Archives for October 2013

Marissa Alexander will be Prosecuted Again for Defending Herself

Marissa Alexander, the African-American mother from Florida serving a 20-year sentence for self-defense, will had a status hearing today. In case you’re not familiar with her case, Alexander was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot to stop an attack by her abusive husband — but was not allowed to use Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law to support her defense. … [Read more]

Treatment Denied: 4 Bizarre Reasons Patients Are Refused Medical Care

Although doctors still haven’t perfected the “Star Trek” body scanner that can diagnose with one swipe of the patient, 21st century medical advances are still pretty impressive. Just because the diagnostic and treatment procedures exist, however, that doesn’t mean that everyone in the free world can have access to them. Maybe it’s a growing trend, or it could just be that news spreads faster these days, but a number of bizarre reasons for denying medical treatment have come to light, even for — or especially for — those with health insurance.… [Read more]

Poverty and Student Achievement

“If you think education’s expensive, wait ’til you see how much ignorance costs.”

These were the words of President Barack Obama this past Friday  in Brooklyn, New York, at a local high school where he addressed students and faculty of the Pathways in Technology Early College High School, a joint venture between IBM and the NYC Public School System.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: How can I stretch my food stamp allowance to make healthy meals for my family?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

How can I stretch my food stamp allowance to make healthy meals for my family?

Kindest Regards, Emeril J. Lagasse, Fall River, MA

Dear Emeril,

Love your Yukon Gold potato nest recipe, the one filled with tiny creamed onions.  That dish could be scaled up to provide crispy housing for the homeless and starving, and any tiny onion babies they have still clinging to life in those red “right-to-starve” states.… [Read more]

In the Shadow of China’s Growing Cities: Farmers Resort to Self-Immolation

Throughout rural China, controversial land acquisitions have been taking place since 2009, often without consent of or compensation to the local residents. In an effort to continually expand China’s growing cities, the Party has been forcibly acquiring land in the surrounding rural areas. Here we would call this eminent domain, and most of the victims of this process are pretty angry, but China has allowed things to go to a whole new level.… [Read more]

Locked Up In America

A new Gallup survey was released yesterday that indicates opinions in America are shifting with regard to marijuana use. Given the legal penalties for drug use, and the current overcrowded state of America’s aptly named ‘prison industrial complex, it’s time to revisit the nation’s record on crime and punishment.

With so many behind bars for drug charges at a time when the legalization of marijuana spreads across the country, Americans are paying more attention to the question, “Why do we have so many prisoners?” With 25 percent of the world’s prisoners comprised of Americans in U.S.… [Read more]

Diagnosing the Causes of Medical Debt in the U.S. (Infographic)

With the rollout — and consequential fallout — of Obamacare, the real importance of healthcare reform had been temporarily swept aside to clear the stage for politics. While the dust settles on the budget battleground, we are revisiting the initial reasons behind the reform. As the average age and weight of the people in the United States increases, health issues become more pressing.… [Read more]

Where Do We Go From Here?

During this past week the debt ceiling was raised and a government shutdown was ended after 16 days of political rhetoric and hand-wringing. The attempt by the radical right wing of the Republican Party to defund the Obama administration’s signature piece of legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was a complete failure. The Tea Party Caucus of the minority party held the federal government hostage over this one issue — at least initially — and they walked away with nothing and at the end of the day.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Are we still fighting The Civil War?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Are we still fighting The Civil War?

Fond Regards, Charles Rangel (D-NY)

Dear Charo’s Tangles,

So lovely to hear from you again after all this time. My readers may not know this, but before entering politics and getting himself elected into office in New York, Mr. Rangel played a mean guitar and invented a much coochy-coochy-cuter version of twerking, one that you could watch with your mom on the Carol Burnett Show, or the like, without dying inside at the collapse of humanity jiggle-grinding before you.  … [Read more]

Back from the Brink?

In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican….” H.L. Mencken

These words, penned in 1949 by the peerless ‘Sage of Baltimore’ have additional piquancy in the aftermath of the latest American political comedy series masquerading as effective governance.… [Read more]