Doctor Cleveland's picture

    A Story from the Crusades

    Apparently, some people are very upset that President Obama suggested that some Christians did bad things during the Crusades. Where does he get off saying something like that? Let me tell you a little story from the Third Crusade.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Raising The Minimum Wage Only Treats Symptoms

    In theory it would be easy to raise the minimum wage and help millions of people in poverty. There is, however, a consequence that comes with doing this: a small percentage of those who need the most help would be hurt as some jobs would be reduced or eliminated. There's enough Prima facie evidence for us to admit that low wages and depressed living standards are a structural part of our economy. Many industries are dependent on a supply of low skilled and immobile labor. I'm not sure if we can untangle the necessity for human suffering from our economic equation.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    What Is The Point Of All This Capitalism?

    If capitalism isn't functioning to make the world a better place for, at the very least, most people, than it is an exercise in cruelty.  If the benefits that accrue to most are dwarfed by the benefits that go to the very few on top, it's just a more complex rationalization of the divine right of kinds.

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    Wattree's picture

    Raynard Jackson: The Cluelessness Of Black Republicans

    Raynard Jackson, Republican Activist

    I've always maintained that I've never met a Black conservative who wasn't either ignorant, self-serving, lacked character, or all three. Here's proof of that:

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Articles About Race Part 3 Reality Television and Black Women

    In part two I focused on the psychological war being waged by some inside the black community. I intentionally avoided discussing issues related specifically to black women. The level of disrespect they deal with is deserving of its own discussion. I know black men who have never dated a black woman; they love the women in their family, but look to other races to find a mate. I know black men who show outward animosity, if not contempt, towards black women. I often wonder; If black men don't value black women why should anyone else?

    Take me out to the (fixed)ball game

    Imagine a world series which was fixed. Not by the players  ("say it ain't so, Joe") but- much more efficiently-  by the umpires.

    Which is what was happening in the run up to the Financial Crisis.

    That's the conclusion to be drawn from the $1.5 Billion Standard& Poor's settlement.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Nudge the Anti-Vaxxers

    At least on the internet, the anti-vaccine people have become social pariahs.  But, life is not the internet.  Life is more complicated than that. Phil Plait at Slate reminds us that the anti-vaccine movement is not a growing, nationwide phenomenon.  In aggregate, people are getting more vaccines, not less.  But pockets of anti-vaccination sentiment are growing and hardcore pockets can do damage even if overall numbers rise.

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    Wattree's picture

    A Message To White America: Black People Can Teach You A Lot If You’d Just Listen

    It’s funny how ideas about articles come about. Sometimes they just seem to walk up to you and knock on your door, and they’re so simple and obvious that it’s almost as if they’ve been suggested by the universe. The idea for this article was one such occurrence. If the subject matter had been a mugger it could have robbed me blind.
    .
    I recently ran into a guy at the supermarket who came up and introduced himself as I was loading my goodies into the car. He said that a friend of his pointed me out and told him that I was Eric Wattree, and he wanted to tell me that while he didn’t always agree with me, he loved reading my articles because he appreciated the "outside of the box" insight that I bring to many issues. Then he went on to say the following:

    Ramona's picture

    The Things We Leave Undone While We Sweat The Small Stuff

     

    In this country millions of children are going hungry.  There are as many reasons as there are hungry children, but not a single one of them is the fault of the child.

    This year's count puts the homeless at nearly 600,000. Many of them are our veterans, come home from wars with wounds that won't heal.  Nearly a third of them live on the streets.  Some cities work diligently to keep them off the streets, not by sheltering them but by making their attempts to sleep outdoors more difficult.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Against Rock Stars

    This summer, I went to a Cleveland Indians game which involved a pregame celebration for Johnny "Johnny Football" Manziel. [Full disclosure: I am a lifelong Boston sports fan living in Cleveland. Although I sometimes go to the Jake just to watch the Indians, I was there that night because my Red Sox were in town.] Everybody in the building seemed to be deliriously excited about Johnny Football. Everybody was making his little money-fingers gesture.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Articles About Race Part 2 Black on Black Crime

    If you Google black on black crime you'll be bombarded by statistics detailing inner city violence, pictures of chalk outlines and countless stories about the lives that have been destroyed. What you won't find are many stories chronicling the history of the black bourgeois attacking poorer and less educated blacks. This form of black on black crime is used by reactionaries to validate the criminalization of blacks. The most tasteless form of these attacks are leveled by "elites" who seek to distance themselves from the negative imagery associated with black life. There's a very lucrative conservative media market for blacks willing to denigrate other blacks.

    trkingmomoe's picture

    One in Five Children Are on Food Stamps

    Yesterday the US Census Bureau released a press report on the amount of children receiving food stamps. This is on their annual Families and Living Arrangements  report. The press release is titled "One in Five Children Receive Food Stamps, Census Bureau Reports."

