Saturday, August 31, 2013

read it yourself | President Obama on Syria

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the President on Syria

Rose Garden

1:52 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Ten days ago, the world
watched in horror as men, women and children were massacred in Syria in
the worst chemical weapons attack of the 21st century.  Yesterday the United
States presented a powerful case that the Syrian government was responsible
for this attack on its own people.
Our intelligence shows the Assad regime and its forces preparing to use chemical
weapons, launching rockets in the highly populated suburbs of Damascus, and
acknowledging that a chemical weapons attack took place.  And all of this
corroborates what the world can plainly see -- hospitals overflowing with victims;
terrible images of the dead.  All told, well over 1,000 people were murdered.
Several hundred of them were children -- young girls and boys gassed to
death by their own government.
This attack is an assault on human dignity.  It also presents a serious danger
to our national security.  It risks making a mockery of the global prohibition
on the use of chemical weapons.  It endangers our friends and our partners
along Syria’s borders, including Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq.
It could lead to escalating use of chemical weapons, or their proliferation to
terrorist groups who would do our people harm.
In a world with many dangers, this menace must be confronted.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Epidemic | a letter from Senator Elizabeth Warren


There have been more than 100 shootings in Boston since the Marathon in April.

Think about that. If 100 people went to Massachusetts General Hospital with a 

mysterious virus in four months, we would treat it as an epidemic. There would 
be headlines, alarms, and calls for action.

This week, I stood with Boston Mayor Tom Menino, Senator Ed Markey, 

and Mayors Against Illegal Guns at Faneuil Hall to demand stronger national 
gun laws. We're not going to stop our call for action.
Some people say that gun laws should be left to the states, but state laws just 
aren't enough. 

We have some of the country's toughest gun control laws in Massachusetts, 

but Mayor Menino has pointed out that an astonishing 65% of the guns recovered 
at crime scenes in Boston come from out of state. Unlike Massachusetts, nearby 
states like New Hampshire and Maine don't require a permit or license to buy a 
gun, so people can buy guns there and drive back to Massachusetts with the 
trunk loaded up.

Nationwide, only 60% of gun sales are subject to a federal background check 

because of the gun show loophole and other gaps in oversight. Background 
checks are a simple and effective step that would help keep guns out of the 
wrong hands, and we need to close the gaps.

I know a minority of Senators blocked this bipartisan bill earlier this year, but 

I'm not going to stop fighting. Neither is President Obama, who just yesterday 
announced an executive order to close more of the loopholes.

But too many loopholes remain. Our children are at risk. Until we have made 

our schools and our streets safer -- here in Massachusetts and across the 
-- we're going to keep talking about this issue.

Thank you for being a part of this,


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

read it yourself | President Obama's talk on the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march on Washington

Lincoln Memorial
3:07 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT:  To the King family, who have sacrificed and inspired so much; to President Clinton; President Carter; Vice President Biden and Jill; fellow Americans.  
Five decades ago today, Americans came to this honored place to lay claim to a promise made at our founding:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
In 1963, almost 200 years after those words were set to paper, a full century after a great war was fought and emancipation proclaimed, that promise -- those truths -- remained unmet.  And so they came by the thousands from every corner of our country, men and women, young and old, blacks who longed for freedom and whites who could no longer accept freedom for themselves while witnessing the subjugation of others.
Across the land, congregations sent them off with food and with prayer.  In the middle of the night, entire blocks of Harlem came out to wish them well.  With the few dollars they scrimped from their labor, some bought tickets and boarded buses, even if they couldn’t always sit where they wanted to sit.  Those with less money hitchhiked or walked.  They were seamstresses and steelworkers, students and teachers, maids and Pullman porters.  They shared simple meals and bunked together on floors.  And then, on a hot summer day, they assembled here, in our nation’s capital, under the shadow of the Great Emancipator -- to offer testimony of injustice, to petition their government for redress, and to awaken America’s long-slumbering conscience.
We rightly and best remember Dr. King’s soaring oratory that day, how he gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions; how he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike.  His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

a bad guy with a gun is stopped by a (really) good woman without one

This is 17 minutes long, if you have the patience to hear not just the remarkable extended 911 call but also the discussion of too easy access to weapons and ammunition and the place of Providence in averting a grade school massacre. Inspiring, challenging.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

everything | the agony of thought

Sometimes a person seems to writing about one thing and then turns out to be writing about everything. This is the case with two sentences in William Barclay's comments on 1 Corinthians 15.
We tend to accept things because we are told them and to possess them merely at secondhand. If we undergo the agony of thought there may be much that we must discard, but what is left is really ours in such a way that nothing can ever take it from us.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

in the wind | tweets from the week ending 08.17.13

Nothing Doing | a 30-day guarantee from Raising Adults 

Obamacare | Signed. Sealed. Delivering 

Work . Think . Build | Ashton Kutcher's Back-to-School mini-'TED'-talk 

Silk Road + Tumblr + Simple = Maybe this is why they call it "dope"

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Obamacare | Signed. Sealed. Delivering

[Here's a letter about Obamacare from my health insurance provider. I've pulled  the identity of the carrier so as not to trip anyone up; other than that, the letter is as I received it — and reflects the positive trend toward affordable, quality health care for Americans.]
Dear James

As 2014 and the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) approaches, we know you have many important decisions to make about your health care coverage. As your partner in health, we're making it easy for you to get the great care you expect from [us].

New ways to get health care in 2014 
In late September, we will be sending you information about your new 2014 [health] plan, as well as information about all [our] other 2014 plans. Some of these plans are available through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Covered California. Also, you may qualify for financial assistance from the federal government. Download information to help you determine whether or not you may be eligible.

