Teachers for Social Justice Curriculum Fair is November 22

TSJ is now officially taking applications for Workshops, Exhibitors and Resource Tables for the 9th Annual Chicago Area Teaching for Social Justice Curriculum Fair.

(if you are not clear on exactly what Workshops, Exhibitors and Resource Tables are, follow this link:
http://teachersforjustice.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=48&Itemid=55 )

These will also be posted on the TSJweb site: http://teachersforjustice.org/

Please note the deadline for Exhibitors and Resource Tables! OCTOBER 31!!


10AM – 5PM
Orozco Elementary School
1940 W. 18th St (Corner of Damen)
Chicago, IL


Reminder: Cuba in Africa/Africa in Cuba Sunday October 4

Cuba in Africa,
Africa in Cuba
Cuba in Africajpg

Film: Cuban Odyssey in Africa, pt. 1


Panel featuring Professors:
Lisa Brock, Felix Masud, William Watkins William Santiago-Villes

University of Illinois at Chicago
Lecture Center A – Room A1

Lecture Center A is located immediately east
of Daley Library – 801 S. Morgan St.

Pay Parking available – 700 block S. Halsted
between Polk and Taylor

New Issue of Mexican Labor News & Analysis

What is going on with workers in Mexico? Below is a link to Mexican Labor News and Analysis, a UE feature offering news directly from Mexico, with a labor focus and perspective.


* Mexican Government Prepares to Seize Mexico City Power Plants to Break Power of Electrical Workers Union

* Press Release from Mexican Electrical Workers Union

*Struggle over the Budget and Fiscal Policies: Calderón v. the People

* Social Movement Coalition Proposes A Legislative Agenda

*Disappointment, Anger over Calderón’s Choice of Secretary of the Interior

*After Midterm Election, Left Attempts to Reorganize

* Mexico City Teachers Demand New Union Elections

*PEMEX Paid Petroleum Union Leaders Millions

*International Domestic Workers Organization Criticizes Mexico

* Mexican Trade Union and Civil Society Leaders Join G-20 Protests in Pittsburgh

* Chihuahua: Journalist Killed Inside Newsroom

* Railroad Retirees Protest Collection of Union Dues


Marc Sapir sent this report from Cleveland and the Mad As Hell Docs Care-a-Van

As you are reading this, the docs may well be trying to present their findings to white house politicians.  Whether they get to do this or not, they have shaken the country up a little bit.  And the report below, especially the conversation with Dennis Kucinich, is quite enlightening.

—2 a.m. September 23, Cleveland, OH: As the Mad as Hell Docs tour for single payer nears is destination (in Washington, DC), I again reflect on the journey.  In the past several days we’ve been as far south as Nashville and Louisville.  Then to back Zenia and Dayton, Detroit, Chicago, Toledo and now Cleveland. Tomorrow we’ll be off to Pittsburgh and then on to Frederick, Columbia and Silver Spings, MD on the last leg toward Lafayette Park across from the White House on September 30. This evening’s town hall style meeting organized by the local single payer network was presented at the Laborers’ Union Hall here in Cleveland before another enthusiastic crowd.  We were joined on our panel on stage by, as usual, a local activist doc; and rejoined by Katherine Ottoway the Oregon doc who had returned home last week to spend time with her 11 year old.  Bill Aikin, the Washinton state male nurse who joined us about 4 days ago gets one of the more rousing rounds of applause when he merely opens with “I’m a Mad as Hell nurse.” Tonight’s audience again included several other nurses, organizers, representatives of the National Nurses Organizing Committee (California Nurses Association) in their colorful garb. There was again a number of Congresspeople, aides, and state legislators in the audience (7 if I’ve remembered correctly). Also joining us is Bob Wickline from Oregon (and his wife Lynda) who sings and plays his high energy Single Payer country western electronically integrated single payer song. Staff has grown too as we’re joined by Bill Whitaker’s (our Mad as Hell Social Worker)wife Cheryl. Last night’s dinner was prepared (yes I do mean he alone cooked for about 20 people himself, including brownies for desert)Toledo physician activist John Ross, at his home. Earlier John had been a most compelling spokesperson for Single Payer at the town hall at the Union Hall in Toledo. Toledo has a strong single payer advocate for a Congressperson too. Leaving Toledo on Monday morning we travelled East along the shore of Lake Erie to an outdoor presentation in the park at Clinton Habor to 75 local folks who had prepared a brunch for us (passing within 100 feet or so of a nuclear power plant on the lake shore that is within sight of Clinton Harbor). At this venue the organizer/mc, a woman whose name I can not recall, began by leading the crowd in singing the Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance while gale force winds of about 40-50 miles an hour made 58 degrees feel like 45; leading MAHDoc Paul Hochfeld told the audience that he always ads a few words onto the Pledge of Allegiance as follows: “with liberty and justice for all who can afford it,” which was appreciated with laughter. There were about 4 tea bagger types (3 women and a man) in the audience who caused no disruptions but in the comment section one middle aged woman shouted something from the audience but wouldn’t come to the mic although she was told that disagreement is welcomed. A couple of Single Payer advocates talked with these folks and found they simply rejected, or repudiated unasailable facts in our presentations, such as that the U.S. has by far the most expensive health care (non)system in the world at $7,000 per capita per year, so cost of a Medicare for All program is not a problem.

