Archive for January 21st, 2012
Women won in Washington this week. The Obama administration’s decision to protect the birth control coverage benefit that is part of health care reform will have a real and direct impact on millions of Americans–who will now have insurance that covers birth control without deductibles or co-pays. This will save women who use oral contraceptives about $15 to $50 a month , adding up to hundreds of dollars a year–and even more for those that need access to longer acting methods, like IUDs, which can cost up to $800.
For women in America, this is a watershed moment (continue reading…)
If asked, Newt Gingrich would obviously say no, in his arrogant, ‘you’re asking me a ridiculously stupid question’ sort of way, but it sure sounds like he is lately. And if he is, he may be doing the “right” thing politically. At least for now as the next two primaries take place in the south (South Carolina and Florida).
Over the past few weeks Gingrich asserted that the poor children of the country need to learn how to work, and he has repeatedly called President Obama “the best food stamp president in American history,” which inspired enthusiastic applause at Monday’s Fox News GOP Debate, and a standing ovation shortly thereafter (continue reading…)
Impossible missions cannot be accomplished alone: God needs us, and we need God.
Ever broken an arm or a hand, a leg or a finger? Then you know how hard it suddenly becomes to do even the simplest tasks.
Ever try to tie your shoe with one hand? Or open a jar with one hand? Or fold a shirt with one hand? Things we are used to performing with utter ease using two hands become agonizingly slow and take all our concentration when only one is available. Even then, the results are sloppy and embarrassing. Some tasks take two — two hands, two people, two wills, two hearts (continue reading…)
This is one in a series of posts for HuffPost Culture’s “The Sundance Diaries,” a month-long multimedia diary kept by the international filmmakers whose 64 short films were selected for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
At 70 miles an hour the single-digit air allows me about six squirts before the numbness sets in and I fear I’ll drop the spray bottle. I roll the window back up as the wiper smears the half-cleaned glass dirtier than it was before. Friggin frozen fluid lines. I think about pulling over, but there’s a schedule to keep and dammit, I’m heading to Sundance!
At many times I’ve counseled friends about the virtues of finding balance, even a dynamic balance (continue reading…)
I am a proud ordained Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Growing up in the National Baptist Church, it has been rather difficult in shifting from more spontaneous worship to more planned and rehearsed type of expressions. As a child, I would be alarmed when one was asked to give announcements and instead gave a sermon. But experiencing two divergent forms of worship has caused me to ponder on when does worship happen?
Worship happens wherever God is radically present, and the result is unplanned, unrehearsed, and uncontrollable.
Soren Kierkegaard tells a parable of a community of ducks waddling off to duck church to hear the duck preacher (continue reading…)
As you may know, this past summer the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) decided to allow the ordination of gay clergy.
Yesterday, a new Presbyterian denomination was born: the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians — or, for short, ECO.
ECO was formed by pastors and laypeople in response to PCUSA’s decision to join the 21st century. They’re against gay people being ordained as ministers, and so started their own sub-denomination wherein such a thing would be prohibited.
And that’s fair enough. If they want to take their ball and go play with themselves in the corner, that’s certainly their right.
What is certainly most notable, however, is ECO’s refusal to anywhere, in any way whatsoever, just come out and say that they formed in response to PCUSA’s sanctioning the ordination of gay people. Everyone knows that’s why ECO formed (continue reading…)
From the beginning of my meditation practice in 1971, I was very moved by a sense of the Buddha as an integrated being. Most of us can easily experience our lives as somehow fragmented, split apart. We might feel perfectly filled with complete lovingkindness, strongly in touch with the radiant essence of our being when we’re alone, but as soon as we’re with people, it’s very difficult. Or we might feel fine when we’re with other people, but feel terrified when we are alone (continue reading…)
