Dispatches From The Edge: Latin America: The Empire Strikes Back

By Conn Hallinan
Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 02:55:00 PM

For the past decade, American policy vis-à-vis Latin America has been relatively low-key, partly because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and partly because the region has seen an unprecedented growth in economic power and political independence. But, with Republicans taking over the House of Representatives, that is about to change, and, while the Southern Cone no longer stands to attention when Washington snaps its fingers, an aggressive and right wing Congress is capable of causing considerable mischief. -more-

Wild Neighbors: Four-letter Birds

By Joe Eaton
Wednesday January 26, 2011 - 02:49:00 PM
GREG for short: great egret at Palo Alto Baylands

The language of birding has crossed a cultural divide. Readers may have noticed the increased use of the four-letter banding codes designated by the American Ornithologists’ Union in communication among birders, especially on birding listserves. Now, for the first time, they’re in a field guide. -more-

The Public Eye: Show Us the Jobs: Obama’s State-of-the-Union Challenge

By Bob Burnett
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 12:57:00 PM

On Tuesday, January 25th, President Obama will give the annual state-of-the-union address to Congress and the American people. Since the disastrous mid-term elections, Obama’s popularity has surged. The President should use this opportunity to tell Americans his strategy for dealing with the US jobs crisis. -more-

Eclectic Rant: Why Did Baby Doc Duvalier Return to Haiti?

By Ralph E. Stone
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 01:21:00 PM

Like a bad penny, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier arrived in Haiti on January 16, 2011. No one seems to know why Baby Doc returned and what effect, if any, his return will have on the country. -more-

On Mental Illness: A Mile in the Shoes of a Mentally Ill Person

By Jack Bragen
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 01:04:00 PM

One of the primary goals of this column is to provide for the general public some idea of what it is like to be a mentally ill person. Since people in the mainstream often seem to denigrate the mentally ill, I believe they ought to realize how hard it is to be one of us. Additionally, the public ought to realize that we are essentially the same as “normal“ people, only we struggle with brain illnesses that are not always under our control. The adage, "you should not judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes," is applicable to the attitudes people have toward mentally ill persons. Indeed, you should be asking; what do the shoes feel like of a schizophrenic person, a clinically depressed person or someone with bipolar as they try to coexist in society, and even try to hold a job alongside people in society at large? What follows could give you some idea of those shoes... -more-

Senior Power:“Life can be beautiful even when it’s not so easy.”

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Tuesday January 25, 2011 - 01:25:00 PM

Remember that daytime soap, Life Can Be Beautiful? It was billed as "an inspiring message of faith drawn from life." Broadcast on NBC and CBS radio from 1938 to 1954, it remained a leading drama through the 1940s, sponsored by Procter & Gamble and Spic and Span. Carol Conrad, aka Chichi, was a teen on the run until Papa David Solomon, owner of the Slightly Read Bookshop, gave her a home. She continued to live in the back room of the bookstore while romancing crippled law student Stephen Hamilton. -more-