And it ends as it began. Seven days previous, myself, my niece Heather McGrath (pronounced McGraww! In Ireland) and the very special Brandon Crispo hopped off US Air (willing) and hopped on to BMW Sport Adventure bikes through Celtic Riders. Now, seven days later, we are back at Celtic Riders about to embark on a day trip to the “Garden of Ireland” the Wicklow Mountains and Wicklow National Park. It was Saturday, two days out from
Archive for March 21st, 2011
Winter in Wartime starts with two boys playing at war – exploring the ruins of a British fighter plane in the countryside, until they are chased away (and then simply chased) by Nazis.
By the end of Martin Koolhoven’s film, the central youth in this story, Michiel (Martijn Lakemeier) has found that, in fact, there is no playing war in wartime – the business and reality of war are deadly serious.
A Dutch film set in Holland during World War II, Winter in Wartime is alternately a story of youthful adventure and one of adult seriousness. As Michiel learns, there are no rules – and no one, ultimately, is safe, when it comes down to it. Melodramatic and predictable, “Winter in Wartime” wants to be tough but settles for compellingly familiar.
Michiel is, in fact, as privileged as a Dutch kid can be in a Nazi-occupied town. His father (Raymond Thiry) is the mayor of the town, the person who deals with the Nazi commander and tries to sooth ruffled feathers or calm Nazi
Americans face two very annoying prospects in the next few weeks. One is that the government may shut down because elected officials can’t agree on a federal budget that begins trimming the country’s routine deficits and spiraling federal debt. The threat of a gridlock-induced shutdown just makes the second annoyance all the more annoying: a lot of us will begin the headache-inducing process of filling out our income tax forms. Even if you pay someone or buy software to help you, there’s still the aggravating exercise of hunting down the paperwork, rummaging through bank statements, and scanning or photocopying all those little perforated W-this and W-that forms just in case something gets
“Follow the fun.”
Several years ago, when I was writing a new novel, Alice McDermott gave me that advice. In essence, don’t be so concerned about explaining every plot point and character nuance. Go where the heat is. Follow the fun.
With baseball’s Opening Day upon us, perhaps that’s the best way to begin a new
DOHA — My conversation with two North African friends ranged widely, from the role of satellite television in the Arab world to the prospects for electoral reform in the region. Then we came to how other nations would deal with the new dynamics of Arab politics. One of my friends said, “In the past, diplomacy has been with the leaders, but now it must be with the people.”
In other words, public diplomacy will now be of unprecedented importance for governments, such as that of the United States, that want to develop constructive relationships with what are in many ways new nations. Not since the crumbling of European communism in 1989 have we seen such a significant transformation of the character of so many states.
The development of new politics in the Arab world requires an equally sweeping redesign of
My Pilates teacher is a fantastic person. Seeing her long auburn hair swinging as she walks around a room greeting new students is an inspiring sight. A top-ranked tennis amateur, Cate exudes health and is beautiful and in top condition. She’s also 63 years old, even though she doesn’t look like the stereotype most people have of a woman that
Here we go again! It’s Iraqi-style shock and awe for Libya.
With deep dj vu we see US cruise missiles being launched, Libyan AA firing helplessly into the night sky, and the burning wreckage of armor and vehicles on desert roads.
As with the Iraq, the assault on Libya was preceded by a huge barrage of anti-Gaddafi propaganda and steaming moral outrage by western media and politicians. American TV crews rushed to Libya to witness the wicked colonel get his comeuppance. None went to Bahrain or Yemen.
The attack was led by
Of all the socio-cultural “by-products” we’ve become accustomed to in a Facebook, Twitter and reality TV world, few touch our lives as regularly as the marriage of pop culture and food. Why? Because we’re exposed to pop culture everyday, and we eat, everyday. I’m a foodie, and I run a liquor company. I see the impact of, and problems with, this strange marriage every day, but it’s a marriage that can build brands and offer everyday consumers the foundation of a culinary education.
