6th August 2014
Nicole Gainey has been arrested and charged with child neglect after allowing her 7-yr-old son walk to a neighborhood park in Port St. Lucie, Fl.
I don’t think a seven year old should probably go to the park alone, but I also don’t think that felony charges are appropriate when no harm has been done. If the child had come to harm, I can maybe see a felony neglect charge, but what happened to the days when a policeman or neighbor would have a friendly chat with the mom and find out what was going on and perhaps, recommend that it was not safe. Why are authorities so quick to use the full extent of their authority today even when there has been no damages? I have seen only slightly older kids at Australian parks with no adult supervision without anyone freaking out. I just think this trend is quite concerning as it seems more about prosecutors trying to get a lot of publicity and make a name for themselves than any concept of justice.
5th August 2014
The USDA mandates that all Grade A eggs be washed and sanitized. The EU requires that all Class A eggs are not washed or cleaned in any way. Here’s why this distinction exists.
I believe I have previously posted about the different egg protocols around the world, and the disturbing fact that the US does not require hens to be vaccinated for salmonella even though that protocol has drastically reduced illnesses in countries that do require it. I find it interesting that this topic once again seems to be popular as the above article and the one below both ran recently in prominent US news sources.
I am less certain if washing eggs is a good or bad thing, but I know hens should be vaccinated. I don’t tend to refrigerate my fresh laid eggs, but I don’t think it matters too much if you do or do not as long as you are consuming them relatively quickly.
Remember if you question an egg’s freshness, put it in a bowl of water. If it sinks, it is a good egg. If it floats, throw it out!
Here’s why you have to refrigerate eggs in the U.S. but not in Europe
19th July 2014
I have nothing to hide. I don’t break the law, I don’t write hate e-mails, I don’t participate in any terrorist organizations and I certainly don’t le…
This is a frightening post that everyone should read about how easily good people can be manipulated into doing very bad things when a ruling authority is able to apply the right kind of pressure. Most people are not monsters, but they will become monsters if they feel that it is the only way to protect what they love. Increased surveillance makes it much easier for authorities to know exactly where to apply pressure to make people act according to their will.
We think that it can not happen here, but there are already government injustices running rampant in American society under the guise of the War on Terrorism or The War on Drugs.
Honestly, I do not know what the solution is as we are recorded and tracked to a frightening degree today, and I do not see that decreasing with technology’s continued advance. How do we keep the ruling authority from abusing that wealth of data? This article adequately describes what can happen quickly and without our realization, but it does not give a good solution from stopping it happening.
3rd April 2014
There’s an old mine in Pennsylvania where the U.S. processes federal retirements. By hand. On paper. In 2014.
This is one of those sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. It is completely insane, yet not entirely unexpected. It is why a lot of people groan when they think the US federal government might try to administer something like Healthcare. They aren’t exactly known for being modern or efficient though this is a bit extreme even for them.
Source: Washington Post
2nd April 2014
AÂ 20 year-old manÂ came down with appendicitis in October of this year. He posted the bill on Reddit and it has gone viral. The US Health Care system is a topic of much debate, not only in the US but around the world. A lot of countries get âfreeâ health care, so needless to say, this […]
Another example of what is wrong with the US Healthcare system with or without Obamacare. It isn’t good when people all around the world have a lower health care cost for the individual than in the US.
19th March 2014
Deciding to opt my two daughters out of Colorado standardized testing seemed like a no-brainer. We aren’t permanent Colorado residents—we’re just here for one academic year while I’m a visiting professor at the University of Denver. My daughters, ages 13 and 14, are strong students. My husband and I see…
Okay, I am all for some standardized testing and teacher accountability, but from what I can tell testing has completely gotten out of hand in the US. Testing for testing’s sake is not useful. Testing without then having time to teach to improve test scores is also not useful. Having an opt out option and then having parents bullied is just bad. US education needs an overhaul badly, but it seems No Child Left Behind and Common Core are moving everything in exactly the opposite direction of actually getting kids better educated. Wake up America! Say NO to these unproductive reforms and demand real reforms.
17th March 2014
For decades, dozens of men with intellectual disabilities lived in an old schoolhouse and worked in a turkey plant. No one knew just what they endured.
This is a sad tale, but one that is much more common than the cases we hear about. The people that produce the food in America are the poorest of the poor. They are the illegal immigrants, the mentally disabled, and others who are not in a position to demand basic human rights and freedoms. The American people don’t want to know about these people or the suffering they go through to bring us the least expensive, calorie rich food that has ever been produced in history. This is the tale of mentally disabled men at a turkey plant, but I have posted and read of similar problems before.
