April 26, 2007

Bill Moyers on the Drumbeat to War

Posted in Politics, recent history at 3:18 am by ndsmith

Bill Moyer’s journal provides a very good summary of the feedback loop between the administration and the media in the lead-up to the war in Iraq. Much of the information is already widely known, but this short program puts it all together, includes a good cast of key players in inside-the-beltway journalism who were involved in this reporting and introduces information that I was not previously aware of.

link

April 22, 2007

Ira Socol on Virginia Tech

Posted in Culture, Higher Education at 6:07 am by ndsmith

This is a nice commentary on some of the reaction to the recent tragedy at VT by Ira Socol who is better known for his work on higher education for people with disabilities. His commentary points out some of the problems already beleaguering University mental health care systems and suggests that “cracking down” on students exhibiting mental health problems will exacerbate them.

link. Also see this article from the perspective of a forensic psychologist.

Infant death rates rise in South

Posted in Culture at 4:00 am by ndsmith

Remember the old days when people used to say that Katrina had awakened us to race consciousness and particularly the links between race, poverty and vulnerability to natural disaster in the US South. Today the NY Times is reporting that infant death rates, defined as deaths in children in the first year of life, is again on the rise: from 9.7 per one-thousand in 2004 to 11.4 this year. The rates are even more dramatic for the Black population. Not only is the thought of more babies dying intuitively disparaging, but the infant mortality rate is really a bell-weather of the health of the general population.

Obesity and its accompanying health risks are thought to be major factors, and the Times reports that few women seek prenatal care for reasons of both money and motivation.

link.