Mary Turck's blog

Food for thought, pennies for farmers

For decades, my dad complained that people didn’t understand how little of the food dollar goes to the farmers who grow the food. Every time the farmer’s price went up — for milk or corn or pigs — the grocery store price went up by even more. When the farmer’s price went down, the grocery store price usually didn’t follow in that direction.


Back to school, by the numbers

Think that the number of students in school is declining?


From Mayberry to #Ferguson

Andy Griffith, the television sheriff of the fictional town of Mayberry, grew up on the wrong side of the tracks in the real town of Mount Airy, North Carolina. Last week, just after I visited Mayberry/Mount Airy, I listened to a PRI program about Baltimore's new curfew, described as "one of the toughest in the country." As I drove across the country, the radio also brought stories about the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, the protests, and then the police killing of Kajieme Powell.


White people talking about racism and #Ferguson

Do most white people want to just stop talking about race? That’s what this week’s Pew Research poll seems to show. While 80 percent of African Americans “say the shooting in Ferguson raises important issues about race that merit discussion, whites disagree, with 47 percent saying “the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.”


Refugees, asylum and U.S. history — Time for a change of heart

Tens of thousands of children from Honduras and El Salvador and Guatemala are fleeing violence in their home countries. Some have sought safe haven in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. More than 57,000 have entered the United States since October. Kevin, one of the 57,000, describes why he left his home in Honduras:


Dead zones ahead, from Great Lakes to Gulf of Mexico

During the first weekend in August, about 400,000 people in and around Toledo couldn’t drink the water — or even wash in it. They normally get water from Lake Erie. This summer, Lake Erie was so polluted that the water was unfit for human use.


Fighting terrorism by creating 'terrorists'

Adel Daoud was the teenage son of immigrants, attending a neighborhood Islamic high school when the FBI started talking to him online. According to his mother,

“Daoud required extra assistance in school, and was heavily dependent on her: ‘He’s not the person with a complete mind. He didn’t talk until five. He was the last one of my kids to talk. He doesn’t even talk Arabic….like the rest of our family, because he’s slow.’” Illusion of Justice, p. 28


How Republicans love poor people

UPDATED 7/30/2014: Republicans care about poor people! Yes, they do, and to prove it, Paul Ryan (R-WI) is proposing a poverty plan. His plan comes just in time for the 2014 election campaign, and maybe also in time to feature in a 2016 presidential bid. Unlike FDR’s New Deal or LBJ’s War on Poverty, however, this is a plan that will make more people poorer. Paul Ryan loves poor people so much that he wants more of them!


25 years of counting kids: Income, race and inequality

Some 25 years ago, the Annie E. Casey Foundation began an annual, in-depth report on the well-being of children in the United States. The 2014 report shows our accomplishments — and our shameful failures. The area of education shows both.


How many journalists does it take?

How many journalists does it take to change a light bulb?

“We just report the facts, we don’t change them.”

I don’t believe that for a minute.

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