Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) partners with Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA)        

Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) partners with Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA)

~A culturally enriching and riveting morning hosted by Malaysian Palm Oil Council with the Dabbawalas of Mumbai~

by Shrutee K/DNS

Mumbai, August 8, 2017 : In April 2017 in conjunction with the visit to India of the Hon. Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato Sri’ Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) signed a MoU with Mumbai Dabbawala Association (MDA). Taking this MoU forward, on the morning of August 8th, MPOC and Mumbai Dabbawalas flagged off an event to create awareness for Malaysian Palm Oil and its benefits.

The event took place at the Lower Parel Bridge, where Dabbawalas wore the T-shirts and topis branded with MPOC message. They then delivered the dabbas carrying a booklet of recipes of dishes that can be cooked in palm oil and the benefits of using palm oil. The Dabbawalas are in a unique position to promote MPOC and raise awareness to the positive nutritional attributes of Malaysian Palm Oil. This becomes particularly useful in Indian cuisine as most dishes are cooked in oil. Substituting for a healthier oil can do no harm, besides besides providing the added bonus of eating delicious food cooked in a healthy oil that is nutritious for the body.

To kick off this event, Dr. Kalyana Sundaram, CEO of MPOC, was present, encouraging the use of palm oil and showing appreciation to our Dabbawalas for their exceptional work. The morning was most enjoyable, entertaining and culturally riveting as some of Maharashtra’s best dancers performed the traditional Lezim Dance, a true delight to have watched! For those unaware of the Lezim Dance, it is a Maharashtrian folk dance performed to the beat of the Dholki, a percussion instrument.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Kalyan Sundaram, CEO, MPOC, said, “It gives me immense pleasure to be here this morning. Dabbawalas have been an integral part of this city and they define what Indians stand for: hardworking, responsible and efficient. They work relentlessly with a smile on their face, be it rain or storm. Malaysian Palm Oil has been a very important part of the Indian diet and with this unique initiative we wish to create awareness for this wonderful oil and its several health benefits. Our association with the Mumbai Dabbawalas allows us to spread the message of healthy cooking to a large number of households and encourages a healthier cooking lifestyle”

Mr. Subhash Talekar, Association Spokesperson of Mumbai Dabbawala Association said “We Dabbawalas unfailingly deliver thousands of dabbas to hungry people daily, they are undoubtedly the best people to directly reach out to households and create awareness about palm oil and the health benefits of using it. This is a very exciting new chapter, and we are glad to be partnering with MPOC.”

India is the world’s largest importer of cooking oils. Palm oil constitutes about two-thirds of India’s steadily increasing vegetable oil import. The price, in comparison to competing oils and the proximity of origin, Malaysia, has made Malayisan Palm Oil a highly preferred oil. Now the Dabawallas have taken it upon themselves, with the help of MPOC, to inform families about the benefits of palm oil and how exquisite food can be cooked in palm oil in alternative to other vegetable oils.

Amongst some of the benefits we came to learn about during the event was that palm oil is rich in natural chemical compounds essential for health and nutrition. It has a rich source of carotenoids that are rich in Vitamin A, a potent natural antioxidant, Vitamins D, E, K, fatty acids, and other important fat-soluble micronutrients that boost the human immune system. The health benefits from using palm oil are tremendous - it reduces chances of Cancer, protects against heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, and helps children with Vitamin A deficiency.

The oil is great for cooking; it is of vegetable origin, making it free of cholesterol and apt for vegetarians, vegans, and Jains. Furthermore, the oil has a neutral flavor - you needn’t worry about changing tastes, it does not oxidize easily – making it perfect for frying food, and produces less gummy materials and helps in the cooking area maintaining a non-greasy surface; so, most bakers prefer to use a palm-based margarine for baking goods.

With people now more conscious about their health and food habits, palm oil is definitely the healthier choice to make whilst cooking and a step towards healthier bodies and practices.  What better way to create awareness than directly reaching out to the households through our Dabbawalas.

Note to Editors:
MPOC is a Council under the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities of Malaysia.  Its role is to promote the market expansion of Malaysian palm oil and its products by enhancing the image of palm oil and creating better acceptance of palm oil through awareness of various technological and economic advantages (techno-economic advantages) and environmental sustainability.

The Council has set up a network of ten offices all over the world, mainly in China (Shanghai), India (Mumbai), Pakistan (Lahore), Bangladesh (Dhaka), Middle East (Istanbul and Cairo), Europe (Brussels and Russia), Africa (Durban) and Americas (Washington DC)  to support, promote and venture into new areas for the industry.

The plantation industry, particularly palm oil, is one of the main pillars of the Malaysian economy.  The palm oil sector has contributed significantly towards providing a continuous inflow of export earnings through the export of raw commodity and valued-added products to the global market. In 2016, palm oil contributed USD 9 billion in export earnings for Malaysia and accounted for 33% of the world’s palm oil production and 39% of total palm oil exports.

           Anthony Shadid Extended Interview        

Read Bob Abernethy’s extended interview with WASHINGTON POST correspondent Anthony Shadid:
Q: You write at one point about the failure of the occupation in Iraq. What happened? What went wrong?
A: I guess at one level I think we never appreciated … More

The post Anthony Shadid Extended Interview appeared first on Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

          'The WMO says that the "extreme and unusual" climate and weather trends have continued into 2017..' (no replies)        
'The WMO says that the "extreme and unusual" climate and weather trends have continued into 2017. At least three times this winter, the Arctic experienced the equivalent of a heatwave, as powerful Atlantic storms drove warm, moist air into the region.

Changes in the Arctic and the melting of sea-ice are also leading to a shift in atmospheric circulation patterns impacting other parts of the world. This is causing unusual heat in some areas - In the US, over 11,000 warm temperature records were broken in early 2017.

"Even without a strong El Niño in 2017, we are seeing other remarkable changes across the planet that are challenging the limits of our understanding of the climate system. We are now in truly uncharted territory," said David Carlson, World Climate Research Programme Director at the WMO.

In the face of all this information, climate researchers around the world are irked by the attitude of the Trump government in Washington.'

- Matt McGrath, 'Extreme and unusual' climate trends continue after record 2016, March 21, 2017


Update (February 11, 2017) - '..ethical standards..' ('.. Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post..')

'..Earth is warming more rapidly than previously thought was correct..'

          '..Angela Merkel .. calling Erdogan’s Nazi jibes “completely unacceptable”.' (no replies)        
'Erdogan is “looking for ‘imagined’ foreign enemies to boost his nationalist base in the run-up to the referendum,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Programme at the Washington Institute.'

'European leaders have told Recep Tayyip Erdogan to avoid inflammatory language while Ankara threatened sanctions against the Netherlands as diplomatic relations between Turkey and several EU members soured dramatically.


On Monday, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, responded by pledging her “full support and solidarity” to the Netherlands, calling Erdogan’s Nazi jibes “completely unacceptable”.


The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland have cited security and other concerns for their reluctance to allow Turkish officials to campaign in their countries.


Erdogan is “looking for ‘imagined’ foreign enemies to boost his nationalist base in the run-up to the referendum,” said Soner Cagaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Programme at the Washington Institute.'

- Jon Henley, EU tells Erdogan not to escalate diplomatic row over political rallies, March 13, 2017


European Commission calls on Turkey to moderate its tone in row with Dutch, March 13, 2017

'.."unacceptable comments" by the Turkish authorities..'

'..Erdogan .. way out of line..'

          '..Russia .. cyberpower proved the perfect weapon .. political sabotage..' (no replies)        
' “We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”


Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends..


..The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.


..the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon..


What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '

'..the White House’s reluctance to respond forcefully meant the Russians have not paid a heavy price for their actions, a decision that could prove critical in deterring future cyberattacks.


..President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia moved beyond mere espionage to deliberately try to subvert American democracy and pick the winner of the presidential election.


..A low-cost, high-impact weapon that Russia had test-fired in elections from Ukraine to Europe was trained on the United States, with devastating effectiveness. For Russia, with an enfeebled economy and a nuclear arsenal it cannot use short of all-out war, cyberpower proved the perfect weapon: cheap, hard to see coming, hard to trace.


The United States had two decades of warning that Russia’s intelligence agencies were trying to break into America’s most sensitive computer networks. But the Russians have always managed to stay a step ahead.

Their first major attack was detected on Oct. 7, 1996, when a computer operator at the Colorado School of Mines discovered some nighttime computer activity he could not explain. The school had a major contract with the Navy, and the operator warned his contacts there. But as happened two decades later at the D.N.C., at first “everyone was unable to connect the dots,” said Thomas Rid, a scholar at King’s College in London who has studied the attack.

Investigators gave it a name — Moonlight Maze — and spent two years, often working day and night, tracing how it hopped from the Navy to the Department of Energy to the Air Force and NASA. In the end, they concluded that the total number of files stolen, if printed and stacked, would be taller than the Washington Monument.

Whole weapons designs were flowing out the door, and it was a first taste of what was to come: an escalating campaign of cyberattacks around the world.


The Russians were also quicker to turn their attacks to political purposes. A 2007 cyberattack on Estonia, a former Soviet republic that had joined NATO, sent a message that Russia could paralyze the country without invading it. The next year cyberattacks were used during Russia’s war with Georgia.


Mr. Obama was briefed regularly on all this, but he made a decision that many in the White House now regret: He did not name Russians publicly, or issue sanctions. There was always a reason: fear of escalating a cyberwar, and concern that the United States needed Russia’s cooperation in negotiations over Syria.

“We’d have all these circular meetings,” one senior State Department official said, “in which everyone agreed you had to push back at the Russians and push back hard. But it didn’t happen.”


Last year, the attacks became more aggressive. Russia hacked a major French television station, frying critical hardware. Around Christmas, it attacked part of the power grid in Ukraine, dropping a portion of the country into darkness, killing backup generators and taking control of generators. In retrospect, it was a warning shot.


..CrowdStrike’s nicknames for the two Russian hacking groups that the firm found at work inside the D.N.C. network. Cozy Bear — the group also known as the Dukes or A.P.T. 29, for “advanced persistent threat” — may or may not be associated with the F.S.B., the main successor to the Soviet-era K.G.B., but it is widely believed to be a Russian government operation. It made its first appearance in 2014, said Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike’s co-founder and chief technology officer.


Only in March 2016 did Fancy Bear show up — first penetrating the computers of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and then jumping to the D.N.C., investigators believe. Fancy Bear, sometimes called A.P.T. 28 and believed to be directed by the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence agency, is an older outfit, tracked by Western investigators for nearly a decade. It was Fancy Bear that got hold of Mr. Podesta’s email.


It was bad enough that Russian hackers had been spying inside the committee’s network for months. Now the public release of documents had turned a conventional espionage operation into something far more menacing: political sabotage, an unpredictable, uncontrollable menace for Democratic campaigns.


Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder and editor, has resisted the conclusion that his site became a pass-through for Russian hackers working for Mr. Putin’s government or that he was deliberately trying to undermine Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. But the evidence on both counts appears compelling.


Mr. Putin, a student of martial arts, had turned two institutions at the core of American democracy — political campaigns and independent media — to his own ends. The media’s appetite for the hacked material, and its focus on the gossipy content instead of the Russian source, disturbed some of those whose personal emails were being reposted across the web.


In late 2014, hackers working for Kim Jong-un, the North’s young and unpredictable leader, had carried out a well-planned attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment intended to stop the Christmastime release of a comedy about a C.I.A. plot to kill Mr. Kim.

In that case, embarrassing emails had also been released. But the real damage was done to Sony’s own systems: More than 70 percent of its computers melted down when a particularly virulent form of malware was released. Within weeks, intelligence agencies traced the attack back to the North and its leadership. Mr. Obama called North Korea out in public, and issued some not-very-effective sanctions. The Chinese even cooperated, briefly cutting off the North’s internet connections.

As the first Situation Room meetings on the Russian hacking began in July, “it was clear that Russia was going to be a much more complicated case,” said one participant. The Russians clearly had a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and they were masters of “kompromat,” their term for compromising information.


..code was put out in the open by the Russians as a warning: Retaliate for the D.N.C., and there are a lot more secrets, from the hackings of the State Department, the White House and the Pentagon, that might be spilled as well. One senior official compared it to the scene in “The Godfather” where the head of a favorite horse is left in a bed, as a warning.


As the year draws to a close, it now seems possible that there will be multiple investigations of the Russian hacking — the intelligence review Mr. Obama has ordered completed by Jan. 20, the day he leaves office, and one or more congressional inquiries. They will wrestle with, among other things, Mr. Putin’s motive.


Did he seek to mar the brand of American democracy, to forestall anti-Russian activism for both Russians and their neighbors? Or to weaken the next American president, since presumably Mr. Putin had no reason to doubt American forecasts that Mrs. Clinton would win easily? Or was it, as the C.I.A. concluded last month, a deliberate attempt to elect Mr. Trump?

In fact, the Russian hack-and-dox scheme accomplished all three goals.

What seems clear is that Russian hacking, given its success, is not going to stop. Two weeks ago, the German intelligence chief, Bruno Kahl, warned that Russia might target elections in Germany next year. “The perpetrators have an interest to delegitimize the democratic process as such,” Mr. Kahl said. Now, he added, “Europe is in the focus of these attempts of disturbance, and Germany to a particularly great extent.” '

- Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger and Scott Shane, The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S., December 13, 2016

Context '[Russia] may become a threat to the world. That is the worst thing that could happen to Russia.' - Yegor Gaidar

'..Russian strategy of hybrid influence and destabilization .. German Council on Foreign Relations.'

'German intelligence says Russia is trying to destabilize German society..' - '..war that Moscow is waging against the West..'

'[Putin is doing] anything that can and will expand Russian influence to U.S.S.R.-era levels of power.'

'..Zero tolerance for Russian intrusions .. Estonia .. policy of publicly naming or prosecuting spies..'

'..the Soviet Union was cut off from Western financial markets and was effectively under permanent sanctions..'

          Cedar Falls Practical Backyard Tour        
Sponsored by UNI's Center for Energy & Environmental Education and Green Iowa AmeriCorps, the Practical Backyard Tour highlights several backyards around Cedar Falls where practical and effective methods have been utilized.  From composting to solar and rain barrels to gardening, the tour features backyards that work!
Beginning at 2 p.m., participants are welcome to arrive at any of the  backyards listed below where tickets will be available (one ticket gains  participant access to all five backyards). After 5 p.m., participants are encouraged to visit Beck's on The Hill afterwards for dinner, a prize drawing, and open discussion on practical uses for backyards.
Tickets ($5, does not include dinner) will be available the day of the event at each of the backyards. Proceeds from the event will support Green Iowa AmeriCorps work in the Cedar Valley. Please direct any questions to Green Iowa AmeriCorps. We hope to see you there!
The five backyards featured during the tour include:
1. Cedar Falls Community Garden, 600 Block Lincoln Street, Cedar Falls “Taking Back, Giving
Back” this garden is flood-reclaimed land and features a sitting area, water collection
system, and composting [from Cup of Joe]. With 50 of the 80 available plots rented and four
organizations actively growing food to be donated to the Cedar Valley Food Bank and other
charities, this location is full of vast and diversified garden delights  growing for a great cause.
2. Dave Gibson, 524 West Lone Tree Road, Cedar Falls “Twin Cedars, a Gated  Community” this
wonderful stop in North Cedar will feature fruit trees, vegetable garden, hens, passive solar
kitchen, solar electric system, and 140 recently planted trees.
3. Kamyar Enshayan, 1703 Washington Street, Cedar Falls “Lawn & Order” featuring backyard
hens, easy-going compost, native prairie pollinator heaven, local wood  shed, solar hot water,
linear evaporative drying system (clothes lines), 20 years of pesticide-free lawn, vegetable
4. Jack & Carole Yates, 519 Chateau Ct, Cedar Falls “Perfectly Practical” both the front and back
yard features beds with native Iowa prairie plants, two vegetable gardens and an orchard with
apple, pear, Asian pear, cherry, peach and plum trees. Visitors can also see their two active solar
systems, a wood burning stove, clothes line and additions like a fire ring, patio and other places
that make it a great backyard to spend time in.
5. Ann Duncan, W 13th Street at the alley between Franklin and Tremont, “Smoke Stack Twin
Gardens” Featuring gardening for large and small spaces, a wide variety of vegetables,
raspberries, tiered garden, strawberry pyramid, rain barrels, compost bin, clothes line.
Cedar Falls, Iowa
Sunday, June 10, 2012 -
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Enter Your Email: 
Ashley Wolter
          Ð—в'язки з Росією - не єдина причина, чому ФБР цікавиться Манафортом - Washington Post        
Федеральних слідчих цікавлять не тільки зв'язки екс-голови виборчого штабу Трампа з РФ
          Information Assurance (HBSS) - Zurka Interactive        
Washington, DC - We're looking for an Information Assurance Engineer with experience managing HBSS to join a top-notch group supporting world class science and technology at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).
          Windows System Administrator - Zurka Interactive        
Washington, DC - Join a sharp, fun team doing challenging work supporting world class science and technology. At the Center for Computational Science at the US Naval Research Laboratory you'll be part of a team responsible for providing Windows platform administration.
          Active Directory Administrator - Zurka Interactive        
Washington, DC - Join a sharp, fun team doing challenging work supporting world class science and technology. At the Center for Computational Science at the US Naval Research Laboratory you'll be part of a team responsible for providing Windows platform administration.
          Windows Admin / Help Desk - Zurka Interactive        
Washington, DC - Join a team supporting world class science and technology. At the US Naval Research Laboratory, you'll be part of a small team responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of Windows platform user workstations.
          Senior Linux Administrator - Zurka Interactive        
Washington, DC - We're looking for an outstanding Sr. Linux Admin to join a top-notch group supporting world class science and technology at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). Zurka Interactive is expanding our team at NRL in Washington DC.
          Sr. Software Development Engineer - Test - Skytap        
Seattle, WA - Engineering Seattle, Washington

Skytap is looking for talented senior level Software Development Engineers in Test to join our engineering team. Cloud computing is one of today's hottest technologies, and Skytap is leading the way by providing self-service
          Plugin and Operating Systems Administrator - Skytap        
Seattle, WA - Engineering Seattle, Washington

Skytap Cloud is designed for the traditional applications every business depends on. Our customers want to innovate faster. They need a path from today to tomorrow, from core applications trapped on-premises to agile cloud
          Senior Director, Product Marketing - Skytap        
Seattle, WA - Marketing Seattle, Washington

As our Senior Director of Product Marketing at Skytap, you will be responsible for defining our market segmentation, understanding the competitive landscape, defining our value proposition and differentiation, creating customer
          Senior Product Manager - Skytap        
Seattle, WA - Product Management Seattle, Washington

Do you have a passion for building easy-to-use, innovative products for engineering teams? Do you thrive in an environment where you wear many hats, do what it takes, work hard and smart, collaborate, innovate, and
          Interview With Sports & Entertainment Attorney: Jaia Thomas        
Jaia Thomas is a Los Angeles, CA based sports and entertainment attorney. Ms. Thomas is a graduate of Colgate University and The George Washington University Law School. She also holds a Certificate in Television, Film and New Media Production from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Ms. Thomas is an instructor...
          Ð’ США против переименования Центра Кеннеди в честь Обамы        
Жители американского города Виллингборо (штат Нью-Джерси) выступили против того, чтобы местный Центр Джона Кеннеди был переименован в честь действующего президента США Барака Обамы. Об этом сообщила газета The Washington Times. Газета отмечает, что с предложением о переименовании ранее выступила заместитель...
          AT&T Expands Voice Over LTE To 18 Additional Markets        
AT&T Expands Voice Over LTE To 18 Additional Markets

AT&T first launched its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service about seven months ago, but now the carrier is expanding its reach by adding 18 new markets for its VoLTE and HD Voice offerings.

The list of new markets include District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

The good news is that this is just the beginning. AT&T's target is to transition every consumer to VoLTE. That would be easier said than done for sure, considering the tons of networks that need to be set up and the hardware that needs to be deployed. But AT&T is positive about the outcome, and early signs of success are certainly visible.

As stated by John Donovan, AT&T's Senior Vice President of Technology and Operations, the carrier's VoLTE network is performing very well after some internal tests, scoring an average of more than 99 percent in terms of accessibility and retainability (how well the users stay connected).

For those not in the know, VoLTE technology lets users simultaneously make calls and browse the Internet using their smartphones with very fast 4G LTE data speeds. 

As for HD Voice, it is a type of wideband technology that allows for better call quality with minimal background noise, made possible through widening the frequency range of the audio signals.

Voice calls were previously transmitted on a rather limited frequency range (between 300 Hertz to 3.4 Hertz). But with HD Voice, that frequency range is extended from 50 Hertz to 7 KiloHertz, and sometimes even beyond, in order to achieve high definition quality in voice calls.

However, before users can enjoy HD Voice, they need to meet the requirements. Firstly, the service must be available in their geographical area (AT&T is working on it). Secondly, the person calling and the recipient of the call must both use handsets that are HD Voice capable. For AT&T customers, just about the only devices available from their carrier that meet this requirement are the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

AT&T is far from being the only major wireless carrier that offers HD Voice though. Sprint may have been the first off the blocks, offering its customers a 30-day trial run of its HD Voice service in June earlier this year. Even Verizon Wireless is working on its own HD Voice brand, and the talk is that the Big Red will utilizing the AMR-wideband standard (the industry norm) for its service.

Interestingly, AT&T and Verizon Wireless are working together in providing clear call quality in both their customers. If they can pull this off, AT&T customers will be able to call their friends and family who are on Verizon as clearly as possible, and vice versa.

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          Daniel Boone        

Daniel Boone

BOONE, Daniel, pioneer, born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, 22 October, 1734 (For more on Daniel Boone's birthplace please visit his Homestead); died in Missouri, 26 Sept., 1820. Among the immigrants that landed, 10 Oct., 1717, at Philadelphia was George Boone, of Exeter, England, who came with his wife and eleven children, bought land near Bristol, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and joined the society of Friends. His son, Squire Boone, married Sarah Morgan, and Daniel was their son. Squire Boone, who was a farmer, moved, about 1748, to Holman's Ford, on the Yadkin, in North Carolina.

Daniel's education was very limited; he could read and write, but beyond that all he knew related to the fields, the woods, the net, the rifle, and hunting. He was a hunter born, and loved the solitude of the forest. Strong, brave, lithe, inured to hardship and privation, he traced his steps through the pathless forest, sought out the hiding places of panther, bear, and wolf, and was the match of any Indian in the sagacity with which he detected the footsteps of the red man. About 1755 he married Rebecca Bryan and set up his own log cabin, but, displeased with the encroachments of civilization on his solitude, and incited by the glowing accounts brought by John Finley, who had penetrated into the unknown regions of Kentucky, formed a company of six kindred spirits, and, bidding adieu to his family and the comforts of home, on 1 May, 1769, set out on his perilous journey of exploration.

America's Four Republics: The More or Less United States
By: Stanley Yavneh Klos
Edited: Naomi Yavneh Klos, Ph.D.

  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 8th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.

After numerous adventures with the Indians, having become intimately acquainted with the character of the country, established an enviable reputation for sagacity and integrity on important frontier service assigned to him by Lord Dunmore in the campaign against the Indians, usually called "Lord Dunmore's War," and constructed a strong fort on the left bank of Kentucky river, which he named "Boonesborough," he determined to bring his wife and family to the new home. Some of his neighbors joined him, and he conducted the party, numbering upward of thirty, safely to "Boonesborough" without having encountered any other difficulties than such as are common to this passage. 

 Daniel Boone founded Boonesborough while he worked for Richard Henderson of the Transylvania Company.

On one occasion Boone, with an armed party of thirty men, had gone for a supply of salt to a place called "Salt Licks," nearly 100 miles north of Boonesborough, and was captured, with twenty-seven of his men, by a band of more than 100 Indian warriors led by two Frenchmen. 

They carried them first to Old Chillicothe, on the Miami, and then to Detroit, where they surrendered for a ransom all their prisoners except Boone; him they took back to Old Chillicothe, where the great Blackfish, a renowned Shawanese chief, adopted him into his family under an imposing but painful ceremonial; all his hair, except a tuft three or four inches in diameter on the crown of the head, was plucked out; that tuft was allowed to grow to the length of the "warlock," dressed with feathers and ribbons; an ablution in the river was supposed to cleanse him from the taint of white blood; a coat of paint on his face, and a solemn charge from Blackfish, completed the rite. 

After a prolonged and anxious residence among them, during which he was kindly treated, he discovered their intention of marching upon Boonesborough, and resolved, at the peril of certain death in the event of recapture, to attempt his escape and save his family and friends. Chased by 450 Indians, he performed that daring feat in the forty-third year of his age, and thus simply records it: "On the 16th [of June], before sunrise, I departed in the most secret manner, and arrived at Boonesborough on the 20th, after a journey of 160 miles, during which I had but one meal." 

At the fort he learned that his wife and children, despairing of ever seeing him again, had returned, and safely reached her father's home in North Carolina. The Indians assailed the fort, but were repelled with loss, and retreated. Boone then, in the autumn of 1778, rejoined his family on the Yadkin, and returned with them to Kentucky in 1780. 

The country, though well settled, was still unsafe, and, soon after his return, Boone and his brother, Squire, were surprised by Indians; Squire was killed and scalped, and Daniel had a narrow escape. A sanguinary engagement, called the "Battle of the Blue Licks," took place in 1782, in which Boone's two sons fought at his side. One of them was killed, and the other severely wounded. Boone was full of expedients, and on one occasion extricated himself from four armed Indians by blinding them with tobacco dust. Kentucky was admitted into the union, 4 Feb., 1791, and in the survey of the state the title to Boone's land was disputed. The case was decided against him, and, stung to the quick by the wrong, he had again to seek a new home, which he established at Point Pleasant, between the Ohio and the Great Kanawha; but in 1795 he removed to Missouri, then a Spanish possession, and received not only the appointment of commandant of the Femme Osage district, but a grant of 8,000 acres. The Spanish possessions passed into the hands of Napoleon, who sold them to the United States, and, in the survey that followed, the Spanish grant of Boone's lands was pronounced invalid. An appeal to the legislature of Kentucky, and another to congress, resulted in a grant by the latter of 850 acres. Boone was then seventy-five years of age, hale and strong. The charm of the hunter's life clung to him to the last, and in his eighty-second year he went on a hunting excursion to the mouth of Kansas river. He had made his own coffin and kept it under his bed, and after his death they laid him in it to rest by the side of his wife, who had passed away seven years before. 

On 13 Sept., 1845, their remains were removed to the cemetery near Frankfort, Kentucky, a few miles from the fort of Boonesborough, by the concurrent action of the citizens of Frankfort and the legislature of Kentucky. 

Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky where Daniel and Rebecca Bryan Boone were re-interred

His son, Enoch, born in Boonesborough, Kentucky, in 1777 ; d. 8 March, 1862, was the first white male child born in Kentucky. Daniel Boone's wife, with her daughters, went to live with her husband in his palisaded fort in June, 1776, and while there gave birth to this son; but after Boone's capture, on 7 Feb., 1778, his family returned to North Carolina. -- Edited Appleton's American Biography Copyright© 2001 by Stan Klos TM

An American biographical and historical dictionary Containing an account of the lives, characters, and writings of the most eminent persons in North America from its first settlement, and a summary of the history of the several colonies and of the United States. By: W. Hyde, 1832.

BOONE, Daniel, colonel, one of the first settlers of Kentucky, was born about 1730. While he was young, his parents, who came from Bridgeworth,England removed from Pennsylvania or Virginia to the Yadkin river in North Carolina. 

He was early addicted to hunting in the woods; in the militia he attained to the rank of colonel. In 1769, in consequence of the representation of John Finley, who had penetrated into the wilderness of Kentucky, he was induced to accompany him in a journey to that country. He had four other companions, John Stuart, Joseph Holden, James Money, and William Cool, with whom he set out May 1. On the 7th of June they arrived at the Red river, a branch of the Kentucky; and here from the top of a hill they had a view of the fertile plain's, of which they were in pursuit. They encamped and remained in this place till Dec. 22, when Boone and Stuart were captured by the Indians near Kentucky river. In about a week they made their escape; but on returning to their camp, they found it plundered and deserted by their companions, who had gone back to Carolina.

