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29 March 2008

'Cheese' Heroin Hooking Young Users in Dallas : NPR


'Cheese' Heroin Hooking Young Users in Dallas
by John Burnett

In Dallas, health officials are seeing children that young being brought to hospitals with signs of heroin withdrawal.
The city is in its third year of what drug abuse experts call a "mini-epidemic" among young Hispanics snorting a mild but addictive heroin called "cheese."
Cheese heroin is Mexican black-tar heroin that has been diluted with crushed tablets of over-the-counter sleep medication such as Tylenol PM...MORE

Florida apologizes for role in slavery

By Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler, Times Staff Writer
Published Wednesday, March 26, 2008 10:27 PM

TALLAHASSEE — More than 140 years after a former Florida governor described Africans as "a wild barbarian to be tamed and civilized," the Legislature on Wednesday apologized for the state's role in sanctioning slavery.

The House and Senate approved a resolution expressing "profound regret for the involuntary servitude of Africans, and calling for reconciliation among all Floridians."..MORE

Virginia's prison gravy train


Growing nationally by 3.4 percent a year for the past 10 years, federal, state and local prisons hold 2.3 million inmates -- one half of whom are nonviolent and small-time drug law offenders. In 2006, prison populations went up in 41 states, including an increase of 1,344 inmates in Virginia. From 2000 to 2005 the state's prison population has grown at a steady 3.2 percent per year...MORE

28 March 2008

Emmett Till Blog: Censored 1956 Emmett Till Script Shown


Rod Serling Censored

A script deemed too sensitive for television in 1956 will have its first-ever reading as part of the Ithaca College conference on “The Life and Legacy of Rod Serling” March 28–29. The conference will include a presentation on how Serling had to turn a black teenaged boy into an elderly Jewish man in order to have his script aired...MORE

Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860


Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860
contains just over a hundred pamphlets and books (published between 1772 and 1889) concerning the difficult and troubling experiences of African and African-American slaves in the American colonies and the United States. The documents, most from the Law Library and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, comprise an assortment of trials and cases, reports, arguments, accounts, examinations of cases and decisions, proceedings, journals, a letter, and other works of historical importance. Of the cases presented here, most took place in America and a few in Great Britain. Among the voices heard are those of some of the defendants and plaintiffs themselves as well as those of abolitionists, presidents, politicians, slave owners, fugitive and free territory slaves, lawyers and judges, and justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Significant names include John Quincy Adams, Roger B. Taney, John C. Calhoun, Salmon P. Chase, Dred Scott, William H. Seward, Prudence Crandall, Theodore Parker, Jonathan Walker, Daniel Drayton, Castner Hanway, Francis Scott Key, William L. Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Denmark Vesey, and John Brown.  Slaves and the Courts was made possible by a generous gift from the Citigroup Foundation.

Wal-Mart Clinics


RNCentral, a web organization for current and future Registered Nurses, recently published a list of 20 ways Wal-Mart Clinics will affect U.S. healthcare.

Some of the more interesting affects are as follows:
  • More immunizations – Immunizations will be readily available at all Wal-Mart health clinics. This will drastically decrease the risk of spreading contagious disease.
  • No insurance necessary – Simply stated, no insurance is required to visit a Wal-Mart health clinic. People pay only a flat rate to visit a clinic. This will bring in patients with no insurance and ensure their health when they would otherwise go on for years without seeing a doctor.
  • Eased emergency room crunches – Health care will me much more accessible, so people that would generally clog up emergency rooms for minor health conditions will visit a health clinic instead.
  • Increased medical awareness – Because health care is available where people shop, they will be less likely to ignore aches and pains and get them treated.
  • Increased office hours – Because Wal-Mart is open in the evening and on the weekends, so too would be the health care clinics...MORE

27 March 2008

Top 10 Most Difficult Jobs to Fill Include Many in the Hourly Realm

Top 10 Most Difficult Jobs to Fill Include Many in the Hourly Realm

The one glaring fact that stands out most when looking at this year’s Manpower index of most difficult jobs to fill is that the majority of them are hourly positions and most do not require a 4 year college degree. Sales people lead off the list for the second year in a row.

From what we hear in Pittsburgh this runs in all sales categories from entry level retail up to sales Engineers and Pharmaceuticals. Also mirroring what we see in Pittsburgh are the dire need for qualified auto mechanics. Many dealers are in a position to limit their service hours because they cannot find enough mechanics to handle the workload they are seeing in their shops.

A large part of the reason for this national phenomena is the same as we are seeing here as well. The start of the Baby Boomers reaching retirement age. Too many of our young workers have been brought up in a go to college or you’ll die mentality. Not enough have given thought to a career in what used to be considered either dirty or menial work that didn’t pay well. All of those old perceptions are long gone...MORE

The Apex of Slavery

The Apex of Slavery:
"Eliot Spitzer's high-priced prostitute, Kristen, is not a slave; she's a prostitute. Or so says Benjamin Skinner, author of the new book A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face With Modern-Day Slavery. Skinner's opinion is informed by his definition of 'slave': someone who is forced to work, under threat of violence, for no pay beyond subsistence."...MORE

26 March 2008

Dining on Mud Cakes in Haiti


In Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, 80 percent
of the population lives on less than $2 a day. The mud cookies sell for
around five cents each, compared to 60 cents for two cups of rice.

Made from dirt, salt and vegetable shortening, the cookies (which
are regularly used by pregnant women and children as an antacid
and source of calcium) have become a regular meal for Haitians
desperate to satisfy hunger.

25 March 2008

While We Were Sleeping.


Sewer Gas May Allow For Suspended Animation

Suspended animation — the state that space travelers are always put into in movies so they don't age while traveling for many years — may turn out to actually be possible, and it's a simpler process than you'd expect. Yep, all you need to fall into a deep sleep and not age is a good dose of sewer gas.

Scientists have discovered that small doses of hydrogen sulfide put mice into a completely reversible state of metabolic suppression. Within minutes of inhaling the gas the mice began to show the effects and were able to snap out of it within 30 minutes of the air supply being returned to normal.

If this can be done to humans, it could be used to "allow organ function to be preserved when oxygen supply is limited, such as after a traumatic injury" as well as, you know, for long-term space travel.

The Real Cost of Prisons Weblog:


The Sentencing Project guide to 2008 Presidential Candidates' Platforms on Criminal Justice.

This guide provides information on a range of key criminal justice issues, including sentencing policy, reentry,
felony disenfranchisement, and the death penalty.


23 March 2008

'My House. My Dream. It Was All an Illusion.' -


'My House. My Dream. It Was All an Illusion.'
Latina's Loss in Va. Epitomizes Mortgage Crisis
By Brigid Schulte
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 22, 2008; Page A01

Despite her poor credit, Honduran immigrant Glenda Ortiz easily got a subprime loan for this Alexandria home, bought in 2005 for $430,000. It was foreclosed on last year.

Looking back, Glenda Ortiz can see she did everything wrong when she bought her house in 2005. In fact, to understand the housing crisis that has swept the country, one need only listen to the tale of the Ortiz family...MORE


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