The highlight of Monday, September 28 activities was a tele-conversation between our group and Congressman Dennis Kucinich held at his office with Dennis appearing from D.C. on one of those huge wide screens. Everyone of us put in our two cents worth of a question or comment and he responded with his comments over the 40 minute time span. To my own delight the Congressman highlighted forcefully many of the points that we include in our presentation across the country (Our individual 2-4 minute comments are–or should be– found on the http://www.madashelldoctors.com website). Kucinich’s key points, as best I can remember, included: 1) that Congress is currently so much under the sway of and afraid of the lobbyists that no one should expect anything useful to come out of this legislative session. Any bill that passes will benefit the insurance companies more than the public  2) that he values and supports the importance of our Care-a-Van in motivating and energizing a new grassroots civil rights movement around full access to health care as a right. 3) that building a civil rights movements for health care for all involves building infrastructure and organization that will last for the long haul over as long as it takes 4) that that long term effort includes an indefinable future time after a Single Payer bill is passed and signed because there will be never ending efforts to weaken the program even afer it is put into effect, 5) that docs can play very important role in this movement and should redouble their efforts to bring more physicians into the now 17,000 member Physicians for a National Health Program (www.pnhp.org) 6) that trying to get the President to create a “white ribbon commission” from which the Insurers and the Drug companies are excluded isn’t likely to achieve much, but that docs might consider spearheading local commissions, with public health and medical experts and patient advoctes in some states to travel around gathering testimony at public hearings and presenting reports and recommendations to the public and government on their findings. This approach could help mobilize public opinion and energize people.

The debate among MAHDs over what we will do in DC is narrowing toward a consensus plan. The morning after the rally at Lafayette Park from 4-6 p.m. on September 30 we will join Congressman Kucinich at a press conference at the Capitol. From the press conference we will likely proceed to the White House and attempt to present our findings, video testmonies of hundreds of people who have given witness, and recommendations there, even if we do not get an audience with President Obama. Later we will return to the Capitol for both scheduled meetings and unscheduled meetings with various Congresspersons, including MAHD members own Congressepeople, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. There may also follow a laying of flowers, candles and white ribbons at the Lincoln Memorial or other site in memorialization of the 45,000 people who have died/will die this year in the US due to lack of health care insurance. Readers who want to participate in the care-a-van from Frederick to Silver Springs or join us in walking from McPherson park to Lafayette park at 3:30 p.m. should check the http://www.madashelldoctors.com web site regularly for updated plans.