Stuart was soon killed by the Indians; but Boone being joined by his brother, they remained and prosecuted the business of hunting during the winter, without further molestation. His brother going home for supplies in May 1770, he remained alone in the deep solitude of the western wilderness until his return with ammunition & horses July 27th. During this period this wild man of the woods, though greeted every night with the howlings of wolves, was delighted in his excursions with the survey of the beauties of the country and found greater pleasure in the solitude of wild nature, than he could have found amid the hum of the most elegant city. With his brother he traversed the country to Cumberland river. It was not until March 1771, that he returned to his family, resolved to conduct them to the paradise, which he had explored.

Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200. - Click Here for more information

Having sold his farm, he set out with his own and 5 other families, Sept. 25,1773, and was joined in Powell's valley by 40 men. After passing over two mountains, called Powell's and Walden's, through which, as they ranged from the north east to the south west, passes were found, and approaching the Cumberland, the rear of the company was attacked by the Indians on the 10th of October, when six men were killed, among whom was the eldest son of colonel Boone. One man was also wounded, and the cattle were scattered. This disaster induced them to retreat about 40 miles to the settlement on Clinch River, where he remained with his family, until June 6,1774, when, at the request of gov. Dunmore, he conducted a number of surveyors to the falls of Ohio. On this tour of 800 miles he was absent two months. After this he was entrusted by the governor, during the campaign against the Shawanese, with the command of three forts. 

Early in 1775, at the request of a company in North Carolina, he attended a treaty with the Cherokee Indians at Wataga in order to make of them the purchase of lands on the south side of the Tennessee river. After performing this service, he was employed to mark out a road from the settlements on the Holston to the Kentucky river. While thus employed, at the distance of about 15 miles from what is now Boonesborough, the party was attacked March 20, and 23, 1775 by the Indians, who killed four and wounded five. Another man was killed in April. On the first day of this month at a salt lick, on the southern bank of the Kentucky,in what is now Boonesborough a few miles from Lexington, he began to erect a fort, consisting of a block house & several cabins, enclosed with palisades. On the 14th of June he returned to his family in order to remove them to the tort.. His wife and daughters were the first white women, who stood on the banks of the Kentucky river. Dec. 24th one man was killed and another wounded. July 14, 1776, when all the settlements were attacked, two of Colonel Calway's daughters and one of his own were taken prisoners; Boone pursued with 18 men and in two days overtook the Indians, killed two of them, and recovered the captives.

The Indians made repeated attacks upon Boonesborough; Nov. 15,1777 with 100 men, and July 4 with 200 men. On both sides several were killed and wounded; but the enemy were repulsed; as they were also July 19 from Logan's fort of 15 men, which was besieged by 200. The arrival of 25 men from Carolina and in August of 100 from Virginia gave a new aspect to affairs, and taught the savages the superiority of "the long knives," as they called the Virginians. Jan. 1, 1778 he went with 30 men to the blue licks on the Licking river to make salt for the garrison. Feb. 7, being alone, he was captured by a party of 102 Indians and 2 Frenchmen; he capitulated for his men, and they were all carried to Chillicothe on the Little Miami, whence he and 10 men were conducted to Detroit, where he arrived March 30. The governor, Hamilton, treated him with much humanity, and offered 1001, for his redemption. But the savages refused the offer from affection to their captive. Being carried back to Chillicothe in April, he was adopted as a son in an Indian family. He assumed the appearance of cheerfulness ; but his thoughts were on his wife and children. Aware of the envy of the Indians, he was careful not to exhibit his skill in shooting. In June he went to the salt springs on the Sciota. On his return to Chillicothe he ascertained, that 450 warriors were preparing to proceed against Boonesborough. He escaped June 16, and arrived at the fort June 20th, having travelled 160 miles in 4 days, with but one meal. His wife had returned to her father's. Great efforts were made to repair the fort in order to meet the expected attack. On August 1st, he went out with 19 men to surprise Point Creek town on the Sciota; meeting 30 Indians, he put them to flight and captured their baggage. At last, Aug. 8, the Indian army of 444 men, led by captain Dugnesne and 11 other Frenchmen, and their own chiefs, with British colors flying, summoned the fort to surrender. 

The next day Boone, having a garrison of only 50 men, announced his resolution to defend the fort, while a man was alive. They then proposed that 9 men should be sent out 60 yards from the fort to enter into a treaty; and when the articles were agreed upon and signed, they said it was customary on such occasions, as a token of sincere friendship, for two Indians to shake every white man by the hand. Accordingly two Indians approached each of the nine white men, and grappled with the intent of making him a prisoner; but the object being perceived, the men broke away and re-entered the fort.

An attempt was now made to undermine it; but a counter trench defeated that purpose. Atlast on the 20th the enemy raised the siege, having lost 37 men. Of Boone's men two were killed and four wounded. "We picked, up," said he, "125 pounds of bullets, besides what stuck in the logs of our fort, which certainly is a great proof of their industry." In 1779, when Boone was absent, revisiting his family in Carolina, Colonel Bowman with 160 men fought the Shawanese Indians at old Chillicothe. 

In his retreat the Indians pursued him for 30 miles, when in another engagement col. Harrod suggested the successful project of mounting a number of horses and breaking the Indian line. Of the Kentuckians 9 were killed. June 22nd,1780, about 600 Indians and Canadians under col. Bird attacked Riddle's and Martin's stations and the forks of Licking river with 6 pieces of artillery, and carried away all as captives. Gen. Clarke, commanding at the falls of Ohio, marched with his regiment and troops against Reccaway, the principal Shawanese town on a branch of the Miami, and burned the town, with the loss of 17 on each side. 

About this time Boone returned to Kentucky with his family. In Oct. 1780, soon after he was settled again at Boonesborough, he went with his brother to the Blue Licks, and as they were returning the latter was slain by a party of Indians, and he was pursued by them by the aid of a dog. By shooting him Boone escaped. The severity of the ensuing winter was attended with great distress, the enemy having destroyed most of the corn. The people subsisted chiefly on buffalo's flesh. In May 1732 the Indians having killed a man at Ashton's station, captain A. pursued with 25 men, but in an attack upon' the enemy he was killed with 12 of his men. Aug. 10 two boys were carried off from major Hay's station. Capt. Holden pursued with 17 men; but he also was defeated, with the loss of four men. In a field near Lexington an Indian shot a man and running to scalp him, was him- self shot from the fort and fell dead upon his victim. On the 15th Aug. 500 Indians attacked Briant's station, five miles from Lexington,and destroyed all the cattle; but they were repulsed on the third day, having about 30 killed, while of the garrison 4 were killed and 3 wounded. Boone, with cols. Todd and Trigg and major Harland, collected 176 men and pursued on the 18th.

They overtook the enemy the next day a mile beyond the Blue Licks, about 40 miles from Lexington, at a remarkable bend of a branch of Licking river. A battle ensued, the enemy having a line formed across from one bend to the other, but the Kentuckians were defeated with the great loss of 60 killed, among whom were cols. Todd and Trigg, and Major Harland, and Boone's second son. Many were the widows made in Lexington on that fatal day. The Indians having 4 more killed, 4 of the prisoners were given up to the young warriors to be put to death in the most barbarous manner. 

General Clarke, accompanied by Boone, immediately marched into the Indian country and desolated it, burning old Chillicothe, Peccaway, New Chillicothe, Willis town, and Chillicothe. With the loss of four men he took seven prisoners and five scalps, or killed five Indians. In October the Indians attacked Crab orchard. One of the Indians having entered a house, in which were a woman and a negro, and being thrown to the ground by the negro, the woman cut off his head. From this period to the peace with Great Britain the Indians did no harm. "Two darling sons and a brother," said Boone, "have I lost by savage hands, which have also taken from me 40 valuable horses and abundance of cattle. Many dark and sleepless nights have I spent, separated from the cheerful society of men, scorched by the summer's sun and pinched by the winter's cold, an instrument ordained to settle the wilderness."

From this period he resided in Kentucky and Virginia till 1798, when in consequence of an imperfect legal title to the lands, which he had settled, he found himself dispossessed of his property. In his indignation he fled from the delightful region, which he had explored, when a wilderness, and which now had a population of half a million. With his rifle he crossed the Ohio and plunged into the immense country of the Missouri In 1799 he settled on the Femme Osage river with numerous followers. In 1800 he discovered the Boone's Lick country, now a fine settlement: in the same year he visited the head waters of the Grand Osage river and spent the winter upon the head waters of the Arkansas. At the age of 80, in company with a white man and a black man, laid under strict injunctions to carry him back to his family, dead or alive, he made a hunting trip to the head waters of the Great Osage, and was successful in trapping beaver and other game.

In January 1812 he addressed a memorial to the legislature of Ky. stating that he owned not an acre of land in the region, which he first settled; that in 1794 he passed over into the Spanish province of Louisiana, under an assurance from the governor, who resided at St. Louis, that land should be given him; that accordingly 10 thousand acres were given him on the Missouri and he became Syndic or chief of the district of St. Charles; but that on the acquisition of Louisiana by the United States his claims were rejected by the commissioners of land, because he did not actually reside; and that thus at the age of 80 he was a wanderer, having no spot of his own, whereon to lay his bones.

The legislature instructed their delegates to congress to solicit a confirmation of this grant. He retained, it is believed, 2,000 In his old age he pursued his active course of life, trapping bears and hunting with his rifle. Though a magistrate and sometimes a member of the legislature of Virginia, and much engaged in agriculture; yet he preferred the solitude of the wilderness to the honors of civil office and the society of men.

He died at the house of his son, Major A. Boone, at Charette, Montgomery Company, September 26th, 1820, aged nearly 90 years. His wife died in the same place. He left sons and daughters in Missouri. In consequence of his death the legislature of Missouri voted to wear a badge of mourning for 20 days. A brother died in Mississippi Oct. 1808, aged 81. 

Col. Boone was of common stature, of amiable disposition, and honorable integrity. In his last years he might have been seen by the traveler at the door of his house, with his rifle on his knee and his faithful dog at his side, lamenting the departed vigor of his limbs, and meditating on the scenes of his past life.

Whether he also meditated on the approaching scenes of eternity and his dim eyes ever kindled up with the glorious hopes of the christian is not mentioned in the accounts of him, which have been examined. But of all objects an irreligious old man, dead as to worldly joy and dead as to celestial hope, is the most pitiable. An account of his adventures, drawn up by himself, was published in Filson's supplement to Imlay's Description of the Western Territory, 1793.— Niles Register, March 13, 1813.

Capitals of the United States and Colonies of America

Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
September 27, 1777
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
Nov. 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790
Column via Record-Journal
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  • State Reports Only 14 Arrests & Four Convictions in Past Seven Years
    Statute of Limitations Just One Year for This Misdemeanor

    By Andy Thibault
    The Cool Justice Report
    June 4, 2017

    Editor's Note: This column may be reprinted or re-posted courtesy of The Cool Justice Report

    Connecticut has been a very safe place to avoid arrest and prosecution for failing to report sexual abuse -- especially if you're a teacher or administrator at a prep school.

    That's just part of the picture.

    Suppose you lose your teaching job after being accused of rape. Just don't put that job on your resume. You'll be fine for perhaps a decade or more. It also helps to amend your full name on the resume. Supposed background checks will fail to detect resume gaps and irregularities.

    But what about that mandatory reporting law compelling teachers and administrators to report suspected abuse to the state? No problem. It hasn't been enforced with any great enthusiasm at the preps: No report, no warning for future employers or victims.

    The revelations come after a series of articles by The Boston Globe Spotlight Team and an investigation by the powerhouse law firm Covington & Burling for Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford. The Globe found that abuse victims routinely suffered retaliation at private schools in New England. The schools in turn covered up the abuse. Choate, for example, failed to report abuse incidents prior to 2010.

    A spokeswoman for Connecticut courts told The Cool Justice Report there were just 14 arrests in the state for failing to report sexual abuse from January 2010 through late April 2017. During the same time, there were only four convictions, according to the data provided via the state Judicial Department. One of the convictions was of a day care operator. No additional data was available immediately.

    There is only a one-year statute of limitations for failure to report sexual abuse claims, and that crime is a misdemeanor. Connecticut Deputy Chief State's Attorney Len Boyle said in a statement there are no plans to try to change that, but he noted there is a five-year statute of limitations for a felony charge if prosecutors are able to cite willfulness or other aggravating factors. Willfulness, like intent, carries with it a significant burden of proof.

    "The one-year statute of limitations," Boyle said, "is largely consistent with the limitations periods for all crimes (i.e.: one year for a misdemeanor and five years for a felony). We have not sought to lengthen it. The more egregious cases of failure to report (willfulness, gross negligence, etc.) are felonies and provide a five year limitations period."

    Boyle's office is investigating whether anyone at Choate broke the law by failing to report suspected abuse, The Hartford Courant reported in April.

    Among the 12 teachers accused of abuse in the Choate report, one went on to become a teacher and administrator at several public schools in Connecticut. He was able to avoid detection partly by amending his name and omitting two teaching jobs at private schools -- Choate and The Gunnery, in Washington, CT -- on his resume. The resume, obtained under Connecticut's Freedom of Information law, also shows some overlap for jobs at public schools in Connecticut and New York.

    This teacher / administrator, Jaime E. Rivera, aka Jaime Rivera-Murillo, resigned as principal of Wamogo High School in Litchfield in April. Before that, he was a teacher and assistant principal at Newtown High School for about 11 years. The first teaching job listed on his resume was at Henry Abbot Technical High School in Danbury, beginning in 2001. That leaves a seven-year gap following his graduation from St. Michael's College in Vermont, where he reported earning a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language.

    The Covington & Burling report says Rivera-Murillo was fired after being accused of anally raping one student and grabbing the breast of another during a Choate field trip to Costa Rica in 1999. Rivera, a faculty leader for the trip, denied engaging in sexual misconduct but admitting drinking alcohol including beer with students and "local moonshine" with others.

    Choate did not report the alleged assaults at the time as required by law. The alleged rape victim told the Covington & Burling team that a female administrator admonished students not to discuss what happened.

    The process for vetting resumes at Connecticut public schools like Wamogo and Newtown high schools and Abbot Tech seems to be check the boxes and wave the guy through with barely a pretense of scrutiny. This abysmal failure of diligence and critical thinking should be alarming to students, parents and all taxpayers.

    "He didn't list Choate as a former employer when he applied," Christine Chinni, the lawyer for Regional District 6 which includes Wamogo, told The Boston Globe.

    District 6 Superintendent Edward Drapp, asked about the committee of 12 that reviewed Rivera-Murillo's credentials and the review process, declined to discuss his procedures for background checks. Besides the resume, which he produced after a formal FOI request, Drapp was also asked to provide documents related to that review committee. Here is Drapp's response: "Attached is a copy of Mr. Rivera's resume. This is the only document in the district's possession that meets the criteria of your FOI request. For the remainder of the school year I will be focused on the students and therefore I am not doing any additional interviews or making any other statements on this matter."

    Drapp's response sounds like the result of bad coaching from an inept lawyer. The assertion that there are no documents regarding the review committee is not credible. Are we to believe the review committee never had a meeting?

    The Globe reported in April that the sexual misconduct at Choate occurred from 1963 to 2010 and ranged from intimate kissing to groping and sexual intercourse. The Covington & Burling report cites 12 teachers. Other Globe stories cited more than 100 private schools in New England with more than 300 former students saying they faced sexual abuse or harassment.

    Just last month, The Kent School was sued and accused of failing to report a 49-year-old teacher who had sex with a 15-year-old student in the late 1980s.

    The student claims her advisor scolded her for spreading vicious rumors. Another teacher allegedly told the student she was a sinner for committing adultery. The suit claims the abuse was widely known at the school and that the student was shunned, called "obviously crazy" and blamed for the teacher's breakdown. During a church service the student attended at the school, the suit asserts, Kent staff openly prayed for the teacher's well being. The teacher subsequently got a job at a private school in Indiana.

    Kent School, founded in 1906, charges more than $60,000 annually for tuition, board and fees.

    Rev. Richardson Schell, the headmaster, said in a statement: "We do not know why [the student] has elected to pursue a lawsuit at this time."

    Schell opened the statement by saying he had reviewed the complaint: " ... I am deeply sorry for the wrongful actions of the former Kent teacher who engaged in an inappropriate relationship with this former student ... as the Headmaster of the school then, I responded immediately and to the best of my ability."

    The statement does not address the school's duty to report the alleged abuse in a timely manner.

    Notably, Schell undertook a massive letter writing campaign some years later when he was annoyed by what he called a TV sitcom's "obnoxious, objectionable content." His letter writing campaign netted responses from 17 companies and he also reached out to publications including Advertising Age and Media Week to generate publicity regarding his concerns about popular culture, The New York Times reported.

    Finally, on the national front, The Associated Press reported that a former president of Penn State and two other former university administrators were each sentenced Friday to at least two months in jail for failing to alert authorities to a 2001 allegation against ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a decision that enabled the now-convicted serial predator to continue molesting boys.

    Thibault, a private investigator for the Hartford office of Integrated Security Services, is the author of a second collection of newspaper columns, “more COOL JUSTICE”, credited with helping to free a woman unjustly convicted of first degree murder. His public service includes four years on a local board of education. Follow him on Twitter @cooljustice.

  • The Choate Report

  • Short version of column
    Via Hearst CT dailies

  • Danbury News Times

  • Connecticut Post

  • Norwalk Hour

  • Greenwich Time

  • Stamford Advocate


  •           Protecting Our Houses of Worship: Guest Column by Security Expert / Retired NYPD Detective Sergeant         


    Founder & Chief Executive Officer

  • Integrated Security Services

  • According to the Washington Post, “it’s been a bad 2017 for Jews.” During the month of January, 48 bomb threats were called in to Jewish community centers across the country. Also last month, a neo-Nazi made national news by promising to hold a march in Whitefish, Montana to intimidate the town’s small Jewish population.

    This, of course, was followed by another unprecedented press conference by our President during which two reporters were moved to ask Mr. Trump about the rise in anti-Semitism. Many of us were aghast at the President’s rude and dismissive response, and his unwillingness to address the question seriously. The fact is, the country is experiencing an alarming increase of anti-Semitic incidents, and this has been trending upward since 2015. A security report issued by the Department of Homeland Security on protecting houses of worship stated that the United States has approximately 345,000 religious congregations representing 230 denominational groups and roughly 150 million members. Despite being sanctuaries from the troubles of the world, houses of worship have also been targets as violence has spiked across the country in recent years. The killing of nine people at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina was the largest mass shooting in a house of worship since 1991, when nine people were shot at the Wat Promkunaram Buddhist temple in Waddell, Arizona, northwest of Phoenix.

    [Under relentless pressure, the President subsequently denounced anti-Semitism.]

  • Empathy and action: Muslims unite to help fix vandalized Jewish cemeteries

  • The intent of this column is to generate awareness and provide a short guide which contains security practices for religious institutions, parishioners and our non religious communities to help deter threats, mitigate hazards and risks, and minimize the damage caused by an incident in or around a house of worship, including mass casualty events.

    I preface with the word “short” because there is a wide range of methods from programmatic and procedural considerations to technological enhancements that religious facilities and their leadership may consider implementing based upon the most likely threats to their facilities and their available resources. Basic security principals would suggest taking a blended approach to security and safety with the goal of hardening the facility to deter, detect and/or delay a criminal occurrence before it happens. The next steps are equally important and this is where lives are saved and mass casualties are reduced. Selecting the appropriate response to a threat or armed intrusion will help facilitate a safe transition into an effective recovery and restoration of services mode.

    Identifying Your Threats & Vulnerabilities

    Identifying and evaluating a known or potential threat to a given facility is the first step of a security assessment. The results of which will guide the process of developing a security plan. A proper readiness plan will aim to deter a threat or mitigate a threat by reducing the religious facility’s vulnerability to those threats.

    Natural Hazards vs. Targeted Violence

    As stated before, all life safety solutions should be designed using a blended approach to managing risk. Protecting a religious facility means your emergency management plan(s) must address an all-hazard approach to both natural hazards, e.g., infectious diseases and illnesses, fire, and seismic and weather-related events (hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods) as well as targeted attacks. Spontaneous and pre-planned attacks are likely to occur by individual(s) who use firearms; improvised explosive devices (IEDs); vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs); chemical, biological, or radiological attacks; or arson in order to inflict a number of casualties and damage to religious facilities.

    Protective Measures

    As previously mentioned earlier, a house of worship environment is managed by creating layers of protective measures in collaboration with state and local partners that allow religious institutions to deter, detect and delay threats. These layers also allow an institution to consider a threat as soon as possible and to more effectively respond to, further deter, eliminate or mitigate that threat.

    • Technological sensors such as CCTV surveillance cameras or alarms (fire, smoke, wind, and intrusion detection) will trigger informed decision-making.

    • Barriers, such as locked doors or fixed barriers or uniform security personnel should be in place to deter or delay a threat and afford more time for effective decision making.

    • Having the correct inbound and outbound communication network in place will influence a number key decisions. Time, or the lack of time, is a principle disrupter of effective decision-making. Sound communication strategies such as emergency email blasts, voice activated alert systems, and silent alert systems help to improve response to and during a crisis. An effective communication protocol should expand the window of time available to leaders to make sound decisions.

    Additional Measures to Consider:

    • Reporting Procedures

    • Establishing Collaborative Planning Teams

    • Starting an Emergency Operations Plan

    • Define Roles and Responsibilities

    • Notification Procedures

    • Evacuation Lockdown and Shelter‐In‐Place Policies and Procedures

    • Plans for Diverse Needs of Children and Staff

    • Necessary Equipment and Supplies

    • Common Vocabulary

    • Emergency Drills

    Call us at (212) 808-4153, or write us to tell what you think or how we can be of more assistance and remember, always dial 911 first in an emergency!

  • Integrated Security Services

  • About Alan Schissel

  • Cool Justice Editor’s Note: By way of disclosure, Cool Justice is an occasional denizen of Integrated’s Hartford office and once in a while even does a little work …


  • Hartford PI Stars in Network Real-Life Manhunt Show

  •           Chris Paul Scores 38 As Clippers Wrap Up Trip With 113-97 Win Over Wizards        
    Chris Paul had 38 points and 12 assists, and the Los Angeles Clippers shared the ball impeccably Saturday night as they wrapped up a tougher-than-it-should've-been East Coast road trip with a 113-97 win over the Washington Wizards.
              Burn After Reading        

    Who’s Who
    What’s What

    In the World of CIA Fronts, Partners, Proprietaries & Contractors


    The Almost Classified Guide to CIA Front Companies, Proprietaries & Contractors
    ISBN: 978-1-365-11196-9

    Cool Justice Editor's Note: Following are excerpts from author Madsen's introduction and the body of the work. Additional suggested reading: News story about Madsen's book via the Washington, D.C. based Justice Integrity Project [link at the bottom of this post].


    From the Introduction

    One of the most pervasive uses of companies as intelligence partners was under the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD. During the Cold War, the CIA, often with the approval of corporate executives, infiltrated their agents to work as journalists in newspapers, radio and television networks, wire services, and magazines. The following pages in this book are rife with examples of this penetration of the Fourth Estate – all too many in the opinion of this journalist. The CIA admitted to at least 400 journalists on the agency’s payroll at the height of MOCKINGBIRD. The CIA traditionally understates its capabilities, especially when its covert activities become publicly known. Moreover, the end of the Cold War did not stop the practice of the CIA in infiltrating the media and slant news reports to its wishes.


    An insightful look behind the veils of secrecy into the CIA’s use of fronts, proprietaries, and partners calls into question the purpose of the CIA. Created by President Harry S Truman to serve as a central collector and repository of intelligence, the CIA became much more than that. A few weeks after the United States witnessed the assassination of President Kennedy in the middle of downtown Dallas, Truman penned an op-ed piece that appeared in several newspapers around the country. In it, Truman shared his regret for having created the CIA in 1947:

    “I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA . . . For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

    "I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue.”


    The 21st century’s CIA’s partners are more likely to be found among high-tech companies marketing the latest and greatest mobile applications and data mining programs than among banks, law offices, and advertising agencies. However, in the post-World War II era, the CIA’s top and middle echelons were normally found operating through cover as typewriter-pecking journalists, traveling Madison Avenue admen, corporate lawyers, and chain-smoking oilmen. In the 1970s and 80s, CIA contractors and partners began showing up in the high-tech field, with database, local area networking, and on-line information retrieval systems attracting the most interest by Langley.


    As this book went to press, the smart phone game application Pokémon Go fad was sweeping the planet. Unbeknownst to many of the on-line game’s avid fan’s was the connection of the game’s developers to the CIA’s venture capital firm IN-Q-TEL. All users saw their geo-location and other smart phone data being swept up by a CIA partner firm.


    Amazon, Inc. [CIA contractor]. Company provides cloud computing services for the CIA. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

    American Historical Society. [CIA partner]. Many society officials were OSS/CIA officers.

    American Press Institute. [CIA front]. Operating out of Columbia University, the institute’s director in the 1950s was a CIA officer.

    AmeriCares. [CIA partner]. A non-profit organization that is often the “first in” at refugee situations. Founded by tycoon J. Peter Grace, a board chairman of the CIA front, the American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) and a trustee of another CIA front, the American Committee for Liberation from Bolshevism, AmeriCares was involved in funding the Nicaraguan contras. The group has also provided the CIA with recruiting opportunities at mass refugee sites, particularly in Latin America and Asia.

    Bechtel Corporation. [CIA contractor]. Bechtel is a large construction company that has included former CIA director Richard Helms, CIA pseudonym “Fletcher M. Knight,” among its executive ranks. Bechtel was active in providing corporate cover for the OSS in the Middle East during World War II. Bechtel has been a consummate service company for various CIA operations, including support for the CIA-inspired coup against the Syrian government in 1949, the Iranian government of Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadeq in 1953, and President Sukarno of Indonesia in 1965. From the 1960s to the 1970s, Bechtel provided cover for CIA agents in Libya under both the regime of King Idris and his successor, Muammar Qaddafi. Sometimes called a “secret arm” of the CIA, Bechtel’s executives included those who would join President Reagan’s Cabinet, including Secretary of State George Schultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

    Before World War II, Steve Bechtel formed a military-industrial complex partnership with John McCone. McCone later became the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and later, director of the CIA. The CIA has used Bechtel to provide cover for non-official cover CIA operatives abroad.

    Blackstone Investment Group. [CIA front]. With offices in Washington, DC and Moscow, arranged for the purchase of KGB documents following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Among the documents sought by the front company were any related to illegal CIA activities during the Cold War, including the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

    Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar and Restaurant. [CIA front]. Opened in 1967 in King’s Cross in Sydney, Australia. Served as a rendezvous point for CIA, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), and organized crime figures. Its proprietor was Bernie Houghton, a CIA operative with links to Nugan Hand Bank, CIA weapons smuggler Edwin Wilson, and CIA clandestine services officers Theodore Shackley, Rafael Quintero, and Thomas Clines.

    Center for Democracy. [CIA front]. Administered under the aegis of Boston University, the center maintained offices in Boston, Washington, DC, Guatemala City, and Strasbourg, France. Involved in CIA operations in eastern Europe, Central America, and Africa.

    Colt Patent Firearms Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Hartford, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

    Daddario & Burns. [CIA partner]. Headed by former OSS officer Emilio Daddario, a Democratic Representative from Connecticut, the Hartford-based law firm provided services to the CIA.

    DC Comics. [CIA partner]. Worked with the International Military Information Group (IMIG), a joint CIA/Pentagon unit at the State Department, to disseminate propaganda comic books, featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, in Serbo-Croatian and Albanian, to youth in the Balkans during the military conflicts in that region.

    Disney Corporation. [CIA partner]. CIA agents who were adept at creating front companies and shell corporations in Florida, worked closely with Disney in preparation for the construction of Disney World near Orlando, Florida. OSS veteran “Wild Bill” Donovan and CIA shell company expert Paul Helliwell helped create two fake Florida cities, Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, as well as a number of shell corporations, to keep secret the plans for Disney World. This kept land prices low because real estate speculators were unaware of the prospective value of the land in a desolate area of central Florida.

    Emory School of Medicine. [CIA partner]. Located in Atlanta, Georgia. Involved in the CIA’s MK-ULTRA behavioral modification project.

    Enron Corporation [CIA partner]. Houston-based firm that was used by the CIA to provide commercial cover for its agents around the world. There were at least 20 CIA employees on Enron’s payroll. Andre Le Gallo, a former official of the CIA’s Operations Directorate, went to work as a corporate intelligence officer for Enron.

    Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). [CIA front]. Officially established by American Trotskyists, the group was penetrated by CIA operatives. The FPCC New Orleans office was a CIA front that provided cover for the anti-Fidel Castro activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie, among others. The New Orleans FPCC office was located at 544 Camp Street and shared the same building entrance with Guy Banister Associates, Inc., a private detective agency, the address for which was 531 Lafayette Street and around the corner from 544 Camp Street.

    In December 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the FPCC ceased all U.S. operations.

    General Electric Company. [CIA partner]. Based in Fairfield, Connecticut, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad.

    General Foods Corporation. [CIA partner]. Advertising account at CIA’s Robert Mullen Company handled by an active CIA employee.

    Google, Inc. [CIA partner]. Developed as a result of a research grant by the CIA and Pentagon to Stanford University’s Department of Computer Science. The CIA referred to the research as the “google project.”

    Greenberg Traurig. [CIA partner]. Washington, DC “connected” law firm.

    Guy Banister Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New Orleans private detective agency headed by former FBI agent Guy Banister. The detective agency coordinated the activities of various anti-Castro Cuban groups in New Orleans, including Banister’s own Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean, as well as the Cuban Revolutionary Council, the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, Friends of Democratic Cuba, and the Crusade to Free Cuba Committee.

    Banister and Associates shared office space with the CIA’s New Orleans front, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, headed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Hale and Dorr. [CIA partner]. Boston-based law firm that provided cover for CIA’s Independence and Brown Foundations.

    Halliburton. [CIA contractor]. Based in Houston, it is the world’s largest oil service company. Recipient of a number of CIA sole-source contracts for services worldwide.

    Harper and Row, Inc. [CIA partner]. Manuscripts submitted to the New York publisher that dealt with intelligence matters, particularly CIA operations, were turned over to the CIA for censoring edits before publication.

    Hewlett Packard Corporation. [CIA partner]. Sold computers to Iraq for Saddam Hussein’s missile program with the knowledge and approval of the CIA.

    Hill & Knowlton. [CIA partner]. Public relations firm that teamed with the CIA on a number of operations. Hill & Knowlton’s numerous offices abroad provided cover for CIA agents. One known Hill & Knowlton office that was a CIA front operation was in Kuala Lumpur.

    Kerr-McGee. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating overseas.

    Kissinger Associates, Inc. [CIA partner]. New York-based international consulting firm founded by former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger. Former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft is a co-owner. The firm provided support to the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation and the Bilderberg Group. Much of the 1982 seed money for Kissinger Associates was provided by Goldman Sachs.

    Knight Foundation. [CIA partner]. Also known as the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Based in Miami, the foundation provides funding for various CIA-connected media operations in the United States and around the world.

    Kroll Inc. [CIA partner]. Founded in 1972 by Jules Kroll, who had links to both U.S. and Israeli intelligence. Based in Manhattan. French domestic law enforcement believed Kroll’s Paris office was a CIA front. Kroll handled the security for the World Trade Center after the 1993 terrorist bombing and continued to be responsible for security up to, during, and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. Kroll employed former FBI assistant director for counter-terrorism John O’Neill, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

    Lincoln Savings and Loan. [CIA partner]. Based in Irvine, California and headed by notorious swindler Charles Keating, Jr., involved in laundering funds for the Iran-contra scandal.

    Lone Star Cement Corporation. [CIA partner]. Based in Stamford, Connecticut and linked to the Bush family, provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad. Involved in the Iran-contra scandal.

    Mary Carter Paint Company. [CIA front]. A money-laundering operation for the CIA. Involved in casinos in the Bahamas.

    Monsanto. [CIA partner]. The firm contracted with former CIA official Cofer Black’s Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), a subsidiary of the CIA-connected Blackwater USA, later Xe Services, to monitor animal rights groups, anti-genetically modified (GM) food activists, and other groups opposed to Monsanto’s agri-business operations worldwide.

    National Enquirer. [CIA partner]. The tabloid’s founder, Generoso (Gene) Pope, Jr., worked for the CIA’s psychological warfare unit and the agency’s Italy branch in 1950. In 1952, Pope acquired The New York Enquirer broadsheet and transformed it into a tabloid, renaming it The National Enquirer. This transformation bore the imprimatur of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program.

    Newsweek. [CIA partner]. Magazine reporters and stringers fed information to the CIA. Newsweek’s stringers in southeastern Europe and the Far East were CIA agents. When Newsweek was bought by The Washington Post Company in 1961, cooperation between the magazine and the CIA increased. It was a participant in the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD media influence program. Much of the staff of Newsweek was absorbed into a new online publication, The Daily Beast, which continues to disseminate CIA-influenced articles. See Washington Post.

    Nieman Foundation. [CIA partner]. Located at Harvard University, the foundation awarded Nieman Fellowships, some on behalf of the CIA, for foreign journalists to study at Harvard. The journalists were subjected to CIA recruitment efforts prior to their returning to their home countries.

    Pamela Martin & Associates. [CIA partner], Escort firm run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called “DC Madam.” During her 2008 trial for mail fraud, Palfrey attempted to invoke the Classified Information Procedures Act in order to discuss her relationship with the CIA. The U.S. Court refused Palfrey’s request and she was convicted and later said to have committed suicide before her sentencing hearing in Washington, DC. One of her clients was Randall Tobias, the head of the CIA-connected USAID. Another was Louisiana Republican senator David Vitter.

    Paris Review. [CIA front]. Literary magazine edited by George Plimpton. Published works by Jack Kerouac and Samuel Beckett. The magazine’s co-founder, Peter Matthiessen, relied on his affiliation with the magazine as his CIA cover.

    Quaker Oats Company. [CIA partner]. Worked with the CIA and Atomic Energy Commission to place trace amounts of radiation in breakfast cereal served to boys at the Fernald School for the mentally retarded in Waltham, Massachusetts.

    Radio Corporation of America. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover for CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Iran, Philippines, Japan, and West Germany. Provided technical assistance to CIA-financed clandestine and propaganda radio stations worldwide, including Radio Free Europe. RCA founder David Sarnoff was a major supporter of CIA operations, including propaganda dissemination around the world. RCA chairman and chief executive officer Thornton F. Bradshaw was active in the operations of the CIA-linked American Ditchley Foundation.

    Reily Coffee Company. [CIA partner]. Also known as William B. Reily Coffee Company and based in New Orleans, this company employed Lee Harvey Oswald and a number of other U.S. government employees, many of whom were suspected CIA officers.

    Robert M. Mullen Company. [CIA proprietary]. A Washington, DC public relations firm, it was used as a front for CIA activities. E. Howard Hunt, the CIA agent, worked for Robert Mullen when he was arrested in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in 1972. The Senate Watergate Committee reported that “the Mullen and Company has maintained a relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency since its incorporation in 1959. It provided covers for agents in Europe (Stockholm), Latin America (Mexico City), and the Far East (Singapore) at the time of the Watergate break-in.”

    Rockefeller Foundation. [CIA partner]. Used by the CIA to direct scholarships and grants to the Third World and Eastern Europe. Rockefeller Foundation money was funneled to the American Committee for a United Europe (ACUE), created in 1948. The chairman of ACUE was OSS chief William J. Donovan and the vice chairman was Allen Dulles. One of ACUE’s board members was Walter Bedell Smith, the first CIA director.

    Summa Corporation. [CIA partner]. Owned by Howard Hughes, Summa is believed to have skimmed gambling profits from the Sands, Desert Inn, Frontier, Silver Slipper, Castaways, and Landmark casinos in Las Vegas and Harold’s Club in Reno for the CIA and the Mafia. Provided financial cover for the CIA’s Glomar Explorer project.

    Teneo Intelligence. [CIA partner]. Branch of Teneo Holdings, which is headquartered in New York. Teneo Holdings’s intelligence branch includes former CIA officials. Teneo is closely linked to former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Teneo Intelligence has offices in New York, London, Rome, Brussels, Dubai, Bogota, New Delhi, and Tokyo.

    Texas Commerce Bank (TCB). [CIA partner]. Houston-based bank founded by the family of James Baker III. Texas Commerce Bank was used to provide commercial cover for CIA agents. After serving as vice president for Texas Commerce Bank in Caracas from 1977 to 1979, Jeb Bush joined his father’s presidential campaign in 1980. Serving with Bush on the campaign was Robert Gambino, the CIA deputy director of security who gave Bush his orientation brief at Langley in 1977.

    Kenneth Lay, the chairman of Enron, which had its own links to the CIA, served on the board of Texas Commerce Bank. Texas Commerce Bank was acquired by Chemical Bank in 1987.

    The bank provided major loans to Howard Hughes’s Summa Corporation. See Summa Corporation.

    United Fruit Company [CIA partner]. Involved in 1954 CIA overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz government in Guatemala. Published the Latin America Report, a publication that was a CIA front used for clandestine activities. The CIA transferred weapons to United Fruit employees in Guatemala who were involved in undermining the Arbenz government. The joint CIA-United Fruit plan was code named OPERATION FORTUNE. Company provided an airfield in Guatemala for the CIA’s training of Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

    U.S. Rubber Company. [CIA partner]. Headquartered in Naugatuck, Connecticut and later called Uniroyal, provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad. Included those operating under the cover of the Dominion Rubber Company of Canada, a subsidiary of U.S. Rubber Company.

    U.S. Youth Council (USYC). [CIA front]. Founded in 1945 and based in New York. Some 90 percent of its funds came from the CIA. USYC received funding from the Foundation for Youth and Student Affairs (FYSA), a CIA front. The USYC was composed of American Youth Hostels, Camp Fire Girls, 4-H, American Unitarian Youth, National Catholic Welfare Conference, National Students Assembly, YMCA and YWCA.

    Wackenhut. [CIA contractor]. Wackenhut, a Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based security firm, stood accused of providing the CIA with specialized services around the world, including Chile, Greece, and El Salvador. Its Venezuelan branch, Wackenhut Venezolana, C.A., was accused in 2002 of involvement in the CIA’s coup against President Hugo Chavez. William Casey served as Wackenhut’s outside counsel before becoming CIA director in 1981.

    Wackenhut eventually merged into the global security firm G4S.

    Washington Post. [CIA partner]. The Washington Post was part of the CIA’s Operation MOCKINGBIRD, the agency’s media influence project. Post publisher Phil Graham was a close friend and associate of MOCKINGBIRD chief Frank Wisner, Sr. and CIA director Allen Dulles. Wisner assisted Graham in acquiring The Washington Times-Herald and WTOP radio, creating a sizable CIA-influenced media operation in the nation’s capital.

    W. R. Grace. [CIA partner]. Provided corporate cover to CIA officers operating abroad, particularly in Latin America. Provided donations to CIA front foundations.

  • News story about Madsen's book via The Justice Integrity Project

  •           Yêu thÆ°Æ¡ng con người, không yêu lạc thú        
    Abd al-Rahman không bao giờ có thể biết tổng hạnh phúc mà ông có được. Bởi vị vua này không bao giờ biết được công thức đúng để tìm kiếm hạnh phúc.

    Abd al-Rahman đệ tam là một vị vua và một thủ lĩnh Hồi giáo của xứ Córdoba ở Tây Ban Nha thế kỷ thứ 10. Ông là người cai trị tối cao và sống trong sự xa hoa tuyệt đối. Đây là cách mà ông nhận định về cuộc sống của mình:

    “Cho tới bây giờ, ta đã trị vì hơn 50 năm trong phồn thịnh và hoà bình; thần dân yêu thương ta, kẻ địch khiếp sợ ta, và các đồng minh kính nể ta. Giàu sang và địa vị, quyền lực và lạc thú đợi lệnh ta, và ta có tất cả mọi lời chúc tụng trên mặt đất này.”

    Vinh hoa, phú quý, và lạc thú trên cả tưởng tượng. Nghe có vẻ quá hoàn hảo? Ông đã viết tiếp:

    “Ta đã cẩn trọng và kiên trì đếm số ngày mà ta cảm nhận được niềm vui thuần khiết thật sự trong đời mình: chỉ vỏn vẹn có 14 ngày.”

    Vấn đề của Abd al-Rahman, như ông đã nghĩ, không phải là sự hạnh phúc, mà là sự bất hạnh. Nếu điều đó nghe có vẻ như một sự phân biệt không hề có chút khác biệt nào, có lẽ bạn cũng có vấn đề tương tự như vị vua vĩ đại kia. Nhưng với một chút hiểu biết, bạn có thể tránh được sự khổ sở mà ông ấy đã chịu.

    Thế nào là sự bất hạnh? Trực giác của bạn có thể mách bảo rằng “bất hạnh” đơn giản là đối lập của hạnh phúc, như bóng tối là sự thiếu vắng ánh sáng. Điều đó là không đúng. Hạnh phúc và sự bất hạnh chắc chắn là có liên hệ với nhau, nhưng chúng không thật sự là hai mặt đối lập. Ảnh chụp bộ não cho thấy nhiều khu vực của vỏ não bên trái hoạt động mạnh hơn so với với bên phải khi chúng ta cảm thấy hạnh phúc, trong khi vỏ não phải trở nên hoạt động mạnh hơn khi chúng ta không hạnh phúc.

    Nghe có vẻ lạ, nhưng một người vui vẻ hạnh phúc hơn mức bình quân không có nghĩa là người đó không thể cảm thấy buồn bã bất hạnh hơn mức trung bình. Có một bài kiểm tra về mức độ hạnh phúc lẫn bất hạnh, đó là bài kiểm tra Phân hạng Cảm xúc tích cực và Cảm xúc tiêu cực. Tôi đã tự mình làm bài kiểm tra đó. Tôi phát hiện ra rằng, đối với “hạnh phúc”, tôi nằm trong tốp đầu của những người có cùng độ tuổi, giới tính, nghề nghiệp và trình độ văn hoá. Nhưng tôi cũng có điểm khá cao đối với hạng mục “không hạnh phúc”. Tôi là một người u sầu, nhưng u sầu một cách vui vẻ.

    Vì thế khi một người nói, “Tôi là một người bất hạnh,” họ thật ra là đang nói về tổng thể cho dù họ có nhận ra điều đó hay không. Họ sẽ nói, “Sự bất hạnh của tôi là x, sự hạnh phúc của tôi là y, và x>y.” Câu hỏi thật sự là tại sao, và bạn có thể làm gì để làm y>x.

    Nếu bạn hỏi một người cảm thấy không hạnh phúc tại sao anh ta lại cảm thấy như vậy, anh ta hầu như luôn luôn đổ lỗi cho hoàn cảnh. Tất nhiên trong nhiều trường hợp, điều đó có thể đúng. Một số người phải gánh chịu sự đàn áp, nghèo đói hay bệnh tật thể xác, những yếu tố làm cho cuộc sống của họ như một công việc nhàm chán. Không ngạc nhiên khi các nghiên cứu cho thấy rằng phân biệt giới tính làm cho trẻ em cảm thấy không hạnh phúc, và nhiều công trình học thuật chỉ ra mối liên kết giữa sự bất hạnh và sự nghèo khó. Một nguyên nhân thông thường khác mang đến sự không hạnh phúc chính là sự cô đơn, và có khoảng 20% dân số Mỹ khổ sở vì điều này đến độ đủ để xem sự cô đơn là một nguyên nhân chủ đạo của sự bất hạnh trong cuộc đời họ.

    Cũng có những nguyên nhân mang tính hoàn cảnh khác cho sự bất hạnh. Nhà tâm lý học Daniel Kahneman và các đồng nghiệp của mình ở Princeton đã đo “cảm xúc tiêu cực” (các trạng thái tinh thần không tốt) mà các hoạt động và tương tác thông thường hàng ngày có thể mang lại. Họ nhận thấy sự kiện kích động sự không hạnh phúc số 1 trong một ngày điển hình chính là trải qua thời gian với cấp trên của một người (điều này làm cho tôi, một ông sếp, cảm thấy không vui khi được biết).

    Không nghi ngờ gì, hoàn cảnh rất quan trọng. Chắc chắn Abd al-Rahman có thể chỉ ra một vài tình huống trong quãng đời của ông. Nhưng nghịch lý là, lời giải thích đúng đắn hơn cho sự bất hạnh của ông hẳn có thể là quá trình tìm kiếm hạnh phúc của ông. Và điều tương tự cũng có thể đúng đối với bạn.

    Đã bao giờ bạn quen biết một người nghiện rượu? Những người nghiện rượu thường uống để giải toả cơn ghiền hay nỗi lo âu nào đó – nói cách khác, để kiềm hãm một “nguồn” của sự bất hạnh. Nhưng suy cho cùng chính rượu mới kéo dài sự đau khổ của họ. Nguyên tắc tương tự cũng áp dụng cho trường hợp của vua Abd al-Rahman khi ông theo đuổi danh vọng, giàu sang và lạc thú.

    Hãy xem xét đối với trường hợp “danh vọng”. Trong năm 2009, các nhà nghiên cứu từ đại học Rochester đã tiến hành một nghiên cứu, họ theo dõi sự thành đạt của 147 tân cử nhân trong việc đạt được những mục tiêu mà các sinh viên đã đề ra sau khi tốt nghiệp. Một số người có những mục tiêu “nội tại”, chẳng hạn như các mối quan hệ sâu sắc và bền vững. Những người khác có những mục tiêu “ngoại tại”, như đạt được tiếng tăm hay danh vọng. Các học giả đã nhận thấy rằng các mục tiêu nội tại có liên hệ với đời sống hạnh phúc hơn. Còn những người theo đuổi các mục tiêu ngoại tại thường phải chịu nhiều cảm xúc tiêu cực hơn, như sự tủi hổ hay sợ hãi. Những người này thậm chí còn phải chịu nhiều bệnh tật về mặt thể chất.

    Đây là một trong những sự mỉa mai tàn nhẫn nhất trong cuộc sống. Tôi làm việc ở Washington, ngay trong lòng của những cuộc chiến chính trị công khai. Không loại một trường hợp nào, những người không hạnh phúc nhất tôi từng gặp là những người cống hiến hết sức lực cho việc làm cho họ trở nên vĩ đại – các (pundit), những kẻ to mồm trên TV, những nhân vật “biết tất”. Họ tự dựng lên và quảng bá hình ảnh của họ, nhưng thường xuyên cảm thấy tồi tệ.

    Đó là nghịch lý của danh vọng. Cũng giống như các loại thuốc nghiện và rượu, một khi bạn trở nên nghiện ngập, bạn không thể sống thiếu nó. Nhưng thực ra bạn cũng không thể sống với nó. Theo nghiên cứu của nhà tâm lý học Donna Rockwell, những người nổi tiếng diễn tả danh vọng như là “một con thú trong chuồng, một món đồ chơi trong một cửa kính trưng bày, một con búp bê Barbie, một vỏ bọc nơi công cộng, một tượng đất sét, hay, một gã nào đó trên TV.” Thế nhưng họ không thể từ bỏ nó.

    Sự khao khát danh vọng của người thường đã tạo ra nhiều phát kiến đáng kinh ngạc. Một trong số đó là sự ra đời của truyền hình thực tế, nơi những con người bình thường chẳng tên tuổi trở thành những diễn viên diễn về cuộc sống hằng ngày của họ cho người khác xem. Tại sao? “Được chú ý, được săn đón, được yêu thích, khi bước chân đến một nơi nào thì được người khác quan tâm xem bạn đang làm gì, thậm chí là bạn ăn gì cho buổi trưa hôm đó: đó là những gì người ta muốn, theo quan điểm của tôi,” một thí sinh 26 tuổi trong chương trình truyền hình thực tế nổi tiếng “Big Brother” cho biết.

    Và còn đó các mạng xã hội. Ngày nay, mỗi người chúng ta đều có thể tạo cho mình một lượng fan cá nhân nho nhỏ, nhờ vào Facebook, YouTube, Twitter và các mạng xã hội tương tự. Chúng ta có thể “phát sóng” tất cả các chi tiết cuộc sống của chúng ta đến bạn bè và cả những người xa lạ một cách cực kỳ hiệu quả. Điều đó khá tốt để giữ liên lạc với bạn bè thân thích, nhưng đồng thời nó cũng tạo ra một dạng “tìm kiếm tiếng tăm” thứ yếu, nằm trong tầm với của mỗi chúng ta. Và một vài nghiên cứu cho thấy nó có thể làm chúng ta cảm thấy bất hạnh.

    Điều đó hoàn toàn có lý, đúng không? Bạn đăng cái gì trên Facebook? Đăng hình ảnh bạn đang la mắng con cái mình, hay hình ảnh bạn đang bù đầu bù cổ nơi làm việc? Không, bạn đăng hình bạn đang cười toe trong một chuyến leo núi với bạn bè. Bạn dựng nên một cuộc sống giả – hay ít nhất là một cuộc sống thật nhưng không phải toàn bộ sự thật – và chia sẻ nó với người khác. Hơn nữa, bạn tiếp nhận gần như toàn bộ là thông tin về những cuộc sống ảo của những người “bạn” trên mạng xã hội. Chỉ trừ khi bạn cực kỳ hiểu rõ bản thân mình là ai, mình có gì, không thì bạn sẽ khó mà không cảm thấy tồi tệ khi bạn sống hầu hết thời gian để tỏ ra bạn vui vẻ hơn bạn của thực tế, và phần còn lại thời gian thì xem xem người khác dường như hạnh phúc hơn bạn bao nhiêu.

    Một số người tìm sự giải cứu khỏi tâm trạng bất hạnh từ tiền bạc và vật chất. Trường hợp này hơi phức tạp hơn so với danh tiếng. Tiền bạc đúng là có thể giải thoát người ta khỏi khổ sở nếu như nó là phương tiện cho một nhu cầu vật chất đích thực nào đó (như nhu cầu ăn mặc cơ bản của con người – ND, và theo tác giả bài viết, đây là một luận cứ mạnh mẽ cho các chính sách hỗ trợ xoá đói nghèo). Nhưng khi tiền bản thân nó trở thành mục đích, nó cũng có thể mang lại đau khổ.

    Trong nhiều thập kỷ, các nhà tâm lý học đã sàn lọc, biên soạn một lượng lớn các tài liệu về các mối liên hệ giữa các khát vọng khác nhau và sự hạnh phúc. Bất kể các văn kiện này khảo cứu người mới trưởng thành hay người ở mọi độ tuổi, hầu hết các nghiên cứu đều chỉ ra cùng một kết luận quan trọng: những người xếp các mục tiêu về vật chất như sự giàu sang thành các ưu tiên các nhân hàng đầu có khả năng rất cao họ cũng lo âu nhiều hơn, buồn rầu chán nản nhiều hơn, và sử dụng thuốc gây nghiện nhiều hơn, hay thậm chí có các vấn đề về sức khoẻ nhiều hơn so với những người quan tâm đến những giá trị nội tại (những giá trị không chịu phụ thuộc vào các yếu tố bên ngoài để tồn tại và phát triển, ví dụ như các mối quan hệ thân thiết trong gia đình, bạn bè, lương tâm nghề nghiệp, đạo đức lối sống, v.v. – ND)

    Không một ai nổi tiếng hơn thánh Paul trong việc tóm lược những cạm bẫy đạo đức của chủ nghĩa vật chất trong Lá thư đầu tiên gửi Timothy của ngài: “Vì tình yêu đối với bạc tiền là nguồn gốc của mọi tội ác: trong khi họ khao khát nó, họ bị lạc lối khỏi đức tin của mình, và tự đâm xuyên người họ bằng những nỗi buồn.” Hay như đức Dalai Lama dạy rằng, chúng ta nên muốn những gì chúng ta có hơn là có những gì chúng ta muốn.

    Vì vậy, danh vọng và tiền bạc không mang lại cho ta hạnh phúc. Còn các lạc thú của thể xác thì sao? Hãy xem xét lạc thú kinh điển nhất của chủ nghĩa khoái lạc (chủ nghĩa xem sự hưởng thụ các lạc thú là mục tiêu quan trọng nhất của cuộc sống – ND): dục vọng. Từ Hollywood cho tới khuôn viên các trường đại học, nhiều người cho rằng tình dục luôn tuyệt vời, và tình dục với nhiều người khác nhau thậm chí còn tuyệt vời hơn.

    Và ý niệm đó thực ra được gọi với cái tên: “Hiệu ứng Coolidge”, đặt theo tên của tổng thống Mỹ đời thứ 30. Câu chuyện (rất có khả năng là một ngụy tác) bắt đầu với Silent Cal và phu nhân Coolidge trong một chuyến viếng thăm một trang trại gia cầm. Bà Đệ nhất phu nhân nhận thấy có rất ít gà trống, và đã hỏi làm thế nào mà nhiều trứng gà như thế lại có thể được thụ tinh. Người chủ trang trại trả lời bà rằng những con gà trống trong thời kỳ giao phối thực hiện công việc thụ tinh hết lần này tới lần khác trong ngày. Bà Đệ nhất phu nhân liền bảo, “Có lẽ ông có thể chỉ ra điều đó cho ngài Coolidge.” Ngài tổng thống nghe thấy hỏi người chủ trang trại xem liệu có phải một con gà trống chỉ giao phối với cùng một con gà mái. Người chủ trang trại trả lời với ông rằng không, một con gà trống thụ tinh cho nhiều con gà mái. Và ngài tổng thống bảo, “Có lẽ ông nên chỉ ra điều đó cho bà Coolidge.” Ngài tổng thống hẳn đã biết đó là những con gà trống “hạnh phúc”. Và mặc cho những chuẩn mực đạo đức, nguyên lý tương tự cũng đúng đối với con người chúng ta. Đúng không?

    Câu trả lời là không. Trong năm 2004, hai nhà kinh tế học đã xem xét liệu quan hệ tình dục với nhiều người khác nhau có làm cho người ta cảm thấy hạnh phúc hơn. Họ xem xét dữ liệu từ khoảng 16000 người Mỹ trưởng thành đã được hỏi, và giữ bí mật, xem họ đã sex với bao nhiêu bạn tình trong năm trước đó, và họ có cảm thấy hạnh phúc hay không. Kết quả cho thấy, đối với cả nam giới cũng như nữ giới, con số tối ưu là 1 người.

    Điều này có vẻ rất phản trực giác. Suy cho cùng, chúng ta rõ ràng được thôi thúc để tích trữ của cải vật chất, đuổi theo danh vọng và tìm kiếm lạc thú. Làm thế nào mà những thứ này lại có thể làm cho chúng ta không hạnh phúc thay vì hạnh phúc? Có 2 cách giải thích, một theo sinh học và một theo triết học.

    Từ góc nhìn của quá trình tiến hoá, việc chúng ta được “lập trình” để theo đuổi danh tiếng, giàu sang và nhiều bạn tình khác nhau. Những thứ đó cho chúng ta lợi thế về mặt sinh học theo nghĩa chúng ta có khả năng truyền lại DNA của mình cao hơn. Nếu tổ tiên thời tiền sử của chúng ta đã không có được những điều kể trên dưới một hình thức nào đó (ví dụ như tổ tiên chúng ta là những người mài đá lẫy lừng, hay có nhiều lớp “da” khác nhau, tức da thú mà tổ tiên chúng ta khoác lên), họ đã không thể tìm thấy đủ bạn tình để có thể sinh sôi nảy nở và tạo nên dòng dõi chúng ta ngày nay.

    Nhưng đây chính là điểm mà quá trình tiến hoá đã quá trớn: Chúng ta nghĩ rằng những thứ khiến chúng ta cảm thấy bị thu hút đồng thời cũng sẽ giảm mức độ đau khổ của ta xuống và nâng mức độ hạnh phúc của ta lên. Ví như, não của tôi bảo rằng, “Hãy trở nên nổi tiếng”. Nó cũng bảo tôi rằng, “Bất hạnh rất là tồi tệ và có hại.” Tôi ghép hai điều đó lại và được “Hãy trở nên nổi tiếng và mày sẽ bớt bất hạnh.” (?!)

