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« August 2007 | Main | October 2007 »

Front Page » Monthly Archives » September 2007

By John Atlas on September 30, 2007

The mainstream media missed an important moment in last week's Democratic Presidential debate. It happened when the moderator asked John Edwards about his criticism of Hillary Clinton.

Edwards charged Clinton with messing up health-care reform in the '90s and her mistake had left tens of millions of Americans uninsured. He criticized Clinton for relying on a "bunch of Washington insiders who sit around tables together" to plot the fate of the health care system.

A week before Edwards said, "The lesson Senator Clinton seems to have learned from her experience with health care is, 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.' I learned a very different lesson from decades of fighting powerful interests -- you can never join 'em, you just have to beat 'em."

Edwards, unlike Clinton, promised to push for a universal health care plan through Congress by mobilizing public opinion and building a movement through grassroots organizing.

Edwards said the other candidates, including Clinton, believe that the way to get a health care bill is to broker a deal between "Washington insiders" -- insurance companies, drug companies and other lobby groups. "Its like the rest of America doesn't exist," Edwards noted.

He referred to himself as a "President who is willing to go to America and make the case for universal health care."

Edwards pledged to be a leader, not just a deal-maker. Twice during Wednesday's debate, he mentioned his hard work over the past few years helping community organizing groups like ACORN, and activist unions like SEIU, who will provide the troops trying to change the balance of power in this country to counter the powerful insurance lobby.

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on September 29, 2007

Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the powerful Senate Agriculture Committee, admitted in an interview with CNN today that America does not have enough fresh fruits and vegetables for everyone to follow the time honored dietary dictum of five servings daily.

He was asked about the connection between the Farm Bill and the rise of obesity in the U.S.

He acknowledged that there was a direct connection between farm legislation and the growth of American waistlines.

Consider these facts...

Read more from this post here ...

By Simone Davis on September 29, 2007

George W. Bush recently said, "Democratic leaders in Congress want to put more power in the hands of government by expanding federal health care programs."

Mr. Bush, you'd rather give unfettered power to your own branch of the government to spend over $200 billion per year in an occupation of Iraq? Is that the best use for power and money?

I think I understand you better now, Mr. Bush. You give yourself the unprecedented (and unconstitutional) powers to store our e-mails, reading them at your leisure. You grab new powers to wiretap Americans, to listen to our telephone calls without even court oversight or court warrants. You arrogantly call yourself the "decider" and the "commander guy."

You've given yourself complete power, haven't you? Now, you want to command health care your way, too - by denying it to children? You want us to think that our new Congress is abusing its power by working hard to give medical services to America's uninsured children?

This time, Mr. Bush, you've gone completely off the deep end.

Read more from this post here ...

By Glenn Staab on September 28, 2007

"Memories. Light the corners of my mind .... Scattered pictures, of the smiles we left behind. Smiles we gave to one another ... Whenever we remember ..."

Select lyrics with Barbra Streisand singing in my head. That was last night as I paged through all of my past columns.

Read more from this post here ...

By Stuart Elliott on September 28, 2007

The cover story of the October 1 Business Week looks at the booming business in law suits for overtime violations. The New Deal era FSLA guarantees most workers which mandates time-and-a-half pay after 40 hours of work.

Even after the Bush administration stripped millions of workers of over-time protection about 115 million employees -- 86% of the workforce -- are covered by federal overtime rules, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on September 28, 2007

Frustrated as you consider the problems and challenges associated with homelessness in the United States?

Need even just a glimmer of hope?

Read more from this post here ...

By Ally Klimkoski on September 28, 2007

My mother REALLY wants me to go to Family Day at the Southern Baptist Church this Sunday. So, in my fun this week, I wanted to look at some recent studies I've seen that talk about young people who are or who aren't alienated by organized religion and contrast that with actions we are seeing across the country.

According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 44 percent of young American adults agree that religion is a very important part of their lives. For most, that's thanks to the parental forces. Mom enters. The National Study of Youth and Religion in an ongoing report claims that:

"One of the most widespread and persistent stereotypes about U.S. teenagers is that they are alienated from "established" or "organized" religion and that this alienation is increasing." But the reality (according to them) is that, "the majority of 12th graders in the United States -- about two-thirds -- do not appear to be alienated from or hostile toward organized or established religion."

Ya'll have heard me go off about how evangelical practices have turned into adopting the cultures of young people as a means of recruitment. This was not the case back in the day - this has only been a recent (20 years or so) development that has been quickly spreading from Orange County and the corners of West Virginia to the Bible Belt (like we needed any help...)

So it comes as no shock to me that young people suddenly don't feel alienated by religion - because religion isn't religion as we once new it. The anti-dancing, anti-rock n' roll, suit wearing, sticker stickin, holier than thou world that we see contrasted with these guys in my favorite ad that actually talks about our generation...

