Colorado passes a civil unions bill, and Indiana is busy trying to write discrimination into the state constitution. Why are we living here instead of there?
It’s been a long time since we’ve been in touch. Are we a couple of slackers or what?! It’s not that we haven’t been busy reading, working, observing and thinking (uh oh!), and it’s certainly not that we didn’t want to share our opinions with our wonderful readers. In fact we weren’t sure why we’ve been so quiet until we realized how angry we were and that the anger forced us to be silent for awhile.
Federal funding keeps the Middle Way House (MWH) emergency shelter running. It keeps the heat on, it keeps the water running, and it provides money for a full-time staff.
“It’s absolutely required to have 24-hour-a-day staffing,” said Toby Strout, director of MWH. “We’re not allowed to have volunteers.”
That funding might be cut this year due to the passing of H.R. 1 -- the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011.
Food Works for Middle Way House sits opposite of the Boys and Girls Club across Third Street Park in the former Coca-Cola building. Blueberry and melon plants fill the patches of land around the recently opened kitchen. A rooftop garden with solar cells rests atop the childcare center next door.
The area exudes a sense of growth -- from the locally grown produce used in the kitchen’s recipes to the women working inside the store.
“My goal is to work with a woman and get her regular and stable hours,” said Donna Storm, the kitchen’s business and operations manager.
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” said Lord Acton, the 19th century British historian. This statement describes best dictatorships where power is lodged in the hands of one person, usually a deified Pharaoh. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is one.
When Mubarak assumed power in 1981 after the assassination of Anwar El Sadat, he was particularly keen to announce that he hated corruption, loathed despotism and encouraged hard work. Good start, it really sounded promising. However, after 30 years in office, before his resignation on Feb. 11, the man’s family’s fortune is estimated as potentially $70 billion. He was willingly surrounded by a handful of the most corrupt businesspersons in the country, if not in the world; tipped off by the most-hated, steel industry monopolizer, cold-blooded vote-rigger Ahmed Ezz; and was shelled by an evilly sophisticated, brutally repressive, extremely unpopular police force.
Wendell Potter, Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2010, 277 pages, $26.00
“About 45,000 people die in America every year because they have no health insurance. I am partly responsible for some of the deaths making up that shameful statistic.”
Those two sentences open a book by Wendell Potter called Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans. Part expose and part memoir of the author’s experience in the health care industry, the book’s as dramatic and suspenseful as a good novel.
If you think you're going to hike with Ron Habney, you'd better be prepared. The 6-foot-tall, 130-pound, 25-year-old treks an average four to six miles a day on some of the most challenging trails in Southern Indiana's Upland regions. Not everyday, to his chagrin, but multiple times a week. Last summer, on one 96-degree day, Ron hiked 9.4 miles through the Charles Deam Wilderness Area in two hours and 20 minutes.
So says John Willman, who knows. He's been Ron's hiking companion and caregiver for almost eight years now. "He's truly an athlete," John says of Ron. "His hiking skills are almost unmatched." Beneath close-cropped, thick, black hair, Willman's blue-green eyes beam proud-parent-like as he recounts Ron's on-trail achievements. But they're just a footnote to this rainy-gray November afternoon interview.
Ron has autism, and John, who is not Ron's parent, is preoccupied with his fate.
Wendell Berry will be in Bloomington Nov. 9-11 to read from his work and participate in a discussion with Wes Jackson and Scott Russell Sanders as part of the Patten Lecture series. Berry spoke with Thomas P. Healy from his northern Kentucky farm prior to the November elections.
TPH: You're going to be giving the Patten Lecture in Bloomington, and I wanted to see if you'd given any thought to what you'd be discussing in that lecture.
WB: To tell you the truth, I haven't. There are a number of possibilities, I'm not going to write a lecture, I've already told them that, and I may be reading a piece of fiction. I just don't know.
The first and long sitting president of the AFL-CIO, Samuel Gompers, in the late 1800's once said: "What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make childhood more happy and bright."
These values still hold true today and pretty much sums up why we, as labor organizations, support the Monroe County referendum to support our schools. On October 14, 12 local labor organizations held a press conference to announce their support for the upcoming vote on the school funding referendum. We stand by and need to help our community through the support of our schools, support of our teachers and support of our kids.
Because of cutbacks on funding, schools across America are hurting badly. The Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) is no exception.
In response, South Central Indiana Jobs with Justice (JwJ) and the White River Central Labor Council (WRCLC) held a news conference Oct. 14 to express support for a referendum on increasing property tax that, if voted in come November, would allocate funds to compensate for the $5.8 million shortfall that the MCCSC would experience without referendum funding.
As the journal Pediatrics released the latest installment of what can only be called "head-in-the-sand autism science," the U.S. Vaccine Court in Washington D.C. reiterated a previous ruling that a vaccine did cause a Georgia girl's autism. And this time the "Special Masters," as the judges are called, assigned damages for that vaccine-induced injury at $20 million, more or less.
The case involves a girl named Hannah Poling, whose parents in 2002 sought compensation for the autistic symptoms she developed after receiving five shots with nine doses of vaccines in a single visit to her pediatrician when she was 19 months old. Her family -- father Jon is a neurologist -- presented such an airtight case that the government did not contest it.