Archive for February, 2011

Governor Christie’s Views on Collective Bargaining

His Face the Nation interview of February 27 features his thoughts on collective bargaining, the education sector, and social security.


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Sojourner Truth

“I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?” These stirring words are contained in the famous speech, Ain’t I a Woman?, delivered in 1851 by Sojourner Truth, one of the first fighters for human rights. An ardent aboloitionist and women’s rights advocate, she was born a slave  in 1797  in Ulster County, N.Y. ; her given name at the time was Isabella Baumfree. She did not assume “Sojourner Truth” until later in life after a religious experience influenced her to become a wandering preacher. Her riveting speeches espousing the causes of abolition and women’s rights were well-known. During the Civil War, she spoke out on behalf of the Union and subsequently met Abraham Lincoln. She died in Battle, Michigan in 1883. More information can be found at: Sojourner Truth (Women in History); This Far by Faith: Sojourner Truth (PBS); On the Trail of Sojourner Truth in Ulster County, New York (SUNY-New Paltz, home of the Sojourner Truth Library); Sojourner Truth: Online Resources (Library of Congress);  Narrative of Sojourner Truth (various editions; as she could neither read nor write, she dictated her memoirs); various speeches by her; and contemporary newspaper accounts.

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Increases in New Jersey School Aid

As Governor Christie announced with his budget address, school aid has been increased for the upcoming year. Come here to find out the amount of increase at both the county and school district level.

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Slavery Statistics for the United States

Exact totals are hard to come by, but we do have access to some reliable enumerations. In the Historical Census Browser which includes the 1790 to 1960 census figures, you can search for “slave population,” and depending on the census you choose, you can get either a lot or a little information; for example, the 1790 census provides data on the number of slaves and detailed information on the slaveholding families, while the 1820 census retrieves nothing on slaveholding families but a great deal of demographic information on slaves. (Obviously, the data contained in each census is based upon the questions asked, and each census posed different questions.) The information can then be broken down by states and even down to the county level. So if you wanted to find the number of slaves who resided in New Jersey’s counties from 1790 to 1860, this is a great place to look. For colonial information, you can go to Chapter Z: Colonial and Pre-Federal Statistics of the Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970. Here you will find tables such as “Slave Prices 1638-42 to 1773-75” and “Slave Trade in New York 1701-1764.” (Tables are found on pages 1172-1174.) Two relevant articles are: Slavery in the United States and Slavery (without accompanying tables).

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Governor Christie’s 2012 Budget Address – News and Reactions

Apres le deluge, you can read the speech’s transcript as well as look at the budget overview; for those hardy enough, the 135-page budget summary is also available. (On p.70 of this document, the amount of state aid NJCU is to be getting is the same as last year – $26.1M; student financial aid is to be increased to a total of $392.1M, the bulk of that being TAG to the tune of $319.5M, an increase of $25M.)) An informative FAQ can be perused, courtesy of; numerous videos on the proposed budget are here  as well as a lengthy string of articles(The Star-Ledger). Other sources include: Bloomberg NewsNJ Spotlight, The Trentonian, MyCentralJersey, Asbury Park Press, NJEA,  Politico, PolitickerNJ, Bergen Record, and The New York Times.

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Governor Chrisite’s FY 2012 Budget Address

The address will be broadcast live here and here (with legislative response and analysis).

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Presidential Ratings/Rankings

Presidential approval ratings come at us constantly. One of the most long-lived polls of this type is conducted by Gallup; here are the results dating back to Esienhower. These public approval ratings should be compared with the C-SPAN 2009 Historians Presidential Leadership Survey that compares all the presidents on ten leadership characteristics as adjudged by 65 presidential scholars. Then there is the Siena College Presidential Ranking which polled 238 scholars along the lines of twenty leadership chararcteristics.

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