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Anthony was clear on abortion

The policy of Susan B Anthony's newspaper did only two things: opposed standing armies and opposed ads for abortion.

Editors of her newspaper called abortion "feticide," "child murder," and "a crime against humanity."

"The Revolution," Susan B Anthony's newspaper, reiterated and explained the no-abortion policy multiple times.


Choose a living legend next time

Who cares what Susan B. Anthony thought of abortion as she knew it in the late 1800's? This is the year 2014. A woman can have an abortion by taking two pills, something SBA could not have imagined. By trying to twist a sentence or two that she may have uttered in 1875 to imply that she would join the anti-choicers today is ridiculous.

But we can't ask her, can we? And isn't that the whole point with these groups usurping her name? What a strategy! Think of a world-famous advocate for women's rights. Ah, yes! Susan B. Anthony! Let's use her name for our group! She's dead! So she won't be able to slap us down with her famous oratory or newspaper articles when she finds out our sneaky plan! Then, because of her revered name, we can raise millions to fund our political candidates!

When the media need a comment from the anti-choice view, of course they will call us! Because we are the Susan B. Anthony List! The trend is pretty obvious these days. Even in Fien's article, Carol Crossed says "pro-life" is now going to be called "consistent life ethic." Feminists for Life NY is now called "Feminists for Nonviolent Choices." More than one anti-choice bill before state or federal legislators carries the names of Anthony and even Frederick B. Douglass (e.g. Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011) and on and on.

I would like to suggest that these folks try using a living women's rights advocate's name for their next effort. One who could set the record straight, you know, because she's ALIVE. Hey, maybe try Gloria Steinem.


Derrick Smith will be missed

Derrick Smith, one of our favorite people and singer extraordinaire, died yesterday at Strong Memorial Hospital surrounded by his loving family. His wife, Merideth, who is county attorney, posted a notice on Derrick's "CaringBridge" account and about 100 people have responded to it so far. Thomas Warfield posted a particularly lovely and moving tribute to Derrick on his Facebook page.

We are going to miss this gentle giant of a human being an awful lot. He meant a great deal to us and our family, as I'm sure he did to voice students at Eastman School's Community Education Division, where he taught for many years.

Derrick had a seizure around Labor Day and had been hospitalized since. He was discharged briefly from Strong and was admitted to a rehab unit at Unity Hospital, but suffered a heart attack the same day. He was readmitted — first to Unity, then back to the ICU at Strong.

A beautiful person with a magnificent voice, Derrick left a legacy to be proud of. His four wonderful children, his work on "Race and Reconciliation," and his splendid recordings all speak of his humanity and sensitivity. The world is a much poorer place today without him.


Suspensions in city schools

On "City schools' suspensions challenged" (News):

Here is your solution....Give the schools back to those who are in them. Pride and ownership drive caring and responsibility. Environments that are family-like are more conducive to learning. These cultures will only happen if schools like the pilot schools in Boston are created. Just google pilot schools in Boston and be ready to cry about how far behind we are. The fixes must start in the classrooms, not the offices. The board, union leaders, and the superintendent must trust that there are teachers, parents, and principals who are more capable than they are.


I so appreciate comments on this issue because they mean that some people still care about public education. The comments reflect exactly the complexities of preparing and schooling children who live in socio-emotional climates of desperation and despair as we fight to prepare them for college and careers.

We force public school students to study academic concepts when we fundamentally understand that when one's basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, safety, and familial love are not met, then the intellectual pursuit of formalized education is a moot point.


Suspensions look bad to the eyes of some people, but the district needs to put in place serious consequences for the students who do wrong. Minor infractions for some people seem normal and innocent. But when things scale to the point like other states' shootings, everyone is surprised. But in reality, nobody wants to face the reality of the problems.

Our society took the responsibility from the parents and now sadly, many parents are not taking responsibility to raise their children as good and productive citizens of this country. Stop giving everything to them. Make them accountable for their own children. They brought them into this world, now take responsibility.


Safety is a huge concern. We have a few menacing students wreaking havoc in our schools because they can. They run the schools because they are untouchable. Students do not feel safe. What are we going to do about that?