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Nov 08
2010

The Icarus Project

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , Science , rights , research , medicine , media , lifestyle , Ideas , healthcare , Health , drugs , disability , current events , chemicals , author , art , activism

Bruce Robinson

The Icarus Project has become an outspoken advocacy organization for the idea of "radical mental health. Co-founder Jacks McNamara explains how they define that concept.

Radical mental health asks if being "different" is something that requires treatment, or can sometimes be recognized as just a different way of being. need not be seen or treated as a mental illness, argues Artist and poet Jacks McNamara argues that her bi-polar disorder should be seen as a "dangerous gift," something to cherish and to be wary of.

The art and poetry of Jacks McNamara, as well as her personal history as told in her own words, forms the subject matter for the short film, Crooked Beauty, by  Ken Rosenthal. Here is a trailer for the film.

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Now that the Icarus Project is eight years old, and well established across the country and beyond, McNamara says she is now turning more of her energies toward nurturing a new class of leaders and advocates to take the organization on to its next level.

Oct 17
2010

Ted Rall's Anti-American Manifesto

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , speaker , Sonoma State University , protest , politics , media , Ideas , government , environment , election , economy , Congress , author , activism

Bruce Robinson

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Representative democracy in America has become so distorted that most citizens have opted out and don’t even register to vote. Ted Rall’s suggested cure for the many ills that afflict the United State’s current political system is radically simple: Tear it all down and start over again.

Rall isn't much interested in the coming mid-term election, noting that only a small minority of Americans will have anything to do with it.

ted_rall Ted Rall will speak about his book, The Anti-American Manifesto,  at Sonoma State University  on Monday night, Oct. 18 at 7 pm in the Student Union Building's Multipurpose Room.

 

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Oct 14
2010

Organizing Against Poverty

Posted by Bruce Robinson in speaker , rights , politics , policy , nonprofit orgs , justice , jobs , Ideas , government , education , economy , current events , community , California , activism

Bruce Robinson

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What can people in poverty do to improve their lives? Mary Gonzales takes an atypical approach; organizing disadvantaged communities to exercise political clout they didn’t know they had.

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Mary Gonzales, The Gamalilei Foundation's regional organizer for California and Hawaii, reports that her greatest success story to date occurred in Venturra County, where a combination of organizational outreach and concentrated research enabled the local agricultural community to fend off a major mining operation's plans.

   

 

 

 

 

Sep 27
2010

Rebooting California

Posted by Bruce Robinson in state government , politics , policy , Organization Development , legislation , Ideas , government , election , current events , California , budget

Bruce Robinson
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  What will it take to get California’s government working effectively again? Proposals for a state constitutional convention died quickly earlier this year, but some other promising ideas are now struggling to gain traction instead. cal_constitution.jpg
Planning for the "Rebooting California" symposium (see the full schedule here)began last spring, when many political observers expected a measure calling for a California Constitutional Convention to be on the November ballot. Now that such a gathering appears unlikely in the foreseeable future, symnposium speaker suggested an alternative, reports KRCB-TV Senior Political Analyst Dick Spotswood. Cal State Fullerton professor Raphael Sonensheir, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Charter Reform Commision, put forward that body as a possible role model for the state.
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There are several initiatives on the November 2nd ballot that address issues of governance, including two, Props 20 & 27, that focus on redistricting. Additionally Prop. 25 would lower the threshold for passing the state budget from two-thirds to 50%, while Prop 26 would extend the 2/rds requirment for approving new taxes to cover fees as well. When Jon Coupal, President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, expressed cautious support for the two ideas in tandem, Spotswood admits, it got him thinking.
 
Dick Spotswood blogs for the Marin Independent-Journal as The Militant Centrist.
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