Monthly Archives: December 2013

The march is on

By William E. Spriggs

Guest Commentator


Last week, President Barack Obama delivered an address, starting a dialogue on how the long path to America’s current level of inequality has led us to the wrong place. The president said that Americans’ frustration with Washington is ”rooted in the nagging sense that no matter how hard they work, the deck is stacked against them.” His timing coincided with the nationwide spread of strikes by fast-food workers, showing they cannot wait for Washington to act on raising minimum wages. Unfortunately, the day also saw the loss of Nelson Mandela, a world-class standard bearer for justice. The passing of Mandela is a time to reflect on how the world can change if people just stand up. Eventually justice wins out. Continue Reading →

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‘Prisonpreneur’: from cells to sales

By James Clingman

Guest Commentator


(This article is dedicated to the folks in jails and prisons. Please share it with them.)

According to the 13th Amendment, slavery in this country has not been fully abolished; there is an exception that says if one is duly convicted of a crime he or she can be enslaved. Read it for yourself; don’t take my word for it. So, if you have been enslaved by either doing a crime or because you are in prison for something you did not do, why not learn how to turn your enslavement into a profit by studying to become a business owner? When you are released, you will have your business plan in hand, ready to meet the world of entrepreneurship head-on. Continue Reading →

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Along comes Kisa


As long as he was downtown, Keith decided to swing by Sheridan Square. If, for nothing else, to see what group of rabble rousers was protesting which social or political or corporate evil. Not that he gave a damn about injustice. If anything, the music industry, that insidious corporate evil, kept him quite gainfully employed, thank you. He got maybe five steps down 14th St. Continue Reading →

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New study: Typical U.S. households of color have no retirement savings

Retirement crisis most severe for Blacks, Latinos 
A new report calculates the severity of the U.S. retirement security racial divide. The analysis finds that every racial group faces significant risks, but people of color face particularly severe challenges in preparing for retirement. Americans of color are significantly less likely than Whites to have an employer-sponsored retirement plan or an individual retirement account (IRA), which substantially drives down the level of retirement savings. The report, Race and Retirement Insecurity in the United States, examines racial disparities in retirement readiness among workers and households age 25-64. It analyzes workplace retirement access, retirement account ownership, and retirement account balances. Continue Reading →

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Taking Charge of Your Career: a book review

In Taking Charge of Your Career by Leigh Bailey, the author outlines tips for making your current job more satisfying and setting future career goals. Taking Charge of Your Career is a workbook that gives the reader practical tools, a roadmap, and support for finding satisfying work. The workbook is an easy read, has stretch assignments and addresses topics such as career fundamentals, how to write a job renewal plan, learning about your work self, assessing your current job, career options for transitioners, and the challenge of change. A consistent theme throughout the Taking Charge of Your Career Workbook is that we are ultimately responsible for our career or job satisfaction. While it is in the best interest of organizations to assist employees on this journey, we must do the work to define and create satisfying work for ourselves. Continue Reading →

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Graves’ disease: a common, treatable thyroid disorder

What is Graves’ disease? Graves’ disease is a disease of your thyroid gland. Your thyroid gland is located on the front of your neck, just above the level of your collarbone. In men it is just underneath the Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland regulates how your body uses energy. The thyroid is also involved in calcium regulation, which affects bone health. Continue Reading →

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Large gaps in Black-White grad rates persist among college football bowl teams

Our own U of M remains among the worst
There are 34 NCAA-sanctioned college football bowls — a total of 70 schools, including Minnesota, who earlier this month accepted their second consecutive Texas Bowl invitation. All but two of the 34 bowls are corporately named, including five restaurants, two credit cards, two auto parts stores, two by the same U.S-based television brand, one hotel, one cruise line, one junk-food company, one insurance company, one mortgage company, one on-line tax-preparation software company and one athletic apparel company. Only a pear tree-bound partridge is missing. Meanwhile, what sports fanatics and their cosigning media lackeys don’t endlessly talk about is the poor academic records of most of the teams examined by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) in the University of Central

Florida’s annual academic progress report on the bowl-bound teams.

“The substantial gap between White and African-American football student-athletes remained large for the 70 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) eligible schools,” wrote TIDES Director Richard Lapchick in his December 9 “Keeping Score When It Counts” report. This includes our state’s only FBS school, the University of Minnesota, which is consistently among college football’s worst in graduating Black players. Continue Reading →

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Vikings pound Eagles 48-30

First-place Philadelphia, the hottest team in the NFL, winners of five in a row looking to pad their NFC East lead, ran into a frustrated group of Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Playing the next-to-last game in the history of Mall of America Field (the Metro Dome), the Vikings finally put it all together even with starting quarterback Christian Ponder, NFL MVP Adrian Peterson and several others unable to play due to injuries. The Vikings released some frustration by jumping all over the Eagles 48-30. The wrecking ball cranes are all lined up outside the Dome as the countdown has begun to destroy the historic second home of Vikings football since 1982. Reserve running back Matt Asiata, in his first NFL start at running back, scored three touchdowns. Continue Reading →

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Mayor-elect looks ahead to new job: ‘I’m very, very excited’

First order of business: addressing the racial achievement gap

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Betsy Hodges remarked last week that she doesn’t recall ever before meeting in the small den-like room on the third floor of City Hall. However, the room and the area it’s located in will become hers in a couple of weeks. The soon-to-be-former city council member will be sworn in on January 2, 2014 as the city’s second-ever female mayor. “I’m just grateful for the opportunity to talk to you and the community through your newspaper,” said Hodges during a December 10 interview with the MSR. “I campaigned consistently on two main things. One of them is building this city, and the second is closing the gaps that divide us racially and economically.”

Hodges said her “two main pieces of business” include the seemingly widening achievement gap between Blacks and other students in the city’s public schools. Continue Reading →

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