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« January 2010 | Main | March 2010 »

Front Page » Monthly Archives » February 2010

By Darrell Hamlin on February 28, 2010

Like many Americans, I was unable to watch the health care “summit” live last week because I was at work. But I did stay up until about 2 a.m. watching the replay on CSpan. Even at the time I thought it was a little nuts to stay up so late to watch a political event that essentially meant nothing and accomplished nothing. I had already read much of the post-event analysis; I had watched a number of clips capturing some of the more dramatic moments. But that’s just it: I was getting somebody else’s commentary, and viewing what somebody else considered the “highlights,” like it was a football game and all that mattered were the touchdowns. My wife is sane, so she went to bed. I sat in the darkness watching government on television.

Read more from this post here ...

By Gerald Britt on February 28, 2010

Usually when someone says that something is self explanatory, it needs explanation. I think this needs no further explanation...

Read more from this post here ...

By Angelo Lopez on February 28, 2010

Read more from this post here ...

By Weeden Nichols on February 28, 2010

My purpose today is a book review of Tularosa, by Michael McGarrity (a novel of McGarrity’s “Kevin Kerney” series, 1996, W.W. Norton & Co, Inc., New York, NY).

In my previous reviews of series-type crime/police novels (particularly James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux series), I have started with background on the author. I have provided insight into particular characteristics of the author that seem to inform all the novels in the series. I have commented on the strengths and weaknesses of the author, the novels in the series, and the central characters. In this particular review, I am writing from the viewpoint of a retired Army criminal investigator – me. “CID,” in the US Army is now a generic term. There is no “Criminal Investigation Division” as such. Army CID agents are now part of the centralized US Army Criminal Investigation Command. Even though “Division” (or “Department”) is not a part of the name, “CID” is officially incorporated into the official acronym for the command – USACIDC. All this is important for the reader’s understanding of what is, or is not, included in the novel.

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on February 27, 2010

"Although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it, by being a slave himself." ~Abraham Lincoln

By Danielle Lee on February 26, 2010

Like a lot of people, I was very surprised to learn that a chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority won the sorority competition at the Sprite Step-Off. I was curious and I watched their show. It was good. They were in sync, the steps were interesting, there was complexity and a stunt, and they had some nice transitions. But I watched with skepticism, critiquing every step, and noting whenever they mimicked signature steps of other organizations. I was diminishing their performance.

I need to disclose something important. I was step mistress of my sorority. I belong to the sorority that was originally awarded the second place prize in this competition. I loved stepping or setting it out, as some say. As a result, I am quite critical of step performances. I look very closely at the routine, how in sync the team in, the complexity of the moves, how dynamic the rhythms are, and I am a stickler for transitions. Transitions can make or break a performance. Though I watched the performance with the critical eye of one familiar with the craft, I had to admit to myself that I could not be completely objective.

Read more from this post here ...

By Tatiana McKinney on February 26, 2010

According to, "Common Sense Media -- an organization that offers parents the bullet points on popular children's and young adult media -- "Margaret" is not appropriate for kids that young. It's deemed "iffy" for children 11 to 13 and only earns an unequivocal green light for kids over 14."

I guess most kids could care less about training bras, puberty, and school crushes, maybe that's too Rated-R for our generation.

Read more from this post here ...

By Will Corsair on February 26, 2010

Well, the Right Wing Corporatists have, once again, trotted out the old American Exceptionalism argument. Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, has a couple of articles that try to make the case that the United States is exceptional and, by association, should be able to do just what it damned well pleases.

The Exceptionalism Backlash article is a very short piece that doesn't seem to hold together all that well. The second article, which appears to be almost a manifesto, is titled, "An Exceptional Debate: The Obama Administration's Assault on American Identity."

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on February 26, 2010

As promised, here's more from the important book, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care, by T. R. Reid

Our nation's healthcare system has become excessively expensive, ineffective, and unjust. Among the world's developed nations, the United States stands at or near the bottom in most important rankings of access to and quality of medical care. (pp. 8-9).

The thesis of this book is that we can bring about fundamental change by borrowing ideas from foreign models of health care. For me, that conclusion stems from personal experience. I’ve worked overseas for years as a foreign correspondent; our family has lived on three continents, and we’ve used the health care systems in other wealthy countries with satisfaction. But many Americans intensely dislike the idea that we might learn useful policy ideas from other countries, particularly in medicine. (p. 11).

Read more from this post here ...

By Gerald Britt on February 26, 2010

I confess it.

I'm impatient. I have little tolerance for games, or insincerity. For that reason, there are times when I have to be reminded of examples that have shown me that, as my grandmother used to say, 'there is more than one way to skin a cat'!

I was reminded of that when I watched President Obama last week in his meeting with GOP Representatives.