    Và đó chính là trò đùa của Mẹ tạo hoá. Bà không thật sự quan tâm bạn cảm thấy thế nào, hạnh phúc hay bất hạnh – bà chỉ muốn bạn có thể nối dõi tông đường. Nếu bạn gán một khái niệm hết sức chung nhất như “sự tồn tại” với “hạnh phúc”, đó là vấn đề của bạn, không phải của tạo hoá. Và vấn đề không hề được giải quyết bởi những thằng ngốc nhưng hữu dụng đối với tạo hoá trong xã hội này, những kẻ tuyên truyền một lời khuyên mang tính huỷ hoại cuộc sống khá là nổi tiếng: “Nếu làm một cái gì mà làm cho bạn cảm thấy thoải mái, cứ làm.” Trừ khi chúng ta có cùng mục tiêu tồn tại như các sinh vật đơn bào, không thì điều đó thường là sai bét.

    Nếu nhìn dưới góc nhìn triết học hơn, vấn đề nảy sinh từ trạng thái không thoả mãn – tức cảm giác không có cái gì là đủ đầy, và chúng ta không ngừng tiềm kiếm và muốn thứ khác. Chúng ta không thể chỉ rõ chúng ta tìm kiếm thứ gì. Nếu như không cố gắng chiêm nghiệm và rèn luyện tinh thần, chúng ta sẽ trở thành nô lệ cho vật chất, những thú vui xác thịt và sự tung hô của bạn bè cũng như những người xa lạ.

    Chúng ta tìm kiếm những thứ giúp chúng ta lấp đầy khoảng trống bên trong tâm hồn chúng ta. Những thứ đó có thể cho chúng ta sự thoả mãn ngắn ngủi, nhưng nó không bao giờ kéo dài, và không bao giờ là đủ. Và vì vậy chúng ta thèm muốn những thứ khác. Nghịch lý này trong tiếng Phạn gọi là upadana, có nghĩa là một vòng lặp của ham muốn và chiếm đoạt. Như trí đạo trong nhà Phật có nói: “Gieo sự ham muốn của một người vào một cuộc sống không chút ý thức của người đó, nó sẽ phát triển như cây tầm gửi. Như loài khỉ tìm kiếm hoa quả trong rừng, nhảy từ cuộc sống này sang cuộc sống khác… Bất kể ai bị sự ham muốn hết sức tệ hại và đeo bám này chế ngự, nỗi buồn của người đó sẽ nhiều như cỏ mọc sau mưa.”

    Những cuộc săn lùng danh tiếng, những thèm muốn vật chất và việc coi người khác như đồ vật – hay cũng chính là vòng lặp của ham muốn và chiếm đoạt – tuân theo một công thức rất đơn giản, rất hàm súc và cũng rất nguy hiểm:

    Yêu vật chất và sử dụng người khác.

    Đây chính là công thức của Abd al-Rahman khi ông “mộng du” qua những năm tháng của cuộc đời mình. Đó là một phương thuốc của lang băm được rao bán bởi những người tiên phong trong việc tạo nên một nền văn hoá từ Hollywood đến Đại lộ Madison. Nhưng từ sâu thẳm trong lòng, bạn biết công thức đó là một sự tha hoá đạo đức và là con đường dẫn tới những khổ đau. Bạn muốn thoát khỏi những ham muốn luôn đeo bám và khiến chúng ta bất hạnh, và thay vào đó tìm một công thức khác cho hạnh phúc. Nhưng bằng cách nào? Đơn giản là bạn hãy đảo ngược công thức đáng sợ ở trên và biến nó thành qui tắc đạo đức của mình:

    Yêu con người và sử dụng vật chất.

    Tôi cũng biết, nói dễ hơn làm. Để làm được như công thức đạo đức trên cần phải có dũng khí để từ bỏ lòng kiêu hãnh và sức mạnh để yêu thương người khác – bao gồm gia đình, bè bạn, đồng nghiệp, người quen, Chúa trời/Trời Phật và cả những người ta không quen biết hay thậm chí là kẻ thù của ta. Chúng ta chỉ nên chối bỏ tình yêu đối với những thứ thật sự là đồ vật. Và hình thức rèn luyện để đạt được điều này là từ thiện. Có rất ít thứ làm cho ta cảm thấy được giải thoát như việc cho người khác những thứ mà ta quí báu.

    Chúng ta còn cần phải lên án chủ nghĩa vật chất. Đây rõ ràng không phải là một luận cứ dành cho một hệ thống kinh tế nào. Những ai đã từng sống ở một nước xã hội chủ nghĩa đều phải công nhận rằng chủ nghĩa vật chất và sự ích kỷ, dưới chế độ chủ nghĩa tập thể, là vô cùng tồi tệ hay thậm chí còn tệ hơn trường hợp thị trường tự do. Và không có một hệ tư tưởng chính trị nào lại có thể miễn nhiễm với chủ nghĩa vật chất.

    Cuối cùng, chúng ta cần phải tự vấn sâu sắc đối với các ham muốn cơ bản của bản thân. Tất nhiên chúng ta bị thúc đẩy để có được sự ngưỡng mộ, sự huy hoàng và sự tự do sử dụng cơ thể của mình theo ý mình muốn. Nhưng khuất phục trước những ham muốn đó sẽ mang lại bất hạnh. Bạn có trách nhiệm với chính bản thân rằng mình phải đấu tranh. Một khi bạn tuyên bố đình chiến là khi bạn trở nên kém hạnh phúc. Tuyên bố chống lại những ham muốn mang mang tính phá hoại này không phải là sự khổ hạnh hay hay theo chủ nghĩa Thanh giáo (tôn giáo mà những người theo đạo sẽ phải tuân thủ hết sức nghiêm ngặt các qui tắc sống và xử sự – ND). Nó chỉ đơn giản là trở thành một người khôn ngoan biết né tránh những khổ ải không cần thiết.

    Abd al-Rahman không bao giờ có thể biết tổng hạnh phúc mà ông có được. Bởi vị vua này không bao giờ biết được công thức đúng để tìm kiếm hạnh phúc. Chúng ta thì có.


              Cincinnati to help lead national water discussion        

    The Executive Director of Greater Cincinnati Water Works and the Metropolitan Sewer District, Tony Parrot, will participate in a national discussion on U.S. water infrastructure Wednesday in Washington D.C.

    Parrot joins the U.S. EPA's Nancy Stoner, Veolia Water North America and Mark Strauss with American Waterin the Value of Water Coalition's national panel discussion to help other communities deal with crumbling water and wastewater infrastructure.

              Opened a 6% 13-Month CD        
    I opened a 6% 13-month CD with Washington Mutual on 8/31/06. It seems to be one of the highest yielding CDs out there, even 'til today.
              Wildflowers of Washington's Cascade Mountains        
    Wildflowers of Washington's Cascade Mountains

    Wildflowers of Washington's Cascades and Olympic Mountains is a quick and easy to use, light-weight, durable, all-weather field guide to 100 carefully selected native flowers. Some shrubs and small trees are included, along with..

    Price: $7.95

              Wildflowers Western Chesapeake        
    Wildflowers Western Chesapeake

    Wildflowers of the Western Chesapeake: Washington DC, Maryland & Virginia.

    Packed with vivid color photographs, novice and expert wildflower enthusiasts alike can use this hand..

    Price: $7.95

              Interesting forum on self-publishing at 2017 Outwrite LGBT Book Festival in Washington DC        

    Today I visited the 2017 Outwrite LGBT Book Festival in the DC Center office space and surrounding atrium at 14th and U Streets in Washington DC.

    This year I did not have my own table;  I’ll get into this elsewhere.

    The most interesting part of the visit was a presentation in DC Center’s largest room (on 14th Street ground level) from LGBT book publishers and literary agents.

    There was a discussion of what an author goes through if he/she wants to control the process.  It’s usually necessary to hire a copyeditor and a typesetter (who is often the same).  It’s necessary to find a book manufacturer, and prices can vary a lot (many companies exist in the Shenandoah Valley and down in the North Carolina Piedmont).  It seems that Milo Yianopoulos has controlled the production of his book “Dangerous” after Simon and Schuster dropped him after a controversy.

    There was discussion of “guerrilla marketing”, and of the tendency recently for trade publishers not to offer advances, which typically have to be recovered from book sales. 

    There was mention of the use of pseudonyms and pen names, and that in a real world some authors really need to keep their identities secret, usually for reasons other than just being  LGBT, like workplace conflicts or possible security concerns for themselves or others around them.  This is rather alarming.

    There was discussion of “sea turtle authors”, often introverts, who do not like to be pressed to sell aggressively, and are perfectly content to let their “eggs” lie dormant.

    I asked about print-on-demand publishers, like Author Solutions.  The group did not think well of this business model, and referred to it as a “shadow industry”  They felt money should go to authors directly,, but that only works if the author owns the publishing entity.  I did refer to the fact that POD companies have been pressing authors harder to buy copies of books and build their own stores and credit card operations, rather than depend on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

    I did mention the SESPA bill from the Senate and the implicit threat to web speech, including eventually author websites. 

              Activist in Washington DC wants to open bookstore in underserved neighborhood to honor a slain journalist         

    An activist in Washington DC wants to set up a bookstore in an underprivileged area of the SE section, to be called the Charnice Milton Community Bookstore, in honor of a journalist slain by a stray bullet from gun violence in the City, Perry Stein has a story from Friday, July 14, 2017 in the Washington Post Metro Section, here.

    The store would be in the basement of We Act Radio. The owner would need to raise $180,000 for the project.

    In the voting district of the store, 19% of adults lack the literacy to read a newspaper.

    Back in 1972 when I had moved to northern New Jersey, I remember that the candidate from the “People’s Party of New Jersey” opened a “Make Up Your Mind Bookstore” in Madison N.J. 
    As I drive around rural towns, I see a more small bookstores (along with antiques) than you would expect. 

    Update: Aug. 4

    The Facebook page for the new store is here.  I can't find a direct site. 

              Milo's earlier article "An Establishment Conservative's Guide to the Alt-Right"         

    I have started reading “Dangerous” by Milo Yiannopoulos on Kindle ($2.99) since this first self-published printing sold out so quickly.  I note also that the Washington DC Metro refused to carry ads for Milo’s book.  (I don’t have the scale to advertise mine on the Metro).

    I have to note already that Milo's definition of "intersectionalism" is interesting.

    Milo refers to a preview essay that he and Allum Bohkari wrote on March 29, 2016 on Breitbart, “An Establishment Conservative’s Guide to the Alt-Right”, which I thought I would pass along here.
    Milo seems to distinguish modern GOP republicans (who would allow a strip mall to replace a historic building if it made enough money) with “natural conservatives”, who prefer “homogeneity over diversity”, etc.  Living in a large tribe or culture involves sharing common risks.  It’s a lot easier to do what you have to do, even at a personal, intimate level, if you have confidence all your peers have the sane impulse to do it, and that “norms” have some kind of cultural meaning mapped on to virtue.

    All of this, however, does not clearly separate out the populist right.

    The article refers to a National Review article, March 28, 2016 in National Review by Kevin Williamson, “The Father Fuhrer” – Trump indeed, even well before the GOP convention last year.
    Milo says that the alt-right is about western supremacy, not white supremacy.

              New museum about writers in Chicago has few books!        

    Washington Post has a story by Karen Heller about  new museum in Chicago devoted to writers, but, as she asks, “Where are the books”?

    It’s the American Writers Museum.  It is said to be inspired by the Spy Museum in Washington (and maybe the Crime and Punishment museum, which has closed).

    You would wonder if there would be a section devoted to e-books, like Kindle.

    There is still a cultural battle in the writers’ community, as to whether writers have a moral duty to help independent bookstores stay in business, and to become involved with literacy projects. It may be in “our” self-interest to do so. 

              Progressive Policy Institute: "Building a New Middle Class in a Knowledge Economy"         

    Harry Holzer, of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University in Washington DC, has offered a position paper through “Progressive Policy”, “Building a New Middle Class in the Knowledge Economy”, a PDF with this link (34 pages).

    Holzer picks up on Donald Trump’s exploitation of the disenchantment of some groups, especially older white males without college degrees, with the job market and their earnings ability.

    He notes that the stability of jobs with regimentation but narrow skill sets has become less, as has the pay, not only because of foreign offshoring, but because of technology and automation. He says that families need incomes of at least $50000 a year to be middle class (possibly $40000 for smaller families) and notes the difficulties of single parents.

    The most effective measure would be to improve trade or vocational education opportunities at the community college level, especially in smaller communities or rural areas.  He also mentions the value of paid family leave.

    What I noticed after my forced “retirement” at the end of 2001 was the tendency for companies to resort to hucksterism to create jobs, and for the employment outplacement services and policy makers not to notice that this was happening so much. This has led to a culture clash:  aggressive attitudes in some communities about preserving telemarketing and door-to-door sales, versus resistance from consumers who see accelerating security problems. We need more manufacturing jobs to reverse this trend toward hucksterism.

              "Rich Man, Poor Man": Is Irwin Shaw's 1969 novel a template for today's debate on inequality?         

    I do remember reading the paperback of Irwin Shaw’s “Rich Man, Poor Man”, 1969, Delacorte, while in the Army.  The novel was a large -sized family drama moving around the world, about an upstate New York Family, the Jordache’s, whose two sons Rudolph and Thomas, who turn out so differently. While on one level the novel concerns the “rich and poor”, it also emphasizes that the social and personal connections of wealth and poverty tend to be self-reinforcing. The novel is considered remarkable in literary circles because of the way if manipulates the “omniscient observer” concept of third person narration.

    The  novel became a TV miniseries in 1976 on ABC with Peter Strauss and Nick Nolte playing the two brothers.

    An article by Michelle Singletary in the Washington Post Sunday, April 2, alluded to the novel as she wrote about people who have it all losing it, partly through trying to coast too soon into retirement.  The article is titled “From privilege to poverty” about Pulitzer Prize author William McPherson, author of “Falling” (2014), who died last week at 84. The online title of the article is more brazen, “The next face of poverty could be yours”.

    I’d also look at Robert Samuelson’s column this morning, “Is the American dream killing us?”

              First Book aims to put hardcopy books in the hands of underprivileged kids         

    Today, a sermon at First Baptist Church of the City of Washington DC mentioned a charity called “First Book”.

    I visited the site, which asked for a donation before it would say much else about itself.  But I did do a $25 contribution (I prefer to consolidate contributions through one portal at a bank).

    The charity seems to work with the American Federation of Teachers and the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association of Tampa, FL (and others), as it explains it a recent blog post.
    I would appear that the focus is specifically on children’s books, which I normally don’t cover much (but I have covered some self-published young adult books on a newer Wordpress blog).
    But this is another example of a renewed interest in physical books (as opposed to e-books) to get young people into reading.  My own output doesn’t normally comport much with children’s (below, say, AP high school).

              Trump attacks on McConnell bring rebukes from fellow Republicans - Washington Post        

    Washington Post

    Trump attacks on McConnell bring rebukes from fellow Republicans
    Washington Post
    President Trump aimed a fresh barrage of criticism at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday, escalating an extraordinary fight with a key Republican leader that could undermine the party's ability to regroup and pass shared legislative ...
    Trump to McConnell in latest tweet: 'Get back to work,' 'You can do it!'CNN
    Trump escalates attacks on McConnellPolitico
    Trump Escalates Attacks on McConnell With Suggestion His Job Is at
    NPR -The Hill -Reuters -New York Times
    all 420 news articles »

              Trump: 'The opioid crisis is an emergency' - CNN        


    Trump: 'The opioid crisis is an emergency'
    (CNN) President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration plans to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency, a designation that would offer states and federal agencies more resources and power to combat the epidemic. "The opioid crisis ...
    Trump says opioid crisis is a national emergency, pledges more money and attentionWashington Post
    Trump says he will declare opioid crisis a 'national emergency'Politico
    Will Melania Trump 'Just Say No' In Her Own Way?NPR
    BBC News -The Atlantic -The Hill -New York Daily News
    all 220 news articles »

              Hit By Flooding And Pumping System Crisis, New Orleans Braces For More Rain - NPR        


    Hit By Flooding And Pumping System Crisis, New Orleans Braces For More Rain
    On Saturday, heavy rains fell on New Orleans, causing floodwaters to rise in low-lying areas — and linger for hours. At first, officials said the city's pumps and drainage system were working fine and that the storm was just unusually strong. But that ...
    Emergency declared in New Orleans as flood threat loomsWashington Post
    New Orleans braces for more rain as city works to clean up flood falloutCNN
    New Orleans braces for possible flooding amid pump failures, as more rain in the forecastFox News
    U.S. News & World Report -The Mercury News -The Weather Channel
    all 255 news articles »

              Monica Lewinsky's Subtle Emoji Response to Scaramucci's Linda Tripp Comparison - Newsweek        


    Monica Lewinsky's Subtle Emoji Response to Scaramucci's Linda Tripp Comparison
    Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky has responded to comments by short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, who compared a New Yorker reporter to Linda Tripp. In a flurry of tweets on Wednesday night, Scaramucci ...
    The Mooch won't let goWashington Post
    Anthony Scaramucci rips reporter after explosive comments publishedCBS News
    Monica Lewinsky's Tweet About Anthony Scaramucci Says It AllHuffPost -Vanity Fair -NBC Southern California -The Hill (blog)
    all 73 news articles »

              Texas wanted a judge to pre-emptively approve its anti-sanctuary city law. It didn't work - CNN        


    Texas wanted a judge to pre-emptively approve its anti-sanctuary city law. It didn't work
    (CNN) Earlier this summer, Texas passed a law banning sanctuary cities. To guard itself against potential lawsuits, the state quickly went to court to get it declared constitutional before the law was even implemented. But the pre-emptive effort ...
    US judge deals blow to Texas 'sanctuary' city lawReuters
    Judge Tosses Texas Request To Declare Anti-Sanctuary Law ConstitutionalHuffPost
    Judge dismisses Paxton lawsuit over "sanctuary cities" lawTexas Tribune
    ABC News -Austin American-Statesman -Washington Times
    all 38 news articles »

              A Snapchat video showed a crying infant in a refrigerator. Two babysitters have been arrested. - Washington Post        

    Washington Post

    A Snapchat video showed a crying infant in a refrigerator. Two babysitters have been arrested.
    Washington Post
    Two girls are facing criminal charges in Massachusetts after an alarming Snapchat video showed a crying infant being put into a refrigerator, police said. The footage appeared to show a babysitter laying the infant sideways on a shelf, saying “bye ...
    Police: Teen baby sitters charged for Snapchat video of infant in fridgeCBS News
    Massachusetts babysitters caught on Snapchat video putting baby in refrigeratorFox News
    Officials: Babysitters put infant in fridge, posted video onlineBoston Herald
    KIRO Seattle -KCCI Des Moines -Daily Item
    all 85 news articles »

              [VOTA] Robert, Kristen, Taylor, Anna y BD2 Nominados en los Teen Choice Awards 2013        

     Después de unas cuantas semanas de escasez... tenemos buenas noticias: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Anna Kendrick y Breaking Dawn - Parte 2 han sido nominados a los premios Teen Choice Awards de este año 2013, los cuales se celebrarán el próximo 11 de Agosto:

    Image hosted by

    Mejor Pelicula: Sci-Fi/Fantasia
    • "Beautiful Creatures"
    • "Iron Man 3"
    • "Oblivion"
    • "Oz the Great and Powerful"
    • "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Parte 2"

    Mejor Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasía
    • Tom Cruise, "Oblivion"
    • Robert Downey, Jr., "Iron Man 3"
    • James Franco, "Oz the Great and Powerful"
    • Taylor Lautner, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Parte 2"
      Robert Pattinson, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Parte 2"

    Mejor Actriz: Sci-Fi/Fantasía
    • Mila Kunis, "Oz the Great and Powerful"
    • Gwyneth Paltrow, "Iron Man 3"
    • Saoirse Ronan, "The Host"
    • Kristen Stewart, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Parte 2"
    • Michelle Williams, "Oz the Great and Powerful"

    Mejor Actriz: Comedia
    • Anna Kendrick, "Pitch Perfect"
    • Melissa McCarthy, "Identity Thief"
    • Kerry Washington, "Peeples"
    • Olivia Wilde, "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone"
    • Rebel Wilson, "Pitch Perfect"

    Mejor Pelicula: Romance
    • "Beautiful Creatures"
    • "Les Misérables"
    • "Safe Haven"
    • "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Parte 2"
    • "Warm Bodies"

    Mejor Actor: Romance
    • Josh Duhamel, "Safe Haven"
    • Alden Ehrenreich, "Beautiful Creatures"
    • Nicholas Hoult, "Warm Bodies"
    • Robert Pattinson, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Parte 2"
    • Eddie Redmayne, "Les Misérables"

    Mejor Actriz: Romance
    • Jessica Biel, "Playing for Keeps"
    • Alice Englert, "Beautiful Creatures"
    • Julianne Hough, "Safe Haven"
    • Amanda Seyfried, "Les Misérables"
    • Kristen Stewart, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Parte 2"

    Todo Twilight Saga 

    Washington County safari yields a tom

    Reach Gazette outdoors columnist Ed Noonan at

        Last Thursday, I was one of 16 members of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association who visited the Cambridge/Salem area of Washington County for our annual safari.
        Each spring in May, NYSOWA chooses a New York county to visit and enjoy the outdoor activities our host county has to offer. Unlike our annual conferences, the safari is strictly a “no business” event in which we just have fun and renew friendships. I’m a bit embarrassed to say this was my first hunting visit to the area, and I live less than 30 miles from Cambridge.
        The two primary outings this time of the year center around turkey hunting and fishing, and what better place to fish in May than on the famous Battenkill River. When canoeing, kayaking and hiking trips through those beautiful plush green hills that surround this picturesque area are added, you couldn’t ask for a better place to spend a long weekend.

        Our Thursday evening Meetand-Greet get-together was held at Momma’s Restaurant in Cambridge, where we were welcomed by Christine Hoffer, Washington County tourism administrator, who outlined our busy agenda and introduced the two places where we would be staying — Batten Kill Valley Outdoors ( and Battenkill Riversports and Campground ( The former offers all types of river rides, boat rentals and a vacation rental house we used as our headquarters, and they have quite an assortment of gear and flies in their shop. Battenkill Riversports and Campground is located right on the Battenkill.
        After driving up to Cambridge, especially along New York Route 313, where both these places are located, I came to the conclusion that Vermont may be the Green Mountain State, but this southern area of Washington County’s rolling hills are equally as green. The next morning, I found out just how hilly they really were.

        Everyone was up early and anxious to chase gobblers or hook up with some of those Battenkill brown trout. The turkey hunters, with the exception of three, headed off with their guides where they would hunt private lands. Melody and Frank Tennity of Honeoye and I were going to be on our own, hunting several portions of state land that had been pointed out to us the afternoon before.
        My starting point was the 512-acre Eldridge Swamp State Forest that borders the Battenkill. This area is stocked with pheasants every fall by DEC. And I know that two of them are still alive. When I arrived there just before sunup, I made my way along the edge of the wood line and stopped at a corner of the field to wait and listen.
        A morning greeting from a distant owl got me the response I wanted (gobbles) several hundred yards off into a mixed pine and hard woods, and I quickly and quietly headed in the direction of where the tom was still gobbling.
    I stopped about 75 yards from him, and my first soft yelp got a double gobbling result, and I set out my three decoys. Then our conversation began.
        I knew he was coming, but fi rst in was a hen who eyed my decoys. Mr. Jake appeared shortly after, gobbling and all puffed up with his notched tail. He wasn’t what I wanted, but fun to watch, and finally they moved off.
        I waited about 10 minutes and began calling again, and I got a response from the same area, and
    this one came in on the run. It was another jake, who continued to strut around the decoys. For fun, in a very loud voice I asked him: “What are you doing here?” He actually fell down twice trying to run off.
        At about 6:30 a.m., after walking and calling without any responses, I decided to try spot number two, up behind the lodge. It was defi nitely “up,” and there was no trail. Eventually, I made it to the stone fence they told me about and set up again. I didn’t hear anything for more than an hour, nor was I able to solicit a gobble, so I guessed it was time to do a little walking and talking.
        For the next hour, I followed the wall, stopping every 100 yards or so to call, fi rst with a low tone and then increasing the volume. At 8:30, I headed down and back to the truck — time to visit spot number three, the 2.5-mile State Peaked Rock Trail, also in the Battenkill
    State Forest.
        Its peak altitude is 1,100 feet above the Battenkill. As I made my way slowly up the trail, I found these 69-year-old legs were not as strong as they used to be, and believe me when I tell you, there were numerous stops. Up about a half-mile or
    so from its head, the trail bordered several different green fields on one side and a dried creek bed on the other. At each field, while resting, I made some yelps with my box call. I got one response on the other side of the road on private land.
        At the top of the third field, I noticed there was a deep gully leading to the creek bed which had three to four inches of water in it. It looked like a good spot to rest and call.
        My normal calling ritual when walking and stopping to call is to begin by making soft yelps, then, depending upon the results, continue to increase the call volume. I repeat the sequence every fi ve or 10 minutes.

        I liked the looks of the area, so I decided to stay a little longer and occasionally make a few calls. On my fifth calling sequence, I got a thundering response gobble somewhere above me. I estimated him to be at least 200 yards up, but on the other side of the creek. Every time I called, he responded and was getting closer, but still on the other side of the creek.
        Now the “book” says incoming toms will not cross creeks. So I grabbed my decoys, slid down the
    gully, crossed the creek, set them out on the edge of that side, then I climbed about three-quarters of the way back up from the creek on the trail side and settled in with my Benelli and got him talking again. With all that up-and-down running around, it’s a good thing I don’t use a mouth call. I wouldn’t have had enough wind to blow it.
        What happened next was a fi rst for me. The tom crossed back over to my side, and I thought all was lost when he went quiet. I was looking straight to where I heard his last call when out of the corner of my eye, there he was, fully displayed and walking “in” the creek toward the decoys. It was the fi rst turkey I ever shot in the water, and he was a beauty, even though he was wet.
        I can’t remember the last time I shot a turkey on New York state land, and I couldn’t wait to show him off. My Washington County gobbler, after drying, was over
    20 pounds, carried a 9 3 /4-inch beard and 1 1 /8-inch spurs. Thank you, Jerry Wilson, for your great box call. It did it again (www.wilsongamecalls. net).
        You can also see my Washington
    County tom at http://fi
        Back at the lodge for lunch, I found out that the Battenkill River and Dead Lake anglers all had some nice trout on ice.
        Our afternoon tour of the Quality Deer Management Co-op in Easton began with a most interesting presentation by Tony Rainville, president and founding member of the local branch, and Jami Whitney, local branch director.
        What I learned and saw on our walking tour of the food plots, etc., was very impressive and clarifi ed many questions I’ve had. These individuals are a dedicated group that’s truly improving the deer herd, and it’s a LOT more than just developing trophy bucks.
        I urge every deer hunter to go to and see what it’s all about.
        Thank you, Christine Hoffer, and all the Washington County individuals who helped make this safari a very enjoyable and successful outdoor experience. I’ll be back.

    DAN LADD Charles Witek of West Babylon, a member of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association, fishes with his wife, Theresa, from a boat on Dead Lake in Washington County. They were part of the group’s annual safari.

              BEHIND THE FENCE - IT IS FAIR GAME        


    Behind the fence hunts have been a controversial topic for many years and one of the primary targets of the anti-hunting organizations. And unfortunately they are also looked upon by some hunters and hunting organizations with disdain as well. I understand the objection by the anti’s but quite frankly I do not understand that of the hunters. But after talking with many of these hunters I have found that the majority of them do not totally understand exactly what takes place at these preserves and ranches. True, years ago there were fenced operations which literally offered and utilized unethical “boxed” hunts. But these places are, and have been gone for many years, and today’s hunting preserves offer a truly realistic and ethical hunt. And in this article that I will attempt to explain to the hunter, not the unreasonable anti-hunter, just what goes on “behind the fence” and how these hunting preserves serve a very important purpose, not only to the hunter; but the future of our hunting tradition as well.

    I think Ted Nugent summed it up perfectly in a recent Field & Stream interview when asked if high fence hunting degrades the heritage of American hunting and the rules of fair chase. Here is a recap of his answers. This is the Motor City Madman at his very best.

    There will always be whiners and small-minded squawkers who overreact base on assumption and other unidentifiable presumptuous notions. To their way of thinking in-line muzzleloaders, scopes, treestands, compound and crossbows, deer drives, etc. degrade our American hunting heritage and our reputation. They are so divisive and unsophisticated and I pray that they become educated.

    And when asked if he prefers to hunt in enclosures or in the wild he said, “I prefer to hunt, period, and shall more and more each year everyplace I possibly can. I am a hunter.”

