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NM Education Secretary caught in dirty dealings?

Posted by on January 31, 2013 | One comment

UPDATE 3/4/13: The confirmation hearing continues TODAY.

HUNDREDS of New Mexico educators testified for hours on Saturday, at the Senate Rules Confirmation Hearing of gubernatorial appointed Hanna Skandera. Can you take a moment to weigh-in?

(Call YOUR Senate Rules Committee to weigh-in)

Senator Linda M. Lopez – (D) linda.lopez@nmlegis.gov
Senator Daniel A. Ivey-Soto – (D) daniel.ivey-soto@nmlegis.gov
Senator Jacob R. Candelaria – (D) jacob.candelaria@nmlegis.gov
Senator Stuart Ingle – (R) stuart.ingle@nmlegis.gov
Senator Mark Moores – (R) mark.moores@nmlegis.gov
Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino – (D) jortizyp@msn.com
Senator Cliff R. Pirtle – (R) cliff.pirtle@nmlegis.gov
Senator Clemente Sanchez – (D) clemente.sanchez@nmlegis.gov
Senator Michael S. Sanchez – (D) Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4727
Senator Sander Rue – (R) sanderrue@comcast.net

Click here for full contact information and individual representative websites.

UPDATE 3/2/13: the AP reports:

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – School workers made a show of opposition against Public Education Secretary designate Hanna Skandera as lawmakers consider whether to confirm her appointment by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.

But a vote was delayed until sometime next week.

The Senate Rules Committee heard more public testimony on Saturday about Skandera, who’s been in charge of the Public Education Department since Martinez took office in 2011.

Skandera drew opposition from educational unions at Friday’s hearing, and teachers turned out in large numbers Saturday.

Opponents say Skandera doesn’t meet a constitutional requirement for an education secretary to be a “qualified, experienced educator.”

Skandera’s defenders, including some business leaders, say she has broad experience in educational policy although she’s never worked as a public school teacher.

The Senate last rejected a cabinet secretary in 1997, when Republican Gov. Gary Johnson was in office.

The hearing was moved to the Senate gallery to accommodate crowds for the public comment portion. As as a result, the full Senate floor meeting was cancelled.

UPDATE 2/1/13: Well, well, well…whaddaya’ know? Just one day after the news below was blown wide open by the Washington Post and NM Dems…NM ed chief Skandera OKs online school despite opposition – via KOB-TV

Unconfirmed-NM-Education-Secretary-Paid off

New Mexico Education Secretary, Hanna Skandera was nominated by Governor Susana Martinez, sans confirmations from the senate, two years ago.

Today the Washington Post has released a scathing story about the secretary’s less than savory dealings with an organization headed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, wherein Bush emails point to “working” with multiple state officials in re-writing education laws to “benefit some of its corporate funders.”

In response, the Democratic Party of New Mexico says, “Susana’s Secretary-designee Skandera is caught in the scandal — students suffer when education goes to the highest bidder.”

Here, in part is what the Post has uncovered:

• FEE provides its donors — including for-profit digital education companies — access to the chiefs. A draft agenda for the Excellence in Action 2011 Summit blocked off two hours for “Chiefs for Change donor meetings.” Another draft agenda for the meeting allocated nearly three hours to “Chiefs for Change donor meetings.” The donors for the summit were the Walton Family Foundation, the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Broad Foundation, the Carnegie Corp., Susan and Bill Oberndorf, GlobalScholar, Target, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Microsoft, State Farm, IQity, McGraw-Hill Education, Doris and Donald Fisher Fund, Intel, Pearson Foundation, Apex Learning, ETS, Electronic Arts, Koret Foundation, SMART Technologies, K12, Morgridge Family Foundation, Charter Schools USA and Connections Academy. Demand for donor time was so high that Patricia Levesque wrote that she had to turn down opportunities for the chiefs to meet other representatives from companies.

