Lead poisoning: rejecting the stigma

I was at the Green & Healthy Homes office in Baltimore when I saw a sheet of paper with LEAD POISONING FACT SHEET printed at the top in tall block letters. On the paper it said that if an adult has lead poisoning then their chances of dying are increased by 46 percent. “What does this mean for me?” I looked at my friend David, but I was asking myself. “Where do they get these numbers?” David stared at the sheet. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

What we like about Baltimore Police Commissioner Harrison’s crime plan, and one thing we’re worried about

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison’s new crime plan isn’t wildly inventive. It doesn’t espouse cutting-edge theories of policing, and in many respects it echoes ideas his predecessors (or their critics) have been talking about for years. But the very obvious nature of some of the prescriptions the report describes — like the idea that in 2019, officers should not have to drive back to the district station to file reports on paper — underscores the reality that in many respects, “the basics” are not something the BPD needs to get back to but rather are a standard to which we still must aspire. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Alternative Fact of the Week: America’s grand-wizard-in-chief

Nothing brings out the worst in human nature quite like a Donald Trump in front of a crowd of true-believers, but even by those miserable standards, Wednesday’s hate-fest in Greenville, N.C., was only the contents of a few linen closets and the presence a burning cross away from a Ku Klux Klan rally. If somebody has to explain to you why the chant of “send her back” directed at a Rep. Ilhan Omar, a naturalized American born in Somalia, is prime KKK material, there’s something seriously missing (complex organ, grayish-white, trillions of synapses, ring a bell?) from your cranium. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Editorial: Maryland should release more elderly inmates

Having elderly people sitting in prison does no one much good. They tend to have more health problems and are more costly than younger inmates. People commit less crime as they get older, so keeping those of enhanced age incarcerated is doing little from a public safety standpoint either. You could release an older prisoner and almost guarantee they would not go out and steal a car or rob someone. Like many states around the country looking to address the injustices of mass incarceration, Maryland officials attempted to change its statutes a few years ago to release a segment of inmates age 60 or older. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Pitts: Failure to stand up for the truth, suggests not an open mind but an empty one

A man named Josef Buzhminski told this story at the trial of Adolf Eichmann. It happened on July 27, 1942, at the fence of the Jewish ghetto in Przemysl, Poland. Mr. Buzhminski was watching from hiding as an SS man named Kidash seized a Jewish woman and her 18-month-old son. “She held the baby in her arms,” Mr. Buzhminski said, "and began asking for mercy that she be shot first and leave the baby alive. "From behind the fence," he continued, "there were Poles who raised their hands ready to catch the baby. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Klees: Will the Democratic left usher in a new era of taxing and spending?

We need a revolution in government taxing and spending. On the taxing side, this isn’t about bashing the rich, but about tax justice — witness Warren Buffet’s famous statement that his secretary is taxed more than he is, the recent open letter to 2020 presidential hopefuls by 18 “ultrarich” Americans saying they should be the ones to pay more taxes or the work of the organization Patriotic Millionaires, which helped support a conference last month in Washington, D.C., attended by 200 or so researchers, analysts, strategists and campaigners and titled: “Taxing the (Very) Rich: Finding A Cure for Excessive Wealth Disorder.” (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Editorial: New initiative gives inmates opportunity to THRIVE after release

Nationwide, there is roughly a 50/50 chance that a criminal offender commits another crime or violates their probation within three years of his or her release from jail. This is known as the recidivism rate. In Harford County, that rate is about 40 percent, approximately 8 percentage points better than the national average, but certainly a rate that could be improved upon. And that is the goal of Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler’s THRIVE initiative, which was officially introduced last week. (Aegis)

Read Full Article

Stevenson: What purpose should monuments serve?

I am conflicted and having vague feelings of illness about our country’s division regarding monuments, not that we are without other and more substantive reasons for national sickness. The nature and role of plaques, statues, flags and engraved stone tablets are popular and divisive issues these days. Some markers are instructional and helpful to educate the citizenry in a healthy way, while other markers and symbols are promotive of a certain view one or a group wishes to hail and advance. And the latter provokes oppositional energy in our national discourse. (Herald-Mail)

Read Full Article