Muenster is Muenster, no matter how you slice it.

Chuck Schumer

Europe’s making a big stink over cheese. The EU wants to ban the use of names like Parmesan, feta, and Gorgonzola on US-made cheeses because ours isn’t as good or as original. Our cheese is becoming an international threat to sales and cheese identity. Our cows pale in comparison to theirs.

Getting this The Onion-worthy ban enacted would inevitably mean tough times on American businesses (especially small ones) and confusion in already chaotic supermarket aisles and on restaurant menus everywhere. It can’t happen…can it?

Government trade relations, folks!

Check out this FluNearYou video, which is the result of a phenomenal collaboration by a hospital, a public health association, and a funder. The government should be monitoring and taking action to prevent this national threat, but they’re not doing much of anything right now (or ever?), so it’s lucky that this project is stepping in.

Lucy Berholz shared thoughts on this collaboration on her blog, Philanthropy 2173

This is essentially crowdsourcing information on behalf of public health. We’re also seeing citizen crowdfund for city services that aren’t available through tax revenue – see this story on security in Oakland. What we need to ensure is that these types of actions work with government and each extends the other. If we get to the point where we are relying on crowds to fund core public services, our democracy will be in even more trouble than it is now. But if we can use the crowd platforms to engage people, to partner with the public sector, to expand and complement civic responsibility than we’ll be that much the better for it.Understanding these forms of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing as political acts – and designing them for maximum public benefit – is a big opportunity.

February 8 in History

via Alexis:

It’s February 8th. Today marks the 45th anniversary of the Orangeburg Massacre, the first incident on a U.S. college campus in which unarmed student protesters were killed. South Carolina highway patrol men opened fire on a group of students protesting the segregation of a local bowling alley, killing three and injuring 27 others.

One of the students shot that night was my father, Joe Lambright.

This incident pre-dated the Kent State Massacre of 1970, but got little to no media coverage. It has since been incorporated into the curriculum in SC, which is a big step, but there’s still some work needing to be done. This is American history. More Americans need to know about it.

She’s right; nobody talks about this and more people should know it happened. Here’s more info.

We’ve come a long way as a country with segregation. But, even though it’s not always explicit or across racial lines anymore, it still exists. Stand up to it, America.

Away down town, where the atmosphere is hazy
From the smoke of the factories ascending to the sky
The smells, Oh! so horrid, would almost set you crazy.
But I’m told in that neighborhood the people seldom die.
‘Way up on the Slope all the people are complaining;
From the foul scented odors their health is quickly waning
And the smoke from the soft coal their linen it is staining
When the wind blows that way from Gowanus Canal.

When the wind blows east, when the wind blows west,
Or when it’s from the north or south, you never get a rest.
In summer or in winter, in the spring or in the fall,
You breathe the same old odors from Gowanus Canal.

from The Gowanus Canal Song, by Michael J. Shay, 1898

Let’s hope the pending Superfund cleanup can stop dolphins from dying, the cancerous agents from thriving in the cesspool, and the smells from invading the general neighborhood.

Well — he did not —.

Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice

This is all that was captured in the official court transcript, but it’s part of what seemed to have been a somewhat loaded, snarky comment about his alma mater, Yale.

Why does one little comment even make headlines? Thomas, the ‘silent justice’, hasn’t asked a question in session since February 22, 2006.

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2013

Lucy Bernholz, a leading philanthropy scholar who writes one of my favorite philanthropy-related blogs, has released her fourth annual industry forecast through GrantCraft. And, for the first time, it’s free to download!

Her predictions for 2013 are intriguing; I agree with most and can’t wait to see how they play out. I really love being a part of the philanthropy sector as technology is increasing its role and the government is making it just a little bit tougher for nonprofits to be successful. There’s so much opportunity for thoughtful strategies and impact, and I am optimistic about the ability of most foundations to capitalize on this exciting time.

Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2013

I’m saying right now, anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to Congressional Republicans is out of their minds. Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace.

New York Republican Rep. Peter King after GOP leaders completely ignored a Hurricane Sandy relief bill.