Case in point: Bravo’s Top
A few weeks ago, the White House released a report on the status of American women: “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being.” This was a big deal: it’s the first comprehensive federal report on women since 1963. Yes, you read that right: The last time the federal government produced a report on women was during the Kennedy administration, with Eleanor Roosevelt in charge. Clearly, they’ve had a lot of time to do research.
The report illustrates how women’s lives are changing in five different arenas — people, families and income; education; employment; health; and crime and violence. Most of it isn’t especially surprising: Women are marrying later and having fewer
The U.S. is now at war in a third Muslim country, according to the “official tally” (that is, counting Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya but not Pakistan or Yemen, for example). But Congress has never authorized or debated the U.S. military intervention in
The Middle East is transforming so quickly that no one knows what the outcome will look like. One thing, however is clear: we are in a race against time — rather a limited one — to prevent the region’s radicals from taking advantage of the changing environment and making things worse. While each country that has experienced upheaval is different, they all face one fundamental problem. They created a myth about holding higher moral values, but with respect to justice and rule of law they lacked real substance and
A couple of weekends ago, I found myself chatting with a local parent who was born and raised in Europe. Once we exchanged information about our careers, the conversation naturally turned to education, and recent news coverage of education issues:
“I have to say, I find this really strange. I feel sorry for you, those of you who work as teachers. Everything is about conflict, and cutting
Speaking as an energetic/spiritual analogy, the idea of trying to get power by harnessing a very dangerous source can be problematic. Right now there’s a meltdown going on at the nuclear facility in Japan. The top of one of the buildings that houses the reactor blew off the structure. I sometimes imagine how a world event might be allegorical in my life or the lives of
Microsoft claims the device, which runs on Google's Android operating system, infringes various patents, including those concerning navigation software.
It is also suing electronics manufacturers Inventec and Foxconn International.
The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court in Seattle, Washington.
“The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft's patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights,” said Horacio Gutierrez, deputy general counsel of Microsoft's intellectual property and
Speaking in Chile, he said Latin America was fundamental to the prosperity and security of the US.
Mr Obama praised the region for its dynamism, saying it was ready to assume a greater role in world affairs.
He added that Latin America's political experience could be a guide for other peoples seeking democracy.
Mr Obama is in Chile on the second leg of a tour of Latin America that has been overshadowed by US-led military action against
Somebody in my family was recently sent a direct-mail survey from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). The survey’s purpose, according to the accompanying letter from NRSC Chairman Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), is to help Republicans in the Senate “fight for the interests and issues that matter to our grassroots base…”
That’s a legitimate reason to put a survey in the field, but the questionnaire — like so many others — has a variety of flaws that prevent it from accurately collecting and reflecting the views of the respondents. Whether it’s for political, business, or academic purposes, proper survey design should help market researchers to reveal truths that will enable better decision-making. With that in mind, I’d like to look at some of the flaws in this particular survey with the goal of demonstrating how surveys should actually be
Barack Obama has suddenly sidled his way into a third war in the Muslim world, his first on his own. How has he gone about it? Why Libya and not somewhere else? And how does it end?
How has Obama gone about it? In a remarkably diffident manner. Never before has an American president embarked on a war with such reserve. And I can’t recall one who went to war while on tour in an entirely different part of the world.
Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s regime announced Friday that it accepted an immediate ceasefire following Thursday’s dramatic UN Security Council move to impose a no-fly zone and to take all steps necessary short of inserting ground troops to protect civilians.
Obama announced the start of
One of the unfortunate imperatives of public life is that when something is the lead story, you think you’ve got to be doing something about it. Not just have an opinion on it. Be doing something about it.
Volcano erupts? Prepare a news release on the new anti-volcano policy.
Zombies are multiplying? Introduce anti-zombie legislation.
Well, Libya’s been on the front page for a month now.
Dieters have a dysfunctional marriage with the bathroom scale. Case in point: Carrie Fisher. You might know her better as Debbie Reynold’s daughter, Princess Leia or Jenny Craig’s new spokeswoman.
In one breath, the actress-turned-diet-advocate is telling Oprah viewers, “I’m terrified of scales.” In the next breath, she’s telling blog readers, “What I’ve ultimately decided is that by knowing my weight I have the power and/or awareness to actually do something about it.”