Marc Sapir MD MPH


Mad As Hell Doctors in Chicago

Audience Listens to Mad As Hell Doctors presentation, UIC College of Pharmacy, Saturday Sept. 26

Audience Listens to Mad As Hell Doctors presentation, UIC College of Pharmacy, Saturday Sept. 26

Mad As Hell Doctors bring their Care-avan to the SK Tool picket line, Friday, Sept 25, 2009

Mad As Hell Doctors bring their Care-avan to the SK Tool picket line, Friday, Sept 25, 2009

When the Mad As Hell Doctors explain why they are “mad as hell,” they tell all kinds of ways in which there is no serious health care in the US for the vast majority of people.  One of those examples could be what happened to the SK Tool workers 30 days ago, that made Teamsters Local 743 go out on strike.  Their employer arbitrarily and without notifying the workers or their union canceled their health care insurance from their benefits package.  Their CEO is from France, and one of the strikers made a point of telling me that, as a French citizen he had access to the best health care system.

As the docs are fond of pointing out, the SK Tool workers would not have lost their coverage with single payer:  everybody in, nobody out.  In fact, speaking before an audience of supporters, the MAHD asked their audience:  “Do you think the health care system is broken?”  When the question was answered with a resounding “Yes!”, the speaker told his listeners he had asked a trick question, that there is NO health care system.  Further, he and his colleagues went on to show dramatically that the plans before the Congress now will neither cut costs nor provide health care to the people who need it most.

Speakers made it clear that their trip cross country from Oregon was met by mostly enthusiastic people; that among the fervent opposition it was sometimes possible to show people how single payer was the only health care reform; but that this was just the beginning of what needs to be a national movement.  One Chicagoan I talked to expressed her enthusiasm for the tour this way:  “This is truly historic, when doctors take up the fight for single payer, you know there is a movement brewing!”

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

Here is the Publishers Weekly review of Kingsolver’s first novel in nine years.  Not a surprise that she returns to a political terrain, and those of us who have been fans for years will have difficulty waiting until November 3, the on sale date for the new book.

Publishers Weekly
Kingsolver’s ambitious new novel, her first in nine years (after the The Poisonwood Bible), focuses on Harrison William Shepherd, the product of a divorced American father and a Mexican mother. After getting kicked out of his American military academy, Harrison spends his formative years in Mexico in the 1930s in the household of Diego Rivera; his wife, Frida Kahlo; and their houseguest, Leon Trotsky, who is hiding from Soviet assassins. After Trotsky is assassinated, Harrison returns to the U.S., settling down in Asheville, N.C., where he becomes an author of historical potboilers (e.g., Vassals of Majesty) and is later investigated as a possible subversive. Narrated in the form of letters, diary entries and newspaper clippings, the novel takes a while to get going, but once it does, it achieves a rare dramatic power that reaches its emotional peak when Harrison wittily and eloquently defends himself before the House Un-American Activities Committee (on the panel is a young Dick Nixon). “Employed by the American imagination,” is how one character describes Harrison, a term that could apply equally to Kingsolver as she masterfully resurrects a dark period in American history with the assured hand of a true literary artist. (Nov.)

Women & Children First — save this bookstore

WRITING THE NEXT CHAPTER Linda Bubon is doing whatever she can to save her bookstore.

Linda Bubon is no stranger to battling the economy. The co-owner of Women and Children First sounded the alarm two years ago, when it became clear the bookstore might not make it through the end of the year. Co-owner Ann Christophersen took another full-time job and pared down her duties at the store, but it still wasn’t enough. So in April 2007, WCF made a plea to its customers: Save us.

“The story got legs really fast,” Bubon says. “In-store sales that May were up nearly 70 . . . .
Read more: http://chicago.timeout.com/articles/features/74843/save-women-and-children-first#ixzz0SSQ4zqHT
Help keep this bookstore a bookstore by shopping there. 5233 N Clark St (773-769-9299).  Also

Dorothy Allison and Alison Bechdel will be joining WCF for their 30th Anniversary Celebration & Benefit. It’s all happening Saturday, October 3rd at the Breakers at Edgewater Beach. (Valet parking available.) The festivities begin at 5:30 pm, with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails and the chance to mingle with Dorothy Allison, Alison Bechdel, and more than a dozen local writers. Buffet dinner and dancing begin at 7 p.m.  For tickets and more info:http://www.womenandchildrenfirst.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp