Politics: April 2005 Archives


Photo by Matt Connors from from April 11th march

Yale opposes the unionization of graduate students, who do a great deal of the teaching at most universities these days. Matt Connors, who recently had a show of his paintings at Jeff Bailey Gallery, is working on his MFA there, and wrote to me about it. There was a strike last week, and I believe Columbia grad students were involved in a solidarity action. Quoting his email:

The art school is one of the only graduate programs at Yale that receives almost no tuition remission, no health care and gets paid less than half of other graduate student teachers.

Knowing what it costs to get an MFA at Yale, and knowing the odds of an artist making enough money to pay off the debt required, this means the diversity of the student body becomes rather limited -- those rich enough or crazy enough to risk it.

Here is a web page on the strike, plus an article from the Yale Daily News.

P.S. I have four(!) significant consulting projects going on right now, so I apologize for the rather light blogging.

Not only are they backtracking on gay rights, Microsoft pays right-wing anti-gay Ralph Reed $20,000/month for "lobbying services."

Again, go to AMERICAblog for the story.


After meeting with a single right-wing preacher, and being threatend with an "evangelical boycott", Microsoft has withdrawn its support of Washington state's gay rights bill. At the moment, it's perfectly legal to fire someone for being gay in most of the state. People in Washington believe this may kill the bill.

Go to AMERICAblog for actions to take.

From The Stranger

The Stranger has learned that last month the $37-billion Redmond-based software behemoth quietly withdrew its support for House bill 1515, the anti-gay-discrimination bill currently under consideration by the Washington State legislature, after being pressured by the Evangelical Christian pastor of a suburban megachurch. The pastor, Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, met with a senior Microsoft executive in February and threatened to organize a national boycott of the company's products if it did not change its stance on the legislation, according to gay rights activists and a Microsoft employee who attended a subsequent April 4 meeting where Bradford L. Smith, Microsoft's senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary, told a group of gay staffers about Hutcherson's threat. Hutcherson also unsuccessfully demanded that the company fire two employees who had testified in favor of the bill.


The list of high-profile companies that endorsed the bill this year reads like a who's who of the Pacific Northwest corporate world. It includes the Boeing Company, Nike, Coors Brewing, Qwest Communications, Washington Mutual, Hewlett-Packard, Corbis, Battelle Memorial Institute, Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc., and others. And as late as February 1, Microsoft, which issued a letter in support of the bill last year, appeared poised to do so again.

I used PCs for most of my computing life, but once OS X came out, and once I was hit one too many times with a virus despite daily anti-virus updates, I switched. I'm thrilled to be using a computer that "just works," and whose design is much more attractive, from the hardware to the software.

Go check out the Apple store. The Mac Mini is a good bargain for desktop users. While you're at it, if you're still using Internet Explorer for that exciting "is it going to let a web site install something nasty" browsing experience, switch to FireFox.

[Story via AMERICAblog and Jay Blotcher]

Today I received some mail from a Chelsea gallery with a Reagan stamp on it.

Were they being ironic?

This page is an archive of entries in the Politics category from April 2005.

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