piece about the origins of the DoJ, which began on July 1, 1870 — exactly 150 years ago this month. And it turns out, it’s a direct extension of Reconstruction-era struggles, and was created specifically to enforce racial equality by fighting voter suppression and the KKK:

Home School: Who Named the United States? via History Matters on YouTube

May 17th, 2020 Comments off
The United States of America. The USA. America. The Land of the Free. These are just some of the names for that continental sized nation which Alaska wishes it could touch. You’ll be surprised to know that other names were considered for the new nation during the American Revolution against Britain and that a name wasn’t settled on until the Constitutional Congress. Until other ideas, like Columbia or Fredonia were proposed. So why did the Founding Fathers choose the name ‘United States of America’.

Mary Colter: Architect of the Southwest

May 8th, 2010 Comments off

I noticed today that someone bought this book, Mary Colter: Architect of the Southwest from my Amazon store today. It reminded me how much I enjoyed the books (there was a PBS special, as well) after I had visited the Grand Canyon for the first time. You can’t travel the great tourist locations of the Southwest without rubbing up against much of Colter’s architecture.

She also designed Hermit’s Rest at the Grand Canyon, which is one of my favorite places to visit. There is something amazing about sitting on the stone porch as the the sun sets over the canyon and the ravens cackle.

More books on Mary Colter
YouTube videos of Mary Colter Buildings

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Great Backyard Bird Count Bird Walk at Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area

February 15th, 2010 Comments off

My good friend, Keri Dearborn of, led us on a great walk around the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife area this morning in honor of the annual Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend. We spent 2.5 hours spotting all sorts of birds, including 2 new one’s for my life list, a Downy Woodpecker and an Osprey and also an up close look at a vulture.

Below are 6 embedded videos streamed live and recorded with my iPhone. I hope it gives you a bit of a feeling of what it was like to be out with us this morning.

Keri’s husband, Michael Lawshe, took some great photos on the walk, too.

Photos of today’s Great Backyard Bird Count Walk

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