Archive for January 27th, 2012
Army Sgt. First Class Leroy Petry was just over a month into his sixth war deployment when he got the nod to be part of a daylight raid to capture a “high value” Taliban leader holed up in the most desolate part of Afghanistan’s Paktika Province.
On May 26, 2008, Petry and his fellow Rangers loaded onto two Chinook helicopters and launched out of Forward Operating Base Sharana, not knowing exactly how much resistance they might be facing on the other end.
A hail of small-arms fire gave the Rangers their answer as soon as the helicopters touched down near the isolated compound close to the Pakistan border. Seeking cover and some breathing room to assess the situation, Petry followed his squad leader through a hole in the wall at one corner of the compound.
Inside the courtyard, the Rangers happened upon two enemy fighters shooting AK-47s from the hip. Petry was hit in the thigh (continue reading…)
There’s a definite urgency here in the mass of Davos participants; faced with the uncertainty that stems from technological, political, economic and cultural revolutions all over the world, it is clear to us all that the time for bold, innovative action to get to the root of problems is now.
There is no lack of energy for doing exactly that. Earnest discussions about values have already developed, but in the very way in which these conversations are framed, we remain trapped in our familiar, flawed, way of thinking.
We are accustomed to measuring success in terms of individual growth, impact, scale, achievement. I believe that to truly adapt to great transformations, we must be ready to find common denominators and, ultimately, a common purpose beyond our own isolated business models.
For most of us, thinking – and, importantly, acting – in terms of commonalities and collaboration takes time. For some of us, this type of behaviour change may simply be too unintuitive to embrace (continue reading…)
Recent comments by Mitt Romney, still the probable Republican nominee for president, all but guarantee the inequality issue will remain front and center this election year.
When asked whether people who question the current distribution of wealth and power are motivated by “jealousy or fairness,” Romney insisted, “I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare.” And in this election year he advised that if we do discuss inequality we do so “in quiet rooms” not in public debates.
A public debate, of course, is inevitable. And welcome. To help that debate along I’ll address the five major statements that comprise the Republican argument on inequality.
1 (continue reading…)
The email and tweets about last week’s list were a bit overwhelming, but please keep them coming! I love hearing what’s on everyone’s list. Without further ado I give you this week’s list:
The Giants and the Patriots advance to Super Bowl XLVI
The Patriots and Giants win because of last-second field goals. The Patriots because the Ravens kicker hooked his kick, and the Giants because their kicker made his kick. Both were great games and both featured more goats than heroes, but one thing is clear: This is going to be the most hyped Super Bowl ever (continue reading…)
It’s been a big week for calling out corporate tax dodgers.
In his State of the Union speech, President Obama called for an economy where “everyone plays by the same set of rules” and where companies can’t avoid taxes by shifting profits overseas. He acknowledged what we’ve been saying for a long time which is that special interests have long played by a different set of rules than the rest of us — ones they’ve helped create, I might add.
That same night, Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren went on The Daily Show and called out 30 corporations that a recent U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and Citizens for Tax Justice study found paid more to lobby Congress than they did in federal income taxes between 2008 and 2010 (continue reading…)
The tragic story involving the Iraq War veteran accused of killing five homeless people could have been averted. According to his family, his war experiences caused him to come home a changed man. It also set me thinking about how many casualties of war there really are, with tragedies that play out silently all around us every day.
As a psychologist for more than 20 years, and after having given hundreds of presentations worldwide, I’ve been continually struck by the commonalities we all share. No one has ever come in for therapy saying, “I’m here because my father didn’t love me.” It’s rather because people feel internally pushed into doing things they don’t want to do or prevented from doing things they want to do (continue reading…)
January 2012 ushered in a new year, but an old, recurring problem for war veterans. According to a January 2012, CareerCast.com article, “The 10 Most Stressful Jobs in 2012,” the No. 1 stressful vocation in the U.S. is an “enlisted soldier.”
Here are just some of news headlines at the mid-month mark alone that appear to lend credence to the selection:
An Iraq War veteran is arrested for the brutal murder of five homeless men after his friend’s death in Afghanistan (continue reading…)
As we approach International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday (January 27) the need to memorialize the horrors of Auschwitz should be self-evident. Yet this year, the Iranian regime’s continued determination to realize its nuclear ambitions underscores the necessity to turn the motto ‘Never Again’ into action. The memory of the Holocaust should be at the forefront of the minds of world leaders who today must keep nuclear weapons out of Iran’s reach. Even those statesmen who dismiss Iran’s calls for Israel’s destruction as little more than jingoistic rhetoric must regard Tehran’s fanatical Holocaust denial as reason enough to thwart their nuclear armament (continue reading…)
Not many Mumbaikers would deny how exhilarating and addictive it is living in the fast-paced Maxiumum City — but few would turn down the opportunity for a weekend getaway replete with rest and relaxation, which is just what you’ll get in nearby Nashik.
