To whom was President Obama speaking this week in his ground-breaking speech in Osawatomie, Kansas? I believe he was speaking directly to the Concerned Majority. At this moment in our nation’s history, the vast majority of Americans are concerned. They are concerned about the dysfunction of their government, the shakiness of the economy, and the uncertainty of the future. They are concerned about jobs, education, medical care, and
Archive for December 11th, 2011
Last year, nearly two months before my husband Mark Madoff committed suicide, he and I were out to dinner celebrating our sixth wedding anniversary. I remember the conversation that night, mostly about our future. We weighed the pros and cons of moving out of New York City to raise our two children in the suburbs. We talked about possibly having a third
In a recent Politic365 opinion piece, CNN contributor and Republican strategist Lenny McAllister asks that I return to the Republican Party.
I know he means well because I’ve been where he is. On one occasion, I distinctly recall asking Muhammed Ali Hasan to return to the Party and was aghast in discovering the direct personal attacks he suffered because of the fear mongering tactics utilized by several in the Colorado GOP.
I appreciate and know that Lenny is being well-intentioned when he asked me to come back to the Party. However, it struck a nerve with me when he wrote:
You see, I am not running away. I simply have a different level of understanding and a new sense of
I hate to generalize along gender lines, but when it comes to planning holiday getaways, women have men beat. According to surveys of travel habits, women spend significantly more time planning vacations and they book trips further in advance. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to wait until the last minute to book holiday travel. Perhaps in an effort to best William Shatner’s negotiating skills or outwit that wily roaming gnome, they also tend to waste their time and effort on hunting down the best airfare — despite the fact that travel to and from the destination is only a small portion of the trip’s budget (and of the trip
In December 2011, Governor Rick Perry ran a TV advertisement in Iowa that said: “As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage.” In doing so, Rick Perry is in fact declaring war on the very political foundation of the United States and on the Founding Fathers. Madison and Jefferson worked hard in Virginia to dis-establish the one dominant church, the Church of England. Jefferson’s Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom was greatly admired by French Enlightenment thinkers, among them Jean-Nicolas Dmeunier, a lawyer by training and the Secretary of Louis the XVI’s
To whom was President Obama speaking this week in his ground-breaking speech in Osawatomie, Kansas? I believe he was speaking directly to The Concerned Majority. At this moment in our nation’s history, the vast majority of Americans are concerned. They are concerned about the dysfunction of their government, the shakiness of the economy, and the uncertainty of the future. They are concerned about jobs, education, medical care, and
Memo to Governor Rick Perry:
I notice you didn’t make an appearance at COP 17, the United Nation’s most recent stab at controlling climate change. I realize you were probably busy, beings as the Republican presidential nomination process is in full swing. Oh yeah, that and the fact you don’t believe in global warming. I’ve got an idea, though, since you’ve made it abundantly clear that, in the thinking under your big Texas Stetson, scientists are manipulating the data behind global
It was an up and down week for President Obama. His speech in Osawatomie, Kan. was an up, as he correctly identified the ways our political and economic system are rigged against the middle class as “the defining issue of our time.” It would have been much, much better though if the speech had been given two years ago. On the other hand, his politically motivated cave-in on the Plan B morning-after pill was definitely a down (made worse by his claim that HHS Secretary Sebelius was the ultimate decider on this
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — but sadly Rick Perry is decking the halls with homophobia rather than holly. His new December ad campaign promising voters that as president he would “end Obama’s war on religion” and “fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage” begins:So here’s the deal: I am likewise not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian. In fact I’m proud of the foundational values of love, justice and compassion that ground me in my own tradition and connect me to others committed to the same traditional values held sacred by their own faiths and religions.
But I am ashamed when a presidential candidate uses gay and lesbian Americans as sacrificial lambs on the altar of partisan politics while they’re on the battlefield putting their lives on the line to protect the constitutional rights Perry is unwilling to grant to their families.
