Moammar Gaddafi is a murderous, corrupt, fratricidal terrorist dictator, busy slaughtering his own people and leveling his own cities.
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A part of President Obama’s visit to Brazil is to be an outing to a favela, a slum neighborhood, in Rio de Janeiro. Rio’s government wants to show off the progress of its so-called Pacification Plan (UPP) designed to address the criminality, underdevelopment, and lack of state presence of these poor neighborhoods.
Historically deprived and neglected in their economic development, social integration, and provision of public safety, Rio’s favelas are ghettos of thousands to tens of thousands of people. When I visited one notorious favela, the Alemo complex, last year, I had to pass through a checkpoint manned by drug gang members with AK-47s and be accompanied by a “fixer” trusted by the
President Obama has made interfaith cooperation a priority from the beginning — literally. In his inaugural address, he said:
It has been a thread through several of his other speeches.
At the National Prayer breakfast in February 2009, he said: “The particular faith that motivates each of us can promote a greater good for all of us. Instead of driving us apart, our varied beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife and rebuild what has broken; to lift up those who have fallen on hard times.”
And he mentioned it again a few months later at his much talked about speech in Cairo in June 2009: “Indeed, faith should bring us together. That is why we are forging service projects in America that bring together Christians, Muslims and
It’s natural to want to immediately give to Japan’s recovery efforts. With all the destruction wrought by a major earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant failing, it would seem they could use all the help they can get. So my suggestion is going to seem counter-intuitive, but I agree with GiveWell’s recommendation:
And Brigid Slipka’s decision:
The reason I suggest you wait is because Japan has thus far only allowed/requested very limited international assistance.
The Government of Japan has received offers for assistance from 91 countries, and has accepted assistance from about 15 countries based on assessed needs, which is mostly specialized international urban search and rescue (USAR) teams and medical teams.
If you read the fine print in most nonprofits appeals for this disaster, you’ll see phrases such as: “prepared to assist,” “readying a team,” “stand at the ready,” “assessing the situation.” But few have actually deployed staff. And there is the very real possibility that many of the organizations currently collecting donations for the recovery efforts might not be allowed to operate in Japan.
There’s a good reason for
The day the tsunami struck Japan, Apple launched its tsunami-seller, the iPad2. My calendar for 3.11.11 — the date of the massive 9.0 earthquake — was steady:
3.5 p.m.: Stand in line for iPad2
When the first iPad was unleashed, like Harry Potter’s magical wand, but for adults — I stood in line for three hours to buy the shiny portal for my parents. The hype around the iPad2 this spring is almost unbearable. And, like a true APPLEaholic, I was driven by “the hunger.” After all, it was Eve who first ate that apple promising the Tree of Knowledge.
I count myself among the disciples to Steve Job’s elegant technology, his sleek, design style born of his calligraphy training, his artistry and eloquence that make Microsoft geeks look like dunderheads — or worse,
In the last year I’ve wed a beautiful woman, sired a genius child, and at last become a writer (with my first book released and my articles published in periodicals from The New York Times to Hustler). It has been, by any measure, an extraordinary year, which is why I was as shocked as anyone to recently find myself weeping in the Oklahoma City airport. I wouldn’t have expected it, but there I was, a grown man with a family and a career, huddled in a corner with tears pouring down my face, a turn of events all the more surprising (even to me) when you consider that I was crying over my cat.
Yes, I publicly wept at the Will Rogers Airport over the sudden death of Junior, the gray American short-haired who’d been my friend and companion for the better part of 10 years. I wept because the cat who wanted nothing more than to weasel his way between my legs to take a nap on the ottoman was gone, gone forever from snuggling up beside me, sleeping beside me, sleeping atop
Right next door to world headquarters of The Deal LLC looms the impressive wedding cake of the New York Stock Exchange, opened 1903. These days that columned faade serves as a kind of proscenium arch for large corporate banners; The Deal itself hung a very striking banner on the occasion of our Deal Economy conference at the NYSE in December. Mostly, the banners that hang from the faade appear because of initial public offerings going on inside; HCA hung its IPO banner up there recently. But, in fact, marketers seem to believe the NYSE faade is one very classy billboard, and they use it for any number of other purposes that have nothing to do with IPOs or, frankly, the exchange at all; it’s a great place to hang a very large American flag, for instance, and to announce that Pepsi Max is the soft drink of the Super
I’ve dug into plenty of plagiarism incidents involving reporters over the years, but I’ll confess that I’m totally stumped by the case of Sari Horwitz.
Yesterday, the Washington Post issued an apologetic statement saying that two articles in the paper about the Arizona shooting rampage “contained substantial material that was borrowed and duplicated, without attribution, from the Arizona Republic newspaper.”
The Post’s apology didn’t name the offending reporter or say what her punishment was. But it turned out to be Sari Horwitz, and she was suspended from the paper for three months.
Who is Sari Horwitz? Well, here’s the puzzling part. She is no Stephen Glass or Jayson Blair — no young and green would-be hotshot reporter in a hurry. Nor does she resemble Janet Cooke, the Washington Post reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1981, only to have the article turn out to be a
War, disease, famine, your checking account.
Sometimes big problems can seem so overwhelming that you don’t know where to start. It feels like trying to dig a hole to China. With a spoon.
But what if instead of feeling like you had to solve the whole problem, you could just solve one part of it?