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on September 27, 2007

It always happens. No matter where I am, it happens. It has been happening for as long as I can remember. For years and years now.gasoline-station.jpg

I've noticed that it often happens when things are complicated or when I have been distracted by something selfish or when I am supposed to be "away" from things.

My family has grown so accustomed to it that it has become a family joke of sorts - not exactly the right language, but I struggle to describe it. My daughters grew up watching it. My wife has seen it everywhere we go.

Whatever. It happens to me again and again.

Read more from this post here ...

By Lucy Belnora on September 27, 2007

Mr. President, a few days ago, Congress and the American public were treated to a sales job on Iraq that would have made any used car salesman proud. We heard the half-truths and rosy visions put forth by authoritative diplomats in dark suits and ribboned and starred generals in uniform, topped off by the pomp and circumstance of a well-rehearsed Oval Office speech.

Visions were painted for us of a peaceful and prosperous oasis of democracy and stability in the turbulent geography of the Middle East, if only -- and only if -- our gallant soldiers stayed for just a little while longer to bring the dream to reality.

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on September 26, 2007

LeAnn Rimes brought down the house Monday night during our sixth annual "A Night to Remember 2007" concert at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Downtown Dallas (event pictured here).

It was a great night. The house was packed.

The music was emotional, moving and unbelievable in terms of range and quality...

Read more from this post here ...

By Lucy Belnora on September 26, 2007

George Bush plans to increase his war request for tax payer money to nearly $200 billion for bush-and-budget.jpgthe year. His staff say that the surge, the troop buildup, and replacement gear are the main reasons for the almost doubling of the annual war cost.

"After nearly five years of this war, more than 3,800 deaths, over 27,000 casualties, and no end in sight, we must change course. This war, this draining, desultory, dreadful occupation of Iraq must end," stated Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-WV) on Monday.

By the time Bush leaves office at the end of 2008, he will have spent more than $600 billion of our money for his wars - more than was spent for the Korean War and almost as much as the entire Vietnam War.

Read more from this post here ...

By Alice Pfeifer on September 25, 2007

Ah, the 2008 elections -- can they come soon enough? I have been thinking about what we'll need in our next President, and I humbly submit for your consideration the following six qualifications: genuine intellect, mental flexibility, political imagination, hard-headed realism, respect for life, and respect for the Constitution. Now let me elaborate...

Read more from this post here ...

By Pamela Jean on September 25, 2007

The majority of American children (56 percent) receive health insurance through employer-sponsored health plans. Other children are covered by various other plans that their parents can afford to buy individually. Yet, ten million children have no access to medical care at all, even though the majority of their parents are actually working full time and many of their parents work two jobs.

Today, the House will vote to extend the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which provides grants to states to fund health care for uninsured children and is set to expire on Sept. 30. The House and Senate leadership have agreed on a version of the bill that would cover 10 million children and be paid for by an increase in taxes on tobacco.

At a recent news conference, President Bush accused supporters of an expanded SCHIP of trying to "score political points."

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on September 25, 2007

Imagine my surprise at a television news report last Saturday night picturing the beginning of the Christmas season, and just as fall arrives!

According the the story, a Christmas lighting company has already begun hanging decorative holiday lights in Highland Park (Dallas) and in Farmers Branch (Texas). Millions of lights will be put in place over the next 10-12 weeks, the lighting company owner reported.

Highland Park Village and a public park in Farmers Branch were pictured as examples of the several places the work is underway.

Read more from this post here ...

By Fred Joiner on September 24, 2007

Yesterday September 23rd marked what would have been the 81st birthday of an artist that has been central in how I have come to see myself as an artist; John William Coltrane or affectionately known to the world simply as, Trane.

Read more from this post here ...

By Glenn Staab on September 24, 2007

There have been many wars that shaped the history of their time, but no singular event so dramatically changed the entire course of our history as the Second World War. The impact was both on a global and individual level, altering lives, communities and nations unlike any event before or since. World War II touched the lives of every family on every street in every town in America.

In this video, the former Ohio Governor, John Gilligan sat down with his daughter, the current Kansas Governor, Kathleen Sebelius, to discuss his service during World War II. Gilligan served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters as a Navy officer. He was awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action at the battle of Okinawa. Very interesting interview!

By Paul Faber on September 24, 2007

A few weeks ago, a published commentary by Dr. Thomas Krannawitter said some true and truly important things. The piece, Anti-Americanism in American Schools, by Dr. Krannawitter, a professor of political science at Hillsdale College and an FHSU graduate, appeared in the Aug. 24 edition of the HDN.

Dr. Krannawitter paints a striking picture, and a picture that conveys an important message, but he paints the picture, I think, with too broad a brush.

