Archive for January 30th, 2011
Several thousand people remain in Tahrir Square; many say they’re planning to spend the night and stay till Mubarak resigns. There was a huge cheer when we heard Mohamed ElBaradei was coming but unfortunately most of us couldn’t hear what he said – no loudspeakers, apparently. A crowd of about 800 and lots of journalists crowded around to hear him speak but everyone else just carried on chanting, “Mubarak you must leave.”
People were also very angry to hear that the Interior Ministry is ordering police back on to the streets – though the Army still has control in Tahrir Square. Yesterday they were calling for the minister’s resignation, so they’re very upset about that (continue reading…)
When it comes to Egypt, the United States remains ten steps behind the game. On Friday, Hosni Mubarak delivered a belated speech where he delivered, rather indifferently, the hackneyed set of promises the NDP has been pushing for over a decade now — all while Egypt has deteriorated on virtually every development and human rights indicator. In response, the Egyptian people have unequivocally declared their resilience and continued their unanimous demand that Mubarak — and his regime symbols, including newly appointed Vice President Omar Sulaiman — depart.
Meanwhile, as the US administration struggles to keep up with a set of fluid and explosive events, it is becoming painfully obvious that there was no strategy on the part of the US except to respond in piecemeal fashion to the power play on the ground, attempting, until Sunday, a delicate rhetorical balancing game in case its strongest ally in the Middle East, the Mubarak regime, loses (continue reading…)
On Saturday, I crossed paths with a few hundred protestors marching from Cambridge to Boston to call for the resignation of Egyptian President Mubarak. By appearance, they were a mixture of Arab-Americans, locals, and people from assorted other backgrounds.
The loud, peaceful march was almost startling, because you hardly see street protests in America these days, even in liberal Massachusetts. The Boston Globe quoted one Egyptian-American woman saying that middle class anger in Egypt has swelled with unemployment and inflation.
“You can’t live a fairly decent life without being rich,” she said.
In 2011, you might say the same about downwardly mobile America.
But where are the protests in our country? Where is the leadership connecting the dots.. (continue reading…)
Both Right and Left are playing a double game on trade in America today.
Republicans and conservatives (if they even admit we have a trade problem) want to hear that America’s trade problems are caused by unfair distortions of free markets by our trading partners. To some extent, of course, they are, but even genuine 100 percent free trade would not solve America’s problems. And our trading partners are mostly just ruthless players of the mercantilist game, as we used to be (continue reading…)
Mystery is what happens to us when we allow life to evolve rather than having to make it happen all the time. It is the strange knock at the door, the sudden sight of an unceremoniously blooming flower, an afternoon in the yard, a day of riding the midtown bus. Just to see. Just to notice (continue reading…)
When I was solvent, the Mets weren’t for sale. When I had money, I spent tons of it on Mets partial season ticket plans. I should have taken the major bucks I shelled out over many disappointing seasons and invested that money.
I never moved in Madoff-circles, or even people-who-had-cousins-who-played-tennis-with-Madoff circles. So while my bank account would have been tantalizingly hefty (and I am Jewish), that bum Bernie would never have had the opportunity to ponzi away my money (continue reading…)
Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon had earlier suggested Canada would comply with a request for the extradition of Belhassen Trabelsi.
The billionaire businessman fled to Canada last week after President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was ousted.
Mr Cannon says the government has to abide by the law so Mr Trabelsi has the right to take his asylum case to court.