Whether it’s credit card debt, a failing career or a house filled with clutter, little incremental steps are what create the momentum you need to take bigger steps later.
You don’t have to start at the perfect place; you just have to start someplace.
Julie Andrews sang, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” As a writer, I find that advice absolutely paralyzing. When I write a book, I don’t start at the
Recently a new friend of mine had her 30th birthday. In true celebratory style, her friends flocked to Chicago from all over the country to celebrate. There seemed to be guests from everywhere: New York, Boston, D.C., San Francisco, Jacksonville, Atlanta — the list goes on. A chunk of the guests were consultants (my pal just graduated from business school) and have relocated several times in the last five to 10 years.
At dinner on Saturday night, I got to talking to one guest about the difficulty of
Our thoughts are with our friends and their families in Sendai, Japan. I walked their beautiful coast with my partner Dana and photographer David Barron over a decade ago in search of Adelita’s final location. The joy, traditions, hospitality and kindness of the people of Miyagi Prefecture were abundant. The death and destruction from the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent pollution and nuclear plant disaster are
South Georgia Island. Wildlife photojournalist Paul Nicklen says he seeks “intimate” images of animals like this elephant seal. Sometimes that poses risks. To his
THE FIGHTER ($39.99 BluRay or $29.99 regular; Paramount) — I wish I liked The Fighter more than I do. It’s a passion project for Mark Wahlberg, a very good actor with good taste in scripts. It’s bursting with talent, including Oscar winners Melissa Leo as Wahlberg’s pushy mom and Christian Bale as his drug-using brother. And it gives the talented director David
I had the unusual experience of having been, within the last couple of weeks, in a room depicted in The New York Times webcast, which covers three stories around the world each day. This was the injection room in Vancouver. The New York Times followed this webcast with a Science Times article about the substantial benefits of this program, called Insite, in terms of reduction in HIV infection and increased follow-up medical treatment of addicts.
PHS (the Portland Hotel Community Services Society) invited me to present my vision of addiction and its treatment. PHS is the overseeing body for the Insite injection room and related facilities (in that same building are detox and a drug-free halfway house — PHS also runs 30-plus residences for addicts, a bank and a number of businesses where addicts are
March 17, 2011
Michael Posner Assistant Secretary, Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
United States Department of State
Dear Secretary Posner,
I thank you for guiding the U.S. participation in the U.N.’s Universal Periodic Review process. I also wish to acknowledge the assistance of the Government of Norway in their willingness to bring forward the Rebuilding Alliance’s questions and recommendations pertaining to the U.S. Leahy Laws, an important model for the world
I recently returned home from teaching on the eighth annual Taste of Health Holistic Holiday at Sea cruise to the Caribbean, which mixed warm, sunny days; white, sandy beaches; chilled-out ports of call; gourmet vegan food with a macrobiotic bent to it; and informative classes, lectures and workshops with some of the greatest, most innovative and gifted experts in the fields of natural health and green living.
It was a magical week. Sandy Pukel, the visionary behind this idea, and John Belleme, the detail man of the vision, managed once again to put together a smoothly run, perfectly delightful week of stimulating classes, discussions and fun, social events. My own classes were packed, and the response to what I do and say was well-received. Vegans and people who live a macrobiotic lifestyle got along like peas in a pod.
Until the very last day.
Conducting a Q-and-A session with Sandy brought some incredibly interesting topics to the table for discussion, from personal responsibility to what foods to choose for
It’s really hard to recycle.
Because it’s never enough. No matter what you do, there always seems to be someone there to tell you how you could’ve done more and how, I guess in comparison, they’re doing everything… and doing everything effortlessly, I might add.
People love to give out unsolicited
Moving to Southwest Washington State where I built a house on the beach with my hands and the skill and hands of a couple of excellent German expatriates, I was struck with the attitude of locals toward storm surge and possible tsunami. It had never happened the locals said, dismissively. Last week a tsunami happened, and, thankfully, we were spared. We weren’t so in 2007 when a hurricane force storm hit and denuded the surrounding tree farms of hundred year old trees and took 30 feet out of the barrier
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, a new phenomenon has emerged for the removal of dictatorial governments. In Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Serbia and Lebanon “color revolutions” brought about new, more democratic models of governance. Most recently, the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak was ousted by a Jasmine Revolution. These revolutions differed from the other, bloodier revolutions of the past in that the revolutionaries did not use armed uprisings, guerrilla tactics or terrorism to free themselves from their
Aliens invade Los Angeles — well, Santa Monica, actually — in Battle: Los Angeles, the subject of this week’s episode of the Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast. Dan Persons returns as host, hashing over the details of the latest entry in the alien-invasion sub-genre with Steve Biodrowski. The story follows an old soldier on the verge of retirement (Aaron Eckhart) leading a group of marines fresh out of training into battle with mysterious invaders blasting the Pacific Coast into oblivion.
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I went on a trolley ride yesterday. In Beverly Hills! Yes, that most sophisticated city in the nation (according to them) actually has a trolley car. Operating from the corner of Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way, it offers a 40 minute tour for tourists highlighting the legendary landmarks of the fabulous city. (Call 310-285-2442 for schedule.) But when the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau offered me a trolley ride to five of the cities’ hotels to sample their breakfast-all-day menus, I couldn’t