The heart of his position is his forceful rejection of "the hypothesis that what ordinary people believe is 'true' is nothing but their own cultural prejudices." Like Dr. Krannawitter, I believe that far too many people and far too much of our culture has adopted this sort of position.

As Dr. Krannawitter points out, there would seem to be an inherent contradiction in this sort of position. The relativist of this sort says that there is no such thing as real truth, as, that is, a correspondence between a thought or statement and reality. But then the relativist says that his position on this matter is true.

Well, you cannot have it both ways.

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on September 24, 2007

children1.jpgOften when I meet with groups who express an interest in either helping us do our work or in developing their own strategies for responding to the challenges of poverty, someone will say something like, "We want to do more than just 'throw money' at the problems! We really want to get involved. You know, hands on to make a real difference."

Every time I hear this sentiment, I cringe. Sometimes, depending on my mood, I challenge this thinking. In the first place, let me be clear here, no one that I know of is "throwing money" at poverty or its presenting problems and challenges.

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on September 24, 2007

As I dropped Checo off at his house yesterday, he commented, "Janet, we have the best conversations!" I had to smile. All the way to his house we had discussed the reasons behind recycling, how it affects the environment, and why more people don't recycle.

Checo is not unusual in his interest in issue-driven conversations.

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on September 23, 2007

People ask me all of the time, "What do you do at Central Dallas Ministries?"

There are at least two ways to answer that question.

One is to launch off on a rundown of our various programmatic responses to the poverty that grips the lives of thousands of people who live in the inner city neighborhoods of Dallas.

Another way to get at an answer is to speak to the broad categories that best describe the different approaches we take to battling poverty.

Read more from this post here ...

Earlier posts in this month:

Sometimes you have to know "the rest of the story", September 23, 2007
Success... without my help, September 23, 2007
Bush may require 4 million uninsured children to suffer, September 22, 2007
AIPAC and the Politics of Stiffling Discussion, September 22, 2007
Ideas, Change, Patience, September 22, 2007
A Youthy Agenda, September 21, 2007
Traditional Teaching vs. Constuctivism, September 20, 2007
Our Very Poor Neighbors, September 20, 2007
One American City Leads the Way, September 18, 2007
He says a Democrat did it better, September 17, 2007
Three Truths, September 17, 2007
Pink Bunnies - Feel the Wrath, September 17, 2007
Veterans want to know when we'll stop the killing, September 17, 2007
Everyone Deserves Both, September 17, 2007
Violation of American Privacy Laws, September 16, 2007
Governor Kathleen Sebelius: Her actions are the proof, September 16, 2007
The Urban Neighborhood, September 16, 2007
Momma, don't let your sons or daughters..., September 15, 2007
Candidate 2.0 vs. Senator Abacus, September 14, 2007
Humanity and the Pioneer Woman, September 13, 2007
Mr. Bush, you are trying to deceive us, again, September 13, 2007
Truth Isn't Easy, September 12, 2007
Humility and the Commander Guy, September 12, 2007
79% of Iraqis Oppose U.S. Occupation of Iraq, September 11, 2007
Being ostracized together, better than being alone, September 11, 2007
No Bravery In Your Eyes Anymore, September 11, 2007
Will we allow Congress to sacrifice our rights?, September 10, 2007
"3:10 to Yuma," a Modern Parable, September 10, 2007
When Experience Isn't a Good Thing, September 10, 2007
Everybody In! Nobody Out!, September 9, 2007
Labor Day Pains, September 8, 2007
The Chilling of Faith, September 8, 2007
Dying in America: Lack of Access to Medical Care, September 7, 2007
We'll Just Take Your Arm, September 7, 2007
At Its Core, the American Dream Crumbles Quietly, September 6, 2007
Leveraged and Looking for Traction, September 6, 2007
Who does "doing good" benefit?, September 6, 2007
Who cares that we could save both money and lives?, September 5, 2007
Compassionate Hearts and Minds are Never Enough, September 5, 2007
Now We Need a Moratorium, September 5, 2007
To Teach Me About Real Community, September 4, 2007
College Without Books: Making It Work, September 4, 2007
In order to fix it, first, we have to face it, September 3, 2007
Predatory Lending Works for Some People, September 3, 2007
Working in My World, September 3, 2007
No Divisive Candidates Please!, September 3, 2007
News of the Day (Blink and You'll Miss It), September 3, 2007
Demanding Dignity for the Disregarded, September 3, 2007
My Heart Still Breaks, September 2, 2007
Stop the Bleeding?, September 2, 2007
Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor, by John Bowe, September 1, 2007
Black Farmers in America, by John Ficara and Juan Williams, September 1, 2007
The Age of Turbulence, by Alan Greenspan, September 1, 2007
News for a Change: An Advocate's Guide, by Wallack, Woodruff, Dorfman and Diaz, September 1, 2007
The College Process: Academic Readiness, September 1, 2007
The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein, September 1, 2007

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