We're making it easy for you to stay with [Us]
We want to make sure that you get the plan that best fits your needs. Here are your options:
Enrolling in your new ACA-compliant plan
We've made it easy for you to continue your coverage. We've matched you to a 2014 ACA-compliant plan that includes all the additional benefits provided by health care reform. Your enrollment into this plan is automatic. You don't need to do anything but pay the premium for your new plan on or before its due date.
Switching to another [of our] ACA-compliant plan
If you prefer to enroll in another one of our new 2014 plans, you can do so either directly with us or through the Health Insurance Marketplace during open enrollment which begins on October 1, 2013. Soon you'll receive more information about all our new 2014 plans and how to sign up.
Signing up for financial assistance if you qualify
If you determine that you are eligible for federal financial assistance (a subsidy), to receive this benefit you must purchase your new ACA-compliant plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Health Insurance Marketplace opens for enrollment on October 1, 2013. You'll receive more information on how to apply for financial assistance in your renewal packet.
Why [our coverage] is your best choice for good health 
No matter how you choose to purchase your 2014 coverage, [we] will continue to offer you superior access and care, including:
Your choice of doctors and specialists who you know and trust.
Convenient care and services at locations near you.
Easy access to appointments, advice, and information.
Mobile and online features to email your doctor's office, order prescription refills, view most lab results, and more.
A secure electronic health record that brings it all together.*
You don't need to do anything right now
In late September, you'll receive all the information you need to know about your [health] coverage and how to apply for financial assistance, if you qualify. If you would like to learn more about health care reform, visit [our website], call our Member Service Contact Center at 1-800-XXX-XXXX (or TTY for the deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired at 711), weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except holidays), or contact your agent or broker.
Thank you for choosing us to be your partner in health.

[If you don't get a similarly upbeat letter from your health insurance provider — or if you don't have health coverage — keep an eye peeled for details in the next few weeks from the new state and federal Health Insurance Marketplaces active where you live. Very shortly, quality, affordable health coverage will be available for all of us (and not a minute too soon if you ask me.)]

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Nothing Doing | a 30-day guarantee from Raising Adults

Finally! The part about the seven secrets to better parenting, the ten keys to more wholesome children, the One True Thing.
My friend Darrell went to a career seminar with the intriguing title:
How to Get Rich Working Half Days
The opening line of the seminar was, “I’m going to tell you how to get rich working half days. The first thing you have to do is decide which 12 hours you want to work.”
I thought long and hard about this. I read a shelf-full of books. I worked with kids for two and a half decades. I lectured and led parents. I watched the best parents and the worst parents I know. Susan and I raised an adult ourselves. 
And here’s the One True Thing: There are no secrets, keys, or steps. There’s just you and maybe your partner, and one child. Even if you have five kids, you still have to raise them one at a time. Some are ready at three for what other children won’t handle until five. Some learn verbally, some by watching, and some require hands-on instruction Try one size fits all parenting (the same goes for teaching, coaching, and mentoring) and the result will come out looking like Class Diagnosis as sure as I’m sittin’ here. So, sorry, I can’t give you three easy steps to raising adults.
I do have this: I have a 30-Day Guarantee.
I guarantee that if you do nothing for the next 30 days, things will get better between you and your kid; if the nothing you do is what you’re about to read. 

in the wind | tweets from the week ending 08.10.13

You have no right | Seth Godin

The Social Network of Self-Harm (are we only as sick as our secrets?) 

Common Sense Media | 40+ Movies You (Might) Regret Showing Your Kids

Breaking Bad: The Middle School Musical | because someone had to do it (thanks Rhett + Link!)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

You have no right | Seth Godin

Before you tell yourself 
you have no right 
to invent this 
or improve that, 
remind yourself that 
the person before you 
had no right either, 
but did it anyway. 

— Seth Godin

Sunday, August 04, 2013

in the wind | tweets from the week ending 08.03.13

Selfies | How much pressure do girls put on themselves to be camera-ready at all times?

before they were U2 | everybody comes from someplace

Update on the Update on "Raising Adults: updated and free (briefly)" 

Banking on Education | college students borrow money at 800% higher interest than banks 

at your service | they'll see your dollar shave club and raise you a monthly visitor (and then some!)

McPoverty Calculator | how much more would you pay for Big Mac if it ensured a living wage to workers? 

teenage dating abuse report | is it worse than we think?

more than one way to kill the pain | a small idea from Raising Adults

Here's a new burger joint in Detroit that starts workers at $12/hr + is profitable after just three months

Sunny Day | 10 best musical guests on Sesame Street 

Friday, August 02, 2013

more than one way to kill the pain | a small idea from Raising Adults

In different ways, stimulants, depressants, psychedelics—pick your poison—all do the trick (more or less). Mix with elevated levels of naturally occurring body chemicals like dopamine and adrenalin and testosterone and you’ve got a potent kiddy cocktail. When kids are excited or afraid, adrenalin races to their hearts and muscles, setting off fireworks. And when are they not excited or afraid? Kids live most of their lives in three states: 

excited | afraid | asleep

...sometimes all at once. 
The list is not yet complete. Relational stimulants and depressants can be as powerful as chemical reactions. 
You’ve seen both. You’ve watched people in-love-with-being-in-love as they move from relationship to relationship to catch a romantic buzz; forever thinking the next one could be permanent. You also know people who look for partners who will despise and dominate and punish them and hang on to those abusers for all they’re worth. That’s not just a peer-to-peer thing. Some kids will do anything to please or placate their parents, mentors, teachers, coaches and employers. Including lying to spare those significant others from disappointment. As upside-down as it seems to most adults, many kids see lying as a respectful, loving, sensitive act when it protects someone they look up to from unpleasant information. I can’t imagine where a child would learn that.
And let’s not forget about pornography.