Issue 14.44 | Aug. 29, 2014
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JESUP, Ga., August 29, 2014 -- Just how bad is it to be called a liberal today?
Many liberals are in hiding, particularly in this neck of the woods, largely as a result of the tremendously successful campaign by some of the conservative public-relations gurus. They have made the term "liberal" a nasty word, particularly in the South.
Most people cannot tell you what a liberal truly is, but they "know" it's a bad thing. Some more moderate centrists are often called liberal simply for not towing a far-right school of thought. Shoot, during this campaign year, we have heard candidates call their opponent "a liberal this" or "a liberal that," and they were talking about conservative thinkers. But the liberal bashers know it's magic if you can pin the word "liberal" on your opponent.
That's too bad, and especially so when a school of philosophy which has served this country so well is now so little understood. Even as I write this, I am aware of the list of things that many in this community object to that can be laid at the feet of liberals. But that doesn't automatically make everything "liberal" a bad thing.
Without liberal thinkers and politicians, this nation would be a much less inviting place to live. You don't have to agree with all the policies and laws and agencies born of liberal thought, but then again, you sure need to be careful in blaming liberals for all the ills of government until you consider what liberals have given American citizens.
The 1776 Declaration of Independence was founded on liberal principles, which were aimed at removing the encumbrances of the monarchs of old Europe. They declared that all men are created equal and are endowed with unalienable rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Liberals believed in the consent of the people and had it written into law.
Giving power to the average person has always been an aim of liberals. That can easily be seen in the accomplishments of liberal thought.
Here is a partial list of liberal accomplishments: from the 40-hour work week, vacations, weekends away from the job, women's voting rights, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, child labor laws, public schools, national parks, health-care benefits, the GI Bill, direct election of U.S. senators by the people, Social Security, the National Weather Service and much more.
It is also true that conservatives joined with liberals on many of these accomplishments, but all these things that we take for granted and that mean so much to us all came from the liberal school of thought and were pushed through Congress by the liberal side of the aisle.
So while you are enjoying the weekend after your 40-hour work week, listening to a weather report and reading your newspaper that came in the mail as a fire truck and an ambulance pass by, you can welcome your child home from UGA and the younger one home from a local public school while breathing cleaner air and cooking safe meat on the grill -- all thanks to the liberals.
2014 -- Norcross got its second library recently -- a Little Free Library
-- at 420 Dogwood Circle. Mayor Bucky Johnson was on hand to cut the ribbon
on the 50-book library, during a brief rainstorm last Saturday. In another
15 minutes, the sun was shining. Bucky says: "Never been to a ribbon
cutting like this, for a little library, and during the rain."
The Norcross site is the 16,808th registered Little Free Library since the idea was started in Wisconsin in 2009. Now there are Little Free Libraries all over the world. (It takes about 6-8 weeks to get listed, so the Norcross site is not listed as yet.)
behind the libraries is for people to share books with one another. The
books are placed in the compact library, free to passers-by to take for
themselves. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box of
books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two). Some bring
books back to share, though that is not required.
of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, saw Bol's do-it-yourself project
while they were discussing potential social enterprises. Each brought
different skills to the effort: Bol is a creative craftsman experienced
with innovative enterprise models, while Brooks is a youth and community
development educator with a background in social marketing.
and enjoy these Little Free libraries.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. The Gwinnett County Public Library (GCPL) is proud to serve the Gwinnett community with a newly updated catalog that will allow library users to better discover and access the library's collection. The library is a public community partner that supports economic development with early literacy opportunities, curriculum support, and lifelong learning based programs for all residents. In addition to remote resources like the innovative AskGCPL service, GCPL provides wireless internet access and public computers in each branch.
Help the OTC Comedy Troupe honor Robin Williams in a benefit for Parkinson's Foundation at Lionheart Theatre on Saturday, August 30 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person.
OTC show uses the art of comedy improvisation and audience suggestions
to help the actors create scenes on the spot and allow the participants
a chance to be the star of the show. Each show is new and different and
no performance is exactly the same. The show will include OTC signature
pieces such as Sounds Like a Song, Clips and Phrases and Irish Drinking
Lionheart Theatre is located at 10 College Street in Norcross.
Live calligraphic performance coming to Hudgens Center for the Arts
A live calligraphic performance will be held on Thursday, September 11 from 4-8 p.m. at the Hudgens Center for the Arts in the Gwinnett Center complex. Staging the event will be The Atlanta Calligraphy Guild, Friends of the Alphabet and The Hudgens Center for the Arts.