ORLANDO, Fla. — If Orlando center Dwight Howard is eventually traded to the Los Angeles Lakers before season’s end, he will be joining a team the Magic continue to dominate at the Amway Center.Playing their fourth game in five nights, the Magic’s energy wasn’t always great Friday night, but they came alive when it counted in a 92-80 win over the Lakers — Orlando’s sixth victory in the last nine regular-season meetings between the two.Howard scored 21 points and grabbed 23 rebounds to guide his team through a tough shooting performance. Jameer Nelson added 17 points and nine assists, and J.J. Redick had 15 points as all five starters reached double figures.Earlier in the day, Magic general manager Otis Smith alluded to Howard’s preseason trade request and desire to play with a different point guard as the culprits in Nelson’s unusually slow start this season. The teams Howard’s agent can talk with are the Lakers, Dallas and New Jersey.But Nelson, who came in averaging career lows in points (8.3) and shooting (38 percent), finally showed some assertiveness offensively.”It’s more important for us to win against a good team,” Nelson said. “It’s not about a ‘Jameer game’ or myself individually. I’ll get myself going. During the course of a season you’re gonna have ups and downs as an individual and as a team. So the way you handle them as a person coming through the next game after a bad game — that says who you are.”Kobe Bryant scored 30 points and Pau Gasol chipped in 13 for the Lakers, who lost their second straight and posted a season low in points to drop to 1-6 on the road.The Magic were also helped by Los Angeles’ second consecutive game shooting under 40 percent. The Lakers’ 80 points also erased the season low they set in Thursday night’s loss at Miami.Orlando was only slightly better at 41 percent but connected on 12 3-pointers.”I just think we came out and were aggressive from the beginning of the game,” Howard said. “We ran, we did a good job with our defensive assignments and we got a good win.”Magic coach Stan Van Gundy did some lineup shuffling to give his team some fresher legs against the Lakers’ big front line.With forward Hedo Turkoglu sitting out, Van Gundy opted to start Redick in his place — forming a three-guard lineup with Jason Richardson and Nelson at the point. It did help neutralize the Lakers’ height advantage and led to several fast break opportunities for Orlando. There is still room for improvement, though.”I thought our first half was excellent energy-wise,” Van Gundy said. “I thought in the second half the energy was not so good. But I also thought what happened was we hit a stretch in the third quarter where it was foul, foul and the game just slowed down. I’d like to get our pace up.”The strategy also worked because the matchup between Howard and Lakers 7-footer Andrew Bynum was diminished barely 2 minutes into the second quarter when Bynum picked up his third foul.”To get three the same way is pretty tough,” Bynum said.He returned, but left again late in the third after getting whistled for his fourth. Los Angeles also tried sending Howard to the foul line. That, too, was ineffective as Howard managed to rack up nine points from the charity stripe.The Lakers cut the Magic’s lead to 74-66 midway through the fourth quarter, but a technical on Bryant ignited an 8-0 Orlando spurt to push the lead back to 16. The Magic mostly were able to cruise from there.”We just have to keep playing,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said. “There’s no magic dust or no magic potion to be able to get us to get wins on the road. We have to just keep trying to executive offensively.”Both teams struggled at times shooting in the first half, but the Magic caught fire with just over 4 minutes to play before halftime, and Ryan Anderson’s 3-pointer broke a streak of seven straight missed shots for Orlando.With Bynum out, Howard also had a relatively easy time inside and was good on 6 of 8 free throw attempts to finish the half with 10 points and 15 rebounds.Bryant scored 15 first-half points, but it was the lone early bright spot for the Lakers.The Magic led 22-10 after one, with the Lakers struggling mightily on the offensive end. Relying on a lot of perimeter shots, the Lakers were just 4 for 21 in the period, including Gasol missing all four of his shots.Orlando wasn’t much better at 9 for 20, but managed to build as much as a 12-point cushion thanks to a 10-2 advantage on points in the paint.Just a day removed from their lone back-to-back-to-back of the season, the Magic get little reprieve from the condensed schedule — though it’s something Redick said they are already preparing for.”It’s just the way the schedule is,” Redick said. “Everybody’s like, yeah we’ve got four games in five nights. Well, guess what, when that’s over you’ve got 10 in 15, and as soon as that’s over you’ve got six in nine. That’s just how it works this season. There’s no let up.”Game notes Howard has recorded 98 total rebounds his last five games. … Turkoglu sat out for the second straight game with back spasms. … Richardson returned to the starting lineup after missing three games with a bone bruise on his left knee. … F Glen Davis played after attending his grandmother’s funeral earlier in the day in Louisiana. … The Lakers return home to host Indiana Sunday night and then are off until Wednesday when they play the Clippers.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The
Links:Full news story
