The Common Good

Blog Posts By Duane Shank

Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 14 weeks ago
From the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the Cold War ended. But U.S. policymakers apparently still haven’t gotten the news. This meeting of the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, last weekend ended without  the usual official declaration because U.S. policy refuses to include Cuba, while a broad range of other governments in the Americas supports  an invitation. The final vote was 32-2 for Cuba’s inclusion in future meetings, with only the U.S. and Canada opposed.Reuters  noted:  “U.S. insistence that Havana undertake democratic reforms before returning to the hemispheric family led to a clash with a united front of leftist and conservative governments that see Washington's policy toward Cuba as a relic of the Cold War.” It’s long past time for the U.S. to realize that the Cold War is over, that Cuba exists, and that inclusion will foster change faster than exclusion.  Even the Vatican realizes that, as Pope Benedict’s recent trip to Cuba demonstrated.
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 14 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "What I am asking for is a campaign for the poor, the hungry, the middle class, the people who are going to be eviscerated by the Ryan budget. My church, the Catholic Church, needs to speak out loud on this issue." - Rep. Rosa DeLauro, speaking of a letter she sent to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. (Catholic News Service)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 15 weeks ago
Today is a holiday in the District of Columbia, although primarily observed only by the D.C. government, and likely unknown to the rest of the country. But it’s a commemoration worth noting.One-hundred and fifty years ago, April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Emancipation Act, freeing more than 3,000 slaves within its borders. It predated the more famous Emancipation Proclamation, which came nearly 10 months later on January 1, 1863.Yet, while legal slavery is long gone, economic disparities are vast and growing. The income gap is one of the widest in the country, with a white per capita income more than triple that of African-Americans. The poverty rate is 20 percent, 30 percent for children,Politically, all Washingtonians, regardless of race, remain disenfranchised – we have no elected voting representative in Congress, while Congress retains veto power over our budget. That leads to it using us to enact their pet ideas – repealing a variety of legislation duly passed by our City Council and Mayor.For D.C. residents, today is a day to remember and celebrate the end of slavery, while renewing the struggle for economic justice and full representation as citizens of the United States.
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 15 weeks ago
Yesterday was Jackie Robinson Day in major league baseball. Every player on every team wore the number 42 on their uniform in honor of his integrating baseball in 1947. In the 1950s and 60s, players such as Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Bob Gibson, Ernie Banks, Frank Robinson, and many more followed.  All were giants of baseball. All are in the Hall of Fame. All are African American. This morning, USA Today released research results showing that the percentage of African Americans in baseball is now down to 8 percent, the lowest since Robinson’s day. In 1975, it reached 27 percent; in 1995, it was 19 percent. There are a variety of reasons for the decline: basketball and football appear more glamorous to top athletes, the cost of equipment in baseball is prohibitive for many inner city schools and teams, and there is a lack of college scholarships in baseball. Some also cite the low number of African Americans in leadership positions – out of 30 teams, there are only 2 general managers and 2 managers. Whatever the reason, baseball is poorer for the absence. 
