Democrats Are In a Policy Funk

After losing the House in 2010, and now the Senate four years later, Democrats seem bereft of ideas about how to reconnect with the electorate.  Democrats seem to have a grip on the White House and Hillary Clinton appears to be the odds on favorite going into 2016.  Yet, with Republican policies blatantly favoring the rich, you have to wonder why so many middle class voters are casting votes for the GOP.  Republicans now hold majorities in both chambers of the legislatures in 29 states—their most since 1920—compared to just 11 states for the Democrats.  In 23 states, Republicans control both chambers of the state legislatures and the governorship, compared to just six Democratically-controlled states.  Republicans are now governors in 31 states including the very blues states of Maryland and Massachusetts, and President Obama’s home state of Illinois….

Full Story @ http://sjs.li/136ea8o
#DemocraticParty, #Economy, #Government, #Research, #SocialPolicy, #White, #Work

Tis’ the Season to be Jolly & Sober

As we all know, the holiday season brings joy to some and anxiety to others.  It is therefore not unexpected that at this time of year there is an increased feeling of loneliness for those who are alone, a heightened sense of hopelessness for those who have depression, and an increased challenge by the temptations of the season for those who are faced with the disease of addiction. “Tis’ the season to be jolly.  Fa la la la la, la la la la.”  Really?  So during a time when we are faced with the senseless deaths of fellow citizens for minor crimes and the rising up of voices, which reminds us of the disparity that existed between the discriminatory penalties imposed for crack cocaine versus powder cocaine, I thought I would share a few stories….

Full Story @ http://sjs.li/1ABLOxt
#Abuse, #Addiction, #Alcohol, #Health, #Holidays, #MentalHealth

With Juveniles, the World Should Not Follow Our Lead

The United States has the obscene distinction of being number one in the world for the worst policies on the treatment of youth in the justice system, and youth of color bear the brunt of our harsh and regressive policies.

No other country in the world routinely prosecutes youth in adult criminal court, an estimated 250,000 youth in the U.S. annually. No other country places youth in adult jails and prisons on a regular basis. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, nearly 100,000 youth are cycled through adult jails and prisons annually. …

Full Story @ http://sjs.li/1stkIUW
#Jail, #Justice, #JuvelineJustice

Demand The Best Of Yourself

Set your own standard of elite performance and rise to meet it each and every day, with each person you interact with. Give it your very best. Set the bar. Excel in your workplace whether anyone is around to witness what you do or not.

Do you personally have a standard of work that you demand of yourself? The very best employees do and they do it without being reminded of it by their boss. It’s as if their ethical work compass is set at north all the time, but the symbol, ‘N’ on their compass stands for, “Nothing less than the best”. …

Full Story @ http://sjs.li/1A1kkkQ
#Excellence, #JobAdvice, #PersonalAccountability, #PersonalExpectations

Viewing Mass Incarceration as a Public Health Issue

A recent editorial in the New York Times echoed a report by the Vera Institute on the need to understand and treat mass imprisonment as a public health issue.  Nearly 2.3 million people are locked behind bars in America’s jails and prisons on a given day.  Most of these are inmates in state prisons.  They are largely ill-educated, poor, and many suffer from mental illness, substance abuse or both.  They are the throwaways in a society that celebrates high achievers.  Our criminal justice system is no longer correctional—having largely abandoned most efforts to rehabilitate its prisoners.  Prisons are warehouses for many of society’s undesirables.  Little care is given to sanitary conditions and many facilities are incubators for illness and disease. …

Full Story @ http://sjs.li/1snVQOk
#Healthcare, #Incarceration, #PublicHealth, #SocialPolicy

An Australian Christmas Carol – A badly written, reconstituted moral tale

Mr Ebenezer Morrison lay his head on the pillow.

“I did good today real good. I won’t be given moral lectures by anyone…but I got ‘em… oh yes … Now I can send those illegals back whenever I like. They will never be Australian.” He smiled and with a belly full of Christmas cheer drifted off to sleep….

Full Story @ http://sjs.li/1D5IAIa
#AChristmasCarol, #AsylumSeekers, #Literature, #Politics, #Refugees

Made by Raffi: Bullying is Not OK

Made by Raffi by Craig Pomranz and Margaret Chamberlain
Made by Raffi is a beautifully illustrated book with an important message. Bullying is not okay and the results on/for a child can be devastating. In this book there is a young boy who is ‘different’ and participates in activities that are different from his peers. He likes to read, is introverted, and enjoys knitting and sewing.

His peers make fun of him, call him names, and exclude him from activities. As the story progresses, Raffi’s differences no longer matter and his peers accept him for who he is. This is as it should be….

Full Story @ http://sjs.li/1G9G2qx
#Bullying, #CraigPomranz, #MadeByRaffi, #MargaretChamberlain, #Youth