Insight News

Jul 30th


The Arab youth revolution... a bad year for dictators

The Arab youth revolution... a bad year for dictators“There is no doubt that mathematics and astronomy owe a great debt to the Arabs,” wrote George Sarton a Harvard historian of science in his introduction to the history of science. It all started more than 1,000 years ago, in the Ninth century to be exact. An Arab genius named Musa al-Khawazmi, while the west was living the dark age, went to India to study their science.  There he took a hard look at the Indian sifr (zero), which had been used mainly as an empty ring for calculation convenience.   al-Khawazmi then came back home and introduced what is now used and known in the west as Arab numerals and the concept of zero, which resulted in a scientific revolution where algebra and computer science have been built until today.  Without the Arab zero, there wouldn’t be a digital and social Network, there wouldn’t be Facebook and there wouldn’t be an Arab revolution.

And Arab dictators wouldn’t have been doing what they have been doing for years: squandering Arab wealth and brutalizing their own people.

Stand strong and reject union busting

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has set off a fire storm among the state's unions and public employees.  To compound matters other states are proposing similar laws and will soon have to deal with their own revolts.  Walker, in the name of balancing the state budget, has proposed legislation that will essentially deny public employees their collective bargaining rights and increase their payments to the state's healthcare and pension plans.

Parents, elders preserve and prepare

The distinguished theologian Howard Thurman once described an oak tree in his childhood yard with leaves that each autumn turned yellow and died but stayed on the branches all winter. Nothing—neither wind, storm, sleet, nor snow—dislodged these dead leaves from the apparently lifeless branches.  Dr. Thurman came to understand that the business of the oak tree during the long winter was to hold on to the dead leaves before turning them loose in spring so that new buds—the growing edge—could begin to unfold.  At winter's end, what wind, storm, sleet, or snow could not force off passed quietly away to become the tree's nourishment.

African American economy suffers disproportionately

(BLACK PR WIRE) –A new analysis by Bread for the World Institute shows that African Americans continue to suffer disproportionately from hunger, poverty, unemployment, and income and education disparities when compared to the total U.S. population.

“The economic recession has left African-Americans struggling in the past couple of years,” said the Rev. Derrick Boykin, northeast regional organizer for Bread for the World. “But the truth is, African Americans had been suffering from ‘recession-like’ conditions long before the recession hit the rest of the country.”

The growth of Black-owned businesses: Entrepreneurship by necessity

The growth of Black-owned businesses:  Entrepreneurship by necessity"I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!"
-Madam C.J. Walker, trailblazing African American businesswoman.

There is a silver lining in the dark cloud of the great recession. A new Census Bureau report reveals that from 2002 to 2007 the number of Black-owned businesses in the United States increased by 60.5 percent to 1.9 million – more than triple the national rate. According to Census Bureau Deputy Director, Thomas Mesenbourg, “Black-owned businesses continued to be one of the fastest growing segments of our economy, showing rapid growth in both the number of businesses and total sales during this time period.”

Cuts alone, or cuts and revenue to balance budget

The state budget is the most important issue we will face this legislative session. Already we are beginning to see clear choices emerge as to how we will go about solving the deficit. I want to make sure you are aware of the key choices we are debating and get your input about how we can move forward responsibly.

Gov. Dayton has unveiled his choice – a comprehensive budget solution that includes both cuts and revenue increases to balance our record $6.2 billion budget shortfall. His proposal makes good on his campaign promise to increase funding for education and make Minnesota’s tax system more fair.

Abandoning our children’s future not an option

Especially in these times of great economic concern, we have to do right by all our children at the State Capitol. Two recent proposals by the Republican majority give me great concern we are abandoning them. 

The Republicans just passed their first budget-cutting bill, which made $900 million in cuts to local governments, health care and higher education. While the wealthiest Minnesotans were spared any sacrifice, vulnerable children were not so lucky. Republicans cut $28 million from Children and Community Services (CCS) grants used predominantly for child protection. Counties use these funds to protect abused children or vulnerable pregnant teenagers. In Hennepin County, 100% of the CCS grants are used for child protection. I voted against this bill and am pleased that Governor Dayton vetoed it.
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