LOS ANGELES — Now that they are on their first three-game winning streak in almost two years, Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves are enjoying the ride.Love hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer after Ricky Rubio’s tying 3 with 20 seconds to play, lifting the Timberwolves to a pulsating 101-98 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night.The Timberwolves, coming off consecutive home wins over Sacramento and Detroit, have won three straight for the first time since a four-game stretch from Jan. 29 to Feb. 6, 2010. After that, they lost 29 of their final 31 games.”In the last two games we’ve missed a ton of shots, but our defense has picked up and we’ve executed down the stretch and we’ve given ourselves a chance to win,” Love said. “So if we can continue to do that, eventually our offense will pick up and we’ll be able to win a lot of ballgames.”Darko Milicic had 22 points and seven rebounds for Minnesota before fouling out with 1:01 left, and Love had 17 points and 14 rebounds.Rubio, Minnesota’s rookie point guard, missed his first 10 field goal attempts before draining a clutch 3 from in front of the Clippers’ bench. He finished with nine points, six assists, six rebounds and three steals.”He is unflappable. He missed every shot, and then he makes a big 3 to tie it,” coach Rick Adelman said. “The thing I like about him is that he’s a competitor. He doesn’t back down from anybody and he keeps an even keel. He doesn’t get too high or too low. He just plays. He’s been very good all year. He’s played in the fourth quarter of every game, even when he wasn’t starting.”He’s got a real gift. He’s a great passer in the open court and he’s just a smart player. You’ve got to give him rope and let him go because he’s got that ability. And because of him, we’ve really kind of changed and simplified things we’ve done just to put the ball in his hands. He’s been better than I thought he was going to be.”Chauncey Billups missed a driving layup against Rubio coming out of a timeout, and Love got the rebound before Minnesota called a timeout with 1.5 seconds on the clock.Luke Ridnour inbounded the ball in front of the midcourt line to a wide-open Love, whose only option was to catch and shoot from a few feet beyond the arc. The ball hit nothing but net as the sellout crowd groaned.”Coach set up a great play for us. How I was that open, I don’t really know, but I got a good look at it and I hit it,” Love said. “I tried to hold up my hands as soon as I shot it, because it felt great when it left my hands. I knew it was in. For us to do that, especially out here in L.A., it’s a big deal. The Clippers are a good team, and we just want to catch up and try to get back to .500.”Love’s shot snapped the Clippers’ seven-game home winning streak.”I got triple-screened and he made the shot,” Clippers center DeAndre Jordan said. “He’s a great player and he’s going to make shots. I have to try to keep a hand in his face and make it tough on him. We didn’t finish the game like we were supposed to. We let them hang around, and we got beat.”Mo Williams scored 21 of his 25 points off the bench in the first half for the Clippers before getting ejected midway through the fourth quarter. Blake Griffin had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Billups finished with 20 points after getting into early foul trouble. Point guard Chris Paul missed his fourth straight game because of a left hamstring strain.Williams received his second technical foul with 6:21 remaining, after he was called for fouling Rubio on a drive to the basket as Rubio lost his footing.”I felt like it was a questionable call,” Williams said. “I didn’t say anything. I just reacted to it — not in the direction of the referee, but towards our bench. I was surprised the technical was called, and it was at a crucial point in the game.”The Timberwolves closed to 91-90 with 4:37 remaining after four consecutive free throws by Rubio. Billups responded with a 3-pointer and two free throws for a 98-94 Clippers lead.Clippers forward Caron Butler, who shot a career-worst 1 for 12 on Wednesday night in a 91-89 win over Dallas after hyperextending his right knee the previous night at Utah, did not play against the Timberwolves.”Obviously, they were a different team tonight because they didn’t have Chris or Caron,” Love said. “It was a big break for us when Mo got ejected because he was really on a roll.”Michael Beasley missed his eighth straight game for the Timberwolves due to a sprained right foot. Reserve guard JJ Barea was back in Minnesota nursing a sprained ankle that also will keep him out of Saturday night’s game at Utah. Center Brad Miller and guard Martell Webster, both of whom resumed practice this week, also didn’t dress.The Timberwolves, whose only other lead came after Milicic’s game-opening basket, opened the third quarter with a 12-1 run that sliced an 11-point deficit to 62-60.Game notes Billups overtook Peja Stojakovic for fourth place in career 3-pointers (1,762). Ahead of him are Ray Allen, Reggie Miller and Jason Kidd. … An MRI taken Thursday on Butler’s knee revealed no structural damage. It was the same knee he had surgery on last January, which sidelined him for the rest of the season, but coach Vinny Del Negro said this injury was not related. … Adelman’s teams are 61-20 against the Clippers, his best mark against any club.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The
Links:Full news story
Mitt Romney’s career as a private equity manager has suddenly become a hot issue in a party that normally avoids any criticism of the business community. We’ve heard Rick Perry describe private equity as “vulture capital.” Newt Gingrich has painted Romney’s former firm as a business equivalent of the Grim Reaper while subtly connecting it to the ’08 bailouts.
