What Does the Health Care Reform Law Mean to You?

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson From Brian Depew, Assistant Director of the Center for Rural Affairs in Lyons, Nebraska (population 963) we get this: The passage of health care reform will make health insurance affordable to millions of rural Americans and help rural people build a future and create opportunity in communities across the country. For [...]

Descent Into Madness? Updated 3/30 11:30a ET

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I’ve been thinking, and hinting here from time to time, that I fear America’s descent into madness, what with last summer’s near-violent town hall meetings, politicians and reality-show wannabees using words like “reload” and crosshair gunsights to indicate legislators who should be defeated in November, with rocks through windows and veiled [...]

From Mathematics to Mulch

By Daphne Bishop I was lucky enough to catch up with the indefatigable Pat Biggerstaff on a recent Saturday afternoon, which is no mean feat. The 74-year old self-described “crusader” for organic gardening and healthy eating is more likely to be lecturing, teaching college courses, working on her next book (she’s published four), doing her [...]

A Reason to Celebrate This Weekend

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson President Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev (Maria, my Russian friend, says to pronounce it myed-VYE-dyev), have agreed to a new nuclear arms reduction treaty, committing both countries to a significant cut in the number of nuclear missles we have deployed.  The reduction will amount to about 30 percent, leaving [...]

Winning, and What Comes After

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Earlier in this century, when I belonged to a trade union for freelance writers that is a local of the United Auto Workers,  I was part of a group that wanted to restructure our local to make it better able to represent us and more reflective of members’ interests, as opposed [...]

Stalking the Couch Potato, Part 2

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Here is a second excerpt from the sample chapter accompanying the proposal for a book on childhood obesity and what to do about it. My writing partner, neuroscientist Elliott Blass, and I are talking about refocusing the proposal (and the book). Our aim is to inspire parents, grandparents, and others who [...]

What’s In the Bill?

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson How can you know how you feel about the health-care reform law  if you don’t know what’s in it? Here, gleaned largely from reports in the right-leaning Wall Street Journal and the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, is a list of provisions that will affect individuals and families. I’m not using material [...]

Happy Spring, Happy America

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Spring arrived at 1:32 Saturday afternoon. while I wasn’t paying attention. Here in the Western Massachusetts hills, the spring equinox most often marks the beginning of the third half of winter – more freezing weather, more snow and, even worse, ice storms. Amazingly for these parts, it’s seemed for about a [...]

Temporarily Down, but Not Out

by Daphne Bishop Anyone who thinks that collecting an unemployment check is a “disincentive” to looking for work is so far out of touch with reality as to be lost in the ethers. But to have yours cut off, as tens of thousands of struggling Americans did recently, is a disaster. I am one of [...]

The Weasel in the Hen House – Updated

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson [An update is at the bottom of this page.] As an antidote to the story of conflict between The Disney Company and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, this one, about a collaboration between a respected university and the purveyor of mostly soft drinks and junk food, doesn’t quite make it [...]