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 15 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "Baseball likes to say things are getting better. It's not getting better. It's only getting worse. We've been in a downward spiral for a long time, and the numbers keep declining." - Dave Stewart, former 20-game winner and front office executive, now a player agent, on the number of African-Americans in major league baseball. (USA Today)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 15 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "When I got there and couldn't find her in all the smoke, looked behind me and saw the kitchen really erupting with flames all over the ceiling, that's when I had very clear thoughts that I'm not going to get out of this place alive and got ... very religious.” - Corey Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ,  on rescuing a neighbor from her burning house. (CBS This Morning)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 15 weeks ago
Quote of the day. “I believe it was an accident, I believe that it just got out of control and he couldn’t turn the clock back. I would ask him, ''Did he know that that was a minor, that that was a teenager and that he did not have a weapon?''” - Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, speaking on the TODAY show after the arrest of George Zimmerman on a second degree murder charge. (MSNBC)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 15 weeks ago
Quote of the day. “That immigrant culture that has renewed us … has been at the core of our strength. I don’t know when immigrants became the enemy.” - Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State, speaking at Duke University. (McClatchy Newspapers)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 15 weeks ago
Among my must reads are the Sunday New York Times Book Review and other book reviews I come across in various media outlets. There are too many books being published that I would love to read, but just don’t have the time. So, I rely on reading book reviews as one way of keeping in touch with what’s being written. Here are my picks in this week’s books of interest:Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of RevelationBy Elaine Pagels, Reviewed by Dale B. Martin
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 15 weeks ago
Most of the first punditry around Rick Santorum suspending his quest for the Republican presidential nomination focuses on his drop in the Pennsylvania opinion polls and his difficulty in fundraising. Those were no doubt part of the decision. But there’s a deeper reason more important than political considerations.As has been frequently reported, Sen. Santorum and his wife Karen’s youngest child Bella, was born with a rare and usually fatal chromosomal condition known as Trisomy 18. Bella, 3-years old, has been hospitalized twice already this year with pneumonia, most recently this past weekend.  Santorum took two days from campaigning to be with her.
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 15 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "People who grew up within the war on terror are asking, what does it mean to be a Nato ally? Is India our worst enemy? We are bombarded by all this information and there is a deep need for answers. That leads to religious inquiry.” Maha Jehangir, a 30-year-old consultant, speaking of why wealthy, educated Pakistani women are drawn to conservative Islam. (Guardian)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 16 weeks ago
George Masters, combat veteran and freelance writer, writes of driving behind a car with two 'Support Our Troops' ribbons. In his head, he responds:I’m driving angry. I want to tell the guy in front of me: You want to support the troops? Get them the hell out of the line of fire. Or, if you think this war is so necessary, get over there yourself. If you’re too old, pull your kids or grandkids out of college and send them.I’m driving sad. You want to support our troops? Give the man some space when he gets home. Give the woman a joAfter a vivid and harrowing description of his 1968 combat tour in Vietnam, he ends:You want to do something for our troops? Bring them home.
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 16 weeks ago
If you’re finishing your income tax return this week, here’s some food for thought. The National Priorities Project provides three helpful graphs of the president’s proposed 2013 budget (see budget dashboard). The discretionary budget, the program spending on which Congress votes; the mandatory budget, programs such as Social Security and Medicare that are outside the budget process; and the total budget, combining the first two. The first graph shows, for instance, that 57 percent of the proposed discretionary budget is for the military.When you’ve finished your return and know what your tax payment is, here is a calculator that produces a “receipt” showing how it will be spent. For an explanation, see here.For me, tax time is that once-a-year personal realization that my priorities are not the same as the government’s. And that the political struggle to change the government’s priorities is important.
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 16 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "From that vehicle, I was able to get to work every day. That car has taken me through four promotions. It gave me not only a job, but a career." - Leanette Watkins, of Madison Heights, Va, on the car she was able to buy with assistance from Ways to Work, a non-profit group that helps low-income workers get reduced interest loans on used cars.  (USA Today)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 16 weeks ago
The Daily Digest is not available today. But here are some links to Duane's usual sources to browse until our return: The New York Times The Washington Post The Washington Times The Los Angeles Times The Boston Globe The Chicago Tribune McClatchy The Christian Science Monitor The Wall Street Journal USA Today The Globe & Mail Toronto Star BBC Guardian Haaretz Al Jazeera
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 16 weeks ago
Among my must reads are the Sunday New York Times Book Review and other book reviews I come across in various media outlets. There are too many books being published that I would love to read, but just don’t have the time. So, I rely on reading book reviews as one way of keeping in touch with what’s being written. Here are my picks in this week’s books of interest.