    That is 16 million kids who's families rely on food stamps.  This report came out on the heels of a report by the Southern Education Foundations, which reported that 51% of children in school is living in poverty. These numbers are sobering. What this is telling us that even though wealth has increased since the great recession that a large part of out society has not recovered.  We have more families now in this group then we had in 2007.  

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Articles About Race Part 1

    A friend sent me a link to an article written by Dennis Prager titled "From The Great-Man Theory to Dead White-Male-Criticism Theory".  As I was reading this article I was convinced that most people fall into one of four categories when it comes to race and racism in America. While this isn't a rigid theory, I think it will start a conversation.

    The first group of people are "racial-realist": they acknowledge the progress made in areas concerning racial equality, but realize discrimination is still a part of life for some. They tend to support solutions to racial issues through the use of political and social power. Often they have a sensitivity to victims of discrimination and are more likely to be activists.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Typhoid Mary and the Anti-Vaxxers

    The measles outbreak in Southern California has been generously made possible by California law's "personal belief exemption," which allows adults to refuse vaccinations for their children or themselves based on their so-called "personal belief" that vaccines cause autism. Here "personal belief" is extended to include not simply religious and moral teachings -- the question here isn't that religion teaches that vaccination is morally wrong -- but factual errors.

    Uproar as Michael Moore Scorns Snipers

    As they clutch at their American Sniper movie tickets, the right is in a tizzy over Michael Moore, the guy who accurately revealed the real motives behind the Iraq War, a job that our mainstream corporate media failed to do, in his 2004 movie Fahrenheit 9/11.  Moore is now showing disdain for the hero of the right's favorite movie. Moore says:

    My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. We were taught snipers were cowards. Will shoot u in the back. Snipers aren't heroes. And invaders r worse...“I tried to save more lives than a sniper ever could hope to — by preventing us from going to war in the first place,” he said. “So, Fox News and the other lazy media — quit making s**t up about me! You look ridiculous.”

    Ramona's picture

    Vandals, I Don't Get You. Can We Talk?

    van·dal

     
    noun: vandal; plural noun: vandals
    1. 1.
      a person who deliberately destroys or damages public or private property.
      "the rear window of the car was smashed by vandals"
      synonyms:hoodlum, barbarian, thug, hooligan, delinquent, despoiler, desecrator, saboteur
      "vandals defaced the front steps of the church"
    2. 2.
      a member of a Germanic people that ravaged Gaul, Spain, and North Africa in the 4th–5th centuries and sacked Rome in AD 455.
    Wattree's picture

    America Is Suffering Because We’ve Turned Our Political ‘Employees’ Into Aristocrats

    I often hear people complaining about how our system has broken down. As a solution they generally propose that we put term limits into place, and/or institute government-financed elections. I’m all for the latter, but I’m totally against term limits because it takes away the citizens’ right to return people to office who represent them well. I’m against any measure that takes away a citizen’s ‘right to choose.’

    But the assertion that the system has broken down begs the question. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the system as it is. WE are the problem, not the system. We are negligently apathetic. Those of us who even bother to vote and keep ourselves informed about what’s going on around us assume that we can simply vote for the politicians we like, then go on about our business and allow the politicians to run the country, but that’s not it’s supposed to work.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Religious Fundamentalism and Stepford Christianity

    “No one can demand that religion should be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without a right to offer an opinion on events affecting society.”

    “For the Church, the option for the poor is primarily a theological category rather than a sociological one. This is why I want a Church that is poor and for the poor.”

    -- Pope Francis

    The garbage man and the investment banker differ in a variety of socioeconomic ways, but their value to greater society is ultimately determined by their influence on the lives of those around them. There will always be someone to dispose of the waste: whether it's household trash or toxic collateralized debt obligations. The way we (as a society) treat (some) people is a direct manifestation of our collective worship of money. It's not uncommon in our culture to meet someone and ask: what do you do for a living? For too many the answer to that question sets boundaries and limits interpersonal relationships. Our society is conditioned to believe that the person in higher socioeconomic standing is ipso facto a better person. This kind of thinking is derivative of our idolatrous pursuit of wealth as a means of acquiring prestige and power.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Obama's Middle Class Legacy

    The early, very early, take on the Obama legacy is that it will be marred by the declining fortunes of America's middle class under his presidency.  This will be a tough narrative to counter.  But this is really not just Obama's fault.

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    trkingmomoe's picture

    51% of Children in School Live in Poverty-Shame on USA

    The majority of students in K thru 12 are now living in low income according to a new report from the Southern Education Foundation. The data was collected by the NCES (National Center of Education Statistics.) 

     http://www.southerneducation.org/Our-Strategies/Research-and-Publications/New-Majority-Diverse-Majority-Report-Series/A-New-Majority-2015-Update-Low-Income-Students-Now 

     This has been building up for years. In 1989, it was less then 32%. Then in 2000, it reached 38%. Now, 51% of children are at a disadvantage. We can no longer ignore the reality of this for the future of our economy and society as a whole. Evie Blade a staff writer for Education Weekly in her article "New Milestone: Majority of Public School Students Now Considered Low Income" writes:

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