    Now let’s look at some the truths about hunting these enclosures; first from my own experiences.

    Part of my job as an outdoor writer is to test, evaluate and report to the sportsmen/women on the latest new firearms, bows and even crossbows. These tests include extensive on the range accuracy and performance reviews and comparisons which I like to followed up by an actual hunting situation.

    Hunting with these new firearms and bows are usually not a problem in NYS but it is with the crossbow due to strict disable-only hunter regulations. However these regulations do not apply to hunting preserves in NYS and therefore I am able to hunt with the Horton Crossbow at a preserve just a short distance from my home.

    Actually my first harvest with a crossbow took place on a preserve. My choice of game - a 1700 pound bison that took me that I think covered almost every inch of the preserve and two full days of hunting before I was able to get clean kill shot. It was one of my greatest hunts that included some very anxious moments and a VERY dramatic and dangerous face to face encounter with a one ton herd bull who was not happy with my continued pursuit of him and his herd that I will never forget.

    It was at this same preserve that I met two hunters who were both hunting their first Russian wild boar. And it was from these average hunters that I really learned what these preserves really offered the everyday hunter.

    During dinner that evening at the lodge I asked them “why they chose a preserve to hunt.” Their answer was short and simple: time and money. “We just do not have the time nor the money to go out of state to hunt boar. We priced the wild boar hunts in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and the average costs would have been close to $2000; and that did not include transportation and taking a week off from work. Here it is just $500, we don’t need a license, we can pick our own season and it was just a 31/2 hour ride from our house.” Economics, convenience and the thrill of a good hunt - this is what any reputable preserve will offer you.

    Now I would like to ask one questions for those of you hunters who look down upon those who hunt behind the fence: “Who gets hurt ?” If a man or woman has the desire to shoot a trophy or exotic animal not native to the area, but cannot ever hope to afford it, should he/she be denied the opportunity or right to do it, as long as it is done legally, ethically and within the confines of a preserve? I agree that it may not be for everyone, but you should not judge the intentions of those that do.

    Fair chase is another term that often arises in conversations involving enclosure or behind the fence hunting. Boone and Crockett defines fair chase as the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit and taking an any free-ranging wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals. Doesn’t hunting legally over bait, using a ground blind or treestand, using a rifle scope, etc. also give the hunter an advantage?

    In the past twenty years I have hunted in a number of preserves and do not consider myself any less of a hunter. I know that I would have probably never been able to afford or experience the thrills and excitement of hunting 9 wild boar, 2 fallow and sika deer, stags, bison, rams and 2 wild crossbow turkeys. And I can honestly say that my most memorable hunt took place last year behind a fence where I shot a magnificent bull elk. Let me share this elk hunt with you.

    It was well before sunup when I met Dan Jennings, the manager of the Easton View Outfitters, a private preserve located in the Washington County town of Easton, New York. Dan was going to be my guide for my elk hunt and I must admit I was pumped. Joining me was Tim Blodgett, host of the local All Outdoors radio show, who would be taping the play-by-play of the hunt. He would also be doubling as my camera man.

    The game plan was to circle the preserve and come in through the heavily wooded topside of the mountain and work our way down. Dan expected the elk would be bedded down in the valley, fields and swamp below us.

    I remember standing on a ledge whispering how excited I was about the hunt and describing how pretty the sun was as it started to peek through the pines into Tim’s tape recorder when we heard our first unsolicited bugle. A bull elk bugling in New York State - it gave me the chills followed shortly thereafter by a real adrenaline rush. I don’t think I have felt this way since the first time I sighted in on a whitetail buck.

    Quickly Dan had us moving down the steep slopes to a blow down about 200 yards below us. Once in place Dan hadn’t even finished his first call when the bull responded. And each call he made the bull answered; but he didn’t seem to be getting any closer. Then out of nowhere, there about 100 yards below was a young spike bull headed right for us. At one point he was less than 10 yards from where I was sitting.

    For the next hour I had no less that four other bull elk in my scope at distances from 10 to 100yards; one of which was a beautiful 5 by 5 that had Dan given me the word, I would have ended my hunt right then. But he said, “Not that one; we can do better.” Easy for him to say, but I trusted his judgement and relaxed.

    Another hour and a half of calling got distance responses but they just didn’t seem to get any closer to us. Perhaps the bull already had his harem of cows and did not want to leave them. And when he stopped responding to the calls and we sat in silence for another 45 minutes I was beginning to get that, “I should have taken the 5 by 5 feeling.” But that ill-feeling quickly departed when Dan nudge me and smilingly whispered: “There’s your bull; get ready.”

    There just 200 yards below was a beautiful 6 by 6 bull elk raking his huge rack on several small scrub pines. Now he was talking again and each call Dan made was answered with a spine chilling response and he was coming closer. It was awesome to watch the bull as he lowered his head and responded to Dan’s love-sick cow calls.

    It took several deep breaths to settle my nerves and at about 75 yards I slowly raised the old Marlin 336SC towards him and placed the crosshairs of my scope on his massive body, following him as he moved through the heavy cover.

    Each step brought him closer but there was really only one opening between two pines where I could get a clear shot; hopefully he would walk through it. He was about 50 yards slightly quartering away when I place the crosshairs just behind his front shoulder and unleashed the 200 grain Hornady LEVERevolution 200 grain FTX bullet.

    Immediately I saw the fur fly through my scope and watched him stumble and fall; and all I could think of was “what a bull.” I guess I must have repeated it out loud because both Dan and Tim echoed their agreement. I just sat there staring at him when I heard Dan say we may have a little problem. About 100 yards below my fallen trophy was a huge 7 by 7 and he was headed towards the downed bull at a very quick pace.

    He ignored our shouts and charged right in, head down and rammed my bull actually moving him along the ground several yards. Obviously these two must have had previous confrontations. It wasn’t really until Dan continued to shout and threw a few rocks and branches at him that he finally backed off. There was one moment however when he turned and faced us shaking his head from side to side, that I thought he was going to charge, but he didn’t, and finally we watched him disappear into the edge of the swamp.

    High - 5s and photos were all a part of the after the hunt celebration as was the interview Tim taped of my feelings.
    Absolutely the best hunt that I have ever had and it all occurred within 30 miles of my home.

    But it wasn’t really until I stood over my bull that I fully appreciated what I had just accomplished - he was huge. The tale of the tape and scale revealed just how magnificent he really was. He tipped the scale at 807 pounds and his antlers measured: 40 inch wide spread, 41 inch main beams, with 9 inch bases. In terms of record book score I never did get an official score but I do know that he scored “number one” in my book; and always will.

    For information on Easton View Outfitters go to: or check out their ad in this issue of Outdoors Magazine. And by the way, that 7 by 7 is still there and a year older.
              DOI recommendations put entire sage grouse landscape at risk, says TWS        
    Alex Thompson

    Today, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke received recommendations from his staff to reduce conservation efforts that currently protect the iconic sage grouse and its habitat, risking the survival of this bird and the more than 350 species these same lands support.


              Ready, Set, Hike        
    Fan Appreciation Day at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center is Saturday, Aug. 5.
              Why FamilySearch Is Ending Microfilm Rental & How to Get Genealogy Records Now        
    Guest blog post by Family Tree Magazine Contributing Editor Sunny Jane Morton

    For 80 years, the FamilySearch Family History Library (FHL) has made its enormous stash of microfilmed genealogy records available to researchers through an inexpensive rental service through local FamilySearch Centers.

    That's about to change: FamilySearch has announced that this service will end Aug. 31. Reasons include declining demand for film, dramatic increases in the costs of reproducing films, and the difficulty of supporting aging microfilm technology.

    It’s easy to be dismayed by the news, even when you acknowledge it was bound to happen. Many of us have solved family history mysteries with these microfilmed records. 

    Fortunately, most FamilySearch microfilm is already been digitized and posted on the free FamilySearch website or another genealogy site. That's more than 1.5 million rolls, including the most popular ones. “The remaining [eligible] microfilms should be digitized by the end of 2020," according to the announcement. "All new records from its ongoing global efforts are already using digital camera equipment."

    I've been a grateful user of the film rental program. And the millions of records FamilySearch makes available online for free more than offset offsets this inconvenience to my research.

    But after Aug. 31 and before 2020, what can we do about accessing records that aren't yet digitized? Try these seven ideas:

    1. Keep using the FamilySearch online catalog of the FHL's books and microfilmed records.
    You can order microfilm up through Aug. 31 (click here to see how); you'll get 90 days to view the film. When digitized films are posted at FamilySearch, the item's catalog entry links to the online collection. Even if you don’t find a borrowable item in the catalog, it's useful for identifying records you may be able to access elsewhere (see below). Here are our tips on searching the catalog.

    2. Check other libraries.
    If you find a noncirculating item described in the FamilySearch catalog, click the link to view the catalog record in WorldCat.

    It'll take you to this item's listing in WorldCat, a free catalog of holdings in libraries around the world. You'll see libraries that have the item, and link to their lending policies. You may discover records in other formats, such as digitized, in a book or original manuscript records.

    3. Search for digitized versions of the records.
    Search the web for the names and descriptions of records you've identified in the FamilySearch catalog. You may find digitized versions at free sites such as HathiTrust, Internet Archive, state library websites, and others. Also search the database catalogs on genealogy websites such as, MyHeritage and Findmypast.

    4. Visit a genealogy library such as ...
    5. Use library lookup and photocopy services.
    Some libraries fill requests for lookups and photocopies for a fee. Check the website or call for instructions; usually, you must provide the book or microfilm title and specifics such as a name, date or page number. Firms offering research at the FHL include

    6. Hire a researcher.
    If you need someone to search through records—not just check an index or flip to the page you specify and copy it—consider hiring a researcher by the hour. Many libraries offer in-house research services, or they may supply a list of local researchers.

    7. Find original records.
    It might be easier to access original records, if they exist, than microfilmed versions. Start with the FamilySearch catalog listing. Look for the name of the repository that provided the original records (often under "Author"). Search that repository’s website to see if the records are still there. Another option is to search ArchiveGrid, a catalog of archival items in US repositories. Here's how to use ArchiveGrid.

    FamilySearch's renewed focus on digital efforts means its free online genealogy resources will grow even faster. Watch for my Aug. 21 webinar on the free FamilySearch website, in which I'll share my search tricks for getting the most out of this website.

    Meanwhile, grab my must-have comparison of the "big three" commercial sites, Ancestry, Findmypast and MyHeritage. I'll help you decide which one's right for you.

              Grants Are Now Available for Preserving WWI Memorials!        

    WWI Memorial in Jackson, Miss. (Library of Congress)

    Here's a project for your history- and preservation-minded genealogical society, civic group or scouting troop: The 100 Cities/100 Memorials matching grant program is accepting applications through July 10 (an extended deadline) for projects to adopt and preserve WWI memorials.

    Up to 100 WWI memorial restoration projects around the country will receive matching funds of up to $2,000 apiece from the US WWI Centennial Commission in Washington, DC, and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library in Chicago.

    Any municipal government, organization or individual can apply. You'll find details and the application on the 100 Cities/100 Memorials website.

    World War I, also known as the Great War, began in Europe just over 100 years ago, July 28, 1914. The United States entered the war April 6, 1917, and an armistice ended fighting Nov. 11, 1918. The July 2014 Family Tree Magazine includes a research guide to records of World War I service, as well as a guide to tracing women who served as nurses and volunteers overseas and on the home front.

    Also find our downloadable guide to the top 10 WWI genealogy websites in

    WWI Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Library of Congress)
              ASAP expands in Virginia        

    Vector Security announced in early August that Newport News, Va., is now live with Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP). Newport News joins other municipalities in the state of Virginia using ASAP, such as the City of Richmond, James City County, York County, and Henrico County.

    The ASAP to PSAP program, created by The Monitoring Association—formerly CSAA—and the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials automates communication between alarm monitoring central stations and 911 centers.

    Transmitting alarm information digitally, results in improved accuracy and faster emergency responses by eliminating the need for communication over the phone between PSAP centers and monitoring centers.

    Vector Security was the first alarm company to use ASAP in the City of Richmond, Va. in 2012. Vector Security assisted with implementation in Newport News by helping to perform extensive testing prior to the system going live.

    “Alarm users in Newport News, including several hundred Vector Security customers, will benefit from faster and more accurate emergency response with the implementation of ASAP,” Anita Ostrowski, vice president of central station services at Vector Security, said in a prepared statement. “We hope the positive impact that ASAP will bring to Newport News will encourage other major 911 centers in the nation to adopt this technology as well.”

    Ostrowski continued, “As a security provider, we seek ways to promote ASAP’s value to municipalities and public agencies, and help other alarm companies implement it for the greater good of the industry and the safety of our communities.”

    Other municipalities that have implemented ASAP include Houston and High Point, TX; Washington D.C.; James City County, York County and Henrico County, Va.; Tempe and Chandler, Az.; Boca Raton, Fla.; Cary and Guilford County, N.C.; Kernersville and Durham County, N.C.; Johnston County, N.C.; Denton County and Grand Prairie, Texas; Morgan County, Ala.; Delaware County, Ohio; Bucks County, Pa.; and Highland Park, Texas.

     - Washington DC Map        
    View maps and photos of Washington, DC - the capital city of the USA. Links to travel and tourism information are included on the website, and visitors can learn about the National Mall and other tourist destinations in DC.
              Prisoners for Profit - The Shame of Puppy Mills        
    It was summer when I visited puppy mills in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In the last few years, the area has become a hub for large scale commercial dog breeding operations. And although the Midwest still ranks as containing the highest number of dog breeding operations, the concentration of puppy mills in Lancaster County is unparalleled.

    Accompanying me was a Humane Society of the United States investigator who had monitored the Pennsylvania mills for years. He knew the county well, and had seen not only the proliferation of puppy mills in the area, but at the same time, the increased press and public attention in their operations.

    Driving through the pastoral landscape, it seemed impossible that animal suffering could exist amidst such beauty. This illusion was quickly shattered with my first view of a puppy mill. For years, I had seen and studied photos of infamous facilities, but nothing prepared me for seeing the real thing with my own eyes.
    We approached a farmhouse from the road and turned onto a muddy lane. Rounding the corner, we didn't even have to get out of the truck to see or hear what awaited us. Rows of dilapidated cages were lined up outside a barn. Stopping the truck, my throat constricted with shock. Dogs were crammed three or more to a small cage which were elevated over mounds of feces. Matted fur covered their eyes as they rushed towards the front of their cages, barking at uninvited visitors. Their plight was so dramatically different than the dogs I knew, the dogs who lie lazily in afternoon sun, waiting for their next meal or walk. No, these dogs were here for a purpose and only one purpose: to make money.

    We saw many mills that day. Posing as buyers, we were able to handle and examine some of the puppies. Many seemed sickly, disoriented, and underweight. And when we were allowed to see their mothers, or sneaked onto a farm to view the conditions, the hopelessness of their lives weighed on me like a heavy load that rests on my shoulders even to this day.

    Dogs hold a special place in our hearts. Domesticated thousands of years ago, they were chosen to be our protectors, companions, and best friends. And although we have betrayed our responsibility towards them in many ways, none is so distressing or disturbing as the puppy mill.

    The term "puppy mill," coined in the mid-to-late sixties to describe large scale commercial dog breeding facilities, has only recently arrived in the mainstream vernacular. It is a term that some claim is sensational and manipulative. The word "mill" refers to an operation that churns out dogs in mass, using female dogs as nothing more than breeding machines. The term conjures images of dogs crowded in wire cages, living in their own wastes, shivering from the cold, or baking in the heat. Tragically, this vision is not far from reality. Most people, not just those interested in animal protection, are shocked when confronted with the bleak images of dogs housed and bred in puppy mills. But in the 5,000 puppy mills found across the country, thousands of dogs are bred and raised for profit, valued not for their companionship or loyalty, but for the cold hard cash they bring.

    Many consumers possess an image of puppies at a family farm, lovingly raised and cared for. Others may not even think about where a pet store puppy comes from. Drawn to a pet store window by a bin of wriggling puppies, the furthest thing from a customer's mind is the origin of these cute bundles of fur. But by buying a puppy, often for a price of $500 or more, the consumer is unknowingly supporting a cycle of abuse that begins at the puppy mill.

    What the consumer can't see is the puppy's mother, imprisoned miles away, pregnant again, her body being used to produce more money-making puppies. Starting at six months, she is bred every heat cycle. She is often weak, malnourished, and dehydrated. Rarely, if ever, is she provided with veterinary care. She cannot maintain her productivity past her fourth or fifth year. After that, she is nothing more than a drain on the mill's operation and must be disposed of. If she's lucky, she'll be humanely euthanized. More often than not, she will be shot or bludgeoned to death. Discarded, her wasted body will lie forgotten in a local landfill or garbage dump.

    This is the picture the pet stores will never show. And until recently, the ugly truth of puppy mills has been hidden. But when problems with many of the puppies bought at pet stores across the country began to surface, consumers and animal lovers alike began asking hard questions. Puppies with seizures, parasites, infections, bacteria, and behavioral problems were being seen far too often to be merely coincidental.
    Puppy mills and the pet store industry have begun to feel this scrutiny. They insist that it doesn't make good business sense to sell sick puppies or house breeding females in less than humane conditions. But evidence gained after years of documentation and investigation directly conflicts with these assertions. In addition, those small scale breeders who do treat their animals humanely, who raise them in their homes or in small, cleanly kept kennels, do not usually make a profit off their dogs. It is virtually impossible to breed in a humane fashion and make money at the same time. Although a pet store may sell a puppy for $500 or more dollars, most commercial breeders can only get around $35 per dog from a broker who in turns sells to the pet store for around $75. In order to make a profit and cover costs, corners must be cut, and puppies must be churned out at a furious rate. The cut corners are the animals themselves: their housing, their health, their cleanliness. Inherent in the profit-making mills is the sacrifice of humane standards in order to make a profit.
    What protection, if any, do these dogs and their puppies have? On the state level, puppy "lemon laws," existing in a handful of states including New Jersey and California, seek to offer consumers protection against buying sick puppies. Although these laws do chip away at the production of sick puppies, they do not address the inherent problem of the whole system: the selling of dogs for profit.

    The federal level offers even less hope. The current system not only allows the continuation of a business that makes money off the backs of dogs, but fails in its responsibility to provide even a basic quality of life for dogs in puppy mills. Originally passed in 1966, the federal Animal Welfare Act was amended in 1970 to include in its provisions the oversight of large scale commercial dog breeding facilities. Regulations were written with the intention of ensuring the proper care, feeding, housing, and veterinary care for the thousands of dogs found in puppy mills across the country. Mandated by law to enforce these regulations is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). But with a shortage of inspectors responsible for overseeing these facilities, the agency has developed a reputation for failing to meet its mandate.
    Not only have outsiders criticized the agency's ability to enforce the Act in relation to puppy mills, but several internal reviews have also illustrated the gross inadequacies existing at the federal level. Recently, a damning internal review conducted by the USDA's own office of the Inspector General of the agency's South Central Regional Office offered a bleak picture. The South Central Office, responsible for overseeing the majority of this country's puppy mills, was found to be sorely lacking in its ability to enforce the Animal Welfare Act. The report found that the office failed to respond to complaints from the public, failed to report a large number of blatant violations of the law, and that supervisors told inspectors not only where and when to inspect, but instructed their staff not to write up too many violations of problematic facilities. USDA Secretary Dan Glickman, embarrassed by the report's finding, has demanded the development of an internal plan to respond to the crisis within the agency.

    The USDA is also feeling the heat over the puppy mill issue from members of Congress. After receiving constituent mail on puppy mills, Congressman Glenn Poshard (D-Il) and Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), sprung to action. Working with The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection organizations, they gathered over 100 signatures from members on both side of Capitol Hill in a letter to Secretary Glickman expressing concern about the problems found in puppy mills across the country. Sent late last summer, the letter has caused anxiety within the USDA.

    This Spring, the agency will consider enacting stronger regulations covering puppy mills as well as examining ways in which their enforcement powers can be increased. Although any change in the way puppy mills are regulated is an improvement, and stiffer rules may even shut down or discourage potential operators from opening a facility, the changes will not directly eliminate the mills themselves. Until the demand for mass-produced pet store puppies decreases, there will always be a buck to be made in the production of dogs.

    Rachel A. Lamb is Director for Companion Animal Care at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Washington, DC.

    Dog Training
              ross lake. north cascades. washington. Dorsey Father Son fishing trip. by Tanner Wendell Stewart        

    ross lake. north cascades. washington. Dorsey Father Son fishing trip. by Tanner Wendell Stewart

    Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

    Tanner Wendell Stewart: Photos

              How Did Thanksgiving End Up On Thursday?        
    Move Thanksgiving to Friday? That's what F.B. Haviland asked President Hoover in 1929.

    Didn't happen. But while we're on the subject, ever wonder why we carve our gobblers on the fourth Thursday of November? Hint: It's not because Thanksgiving Thursday is more alliterative than Thanksgiving Friday.

    In 1789, President Washington declared Thurs., Nov. 26, as a "Day of Publick Thanksgivin," according to the National Archives.

              Donald Trump says media playing down terrorist threat posed by ISIS        

    Washington: US President Trump has said that the news media was playing down the terrorist threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) and journalists were reluctant to report on the militant groups attacks in Europe and "have their reasons" for failing to cover them, the media reported.

    Trump initially did not provide examples of a news media conspiracy to underplay terrorist attacks. The White House on Monday released a list of what it said were 78 attacks from September 2014 to December 2016 that were carried out or inspired by the IS. It said that "most have not received the media attention they deserved", the New York Times reported.

    The list included the major attacks in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino (California) and Orlando (Florida) that dominated the news for weeks. 

    Other attacks overseas, lesser known to Americans, received extensive local coverage, like a shooting in Zvornik, Bosnia, in April 2015 in which one police officer was killed and two others were wounded, the White House said.

    "Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland, as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino and all across Europe," Trump said at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. 

    "All over Europe, it's happening. It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported, and in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it," he said.

    "They have their reasons," Trump added, "and you understand that."

    The President made similar comments about the US media during a January visit to the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia, that the news media had fabricated his feud with the intelligence community. 

    Those remarks came only days after he likened American intelligence officials to Nazis, after several weeks in which he had denigrated their work, the New York Times said.

    White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the President had been referring in Tampa to "several instances" in which the news media had not devoted sufficient attention to terrorism. 

    Trump, Spicer said, believed that journalists pay more attention to public protests than they do to terrorist attacks or plots.

    During his 12-minute speech on Monday, Trump promised to make "a historic financial investment in the armed forces", in an effort to maintain peace in "our troubled, troubled times". 

    He also vowed to give the military the tools necessary to prevail against the Islamic State and thwart its attempts to strike America.

    At a luncheon with enlisted soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, Trump went around his table asking who would remain in the military, and told them their experience would improve during his presidency.

    On NATO, Trump, who had earlier called it "obsolete," tempered his message, arguing that he was focused on ensuring that it is well funded.

    "We strongly support NATO. We only ask that all of the NATO members make their full and proper contributions to the NATO alliance, which many of them have not been doing -- many of them have not been even close," he said.

    Donald Trump says media playing down terrorist threat posed by ISIS
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              Donald Trump warns journalists, calls them most dishonest human beings        

    Washington: Describing journalists as the most dishonest human beings on Earth, US President Donald Trump has said he has been "running a war" with the media and warned them of consequences for falsely reporting that less number of people attended his inauguration.

    "We had a massive field of people. You saw them. Packed.

    I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field," Trump said.

    "I say, wait a minute, I made a speech. I looked out, it looked like a million, million and a half people. They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there.

    They (media) said, Donald Trump did not draw well. I said, it was almost raining, the rain should have scared them away, but God looked down and he said, we're not going to let it rain on your speech," he said.

    "Then I walked off and it poured right after I left. It poured. But, we have something that's amazing because, it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was, it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.

    And I turn on -- and by mistake I get this network, and it showed an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people," he said.

    "Now, that's not bad, but it's a lie. We had 250,000 people literally around in the little bowl that we constructed. That was 250,000 people. The rest of the 20-block area, all the way back to the Washington Monument, was packed.

    So we caught them, and we caught them in a beauty. I think they're going to pay a big price," Trump warned.

    Trump was speaking at the CIA headquarters.

    He told his top spy agency that this is the reason for him visiting the CIA headquarters as the media has portrayed that he has differences with the intelligence community.

    "The reason you're my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth," Trump said amidst applause and laughter from the CIA officials attending his maiden address to them.

    "They sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community. And I just want to let you know, the reason you're the number-one stop is exactly the opposite.

    They understand that, too," he said and then said that the crown strength of his inauguration was being accurately being written by the media.

    Then Trump listed out another incident.

    So a reporter wrote that Trump took down the bust, of Martin Luther King.

    "It was right there. But there was a cameraman that was in front of it. So a reporter writes a story about I took down. I would never do that because I have great respect for Martin Luther King. But this is how dishonest the media is," Trump alleged.

    "I only like to say that because I love honesty. I like honest reporting. I will tell you, final time -- when you let in your thousands of other people that have been trying to come in -- because I am coming back -- we're going to have to get you a larger room," Trump said indicating that he would have a bigger room for the White House press corps.

    Donald Trump warns journalists, calls them most dishonest human beings
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              Canadians Advocate Boosting Vitamin D in Pregnancy        

    A Canadian medical society recommends pregnant women and nursing moms boost their intake of vitamin D dramatically

    Food for Thought

    Canadian pediatricians certainly aren't shirking controversy when it comes to a vitamin guideline they've developed for pregnant women and nursing moms. They're asking these women to boost their intake of vitamin D dramatically—to 10 times the daily doses advocated by most health organizations in the States. This new prescription is aimed at combating rickets—leg deformations caused by soft bones—in youngsters who get too little of the sunshine vitamin.

    Vitamin D helps build strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium. Getting pregnant and nursing women to take more of the vitamin ensures that plenty will reach developing children.

    In the past, most people had little trouble getting enough vitamin D—they just went outdoors where ultraviolet rays from the sun trigger chemical reactions in skin to make this vital nutrient. However, some people always had trouble making enough. Canadian kids at highest risk of vitamin deficits generally live in First Nations and Inuit communities. With sun-filtering pigments in their skin, and living at high latitudes, they must glean most of their vitamin D from the diet—generally a poor source—not the sun.

    Most North American women—including those in the United States—eat diets delivering only about 100 international units, or IU, of vitamin D daily, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), in Washington, D.C. That is half of what IOM recommends and a mere 5 percent of what Canadian pediatricians are now advocating for new and soon-to-be moms.

    Although IOM's dietary recommendations are for the United States, the Canadian health establishment has tended to rubber stamp them. In this case, though, Canada's health agency took the unusual tack of signing off on a Canadian Paediatric Society proposal to boost the recommended intake by women who are pregnant or breast feeding to 2,000 IU per day. This new guideline appears in a consensus statement published in September by the society in its journal, Paediatrics & Child Health.

    Soon the society will begin sending its new guideline to every provincial, territorial, and aboriginal health department across Canada, notes Marie Adèle Davis, the group's executive director. The goal, she told Science News Online, is to make sure all public health officials learn about it—not just pediatricians.

    The higher recommendation equals the amount that IOM has designated as the safe upper limit for vitamin D's daily consumption. Most nutritionists don't really consider that value is a true ceiling for safe intake—especially since sunbathing on a bright summer day can generate 10,000 to 20,000 IU in the body without harm. Still, for political and legal reasons, most organizations shy away from advocating intakes near what IOM has flagged as a potential maximum for safe consumption.

    Now a number of researchers suspect that intakes by pregnant and lactating women much below 2,000 IU per day could actually prove unsafe for child health.

    Reinhold Vieth of the University of Toronto explained why, recently, to officials with Health Canada, a counterpart to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To prevent rickets, he argued, a baby needs 400 IU of vitamin D per day. And in many parts of Canada, he said, nursing women may require several thousand IU of vitamin D per day to get 400 IU into their breast milk. Vieth had been recruited by the Canadian Paediatric Society to help defend its proposed guideline to government officials.