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 16 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "Life is short. You have the power to correct a lot of wrong. Never think a person in prison is lost." - Juan Rivera, who spent nearly 20 years in prison before his murder conviction was overturned by an Illinois appeals court. (Chicago Tribune)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 16 weeks ago
As if conventionally powered drones weren’t bad enough, a report has it that scientists are developing nuclear-powered drones that could stay in the air for months without refueling. In addition to the fact that this would make drones  more efficient killing machines, it also increases the dangers from crashes. Drones are especially prone to crashing, and with a nuclear reactor, a crash would be “in effect turning the drone into a so-called dirty bomb.The project has apparently been put on hold, with a research summary concluding that "none of the results will be used in the near-term or mid-term future," due to political constraints. But with the increasing reliance on drones by the military, I suspect it won’t be long before it’s resumed.  
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 16 weeks ago
Forty-five years ago today, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his now-famous speech at Riverside Church in New York City, declaring his opposition to the war in Vietnam. One year later -- 44 years ago today -- he was murdered by an assassin.It is fitting that these anniversaries occur this year during the week we commemorate the death and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.Dr. King’s Riverside speech is frequently quoted, with his scathing political indictment of the war and the systems of exploitation and oppression that led to it. But how often do we remember that he began that speech by noting that while the Nobel Peace Prize was “a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before,” it was not the most important thing. He continued by saying that:This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances, but even if it were not present I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I'm speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant for all … Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the One who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them?Dr. King was able to be the leader he was, take the risks he did, and ultimately make the final sacrifice, because he knew who called him and who he followed. He knew that the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus was a living presence in his life and gave him the hope to follow. For him, as well as us, believing in Jesus means being a follower and a disciple in bringing the kingdom he lived and taught. By raising Jesus, by vindicating his life and death, God vindicated his message – the kingdom he proclaimed has come and will come. And because God raised Jesus from death, his living presence continues among us and we are empowered to follow him and to live the kingdom. The resurrection is the event on which our faith and hope depends.   That faith sustained Dr. King, and it can sustain us.
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 16 weeks ago
Quote of the day.“Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in his “A Time to Break Silence” speech at Riverside Church on this date in 1967; one year later, on this date in 1968, he was assassinated.(American Rhetoric)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 16 weeks ago
In a lunchtime speech today before hundreds of reporters and editors attending the annual meeting of the Associated Press, President Obama launched an attack on the House Republican budget passed last week. “Disguised as a deficit reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It’s nothing but thinly veiled social Darwinism,” Mr. Obama said. “By gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training, research and development — it’s a prescription for decline.” The House budget would do the reverse of what the country needs. It cuts taxes on the wealthiest, increases military spending, and drastically reduces domestic programs, especially those serving the neediest. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said, “It would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history and likely increase poverty and inequality more than any other budget in recent times (and possibly in the nation's history)."
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 16 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "This is not so much our triumph as a triumph for people who have decided that they must be involved in the political process in this country." - Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese pro-democracy leader, in a victory speech at her party headquarters following parliamentary elections in which her party won all 44 seats it contested. (Al Jazeera)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 17 weeks ago
Quote of the day. “France is a rich country. But the working poor are living in the same condition as in the 19th century. They can’t pay for heating, they can’t pay for their children’s clothes, they are sometimes living five people in a nine-square-meter apartment.” - Jean-Paul Fitoussi, an economics professor at L’Institut d’Études Politiques in Paris, on the effect of Europe’s economic crisis. (New York Times)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 17 weeks ago
Quote of the day. “I’m old, but I’m still able to do my duties.” - Pope Benedict XVI when Fidel Castro brought up their similar ages (both are 85) during their meeting in Havana. (McClatchy News)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 17 weeks ago
Among my must reads are the Sunday New York Times Book Review and other book reviews I come across in various media outlets. There are too many books being published that I would love to read, but just don’t have the time. So, I rely on reading book reviews as one way of keeping in touch with what’s being written. Here are my picks in this week’s books of interest.
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 17 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "As the father of a 6-year-old girl, I want to make sure the planet we leave her is at least as beautiful and healthy as the one we grew up on.” - Michael E. Mann, Penn State University, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with other scientists who participated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (CNN)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 17 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "Legislators are much better informed on the issue. I think that legislators … have been watching what's happening on the national level." - Tommy Norment, Virginia state Majority Leader, the only Republican who voted against a state immigration law when it died in a Senate committee. (USA Today)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 17 weeks ago
While I believe in the principle of church-state separation, there are times when it is taken too far. Today’s example is a food pantry in Seymour, IN.
