Julia Hammett

I am an ecological anthropologist and a community college professor. I have a passion for politics, decency, honesty, and making the world better. I believe quality affordable health care and education should be accessible to everyone and we should value people who are older and wiser than us, people who have made an effort to become educated through school or the lessons of life, those who have learned a craft or skill, and those who labor hard in life. First and foremost we should have the utmost respect and admiration for those who have come up through the school of hard knocks and are here to tell the tale.

I don't take for granted that people with more money earned it honestly or that people with higher positions are any smarter, more talented, or harder working than anyone else in their organization. I don't assume that my mechanic or my doctor is an authority on any subject unless they have demonstrated it to me. I ask questions of my students and my supervisors alike, I believe in speaking truth to power, and I am data driven to my dying day.

I love poetry, old movies, and the smell and color of the leaves turning in the fall. I prefer a ten mile bike ride in the country to any time in the gym, the purr of a cat over a trip to the mall, and the sound of cool jazz over a dinner out. I am frugal and not afraid of hard work. As a teacher I demand a lot of work and then grade easy. Please don't tell my students!

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Car Insurance

Ever hear someone compare health insurance to car insurance? Why should we pay for health insurance to see a doctor when we don't have to pay insurance to see a mechanic?I can think of only two similarities between health insurance and car insurance: 1) Americans will soon be required to buy some form of both of these so-called insurance types; and 2) In both cases insurance executives will be the primary beneficiaries of this gambling strategy known as "insurance"  which, like all gambling, is calculated to benefit the "house" in the short and long run....more

99% in Solidarity are Person of the Year and We are TOO BIG To Fail!: A Primer with Links

Time Magazine made "Protestors" Person of the Year and there are hundreds and thousands of us who share in that award. ...more

Are Men Overrated or Are Women Underrated?

Are Men Overrated? Are Women Underrated?Off the top of my head in no particular order: John Ensign, John Edwards, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford, Elliot Spitzer, David Paterson, Haley Barbour, Bernard Madoff, Kenneth Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, Clarence Thomas, Andrew Fastow, Osama Bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, Newt Gingrich, Idi Amin, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Slobodan Milosevic, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Arnold Swarzenegger and Anthony Weiner. ...more

My Mother Wore Red Lipstick

My mother was born in 1916, which means she wore red lipstick all her adult life. From her I learned there are many shades of red, but that at any rate red lips were essential when leaving the house or having over guests. Mom always waited until she was almost out the door to put on her color. The color badge of her red lips told everyone, she was ready, she was prepared, she was together, and on her game. I remember vaguely the smell of her lipstick, although I’m not sure what part was her color and what part was the Cover Girl powder she dabbed on her nose....more

I can almost see your mother at the perfume and makeup counter while you and I herded the ...more

Too Much to Ask?

Returning from a rally on our state capital on President’s Day, I wrote on my Facebook page: Americans join the worldwide struggle to push back again rich, corrupt government officials in the pockets of multinational corporations. We demand the right to free speech, the right to assemble and the right to fair compensation for our work. We stand for the right of every American to achieve the American Dream. We stand for our heritage and America's destiny. We are not afraid any more....more

Thank you for sharing your story. Statements like your cousins always puzzle me. Can they ...more

Mitt Romney's Inconvenient Truths and Untruths

At the conservative gathering CPAC yesterday Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said: “President Barack Obama has stood watch over the greatest job loss in modern American history. And that, my friends, is one inconvenient truth that will haunt this President throughout history.”  In fact the data clearly show that the greatest job loss since the Great Depression began in January of 2008 under President George W....more

Stability vs. Democracy = False Choice

At this time of crisis in the Middle East, thank heavens for great journalists. It is not only journalists of the major networks but also the less watched media outlets and even the “stringers” who are keeping the hopes of democracy and freedom alive for people in Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Jordan and many other states. Their hopes and dreams are born of the same ideals that took fruit in America over two centuries ago and we are only a country today because of a free press....more

Am I the Only One?

Am I the Only One who thinks Garrison Keillor’s “Writer’s Almanac” is macabre, grim and downright depressing? I want to listen to NPR’s Morning Edition but not this downer death march of literature. I’ve thought of counting how many times he makes a reference to death, dying, suicide, and similar ideas in a given segment but I always lose count. And why should I? Instead I dive for the radio and turn it off or leave the room until he is done. I have to hope that any urgent news that may come right after his segment will be repeated. I think it is good that Mr....more

Dreaming Our Way Out Of This Ditch

I woke up today mad at men. Maybe I’ve been watching too much of Star Trek: Next Generation where women are there, but only beautiful women in nurturing supportive roles. Generally women in leadership roles were evil and were defeated by the good guys. Maybe it’s yet another hormonal fluctuation of my mid-fifties. Or maybe it’s the fact that men still rule most of the known world, and do it badly....more

Juan Williams and His Foxy Friends.

The cancelation of Juan Williams’ contract was handled poorly by NPR and by Williams. Over the years I have grown to respect Williams as an objective professional journalist. But recently I have witnessed a transformation, perhaps in part due to his camaraderie with Fox and friends. Williams now follows the money and gets a huge pay raise as he smoothly transitions to Fox. I find myself wondering if Williams could have pushed the envelope a bit. Last week his close colleague Bill O'Reilly made hay out of his own bigoted remarks on "The View". Fox made no apologies for O’Reilly....more