Tuesday, December 23, 2008

President Bush's Accomplishments

Now that his term is ending, the White House has posted documents highlighting the accomplishments of President George W. Bush. You can access a separate appendix entitled "100 Things American May Not Know About the Bush Administration Record" or the full report (including the appendix): Highlights of Accomplishments and Results: The Administration of President George W. Bush, 2001-2009.

Please Note: With the Obama Presidency, Bush Administration documents such as the ones mentioned above that were located on http://www.whitehouse.gov, now reside at http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Service Academy Gender Relations Survey

Every two years the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy anonymously survey all female students and a statistically representative random sample of male students to assess if programs to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault are working. According to a Dec. 17 news release, the 2007-2008 Service Academy Gender Relations Survey is now available.

Although 90 percent of students surveyed indicated the "training had at least some effect in reducing or eliminating sexual assaults at the MSAs," the Department of Defense (DOD) estimates 90 percent of sexual assaults at the academies still go unreported because students are uncomfortable making reports, or are embarrassed about the situation, or want to deal with the situation themselves.

The full report is available from the United States Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Web page.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Genocide Prevention

The Genocide Prevention Task Force led by co-chairs former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen recently released Preventing Genocide: A Blueprint for U.S. Policymakers. A joint project of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, The American Academy of Diplomacy, and the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace, the goal of the report is to "identify practical steps to enhance the capacity of the U.S. government to prevent and respond to genocide and mass atrocities. " The year 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the 20th anniversary of its ratification by the United States. The report discusses five domains for the U.S. government to consider in developing and deploying effective prevention strategies:

  • Early warning: assessing risks and triggering action.
  • Early prevention: engaging before the crisis.
  • Preventive diplomacy: halting and reversing escalation.
  • Employing military options.
  • International action: strengthening norms and institutions.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Remembering Pearl Harbor

On December 7, 1941 many Americans had never heard of Peal Harbor. However, the Japanese attack quickly made Pearl Harbor a household name. At the site where the USS Arizona sunk now stands a national park memorial. How much do you know about this important national park? Here are a few questions to test your knowledge. Answers are at the end.

1. What popular singer raised funds in 1961 to erect the memorial?

2. True - False - Sets of brothers were assigned to serve on the USS Arizona during that time period.

3. True - False - The USS Arizona is still treated as a member of our current fleet.

4. True - False - The USS Arizona rests in 120 feet of water.

5. True - False - Surviving crew members can choose to be buried on the Arizona when they die.

To find out more information about Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona, access the National Parks Service USS Arizona site.

1. Elvis Presley; 2. Thirty-seven confirmed sets of brothers were assigned to the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941. 3. True - The flag flying on the ship's mast flies at half-mast when other ships fly theirs at half-staff. 4.False - The Arizona rests in approximately 40 feet of water. 5. True - Crew members who so desire have a choice of having their ashes scattered over the place where the ship was located during the attack or have a diver drop an urn containing their ashes into a slot of the ship.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

U.S. Health Insurance Coverage

The lack of adequate health insurance has been a topic of concern in the recent elections. A National Health Statistics report provides information about health insurance coverage, concentrating on the 41 states that had at least 1,000 respondents. Entitled, State, Regional, and National Estimates of Health Insurance Coverage for People Under 65 Years of Age: National Health Interview Survey, 2004-2006, the report reveals New England states had the lowest percentage of uninsured people under age 65 while the Southwestern states had the highest percentage.