Saturday, July 29, 2006

Getting connected

A good group of Coulee progressives had a great time talking and networking tonight. We hope more similar events can be scheduled.

This is an open invitation for YOU to blog here - just register with and email for permission to post.

Again, we hope you will check the progressive calendar often and let us know if there's an event we should add.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Bring An Inconvenient Truth to La Crosse!

Despite assurances by the film's producers, An Inconvenient Truth has so far NOT appeared in La Crosse.

People have reported life-changing effects of this film which brings home the realities of the climate crisis we are beginning to experience.

Please call the Rivoli Theater (785-2058) to ask them to get and show this important film.

While you're at it, please contact Carmike (Valley View Mall) Cinema and Marcus Theatres (Ward Avenue) requesting that they get and show this important film in La Crosse.

If the film doesn't come to a commercial theater, Open Eye Documentary and Independent Film Society will seek a way to include it in the 2006-2007 season.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Student Essay Contest is sponsoring a student essay contest. Two classes: Juniors, 9th grade and younger and Seniors, 10th - 12th grade. Prize money is involved as well as publication on the very popular website.

For more details, visit

Here are highlights: is committed to promoting a vigorous and informed worldview on the part of young people, particularly in the areas of international relations, U.S domestic policy, and nonintervention. The reason for this is obvious: the young hold the future in their hands, so we had better do what we can to help them prepare. To this end, we at the Randolph Bourne Institute/ are pleased to announce the first annual Student Essay Contest.

Your essay should discuss peace and the problems of intervention, using as a prompt any of the quotes in the "Quotable" database (or you can provide your own quote, provided you document it). Example: "Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety" by Benjamin Franklin. You might use this quote to discuss the PATRIOT Act and the perils of abridging essential rights for elusive gains against terrorism. Use, if possible, a combination of historical events (e.g., the treatment of Japanese Americans during WWII) and theoretical sources (e.g., Rights of Man) to discuss.

In other words, students are requested to produce an essay that balances the writer's own insights with current events and historical research. seeks to encourage students to engage their intellects – using data, facts, and the lessons of history – to advance their moral beliefs.

Essays will be judged in two categories: Senior (entering grades 10-12) and Junior (entering grade nine or below), with separate prizes awarded to the winners in each category. First prizes are $400; second prizes, $200; third prizes $100; and honorable mentions $50. Winners will be notified in December 2006; their schools will also be notified. The winning essays will be published on the site.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Back from the War (on Poverty)

For six weeks every summer, a federal Department of Education program, Upward Bound, provides a residential "practice college" for area high school students. During the six weeks, students take math, science, English and foreign language classes; hear lectures by university professors and learn how to do well in a college lecture class; get study help from residential college-student staff; experience life away from home, and learn to live with a roommate and share a bathroom with 20 or so others.

There's an academic year component, too, including weekly tutoring, monthly workshops on careers, college preparation, community service, current issues and more; college visits and leadership training.

Statistics continue to show that even high achieving high school students go to and graduate from college at a lower rate if they are from low-income homes or homes where they might be the first in their immediate family to go to college. UB changes that statistic.

But the Bush administration hates UB.

For the past three years, Bush has zeroed out funding for Upward Bound. Only the program's success and strong efforts by its graduates and current students, staff, families and others who know the benefits have helped it find a place back in the budget.

Now, the appointees at the Department of Education are working to strangle UB from the inside out by changing the rules about who can enter Upward Bound. A fight is coming.

The War on Poverty continues. And warriors are still fighting.