    U.S. physicians won't quibble over the 400 IU figure for babies and young children, notes pediatrician Frank R. Greer, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) committee on nutrition. Although the 1997 IOM report says 200 IU of vitamin D per day should be sufficient for anyone under 50—including children—few researchers buy that. "Everybody feels that we should be taking more than 200 IU," says Greer, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

    Unlike the Canadian Paediatric Society, though, "We [at AAP] don't really have any influence on what pregnant and lactating women take," Greer says. "However, I can say that AAP's committee on nutrition has recommended to the board that we go back to [recommending] 400 IU for all children." That's the amount in a teaspoon of cod liver oil—the vitamin D supplement of choice throughout the early 20th century. Greer expects his committee's recommendation to be approved by AAP's board, perhaps within the next month.

    Optimal needs vary

    For most of the past century, nutrient guidelines have been set to prevent gross deficiencies—shortfalls that could cause disease. Those recommendations tended to represent minimally adequate intakes. Over the past decade, however, considerable debate has surrounded what vitamin D consumption levels would be optimal versus merely adequate.

    The controversy has been fueled by a steady stream of studies that have emerged since the IOM set its vitamin D guidelines. Nearly all demonstrate substantial health benefits from relatively high intakes of vitamin D—amounts well in excess of what most individuals now get. Moreover, those benefits extend well beyond protecting bone. More vitamin D seems to diminish the risk of cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, muscle loss, viral infections—even gum disease.

    Researchers gauge vitamin D sufficiency on the basis of 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-HD). This is not the form of the vitamin that is consumed—nor the hormonal form that the body actually uses—but an intermediary. To achieve optimal concentrations of 25-HD, growing numbers of nutrition and health scientists suggest, most of us would need intakes of 800 to 4,000 IU per day (see Vitamin D: What's Enough?).

    How much vitamin D someone needs can vary widely, largely depending on the amount of skin that gets exposed to the sun each day—and for how long. Further complicating the picture, some skin is heavily pigmented, filtering sunlight out. Many people cover up with clothes or sunblock when they go outdoors. Still others live at high latitudes—as Canadians do—where little ultraviolet radiation makes it through the atmosphere during much of the year.

    Even for women in the southern United States, however, "we've found that lactating women need about 6,000 IU a day to transfer enough vitamin D into their milk to supply adequate amounts to a nursing infant," says Bruce W. Hollis of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

    Nor are nursing moms the only individuals who may need relatively large doses of the vitamin. Hollis' research has shown that black women may sometimes need 4,000 IU a day for months at a time to compensate for little time outdoors, heavy skin pigmentation, and/or obesity—a factor that appears to diminish the body's ability to use vitamin D efficiently (see Understanding Vitamin D Deficiency).

    Another reason for moms' supplementation?

    In March, researchers at Harvard Medical School reported evidence that ample vitamin D diminishes the chance a child will develop asthma, a scourge who's incidence has been rising, especially in black and low-income communities (see Childhood Vitamin D—A New Benefit?). Recently, an additional putative benefit has emerged for pregnant women and their developing babies.

    A study linked elevated risk of preeclampsia—high blood pressure that develops in some women during the last half of pregnancy—with low intakes of vitamin D. This condition, which can lead to miscarriage and even the death of the mother—ordinarily develops in some three to seven percent of first pregnancies.

    Pittsburgh researchers enrolled 1,198 women who were pregnant for the first time and measured their blood concentrations of vitamin D within the first 22 weeks of gestation. Subsequently, 59 women developed preeclampsia. Blood values from all but four were compared to a similar group of recruits who maintained normal blood pressure throughout their pregnancies.

    The higher a woman's blood concentrations of 25-HD, the lower her chance of developing preeclampsia—and that risk fell steadily and "strikingly" with increasing vitamin D values, Lisa M. Bodnar of the University of Pittsburgh and her colleagues found.

    Moreover, babies whose moms had developed preeclampsia were far more likely to have low vitamin-D values than were children whose moms had maintained normal blood pressure. "These differences were found in our population despite widespread prenatal/multivitamin use in the 3 months before delivery," Bodnar's group reports in the September Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

    Black women face far higher risks of developing this hypertensive syndrome. Overall, black women are also far likelier than other ethnic or racial groups to have low blood levels of vitamin D. Against this backdrop, Bodnar's group says, "our data linking vitamin D deficiency and preeclampsia risk raises the intriguing possibility that vitamin D may contribute to racial disparities in this [syndrome]."

    "The story of deficiency begins with vitamin D itself and its primary mode of synthesis, which is from sunlight," argue Adekunle Dawodu of the University of Cincinnati and Carol L. Wagner of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. In a commentary in the September Archives of Disease in Childhood, they report a resurgence of rickets around the world, not only in children at high latitudes, but also in the Arab world and Asia where culture or excessive temperatures may keep women and children indoors or covered up.

    A shift from vitamin-D sufficiency to widespread deficiency has occurred rapidly—mostly throughout a half-century. The reason for it is clear, Dawodu and Wagner say: "insufficient sun exposure and inadequate corrective vitamin-D supplementation." They conclude, much as the Canadian Paediatric Society just has, that dosing moms during pregnancy and lactation "would achieve the double effect of preventing vitamin-D deficiency in both mothers and children." But unlike the Canadian society, they note that doses considerably higher than 2,000 IU may be necessary for some individuals and communities.

    As a goal, achieving population-wide vitamin D sufficiency "may be one of the more important preventative public health initiatives," conclude Dawodu and Wagner.

    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.


    American Academy of Pediatrics

    141 Northwest Point Boulevard

    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098

    Lisa M. Bodnar

    Department of Epidemiology

    University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

    A742 Crabtree Hall

    130 DeSoto Street

    Pittsburgh, PA 15261

    John J. Cannell

    Psychiatry Department

    Atascadero State Hospital

    10333 El Camino Real

    Atascadero, CA 93423

    Marie Adèle Davis

    Canadian Paediatric Society

    2305 St. Laurent Boulevard

    Ottawa, Ont. K1G 4J8


    Frank R. Greer

    Department of Pediatrics

    University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Madison, WI 53792

    Bruce W. Hollis

    Department of Pediatrics

    Medical University of South Carolina

    P.O. Box 250917

    171 Ashley Avenue, Room BM326

    Charleston, SC 29425

    Reinhold Vieth

    Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

    Mount Sinai Hospital

    600 University Avenue

    Toronto, ON M5G 1X5

    Further Reading

    Cannell, J.J. In press. Autism and vitamin D. Medical Hypotheses. Abstract available at [Go to].

    Dijkstra, S.H., et al. 2007. High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in newborn infants of high-risk mothers. Archives of Disease in Childhood 92(September):750-753. Available at [Go to].

    Moore, C.E., M.M. Murphy, and M.F. Holick. 2005. Vitamin D intakes by children and adults in the United States differ among ethnic groups. Journal of Nutrition 135(October):2478-2485. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2007. Childhood vitamin D—A new benefit? Science News Online (May 19). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2007. Childhood vitamin D—A dark side? Science News Online (May 12). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2006. The antibiotic vitamin. Science News 170(Nov. 11):312-317. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Breathing easier with vitamin D. Science News Online (Dec. 17). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Vitamin D boosts calcium potency. Science News Online (Nov. 12). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2005. Understanding vitamin D deficiency. Science News Online (April 30). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Vitamin D: What's enough? Science News 166(Oct. 16):248-249. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Vitamin boost. Science News 166(Oct. 9):232-233. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Should foods be fortified even more? Science News Online (Sept. 11). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. Calcium may become a dieter's best friend. Science News 157(April 29):277. Available at [Go to].

    Williams, A.F. 2007. Vitamin D in pregnancy: An old problem still to be solved? Archives of Disease in Childhood 92(September):740-741. Available at [Go to].

              America and the World - After the Election [Audio]        
    Speaker(s): Professor Anne Applebaum, Professor Craig Calhoun, Professor Michael Cox, Gideon Rachman | After a closely fought election, this highly topical LSE public debate will look ahead to Obama’s second administration and assess the challenges it faces at home and how it is likely to address them, as well as how its relationships with Britain, Europe and the rest of the world are likely to develop. Author and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum has taken up the post of Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the School for 2012-13. She is the first woman to ever hold this position. Anne Applebaum is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute in London, and a columnist for the Washington Post and Slate. After graduating from Yale University, Anne Applebaum was a Marshall Scholar at both the LSE and St. Anthony’s College Oxford. She has also lectured at Yale and Columbia Universities, amongst others. Anne Applebaum’s journalistic work focuses on US and international politics, with a particular focus on economic and political transition. Craig Calhoun is director of LSE. He is a world-renowned social scientist whose work connects sociology to culture, communication, politics, philosophy and economics. He took up his post as LSE Director on 1 September 2012, having left the United States where he was University Professor at New York University and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge and President of the Social Science Research Council. Michael Cox is founding director of LSE IDEAS. `Professor Cox is a well known speaker on global affairs and has lectured in the United States, Australia, Asia, and in the EU. He has spoken on a range of contemporary global issues, though most recently he has focused on the role of the United States in the international system, the rise of Asia, and whether or not the world is now in the midst of a major power shift. Gideon Rachman became chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times in July 2006. He joined the FT after a 15-year career at The Economist, which included spells as a foreign correspondent in Brussels, Washington and Bangkok. He also edited The Economist’s business and Asia sections. His particular interests include American foreign policy, the European Union and globalisation.

    Cruzeiro (2) e Grêmio (3): domínio da Copa do Brasil

    Começou na semana passada mais um torneio no país, este sim com muita emoção e com certeza de casa cheia na maioria dos jogos. É a Copa do Brasil, considerada a competição mais democrática do país. E tal afirmação tem certo fundo de razão por envolver equipes de todos os estados brasileiros - do mais forte ao mais humilde, do mais rico ao com as economias mais abaladas, do mais conhecido ao mais obscuro. Outro motivo para essa certeza é o fato de que vários times de menor expressão terem surpreendido positivamente como veremos adiante. Neste torneio temos a oportunidade de conhecer clubes até então desconhecidos e ver alguns bons nomes surgirem na competição.

    A Copa foi idealizada em 1989 pela CBF a fim de dar uma espécie de consolo para as federações de estados com menor tradição futebolística que haviam ficado de fora da reformulação do Campeonato Brasileiro dois anos antes. Nas edições anteriores a 1987 o Brasileirão tinha ao menos um representante de cada estado, até chegar ao número absurdo de 94 clubes em 1979.

    A fórmula é simples e se assemelha às demais copas mundo a fora, com partidas em sistema eliminatório até a grande final. Até 1995 os jogos eram de ida e volta em todas as fases independente do resultado. A partir de então, até a segunda fase, caso o visitante vença o adversário por 2 ou mais gols de diferença nas partidas de ida não há a necessidade da realização do confronto de volta. Da terceira em diante os dois jogos são obrigatórios. 

    O Flamengo/RJ é o atual campeão do torneio

    Na edição de 2013 houve uma mudança significativa no número de participantes e do período de disputa da Copa do Brasil. Foram 86 times de todos os estados mais o Distrito Federal e incluindo novamente a participação das equipes que disputam a Taça Libertadores - desde 2001 tais times não entravam mais no certame por motivo de choque nas datas das competições. Além do mais aconteceu uma "esticada" no torneio até novembro. Em 2014 a fórmula será repetida e, como já é conhecido, seu vencedor garante vaga na Copa Libertadores da América do ano seguinte.

    Como já dito anteriormente, boas surpresas são reservadas ao democrático torneio. Entre os grandes e expressivos clubes nacionais como Cruzeiro, Flamengo. Corinthians, Palmeiras, Fluminense, entre outros, alguns "intrusos" roubaram o troféu, como Criciúma/SC, Juventude/RS, Santo André/SP e Paulista/SP (todos eles com êxitos sobre times considerados grandes como Botafogo, Flamengo e Fluminense, respectivamente). Sem falar nos nobres "desconhecidos" até então Brasiliense/DF, XV de Novembro/RS e Linhares/ES, que chegaram bem perto. Por outro lado a Copa promove um contraste inusitado: o maior detentor de títulos internacionais e um dos maiores em solo nacional, o São Paulo, jamais conquistou a taça.

    Alguns resultados surpreendentes também entraram para a história da competição e a tornam até hoje sempre atrativa, como a inesquecível vitória do inexpressivo Baraúnas/RN por 3 a 0 sobre o tradicionalíssimo Vasco da Gama em pleno São Januário em 2005, com direito a gol de Cícero Ramalho, atacante de 40 anos; além da desclassificação do Palmeiras para o ASA de Arapiraca em 2002 dentro do Parque Antártica apesar da vitória por 2 a 1 (os palmeirenses haviam perdido o primeiro encontro em Alagoas por 1 a 0), entre vários outros confrontos memoráveis.

    O primeiro gol da história do torneio foi do flamenguista Alcindo, na vitória por 2 a 0 sobre o Paysandu em 1989. Já os maiores campeões são Grêmio e Cruzeiro, ambos com 4 conquistas. Os clubes que mais participaram foram Atlético/MG e Vitória/BA com 25 edições - no total de 26. Gérson, ex-atacante do Galo mineiro e do Internacional/RS foi o jogador que mais vezes se sagrou artilheiro da Copa do Brasil: 3 vezes (1989, 1991 e 1992). O atacante Fred é o maior artilheiro de uma única edição até hoje com 14 gols em 2005, quando atuava pelo Cruzeiro. Mais números você pode conferir no final desta postagem.

    De norte ao sul do país a Copa do Brasil é um festival de cores, um desfile de jogadores diversos e, quem sabe, futuros ídolos da bola, dando uma pontinha de esperança às torcidas pelo país. E viva a democracia do futebol!

    Abaixo, dados, estatísticas e recordes do torneio mais democrático do Brasil.


    * Campeão: Grêmio/RS
    * Vice: Sport/PE
    * Artilheiro: Gérson (Atlético/MG) - 7 gols


    * Campeão: Flamengo/RJ
    * Vice: Goiás/GO
    * Artilheiro: Bizu (Náutico/PE) - 7 gols


    * Campeão: Criciúma/SC
    * Vice: Grêmio/RS
    * Artilheiro: Gérson (Atlético/MG) - 6 gols


    * Campeão: Internacional/RS
    * Vice: Fluminense/RJ
    * Artilheiro: Gérson (Internacional/RS) - 9 gols


    * Campeão: Cruzeiro/MG
    * Vice: Grêmio/RS
    * Artilheiro: Gílson (Grêmio/RS) - 8 gols


    * Campeão: Grêmio/RS
    * Vice: Ceará/CE
    * Artilheiro: Paulinho McLaren (Internacional/RS) - 6 gols


    * Campeão: Corinthians/SP
    * Vice: Grêmio/RS
    * Artilheiro: Sávio (Flamengo/RJ) - 7 gols


    * Campeão: Cruzeiro/MG
    * Vice: Palmeiras/SP
    * Artilheiro: Luizão (Palmeiras/SP) - 8 gols


    * Campeão: Grêmio/RS
    * Vice: Flamengo/RJ
    * Artilheiro: Paulo Nunes (Grêmio/RS) - 9 gols


    * Campeão: Palmeiras/SP
    * Vice: Cruzeiro/MG
    * Artilheiro: Romário (Flamengo/RJ) - 7 gols


    * Campeão: Juventude/RS
    * Vice: Botafogo/RJ
    * Artilheiros: Petković (Vitória/BA) e Romário (Flamengo/RJ) - 8 gols


    * Campeão: Cruzeiro/MG
    * Vice: São Paulo/SP
    * Artilheiro: Oséas (Palmeiras/SP) - 10 gols


    * Campeão: Grêmio/RS
    * Vice: Corinthians/SP
    * Artilheiro: Washington (Flamengo/RJ) - 11 gols


    * Campeão: Corinthians/SP
    * Vice: Brasiliense/DF
    * Artilheiro: Deivid (Corinthians/SP) - 13 gols


    * Campeão: Cruzeiro/MG
    * Vice: Flamengo/RJ
    * Artilheiro: Nonato (Bahia/BA) - 9 gols


    * Campeão: Santo André/SP
    * Vice: Flamengo/RJ
    * Artilheiros: Alex Alves (Botafogo/RJ) e Dauri (XV de Novembro/RS) - 8 gols


    * Campeão: Paulista/SP
    * Vice: Fluminense/RJ
    * Artilheiro: Fred (Cruzeiro/MG) - 14 gols


    * Campeão: Flamengo/RJ
    * Vice: Vasco da Gama/RJ
    * Artilheiro: Valdiram (Vasco da Gama/RJ) - 8 gols


    * Campeão: Fluminense/RJ
    * Vice: Figueirense/SC
    * Artilheiros: André Lima (Botafogo/RJ), Victor Simões (Figueirense/SC) e Dênis Marques (Atlético/PR) - 5 gols


    * Campeão: Sport/PE
    * Vice: Corinthians/SP
    * Artilheiros: Edmundo (Vasco da Gama), Wellington Paulista (Botafogo/RJ) e Romerito (Sport/PE) - 6 gols


    * Campeão: Corinthians/SP
    * Vice: Internacional/RS
    * Artilheiro: Taison (Internacional/RS) - 7 gols


    * Campeão: Santos/SP
    * Vice: Vitória/BA
    * Artilheiro: Neymar (Santos/SP) - 11 gols


    * Campeão: Vasco da Gama/RJ
    * Vice: Coritiba/PR
    * Artilheiros: Alecsandro (Vasco da Gama/RJ), Adriano (Palmeiras/SP), Kléber (Palmeiras/SP), Rafael Coelho (Avaí/SP) e William Júnior (Avaí/SC) - 5 gols


    * Campeão: Palmeiras/SP
    * Vice: Coritiba/PR
    * Artilheiros: Luís Fabiano (São Paulo/SP) - 8 gols


    * Campeão: Flamengo/RJ
    * Vice: Atlético/PR
    * Artilheiros: Hernane (Flamengo/RJ) - 8 gols


    * Times mais vezes campeões: Grêmio/RS e Cruzeiro/MG (4 vezes)

    * Times que mais participaram: Atlético/MG e Vitória/BA (25 vezes)

    * Jogador que mais vezes marcou gols: Romário (36 gols)

    * Maior artilheiro de uma edição: Fred (14 gols em 2005)

    * Jogadores que mais atuaram na competição: Carlos Miguel e Zinho (71 jogos)

    * Maior goleada da história: Atlético/MG 11 X 0 Caiçara/PI, no dia 28 de fevereiro de 2011 em Belo Horizonte/MG

    * Maior placar agregado da história: Internacional/RS 15 X 1 Ji-Paraná/RO (6 X 0 e 9 X 1) em 1993

    * Maior público: 101581 pessoas (Botafogo/RJ 0 X 0 Juventude/RS, no dia 27 de junho de 1999 no estádio do Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro)

    Fotos 1, 2 e 3: Autores desconhecidos
    Foto 4: Já é Notícia

              Needs to be 62 years old or in western Washington        
              Early Bird Registration Extended For TypeCon “Capitolized”        
    One of the main typography conferences, TypeCon, presented by SOTA (The Society of Typographic Aficionados) is coming up fast. Unlike ATypI which travels all around the world, TypeCon is hosted by a different city in the United States every year. The name of this year’s conference is Capitolized, inspired by its host city Washington D.C., […]
              The Art of Lovin' Animals --- Featured Group of Artists Inspired by Their Beloved Pets.        
    Painting and Photograph copyright by Luke and Ginger E. Van Hook, 2004
    Courtesy of the Van Hook Collection

    The Art of Lovin' Animals
    Features a group of artists inspired,
    motivated or influenced by their beloved pets
    and appear in this blog in the following order:

    Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom,
    Monrovia Association of Fine Arts supporters
    (KidsArt Studio, PaintNPlay Art Studios, Tyson & Tillman Skate Dogs)
    Family Dog and Cat Hospital in Monrovia, California (displays animal artwork).
    Ginger Van Hook, Luke Van Hook,
    Alex in Welderland, Elena Wolek, and Zareh.

    Additionally as part of the "Art of Lovin' Animals"
    there is a special book and movie review of
    John Grogan's book "Marley and Me", and the recent hit movie
    starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson

    Written by Enilde G. Van Hook with special thanks to all participating artists!

    Do you remember your first pet? I do. I even have a picture of how much bigger my cats’ paws were than my two feet put together at the age of three. My mother, tells me I had a yellow duck, a small dog and a large yellow tabby cat that owned me as a child.
    These three pets were protective, possessive and they were my first companions as I ventured out, for the first time, into my wild back yard of dirt and weeds. I was born in Rosario Argentina and to me now as an adult, my backyard is still my world. I live in Los Angeles, California but the romance of the Argentinean Pampas is not lost on me. From the pictures of my past, I gathered that my Belgian Grandfather, Francisco, ran a plant nursery in Buenos Aires and that my father, Luis, grew up to be an inventor in America. But the most unique connection I have to my past is my relationship with animals. I’ve had a pet at almost every age as I grew up. The importance of this type of companionship has not been explored enough in the art world, at least, this is my opinion. This is the reason I am blogging about the subject of the art and inspiration of lovin’ pets. I hope to instigate discussion, if not compassion. I hope to motivate an artistic response to my thoughts as well. You may have a completely different experience, so I personally encourage you to post your comments after you read this entry.
    This is what I asked myself for the subject of the essay for Ginger's Art Journal. What is the relationship of animals and pets to the art world? How involved are animals throughout the art strata? How much inspiration is gathered from the love of a pet? Can that even be measured? Does the love of a pet inspire political causes? Activism? How does one explain the pangs of loneliness from the loss of a pet? Does the death of a pet make an artist create more art? Does the gift of a new life of a pet inspire hope and renewal in artists? How do artists express their love and affection for the four-legged critters of our earth? How do animals, pets, pet trees, pet rocks or pets of any kind affect the process of making art?
    There are a number of artists that I have followed for a period of time to investigate the questions that will make up this entry. Studying the work of a number of local artists from the Los Angeles and surrounding areas that work with pets in their art practice, I will present some of their unique stories with photos. The artists, in alphabetical order, include Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom, Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook, Alexandra from Alex in Welderland, Lena Wolek and Zareh. Additionally, the art of lovin’ animals has made a seamless transition from the literary art into the film arts so I will discuss one of my favorite books by John Grogan named “Marley and Me” as it compares to its latest movie version of “Marley and Me” starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson which opened in December for Christmas Day.
    The method selected to choose these artists was random. I began my animal photographic study in 2006. Through my daily practice of studying the arts, I have come across people who were “in my back yard” and came to connect with me in a special way. I didn’t set out to write a story about animals. I merely went about my daily routine of photographing people and artwork that caught my “eye” because I was at the right place at the right time. Believing that the universe has a special plan for me, I allowed this story to evolve of its own volition. What I discovered both surprised me and opened me up. What I mean by this is that I was surprised to discover that artists who had pets had a great deal in common with other artists who had pets. Most people know and understand the history that reveals how the Egyptians revered cats and how the dog is considered “man’s best friend”. While it was common to have general conversations about how great it was to have pets and create pet portraits, I rarely came across artists that spoke to the deeper underlying significance in the arts about this specifically. While doing this research, I came across the most extreme case of worshiping our pets. The act of cloning has been in the news ever since the cloning of “Dolly” the sheep, but did you know that now there is a company that has launched itself into a commercial venture to clone man’s best friend? I discovered this and lots more so enjoy the new year in 2009 with a renewed commitment to your beloved pet. This is an ongoing story so don’t feel left out if your best friend isn’t included in this entry. I’m still reviewing artwork and pet portraits,
    feel free to send me an email about your animal story and I’ll include it in the followup stories!


    Fine Arts Painter

    Joshua Elias, Exhibition, DCA Fine Arts
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Winston and Lucille read art literature on the couch and
    wait for Joshua Elias to become inspired to feed them.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    Paintings by Joshua Elias
    Art in the making at the Brewery Artist Colony
    Los Angeles, California, 2008
    Studio visit by Ginger Van Hook
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook
    Artist brushes belonging to Joshua Elias
    The instruments by which Joshua Elias creates the canvas of weather and inspiration.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    DCA Fine Arts Gallery, Joshua Elias with Mathew Heller and his girlfriend
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook 2007
    Joshua Elias, Exhibition at DCA Fine Arts Gallery
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Joshua Elias with his cats Winston and Lucille
    in his studio at the Brewery Arts Complex in Los Angeles, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008

    Joshua Elias
    Artist Statement

    Art has become about large quantities of Resin, masquerading as Content. The focus has been on Process, confusing it with Content. Enough. I wish to focus on Content. Story and Vibration lead the way for me to paint.

    I work in oil because of the depth and movement that it allows for me, as a medium. I focus on Landscapes that are rearranged. Traveling spirits act as guides, to the movement of a particular painting. The influence of Moorish architecture and its many doorways offers and allows entryways into paintings.

    At present we are in a period of Time where there seems to be long standing fights over Space, Time Religion, Money, Ideology, and Relationships. Enough. The one thing we do all share is Weather. Through the action of Creating our own environment, our own personal Weather, the Repositioning of Weather can illuminate and allow for more Creation to happen, more of a Life Force to shine and to take shape.

    ï¿_ Joshua Elias

    Courtesy of the DCA website

    Fine Arts Painter, Collage Artist, Actor and Performer
    Simone Gad, Artist, Solo Show, L2Kontemporary Gallery
    February 2008 Chinatown, Los Angeles, California,
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Selfportrait with Max and Bella/Autoportrait avec Max et Bella
    Private collection, photo courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005
    Gad/Rin-Tin-Tin Collection Long Beach Museum of Art
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Picture Holocaust Clowns - Pinups 127, Gad and Poodle
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Selfportrait with Cat and Jesus
    Private collection, Courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Hommage a Ma Mere 2005 Painting Collage
    Copyright and Collection- Simone Gad
    Courtesy Simone Gad-Artist
    Photograph by Antonio Garcia

    Autoportrait avec Kashmir, painting collage 2005/06
    Courtesy Simone Gad- Artist and L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California. Copyright Simone Gad

    Portrait of Bella, the Brindle cat, acting secretary for Artist, Simone Gad
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Bella the Brindle Cat, (on the Marilyn and JFK Installation)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of
    Jesse Bonderman and Simone Gad,

    Bella, the Brindle Cat #2 (Marilyn Installation)
    Photo courtesy of Jessie Bonderman and Simone Gad

    Portrait of Simone Gad, Artist with companion, Bella.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Portrait of Bella
    The Brindle cat, Artist assistant, model
    and loyal companion to Simone Gad.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Max and Bella pose for pictures in the window of Simone Gad's artist studio
    Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Simone Gad poses with one of her paintings of Chinatown
    during her solo show at L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Enilde Van Hook writer's notes: I met Simone Gad at an exhibition of her work in Chinatown in the spring of 2008. The L2Kontemporary Gallery is a unique gallery located at 990 N. Hill Street #205 in Downtown Los Angeles (90012), California. I received an email from ArtScene, a wonderful source of local Art Events that is produced by the staff of Coagula Art Journal. Special thanks to Michael Salerno and Mat Gleason, because somewhere in the announcement, I read that Simone Gad was a Belgium-born artist and this led me to want to meet her to talk about the art in Belgium, where my grandfather had been born. Once I attended her exhibit and got a chance to meet Simone, I realized there was a distinct cultural connection we had through our reverence to the animals. She used images of her cats to make intriguing and poignant self-portraits and insightful photographic collages.
    I have followed Simone Gad’s work into 2009 and you will enjoy visiting her site through the L2Kontemporary Gallery located in Chinatown in Los Angeles: Follow these links to get to know a renaissance artist, a versatile film and TV actress, a woman of many talents and an artist who has a great deal of compassion to show for her animal friends: visit the online gallery site at to view her solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume which may be viewed at by writing in her name or by writing in Simone Gad’s name.
    Special thanks to the L2Kontemporary Gallery for cooperating with my interview! ( and and phone: 323-225-1288)

    Simone Gad
    Artist Statement and Biography: 2009

    I've been showing in museums and galleries for 40 years-am a 6 times grants recipient, including a CRA Grant 1986, the Woman's Building 1985/6, New Orleans Contemporary Museum of Art 1984, the Gottlieb Foundation-NYC/Painting Medical Emergency Grant, Change Inc-Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Grant-both in 2002 for painting and medical emergency, and Artist Fellowship Foundation Grant in 2007-NYC. I am included in the Archives of the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian-Washington, DC, and will also be included in the Lyn Kienholz Encyclopedia of Los Angeles Artists who have shown between 1944 and 1979. In Los Angeles, I am represented by L2kontemporary Gallery-Chinatown, Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco, and am showing in Spain. I am also in the traveling museum exhibition-Your Documents Please thru 2010 in Japan/Europe/Mexico curated by Daniel Georges of Brooklyn, NY. I was born in Brussels, Belgium to holocaust survivor parents, from Poland. We came to the US in the early 1950's and settled in Boyle Heights/E.L.A, after arriving at Ellis Island. My mother got me into show-biz at the age of 4 upon our immigration. I grew up in the entertainment field as a young actress-have been working professionally in film, tv, commercials and theatre ever since. Have always had a dual career-.visual/performance artist and actor. George Herms and Wallace Berman were my first mentors. Al Hansen was my mentor from 1972 to 1995 when he passed away in Koln, Germany.