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 17 weeks ago
Pope Benedict XVI’s 3-day visit to Cuba began Monday, when President Raul Castro greeted the pontiff at the airport of Santiago de Cuba. The arrival was fairly quiet, but the evening Mass in Santiago’s plaza was attended by an estimated 200,000 Cubans. The pope's long-awaited visit attracted news coverage from around the world, mostly focusing in the pope’s message. 
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 17 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "We still give food to people even when they say they don't want to pray." Paul Brock, founder of the non-profit Community Provisions of Jackson County, IN, which had its emergency food assistance from the federal government suspended due to volunteers asking recipients if they would like to pray. (USA Today) 1. Pope Benedict arrives in Cuba in footsteps of John Paul. Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Cuba on Monday in the footsteps of his more famous predecessor, gently pressing the island’s longtime communist leaders to push through “legitimate” reforms their people desire, while also criticizing the excesses of capitalism. (AP/Chicago Sun-Times) 2. Santorum fails to capture Catholic vote. Mr. Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania, has trailed Mr. Romney among Catholics in 10 of the 12 states in which Edison Research conducted exit polls that asked about religion. (New York Times) 3. Supreme Court begins review of health-care law. The Supreme Court opened its historic review of the national health-care overhaul Monday with an indication that it will be able to decide the constitutional question of whether Congress exceeded its powers despite arguments that the challenge was brought too soon. (Washington Post) 4. Five Supreme Court takeaways. The first of three days of arguments dealt only with a highly technical piece of the health care law, but it provided some clues about how the rest of the week’s arguments might go. Among the Day One takeaways: (Politico) 5. Poll finds support in U.S. for Afghan war drops sharply. The survey found that more than two-thirds of those polled — 69 percent — thought that the United States should not be at war in Afghanistan. Just four months ago, 53 percent said that Americans should no longer be fighting in the conflict, more than a decade old. (New York Times) 6. Leaders warn over nuclear threat. World leaders call for closer co-operation to tackle the threat of nuclear terrorism at a summit on nuclear security in Seoul. (BBC) 7. Annan says Syria accepts peace plan, fighting enters Lebanon. Syria has accepted a ceasefire and peace plan drawn up by U.N. and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, his spokesman said on Tuesday, even as Syrian troops thrust into Lebanon to battle rebels who had taken refuge there. (Reuters) 8. U.S., Australia to broaden military ties. The United States and Australia are planning a major expansion of military ties, including possible drone flights from a coral atoll in the Indian Ocean and increased U.S. naval access to Australian ports, as the Pentagon looks to shift its forces closer to Southeast Asia, (Washington Post) 9. Arab spring leads to wave of Middle East state executions. Middle Eastern countries have stepped up their use of capital punishment, executing hundreds of people as rulers across the region seek to deter the wave of uprisings sweeping the Arab countries. (Guardian) 10. Oil clashes along Sudan borders. Clashes break out in oil-rich border areas between Sudan and South Sudan in what is described as the biggest confrontation since the South's independence last July. (BBC)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 18 weeks ago
A 53-nation nuclear summit opens today in Seoul, South Korea. On the agenda are efforts to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and to prevent Iran from acquiring them, further reductions in the US and Russian stockpiles, and preventing terrorist group from getting radiological materials. 