[Martinez appointee Skandera] Unconfirmed but still on the job – El Paso Times

Superintendents criticize NM education chief – El Paso Times

No confirmation, no problem – The Daily Times

• FEE staff served as advisers to acting education commissioner Hanna Skandera. FEE, and, by extension, its donors, had great influence over New Mexico legislation. In a Jan., 2011, e-mail, Skandera directs a staffer from the legislature to forward all education bills to FEE’s Christy Hovanetz for edits: “Can you send all Governor’s office ed bill language to Christy, including social promotion?” Another FEE staffer, Mary Laura Bragg, wrote to Skandera, “I’m at your beck and call.”

• The foundation sought to make connections between Skandera (as well as the other Chiefs for Change) and the Hume Foundation for funds for digital learning projects from Hume that “must flow through the Foundation for Excellence in Education as a project-restricted grant.” The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Oct. 21 that Skandera had indeed applied for such a grant, which ultimately could lead to digital learning legislation favorable to FEE funders Connections Academy and K-12 Inc.

• The e-mails indicate that FEE paid for Skandera’s travel, reimbursing New Mexico $3382.91 for her expenses, including trip to Washington, D.C., to testify before Congress.

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And with that Beyonce says, sit down

Posted by on January 31, 2013 | Comments Off on And with that Beyonce says, sit down

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Handlebar ‘staches needed in NM for Seth MacFarlane

Posted by on January 31, 2013 | 3 comments


As we first told you here, über funnyman Seth MacFarlane has his sights set on NM to shoot his upcoming comedy western, “A Million Ways to Die in the West”.

Now we’re hearing that beloved New Mexico casting director Elizabeth Gabel has put the word on the wire that she is on the job to cast background and extras, saying:

“…we will need lots of men with lovely, long, manly, handlebar mustaches. The bigger the better. A great and fun project. Start grow out those mustaches for some great camera time.”

The film is set to shoot early this spring…so, ready, set GROW!

Get sign-up for your free talent profile with Elizabeth Gabel casting here!

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Casting Call: African Amercan Male

Posted by on January 31, 2013 | Comments Off on Casting Call: African Amercan Male


From Julie Barbarito, Casting Director, Running Wolf Talent:

Casting director Julie Barbarito is seeking African American Male Background Talent over 18 years of age for prison scene in “Force of Execution”. Will shoot on Monday February 4, 2013 in the Albuquerque area.

For immediate consideration please make your submission via email to:


Please include the following information: Name/Phone #’s/Photo/Age/Height/Weight/Clothing Sizes

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“Hank-olm In the Middle”

Posted by on January 31, 2013 | Comments Off on “Hank-olm In the Middle”

UPDATE 11/17/13: And now we know…

Breaking Bad : Season 5 – Alternate Ending "Hal… by Eklecty-City
Thanks Michael!

Jane Kaczmarek-Bryan-Cranston-Reunite-on-Breaking-Bad

While much of New Mexico is bracing to Break Sad, as Albuquerque’s beloved hit television show is furiously and frigidly shooting its final eight episodes of the entire series, it looks like one epic guest star has joined the Breaking Bad family, local cast & crew for the springtime finale run.

Last week, Breaking Bad Star Dean Norris released the pic above, all but confirming that the Malcolm in the Middle spouses are reuniting for the show’s upcoming swan song episodes…Just days before that it apears Kaczmarek herself tweeted, “”Yes, it’s true… I will indeed be on #BreakingBad. Can’t wait for you all to see it. Congrats to @BryanCranston for his win tonight.””Yes, it’s true… I will indeed be on #BreakingBad.”

Meanwhile show reps are on record saying that Kaczmarek’s presence on set is for an appearance limited to the show’s straight-to-DVD extras.

We shall see…

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JANE GOT A GUN – Casting Call

Posted by on January 30, 2013 | 2 comments


Call for submissions for feature film, JANE GOT A GUN. Cowboys and Cowgirls 20 to 40 years old needed for the Director to start selecting this Friday. Send a recent picture and Phone number to robertbaxtercasting@gmail.com

Jane Got a Gun stars NMFilm actress Natalie Portman (Thor, Brothers) and Michael Fassbender who just recently wrapped the NMFilm “Frank”. Both are hot off their co-starring roles in the yet to be titled Terrence Malick film which was shot in Austin, TX last fall.