Less than 125 miles away from Mumbai, you’ll find this popular retreat, also known as India’s wine country, a quiet place that has managed to balance rapid industrialization with the preservation of important religious and cultural sites, all the while protecting it’s green landscape, fresh lakes and winding rivers. Though Nashik is best known for the Indian winery Sula Vineyards, it’s also home to a few noteworthy temples, a lovely sprawling garden, 2,000-year-old caves and even a brand-new water park.
The best time to visit is between November and March, though wine enthusiasts may want to plan their jaunt to coincide with Sula Vineyard’s wine stomping. Regardless of the season, Sula Vineyards offers wine tasting in The Tasting Room, where guests can sample a variety of wines while looking out onto the picturesque vineyard (continue reading…)
Fat Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday. Mardi Gras. No matter what you call it, the last day before Lent’s 40 days of repentance (between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday) brings out a wild side in populations around the world.
For over a month in some countries, locals take to the streets to parade, masquerade and promenade in a festive season known as Carnival (continue reading…)
Two City Men, Detroit, Michigan
For someone based out of the Pittsburgh area, my articles have been a little Detroit-centric lately. But Detroit and its history can’t help but be a permanent and major part of the Rust Belt’s rise and fall. Photographer Russell Marshall has lived through the good times in Detroit, as well as its industrial decline. He grew up in working-class Detroit and his father worked the Chrysler assembly line (continue reading…)
Note: This is the second part of a feature that began yesterday on the Public Library of Science. The introduction to both parts is identical.
It’s been almost four years since I began work researching and reporting on autism. The bulk of that work was focused on my book The Panic Virus, which examines the spurious fears over a connection between vaccines and autism. (There’s more information about the book, including a summary and links to reviews, on my website.)The Panic Virus was released in hardcover last January, and over the past twelve months, I’ve learned enough — about human nature, about fears and prejudices, about rationality and superstition and medical ethics and public health — to write several more books (continue reading…)
Close to 3000 world leaders are convening in Davos at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting. 30 of them are social entrepreneurs from around the world. The theme of the meeting is “The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models”. Watch what Muhammad Yunus and Wendy Kopp (Teach for America and Teach for All) contribute to this fundamental debate on the current capitalist system (continue reading…)
Do you sweat the small stuff or feel chronically stressed? If so, you’re not alone. According to a 2008 national survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), 77 percent of Americans reported having physical symptoms due to stress, and 73 percent claimed to be experiencing stress-related psychological problems.
Stress is an emotional and physical reaction caused by our responses to life challenges. There is no universally accepted definition of stress and each person reacts differently, based on their innate personality traits, early conditioning and life experiences (continue reading…)
“American Idol” touched down in Texas with all the subtlety of a shuttle launch. But for such a massive state, the talent seemed to be in short supply. Though the judges were set up in Galveston, the “Idol” circus was still calling Houston its hub, which seemed like an unnecessary clarification.
Between “Houston” and Aspen, the last two audition episodes have been far more reminiscent of the Idol of old — a dearth of talent and far too many joke contestants taking up precious airtime (continue reading…)
On the campus of the University of North Florida, four men gathered for one last push in the Sunshine State hoping to win the key tiebreaker primary to be held in 4 days. As the UNFL Chamber Singers left the stage after the national anthem, the stage was set for what is surely one of the most decisive debates of the campaign season. A re-established Romney looked for another strong campaign performance in order to solidify his new lead in Florida, while Gingrich’s goal was to win a decisive victory in order to re-launch his South Carolinian election. So, who were the winners and losers, and what were the best and worst moments?
Mitt just needed to not slip up in order to keep his lead in the polls (continue reading…)
The Goat Rodeo Rides Again January 31 A Conversation With Stuart Duncan Plus Chatting With Chuck Prophet Video Exclusives
A Conversation with Stuart Duncan of The Goat Rodeo
Mike Ragogna: Hey, Stuart Duncan of The Goat Rodeo, how are you?
Stuart Duncan: Doing great, Mike. How are you?