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 18 weeks ago
Quote of the day. “We can’t stay at home any longer; we want to come to school, to learn. I’m fed up. I want to be in school.” - Aruna Mustapha, 16, who lives in a town in Nigeria where a violent insurgent group is burning school buildings. (New York Times)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 18 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "If he isn't made a saint, the Vatican is underestimating his staying power, the message of social justice. It transcends the civil war and it's a universal message." Nancy Kelsey of Detroit, speaking of Archbishop Oscar Romero, martyred 32 years ago tomorrow, whose memories still live among Salvadorans who witnessed the war, and whose message now resonates with their U.S.-born children. (Catholic News Service) 1. Fury over Travyon Martin shooting grows as police chief steps down. The aftershocks of Trayvon Martin's killing continued to reverberate Thursday from Sanford to South Florida, as the embattled police chief and state attorney overseeing the investigation stepped down hours after more than 1,000 Miami-Dade high school students staged a walkout to protest the lack of criminal charges in the case. (McClatchy News) 2. Soldier faces 17 murder counts in Afghan killings. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, accused of killing Afghan civilians in a shooting rampage in Kandahar province last week, will be charged with 17 counts of murder, a U.S. official said on Thursday. (Reuters) 3. 'Hell no, we won't glow.' A 93-year-old anti-nuclear activist was among more than 130 protesters arrested at the corporate headquarters of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant Thursday, the first day of the plant's operation after the expiration of its 40-year license. (MSNBC) 4. U.S. inches toward goal of energy independence. Taken together, the increasing production and declining consumption have unexpectedly brought the United States markedly closer to a goal that has tantalized presidents since Richard Nixon: independence from foreign energy sources. (New York Times) 5. Water wars between countries could be just around the corner. Water wars could be a real prospect in coming years as states struggle with the effects of climate change, growing demand for water and declining resources, the [UK]  secretary of state for energy and climate change warned on Thursday. (Guardian) 6. General says Afghans need big U.S. force beyond 2012. The senior allied commander in Afghanistan suggested on Thursday that he might not advocate any further drawdown of the American force in Afghanistan going into 2013 once the so-called surge forces ordered by President Obama leave this fall. (New York Times) 7. Syrian rebels running out of supplies. Syrian rebels battling the regime led by President Bashar al-Assad are running out of ammunition as black market supplies dry up, neighboring countries tighten their borders and international promises of help fail to materialize (Washington Post) 8. Intel shows Iran nuclear threat not imminent. The U.S. and its allies generally agree on three things about Iran's nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not yet decided to build one and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead. (Reuters) 9. International condemnation for Mali coup. The UN Security Council has condemned a coup in the West African nation of Mali, while top officials said fallout from the conflict in Libya had increased the frustration of soldiers who toppled the president. (Al Jazeera) 10. Tibetan self-immolations rise as China tightens grip. Over the past year 29 Tibetans, seven of them in the last three weeks, have chosen a similarly agonizing, self-annihilating protest against Chinese policies. Of those, 22 have died. (New York Times)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 18 weeks ago
Quote of the day. “Iranians see our page and break down with excitement. They always thought we hated them. The power of this initiative is that it bypasses governments." - Michal Tami, an Israeli who with her husband, Roni Edry, launched a Facebook page to Iranians saying, “We will never bomb your country. We love you,” that has received daily responses from hundreds of Iranians. (Haaretz)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 18 weeks ago
Among my must reads are the Sunday New York Times Book Review and other book reviews I come across in various media outlets. There are too many books being published that I would love to read, but just don’t have the time. So, I rely on reading book reviews as one way of keeping in touch with what’s being written. Here are my picks in this week’s books of interest:
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 18 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "We've just got to be very, very creative about this. There's got to be an extra mile that we walk here to do this. And it's absolutely worthwhile." - Michele Deverich, executive director for a consortium of health care companies committed to hiring veterans. Nearly 30 percent of male and 36 percent of female veterans ages 18 to 24 were unemployed in 2011. (USA Today)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 18 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "I was humiliated and horrified. We're talking about the children I gave birth to. Of course they're my children." - Ellie Lavi, a Chicago native, told by a U.S. Embassy staffer that her children were not eligible for citizenship unless she could prove that the egg or sperm used to create the embryo was from an American citizen. (USA Today)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 19 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "Every time they use violence to put us down, it only increases the number of people that are empathetic to the cause. It adds fuel to the fire and draws attention to the movement.” - Ed Needham, Occupy Wall Street, as dozens of protesters were arrested when police cleared New York's Zuccotti Park, where demonstrators had gathered for the movement's six-month anniversary. (Reuters)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 19 weeks ago
Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, announced this morning that he is resigning at the end of the year. After more than 20 years as bishop and then archbishop, Williams plans to return to academia at Cambridge University.