The fantastic book: Tomatoland explores the history and farming of the Florida tomato. I was expecting a book on tomatoes, not human trafficking, but apparently the two are a lot closer linked than I would have guessed.
Here is another post about severe health problems at a pork plant.
On a completely different aspect of the article, I really enjoyed the interactive aspect with the beautiful photography and short video clips. I generally find video annoying when I am reading the news, but these short, well places clips added to the experience. I feel like digital multimedia may actually be evolving to something more worthwhile than the traditional print alternative. Of course digital is better because you can access so much media without having to store it, but I generally have found the experience of the media to be equivalent or less enjoyable than having a book or newspaper in hand. This article was better than a magazine in my experience.
Source: The New York Times
7th March 2014
A D.C. teacher says she was stopped at Phoenix airport, and asked for passport.
One of the things that I think most people in the US find most frustrating about flying anymore is the inconsistency and lack of training of the TSA staff. I understand that they want to be a bit dynamic in their processes so it is not easy for terrorists to figure out an easy way around security, but having staff that regularly harass people because of ignorance is ridiculous, disturbing, and infuriating.
Source: Washington Post
3rd March 2014
This is not good news. Jim Crawford started New Morning Farm in Maryland many decades ago. He was young and idealistic. He had little or no money and had to start small. He believed in sustainable agriculture and wanted to produce fresh and…
I am all for safe food, but I am not for giant mono-cultured farms and GMOs so this seems bad, really bad. If the FDA can’t do their job as it is, while are regulators putting a huge new area under their domain. Why is the FDA funded by pharma companies? Doesn’t that seem a HUGE conflict of interests? Though it definitely explains some things. I really don’t like a LOT of the ways the US government is trending right now, and the source seems to be BOTH parties.
2nd March 2014
or How I Ended Up in Solitary After Calling 911 for Help
This is a truly appalling tale of police abusing their authority to jail a man because they didn’t like his look or his attitude or something. If this was a unique event, I would say it was just a bad night and a misunderstanding, but these stories of police being way out of line seen to keep cropping up. I want to be able to trust my police force, and I want to believe that they have my best interest and safety as a priority. These tales make me fear that in a lot of the US that is no longer true. It is scary and I wonder why more people aren’t talking about this and trying to get a handle on what is going wrong. You should not be afraid to call the police if you have done nothing wrong.
20th January 2014
Link with 1 note
Vaccinating UK chickens for salmonella prevents thousands of cases of potentially fatal food poisoning but Americans are still dying unnecessarily
I think it is so very strange that vaccination is not required by the FDA. When they won’t require vaccinations that save lives or mandate food labeling of GMOs one must begin to wonder who is in control and it looks like Big Farming and not objective government regulation. Very sad and concerning.
20th December 2013
Taken together, the pictures convey a good deal of what we know about inequality…
Not that everyone isn’t aware that income inequality is becoming worse in America, but this is an interesting article with some nice graphs to show trends across most of the 1900’s until now. Worth a read if these things interest you. Also by New Yorker standards, quite brief.
20th December 2013
Maryland state police and federal agents used a search warrant in an unrelated criminal investigation to seize the private reporting files of an award-winning former investigative journalist for The Washington Times who had exposed problems in the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Air Marshal Service.
This is really, really scary because reporters are supposed to be able to protect their sources and their materials so they can expose corruption problems like my previous article on the black lung conspiracy. No one will talk to reporters if they believe what they say is going to end up with the NSA or Homeland security. People should be freaking out, but I suspect most people just see it as another abuse from a law enforcement agency which has become all too commonplace.
19th December 2013
Coal companies have paid millions of dollars to Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions over the last decade for medical opinions that have been used to deny hundreds of ailing mine workers meager black lung benefits, a yearlong investigation by ABC News and the Center for Public Integrity found.
Shame, shame, shame… For shame on a very well respected institution like John’s Hopkins and for shame on the nasty coal companies. I can’t believe this kind of conspiracy could go on so long in the US. This is also what good investigative reporting should be, and I hope we see more of it.
17th December 2013
Link with 1 note
A Galveston medical student comes to grips with a healthcare system in which her patients die from treatable conditions.
A lot of people think that the US really doesn’t have a healthcare problem because either you have healthcare through your employer or you qualify for medicare or medicaid, but a lot of people fall through the cracks. We hear this, and I have even read a few news articles on individuals. But I don’t think that a lot of Americans have a good sense of who those people are or what falling through the cracks really means. This is a really good article of those in Texas who can’t get life saving medical care, and won’t even with the new Obamacare laws.
There is a lot of things still wrong with the US healthcare system, and it is time we discussed them more openly.