Kay Steiger

Kay Steiger is managing editor at Raw Story and a former Prospect editorial assistant.

Recent Articles

The Trauma that Remains

Soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and seeking treatment for PTSD face a flawed and spotty public system.

Suppose that a soldier, freshly home from Iraq, is made to take a test. He or she is asked to describe the following statements as true or false: I usually feel that life is worthwhile. False. Sometimes I feel as if I must injure myself or someone else. True. Most of the time, I wish I were dead. True. This soldier is at risk for suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Symptoms can include flashbacks or nightmares, lack of sleep, panic, and violent or explosive outbursts. Right now such testing is not in place. The House Committee on Veterans Affairs met last week to discuss options for dealing with the potential problems with returning soldiers and PTSD. (The government's benefits system for the disorder has come in for notabe criticism recently.) At the hearing, Minnesota Representative Tim Walz, who served overseas in Italy during Operation Enduring Freedom, described feeling concerned that there was no psychological examination administered on him and as fellow...


OUR MEDIA ... NOT SO BAD? Late last week, the media was abuzz with news of outsourcing on its own front -- two reporters in New Delhi would be reporting on local events in Pasadena, CA. The new issue of Columbia Journalism Review , however, has an article by Basharat Peer explaining why Indian journalism is not so great and serious Indian journalists need to look to the British and American media: The typical cover story in an Indian news magazine does not exceed 2,000 words. When President Bush visited India in March 2006, op-ed and editorial writers celebrated the U.S.'s acceptance of of India's nuclear energy program. Stories of the "Indo-U.S. Nuclear Deal" dominated the print and broadcast media. But no one was writing, for example, about the unusually high rates of cancer and birth defects among the people working in and living near India's biggest uranium mine at Jadugoda ... It's no coincidence that foreign journalists produce much of the best journalism about the difficult...


CAVEMEN ARE WHITE. ABC announced its fall lineup, dumping George Lopez 's sitcom in favor of a "spinoff" from the Geico cavemen television commercials. Reportedly Lopez said, "TV just became really, really white again." Not to mention that, similar to other sitcoms that pair dopey, overweight comedians with model-like girlfriends and wives, the hairy cavemen are accompanied by thin, blond girlfriends. -- Kay Steiger


DEPLETED FORCES. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius noted on Sunday that the response to the deadly tornado that destroyed the small town of Greensburg, Kansas has been slower because many of the troops and equipment for the state's National Guard are in Iraq. Today, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley also voiced the same concern. Traditionally, of course, the National Guard has been used as a state militia to help with natural disasters. Now that the DoD has drafted the state militias to serve tours of duty nearly equivalent to enlisted soldiers, the effects are evident when disasters like this weekend's tornadoes hit. --Kay Steiger

Less Money, Mo' Problems

Yesterday, the day branded as "Equal Pay Day," Dedra Farmer told the House Committee on Education and Labor her history with America's most notoriously unfair employer, Wal-Mart. She was hired as a Tire Lube Express (TLE) manager, a coveted salaried position among Wal-Mart employees, with an annual salary of $28,000. Her work was routinely praised and rewarded, and she was even asked to train the new TLE managers, "all of who were men." Those trainees informed her that they had a base salary of $30,000. Even worse, bonuses for TLE managers are based on the volume of sales in a given store, and Farmer's requests to be transferred to high-volume stores were routinely denied. Additionally, as a TLE manager, Farmer had access to hourly employee wage information. She noticed that she wasn't alone: The men were earning more in hourly jobs than the women. So she emailed Wal-Mart's CEO Lee Scott to ask for a spreadsheet analysis comparing the wages of women to those of men in the same jobs...