The year 2012 marks the fortieth anniversary of my Puerto Rican mother and Irish-Italian father’s unusual wedding. They met and married in an experimental community called Synanon, where I was born. Synanon was the founding model of the therapeutic community, but those who remember it are more likely to recall its tragic retreat into a cultish enclave in northern California. What few people know, however, is that Synanon committed itself to a program of racial integration throughout the 1960′s and
Archive for April 1st, 2012
This past the week Pope Benedict XVI visited Cuba. Most of us never know what goes on behind closed doors, but by all public accounts, his visit was a profound disappointment to the Jewish community.
Before the Pope’s visit, the Jewish community petitioned him to raise as a humanitarian concern the plight of Alan Gross. Alan Gross is an active member of the Maryland Jewish community who was prosecuted in Cuba in 2011 after being accused of crimes against the Cuban government for bringing computer equipment to the Cuban Jewish community and helping them connect to the internet.
He is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence in
Outside of the shower, whatever vocal ability that I dream to possess fades drastically, so I am careful to keep my illusions of grandeur there. I am fine with preaching, “spoken word” poetry, and other individualized public presentations, but singing is another story altogether. There are countless soloists and choir members whose melodic notes I have benefited from in church, as they have led praise and worship. But, of course, there are the household names that we know and
Voting is a civic sacrament–the highest responsibility we have as Americans. Yet millions of Americans face impediments to voting. If you believe in participatory democrscy, and if you want your candidate or cause to win in November, answer this call to service and leave no voter behind.
The stakes are enormous: President Barack Obama’s policies, Supreme Court appointees, and agenda for America; the potential for a progressive or Teapublican Congress; the fate of job creation, workers’ voices amd women’s health; and thousands of down ballot races and propositions are all to be decided in November. Early voting begins in under 200 days – and we must be ready.
What are the challenges? Millions of Americans face voting rights impediments – and opportunities.
Democratic National Committee vice chair and Voting Rights Institute chair Donna Brazile cautions that voting is “still threatened every election day by uninformed poll workers, technology, campaigns more interested in winning than an individual’s right, and election laws that don’t always make sense.” (Campaign Boot Camp 2.0 page 126) Moreover, in the last few years there has been an aggressive effort to restrict
Racism wears a Technicolor coat.
George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old killer of 17 year-old, African-American, high school student Trayvon Martin, is trying to build a defense ahead of what appears to be an inevitable criminal trial. Zimmerman’s attorney has defended his actions saying “He’s not a racist.” Zimmerman’s white, American father is adamant on the point, going as far as to emphasize the shooter’s maternal Peruvian heritage. There is confusion about whether someone with partial Hispanic ethnicity can be racist. The answer is simply yes.
First, despite so much ignorance about what it means to be Latino or Hispanic, it is imperative to note this is an ethnicity, not a
It doesn’t take much to look around and see that there is a need for understanding and love, instead of fear and hate.
Still reeling from the death of Trayvon Martin, the resulting protests and revelations, and stories that abound about people who die every day in this world unjustly, I was shocked to hear of the home invasion of a 32 year old Iraqi mother of five in California last week.
Shaima Alawadi was beaten within an inch of her life. She was left unconscious — left to die in her living room. Apparently, her 17 year old daughter, Fatima Al Himidi found her with a note near her body saying “Go back to your country, you terrorist.” And then, finally, she did die.
My heart weeps for that family.
This is a woman who has apparently lived in the United States for the past 20 years. And even if she had arrived more recently — isn’t this a nation of immigrants? In what universe of madness is it okay that she was bludgeoned to death in her own home?
So now we are left to ask ourselves — how can we make sure that her death was not in vain?
The answer is: We must do better.
Martin Luther King,
Jared Sullinger came back to Ohio State for his sophomore season to win a national championship.
For a guy projected to be a potential top five pick, he still faces incessant questioning about whether he’s a legitimate NBA starting power forward. Scouts wonder if he’s a true six-foot-nine, as he’s listed, and if he has a strong enough skill set to succeed on more than just brute strength and physicality.
Against a highly talented and long Kansas front line featuring AP Player of the Year Thomas Robinson and a block artist in Jeff Withey (who had already made 20 blocks in the NCAA Tournament entering Saturday’s game), Sullinger failed to quell those notions. Unable to create any space in the interior, the Ohio State All-American looked out of place for much of the 40 minutes, out of shape and completely outclassed.
From the beginning of the Final Four game, Jayhawks head coach Bill Self’s game plan was to put the seven-foot Withey on Sullinger in order to save Robinson from getting into foul trouble, but also to make the much-shorter Sullinger shoot over the
I got into comedy to meet a husband. My rationale was this: most comedians are men. I am a woman. Done and done! So I started hanging around filthy, rat-infested stand-up clubs at all hours of the night, writing jokes in a notebook with my right hand and flashing my diamond-less left hand for every drunken Tom, Dick, and Shecky to
What is the human stress response and why is it important?