MR: Doing very well, sir. Okay, getting right into The Goat Rodeo Sessions album, can you tell give us a little insight into one of its songs, perhaps, “Where’s My Bow?”
SD: That song started as a little mandolin riff that I came up with a couple of years ago. I had been working on a solo project, which I’m still working on, and I was leaning toward making a tune out of it for myself (continue reading…)
The GOP Presidential candidates continue to play their parts in an implausible story of a world that could never exist, acting out nonexistent conflicts while delivering dialog that insults the intelligence. That’s not because they’re stupid. It’s because they think you are.
It’s like watching a low budget science-fiction movie from the fifties: Dr (continue reading…)
As the global elite gathers for the World Economic Forum this week, the “Occupy” igloos popping up around Davos, Switzerland should serve as a great visual reminder that inequality can no longer be ignored.
For the last several years I ticked the box “Inequality” in the pre-Davos survey checking out what participants are most concerned about — while fervently wishing (though doubting) it would then appear as a major trend in the summarized results. Before and after the crash of 2008, other issues topped the agenda, but last year, for the first time, a majority of invitees shared disquiet about the rising levels of inequality in the world. Of course, this might be because the captains of industry and world leaders attending were probably not the ones dutifully filling out surveys, but still…
Last year was also the first year that an issue more squarely in the sights of global development organizations — cutting maternal and child mortality rates — finally made it to the main stage (the norm being that health, education, and poverty discussions take place in the margins). It was great to see government and business leaders pounding fists over real life-and-death issues that affect millions of too-often-unheard women and children at the bottom of the economic scale (continue reading…)
As the Republicans debate what island to ship the gays to, my girlfriend and I are debating what tablecloths to use at our wedding. My gonna-be-wife Shauna is a stylist and is looking for something earthy-meets-lacey; I’m a child of immigrants, and I’m looking for something inexpensive-meets-cheap.
Just to clarify for those of you who mistook my headshot for that of a Pakistani Jonas Brother: I’m a girl. My Beyonc* is a girl (continue reading…)
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IN TODAY’S RADIO REPORT: Drill-Baby-Drill and Frack-Baby-Frack: Obama talks energy in his State of the Union address — featuring actual clean energy! — while climate denier Republicans double down on dirty energy; PLUS: Speaking the forbidden words — out loud! … All that and more in today’s Green News Report!
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IN ‘GREEN NEWS EXTRA’ (see links below): Conoco profits jump 66%; 5 energy issues to watch for in tonight’s GOP debate in FL; WH pressured scientists to underestimate BP spill; State Dept: Don’t mess with us on Keystone; CO2 is “driving fish crazy”; NHTSA: ‘Chevy Volt is safe’; Judge blocks health studies from mine permit; NASA animation charts modern global warming …
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
Dr. Miriam Adelson and her husband, Sheldon Adelson, have given $10 million in support of Speaker Newt Gingrich’s bid to be the Republican Party’s nominee for president of the United States.
In our culture, $10 million is the kind of a gift that one gives in support of a new wing for a hospital; to name after a loved one a building of some importance to the community; or to science, in the search of a cure for some terrible disease. It usually comes from older, financially successful people with a deep desire to give back, to make a difference.
It is only fair to assume that the Adelsons’ $10-million gift also comes from such a place, and that the $10 million in this case is intended to seek, under the direction of the political scientist Newt Gingrich, cures for the American ailments that are of particular concern to the Adelsons.
Worded more simply, Dr (continue reading…)
The battle between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney for the allegiance of Florida’s 450,000 Hispanic Republican primary voters has exposed one of the great myths surrounding the “Latino vote”: despite their shared ethnicity, Hispanics are far from monolithic, politically. True, most do generally swing Democratic, but the range of that swing can vary sharply, depending on the candidate and the issues.
President Obama took 67 percent of the Latino vote in 2008, compared with 31 percent for John McCain. However, in 2004 George W (continue reading…)
One year ago we lost a hero: David Kato was murdered in his home in Uganda. David did not become a hero because he died as an advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people; he was a hero because he lived for equality, despite death threats and despite all apparent odds.
David Kato was a hero because he never gave up hope. As a young man, he worked against Apartheid in South Africa. He was a witness to that seemingly undefeatable system of racism and witnessed its collapse through the determined work of those who refused to give up hope.
This week, our worlds touched as South African President Mbeki was in Uganda at the same time as Sylvia Tamale and Frank Mugisha, who were there to lead a symposium on civil society in honor of David Kato (continue reading…)