Browsing Tag

politics

Battleground State: The Fight to Legalize MMA in New York (Part 2)

The Evolution

In many ways, the biggest knockout punch in MMA history didn’t come from Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, or any other of the sport’s biggest names, but from a United States senator. In 1996, Senator John McCain condemned the sport as “human cock-fighting” and sent letters to all 50 governors, urging them to ban MMA events in their states. McCain’s plea worked to a considerable degree as 36 states enacted bans, and the UFC nearly went out of business. However, in a 2007 interview with National Public Radio, McCain changed his tune, offering reserved praise for MMA. “They have cleaned up the sport to the point, at least in my view, where it is not human cockfighting any more. I think they’ve made significant progress. They haven’t made me a fan, but they have made progress,” said McCain.

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Battleground State: The Fight to Legalize MMA in New York (Part 1)

It’s a frigid February evening in New York City, and yet scores of fans have braved the cold weather to gather at the midtown Manhattan Hooters bar in order to watch the latest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pay-per-view event entitled “UFC 109: Relentless.” Indeed, it’s so cold that most of the waitresses wear long-sleeved shirts instead of their usual tank-tops.

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Tea for Three?

The first person I called after Governor Charlie Crist announced he will run for the Senate as an independent was Dean Barkley of Minnesota. Mr. Barkley knows all about the obstacles facing a third-party candidate. A member of Ross Perot’s Reform Party, he served out the final months of the late Paul Wellstone’s Senate term. Running in 2008 as an independent, he won 15% of the vote despite raising a shade over $160,000. “I’m very glad Crist did it,” Barkley told me when I reached him by phone. “I don’t really care what his reasons are. It shows that the window for an independent movement is getting bigger and bigger. Most centrists or moderates don’t like either party. They’re basically exasperated with both.”

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The Happy Land Fire – 20 Years Later

For related audio slideshow, click here.

BRONX — Every year at the end of March, Maria Romero makes her annual pilgrimage to the site of the Happy Land memorial, a vermilion marble obelisk at Southern Blvd and E. Tremont Ave in the Bronx. She uses her key to unlock the gate around the monument, and sweeps up the leaves and debris that have accumulated in the last year. She wants it to look nice for the memorial service, which takes place every year at the nearby St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

Hanging off the side of the fence is a large white sign listing the names of the 87 people who perished in the Happy Land Social Club fire on March 25, 1990. They fill four columns. The fourth name on the third column is that of Isabel Lopez, Romero’s daughter. She was 17 years old.

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At a Crossroads: The AMA and Health Care Reform.

Other versions of this were published by The Columbia Journalist and the Huffington Post

At a Crossroads: The AMA and Health Care Reform.

As Ronald Reagan was transitioning from Gipper to Governor, he had a short-lived career as a recording artist. Unlike some of his later Hollywood contemporaries, like Kevin Bacon, Steven Seagal, Jennifer Lopez, and William Shatner, Reagan’s recording career was for a very limited and specific purpose.

Simply put, he was frightened at the prospect of socialism in America and he was determined to do something about it.

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Hondurans Protest in Union Square.

A crowd of more than 60 people gathered in Union Square Park on Tuesday in support of the deposed Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, whose recent reentry into the country he once led has touched off violent protests, governmental repression and international tensions.

The rally, organized by the USA Honduras Resistance Coalition in conjunction with several other human rights and Latin-American political groups, took place on a chilly evening with many protesters thankful that a candlelight vigil was on the agenda. Forming a solid wall along the plaza of the park, the protesters were at first content to stand passively, informing passersby of their purpose by holding up their signs and Honduran flags. That changed as they started marching in a large circle while shouting pro-Zelaya slogans and vowing that “the people of Honduras will continue to struggle.”

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