When we talk about stress today, we are usually referring to the pressures we experience in daily life. These can be the pressures to earn a living, pay our bills, meet the demands of raising a family, live up to the expectations of people around us or care for aging parents. They can be daily pressures, such as a traffic jam, disrespectful co-workers or being asked to do things we’re not good at. They can come from the environment — poor lighting or noise — and from our
This week, at the United Nations conference on Happiness, the tiny kingdom of Bhutan nestled between India and China will showcase its Gross National Happiness index (GNH) as an alternative to gross national product (GNP). In 1968, Robert F. Kennedy had said that the gross national product “measures everything… except that which makes life worthwhile.” Now, the world is coming around with United Nations resolution 65/309 — “Happiness: Towards a holistic approach to development.”
The pursuit of happiness explains the billions of dollars spent each year on consumer goods, from cosmetics and fashion apparel to computers and new
I am from Seattle and although we’ve never met, I feel your pain all the way over here. I’m an advocate for homeless youth and out here, every day is a risk, especially if you’re a person of color. There is so much I want to say but the only way I could get out what I feel for you is to write it in the form of a poem.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
Dear Sen. Feingold:
As you know, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board Friday officially certified a recall election for far-right Governor Scott Walker. This was not a close call, as the board found 900,939 valid signatures, far more than the 540,208 minimum needed to force an election.
I know you’ve said you won’t run against Walker, but I am writing to plead with you to change your mind. I would humbly suggest that if the values you stood for in 28 years representing the people of Wisconsin–standing up for the middle class and seeking to prevent undue influence from corporations–were honest and not a campaign ploy (and I fully believe you were genuine), than running for governor in this year’s recall election would be vital to protect those values, which Walker has assaulted for the last year.
I admit I fully understand why you would not want to run.
First, after 10 years in the Wisconsin State Senate and 18 years in the
At pivotal points in my life, when all avenues for solution to one crisis/dilemma or another seemed closed, a seemingly-random occurrence entered the equation, resolving the situation in such a marvelous way that I can only marvel. I have written four blogs on this subject; there is no guarantee that number five will be the last.
OK, so here I am, well into my golden years, and life keeps on reinventing itself. So I listen to my own advice, follow my leaps of lunacy and expect that trusty net to appear.
It always does — frequently in the nick of time.
It’s been a year since I began writing UniqueU. We (Juan Olmo, my good friend, technical wizard and editor and I), though happy with our reception and readership, pondered on ways to reach a wider
Much has been argued from Shakespeare’s lines, “To be or not be,” placed as the opening of Hamlet. While many conceive a correlation with death, I have my own take on the possible meaning.
Over the years I have been uncovering my own layers of what is known as “the shadow.” According to Carl Jung, the shadow is prone to projection, turning a personal inferiority into a perceived moral deficiency in someone else. These projections cripple individuals by forming an even thicker fog of illusion between the ego and the real world; they lead us to create a particular interpretation about ourselves.
The manner in which we actualize that interpretation is directly related to what we wish to hide about ourselves, thus giving rise to the term “shadow.”
In 1999, I was privileged enough to run into someone who inspired me to learn more about the effects of the
This week, I spent a fascinating couple of days at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford. I wish everyone could have been there: It was exhilarating — and deeply moving — to hear example after example of social entrepreneurs making quantifiable improvements in lives all around the world. As Stephan Chambers, chairman of the Skoll Centre, put it: “I have cried every day this week. Remember as I tell you this, that I’m
How many of you chose to type your symptoms into a Google search box instead of picking up the phone and calling your doctor’s office the last time you felt under the weather? Chances are, if you have access to a computer — and if you’re reading this, you probably do — nearly 100 percent.
While Congress gets caught up in the political circus over the health care bill, overhauling it, amending it, threatening to repeal it, and sending it to the Supreme Court for review, Internet technology is quietly making health care better simply by arming people with more information. More and more people now use the Web to better educate themselves on healthy lifestyle choices, medical conditions and available therapies. Researchers at MIT’s New Media Medicine, who are building on this information revolution and working on various projects to empower ordinary people with medical knowledge, call this “destroying the information asymmetry.”
With easy access to their medical data, Media Lab participants can take a more proactive approach to monitoring their health, be it tele-collaborating with health care personnel for shared decision-making, participating in collective community databases pulled from anecdotal medical information, or simply using their cell phones as self-awareness systems to alert them of daily health routines.