Because you don’t need to be a Christian — or a constitutional scholar — to know that there’s something wrong in this country when candidates for president can openly express their ignorance about the First Amendment but gay and lesbian families can’t count on the equal protection the Constitution equally guarantees all
When you’re running at the back of the pack, you’re tempted to do bad things. Sadly, Rick Perry has succumbed to temptation. In a despicable new campaign ad, he tells lies, advocates discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans, gets history upside down, whines like a victim — and does it all in the name of Christianity. He should be ashamed of
LANDOVER, Md. — Playing his last game before he goes to SEAL training, Alexander Teich absolutely, positively, emphatically did not want to be known as a member of the Navy team that finally lost to Army.The fullback was out there returning kickoffs, something he hadn’t done all year. He was running over to the stands to fire up the Brigade of Midshipmen that took up a quarter of the lower bowl of the Washington Redskins stadium.It took a bit more suspense than usual, but Teich and the Midshipmen made it a perfect 10 against the Black Knights, winning 27-21 Saturday in the 112th edition of one of the most passionate rivalries in sports.”I’m an emotional person — I don’t know if you guys noticed yet,” the senior captain said with a smile. “I was amped. You don’t want to let that ball drop in on the senior class, and I was going to do whatever it took.”With President Barack Obama presiding over the first Army-Navy game to be played in the vicinity of the nation’s capital, the Mids (5-7) got a pair of touchdown runs from quarterback Kriss Proctor and one from Teich to win their 10th straight in the rivalry.At least this one was close. Navy had won the other nine by at least a dozen points. The Mids needed a pair of fourth-quarter field goals from Jon Teague and a fourth-down stop in their own territory before those in the blue uniforms could start chanting “10 more years!”It eased the sting — and then some — of Navy’s disappointing season. The Mids had a streak of eight straight bowl appearances come to an end this year.”Whatever it is — we’re not playing in a bowl game, we are playing in a bowl game — to beat Army for a decade is unheard of,” said Proctor, also a senior. “To do anything 10 straight times is hard to do.”For Army’s graduating class, the sting won’t ever go away, even if they did finally make a game of it.”Almost’ — it doesn’t work. But it’s something I have to live with now,” Black Knights senior linebacker Steven Erzinger said. ” `Almost’ is my legacy now.”Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, worked the Navy sidelines before the game, shaking hands and even getting a hug from the mascot — a ram wearing a Santa hat. The president performed a left-handed coin toss at midfield — Army won and elected to receive — then adhered to presidential tradition by spending a half on each side of the field. He switched from Navy to Army with an escorted walk on the 50-yard line from sideline to sideline in a formal halftime ceremony.As always, the pageantry was breathtaking, starting with the Army Corps of Cadets’ march onto the field three hours before kickoff. Then the Brigade of Midshipmen took their turn. Both sides taunted each other in good spirits — “Why so quiet?” was the Navy chant after the Mids took a 14-0 lead — and beach balls and even an inflatable snake were batted while slick scoreboard videos poked fun at one academy or the other.But there were also stirring moments of tribute for the crowd of 80,789; both sides swayed and sang loudly when Lee Greenwood performed “God Bless the U.S.A.” at halftime.Proctor ran 32 times for 97 yards, and Teich — winner of the Campbell Trophy as the nation’s top scholar athlete — carried 18 times for 93 yards. Navy ran for 296 yards and completed only one pass in the tussle between rush-heavy, triple-option teams.And how did Teich do returning kickoffs? His 48-yard return to open the second half led to a touchdown.But it was the mention of Teague that brought coach Ken Niumatalolo to the brink of tears after the game. Navy’s kicking game was an adventure all season, and the senior kicker had made only 8 of 13 entering the game.”Some of the things that were said about that kid, some personal things that were said about him,” Niumatalolo said, “I mean, these are just college kids playing football, and some people said some things like he committed a crime or something. I’m just so very happy for him.”Raymond Maples and Malcolm Brown rushed for 82 yards apiece for Army (3-9), which finished the season with four straight losses and now trails the overall series 56-49-7. The Black Knights, who have the top rushing team in the nation, ran for 298 yards and completed only four passes.Army had a chance to win in the fourth quarter, but Navy linebacker Matt Warrick read the triple option perfectly to stop quarterback Trent Steelman on fourth-and-7 at the Mids’ 25 with 4:31 remaining.”The big thing to take away from this is never feel like this ever next year,” Army junior linebacker Nate Combs said. “I’m tired of this feeling.”—Joseph White can be reached at http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP
Links:Full news story
At this time of year, I — like others — take time to reflect on the past year, make commitments for the future year and find ways to share my blessings with others. As I continue to prepare for the holidays, I often encourage myself and my family to remember what this season is all about — giving, reflecting and helping those in need.