    My cats Max and Bella Bettina Kashmir are my inspiration for many of my painting collages-have been so for many years. I've always been inspired by my cats and dogs that I've had since I arrived to this country from War torn Europe. My father got me my first dog-Teddy Queeny when I was a child living on Folsom Street-We had just returned from a movie on Brooklyn Avenue when we saw the puppies on our way home. I was allowed to have one-and I was so happy. But my mother hated animals and wouldn't let me keep my pet with me in my bedroom and it cried all night. I was heartbroken when I got home from Nursery School the following day and found that my dog was gone. My mom told me she had sent it to New Jersey to live with my Tante Sally. I wasn't allowed to have any animals after that. Years later I visited my aunt and asked her if she had taken care of my Teddy Queeny and she told me she never did-she never got the dog-didn't know what I was talking about. I realized that my mother had lied to me and had possibly killed my beloved doggie. I had moved to Topanga Canyon for a while in the late 1960's-that's where I got to know Wallace Berman and George Herms. I was given a miniature sheppard-who I named Lady. She was my constant companion and I adored her. She was run over by a couple of friends who were staying with me one night. I found her bleeding from her mouth by the driveway. She died in my arms and I could feel her spirit leave her body. We buried her the next morning. I was devastated for years. A friend of mine gave me a dash-hound and I took it home to be with me when I left Topanga and stayed with my parents for a while. I named her Wiggle Butts because she had this habit of wiggling her behind when she walked. I was not allowed to keep her-once again-so I called a friend and had her drive from The Canyon to pick Wiggles up and take care of her for me. When I left my parents and got an apartment, I got a cat-Nathaniel-my very first cat-who was with me for 15 years until he passed away. It was then that I started to incorporate animal objects into my collages-in the mid 1970's.

    copyright Simone Gad 2009 to view Simone Gad’s solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume-you may also get it on by writing in her name or by writing in Simone Gad’s name-



    Focus One Gallery in Monrovia, California. Sponsored by M.A.F.A.,
    the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts and Focus One Community Credit Union.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2006

    Betty Glass celebrates Christmas with Lulu at home in 2008.
    Lulu, wearing her new holiday sweater,
    pokes her nose into the gift bag
    to see if she likes what Santa has brought her.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty Glass and James Glass.
    Turtle Painting, Watercolor Artwork by Betty Glass reminiscent of her pet turtles.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Trojan Horses, Watercolor painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Hummy, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee and Sugar, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    memorializing the life of her beloved friends.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee (5-17-80 --- 4-20-94)
    the larger white and orange Brittany on the right,
    and Sugar (7-20-90 --- 12-24-04)
    the smaller Brittany on the left.
    "Beloved Friends and Forever in our hearts!"
    Loyal Friends, Inspiration and Companions
    to Artist, Betty Glass and her family.
    (Special thanks to husband, James Glass
    for his technical computer assistance
    with digital photography formating of Betty Glass Artwork.)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass

    Enilde Van Hook, Writer's Notes:
    I met Betty Glass through the Monrovia Association of Fine arts in 2006. We were showing together at the Focus One Gallery on Huntington Drive in Monrovia, California. When Betty came into the gallery, she was toting her adorable poodle named Lulu. I was charmed immediately and I just had to have a photo of this beautiful female pooch with a twinkle in her eye and the gumption to come into an art gallery where only humans gathered. This little poodle had no clue there was any difference between her and her owner, and she acted like she was looking at the art just like everyone else. At the time, I considered this a very cultured poodle and I told Betty so. Betty giggled and let me take her snapshot with Lulu and then we did not see each other again until we had another show together, also at Focus One Gallery two years later in December of 2008. When I saw Betty this time, I saw the connection of her artwork and the love of her animals come through her work and later, she agreed to participate in the interview for my blog. You may enjoy Betty Glass's artwork by visiting her website at

    Betty H. Glass
    Artist Statement about Animal Art

    Through art we communicate our feelings and thoughts.
    Our art reflects what experiences in life have influenced us.
    I have had a lifetime of pets
    ranging from goldfish, parakeets, and turtles and, of course,
    the loyal dog—always your friend even when the sky seems to be falling.
    I am still sketching and painting animals, birds, and fish.
    The softness of their fur, the texture of their feathers and fins,
    the variations of color are very appealing to me,
    because color is part of my artistic signature.
    Sometimes they are presented in a realistic fashion.

    Other times I use animals in a more stylized way—
    using their shapes as patterns, semi-abstracting them and their background.
    For example, my painting Trojan Horses shows flattened stylized figures of horses.
    Hopefully artistically pleasing and calling to mind ancient Greece.

    The Art of Lovin’ Trees-- 
    Featuring Artist Joel Tauber
    Story dedicated to Joel and Alison
    in celebration of their joyous engagement on November 9th,

    Written and Researched by Enilde Van Hook
    Story Consult and Editing by Luke Van Hook

     America is having a love affair with trees and California is second to none in leading its appreciation of trees. Digging deep into the roots of this story, I have followed and researched the tree culture specifically in Los Angeles where our love of trees has spawned a unique pop tree culture relating to art. Our popular tree culture today includes but is not limited to tree sculptures, tree paintings, tree photographs, tree videos, tree poetry, tree songs, tree jewelry, tree movies and even tree love affairs. 

    Tree Earing created by Joel Tauber for his Sick-Amour Tree in Pasadena, California.
    Additional Tree Jewelry created by Joel Tauber to adorn the Sick-Amour Tree includes leaf jewelry, as well as the male earing and the female earing that hang from the tree below.  
    Photos of tree jewelry courtesy of  Susanne Vielmetter Gallery 5795 West Washington Blvd., Culver City, California 90232 (323-933-2117)

    Sick-Amour Tree in the parkinglot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl, protected by barriers installed by Joel Tauber in his quest to save his beloved tree. Tree wearing the earings looks hot!  Photo courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery.
    Leaf sculpture by Joel Tauber
    Female tree earing by Joel Tauber.
    Male tree earing created by Joel Tauber, photo courtesy of Susanne Vielmetter Gallery, 2008

    For the record, our love of trees goes way back to the dawn of time when we were swinging in the trees, however, our love has grown and matured since then. The Greek and Roman heritage of literature and art bestows us with intoxicating stories of their Gods having entanglements with humans. Some of their deities were known as protectors of trees and nature such as Dionysus the Greek god of agriculture, fertility, wine and merriment. He was later renamed Bacchus by the Romans and reported to be the Tree God. Back in the day when artists carved trees into stone and marble relief sculptures to worship in the temples of their mythological gods, people celebrated the sacredness of trees, grapevines and sometimes the unions of gods and mortals. There was Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees who married Vertumnus, the god of fruits and gardens. Digging deep enough, one is sure to find stories of deities mating with trees and spawning children of the harvest for instance.

    In modern literary circles there are a number of great imaginative family favorites written about trees, like “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. Then there’s the infamous story of how Robinson Crusoe lived in a tree-house, and of utmost importance to our American history of trees, we propagate the very memorable legend of ‘Johnny Appleseed’.

    In our contemporary times we have a legend in the making too. I have been fortunate to witness the emergence of a new ‘Johnny Appleseed’ and interestingly enough, the story involves a recent romantic love affair between one special tree and a mortal that is well worth pursuing the story. Sometime in the fall of in 2007, I met Joel Tauber. This is the artist who I believe was struck by a mythological bolt of lighting, so to speak, pertaining to one of the Greek or Roman deities’. Joel Tauber is said to have fallen head over heels in love with one particular Sycamore Tree in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. My chance meeting with this now famous mortal under the influence of an enchanted mystical spell, has led me to research the mysteries intrinsic in the charms of trees. I too have been struck with the frailty of trees, their vulnerabilities, and their enormous strengths and inspiration. This together with my own personal experiences with trees has prompted me to come out of my shell and discuss the subject in all seriousness.

    My own personal background is not in trees. I am simply a tree-lover from childhood. For a little over ten years, my professional background was in radio as a disc jockey and on-air personality. I listened to music, reviewed songs and kept tabs on the pop music culture. I worked in the Los Angeles market as well as Santa Barbara, California; Eventually I moved to expand my work experience in neighboring radio markets like Reno, Carson City, Lake Tahoe and Gardnerville/Minden, Nevada. It was through traveling that I saw some of the most beautiful trees along the routes through Northern California and Northern Nevada!
    While I drove from one radio market to another over the years, I watched the trees go by at the various speed limits along the highways of my life’s journeys. Thus you will understand when I tell you that often I see art and life, for that matter, through a series of moving images in my head which include a music bed. 
    I was eleven years old when in 1970, Joni Mitchell wrote and released a song called ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ whose lyrics surpassed the test of time and is currently in airplay by a glut of new groups. The lyrics began with “…They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum and they charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see ‘em.” One of the barometers I use to gage the influence of any particular song, music or artwork that I come into contact with is if it will surpass the test of time, among other important criteria. This song became one of my favorite songs of all time. The lyrics made so much sense to me.
    When I met Joel Tauber, I was introduced to the enormous scope of his Sick-Amour Tree-Baby Project. It was then that I suddenly started hearing Joni Mitchell’s song in my mind again, only this time, as I got in my car, Counting Crows was performing the song. When I started doing more research on the song that I could not get out of my head, I was struck by how many artists had re-recorded the song and barely changed anything about the words. There is Amy Grant, who upgraded the dollar amount from $1.50 to $25 when singing about how much the museums charged people to enter. Additionally there is Green Day, Sarah McLachlan, Charlie Barker, Bob Dylan, Moya Brennan, Ireen Sheer, Donnie Eidt and a host of so many others that have recorded ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ it was simply overwhelming!
    I think the importance of the lyrics to this one particular song is that it reveals the fact that people love trees and hate parking lots. The message is that if it weren’t for our trees, we could be living in a frying pan! The impact of this single song is that it reveals what is really going on in people’s minds. There is a reason why so many artists are flocking to re-record the lyrics in their own way.

    Not only are trees involved in the music arena, trees as subjects, are very involved in politics as well. Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin at the time, took a leading role in developing the celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd 1970 as a way to commemorate our environmental concerns. Arbor Day is presently celebrated as well with the first ceremonial tree planting in Washington D.C. on April 27th in 2001, all evidence that goes to prove the people of our planet do care about what happens to our trees.

    Trees stand as a testiment and memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King

    Dr. Martin Luther King is memorialized with trees along Expositon Blvd. across from the Los Angeles Coliseum and down the street from the University of Southern California.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook

    Online sources on the subject of trees are rich in number. For instance, eighteen years ago, here in Los Angeles, a multi racial group of volunteers planted 400 Canary Island Pine trees along seven miles of road on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King’s life. Today, this living homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continues to thrive and keep the dream alive for his followers. The founder and President of is Mr. Andy Lipkis and he keeps tabs on the trees to make sure all 400 trees stay healthy.

    Mayor Antonio Villarigosa is the person to thank for the ‘Million Trees Initiative’ he signed into effect in May of 2006 and Los Angeles residents can learn how they too can receive up to 7 free trees to plant on their property. Visit the website at to learn the details.   Also in Portland, Oregon there is and in Bellingham Washington you will find There is also the International Society of Arboriculture called ISA and can be accessed by visiting You will also find a great deal of valuable advise on the growth and care of trees at and check out Tree Care Industry Association TCIA as well.

    Mark Dion created an art piece titled "Library for the Birds of Antwerp" which is also a good example of how art is vitally connected with our tree culture and how it connects Mark Dion to his PBS special where he removed a dead tree from the forest and recreated its living components in a city scape in Washington.  From the "20th Century Artbook Phaidon Press 1996", the caption reads: "Using props from the natural and man-made world, Dion has constructed an installation that explores contemporary attitudes to science and the environment. He has created a fictional and hybridized situation in which the trappings associated with knowledge, learning and classification--such as books and photographs--are juxtaposed with natural elements including birds and wood.   The representation of nature is a fundamental subject in Dion's art, and here he takes on the role of sociologist/anthropologist and blurring the boundaries between authentic and fake, representation and parody. By adopting the persona of a scientist and by satirizing man's obsession with categorization, Dion questions the values of the Western world.  His subject matter is heavily influence by popular culture.  In Dion's world we might witness Mickey Mouse as an explorer, or Clark Kent interviewing Dr. Frankenstein." (Photo and contents are used in this story for purposes of artistic review.)

    In the art world, an artist named Mark Dion was featured in a documentary film report that aired in 2007. To view the video one may visit on the Internet by going to and find Mark Dion as he took the subject of trees and made an art piece that explored what would happen if one were to take a tree after its death, take it out of its familial context of natural forest, and re-create the ecosystem in an environment that would otherwise be a hostile urban setting, needless to say, a cityscape. Just outside of Seattle Washington, he states, a Hemlock fell on February 8th, 1996…and so begins an elaborate experiment that pits optimism against reality." The PBS special is very detailed and you will enjoy the depth of research and work that Mark Dion went to to take a tree out of the forest and recreate the setting in the city.  The difference between the artwork presented by Mark Dion and  the artwork presented by Joel Tauber is in the nature of the life of the tree. Mark Dion works with a dead tree and its living components, and Joel Tauber creates life out of a tree seed and duplicates it all over his community.

    Thus I’ve discovered for myself that when I researched the subject of trees, I discovered Joel Tauber wasn’t alone! However, instead of creating an experiment in ecology, Joel Tauber goes further than Mark Dion does with this concept of eco-systems and their frailties. Joel Tauber begins a journey that could eventually repair the eco-systems that man has destroyed. This is where Joel Tauber takes the lead in the art world and becomes not only the realist but the optimistic hope for trees in desecrated forests all over the country.
    Joel Tauber’s work as a living project of art in 2008 has resonance and his story is well worth telling again and again. He is certainly not the first, nor the last to get involved in the love of trees, but he is the first in contemporary times to have been associated with a mythological and mystical occurrence of reproducing tree babies out of just hugging one lonely tree.

    The last time I saw a man hugging a tree, he was hugging the tree for all the wrong reasons. At the MOCA, Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, some years back I was viewing an exhibition that was in town by the Utah born artist now working in Los Angeles, Paul McCarthy. While this work of art depicted a very raw and unsettling sculpture of ‘tree-lovin’ it had nothing whatsoever to do with the love of any tree. The work displayed a timely political statement about our government rather than the love for trees, but bear in mind that the thought involved images from man’s intimate involvement with trees both in the biblical sense and in the sense of man’s raping of the planet. Joel Tauber’s work counteracts the devastation of many years of neglect for our trees with a very basic recipe for the renewal of our commitment to our green-leafed friends. Now, when I see the image of Joel Tauber hugging his Sycamore Tree in Pasadena, I get a whole new perspective for the love for our planet, our trees and our environment as a whole.

    "The Garden" by Paul McCarthy from The 20th Century Art Book, 
    Phaidon Press Limited, page 280. Photo is used for purposes of artistic review.
    The caption in the book reads as follows: " 'The Garden'  is a full-scale tableau of an outdoor, woodland scene, complete with leafy trees, shrubs and rocks.  This tranquil picture of nature is rudely interrupted by the presence of a middle-aged, balding man with his trousers round his ankles, engaged in a wholly unnatural act. From one side of the installation, his actions are not immediately apparent, being partially hidden by the tree trunks and foliage, but the sound of mechanical activity draws the viewer in to discover the shocking sight of a man copulating with a tree.  This robotic figure, with its endlessly repetitive movements, is both comical and crude, and is intended by McCarthy to question notions of acceptable public behavior and sexual morality.  McCarthy is a lecturer at UCLA as well as an artist. His sculptural installations evolved out of his earlier performance work which focused on his own body engaged in extreme and disturbing acts."

    To further explain this romantic entanglement between a tree and a mortal, I cite some important historical facts. Back in 2005, Joel Tauber was in the parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl, when he spotted a particularly lonely and neglected Sycamore Tree. There are hundreds of thousands of trees in Pasadena, and a great number of them thrive very well on the grounds of the Rose Bowl, should you ever drive through this luscious community of tree and rose-lovers, you will see. But Joel Tauber focused his attention on one specific lonely tree. He started to note more and more how cars would hit the bark of the tree and scrape it, injuring the tree repeatedly. Joel Tauber became a witness to this tree’s life. Taking compassion and friendship upon this particular tree, Tauber began to film the area of the parking lot where the tree was growing. He got the idea to put up solid barriers to protect it from cars and also carried water in large plastic bags to irrigate the tree. Soon, Tauber found himself as a one-man band, orchestrating a symphony of activities leading to editing mass quantities of tree footage, fighting City Hall, and embarking on a quest to save this tree from infertility using tried and true guerilla tactics that would make tree-huggers stand and salute. To personally view the Sick-Amour project, along with the giant scale tree sculpture installation exhibited at Susanne Vielmetter Gallery in 2007, you may visit

                   Recently, I had the privilege and opportunity to discuss Joel Tauber’s work with Susanne Vielmetter and she was delighted to tell me what a wonderful sense of humor that Tauber exhibits in all of his works of art. Susanne Vielmetter reviewed the Underwater project with me as well as the Flying Project which Tauber presented.
    She explained how deep down, she feels Tauber is on a quest for meaning in his work and that he has a keen sense of humor that unifies and makes his ideas successful. She states that he uses the comical and the tragic in the Tree-Baby project to address the issues of urban living in our time and very subtly pokes fun at the problems innate in urban planning. The real irony of a small Sycamore tree dying of thirst in a parking lot of a beautiful park in a paradise-like valley, alongside the 110 Pasadena Freeway where 80% of the territory is plastered with concrete and the water below runs along asphalt channels of the Los Angeles River is not lost on Tauber, she explained. To contrast, Susanne Vielmetter cited that parks in Europe allow for weeds to grow naturally on landscapes that are not covered with concrete. Joel Tauber’s projects were initially presented at the Susanne Vielmetter Gallery located at 5795 Washington Blvd., in Culver City, California. The response Susanne Vielmetter’s Gallery received was incredibly exciting, even though at first, some folks thought Joel Tauber was a nut; he went on to prove just how serious he really is about changing the landscape of our environment, one tree at a time.

    Joel Tauber has a large body of video artwork, photographs and developing tree babies, (the children of a mortal and a Charmed Sycamore Tree) and one may also visit
    As I learned more and more about Joel Tauber’s project, I realized how blessed we all are that tree-lovin’ is not a singular act of love or even a fleeting love of art. I realized how connected we all are to our environment and how the idea of having a special friend ‘the tree’, any tree in any state, in any country for that matter is a beautiful connection to have. The connection that Joel Tauber has to his Sycamore Tree is in synch with the love that the country is experiencing during our new millennium. We have all become acutely aware of the fragility of life; we realize now more than ever that we must respect our dependence on our environment and value our trees.

    The first thing that struck me about Joel Tauber was that we had the love of trees in common. He seemed a bit shy, unassuming and humble yet I was later to learn the enormous power he wielded for this one frail and neglected tree in the parking lot of the Pasadena Rose Bowl in California. I was truly inspired by the level of involvement and commitment he had demonstrated for his own beloved Sycamore Tree which he had turned into a full-blown art-project including video, photography and sculptured jewelry. (He did it all!) He named this work the Sick-Amour Project mainly because he said he felt this tree was ill from the lack of love and the inability to have tree babies to fulfill its legacy. I had never personally met someone with such an extreme love and dedication to one particular tree. In our local newscasts, I had heard stories of people who became very emotional when a land developer was about to cut down a tree they considered a relic of their community; in which case people got very nasty about the issue and would chain themselves to the trees or surround the location with demonstrators that would shut down the jobsite. That’s when the news crews would come in with their cameras and boom mikes and the news helicopters would hover in circles above the trees trying to capture the ‘event’ that was creating all the uproar. A very recent example of this type of community behavior is written about on the front pages of the Los Angeles Times where Eric Bailey, a Times Staff Writer, wrote an extensive story about the tree-issues pertaining to Scotia, California where activists are protesting the logging of the Great California REDWOODS! Read the Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times, August 24th, 2008 or visit online to learn how the tree-sitters are doing today.

    But Joel Tauber is a different type of activist. He doesn’t consider himself an activist at all. He merely states, humbly, just for the record, that he loves this one particular Sycamore Tree and it is an outrage to him to see how his new best friend is being suffocated under a six-inch blanket of black tar and asphalt. Better yet, Joel Tauber does something about it. Not with a crew of forty thousand demonstrators, not even with a crew of forty residents. He does this on his own, quietly challenging the laws of the city of Pasadena and humbly takes responsibility for the care and nurturing of his new best friend. I was touched. At once I began to marvel at his potent idea.

    The art of loving our trees has grown roots in the higher levels of the art world as well. For instance, if one were to visit the J. Paul Getty Museum both at the Getty Villa which recently re-opened in Malibu and at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, you will find the love of trees has grown branches on all the hillsides surrounding both properties. There are lucky Sycamores and fortunate Pines; there are Pomegranate trees, Apple trees, Pear trees, Jacaranda trees and trees that just look good in a vista overlooking the ocean. Millions of dollars went into the development of artistic gardens which envelope the California landscape against a backdrop of the Pacific Ocean on one edge and the rolling hills of Malibu on the other.

    Over in the area of the Miracle Mile, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is celebrating an enormous renovation of its facilities and you guessed it, there are aisles and isles of gigantic palm trees lining the walkways to the entrance of the museum in concert with a unique and flamboyant architecture that has drawn the attention of the art-world with the generosity of Eli and Edythe Broad of the Broad Foundation. The Broad Contemporary Art Museum is the new wing at the LACMA and is considered the largest space in the country devoted exclusively to contemporary art. With a ‘living art display’ dedicated to the iconic palm trees, not native to California, Robert Irwin has developed a plein-air walkway through ‘Palm Gardens’ as one makes their way to the entrances of the museum.

    Lush green trees thrive all over Pasadena, California, home of the Rose Bowl where Joel Tauber fell in love with a Sycamore Tree.  Photo by Ginger Van Hook, 2008

     The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California  is also home to some of the most exquisite antiquities in its museum history which includes sculptures amid a forest like atmosphere. Currently at the Norton Simon Museum, among its many exhibitions, one may enjoy the artwork of Ruth Weisberg, Dean of the Gayle Garner Roski School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. Opening on October 17, 2008 the Weisberg exhibition at the Norton Simon runs through March 2, 2009. Additionally a lecture by the artist is planned where Weisberg discusses: Guido Cagnacci and the Resonant Image on Sunday November 16, 2008.  The Norton Simon Museum of Art is located at 411 West Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena, California. Ruth Weisberg was instrumental in selecting the work of Joel Tauber to be permanently planted on the Main University Campus of USC on January 24, 2008 where a tree planting ceremony was held and attended by numerous members of USC faculty, staff, students and guests. The location of the new tree-baby, child of the Sick-Amour Project, currently exists on the Exposition side of the campus between Gate one and the Fischer Gallery, across the street from the Museum of Natural History. 

    In Pasadena, where lovers of trees line every street of the city as the landscapes are lush with all types of trees and where these wonderful healthy trees keep cool the throngs of tourists who visit the Rose Bowl every year, is also home to the Norton Simon Museum and the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Both locations are areas where tree-lovin’ may be experienced alongside some of California’s best-known artworks. Visit the NORTON SIMON MUSEUM at located at 411 West Colorado, Pasadena, California 91105 or visit the PASADENA MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA ART at at 490 East Union Street, Pasadena, California.

    In San Marino, California, the art of trees, gardens and succulents has found a worthy haven at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens spanning an area of 120 acres dedicated to the fine arts founded by Henry E. Huntington in 1928 as the very first public art gallery in Southern California. Along with English portraits and French eighteenth-century furniture, one will delight in tours of the unique garden paradise established for the pure love of the botanical arts.

    On the hillside along the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles, one may also enjoy walking along the elegant landscapes of the Skirball Cultural Center and Museum grounds and witness the serenity of the trees as Weeping Willows slope their leaves to the ground, and gentle breezes sway the branches of Sycamores, Oaks and Birch trees. Visit the Skirball Museum online at, or enjoy a personal walk along the grounds and explore the tributes to culture at 2701 North Sepulveda, Los Angeles 90049.

    Trees at the Skirball Museum and Cultural Center thrive and enjoy the mild California climate.

    In San Diego, one enjoys walking through a vast museum complex housing 15 unique museums in Balboa Park, not to mention to the collection of rare cactus and enormous Eucalyptus trees (just to name one tree type out of numerous ones) which shade the paths leading from one museum to another.

    Each of the locations I have mentioned or described here is where I personally walked through, witnessed, and or photographed sophisticated artistic tree landscapes of the California terrain.

    The Roots of my personal anxieties: Why I care.

    The impact of my meeting Joel Tauber coincided with an important event that took place for me way before I knew about his Sick-Amour Tree project and was what eventually led me to throw myself into this frenzied study of trees over this summer. Thus I do not necessarily consider myself struck by any of the Greek or Roman gods. I believe my influence came with a special awareness of the frailty of trees with this personal story:

    A little over one year ago, on June 30th, 2007 I was walking our dog Sasha, around the block for one of our frequent walks. I rounded the corner to the next block when I was taken aback as I witnessed a set of ‘city’ crewmembers slaughtering what appeared to be a California Oak tree. I had grown quite fond of that particular Oak on my many walks while I was writing my first novel. As a matter of fact, I had used that model of tree to describe a forest of these trees in a chapter in my first fiction novel. I especially love the sculptured texture of the Mighty gnarly Oaks. This tree had been the one to rekindle my relationship with the trees of my imagination. My stomach got queasy when I saw how it was being destroyed. I would have thrown-up, but I got a hold of my emotions and took Sasha home. Not only did I return to the scene of the slaughter, but I brought my camera to document the death and dismemberment of this great oak; I was so distraught that I returned again to the site, without my camera this time, and begged the men to stop for a moment while I sought out the seeds for this tree. To my surprise, the men stopped and helped me search for the seeds.

    When I got home, I had no idea what to do with the seeds. I called a couple of nurseries until a gentleman at a nursery in Marina del Rey explained to me that I had to wait until the pods dried up and slit to get at the seeds and plant them. So, I waited until the pods were black and wrinkled. I split them according to the directions I had gotten from this kind anonymous arborist. (He suggested a process much like that which squirrels have for cracking the pods.) I photographed the seeds and compared them with the larger seed of an apricot fruit tree and the seed of a maple tree.

    Once properly documented, I planted them in a small brown pot. Two weeks later, the first seed came up. A few days later another seed appeared to take root. On the one-year anniversary of the re-birth day of this Great Knurly Oak tree, July 20th, 2008, I documented how large the great twin oaks had become. The highest little bitty branch was about fourteen inches tall. I estimated this tree had grown a little over an inch every month. A compassionate act of kindness yielded a new life on the impulse of grief. The impulse of grief affected not only me; there is an entire world of tree-lovers mourning the losses of their favorite tree friends in surrounding communities.

    What about the subconscious feelings innate in developing a relationship with a tree? For instance, what draws people to want to save a particular tree? 

    I can really only speak to my own experience in that my relationship with trees started when I was a child.

