Twenty years ago today, the people of Haiti voted to adopt a new constitution to “Ensure their inalienable and imprescriptible rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; in conformity with the Act of Independence of 1804 and the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man of 1948.”
Yet having a new constitution is not enough when you are saddled with debt. Earlier this month, Rep. Maxine Waters introduced H. Res 241, “Urging multilateral financial institutions to cancel completely and immediately Haiti's debts to such institutions, and for other purposes”, aka the Haiti Debt Relief Bill.
Jubilee USA is urging its supporters to contact their Representatives in Congress today, to become co-sponsors of this bill.
For those of us who live in the Constitution State, I can think of no better way of living up to our heritage and celebrating Haiti’s constitution than contacting our Representatives and urging them to become co-sponsors of H.Res 241.
It is hard to imagine that I graduated from Mount Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, MA, thirty years ago this June. Mount Greylock is a great school in a great town, but I rarely reflect back on my experiences there.
One experience, however, has come to mind twice this week for different reasons. It is one of the most memorable experiences I had, one which taught me so much more than many other hours in the classroom.
The year was 1972. America was mired down in an unpopular war abroad. Many people considered the man sitting in the White House a crook. In many ways, it was a year not much different than today.
Back then, there was a draft, and people found different ways to avoid the draft. I had a bunch of longhaired teachers, whom everyone said had become teachers to avoid the draft. Williamstown was a fairly liberal town, so they got away with things they might not have in other towns.
Miranda is now in eighth grade and is reading Lord of the Flies for school. I remember the day that my eighth grade teacher passed out copies of Lord of the Flies to our class. He said he had an important lesson for us and asked us to turn to page 123. I don’t remember the page exactly, but it seemed like a strange place to get introduced to the book we would be reading. About a third of the way down, there was a phrase that had been crossed out by a black magic marker.
“This is called censorship”, the teacher explained. He spoke about how people had complained about the language in the book and gotten the school to cross out the phrase. Visions of teachers, in the teachers lounge, crossing the phrase out in book after book and muttering about the idiocy of the school administration came to mind.
This evening, around sixty people gather at Amity High School in Woodbridge Connecticut for a peace vigil. Two of the things that made the vigil so important to me was that it was organized by high school students and that after the vigil we all talked about additional things we can be doing to stop the war; sort like a twenty first century teach-in talking about blogs, and Facebook and Rapid Response networks.
For other pictures of the vigil, click here
(Cross posted at My Left Nutmeg)
The other day, Genghis Conn, from Connecticut Local Politics wrote about The Greenwich Time and the Stamford Advocate being sold to Gannett. He worried about how the papers would fare and I spoke about my optimism for the papers. He asked me why and I gave a brief comment there. Let me take a few moments to expand on those comments.
When I came back from live blogging the Libby trial deliberations in Washington DC, I thought perhaps I would be done with blogging about the judiciary for a little while. I did not expect to find myself reading what I have been reading about the Connecticut Judiciary.