Monthly Archives: August 2008

4th of July Parade, or Army™ Recruitment Seminar

THIS YEAR’S 4TH OF JULY PARADE was not what I expected. I remember that in the past the parade was for kids. It was mostly about marching bands, community groups, guys in the little cars throwing out candy and stuff … Continue reading

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Youth and Surveillance

IT IS OFTEN SAID that Urbana Middle School, as well as Urbana High School, are both quite similar to what some people would call “prison,” because of the tight security measures enforced upon the students. For example, facilitators walk through … Continue reading

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Targeting the Innocent

HIGH-SCHOOLS OFTEN ARE TEEMING with young people who, when done with high-school, want to “achieve something big in their lives.” To many, that means joining the armed services. But when should the line be drawn for recruiters who enter our … Continue reading

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Journey to the East

This summer was special because I was given the opportunity to travel to China. I went with my martial arts school, Huang Lin Bao Jian precious sword martial arts Academy, to visit the famous Shaolin Temple. Demetri Daniels, the owner … Continue reading

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Class in Session

Everyone knows that higher education and higher incomes go together—that is, the longer you stay in school, the more money you’re likely to make. But the actual numbers, especially when it comes to poverty, are surprising. In 2003, according to … Continue reading

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Local Racism, Global Politics, and a National Audience

IMAGINE IF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS sponsored a frank and contentious discussion about race, education, war, and the responsibility of globally-minded activists toward injustices in their own backyard. Imagine if among the participants were local citizens, and not only academic … Continue reading

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Media Reform: Taming Corporate Media

NOT SO LONG AGO, mainstream media provided a valuable and reasonable source of news and information. News organizations large and small supported independent journalism and held the public trust to empower citizens with knowledge and protect against government corruption and … Continue reading

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Electronic Voting

THE IMAGES ARE FAMILIAR: election-workers slowly, methodically, holding ballot papers up to the light, squinting, announcing their considered judgment — this one “Bush”, that one “Gore” — with party lawyers sitting by ready to debate ‘pregnant’ chads, while the world … Continue reading

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Giving Democracy the Old College Try

IS THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE (EC) democratic? Yes, insofar as it is a means by which the declared preferences of the voting public are translated into selection of an elected representative. If the crux of democracy is that policies or representatives … Continue reading

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A Brief History of Instant Runoff Voting in Urbana Municipal Elections

IN SPRING 2007, A GROUP OF URBANA CITIZENS decided to examine the vitality of our local electoral system. The health of a democracy can be measured by the number of candidates who run for office, the number of candidates who … Continue reading

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