Petit, founder of the Every Child Matters Education Fund, argues that the American government is willfully squandering childrens’ health and well-being.
The author presents a forceful case–unabashedly pro-child, yet within the context and welfare of society in general–that over the past 25 years, anti-tax policies and government-led suspicions cast on the efficacy of federal institutions have undermined previous advances in the health and security of Americans, and children in particular. Self-styled â€œcompassionate conservatives,” Petit suggests, have launched a â€œstrictly ideological” attack against federal environmental standards, social-welfare programs, public-health agencies and support of medical research. Relying on countless statistics to prove his points, the author shows that the United States lags behind other wealthy, democratic nations (among them Canada, Japan, Germany, France and England–though why he omits the Scandinavian countries is a mystery) in such critical indicators as infant mortality, life expectancy, insurance coverage and child-maltreatment deaths. He also demonstrates how liberal blue states consistently outperform conservative red states on children’s issues (Texas’ abysmal record during George W. Bush’s governorship receives specific scrutiny): insurance, low birth weight, prenatal care, childhood death, etc. Funding and priorities are the culprits, Petit writes. The Bush administration’s proposed budget in 2006–which jeopardizes 200,000 childrens’ insurance coverage, cut Medicaid, eliminated $735 million for special education, eliminated funding for the Safe and Drug Free School Program and cut or eliminated block grants for community services, preventive care and maternal health–is a recipe for child-health impoverishment.
A persuasive indictment of what amounts to child neglect by the conservative priorities of the current American government.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)