Now in its third year, the event, called "Illuminated Letters," will feature 25 calligraphers demonstrating 25 different calligraphic styles, or "hands," as visitors are able to walk through and view the artists in action. Presented in a spotlit and silent setting, the guild will exhibit the act of writing itself, drawing attention to the power, vitality, and variety of the letterforms.
Emily Canter, event organizer, says: "With the onset of the digital age, handwriting is now often more art form than everyday activity, and writing is an art form as old as civilization, itself. This stylized handwriting has expressions found in places as diverse as wedding invitations, commercial identity and tattoo artistry. Illuminated Letters offers the chance for viewers to see the process and appreciate the discipline and compelling simplicity of the written word in many forms."
The featured calligraphers will demonstrate a variety of styles including Roman, Italic, ornate Copperplate and Spencerian scripts, Celtic "Uncial," Hebraic, and Gothic hands. Modeled on similar events occurring in Belgium and Japan, this art evening is organized purely to draw attention to the aesthetic and athletic beauties of artistic lettering.
The Illuminated Letters event is being held in conjunction with the two current calligraphy exhibitions now on view at The Hudgens, "Hiroshima International: Japanese Calligraphy and Paintings" and "Beyond Words: Calligraphic Works by the Atlanta Friends of the Alphabet." This is the first time The Hudgens has hosted the event.
Angela Nichols, director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at The Hudgens, says: "We are thrilled to be able to bring such a unique arts experience to our community. This is not your typical artist's talk or demonstration."
is free and open to the public. Friends of the Alphabet encourages anyone
interested in the history and beauty of handwritten letter forms to come
and enjoy this unusual experience. The event is an "open house"
or "drop in" type format.
Mike Price, executive manager of Elesys North America, Inc., of Suwanee, is the new chair of the Gwinnett Tech Foundation Board of Trustees.
Price will lead the Foundation trustees in their work to advance support and funding for Gwinnett Technical College's programs and facilities, student scholarships, and faculty and staff development. The board's first meeting of the 2014-2015 academic year was held on campus last week.
Price joined Elesys in 2004 where he has held a broad range of management roles He is a graduate of Executive MBA Program at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The Gwinnett Tech Foundation Board received the designation of Role Model Board from the state's Technical College Foundation Association (TCFA) in 2012, honored for their hard work and dedication. The Role Model Board designation recognizes that the Gwinnett Tech Foundation operates at the highest standard of legal and financial standards, and that its trustees are active and engaged in the foundation's development initiatives.
The Gwinnett Tech Foundation Board of Trustees includes:
Join Gwinnett Parks' 2014 Plein Air Challenge starting Sept. 20
Capture Gwinnett County parks unique and scenic features by participating in the 2014 Gwinnett Parks' Plein Air Challenge.
"En plein air" is a French expression meaning "in the open air," and used to describe the act of painting outdoors.
This year, the Plein Air challenge has been extended to encourage more artists from all over the state to get involved. Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation invites artists to meet in selected parks in Gwinnett County to participate. The challenge will end with an opening night reception held on November 22 from 4 until 6 p.m. at Pinckneyville Park Community Recreation Center.
A cash prize provided by the Gwinnett Parks Foundation will be given to the top three award winners. The first prize entry will also receive recognition in the winter edition of Gwinnett L.I.F.E. magazine and gallery space for one month at Peachtree Corners Library.
three winners and seven honorable mentions will be featured in a three-month
event tour at parks and libraries throughout the county. Tour dates and
locations to follow.
I recently read the novel Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline and learned about events in U.S. history of which I had no prior knowledge. This story is based on events between 1854 and 1929, so called 'orphan trains' which ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Mid West. These trains carried thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by their luck in finding a family who would take them in. I was shocked that throughout my education, my attempt to stay informed through avid reading that I had never heard of this aspect of history. I found this novel touched on many emotions and was told in a manner that kept me reading from cover to cover as Kline seamlessly pulls together the past and present as she reveals the lives of two specific orphans.
* * * * *
The largest labor organization in late-19th-century America, the Order of the Knights of Labor, claimed more than 700,000 members at its apex in 1886. The Knights' membership peaked simultaneously in Georgia at about 9,000. Although the Knights faded from Georgia by the early 1890s, the Order led some significant labor conflicts and local political challenges and recruited workers regardless of skill, race, or gender.
