Early last month a report graded each of the 50 states’ policies on how well they controlled patients’ pain. The report showed that much progress had been made over the last decade in implementing balanced policies that increase access to effective pain medications and establish a system to mitigate drug abuse. However, much more needs to be done.
HOOP DREAMS, which dates from 1994, is an extraordinary documentary which covers four years in the lives of its subjects, a pair of inner-city Chicago youngsters who yearn for stardom on the hardwood. Well, a new-to-DVD documentary, titled 56 UP, is the latest in a series of films which, in their totality, cover 49 years in the lives of their subjects. They are a group of British youngsters from various classes and backgrounds who first were filmed as seven years olds in 1964. Every seven years, the cameras have been turned back on and they have been revisited and filmed yet again. A bit of simple math tells us that 56 UP is the eighth installment in the series.
The biggest question about Eliot Spitzer's decision to throw his hat into the New York City comptroller's race isn't why he's doing it - the disgraced former governor has been dropping not-so-subtle hints about his desire to return to public life for years now.
A few years ago, the athletic shoe company Adidas had this ad slogan that went, “Impossible is nothing.” It always seemed to be worn by people who I doubt adhered to that ethic, but certainly held their favorite athletes to that standard. More to the point, the slogan itself doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. For example, I have stared at a 10 foot basketball hoop since I was about five, all with the hope that I might someday grab it on the way down from a windmill dunk. That never happened. The closest I ever got was when we played on seven foot rims at the elementary school.
The word “equality” is woven into the fabric of the nation. Despite the clause in the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln’s continual efforts to preserve it, most people assume we are born with different endowments, have different temperaments, behave in different ways and, most assuredly, are unequal. In fact, the more we as a nation emphasize individuality, the more likely inequality will result.
I’m tired of hearing that lower taxes will bring new business. Politicians chant low taxes like a mantra that answers everything. Governor Cuomo offers to starve many New York communities of money for services by barring them from taxing new business.
For a nation steeped in adherence to the prohibition of enforced religious belief and impenetrable separation of church and state, as Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black: affirmed in 1947: “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable……” (Everson v Bd of Ed’n). Political paladins of various organized religions seem to have been bent on subverting and rescinding it, in favor of one or another preferred religious belief, ever since. That bent seems more prevalent today, than at any time since its adoption.
Higher prices have been shown to encourage smokers to quit or reduce their consumption of cigarettes. Cigarette tax evasion makes cigarettes cheaper and reduces the public health benefits of New York’s excise tax, as well as depriving the state of much-needed revenue. Were the tax collected on all cigarettes smoked in New York, tens of thousands of adults would quit rather than pay higher prices, and state revenues would dramatically increase.
While watching MAN OF STEEL, the new Superman movie, I could not help but think of some of the other actors who have played the beloved superhero across the decades both on TV and in the movies. One of them was of course George Reeves, whom Baby Boomers will know as the actor cast as the title character and his alter-ego, Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent, in THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, the iconic 1950s television series. These days, George Reeves-- who is not to be confused with Christopher Reeve-- is remembered not so much as a 1950s television star but as a tabloid tragedy. That is because, on June 16, 1959, Reeves, who was 45-years-old, was found shot to death in his Hollywood home.