As children (and adults) compile their “wish lists,” I think it’s important to pause and remember the things we are thankful for. No matter your age or background, or how you celebrate this season, it is a humbling exercise to take note of the things in our lives that we may take for granted, and the opportunities we have available to us that we may not always recognize as just that, opportunities.
To take advantage of the season of giving and thanks, I’d like to outline a few things that I, myself, am thankful for in relation to a new Concern Worldwide US initiative called Your Dollar Our
Today is International Human Rights Day. You probably didn’t know that. Don’t worry; you’re in good company. For better or worse the contemporary calendar is littered with an untold number of days of celebration, commemoration and recognition ranging from National Beer Day to National Hugging
Attending a recent Bar Mitzvah ceremony, I was impressed, once again, by the wisdom of this ancient tribal initiation ceremony. The 13-year-old boy (or girl, in what’s called a Bat Mitzvah) is surrounded by family and friends as he recites the Torah portion in Hebrew and offers a short sermon about the importance of the reading. The ceremony takes place in the context of a regular communal service with the entire congregation assembled.
Seventy percent of the primal cultures studied by anthropologists have some formal adolescent-initiation practice. Some are for males only, some for females only, and some for
Anti-drug advocates are celebrating after a decision by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius kept yet another dangerous drug out of the hands of children.
The drug in question, levonorgestrel (also known by the street name “Plan B”), is typically used to prevent unwanted pregnancies in adults and teenagers who have a prescription. While it is currently available over the counter to adults, some anti-drug activists worry that this “Plan B” would be subject to abuse if that rule was extended to minors.
“‘Plan B’ is a dangerous and addictive drug,” says Susan Carroll, spokeswoman for Parents Against Irresponsible Narcotic Sales, a non-profit dedicated to keeping dangerous drugs out of the hands of children. “We have done several studies that show levonorgestrel has all of the characteristics of a potentially addictive drug.”
Indeed, a study by the P.A.I.N.S. Organization found that levonorgestrel could be even more addictive than other prescription drugs like
I read your furious response to a recent White House memorandum where you called President Obama’s leadership “silly” for strengthening international protections of LGBT human rights. You also made generalizations that unfairly assume all people of faith in America are homophobic.
It’s unconscionable how out of touch you are with the values of equality, freedom and justice. Not only have you alienated Christians across the United States who unconditionally welcome and affirm the LGBT community; you’ve alienated many across the world who look to the United States as an example for upholding basic human and civil rights for all people. I’d like to introduce you to one of them.
There was a man I wrote about earlier this year named “Hamid” who lived abroad in a religious
In tough economic times, many of us curb our philanthropic impulses and keep money in our wallets that would normally go to the causes we support. And that’s completely understandable. However, innovative charitable endeavors — even in $1 increments — can change the world. And that’s where the future of philanthropy may well lie for the coming years.
Lance Armstrong, perhaps the most famous cancer survivor on earth, was training for his record sixth consecutive Tour de France
Linda Warren has moved to a larger, more handsome space, better for showing art, right around the corner from where she was. The gallery smells great with newly stained surfaces and the oil paintings by Emmett Kerrigan, who’s hitting full speed with his new body of work.
