Friday, April 25, 2014

Mississippi's indifference to born children

"When I give food to the poor, I'm called a saint. When I ask why they are poor, I'm called a communist." -Archbishop Dom Helder Camara.



Supporters of Mississippi’s strict new anti-abortion law are breaking their arms patting themselves on the back, gushing with their pride at supposedly protecting the health andwell-being of the state’s unborn.

But what about the born? 

Born children in the state have the highest poverty rate in the WORLD among children in developed countries. 

Born children in the state have the highest infant mortality rate in the country

Born children in the state have the highest obesity rate in the country

Born children in the state have the highest illiteracy rate in the country (tied with New Mexico).
 
Born children in the state have thehighest teen pregnancy rate in the country (which I guess they want to preserve).

To politicians in Mississippi, the fate of the unborn is important. 

Maybe one day, the most Christian state in the country will trouble itself to spend an ounce of energy worrying about children who are already born.

I don’t think I’ll hold my breath.
 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What would Jesus do?

"When I give food to the poor, I'm called a saint. When I ask why they are poor, I'm called a communist." -Archbishop Dom Helder Camara.



What would Jesus do?

Good question.

My guess is that he would NOT steal the meager possessions of homeless people.

I’ll also go out on a limb and suggest that he wouldn’t bloviate on the “sanctity of marriage” and then say a man was justified in divorcing his wife forwithholding sex.
 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Why should you pay money for newspapers?



Glancing at a copy of The Post-Star in Stewart’s today, I got a good insight as to why the industry is struggling. 

Grand pooh-bahs like Ken Tingley, so eager to pat themselves on the back, intone that newspapers are still valuable because of one thing: editorial judgment. You can get news for free in countless places. But what distinguishes the newspaper from the “Internet” is editorial judgment. That vaunted editorial judgment of the paper allegedly ensures that’s what's published in a newspaper is not only accurate and verifiable but also relevant to its audience. Editorial judgment is why they charge you a dollar.

The editorial judgment of the local Post-Star deemed worthy of front page coverage four stories today. One was about whether 4/20 should be a legal holiday in Colorado. One was the Vatican welcoming an Easter crowd. And one was about the Zimbabwe regime seizing land.

This is what the paper’s leadership thought would be relevant enough to entice upstate New Yorkers to view their product as good value for money.

The only local story was about a historic clock in Saratoga Springs.

Suffice it to say, I did not view this as worth a dollar of my hard earned money.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

How hideously inefficient is our health care system?



How hideously inefficient is our health care system? 

As this graphic from the Wall Street Journal illustrates, over 22% of the taxes you pay goes to health care. 

And most Americans are required to find money on top of this to pay for private insurance (now mandatory, a historic first, under Obamacare) as well as treatment. 

At least if we had Medicare for All, our tax money would be spent in a far more rational and efficient way.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Responding to disasters in urban areas vs rural ones

This essay is part of an occasional feature on this blog that presents compelling stories from elsewhere in the world, particularly Africa, that are little reported in the American media. It's part of my campaign to get people to realize there is a lot going on in the world outside the US, IsraelStine and the Trumped Up Enemy of the Month. A list of all pieces in this series can be found found here.

The IRIN news service has a good piece about how responding to the devastation wrought by disaster in urban areas offers very different challenges than responding to disasters in more rural areas. Worth a read.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

When 'Never again' happened again


This essay is part of an occasional feature on this blog that presents compelling stories from elsewhere in the world, particularly Africa, that are little reported in the American media. It's part of my campaign to get people to realize there is a lot going on in the world outside the US, IsraelStine and the Trumped Up Enemy of the Month. A list of all pieces in this series can be found found here..

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the Rwandan genocide during which at least 800,000 people were murdered. It was one of the world's worst atrocities of the century and certainly the worst to be covered during the age of cable news television. It occurred a year, almost to the week, after politicians and dignitaries in Washington solemnly promised 'Never again' while inaugurating the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

In 2004, I wrote a long series of essays on the occasion of the 10th anniversary which gave a lot of information and background about the genocide.

They are as follows (yes, I know the images do not work):

-Ten years later (an intro)
-Pre-genocide history
-How the genocide unfolded
-Myths and realities about the genocide (Part 1)
-Myths and realities about the genocide (Part 2)
-The genocide's orphans
-Hate media and their role in the genocide
-International law and American law on genocide
-Post-genocide justice
-The post-genocide government
-Lessons and conclusions