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I Miss My Good Friend, Tom Foolery
2/21/2019 9:43:55 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   This past week the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were having a conversation. Of course, it was more like a monologue, but you know how that works. We were thinking back over the years of our life together and reminding ourselves of some of the great and wonderful times we have had. The friends we have made. The activities we have enjoyed together. Of course, there were the grandchildren and my wife had a great time talking about the grandchildren and I chuckling along with her. After a moment of quietness, my wife said rather seriously,...

Researchers Find Clues That Depression May Speed Brain Aging
2/21/2019 9:41:27 PM

By Lauran Neergaard   WASHINGTON (AP)—Memory and thinking skills naturally slow with age but now scientists are peeking inside living brains to tell if depression might worsen that decline—and finding some worrisome clues. Depression has long been linked to certain cognitive problems, and depression late in life even may be a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer's. Yet how depression might harm cognition isn't clear. One possibility: Brain cells communicate by firing messages across connections called synapses. Generally, good cognition is...

Cleaning Routine Shows Promise in Curbing Superbug Infection
2/21/2019 9:32:05 PM

By Marilynn Marchio Think of it as decontaminating yourself. Hospitalized patients who harbor certain superbugs can cut their risk of developing full-blown infections if they swab medicated goo in their nose and use special soap and mouthwash for six months after going home, a study found. It's a low-tech approach to a big problem: About 5 percent of patients have MRSA—antibiotic-resistant Staph bacteria—lurking on their skin or in their noses, putting them at high risk of developing an infection while recovering from an illness or an operation. These can affect the...

Flu Vaccine Doing a Relatively Good Job This Season
2/21/2019 7:02:50 PM

By Mike Stobbe   NEW YORK (AP)—The flu vaccine is doing a relatively good job this season, protecting about half the people who got it, U.S. health officials said Thursday. Preliminary figures suggest the vaccine is 47 percent effective in preventing flu illness severe enough to send someone to the doctor's office. Health officials are generally pleased if a flu vaccine works in 40 to 60 percent of people. “These are early estimates, but they are encouraging,” said Dr. Alicia Fry of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and...

CFPB Makes Move to Support Payday Lenders During Black History
2/13/2019 10:19:19 AM

By Charlene Crowell   Each February, Black History Month commemorates the unique American experience of Blacks in America. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown, Virginia arrival of captured and shackled Africans. In the ensuing years, as slavery grew, so did the wealth of those who claimed our forefathers as ‘property’. By April 12-13, 1861, the wealth built on slave labor was forcefully protected with the Battle of Fort Sumter, considered by historians to be the start of the Civil War that lasted until 1865 and the war’s...

‘Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo’
2/13/2019 10:16:50 AM

By Marian Wright Edelman   “If the justice system does not change incarceration will continue to be as arbitrary as a game of eeny, meeny, miny, mo, with Black kids and Black men hoping to avoid being ‘IT.’” Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo is the title of this series of paintings by Nashville native Omari Booker, a visual artist who has spent a lot of time thinking about race and mass incarceration in America. He explains that many people may not realize the familiar children’s rhyme the title is based on (eeny, meeny, miny, mo, catch a tiger by the...

Black Millennial Voices: Stop the Torture of U.S. Prison Inmates
2/13/2019 10:13:43 AM

By Malika Elmengad   We are so proud of the thousands of young people who stood for hours and days in blistering cold weather outside the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York to raise their fists and voices in protest over the poor treatment of inmates and terrible conditions in the jail. Hundreds of thousands of additional millennials across the nation joined in solidarity with the Brooklyn protesters via social media. The disproportionate mass incarceration of people of color in America continues to grow. It is bad enough to be confined and locked up...

Losing Your Driver’s License to Debt:
2/8/2019 3:50:48 PM

43 States Allow Suspensions Due to Unpaid Court Debt By Staff Reports   Today, personal vehicles transport parents to work, take multiple family generations to school, access medical and/or business services, and more. With a car and a driver’s license, consumers gain mobility to go about their daily lives in all of its multiple dimensions. But what happens when that driver’s license is revoked or suspended? In 43 states and the District of Columbia, driver’s licenses can be suspended because of unpaid court debt. In most locales, once a...

Dangerous Steps Backwards on Discriminatory School Discipline
2/8/2019 3:49:57 PM

By Marian Wright Edelman   In January 2014, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice jointly released a ‘guidance package’ on school discipline to help schools and districts meet their responsibilities under federal civil rights law to use nondiscriminatory discipline practices. Years of data have shown children of color and children with disabilities are disproportionately punished by school discipline practices and suspended and expelled from school. Many schools and school districts have finally begun reforming their policies to promote positive academic...

‘Now, Do You Feel like a Big Boy?’
2/8/2019 3:41:43 PM

Dr. James L. Snyder   Vacations mean different things to different people. For me, the vacation means I am vacating one place and going to another place to do nothing. Recently, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I vacated the parsonage to go to some place where we could major on doing nothing. We have mastered this over the years. My definition of “nothing” is quite different from my wife’s definition. My definition is simply that I spend the day doing nothing. My wife’s definition is simply that she will spend the day doing...