A wild and weird Republican primary season just keeps getting wilder and weirder.
Sean Hazlett who writes at Reflections of a Rational Republican is an investment banker and analyst (continue reading…)
Shirin Neshat’s latest series of photographs presented along with a video installation at Gladstone Gallery perpetuate her study of the underlying conditions of power within socio-cultural structures in the Middle East. Born in Qazvin, Iran before immigrating to the United States in 1974, Neshat’s artistic practice has focused on the plight of women in oppressive, Muslim societies. Addressing the Arab Spring and the momentum of these uprisings, Neshat turned to historical and contemporary sources to create technically beautiful and richly provocative photographic portraits.
Shirin Neshat, My House is Burning Down, 2012, Ink on LE silver gelatin print, 47 1/8 x 60 inches (119.7 x 152.4 cm), 47 1/2 x 60 1/4 x 2 inches (120.7 x 153 x 5.1 cm), Edition of 5 + 2 Aps
The exhibition’s title, The Book of Kings, stems from the ancient Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), an epic tragedy written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c (continue reading…)
We’re going to start off in an odd way today, as two of my column series collide. Because the South Carolina primary is tomorrow, first we’re going to announce our picks. Afterwards, we’ll get on with the usual Friday blathering, rest assured.
South Carolina is a real dart-at-the-wall pick, due to the extreme volatility of the race. Two candidates dropped out this week (Huntsman and Perry), but that won’t affect the race much since neither of them had much support (continue reading…)
“To this day, I do not know what we saw, but it is clear that it was under intelligent control and coincided, as to time and place, with what was seen by 70 people on the ground, and neither of us new that the other had seen this stuff for 40 odd years” says retired Pan American World Airways Pilot, Captain Ralph Loewinger. When I asked him if he believed in different levels and forms of The Supernatural and why he responded, “I am not sure at this point in my life. I will NOT discount it however.” On October 3rd, 1967, Ralph was the copilot of PAA Flight 160, a Boeing 707 cargo ship out of New York headed to London.
This is a FIRST hand, eyewitness account from the pilot himself who today feels that “no other pilots care, many strange things have been reported across the bar.” Today, there are a bountiful rising amount of informal looks into UFO and ET Phenomenon not just in Canada but other global spots as well.
They were approaching Yarmouth, Nova Scotia at approximately 33,000 feet when the strange occurrence had hit (continue reading…)
The FDIC closed it’s first banks of 2012 today. A total of three insitutions were shuttered by the regulator. Central Florida State Bank of Belleview, Florida, The First State Bank of Stockbridge, Georgia and American Eagle Savings Bank of Boothwyn, Pennsylvannia each received the dreaded visit by FDIC teams to begin their weekend absorption into a purchasing institution. All three found buyers (continue reading…)
I have traveled the tortuous road that separates the haves from the have-nots, so I’m intimately familiar with the structural barriers that stall upward mobility in America. It’s not news to me that 20 percent of U.S. households earn half of all income, while the poorest 20 percent earn almost none. And though it pains me, I can wrap my head around data that place inequality in the United States at higher levels than in other developed countries.
But I can’t fully grasp how U.S (continue reading…)
The prelude to Berkeley Rep’s “Ghost Light” is cheerfully tranquil; as the audience drifts in, a teen-aged boy lies on a brightly colored quilt at center stage, occasionally glancing at TV sets that are skipping through clips from shows and commercials that aired in the 1970s. But anyone who has the slightest awareness of the play and the Bay Area’s history knows that the tranquility will not last.
The boy, named Jon, is the fictionalized embodiment of the play’s director and adult protagonist, Jonathan Moscone. Knowing this, we can fully expect the transformation that takes place when the house lights dim: the telecasts interrupted by fragments of newscasts that shocked San Francisco, and much of the world beyond, on Nov. 27, 1978 (continue reading…)
On February 11th residents of the District of Columbia will have an unprecedented opportunity to make their voices heard beyond demonstrations and the ballot box. In what will be a rare event for any city, Washingtonians are invited to the Walter Washington convention center for the One City Summit, a meeting hosted by Mayor Vincent Gray, to share concerns and recommendations about the plethora of problems plaguing the District of Columbia. While the goal of the One City Summit is admirable, the outcome will depend on its execution and follow-through.
The issues facing our city are many, ranging from a failing public education system to income inequality to crime (continue reading…)
Most of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth we saw on the news in 2011 were dead.
