Archive for April 23rd, 2012
Links:Full news story
Happy Monday everyone, here’s my Top 5 for April 23, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
Sports oxymoron headline of the year. “World Peace turns violent.” Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) of the Lakers connected with an ugly elbow thrown at James Harden of Oklahoma City and got himself ejected from the Lakers double overtime win.
All quiet in Vancouver. Despite being the #1 seed and getting ousted by the eighth seeded L.A (continue reading…)
Sometimes you don’t realize how heavily an issue is weighing on you until something causes it to lift.
That happened to me this morning when I pressed the “Submit” button on the United tickets we were buying for Dunreith, Aidan and me to go to Dad’s hometown in Germany in late May.
Receiving our confirmation number meant that one of the last major pieces in the proverbial puzzle has come into place.
All of a sudden, I felt lighter.
A lot lighter.
We’ve been talking for years, decades really, about going back to Germany with Dad to see the community where his family lived for close to 150 years before Dad was sent on a train to England and safety through the Kindertransport program.
At times, we even got beyond the general discussion to even talking about specific months and dates.
But, somehow, Dad wasn’t quite willing to go back there.
In the past year or so, though, his attitude has changed.
I’ve written before about Gabriele Thimm, the German teacher who contacted me last fall. She had read an article I had written about a previous trip I had taken to pursue family roots in Essen.
She wrote to invite us to a memorial service she was holding with her students for the town’s Jewish community.
Two of Dad’s cousins were students at the school.
Unlike Dad and Uncle Ralph, they did not have the good fortune to have escaped Hitler’s Nazi regime.
Like more than one million other children, they were killed.
Gabriele sought to educate the students about our cousins and other members of the Essen community who were murdered.
Although invited, we could not attend the ceremony. Instead, we sent a statement and family pictures that were projected onto the home of Joseph Lowenstein, our patriarch and my namesake.
Gabriele and I have been planning our trip for months, figuring out which days will work and what we’ll do during the time that we are there.
Last week, she sent news that she had met with John and Maike Guntermann.
A client of my great-grandfather’s, Mr. Guntermann’s father owned a print shop (continue reading…)
I have spent a good deal of time in Texas. I am fortunate enough to have several friends with ranches and with tales of the Wild West woven through their family history. I have always been impressed at the amount of generosity, humor and Cowpoke common sense these people have while lounging on their 100,000 acre ranches. No nouveau riche reality show housewives here! They have had their money for a long time and the oil isn’t drying up anytime soon (continue reading…)
There remain only two. The French have cast their votes, and the two major-party candidates will advance to the next round. The participation rate, around 80 percent, shocked all of the pollsters who were betting on abstention. But the French were aware of what this election represents, and mobilized strongly in the first round (continue reading…)
This final exclusive interview is dedicated to all mediums out there who fall under the levels of what mediumship is truly all about from ‘labels’ such as psychic to clairvoyant… Marisa’s story is your story and springboard to keep up the great work as a giver of our natural-born sixth sense usage and abilities. Here’s to you for what you do and teach the rest who are blinded or closed off from the possibilities, depth of mankind and it’s inner workings.
Alexandra Holzer: Talk to me about the famous Brooklyn, New York’s Elaine Mercado Case involving my late father, Professor Dr. Hans Holzer, not a run-of-the-mill ghost hunter (continue reading…)
As the presidential campaigns get revved up, I find myself chatting with friends increasingly about politics, the American political system and, of course, the political parties. One thing I find strange is the impressively high number of friends who call themselves independents, despite the fact that they are very far from independent. Rather, it seems to me that the vast majority of my friends who call themselves independents are either disgruntled party loyalists, embarrassed to admit their party affection, convinced that self-declarations of being an independent make them seem more hip, or have never really thought about politics but simply inherited their political positions from their parents along with genes for height, hair color and bone structure.
With that in mind, I decided to create a simple test for people to see whether they really are an independent voter or if they are an independent poser (continue reading…)
This is part of our new series “Gen: Change,” in partnership with Youth Service America, featuring stories from the 25 most influential and powerful young people in the world. Click here to read more about Ghalib and his amazing story.
Three years ago, I had no idea how we serve this planet — this universe and the creatures within it. This was just because I was quite young, or maybe I had no interest to find out more about it (continue reading…)
In TV land, spring 2012 is lady season. Three shows just launched — HBO’s Girls, Oxygen’s Brooklyn 11223 (pictured above) and ABC’s Don’t Trust the B- in Apartment 23 — offering up what could arguably be called the same fare — twenty-somethings in New York trying to figure out who their friends are and how their lives will turn out. Of course they’re different, but if one of these things is not like the other, it might not be the one you think.
