DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE: Latin America Delivers A Swift Kick

By Conn Hallinan
Friday May 04, 2012 - 02:32:00 PM

On one level, April’s hemispheric summit meeting was an old fashioned butt kicking for Washington’s policies in the region. The White House found itself virtually alone—Dudley Do Right Canada its sole ally—on everything from Cuba to the war on drugs. But the differences go deeper than the exclusion of Havana and the growing body count in Washington’s failed anti-narcotics strategy. They reflect profound disagreements on how to build economies, confront inequity, and reflect a new balance of power in world affairs. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Consumer Chronicles: Maternity Coverage in Health Insurance Plans

By Ralph E. Stone
Friday May 04, 2012 - 02:34:00 PM

I volunteer at Consumer Action assisting consumers by providing consumers with information and resources to help them solve their consumer complaints. Many consumers are unaware that individual health insurance plans in many states do not cover maternity care. One consumer seeking assistance from Consumer Action was sold an individual health insurance policy that did not include maternity coverage even though he had specifically asked for, and was assured by the insurance company agent, that the policy included such coverage. Now the consumer's wife is pregnant and he doesn't have maternity coverage. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: Campaign 2012: Show Me the Money

By Bob Burnett
Friday May 04, 2012 - 09:21:00 AM

Six months before the November 6th presidential election, Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney by three percentage points. The most common explanation for the closeness of a race that should be Obama’s to lose is the weak economy. Another explanation is the polarization of electorate: the right has solidified behind Romney but the left hasn’t embraced Obama with the same fervor. But money is the culprit; Republicans have spent more money to affect the final outcome. -more-


By Joe Eaton
Friday May 04, 2012 - 08:43:00 AM
Greater roadrunner: not unlike a dinobird.

My first roadrunner encounter was at my grandmother’s funeral in Arkansas. Well, not at the funeral as such; I had snuck off into the woods behind a cousin’s house for a discreet smoke during the post-funeral dinner. When the outlandish bird came strolling through, we were mutually startled. We made eye contact, but the roadrunner didn’t panic. It flicked its tail a couple of times and kept on going. -more-

SENIOR POWER: Cinco de Mayo

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday May 04, 2012 - 09:31:00 AM

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Let's Reduce Expectations

By Jack Bragen
Friday May 04, 2012 - 11:15:00 AM

When someone has suffered a severe episode of mental illness, it has likely frightened and upset them and their family, and the expectations for success in life are sometimes off the table. Remaining stabilized and out of the hospital (and perhaps not wandering the streets in a psychotic state) is often a satisfactory goal. Sometimes it is not necessary and not appropriate to try to do more, such as going to school or getting a job, at least until one is ready. Simply remaining stabilized, for someone with a major mental illness, is often an adequate accomplishment. -more-