In Jane Got a Gun, Portman plays the title character – a woman whose outlaw husband returns home shot with eight bullets and barely alive, Jane reluctantly reaches out to an ex-lover (Fassbender) who she hasn’t seen in over ten years to help her defend her farm when the time comes that her husband’s gang eventually tracks him down to finish the job.

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Strings for a CURE: Where the Arts meet Humanities

Posted by on January 30, 2013 | 2 comments

McGarvey-participates-in-StringsforaCurePerformance image via RyanMcGarvey.com

New Mexico’s own resident Guitar God, Ryan McGarvey has teamed with the innovative, life-enriching organization StringsforaCURE™, saying:

“I’m so incredibly honored to work with this organization, and to help for such a worthy cause. Please take a look at the great pieces of jewelry that they were able to make from my guitar strings. All proceeds go to help those with breast cancer.”

Elisa Guida, a two-time breast cancer survivor and jewelry designer, transforms guitar strings into one-of-a-kind bracelets, earrings, pendants and rings. Net proceeds are used to fund the foundation’s efforts to educate, comfort and support cancer patients. The foundation focuses primarily on helping those with breast cancer.

The StringsforaCURE™ Foundation helps women and men diagnosed with cancer, primarily breast. Our mission is to provide education, comfort and support to cancer patients, focusing on the breast cancer patient. We help the patient directly by providing gas, grocery or pharmacy gift cards. We also provide educational materials, comfort baskets and medical grants. We want to ease the burden during their cancer journey. We raise awareness on how important nutrition and wellness plays a part in the recovery of the cancer patient.

National and international musicians donate their used guitar strings to StringsforaCURE™, and I transform them into one-of-a-kind bracelets, earrings, pendants and rings. We also raise funds through our online Virtual Quilt, our Pennies2Patients Program and Pickin’ On Cancer fundraiser and also through private donations.

My dream is to recruit many nationally known musicians – including Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen, among many others – to donate their strings to the foundation. We have received strings from several famous musicians, such as Jon Bon Jovi, Melissa Etheridge, Paul Rodgers, Joe Bonamassa to mention a few. -Elisa Guida, Executive Director

The StringsforaCURE foundation is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, and a Green Foundation. Their jewelry is made in the U.S.A. with net proceeds used to fund the foundation’s efforts to educate, comfort and support cancer patients.

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New Mexico “Job Creators” Need YOU

Posted by on January 28, 2013 | 2 comments

Find YOUR NMFilm Legislator

“If you want jobs and want them now, rewrite the motion picture incentive regulations to make them simple and clear. Make the tax credits easier to lend against. Exempt TV series since they create long term employment and reach out to potential projects to assure them we want and need them and will do what it takes to help them make their pictures here.”

-Excerpt from “Voice of the People” as featured in The Deming Headlight

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Bryan Cranston at bat for #NMFilm

Posted by on January 27, 2013 | Comments Off on Bryan Cranston at bat for #NMFilm

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Screen Actors Guild Awards Live Stream via POP Sugar

Posted by on January 27, 2013 | Comments Off on Screen Actors Guild Awards Live Stream via POP Sugar

Click here for live results list from Latinos Post.

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Jones “blows them away” at Sundance with her NMFilm Sweetwater

Posted by on January 25, 2013 | Comments Off on Jones “blows them away” at Sundance with her NMFilm Sweetwater

January Jones at Sundance via HELLO
Image via HELLO

The Chicago Tribune Reports:

“Sweetwater,” which was shot at the end of last summer, is the first feature film Jones worked on following the birth of her son. It also includes her first topless scene in a film. At one moment during her murderous rampage, she is quietly bathing in a river, her bare back seen from behind. As two villainous thugs approach, thinking they have her in a vulnerable position, Jones turns with both guns drawn. And she shoots them down too.

“I’d just stopped nursing and I think modesty just kind of flies out the window sometimes when you’re a mom, and I was like, whatever,” she said of deciding to do the scene. “Also, that scene in particular when I read the script was so … amusing to me, I couldn’t not do it. I’ve never seen a scene like that in a movie when you think a woman is just swimming in a river and you realize she’s using her sexuality to lure these men in and then turns around and blows them away. And that’s pretty awesome.