B- opens with Chloe (Krysten Ritter) screwing her roommate’s boyfriend on top of said roommate’s birthday cake in an incredibly awkward sex scene. This will not turn out to be part of her scam to churn through roommates and pocket excess rent (continue reading…)
America has been waiting a long time for the Obama administration to get serious about the problems of our manufacturing sector.
Finally, there has been a small sign that the corner may — may — be turning. Let’s take a look at a speech recently given by Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council.
I’ve edited it a bit for length. But it’s still a good metric of whether the administration “gets it” on manufacturing, and gives a fairly clear picture of the evolution of its thinking.
Ignoring the introductory material, here’s where Sperling cuts to the chase, i.e (continue reading…)
Twenty-first century American politics make it very difficult to avoid hypocrisy. The New York Times documents the recent trend by President Obama to concentrate power in the executive branch by issuing executive orders to achieve results against Congressional opposition. My instantaneous reaction was: good for him.
But then it is necessary to recall that is exactly what George W. Bush did and many of us feared for the Constitutional system of checks and balances (continue reading…)
OK, we now know that Walmart’s meteoric rise to Mexico’s biggest retailer and employer appears to have been fueled by a massive bribery scheme. We know that millions of dollars were apparently paid to “gestores,” fixers whose job was to ensure that local zoning and environmental laws didn’t slow the approval of new stores. We know that when a whistleblower brought the scandal to the attention of Walmart headquarters in Arkansas, the company’s general counsel and compliance officers called for a full-fledged investigation. And we know that company’s senior leadership allegedly not only refused to allow such an investigation but strategically and intentionally defanged the ability of its investigative units to pursue such problems in the future.
As the New York Times investigation that brought all this light summarized, it found “credible evidence that bribery played a significant and persistent role in the Wal-Mart’s rapid growth in Mexico.”
We know in short that Walmart’s much heralded commitment to ethical behavior has once again proven to be a pathetically flimsy shield against the driving imperative of its “grow at any cost” business model (continue reading…)
While courting evangelical voters in Florida just three months ago, Mitt Romney said he would “propose and promote” a federal marriage amendment banning gay marriage in the U.S. Constitution, markedly distinguishing himself from President Obama, who is opposed to such an amendment and who Romney accused of “aggressively trying to pave the path to same-sex marriage.” Romney’s newest spokesman, however, has admittedly been paving his own path to a gay marriage. And it looks like his opportunity to walk down the aisle has finally arrived.
Richard Grenell, the openly gay man named as Romney’s new foreign policy spokesperson, made quite a splash in recent days, both with attention to his having scrubbed his tweets and the attacks already beginning from the antigay zealots.
I’ll weigh in tomorrow with thoughts on what this choice by Romney means. But I had to point to something that glared out at me while reading an interview with Grenell from 2008 (continue reading…)
Cancer is such a dreaded and scary word, and most of us have experienced its wrath at some point in ours lives — whether through a family member or friend, or through our own struggle with it.
So this being Cancer Awareness Month, I thought it might make us all sleep a little better to ask some of the top cancer scientists in the country to tell us some things (or even one thing) that makes them optimistic about the ongoing battle with cancer.
The exciting news is: they are all optimistic. And at the center of this optimism is DNA.
We all know by now that when DNA is brought into the courtroom it can help prove whether a person is the culprit or not (continue reading…)
Wear black on Saturday. It is Workers’ Memorial Day, a time devoted to commemorating those killed on the job.
A month later, on soldiers’ Memorial Day, the nation will recognize those who sacrificed their lives for American ideals, for a nation’s freedom. That ultimate gift is given in most cases valiantly and voluntarily. No one, however, volunteers to sacrifice their life for corporate profit (continue reading…)
The Metropolitan Opera recently announced a new ticket pricing policy for the coming year that, among many other things, included explicit mention of dynamic pricing. This approach to pricing has been practiced for years by airlines, Broadway producers and many not-for-profit performing arts organizations. Dynamic pricing is a simple concept: initial ticket prices are raised when demand for a particular performance is high. Thus two people sitting side-by-side at the theater may have paid very different prices for their seats.
A form of dynamic pricing has been practiced by most theaters for years: when tickets are not selling they are discounted, often substantially, and sometimes given away for free (continue reading…)
Don’t read this unless you’ve seen “Far Away Places,” Sunday’s episode of “Mad Men.”
I began watching Sunday’s episode of “Mad Men” a half-hour after it began airing, and before I logged off Twitter, I saw a few tweets along the lines of “What the hell?”
Then I began watching the episode, and it wasn’t long before I was saying, “What the hell?” About 17 minutes in, before we’d fully figured out that the episode was toying with timey-wimey experimentation, my husband muttered, “We’re going to meet some weird Europeans in a minute.”