Correspondents say that under Canadian law, dealing with such an application could take years (continue reading…)
OKLAHOMA CITY — Dwyane Wade scored 32 points and Eddie House hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 22.2 seconds left as the Miami Heat got their Big 3 back together and beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-103 on Sunday.LeBron James added 23 points and 13 rebounds, Chris Bosh scored 20 in his first game back after a four-game absence and the Heat snapped Oklahoma City’s six-game home winning streak.Kevin Durant scored 33 points but missed a contested jumper along the left baseline that would’ve put the Thunder back on top. Jeff Green had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook added 21 points and 10 assists.It still wasn’t enough to overcome strong performances from Miami’s Big 3, playing together for the first time in two weeks.Bosh had been sidelined four games with a sprained left ankle and Wade had missed two of those game due to migraine headaches and a wrist injury.Still, it was none of the All-Stars who made the biggest shot of the game.After Wade missed a jumper from the left wing, Mike Miller snagged the rebound and kicked it out to James, who passed it over to House for a 3 on the right sideline that made it 105-103.James contested Durant’s attempt to tie it at the other end, and Nick Collison swatted the rebound toward midcourt, where Wade tracked it down. He hit his first free throw before missing the second, and the rebound was initially awarded to the Thunder after it went out of bounds under the basket.A replay review showed it deflected off Collison last, and House hit two free throws to close out the game after he received the inbounds pass.Durant also had 10 rebounds but went just 2 for 10 from the field in the second half. Most of his damage came from the foul line, where he went 11 for 13 in the second half and finished 16 for 19.Wade staked the Heat to their largest lead by spinning away from Westbrook for a jumper along the left baseline that made it 98-90 with 5:51 to play and finished a 13-2 run.But Wade was still upset after Serge Ibaka blocked his layup attempt on Miami’s next possession and drew a technical foul after Green got a fast-break layup at the other end. Durant hit the foul shot and added a 3-pointer to get Oklahoma City to 98-96 with 4:31 to play.Durant missed a chance to tie it up, and Westbrook couldn’t connect on a putback or a jumper on the same possession. Bosh tipped in Wade’s miss to bump Miami’s lead to four, and Wade made it 102-97 with a pair of free throws after Durant had gone 1 for 2 at the line.Oklahoma City got a pair of free throws from both Westbrook and Durant, and then got a chance to go ahead after Bosh’s missed jumper on a failed attempt to draw a foul against Durant — with the same rip move Durant uses frequently to catch opponents reaching in against him.Durant came around a screen and connected on a jumper from the top of the key with 34.3 seconds left to put Oklahoma City up 103-102.The Heat had been scuffling, losing five of six before beating Detroit by a point Friday night on James Jones’ disputed block of Austin Daye’s dunk at the buzzer.The Thunder had lost three of four and then needed overtime to beat Minnesota and Washington — both in last place — in their last two games.But this one was action-packed right from the start.Back at full strength, the Heat were clicking again on offense, hitting 62 percent of their shots while racing out to a 64-61 halftime lead — but still playing catch-up against the Thunder most of the way.Westbrook set up Nenad Krstic for a two-handed jam and then hit two layups during an early 11-0 run by the Thunder, and his two-handed jam on a fast break put Oklahoma City up 26-16 with about 5 minutes left in the first quarter.Wade had a two-handed alley-oop dunk and a three-point play while leading the Heat back to within one, only for the Thunder to push their lead back to 47-38 behind a 3-pointer and a jumper from Cook — acquired in a Heat offseason salary dump that made room for James and Bosh.Another Wade three-point play set up by James’ ninth first-half assist started an 8-0 run that put Miami ahead 55-53.Game notes Bosh and Durant received a double technical foul in the first quarter after Bosh hacked Harden to prevent a fast-break basket. Westbrook got one for swinging his fist in the air after being whistled for a personal foul against Mario Chalmers in the final minute of the first half. … James’ eight first-quarter assists were the most in period by a Heat player this season. … The Thunder were seeking their longest home winning streak since moving to Oklahoma City.
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Halfway through a year-long pilot study using iPads instead of textbooks, a San Francisco eighth grade algebra class is showing signs of every teacher’s dream: the spark of engagement in her students’ eyes.
Jeannetta Mitchell, a veteran teacher with 20 years of experience, is encouraged by what she sees so far. “This is not a magic wand,” she says. “This just makes it more fun for them to learn. Nobody’s just sitting there writing down the answer, saying ‘I don’t know how I got there.’ They know how they got there.”
During my visit to her class last Friday, it was apparent that she was a big part of the reason they understood those problems (continue reading…)
“I can’t do this, Ms. Q. These kids hate me,” says Ruth, my 11th grade theater student, as she presses her forehead to the wall in the corner of the art room and sighs.