Last fall, media outlets around the country reported on the death of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi. After that, it seemed like everywhere we looked, another teenager was making headlines for ending his or her life. Just this week, we lost another, 19-year-old filmmaker and activist Eric James Borges. The New York Times reported on five known suicides by LGBTQ youth in September 2011 alone (continue reading…)
Forty years ago I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I was told — as we all were — that the cure was five to 10 years away. There still is no cure, but I just interviewed the man who may be a breath away from preventing type 1 diabetes.
“Right now we can diagnose who will develop type 1 diabetes within five years.” — Diabetologist Itamar Raz.
Last month after I was in Dubai to cover the International Diabetes Federation Congress, I went to Israel where Professor Raz’s secretary, working extremely hard, found 30 minutes for me to meet with Raz (continue reading…)
Last summer, shortly after Michele Bachmann stood in her childhood home of Waterloo, Iowa, to announce her run for president, I predicted that her campaign would follow a new playbook for women candidates capitalizing on women’s unique appeal to voters.
Women, I argued, can actually have an advantage over their male competitors by presenting themselves as “360-degree candidates.” Indeed, Barbara Lee Family Foundation research shows that by using all of their experiences and expertise, women candidates have a broader range of opportunities than men to connect with voters. Women can be more “relatable,” talking about bread-and-butter issues while still being “tough and policy-minded.”
But in the course of her campaign, Bachmann largely ignored the fact that she was the only woman in the Republican field. In the end, she failed to capitalize on her gender as an asset or to take advantage of key changes in voter attitudes towards women candidates. Ultimately, Bachmann fell prey to many of the chronic challenges facing women’s campaigns for executive office.
Starting out, Bachmann seemed poised to take advantage of the changing landscape for women candidates, positioning herself as not just a candidate, but as a woman running for office (continue reading…)
This week The Daily Meal put out a list of America’s 50 Most Powerful People in Food and the jumble of powerful people was by the site’s own admission very subjective and a bit random but also a) a great indication of the schizophrenia at work in our food system right now and b) enough to make your head spin. Well mine, anyway.
At the bottom of the list we see urban farming hero Will Allen, Slow Food USA leader Josh Viertel, food safety champion Bill Marler, cookbook author turned food movement advocate Mark Bittman. A trip up the list towards number 1 introduces some more high profile characters including several celebrity chefs (especially ones with important social agendas like local food sourcing, ending hunger, addressing child health) and then increasingly, especially in the top 10, the CEOs of all the major industrial food giants: Cargill, McDonald’s, Monsanto, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Tyson….
This duality of sustainable food advocates on one end and industrial food giants on the other shows the growing power of each of the poles of our food system: at one pole the increased consolidation and commodification of food (and hence power of Big Food), and at the other pole the increased interest in and passion for sustainable, fair food. Like two muscles growing at the same time (continue reading…)
Are you in Chicago? Do you like comic books? Sure you do!
For those unaware, as well as writing about comics on here, I am also a local comic creator. My first book Monster Dudes #1 came out last October.
Ever since becoming a creator, I have met tons of new friends who share the same passion as me. Chicago has an awesome, close-knit creator community among us and I am so grateful to be a part of it.
With that, there have been all sorts of cool events that showcase the diverse and flowing amount of talent within Chicago and the surrounding area (continue reading…)
With 4,000 passengers aboard, the Costa Concordia cruise liner ran aground off the coast of Italy. Thus far 21 people are missing and 11 are dead. This was a tragic accident, but perhaps it is evolving into something more than an isolated event of human error and physics — it may also be another example of systems failure — not in physical engineering, but in the complex, more delicate architecture that underpins public trust and confidence.
Social scientists have long been fascinated by trust, but in recent years its short supply has made everyone take notice (continue reading…)
Dear Mr. President:
As you near the State of the Union Address, I wanted to write again this year and urge you to use the opportunity to specifically address issues of poverty and to re-confirm your 2008 pledge to cut poverty in half within ten years.
The economic situation you inherited has made fulfilling that pledge difficult — we have seen poverty increase to record levels — but it is important that Americans understand that without your leadership and the policies you put in place even more people would be living in poverty.
Nonetheless, those living in poverty need to hear their president speak directly to them. They need to know they haven’t been forgotten. Speaking a message of hope directly to families struggling to find shelter and food — with specific policy proposals to reduce poverty — will remind tens of millions of our brothers and sisters that they haven’t been abandoned or left behind.
Sadly, during this election season, some are seeking to demonize those who through no fault of their own have lost their jobs, their homes, and even the ability to put food on the table (continue reading…)