The comment was spot-on, given how much this episode reminded me of “Jet Set,” which was tonally and structurally a rather odd hour of “Mad Men.” It was an hour that, as I recall, inspired a lot of passionate “pro” and “con” chatter.
“Far Away Places” was much, much weirder than “Jet Set,” and I’m of mixed minds about it myself. One the one hand, I really respect the attempt to change things up and experiment with different narrative and structural conceits; “Mad Men” certainly isn’t giving us a mildly altered reproduction of a previous season, and within each season, the show likes to play around with different delivery systems, if you will. Some episodes are like thrillers, others echo Updike or Cheever; some episodes are more emotionally direct while others are formal and highly structured (continue reading…)
Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 1, Episode 19 of ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” entitled “The Return.”
I’ll admit it up front: I was expecting to love tonight’s “Once Upon a Time” a little more than I actually did. I can’t really put my finger on why, except to say that it felt a little like it was missing its heart somehow. (How apt.)
Jane Espenson’s previous Rumplestiltskin-centric episodes, “Desperate Souls” and “Skin Deep” were both poignant, heartfelt hours, ably brought to life by Robert Carlyle’s impressive range. Carlyle was still in fine form in “The Return,” but perhaps because of the revelation that August wasn’t truly Rumple’s son, the end result lacked the emotional impact of those episodes (continue reading…)
Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 4, Episode 1 of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
“… We can’t go there ’cause that’s fourth season, remember?” Teresa spat out those words during the reunion show last year when asked if the cast was still “like family.”
Now readers, I just met you (and this is crazy) but it seems like someone grated a whole lot of foreshadowing over the spaghetti. Let’s find out what led the “Housewives” to undo the ties that bind and attempt to choke Teresa with them, shall we?
Apparently, everything unraveled four months before the September Season 3 reunion. Historians have long referred to that era as B.C.: “Before Cookbook.”
Summer has risen over the Garden State (continue reading…)
Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 1, Episode 2 of HBO’s “Girls,” entitled, “Vagina Panic.”
Last time on “Girls” (Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET on HBO): Aspiring novelist Hannah gets cut off from her parents — “No. More. Money” — but that’s OK because she’s seeing a guy who treats her heart like monkey meat and says things like, “You’re not that fat anymore.” No, wait, that’s really not OK (continue reading…)
Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 3, Episode 21 of CBS’s “The Good Wife,” entitled “The Penalty Box.”
Ladies and gentlemen, “The Good Wife’s” “The Penalty Box” was not the strongest episode, but it will forever be remembered. Boring stuff then the meaty goodness that was Kalinda/Lana, the return of Cary and Kalinda/Alicia.
The main case of the episode: Judge Cuesta enlists Lockhart/Gardner to defend him when he’s put in the penalty box for a case from his prosecutor days. This A plot really should have been B or C. Sure it gave audiences the chance to look at the methods of defense attorneys from a different light than “The Good Wife” normally allows, but the clunkiness hindered the episode.
“Welcome back to the dark side.” Robert and Michelle King should write a guide book for other TV writers in how to develop relationships (continue reading…)
Continuing a conversation begun last week with Arianna and Kellyanne Conway, Ron Reagan and Mary Matalin this week own up to where their premises/instincts come from and then apply their thinking to the big issue of Ryan Budget vs. The Buffett Rule. Based on slew of general election polls, should Romney be relieved or panicked? Depends on whether Fox or MSNBC is interpreting the data.
*On Skins-Shirts again… can reason ever convince emotion? Since it examines the very premise of Both Sides Now, we again tackle The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (continue reading…)
Latin Boogaloo with DJ Turmix Plus Chatting with Fanfarlos Leon Beckenham Dwight Twilley and Terence P Minogue
LATIN BOOGALOO: JOHNNY COLON, DJ TURMIX AND SPANGLISH FLY
Latin boogaloo, the infectious musical style blending soul, rhythm & blues and Latin grooves that was born in NYC’s Spanish Harlem in the 1960s is undergoing a major resurgence in NYC and elsewhere thanks to legends such as Johnny Colon, who continues to tour, compose and educate, and younger enthusiasts such as DJ Turmix, who are spreading the word to a new fanbase. Johnny Colon, who was born and raised in El Barrio in NYC, is a versatile vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and musical director who became one of Latin music’s leading impresarios at the forefront of the new “Latin Boogaloo” sound when he formed the first Johnny Colon Orchestra in the mid 1960s. In 1966, Cotique records released “Boogaloo Blues,” which became a classic in the Latin field, selling over 3,000,000 copies worldwide, and continues to be an anthem for this period on Latin music history. Johnny went on to record many albums over the next ten years including Boogaloo ’67, Move Over, Portrait of Johnny, Hot, Hot, Hot / Caliente de Vicio, and Terra Va a Temblar (Earthquake) (continue reading…)