When my colleague Andrew Simon and I teamed up with Ruth and several other high school students last summer to create the Bronx Prep Performing Arts Academy, we all knew we were taking on a challenge (continue reading…)
At around 1 a.m. Friday night, the modern-day Pharaoh arose in Egypt from his slumber to belatedly deliver a message to his country, the wider region, and indeed the world, in response to what was an unprecedented day of protests. Dressed in a sharp black suit, with his jet-black hair combed back in slick fashion, President Hosni Mubarak proclaimed: “I address you today not only as the President of the Republic but as an Egyptian citizen.” As he wavered between the words of stability and democracy, at one point he claimed: “I will always be taking the side of the poor in Egypt.” Then at the very tail end of his speech, he announced that he would be dissolving the government and appointing a new prime minister on Saturday. And then he left the stage.
Only several minutes passed before hundreds of Egyptians, late into the night began reemerging on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, and elsewhere in the North African country (continue reading…)
In Davos this past week, there was much talk of the “G-Zero” world. This stands in stark contrast to last year’s event, when all the talk was about the “G-2,” or the United States and China as the de facto world leaders. The thinking behind the “G-Zero” is that neither those two nations, nor any others, are providing leadership on topics ranging from climate change to economic recovery to security in Asia. Those advancing the “G-Zero” theory are claiming that the international community is, in effect, leaderless.
In my view, this logic is precisely backwards (continue reading…)
Katie Orenstein Founder of The OpEd Project Says One of the Best Places to Invest is in Womens Brainpower
Do men and women think differently? Are our stories and perspectives different? Does this really matter? You betcha.
With banks and Wall Street failing us, our health care system abandoning us, military spending rising daily, and education budgets being ferociously cut, there is no doubt that we have some work to do. We are a smart nation. We are good people (continue reading…)
Allah will not change a condition of a people, until they change themselves (Quran 13:11).
This is a pivotal moment in the current history of the Arab World. If Egypt is transformed, it will transform the region.
Egypt is the moral and intellectual leader of the Arab World. It sets the cultural and political standards in the region. When Anwar Sadat made peace with Israel, the Arab wars against Israel ended (continue reading…)
Huff Post weekend box office 103011 The Rite tops charts Mechanic opens solid Oscar nominees get big boost
While there were two major openers over the weekend and both of them opened within expectations, the real news was the performance of the various Oscar nominees that were in a position to capitalize on last week’s nominations. Generally speaking, the news was good all around. Topping the weekend was The Rite, as the heavily-advertised religious thriller opened with $15 million. As far as religious horror pictures go, it pales to the $30 million scored by The Exorcism of Emily Rose in 2005, the $19 million earned by The Exorcist: The Beginning in 2004, the $20 million earned in the opening jaunt of The Last Exorcism several months ago (a surprisingly terrific little movie, by the way), and even the $19 million opening weekend of Stigmata from way back in September 1999 (continue reading…)
The city of Memphis, Tenn. and the suburban county that encompasses it are locked in a battle over whether to consolidate their schools into one large system.
The city board, which proposed the merger, says the move is in reaction to a county proposal to transform itself into a “special district,” which would keep it from having to give some of its tax revenues to the city schools, as it does now. For Memphis, where the majority of the students are low-income, the special district scenario could prove disastrous.
The fight is a flashback to the 1970s, when school districts across the country faced busing plans intended to undo decades of racial segregation. As the New York Times notes, Tennessee had to pass a law back then to keep suburban school districts from transforming themselves into special districts in an effort to avoid desegregation.
Louisville, Ky (continue reading…)
Viewing President Barack Obama’s recent State of the Union address through the prism of the spectator sport that our contemporary politics has become, I was quite pleased by his performance.
I agree with those who’ve already stated that he struck the right tone. I must confess, however, I’m not certain what others really mean beyond the manner in which the president delivered the address.
It clearly was not a combative or divisive speech; and the superlatives by those who compared it to speeches by former Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were spot on.
The president deftly discussed the level of our current political discourse, but ended on the note that America does “big things.” It was reminiscent of Lincoln’s appeal in his first inaugural address to the “better angels or our nature.”
But is this current time really America’s “Sputnik moment,” as the president declared?