Somewhat reminiscent of Wayne Thiebaud’s glistening surfaces and urban scenes, Kerrigan’s work is innovative, distinct and confident. Perhaps the coordination of this show with the gallery’s opening is coincidental but Warren’s long-term commitment to Kerrigan pays off here as his art and installation show off the new space as well as one can imagine.
In a large, back gallery at Linda Warren is an adventuresome, engaging installation by the dynamic Lora Fosberg whose work is getting larger, bolder, clearer and
Writing in the Huffington Post, Leslie Harris, the president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology, accused Senator Chris Dodd of promoting Internet censorship through rogue website blocking. Harris wrote that Senator Dodd “…directly (and apparently favorably) compared the Internet filtering contemplated in two controversial U.S. anti-piracy bills to Chinese Internet censorship… It is hard to find a benign headline for his
Middle-class frustrations are an Alan Ayckbourn specialty — and in his 75th play, Neighborhood Watch, now at 59E59 Theaters, he posits a plausible story with unexpected results. Mild-mannered Martin (Matthew Cottle) and his efficient sister Hilda (Alexandra Mathie) have moved into the Bluebell Hill development, just a field away from a housing estate.
They invite their new neighbors in for an open house. But what begins as a friendly gesture soon spirals into a crypto-fascist neighborhood
Not knowing if you should stay or go can keep you stuck in the marital indecision cycle for many years. This can be damaging to myriad parts of your life including self-esteem, relationships with others and productivity.
When trying to decide whether or not to end a marriage, most people have at least some ambivalence. This ambivalence can be confusing and I often hear the contemplator say that he or she is waiting for a sign or waiting until the “knowledge” that it’s time to leave is present.
But people can stay in limbo for years — sometimes decades — waiting for a clear indication and a 100% feeling that divorce is the right thing to do.
There are, however, some indicators that can act as guidelines to make the way clearer.
The first indicator is really a question. That is, in your heart of hearts, is your decision to stay (or go) based on faith or fear?
Examples of staying for faith-based reasons might include: “Our marriage is tolerable and I want to raise my kids in one house with two parents,” or, “I know that I have a part to play in the negative dynamic I have with my spouse and I want to stay, work on myself, and get on the other side of this issue.”
Whereas reasons that include trying to avoid pain tend to be fear based, such as, “I’m afraid of not seeing my kids every day,” or “I don’t know how I’d make ends meet without my spouse.”
There are some situations where staying for fear can be valid, but these are few and far between and they tend to be
I recently completed teaching for the second year, a course for graduate students in Stanford’s School of Continuing Education. The class, an elective, is included in the curriculum of those seeking a Master of Liberal Arts Degree. Captioned “From Slavery To Obama”, last semester had the addendum of “The Presidential Election of 2012″.
Out of respect for the privacy of my students I will only indicate that students who enrolled in the class were all white, except for one African-American male, and an Asian woman. The age was from 27 to 55+ and, except for two men, the balance of the class consisted of women.
The syllabus and extensive required reading list included, but was not limited to works such as The Peculiar Institution-Slavery in The Ante-Bellum South, Souls of Black Folk, The Fire Next Time, The Invisible Man, Third Word America, Between Barack and a Hard Place – Racism and White Denial, Lies My Teacher Told Me, Children of Fire – A History of African-Americans, From Slavery to Freedom, Black Reconstruction, My Twenty Years in Congress-1860-1880,
Every year, American television audiences are treated with what has become an evergreen holiday ritual: watching Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. It has long topped the charts of favorite Christmas movies because each time we see it, the better angels of our nature get their wings. Instead of the individualistic consumerism that dominates the yuletide airwaves, we experience the very community sentiment that the ads often drown out. Christmas time, Charles Dickens once wrote, is a “kind, forgiving, charitable time, the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers.” Capra’s film opens us to such egalitarian good will and reminds us that being truly rich has nothing to do with money or