I may not always agree with his proposals. I certainly wish that he would be more aggressive with his policy agenda. But there is something else that he is after - changing the nature of political debate in this country, which has grown more sour, course and superficial by the decade. It has resulted in a public discourse which has turned voting against ones interests into a virtue. And has demeaned clear thinking as a something suspicion and exalted 'plain spokeness' (i.e. inarticulateness, a lack of curiosity and a capacity to substitute opinions and feelings for facts in a debate), as a sign of sincerity.

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on February 26, 2010

A friend brought this article to my attention. It resonated so well that I thought I'd share it.

I, too, have had experiences like Mr. Cowie. I've never taught in a prison, but I have often taught classes and engaged in conversation with people who are not formally educated and/or from low-income neighborhoods where deep, theoretical conversations are unexpected. Yet, when we start talking about books or movies or news that has a concept that affects people in these communities, I have engaged in conversations, mostly with young people (teens and college students) that would stimulate any intellectual's mind. I'll try to write about one of those conversations in a future post.

Read more from this post here ...

By Taylor Hirth on February 25, 2010

Let me begin by saying that I am not necessarily opposed to lobbying. Organizing ourselves into motivated groups in order to gain persuasive power is human nature. The desire for change is the heartbeat of society. Being the argument addict that I am, I love listening to the various ways people reason for or against issues that face our community. I do believe that they have their place and serve their purpose. But, like everything else, I believe there should be a limit. Our founders recognized this too. They saw and despised the abuse that occurred when power was unbalanced and unchecked and developed the Constitution with this in mind.

Read more from this post here ...

By Tatiana McKinney on February 25, 2010

According to The Star, "Canada won't be winning many medals next month when the United Nations takes stock of women's equality around the world, according to a new report that charts "systematic erosion" in the status of Canadian women since 2004.The stinging report, which cites backward progress in everything from pay equity to child care, was prepared by an alliance of feminist and labour activists to counter the more flattering picture the federal Conservative government presented to the UN for the assessment."

Women have lost ground due to the elimination of funding for advocacy groups, the scrapping of a national child-care program and a widening wage gap between men and women, the report notes

Read more from this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on February 25, 2010

Autism... it's something we often think of as a deficiency. However, autistic people are in tune to so many details the rest of us miss.Their skills can be an absolutely amazing asset and benefit (to themselves and us) if we know how to tap into their potential.

Temple Grandin is autistic. There is currently an HBO movie out about her. Though I think we have been heading in this direction anyway, listening to her TED talk (below) challenged me to think harder about how how we engage kids in our After-School Academy. We want to make sure we're tapping into their amazing potential... a potential that may be overlooked if we're not better in tune with them.

Read more from this post here ...

By Tula Connell on February 25, 2010

In an internal newsletter at Whirlpool Corp.'s Evansville, Ind., plant, Paul Coburn, vice president of Whirlpool's Evansville Division, says the decision to close the plant and kill 1,100 jobs will not be reconsidered and warns workers about attending a Friday rally protesting the shutdown:

...these negative activities will only hamper employees when they look for future jobs....We fear that potential employers will view the actions of a few and determine whether they would want to hire any of Evansville Division employees in the future.
You can read more about Coburn's memo on The Huffington Post here.

Show solidarity with the Whirlpool workers, 900 of whom are members of IUE-CWA Local 808, by signing an online petition urging Whirlpool to reverse its decision and Keep It Made in America: Save Our Jobs. Click here to add your name to nearly 40,000 who already have signed the petition.

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on February 24, 2010

Over the next few days and posts I intend to share quotes from a rather remarkable book, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care [New York: The Penguin Press, 2009] by T. R. Reid.

The subject of the book has grown in importance to me as this past week I learned of a young man who is my friend who is facing brain surgery and has no health coverage, public or private. Unless something changes, after any treatment he receives his "pre-existing condition" will end any chance of coverage going forward.

T. R. Reid is not afraid to bring a moral argument to this discussion. I appreciate that about him.

Here's the first installment...

Read more from this post here ...

By Gerald Britt on February 24, 2010

Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong, 1901 - 1971
Jazz Trumpet Player, Musical Genius

By Larry James on February 23, 2010

The economic meltdown should have undone, once and for all, the idea of poverty as a personal shortcoming or dysfunctional state of mind.

Earlier this month, my friend Randy Mayeux presented a synopsis of Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America by Barbara Ehrenreich at this month's installment of the Urban Engagement Book Club, a CDM public policy initiative.

Ehrenreich authored the remarkable book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.

In her new book, she suggests that “positive thinking” is not always all that positive. At least not in all circumstances. Here is an excerpt from the last page of the book...

Read more from this post here ...

By Larry James on February 23, 2010

Jesus: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor" (Luke 4:18).