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 19 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "There will be efforts to paint him as a rogue soldier rather than focusing on how we treat GIs in general or whether we should be over there to begin with." - John Henry Browne, attorney for the soldier accused of killing 16 Afghans. (MSNBC)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 19 weeks ago
Quote of the day. “What was amazing was that suddenly everyone felt like family. Your feeling of disconnection from society is broken, and suddenly you are with people who agree on this one thing you have all been afraid to talk about.” - Rami Jarrah, 28, describing the moment he rose to join hundreds of people chanting for freedom in the landmark Umayyad mosque in Damascus, Syria, a year ago. (Washington Post)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 19 weeks ago
Among my must reads are the Sunday New York Times Book Review and other book reviews I come across in various media outlets. There are too many books being published that I would love to read, but just don’t have the time. So, I rely on reading book reviews as one way of keeping in touch with what’s being written. Find out what Duane's picks for this week’s books of interest are inside the blog ...
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 19 weeks ago
Quote of the day. “A huge problem is that the soldiers are not given time to heal before they are redeployed. It is a military-wide problem, and there is a lot of it going on at this base.” - Jorge Gonzalez, a veteran from Joint Base Lewis-McChord who served 15 months in Iraq and now is executive director of Coffee Strong, a coffee house and nonprofit resource center for soldiers. (New York Times)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 19 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "We realized that the more public we are with our stories, the safer we are.” - Mohammad Abdollahi, brought to the U.S. as a 3-year old, on why he got arrested during a protest of immigration policies and now works for the National Immigrant Youth Alliance. (USA Today)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 20 weeks ago
Quote of the day. “Part of it is being ready for cataclysm every day. I started carrying precisely to protect not just myself, but my family, and anyone around me who needs help." - Shane Gazda, a hospital maintenance engineer in North Carolina, on why he owns and carries a handgun. (Christian Science Monitor)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 20 weeks ago
Among my must reads are the Sunday New York Times Book Review and other book reviews I come across in various media outlets. There are too many books being published that I would love to read, but just don’t have the time. So, I rely on reading book reviews as one way of keeping in touch with what’s being written. Here are my picks in this week’s books of interest:
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 20 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "These are just a bunch of kids from California, they could be off surfing or whatever but they're not. They're giving a voice to people who before no-one knew about and no-one cared about and I salute them." - Luis Moreno Ocampo, chief prosecutor at the Internatlonal Criminal Court, defending the makers of the KONY 12 video on Joseph Kony and the “Lord’s Resistance Army” in Uganda. (BBC)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 20 weeks ago
Here’s how voter disenfranchisement laws work. In Tuesday’s Ohio primary, an 86-year old World War II veteran was turned away because his photo ID didn’t have his address. Paul Carroll, who has lived in Aurora, OH, for nearly 40 years had let his driver’s license expire. Knowing the need for a government-issued photo ID, he got one from the Department of Veterans Affairs. When he showed up to vote, the poll worker refused – the new ID card doesn’t have an address. Carroll told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “I had to stop driving, but I got the photo ID from the Veterans Affairs instead, just a month or so ago. You would think that would count for something. I went to war for this country, but now I can’t vote in this country.”
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 20 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "I think the World Bank has made many, many mistakes over the years it has been led by Wall Street, by bankers and politicians. It has not been led by development experts. This has caused it to make truly consequential blunders of huge proportions." - Jeffrey Sachs, Professor of Economics at Columbia University, explaining why he wants to be the next president of the World Bank. (Al Jazeera)
Posted by Duane Shank 2 years 20 weeks ago
Quote of the day. "I fear for class warfare. It's so egregious these days, the disparity, and it's not just a talking point. If you''re not white, educated and almost willing to sacrifice your soul to a corporation, you'd better be afraid.” Kris Rankin, 65, of Dayton OH, speaking of the economy. (Los Angeles Times)