In his desire to create a sense of urgency for America to look to the future the president sought to galvanize the nation around a single vision by using a metaphor from a time when the United States was losing the race to space with the Soviet Union and ostensibly the Cold War.
It’s challenging to have a call to arms about the future when the present gruesomely reminds us that the nation is $14 trillion in debt and that Democrats and Republicans are engaging in an unholy alliance, content to look at only roughly 10 percent of the federal budget as the ubiquitous source for the spending cuts that supposedly will lead to surplus and solvency.
In addition to the dangling questions raised about Social Security and Medicare, the defense budget is flying under the radar, methodically making its way toward the trillion-dollar mark annually.
It’s hard to be stimulated by the future when unduly bogged down by the present. The current 9.1 unemployment rate is an average. If you live in, say, California or Florida, you long for the days of a 9.1 unemployment rate.
The current unemployment rate in those states is hovering around 12.5 and 12.0 respectively (continue reading…)
I am turning 44 years old in two weeks — officially a dinosaur. Despite entering into my third year of weekly writing for The Huffington Post, the world of personal blogging and social networking is still somewhat mysterious to me. I am on the cusp of generations who did not grow up with computers, and remain slow to jump in the pool of gizmos, gadgets and social networking. So far, Twitter has been a befuddlement, Facebook an occasional dabble, and texting a rarity (continue reading…)
Peter Drucker once said, “Great wisdom not applied to action and behavior is meaningless data.” How true this is! As a knowledge worker, if you haven’t got the attention of the higher ups, your greatest ideas probably won’t ever see the light of day.
First, what is a knowledge worker? Knowledge workers are people who know more about what they are doing than their boss does. My guess is that you, like most of my readers, are a knowledge worker. Many knowledge workers (especially those with technical backgrounds) have years of education and experience that enable them to come up with great ideas (continue reading…)
With Groundhog Day rapidly approaching, my mind has turned to the elusive do-over. The 1993 Bill Murray flick named for February 2nd has to be one of my all-time favorite, watch-it-every-time-it’s-on movies. For those who haven’t seen it (and really, what kind of carpet are you living under? Netflix it immediately), the movie’s plot centers around a crotchety guy named Phil Conners, played by Murray. Phil is forced to endure the same day over and over until he gets it “right.”
The golden opportunity that Phil gets is to explore all of the different ways to play out his day (continue reading…)
In a new study published this month in the journal Biological Psychiatry, researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health in Tokyo examined the relationship between sleep deprivation and fear associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a serious disorder in which, after some type of traumatic event (combat, natural disaster, abuse, etc.) involving the threat of injury or death, a person can suffer from a debilitating anxiety disorder involving the following:
a heightened sense of awareness (e.g. insomnia)
reliving the event (e.g. nightmares)
avoidance of things that remind them of the event (e.g (continue reading…)
“The Seven Biggest Mistakes We Make in Midlife (and How to Avoid Them)” — my article from last week — generated a good deal of discussion on The Huffington Post, Facebook and Twitter, but the one “mistake” that got the most reactions was this:
In addition to the many comments shared on The Huffington Post, I asked people on Facebook and Twitter to offer their thoughts on this question:
Has society made you feel invisible now that you’re over 50?
The answer from most of those who commented was a resounding and very loud “No!” Here are just a few of the many responses, which I am reprinting with their permission:
Carole Matthis Starks: Age is only a number. It’s how you view yourself through ‘life changes’ that makes the difference. Staying positive with a good attitude is key to conquering negativity in the world. You are only invisible if you allow it (continue reading…)
People often ask me about what I’m really good at. And I don’t blame them — when you’re this talented, it’s hard to cite just one thing. Mastery of French and Szechuan cuisine, speaking 37 languages, raising award-winning yaks, climbing every major peak on Earth and Mars, creating bunnies out of molten glass with my bare hands — sure, they all count for something.
But what I’m really good at is parking.
One thing I know for certain: I have always succeeded at parking my car, 100 percent of the time. Now, some of you may think that a car can’t really hover off the ground, and so by definition, the car ends up getting parked somewhere (continue reading…)