fresh voices from the front lines of change







What pressing issues facing our country do the pundits think you don’t care about today? 23 states face budget gaps in ’09

Like a college student fishing for stray quarters in the sofa cushions, states are tightening their belts, dipping into their rainy day funds and hoping revenues will pick up.

But many states are bracing against a faltering economy they expect to get worse.

Anemic revenue returns forced 16 states to patch nearly $12 billion holes in their current budgets, up from the seven that faced shortfalls last November, while in 23 states, budget gaps totaling at least $26 billion have emerged for their 2009 budgets…

…the stalled housing market, rising oil prices, plummeting consumer confidence and creeping unemployment rates have hit all but a few energy and farm states’ budgets. Consumers and businesses are spending less, so state tax revenues are dipping.

The G Spot looks at the disability policies offered by the three leading presidential candidates:

Disability policy as such is not the kind of thing you’re likely to hear very much about this election season. The mainstream media will not report on it. You won’t hear the candidates questioned on this issue during the debates. Yet it is a subject of profound importance to millions of Americans…

…for people with developmental disabilities (e.g., mental retardation, autism, and the like) … early intervention programs are crucial, as are other therapy and education programs. And these programs, especially early intervention, have profound, and strongly positive, effects. People with developmental disabilities are in far better health, are living longer, are achieving more, and are living productive lives to a far greater extent than was ever thought possible even a few decades ago. It’s kind of miraculous, actually. And it is all because of the government.

But getting the right kind of education, training, and therapy at the right time is crucial. And that’s where the problems begin, because these programs tend to be chronically underfunded.

VetVoice: Fort Bragg Barracks: Shades of Walter Reed?

A Fort Bragg soldier’s father uploaded a YouTube video of photos he took of his son’s barracks earlier this month. The video shows the deplorable living conditions to which his son and the other soldiers of his unit in the 82nd Airborne Division returned after a 15-month-long deployment to Afghanistan.

The most shocking photo, in my opinion, is the one of the soldier standing in the latrine sink, trying to unstop a drain, while human excrement and urine fills the floor below him.

Here’s the appalling video:

If you think these issues deserve wider discussion, you can always let the hotbeds of punditry know, not to mention your own local media outlets.

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