The well-intentioned dieter’s new attitude echoes the prevailing wisdom: Commit to weighing yourself regularly, and you’ll be glad you did, and lighter, too! This isn’t Fisher’s wishful thinking; it’s a solid scientific conclusion. According to the National Weight Control Registry, a research database of 5,000 individuals who’ve maintained at least a 30-pound weight loss for one year, the overwhelming majority have committed to weighing in at least weekly.
But knowing that successful waist watchers have made a commitment to their scale doesn’t mean you have to settle for a love-hate relationship with
Recently, I related the story of how William Dembski, one of the stars in the creationist’s firmament, was made to recant his views on the ages of the Earth and the universe. He had the temerity to state that our planet might not actually be 6,000 years old, a claim that young Earth fundamentalists found completely objectionable. Under threat of being fired from his position at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for penning these words, he backpedaled and distanced himself from his own beliefs.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the evolution/creation controversy, Christian fundamentalists are not alone in issuing threats and demanding adherence to religious dogma from their
Fresh Louisiana crude washed into the beaches and dock areas near Grand Isleover the weekend, creating a sickening sight for the residents of this oil battered region. The reddish brown crude and oily sheen lapped onto the sandy and rocky shores, while some people flocked to Grand Isles famous white beaches for spring breakunaware of the oily assault nearby.
Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle said the oil hadhad hit Elmers island and Lafourch beaches near the main beach area of Grand Isle.He said the oil appeared to be about two miles offshore over the weekend but then started coming ashore to the west of the island. It reminded me of the first time we saw oil last summer, a brown reddish sheen.
The Coast Guardsays it is mobilizing workersto lay fresh boom in environmentally sensitiveareasand arranging foradditional cleanup crews tohelp as oil comes ashore.
Photos taken of oil impacting the beaches near Grand Isle, LA Photos by Betty Doud
The Coast Guard has confirmed that oil slicks have impacted Louisiana shore around the beach resort of Grand Isle and further to the west. The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that oil continues to wash ashore in the Grand Isle area and impact the
On Saturday morning April 9th of this year, a panel discussion will be held for the public and professionals on the theme of “Psychiatric Drug Tragedies: Personal, Legal and Medical Perspectives.”
The two-hour presentation focuses on suicide and murder potentially caused by antidepressant medications. It is part of the international Empathic Therapy Conference put on by the Center for the Study of Empathic Therapy, Education & Living (April 8-10, 2011 in Syracuse, New York).
The panel will present a unique examination of an antidepressant-related suicide from three perspectives: Mathy Downing, the mother of a twelve-old-child who committed suicide; Karl Protil, the lawyer in her case, which was settled without any admission of negligence; and myself as the medical expert in the case. Mathy will be accompanied by her surviving daughter. Other family members will tell the stories of two more children who committed suicide, a father who committed suicide, and a husband who murdered his two young children–all while taking prescribed antidepressants.
A great deal is now known about suicide and violence in association with the newer antidepressants such as Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Celexa (escitalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), Cymbalta (duloxetine), Effexor (venlavaxine), Pristiq desvenlafaxine), and Wellbutrin
Remembering Women’s History Month and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, New Deal 2.0 tells the surprising story of how women became citizens. As author and Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Ellen Chesler reveals, the long journey is far from over.
It’s hard to fathom today, but for most of human history, and even into our own time, it was simply assumed that women had no need to acquire identities or rights of our own — except, of course, those enjoyed by virtue of our relationships with men.
This principle was central to defining American women’s claims on citizenship at the country’s founding. And it stuck around at the heart of the long and fierce opposition women encountered in seeking rights to inheritance and property, to suffrage, and most especially, to control over our own bodies through legal access to birth control and abortion — a right now ever
Last Wednesday, the U.S. Labor Department announced that we’re now seeing the biggest jump in food prices since 1974. In February alone, food costs soared 3.9 percent.
A “food crisis” is afoot, along with (and spurred by) other crises. It’s becoming ever more obvious in supermarkets and restaurants, and now — because of political strife in the cocoa-producing Ivory Coast — this food crisis is allegedly about to kill