When We Bring Totebags to a Knife Fight – They are Filled with Petitions

Some members of Congress have been spending so much time fretting about what’s going on in the executive offices at NPR that they have lost sight of the local people, local jobs, and local organizations in their districts that depend on public broadcasting. Today we are sending a wake-up call to Capitol Hill.

Today, Free Press Action Fund, MoveOn and Credo Action delivered more than one million petitions to the House and Senate calling for a stop to cuts aimed at destroying public broadcasting. Together, with unions representing writers, actors, and engineers whose jobs are at stake, we demanded that policy makers stop playing politics with NPR, PBS and the 1,300 vital local stations that reach nearly every 99% of America.

Partisans in Congress and their cable news friends might like to jabber on about trumped up controversies unfolding in Washington, DC, but when it comes to public broadcasting the facts trump the fiction. Federal funding for public broadcasting supports more than 20,000 jobs all across America, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting estimates that that funding contributes more than $1 billion to the U.S. economy. For every federal dollar that is sent out to local stations, those stations match it with six dollars from other sources. Continue reading


A Poem: For 9 Little Places Called 826

In case you haven’t seen, Neko Case has been running a contest, raffling off her red 1967 Mercury Cougar: http://www.nekocase.com/auction

All of the funds go to support 826 National. 826, founded in part by Dave Eggers of McSweeney’s, is a group of youth literacy nonprofits that run tutoring, writing, and publishing projects built around a deep passion for language, literature, education and writing. They do great work, empowering young people to find their voice. You can find out more about 826 National here: http://www.826national.org

Neko Case has been tweeting about the contest for the past few days and was challenging her followers to find their own ways to spread the word about it. So here is my contribution – it’s a poem made up almost entirely of the titles from Neko Case’s songs.

For 9 Little Places Called 826

Hold on, hold on my little bird. Maybe sparrow, the next time you say forever you’ll get that teenage feeling, like you are in the middle of a cyclone. When all is said and done, at last, you’ll make your widow’s toast, with a dirty knife and a red tide crashing at the shore. You, not the fox, brought this flood. But don’t worry, Jonny saw that number – he’ll be your star witness – just as soon as he removes his head from the lion’s jaw. Then, right when the fever hits, you’ll realize that this tornado loves you, and even while the magpie sings to the morning, vengeance will lie sleeping. You’ll put down the knife, and pick up the pen.

For everyone at 826 National, who inspire so many kids to pick up their pens. Thanks for the work you do.

To see a list of the song titles I used, visit: http://www.nekocase.com/lyrics