Formed in Philadelphia, Penn. in 1869, the Knights first appointed southern organizers nine years later. In 1879 E. W. Conner organized a Knights of Labor lodge or local assembly in his hometown, Rome, Georgia. This lodge lapsed within one year, however, and it was not until 1882 that the Knights established a lasting presence in the state.
The Knights did not become significant in Georgia until the mid-1880s. Although supposedly nonpartisan, the Order began to enter municipal politics in 1885, when it nearly elected its mayoral candidate in Athens. In 1886 the Knights nominated political candidates in Atlanta, Augusta, Decatur, Marietta, Macon, and Savannah and enjoyed some electoral success in the latter two cities.
The Knights' national leadership emphasized cooperative enterprises and land and monetary reform, rather than strikes or boycotts, as the solutions to workers' problems. Rank-and-file members, however, often proved quite willing to engage in confrontations with their employers. The Knights led several notable labor conflicts in Georgia. In 1883 Knights of Labor telegraphers in several Georgia cities participated in an unsuccessful nationwide strike against Western Union. During the winter of 1885-86, the Knights led a boycott against the Atlanta Constitution over wages and recognition for the Atlanta Typographical Union. The boycott achieved the latter goal. The Knights also waged a four-month battle against Augusta textile mill owners in a strike-lockout in 1886, but won only meager concessions for the 3,000 workers involved.
The Knights of Labor recruited hundreds of African American members in Georgia, primarily in segregated local assemblies. Organizing black workers, especially in rural areas, could be a dangerous task. In 1887, for example, a mob of whites shot and nearly killed Hiram F. Hover, a white man who tried to organize black farm laborers at Warrenton. Another less devoted white organizer, however, defrauded blacks by organizing them into local assemblies and then pocketing their charter fees rather than forwarding the fees to the Knights' national headquarters in Philadelphia.
In November 1889 the Knights of Labor held its annual national General Assembly in Atlanta. By then, however, failed strikes, lockouts, blacklisting, and dissent among members over the Knights' political activity had reduced the organization's size and influence in Georgia and throughout the nation. Attempts at a coalition with the Farmers' Alliance and a small role in the Populist movement failed to halt the Knights' decline. In July 1893 the Georgia State Assembly of the Knights of Labor met for the last time, although scattered local assemblies continued to exist. Knights in Brunswick and Savannah maintained locals as late as 1901.
Despite its demise, the Knights of Labor played a pioneering role in organizing American and especially southern laborers. In Georgia the Knights gave workers an outlet for protest against low wages and harsh working conditions in relatively new industries, as well as the means to challenge Democratic dominance of local politics. The organization also made at least some sincere efforts at overcoming racial barriers among the working classes. If the Knights ultimately failed to achieve these goals, so did most of the labor organizations that would follow in Georgia.
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(NEW) Duluth Fall Festival Concert, Saturday, Sept. 13, on the Town Green in Duluth. Rupert's 12 piece Orchestra will perform. The kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. with an opening act performance by Alexis Rhode, followed by the Big Band sound of Rupert's. For more information, contact Amanda Leiba at 678 957 7271.
(NEW) Exhibit of eight artists opens September 2 and continues through December 2 at George Pierce Park Community Center in Suwanee. Eight female artists will showcase their talents, including watercolor, acrylic, oil, color pencil, mixed media, collage, and pen and ink with color pencil. A reception will be held on Sept. 4 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 678-277-0910.
(NEW) Children's Storytelling, by author Carmen Deedy, Saturday, September 6 from 1 until 3 p.m. at the Norcross Cultural and Community Center, 10 College Street, across from Lillian Webb Park. Come hear about Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, or Juan Bobo, and the author's version of "growing up Cuban in Decatur." This free event is sponsored by the Norcross Cluster School Partnership for Norcross and Peachtree Corners schools. There will also be door prizes. Bring the entire family!
Forum for 2014: Thursday, October 16, 7: 30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
Studio Movie Grill, Duluth. Topics include maximizing re-development,
financing and opportunities through Public-Private Partnerships. Keynote
speaker will be Ellen Durham Jones of Georgia Tech, talking on "Sustaining
vibrant communities." To
register, click here.
MORE EEB PERSPECTIVE
Gwinnett Forum publisher Elliott Brack suggests that Gwinnett County needs a long-range list of continuing objectives for improving the county. Read more.
GwinnettForum.com is a twice-weekly online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.
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