Dispatches From The Edge: Ireland: The Great Hunger Returns

By Conn Hallinan
Monday December 06, 2010 - 04:02:00 PM

Two images came to mind as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union began systematically dismantling what is left of the shattered Irish economy. One was a photo in the -more-

On the Road, With Butterflies

By Joe Eaton
Monday December 06, 2010 - 03:14:00 PM
Pipevine swallowtail in Briones Regional Park.

On the short list of Books That Ruined My Life, Wild America ranks high. Published in 1955, it’s the jointly written account of a birding trek by Roger Tory Peterson, of fame guide fame, and his colleague James Fisher around the perimeter of North America: from Newfoundland down the Atlantic Coast, down into the Mexican tropics, across the Southwest and up the Pacific Coast, fetching up in the Pribilof Islands. I got hold of it when I was about ten and trapped in Little Rock, and it struck a chord. -more-

The Public Eye: Who Should Pay to Fix the Economy?

By Bob Burnett
Monday December 06, 2010 - 05:30:00 PM

Imagine you live in the suburbs and the residence next door is sold. The new owners raze the old cottage, build a McMansion and party 24/7. The neighbors complain about the noise but nothing is done until the house is trashed. Then your city council declares the dwelling a hazard and demands that you and your neighbors clean it up. Unfair? Of course, but that’s what has happened in the US, where the rich and power had a decades-long party and trashed the economy. Now Republicans want average citizens to pay for the repairs. -more-

Eclectic Rant: Monsanto and India Farmer Suicides

By Ralph E. Stone
Monday December 06, 2010 - 03:12:00 PM

For generations the farmers of India have sown their seeds, putting aside enough seeds for next year's crop. The women are usually responsible for safeguarding these seeds. Then along came Monsanto. -more-

On Mental Illness: The Electroshock Controversy

By Jack Bragen
Wednesday December 08, 2010 - 04:46:00 PM

The movie “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” has shaped how mentally ill people are perceived by a generation of Americans. In one of that movie’s final scenes, the main character, played by Jack Nicholson, has received either a lobotomy, or else massive electroshock treatment (It is not clear which) and has become essentially a vegetable. The big, Native American character (who, for most of the movie pretended to be unable to speak) mercifully smothers the protagonist to death with a pillow, and then rips a fixture out of the floor, hurls it through a window—and then runs away, presumably to live as a “normal” person. -more-

Senior Power: Aging in place is growing older without having to move.

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Monday December 06, 2010 - 05:19:00 PM

Aging in place is not having to move from one's present residence in order to secure necessary support services in response to changing needs. It is estimated that 70% of seniors spend the rest of their life in the place where they celebrated their 65th birthday. -more-