Jewish Wisdom: "By insulting the poor, you insult your Creator. . . . the Lord blesses everyone who freely gives food to poor" (Proverbs 17:5; 22:9).

South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer: "My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed! You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that."

By Gerald Britt on February 23, 2010

As I mentioned in a previous post, CDM board member and Baylor Hospital Chief Equity Officer, Dr. Jim Walton has joined other health care professionals and rescue volutounteers in Haiti.

His wife, Dr. Rhonda Walton, has provided us with updates of his experience. It helps me visualize just how extensive the devastation to both property and persons and how it will take the world community to help rebuild and restore this tiny island.

We should all be thankful to anyone and everyone who has devoted their time, treasure and prayerful support to the Haitians and those who have been able and available to respond personally.

Read more from this post here ...

Earlier posts in this month:

Lenten practices, February 23, 2010
SC: Fighting for the people who need a comeback in Georgetown, February 23, 2010
I am my Brothers Keeper, February 23, 2010
Anti-GW Junk Thought and Its Target: You, February 22, 2010
Employment Should Be the Priority Now, February 22, 2010
Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, February 22, 2010
Women and Financial Security, February 22, 2010
Teleprompter Anyone?!, February 22, 2010
Iranians Protest Bill of Rights on Women, February 21, 2010
The Black History Month Post I Never Wanted to Write, February 21, 2010
Pastor Williams' Climate Propaganda, February 21, 2010
Income Inequality, Economic Gaps and Social Dysfunction, February 20, 2010
Yet Another Way We're Mortgaging Our Children's Future, February 20, 2010
Doing Unto Others, February 20, 2010
Univ. of Alabama Shooting Sends Ripples Through Diverse Science Dept., February 20, 2010
The Sad Beginning of A New Day, February 19, 2010
Remembering Howard Zinn, February 19, 2010
Mullins McLeod drops S.C. governor bid, endorses Sheheen, February 19, 2010
Diane Von Furstenberg Creates Humanitarian Award, February 19, 2010
Any Difference Between Poor Children and Stray Animals?, February 18, 2010
2010: Running Start!, February 18, 2010
Nominations Needed: World Youth Conference Mexico 2010, February 18, 2010
Praying for Dr. Jim, February 18, 2010
What Do We Want On Health Care, February 18, 2010
Church Cartoons for February, February 17, 2010
Keith Olbermann: Racial Discrimination Inherent in Tea Party Movement, February 17, 2010
Expanding to New Orleans?, February 17, 2010
Creative Thinking About Community Health, February 17, 2010
The Butch Bakery: 'Manly Cupcakes for Manly Men', February 16, 2010
New Survey Suggests Women Over 35 Don't Have Sex!, February 16, 2010
Body Image: Christina Hendricks Fights Back!, February 16, 2010
Beatles 3000, February 15, 2010
Dallas' District 100 and My Own Pet Peeve, February 15, 2010
Room For All? We'll See..., February 15, 2010
Lost in the Snow Storm?, February 15, 2010
The Day After Snowmaggedon, February 12, 2010
Snowmaggedon!!!, February 12, 2010
Jasper the Cat and a Webcomic Contest, February 11, 2010
Feminine Design, February 11, 2010
Teens donate their shoes, February 10, 2010
A follow up post on Chris Dodd, February 9, 2010
Tale of a Mouse, Part 2, February 9, 2010
Tea Party Patriots Speak Power to Truth, February 9, 2010
Unforgettable, February 7, 2010
Each one teach one, February 6, 2010
'Our poets are often our greatest prophets', February 6, 2010
Men Seek Equality in the Workforce, February 4, 2010
Florida's Raging Grannies Protest Anti-Choice Ad: What is CBS?, February 4, 2010
Rush Limbaugh: Friend to All Women and Mr. America?, February 4, 2010
Harold Ford Jr. 'Fake Democrat' Calls Opponent 'Young Lady', February 3, 2010
Taste - Random and Not-So-Random Thoughts, February 3, 2010
I'm Hotter Than My Daughter: 'I'm not a Grandma, I'm a GLAMMA!', February 3, 2010
Leaders Promise to Target Women's Pay Equity, February 3, 2010
150 Individuals and Organizations Join the Campaign for Chemical Safety Reform, February 2, 2010
Freedom of Mind, Body, and Soul, February 2, 2010
Bringing Together a Community of Readers, February 2, 2010
Tiger's Trangressions Spark New Game, Offensive to Women!, February 2, 2010
Sen. Scott Brown Supports Abortion Rights, Sorta?, February 2, 2010
Obama's Budget Protects Women's Programs from Spending Freeze, February 2, 2010
ACORN Is Back in the News, but Mainstream Press Still Gets It Wrong, February 1, 2010
This New Decade Will Be What We Make It, February 1, 2010

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