“There were certain times in my career where I felt, ‘I don’t really need to do that.’ But then, I’m a human being, I change my mind,” she added. “I might change my mind when there’s a theater full of people watching it, with my parents.”

Full story

Thanks Alan

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ICYDK: Do you really, really like that?

Posted by on January 25, 2013 | Comments Off on ICYDK: Do you really, really like that?

Buying Social Media Followers

Ever wonder why some of the twitter, facebook, instagram accounts, etc., you find suddenly have thousands and thousands of followers? Sure, sometimes a hot chick will get verbally ogled on a worldwide television broadcast, as in the case of football quarterback girlfriend/beauty queen Katherine Webb, and of course there are those of us who toil at slowly connecting with others who actually have similar interests and goals to help further a common cause, but then there’s this:

“Buy Twitter Followers To Supercharge Your Following 100% Guaranteed Twitter Followers, NO Account Password Required!”

“We offer guaranteed YouTube Video Likes packages to increase your video and channel popularity! More Likes means higher rankings and increased likelihood others will watch your videos.”

“We offer real instagram followers and likes to increase your instagram popularity and get your pictures noticed!”

Buy Facebook Likes – Buy YouTube Views – Buy Facebook Fans – Buy Twitter Followers – Buy Traffic”

“Counting large marketing firms and well-known brands and artists amongst its regular clients, ———.com has quickly established itself as one of the hottest social media marketing tools on the market!”

Maybe if I had had the money to spare (yes there are times when even the low, low price of just $14.99 for 1000 twitter followers is too much to waste on fakery or anything else) at start-up or points of operation necessitating traffic spikes, I too would’ve looked down that avenue…the key words here being, “low and down”. This is not an acceptable practice – for grass roots efforts especially.

Some of you may be unwitting participants in these shenanigans, especially if you are a public figure or enterprise that utilizes an internet marketing firm or guru, who runs your social media accounts. Many such operations go ahead and purchase friends, fans, followers and even traffic, unbeknownst to you (others don’t).

If you’d like to connect with the individual friends, followers and fans of this, my little space on the www, please know that everyone connected below has painstakingly taken the time to “click” and share a little piece of their lives with me! And I’m extremely grateful for each and every one!

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Email |

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2nd Annual New Mexico Black History Month 2013 Festival Guide

Posted by on January 24, 2013 | Comments Off on 2nd Annual New Mexico Black History Month 2013 Festival Guide

The New Mexico Black History Month Organizing Committee’s mission is to preserve the rich cultural heritage that African Americans have made to the state of New Mexico and the United States. We do this by producing an annual slate of events that cover five focus areas: Arts and Culture, Cuisine, Education, Positive Youth Development and Health. There is something for everyone here…Enjoy and celebrate with us!

The 2013 New Mexico Black History Month Festival is February 5 – 24, 2013. Something for everyone: Roots Revival cabaret, Griffin’s Best Sweet Potato Pie contest, Dreamgirls at Popejoy, The Cotton Club Refined Gala, CommUnity Dance Party, WorkItOut Wellness/Fitness day, New Mexico’s Gosepl Best and seriously good times!

The purpose of the 2013 Black History Month Festival is to promote multiculturalism and increase awareness of the contributions that African Americans have made to New Mexico. Each event of this festival showcases the culture and talent of African Americans and encourages engagement and participation by the entire Albuquerque community.

-New Mexico Black History Month

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Video of the Day: Rattler Wranger Dusty Webb, Breaking Bad Style

Posted by on January 23, 2013 | Comments Off on Video of the Day: Rattler Wranger Dusty Webb, Breaking Bad Style

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Movement Toward Work in NMFilm

Posted by on January 22, 2013 | Comments Off on Movement Toward Work in NMFilm


What Reel Working America Is:

Working America and IATSE (the film technicians union) have partnered to create a new home for working people in the film industry, Reel Working America.

The film, television and multimedia industries are the future jobs for many Americans in an industry that has a higher percentage of workers represented by Unions and Guilds than any other. Reel Working America gives independent film makers and others aspiring to be in this exciting business a voice and a forum on the broader issues of the day and an opportunity to work collectively to influence the process.