Mobile devices as self-awareness systems, of course, are fulfilling obligations as man’s best friend in a variety of areas, from fitness schedules to temperament control.
Smartphone apps are taking the medical information revolution one step
In my previous articles in this series, I gave you steps to stalk your fear and some Forrest Yoga tools to use immediately in frightening situations. Let’s look now at some common scenarios that are very scary. We all need to learn to handle everyday fearful situations, like walking alone in a dark parking lot or having a near-miss car accident.
Living your life in constant vigilance is incredibly tiring; ongoing fear drives you into
These are my questions based on the historical fact — yes, fact — that Pilate executed Jesus at Passover. Did Jesus go to Jerusalem to get himself killed? If he did, why, in the tinder-box atmosphere at Passover, did it take him so many days to get his wish?
My answer is that Jesus went up to Jerusalem to make twin demonstrations, first against Roman imperial control over the City of Peace and, second, against Roman imperial control over the Temple of God. In other words, put personally, against the (sub)governor Pilate and his high-priest Caiaphas.
It is not necessary, by the way, to demonize either of those two officials — even though they represented very bad administration. Pilate was weak because he could be fired by the Syrian governor and Caiaphas was even weaker because he could be fired by
Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 2, Episode 18 of The CW’s “Nikita,” entitled “Power.”
When a show is as consistently compelling as “Nikita,” it’s easy to take each well-crafted episode for granted, but “Power” once again upped the ante for all our characters without wasting a minute on meaningless filler material. In my mind, it’s one of the biggest injustices in primetime that as the show grows steadily stronger, the ratings seem to slip lower.
I’m not sure if it’s purely because The CW fails to promote the series with billboards and posters as well as on-air ads (as it’s reluctant to do with anything that’s not a freshman series or “The Vampire Diaries”), or simply because the serialized nature of the show is daunting to newcomers. I can only urge fans to take note of the advertisers who buy time during “Nikita’s” hour and contact them in support of their products in exchange for their support of “Nikita,” or introduce friends to the series via Netflix, Hulu and Amazon
Here’s some heartening news for those of you keeping score at home: We’re only halfway through the GOP presidential primaries.
Wait, don’t jump!
Some good may yet come from the GOP’s death-march. The race has thus far been so destructive that it’s managed to do the impossible: Americans are uniting… against Citizens
I studied under the novelist Harry Crews, who died at few days ago at age 76, and got to know him somewhat in 1977 and 1978, the peak of his creativity, just after he’d written his best novel, A Feast of Snakes, and when he was writing A Childhood: The Biography of a Place.
In his creative writing classes at the University of Florida at Gainesville, he was a big early influence on me and taught me lessons about writing that stick with me to this day, among them:
1) Don’t be boring.
2) The definition of poetry is memorable language.
3) Nothing happens unless it happens in a place.
4) Don’t be boring.
His first and fourth commandments were on display every time you walked into the faculty lounge or saw him after class, when he’d be telling a story to a group that was hanging on his every word. I once walked by him and heard him say:
“And this guy has a knife to his own dick and says, ‘I’m going to cut it off for you.’”
Nobody could leave Crews when he was telling a story!
No, I didn’t subscribe to the macho image of the two-fisted drinker and fightin’ novelist — he came to class more than once with serious physical injuries related to fights he’d been in — but he sure did have a brilliant imagination.
And, no, I’m no expert on his oeuvre; the Crews novels I’ve read I read many decades ago — and I never really went back to them. I remember the man more vividly than his fiction, which may be telling (or may merely show that my own aesthetic tastes run in another direction).
Crews knew great writing whether it came from the bread trucker driver, a Pulitzer winner or a pop
Whether you are filing an EZ form, fighting an IRS penalty, undergoing an audit or just beating the April 17, 2012 deadline, these tips will help you put your best leg forward on the path to financial freedom.
1.IRA Contributions: You can still contribute to your IRA and receive credit for 2011, up until April 17, 2012.
Learn more about contributing to your IRA NOW on the IRA contribution page at IRS.gov. (Simply search for IRA on the IRS.gov page.) If you use a software program, like Turbo Tax, they will automatically encourage you to make your IRA contribution before completing your tax
The Internet was built on links. Just a few years ago, most people’s Internet browsing time was spent clicking from link to link, either looking for a particular piece of information or just seeing what they stumbled upon.
Links were also the basic way that search engines separated the wheat from the chaff. Websites optimized for linking and sought to raise their rank in search engine results by increasing the number of links to their pages. In fact, the ‘Page Rank’ algorithm that addressed this web of links was the fundamental innovation that allowed Google to flourish.
Today, links are no longer the currency of the Internet, and people are finding more and more of their information via their friends’ “likes” in social media