As a member of Reel Working America, you’ll be part of the movement to protect the middle class and worker’s rights across the country.

Together, we’ll fight for…
Ensuring that our families have access to good quality health care
Protect our jobs here at home
Making sure that our retirement will be there for us when we need it
Giving our children the best possible education
Holding corporations accountable

Want to be a part of it? Fill out this form and become a member of Reel Working America.

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Free Screening: Water Sustainability Documentary Short – Santa Fe, NM

Posted by on January 22, 2013 | Comments Off on Free Screening: Water Sustainability Documentary Short – Santa Fe, NM


“Penasco: A Path to Water Sustainability”, a 20-minute film produced by Silver Bullet Productions (Santa Fe), with videography, sound, and editing provided by Lightningwood Pictures
(Santa Fe) – free screening on January 25th at 1:00 p.m. in the Runnels Auditorium in the Runnels Building (St. Francis Drive and Alta Vista) in Santa Fe.

“During 2012 a multi-organizational task group worked jointly to develop the New Mexico Sustainable Community Award Program, by starting with sustainable water systems as the initial category for awards. We had garnered Congressional support for this award program from the entire New Mexico delegation, and through the collaborative efforts of personnel from the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC), and the Espanola Basin Regional Issues Forum (EBRIF), we mailed out 600 invitations to New Mexico water systems to apply for the award program. Ultimately, 10 water systems state-wide were selected as award winners. Each award winner was recognized individually by a letter from Secretary David Martin, NMED and further recognized last October during the award ceremony at the New Mexico Infrastructure Finance Committee conference in Taos.

In order to further recognize the winners of the Sustainable Community Awards for water system sustainability, the Penasco Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association was chosen to represent achievements in water sustainability by serving as the subject for an educational film that could be used to inspire, educate, and train small water systems state-wide. EBRIF sponsored the film project with funding provided by Los Alamos County, and the film you will see on January 25th is the final product. The 20-minute film was produced by Silver Bullet Productions in Santa Fe with the videography, sound, and editing provided by Lightningwood Pictures. EBRIF’s goal was to create a film that could be used by state agencies, e.g. NMED, OSE, and NMFA as well as other organizations e.g. RCAC, NMRW, NCNMEDD, IFC, etc. to promote the concepts of “sustainability” and illustrate by example the process and benefits of following the path to sustainability. The criteria contained in the House Joint Memorial 86 Report with emphasis on technical, managerial, and financial capacity building were addressed in the film’s script development and editing. The film’s credit roll contains reference to addition resource information listed on two NMED websites.”

Charlie Nylander
Española Basin Technical Advisory Group

Thanks WW

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Come to Jesus Part III

Posted by on January 22, 2013 | Comments Off on Come to Jesus Part III

Seagal v Jesus 1

More deets from the set of Force of Execution, now filming in the Q…

Tomorrow NM’s Own Jesus Jr. (Breaking Bad, In Plain Sight, 2 Guns, MacGruber) will face off, in the third epic battle of his career with the one and only Steven Seagal!

The actor said today, “Itz going down tomorrow…..our 3rd battle so far. 1st there was “URBAN JUSTICE” where it all started…..then there was “THE KEEPER”…and now…..”FORCE OF EXECUTION”……WORD…”

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Calling ABQ Musicians à la Dr. Dre

Posted by on January 21, 2013 | Comments Off on Calling ABQ Musicians à la Dr. Dre


ABQ Musicians…” bangin'” music videos with girls dancing and “Dr. Dre” sounding music is needed ASAP for a FILM shooting in NM right now! Must be free and clear music. Plays on Wednesday. To be considered for enclusion of YOUR video in this feature film, Email links and contact info to infojimburleson@yahoo.com – ASAP!

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The Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States

Posted by on January 21, 2013 | Comments Off on The Inauguration of the 44th President of the United States

President Barack Obama Inauguration Speech 2013Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images – click for full text

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.

For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.

They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope.

You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.

Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.”

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Posted by on January 21, 2013 | Comments Off on QOTD:


Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together. -President Barack Obama in his 2nd Inaugural Address earlier today on this the National Holiday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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