              The “Unlawful Cetacean Captivity” Bill Makes Sense for Washington, Please Call and Let Senator Pearson Know Your Opinion        
    If you have ever dreamed of having your own dolphin or whale, you can still do it legally in Washington State – but you better hurry!  The permitting process takes a while, and the state government is now considering a bill that will close the loophole in Federal regulations that lets anyone who meets basic
              Killer Whale Cloak-and-Dagger: SeaWorld Sent a Spy to a Whale Conference        
    SeaWorld’s corporate spy, masquerading as an incendiary animal rights activist under the alias “Tom Jones”, attended the annual gathering of killer whale enthusiasts in Friday Harbor, Washington in 2014. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have proof that the same person attended rallies and incited violence against SeaWorld. Joel Manby, SeaWorld CEO, has launched an investigation into
              â€˜Empty the Tanks’ Events at SeaWorld and Worldwide – Find One Near You        
    WORLDWIDE PROTEST TO END CAPTIVE WHALE AND DOLPHIN PROGRAMS JUNE 6TH, 2015 (List of protests worldwide can be found here) THE SEATTLE PROTEST: 11 am to 1 pm Victor Steinbrueck Park 2001 Western Ave Seattle, Washington 98121 Empty the Tanks is a campaign whose goal is to educate the public about the impact captivity has
              Online Writing Workshops from Teeny Tiny Press on        
    Study poetry writing from the comfort of your home with an affordable 100 online writing workshop. Participants write four poems over the course of a month-long class. Instructor Amanda Laughtland is an experienced online teacher and a published poet.
    Year Established:
    Number of Programs/Year:
    Program Length: Four weeks
    Group Size or S:T Ratio: 12 students max
    Program Focus: Poetry
    Faculty: Amanda Laughtland holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. She s the author of Postcards to Box 464 and several chapbooks.
    Costs: 50 for a four-week class.
    U.S. Locations:
    Global Locations: Internet
    Months: January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
    Click for more information:
              Obituary needed Elvie Sumrall Garner Summers (1919 Louisiana - 02Apr1994 Springtown TX)        
    Am seeking an obituary or other info on Elvie Sumrall, born 06Oct1919 probably Washington Parish, Louisiana. Daughter of Henry Stanford Sumrall and "Lozie" Thomas. She first married before 1940 census to Hamilton Brown Garner (1908 MS - 1982 Washington Parish, Louisiana). She and H Brown Garner had a stillborn son in Bogalusa LA on 21May1947.
    Have obituaries of two of her siblings from Washington Parish, Louisiana, who describe her as "Elvie Summers". SSDI has Elvie Summers born 06Oct1919, died 02Apr1994 in Springtown, Parker County TX.
    Am interested in full name and details of second husband, Mr. Summers.
    Am particularly interested in any Garner children listed in her obituary.
    Am interested in any other helpful information as I track descendants of GARNER family from Montgomery County AL, through Mississippi and Louisiana with some descendants into Texas and beyond.
    Darryl Adair
    Marble Falls TX
    prefer direct e-mail to:

              The RAM Revelation        

    This is how my mind works.....

    My wife, Maribeth, and I had lunch at this restaurant yesterday right after I picked her up at the airport.

    The address was 9052 W Higgins Road in Rosemont IL

    Yesterday was the 9052nd day from/including my wife's 31st birthday in 1990 the year we were married.

    RAM corresponds to 914 when breaks down into I (9) Am (14) = 23 prime.

    There was a RAM truck right in front of me as I was approaching the lower level of Terminal 3 to pick up my wife.

    The time was 1:21 pm when I pulled up in front of the RAM Restaurant. Yesterday was 121 days from 8/01/16 which was the end of the 808th cycle of 914 days since August 11th in 6 BC.

    8/01/16 was Leo (356) days from August 11th in 2015.

    The original-first RAM Restaurant opened on February 26th in the year 1971 in Lakewood Washington which is where I lived for 4 years during high school. My mother still lives in Lakewood.

    The Universal Numerical Date (UND) for 19710226 721919 which factors into 65629 prime X 11.

    Day ONE (1) of the 23rd "I (9) Am (14)" cycle of 65629 days since August 11th in 6 BC brings us to the (9/14) - 914 = RAM = I (9) Am (14) - mo/day in the year 3947 which is 1976 years from the year 1971.

    1976 is the year I left Lakewood, WA for Evanston/Chicago IL to attend Northwestern University and I have been here ever since.

    When I started this post I didn't think I would RAM so many numbers into it! Sorry!

              why we care about what we wear        
    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Why Can't a Smart Woman Love Fashion?
    I had learned a lesson about Western culture: Women who wanted to be taken seriously were supposed to substantiate their seriousness with a studied indifference to appearance. For serious women writers in particular, it was better not to dress well at all, and if you did, then it was best to pretend that you had not put much thought into it. If you spoke of fashion, it had to be either with apology or with the slightest of sneers. The further your choices were from the mainstream, the better. The only circumstance under which caring about clothes was acceptable was when making a statement, creating an image of some sort to be edgy, eclectic, counterculture. It could not merely be about taking pleasure in clothes. ... I dress now thinking of what I like, what I think fits and flatters, what puts me in a good mood. I feel again myself—an idea that is no less true for being a bit hackneyed. I like to think of this, a little fancifully, as going back to my roots. I grew up, after all, in a world in which a woman's seriousness was not incompatible with an interest in appearance; if anything, an interest in appearance was expected of women who wanted to be taken seriously.
    *Pacific Standard - What to Wear? *Avidly/LA Review of Books - Lady Professor Conference Fashions *Racialicious - Haute Couture In The 'Ivory Tower': "The spread presumes that when a professor walks into a classroom she is a blank slate, a model to be adorned in fine clothing and given an identity. The reality is that scholars of color, women, and other groups whose bodies are read as non-normative have never been able to check their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation at the door. As soon as we walk onto campus, our bodies are read in a certain (often troubling) manner by our students, our colleagues, and school administrators. Our professionalism and our intellectual competence are largely judged by how we style ourselves. Therefore, we are highly aware of how we adorn our bodies. And, like our foremothers and forefathers who innovated with American "street fashions," we, too, use our fashion sense to define ourselves, our professionalism, and our research and teaching agendas on our own terms." Tamara Shayne Kagel: The Feminist's Dilemma: Why We Can't Stop Caring About How We Look
    I find myself constantly trapped in a world where I desperately want to be judged by my work but at the same time, I want other people to think I'm pretty. I'm permanently berating myself for caring about my appearance, because I am aware on a mental level that to care at all is to be superficial. But at the same time, I find myself squirming uncomfortably when I run into someone at the supermarket when I'm a sweaty, disheveled mess... This cognitive dissonance is a state that most modern women inhabit all the time, but refuse to acknowledge. Instead, we talk and write and judge like we live in a post-superficial world. [...] It's a rare breed of woman who truly doesn't care about her appearance, and there are some women who only care about their appearance. But most of us fall in the middle -- wanting to be appreciated and loved and valued for more than how we look, but unable to completely expunge all interest in our outward image. If this is where most of us live, shouldn't we be asking for acceptance to be in this middle space?... Isn't it normal to hope that the picture of you is not taken from a horrible angle the moment you wake up and at the same time be concerned with society's obsession about the ubiquitous worship of an unattainable ideal of the female form?
    Sociological Images - The Balancing Act of Being Female; Or, Why We Have So Many Clothes (previously): "And, of course, all women are going to get it wrong sometimes because the boundaries are moving targets and in the eye of the beholder. What's cheeky in one setting or to one person is flirty in or to another. So women constantly risk getting it wrong, or getting it wrong to someone. So the consequences are always floating out there, worrying us, and sending us to the mall." *This Kind Choice - I Am Woman, Watch Me Shop? Part 1 – The Ever Changing Clothes *Part 2 – Appearance as Identity, A Double-Edged Sword *The Nation - For Women's Office Wear, Who's Making the Rules? *The Atlantic - No, It's Not Sexist to Describe Women Politicians' Clothes *Feministing - Learning to dress "professionally" in a white man's world Already Pretty: Why Caring About Your Appearance Is Valuable to Self-Care
    In order to move through most peopled societies, we are required to wear clothing. Nudist colonies aside, we've all got to get dressed every day if we want to leave our homes for any reason... And in my opinion, since we've got to get dressed anyway, we might as well do it expressively and in ways that feel good. I've said it before, I'll say it again: Dress, grooming, and overall appearance constitute the first levels of information about ourselves that we offer to the observing world. They may not be the most important, but they are the first, which makes them worthy of effort and attention. ...I've already acknowledged that how you look isn't the most important thing about you... But thinking of your body as a brain-and-personality-holder strikes me as short-sighted. Consider this: Someone who focuses virtually all attention, care, and love on their body is generally considered to be vain. So why would focusing virtually all attention on your intellect, creativity, and personality be any less imbalanced? You're not a zombie – a body that moves through life without a functioning brain. But you're also not a brain in a jar – thinking and creating in the abstract alone. You have a body. As long as you are alive you will have a body. In fact, without your body, your intellect and creativity and personality wouldn't exist. Pitting your mind against your body is like cooking up a personal civil war.
    Bridgette Raes - Are You a Devaluist and Don't Even Know It? (Guest Post): "Clothing is often seen as a superficial shell, and fashion a frivolous, flighty thing that gets in the way of the serious stuff. The real stuff. But I don't believe that. I don't believe we can neatly divorce the way we look from the way we live. I believe the way we look is a reflection of the way we live." Dress A Day - You Don't Have to Be Pretty: "You don't owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don't owe it to your mother, you don't owe it to your children, you don't owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked "female". I'm not saying that you SHOULDN'T be pretty if you want to. (You don't owe UN-prettiness to feminism, in other words.)" (responses to "The Princess Effect", previously on MeFi) *Washington Post - Being informed and fashionable is natural for women *Flavorwire - The Catch-22 of Women's Magazines *Kat Stoeffel - Finally, 'Serious' Women Are Standing Up for Fashion Magazines: "As long as we all need to get dressed each morning, clothing will be a communication tool... Men and women both choose how they deploy the language of fashion; but women, deprived of the suit-as-uniform, still face unique challenges in fashion fluency... Women's magazines — especially when they work with women like Clinton, Abramson, and Mastromonaco — offer other women a map for navigating style and other sexist minefields without compromising their intellectual integrity. For that, we should celebrate them. And if we want to level the playing field, we should start by posing the same "frivolous" questions of men." *Ms. Magazine - If the Clothes Fit: A Feminist Takes on Fashion: "If feminists ignore fashion, we are ceding our power to influence it. Fortunately, history has shown that feminists can, instead, harness fashion and use it for our own political purposes." *GirltalkHQ - Fashion Vs Feminism: Can You Like Both? We Break It Down *Greta Christina - Fashion is a Feminist Issue: "In fact, fashion and style are so much like a language, I'm always a bit baffled when people say things like, "I want to be judged on who I am, not on the clothes I wear." It's a bit like saying, "I want to be judged on who I am, not on the words that come out of my mouth." ...Fashion is a form of expression. A language of sorts. An art form, even. It's also one of the very few art forms/ languages/ forms of expression in which women have more freedom than men... And I don't think it's an accident that it's typically seen as shallow, trivial, and vain." Medium (Backlash Book Club) - And Another Question: What Ever Happened to Pantsuits?: "Faludi writes about fashion as if women were totally subservient to its dictates (and as if its dictates were unified), but, of course, most women—precisely because they are judged so much by their appearance—know how to manipulate, subvert, and use clothes. To some extent, they're tools, like hammers." The New Inquiry, Vol. 20 - Sept. 2013, "Off Brand" issue (link opens PDF file) "We are told we must be clothed, and then that our clothes are not good enough.That fashion is predicated on this cruelty—making luxury of necessity, and necessity of a luxury—makes it as morally questionable as the behavior of foodies. Fine: We accept this. But we are also told that we must be bodies and that our bodies are not good enough, and fashion (at least for those who fit into it) can provide an escape from the disappointment of our flesh. Some of us feel we were born into the wrong body; for that, fashion is the first corrective. For others, fashion is the first rebellion... In selecting appearances, we want not only to be seen but sometimes to be heard before we speak. Fashion can be a weapon of the silenced, even when it is seized and wielded by those who have always talked loudest." *Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa - Fashion for Feminists: How fashion and dress shape women's identities *Migrant Woman Magazine - Asalet Tulaz: I like being the colour of feminism *Buzzfeed - How Iran's Young Women Are Using Fashion To Influence Politics *Minh-Ha T. Pham - Why Fashion Should Stop Trying to be Diverse *À l'allure garçonnière - Fashion Blogging Culture: Demanding Substance Over Style *Tanisha C. Ford - You Betta Werk!: Professors Talk Style Politics: "Below are excerpts from some of the interviews I conducted with women professors of color. Together, these interviews illustrate that studies on fashion and adornment politics offer a powerful lens through which we can explore other important issues such as women's rights, motherhood and relationship status, pleasure and sexuality, and the politics of "respectability."" Alison Bancroft - How Fashion is Queer: "The feminine is as much of a minority interest in culture as it is anywhere else in life. The only exception to this is fashion. This is why fashion is a radical creative space where heterosexual gender binaries are irrelevant and queer is the default setting, and it is also why fashion is routinely denigrated and dismissed." Final Fashion - so, is fashion feminist?: "Why is the visual aspect of fashion so inextricably linked to feminism, and why is it worth considering how to dress like a feminist?" Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie previously on MeFi: the danger of a single story
              Offer - 1-800-589-0948 Contact Instant Tech Support For Norton Antivirus Help Desk - Washington DC        
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              Quotes of the Week        

    “These days, it's not just leftie troublemakers who doubt that benefits going direct to big business will trickle down to the rest of us, it's every punter in the street.”  [Economics Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald, Ross Gittins, 24 July 2017]

    “Six months into his presidency, Donald Trump is saddled with a stalled agenda, a West Wing that resembles a viper’s nest, a pile of investigations and a Republican Party that is starting to break away.”  [Journalists Julie Pace and Jonathan Lemire writing in The Washington Post, 29 July 2017]

    “This White House is broken, perhaps beyond repair. It can’t do anything right. It can’t issue executive orders that are enforceable. It can’t pass legislation. It can’t prioritize the president’s agenda. It can’t get anybody on the same page. In a normal White House, all of those things flow from an empowered White House chief of staff who can execute the president’s agenda and most importantly tell him what he does not want to hear. And none of that is happening.”  [Author Chris Whipple quoted in The Washington Post, 31 July 2017]

    “Yeah. He’s like a conveyor belt for bad overseas ideas.” [Journalist Richard Chirgwin tweeting about Australian Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull on 2 August 2017]

    “By August 2 2017, we will have used more from Nature than our planet can renew in the whole year…..This means that in seven months, we emitted more carbon than the oceans and forests can absorb in a year, we caught more fish, felled more trees, harvested more, and consumed more water than the Earth was able to produce in the same period.” [World Wildlife Fund quoted in the Independent on 2 August 2017]

              The travesty that is Australia's asylum seeker offshore detention policy -"If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here."         

    It seems the truth will out.

    After the United States completes its vetting of asylum seekers held in overseas detention by the Australian Government it is not obliged to take even one of those individuals U.S. immigration officials have examined.

    In May 2017 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection confirmed 268 people had completed their second-stage security interview with US officials: 220 in Nauru and 48 on Manus Island.

    U.S. immigration officials halted screening interviews and departed Nauru on 14 July 2017, two weeks short of their scheduled timetable and a day after Washington said the US had reached its annual refugee intake cap.

    However, under the original agreement once that vetting is completed Australia becomes obliged to resettle between 20 and 50 people under a U.S. "Protection Transfer Arrangement" in Costa Rica set up to resettle refugees from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

    Prime Minister Turnbull verbally changed that undertaking to an open-ended number of people the Trump Administration might be “very keen on getting out of the United States”.

    There is no indication that the U.S. Government intends to complete its vetting of those detained on Nauru and Manus islands.

    The Washington Post, 3 August 2017:

    The Washington Post has obtained transcripts of two conversations President Trump had with foreign leaders: one with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and another with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
    The transcripts were prepared by the White House but have not been released. The Post is publishing reproductions rather than original documents in order to protect sources. The reproductions below also include minor spelling and grammatical mistakes that appeared in the documents………………

    JANUARY 28, 2017 FROM 5:05 TO 5:29 P.M. EST.

    Good evening.

    Mr. Prime Minister, how are you?

    I am doing very well.

    And I guess our friend Greg Norman, he is doing very well?

    He is a great mutual friend yes.

    Well you say hello to him. He is a very good friend. By the way thank you very much for taking the call. I really appreciate it. It is really nice.

    Thank you very much. Everything is going very well. I want to congratulate you and Mike Pence on being sworn in now. I have spoken to you both now as you know. I know we are both looking to make our relationship which is very strong and intimate, stronger than ever – which I believe we can do.


    I believe you and I have similar backgrounds, unusual for politicians, more businessman but I look forward to working together.

    That is exactly right. We do have similar backgrounds and it seems to be working in this climate – it is a crazy climate. Let me tell you this, it is an evil time but it is a complex time because we do not have uniforms standing in front of us. Instead, we have people in disguise. It is brutal. This ISIS thing â€“ it is something we are going to devote a lot of energy to it. I think we are going to be very successful.

    Absolutely. We have, as you know, taken a very strong line on national security and border protection here and when I was speaking with Jared Kushner just the other day and one of your immigration advisors in the White House we reflected on how our policies have helped to inform your approach. We are very much of the same mind. It is very interesting to know how you prioritize the minorities in your Executive Order. This is exactly what we have done with the program to bring in 12,000 Syrian refugees, 90% of which will be Christians. It will be quite deliberate and the position I have taken – I have been very open about it – is that it is a tragic fact of life that when the situation in the Middle East settles down – the people that are going to be most unlikely to have a continuing home are those Christian minorities. We have seen that in Iraq and so from our point of view, as a final destination for refugees, that is why we prioritize. It is not a sectarian thing. It is recognition of the practical political realities. We have a similar perspective in that respect.

    Do you know four years ago Malcom, I was with a man who does this for a living. He was telling me, before the migration, that if you were a Christian from Syria, you had no chance of coming to the United States. Zero. They were the ones being persecuted. When I say persecuted, I mean their heads were being chopped off. If you were a Muslim we have nothing against Muslims, but if you were a Muslim you were not persecuted at least to the extent – but if you were a Muslim from Syria that was the number one place to get into the United States from. That was the easiest thing. But if you were a Christian from Syria you have no chance of getting into the United States. I just thought it was an incredible statistic. Totally true – and you have seen the same thing. It is incredible.

    Well, yes. Mr. President, can I return to the issue of the resettlement agreement that we had with the Obama administration with respect to some people on Nauru and Manus Island. I have written to you about this and Mike Pence and General Flynn spoke with Julie Bishop and my National Security Advisor yesterday. This is a very big issue for us, particularly domestically, and I do understand you are inclined to a different point of view than the Vice President.

    Well, actually I just called for a total ban on Syria and from many different countries from where there is terror, and extreme vetting for everyone else – and somebody told me yesterday that close to 2,000 people are coming who are really probably troublesome. And I am saying, boy that will make us look awfully bad. Here I am calling for a ban where I am not letting anybody in and we take 2,000 people. Really it looks like 2,000 people that Australia does not want and I do not blame you by the way, but the United States has become like a dumping ground. You know Malcom, anybody that has a problem – you remember the Mariel boat lift, where Castro let everyone out of prison and Jimmy Carter accepted them with open arms. These were brutal people. Nobody said Castro was stupid, but now what are we talking about is 2,000 people that are actually imprisoned and that would actually come into the United States. I heard about this – I have to say I love Australia; I love the people of Australia. I have so many friends from Australia, but I said – geez that is a big ask, especially in light of the fact that we are so heavily in favor, not in favor, but we have no choice but to stop things. We have to stop. We have allowed so many people into our country that should not be here. We have our San Bernardino’s, we have had the World Trade Center come down because of people that should not have been in our country, and now we are supposed to take 2,000. It sends such a bad signal. You have no idea. It is such a bad thing.

    Can you hear me out Mr. President?

    Yeah, go ahead.

    Yes, the agreement, which the Vice President just called the Foreign Minister about less than 24 hours ago and said your Administration would be continuing, does not require you to take 2,000 people. It does not require you to take any. It requires, in return, for us to do a number of things for the United States – this is a big deal, I think we should respect deals.

    Who made the deal? Obama?

    Yes, but let me describe what it is. I think it is quite consistent. I think you can comply with it. It is absolutely consistent with your Executive Order so please just hear me out. The obligation is for the United States to look and examine and take up to and only if they so choose – 1,250 to 2,000. Every individual is subject to your vetting. You can decide to take them or to not take them after vetting. You can decide to take 1,000 or 100. It is entirely up to you. The obligation is to only go through the process. So that is the first thing. Secondly, the people — none of these people are from the conflict zone. They are basically economic refugees from Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. That is the vast bulk of them. They have been under our supervision for over three years now and we know exactly everything about them.

    Why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?

    Okay, I will explain why. It is not because they are bad people. It is because in order to stop people smugglers, we had to deprive them of the product. So we said if you try to come to Australia by boat, even if we think you are the best person in the world, even if you are a Noble [sic] Prize winning genius, we will not let you in. Because the problem with the people —

    That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am.

    This is our experience.

    Because you do not want to destroy your country. Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries. These people are crazy to let this happen. I spoke to Merkel today, and believe me, she wishes she did not do it. Germany is a mess because of what happened.

    I agree with you, letting one million Syrians walk into their country. It was one of the big factors in the Brexit vote, frankly.

    Well, there could be two million people coming in Germany. Two million people. Can you believe it? It will never be the same.

    stood up at the UN in September and set up what our immigration policy was. I said that you cannot maintain popular support for immigration policy, multiculturalism, unless you can control your borders. The bottom line is that we got here. I am asking you as a very good friend. This is a big deal. It is really, really important to us that we maintain it. It does not oblige you to take one person that you do not want. As I have said, your homeland officials have visited and they have already interviewed these people. You can decide. It is at your discretion. So you have the wording in the Executive Order that enables the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State to admit people on a case by case basis in order to conform with an existing agreement. I do believe that you will never find a better friend to the United States than Australia. I say this to you sincerely that it is in the mutual interest of the United States to say, “yes, we can conform with that deal – we are not obliged to take anybody we do not want, we will go through extreme vetting” and that way you are seen to show the respect that a trusted ally wants and deserves. We will then hold up our end of the bargain by taking in our country 31 [inaudible] that you need to move on from.

    Malcom [sic], why is this so important? I do not understand. This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.

    With great respect, that is not right – It is not 2,000.

    Well, it is close. I have also heard like 5,000 as well.

    The given number in the agreement is 1,250 and it is entirely a matter of your vetting. I think that what you could say is that the Australian government is consistent with the principles set out in the Executive Order.

    No, I do not want say that. I will just have to say that unfortunately I will have to live with what was said by Obama. I will say I hate it. Look, I spoke to Putin, Merkel, Abe of Japan, to France today, and this was my most unpleasant call because I will be honest with you. I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people.

    I would not be so sure about that. They are basically —

    Well, maybe you should let them out of prison. I am doing this because Obama made a bad deal. I am not doing this because it fits into my Executive Order. I am taking 2,000 people from Australia who are in prison and the day before I signed an Executive Order saying that we are not taking anybody in. We are not taking anybody in, those days are over.

    But can I say to you, there is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal. Look, you and I have a lot of mutual friends.
    Look, I do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. They said I had no way to 270 and I got 306. That is why they lost the election, because of stupid deals like this. You have brokered many a stupid deal in business and I respect you, but I guarantee that you broke many a stupid deal. This is a stupid deal. This deal will make me look terrible.

    Mr. President, I think this will make you look like a man who stands by the commitments of the United States. It shows that you are a committed —

    Okay, this shows me to be a dope. I am not like this but, if I have to do it, I will do it but I do not like this at all. I will be honest with you. Not even a little bit. I think it is ridiculous and Obama should have never signed it. The only reason I will take them is because I have to honor a deal signed by my predecessor and it was a rotten deal. I say that it was a stupid deal like all the other deals that this country signed. You have to see what I am doing. I am unlocking deals that were made by people, these people were incompetent. I am not going to say that it fits within the realm of my Executive Order. We are going to allow 2,000 prisoners to come into our country and it is within the realm of my Executive Order? If that is the case my Executive Order does not mean anything Malcom [sic]. I look like a dope. The only way that I can do this is to say that my predecessor made a deal and I have no option then to honor the deal. I hate having to do it, but I am still going to vet them very closely. Suppose I vet them closely and I do not take any?

    That is the point I have been trying to make.

    How does that help you?

    Well, we assume that we will act in good faith.

    Does anybody know who these people are? Who are they? Where do they come from? Are they going to become the Boston bomber in five years? Or two years? Who are these people?

    Let me explain. We know exactly who they are. They have been on Nauru or Manus for over three years and the only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

    Malcom [sic], but they are arrived on a boat?

    Correct, we have stopped the boats.

    Give them to the United States. We are like a dumping ground for the rest of the world. I have been here for a period of time, I just want this to stop. I look so foolish doing this. It [sic] know it is good for you but it is bad for me. It is horrible for me. This is what I am trying to stop. I do not want to have more San Bernardino’s or World Trade Centers. I could name 30 others, but I do not have enough time.

    These guys are not in that league. They are economic refugees.

    Okay, good. Can Australia give me a guarantee that if we have any problems – you know that is what they said about the Boston bombers. They said they were wonderful young men.

    They were Russians. They were not from any of these countries.

    They were from wherever they were.

    Please, if we can agree to stick to the deal, you have complete discretion in terms of a security assessment. The numbers are not 2,000 but 1,250 to start. Basically, we are taking people from the previous administration that they were very keen on getting out of the United States. We will take more. We will take anyone that you want us to take. The only people that we do not take are people who come by boat. So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that help you out then to take a Noble [sic] Peace Prize winner that comes by boat. That is the point.

    What is the thing with boats? Why do you discriminate against boats? No, I know, they come from certain regions. I get it.

    No, let me explain why. The problem with the boats it that you are basically outsourcing your immigration program to people smugglers and also you get thousands of people drowning at sea. So what we say is, we will decide which people get to come to Australia who are refugees, economic migrants, businessmen, whatever. We decide. That is our decision. We are a generous multicultural immigration nation like the United States but the government decides, the people’s representatives decides. So that is the point. I am a highly transactional businessman like you and I know the deal has to work for both sides. Now Obama thought this deal worked for him and he drove a hard bargain with us – that it was agreed with Obama more than a year ago in the Oval Office, long before the election. The principles of the deal were agreed to.

    I do not know what he got out of it. We never get anything out of it – START Treaty, the Iran deal. I do not know where they find these people to make these stupid deals. I am going to get killed on this thing.

    You will not.

    Yes, I will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week by these people. This is a killer.

    You can certainly say that it was not a deal that you would have done, but you are going to stick with it.

    I have no choice to say that about it. Malcom [sic], I am going to say that I have no choice but to honor my predecessor’s deal. I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. It is an embarrassment to the United States of America and you can say it just the way I said it. I will say it just that way. As far as I am concerned that is enough Malcom [sic]I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.

    Do you want to talk about Syria and DPRK?

    [inaudible] this is crazy.

    Thank you for your commitment. It is very important to us.

    It is important to you and it is embarrassing to me. It is an embarrassment to me, but at least I got you off the hook. So you put me back on the hook.

    You can count on me. I will be there again and again.

    I hope so. Okay, thank you Malcolm.

    Okay, thank you.

    * My yellow highlighting.

              Dombeck receives Ansel Adams Award for leadership in protecting National Forests        

    WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck will receive the Ansel Adams Award from The Wilderness Society Thursday night for his major role in protecting the national forests.

    "Mike was a game-changer,” said William H. Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society. “He restored balance to the management of our 155 national forests, making clean water, recreation, and fish and wildlife priorities, as the law requires. He was the main architect of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which prevented logging and road building across 58.5 million acres of our national forests. It was the capstone of a quarter century of sterling public service with federal land management agencies.”

    A native of Wisconsin with a Ph.D. in fisheries biology, Dombeck served three years as acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management before President Clinton appointed him Forest Service chief in 1997. No other person has lead both of this nation’s largest land management agencies.

    Since leaving the government in 2001, Dombeck has been a University of Wisconsin System Fellow and a professor of global conservation at the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He also directs the Smith Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Conservation Biology.

    “Mike was, in my view, the most independent chief that the Forest Service has had since Gifford Pinchot himself,” said Dr. Jerry Franklin, a University of Washington professor often described as “the father of modern forestry.” Pinchot was the first chief, serving from 1898 to 1910. “Mike broke out of the mold and did really innovative things. He did that by design and force of will,” said Franklin, a long-time member of The Wilderness Society’s Governing Council.

    “As our country grows, we continue to chip away at our wild places, losing acre by acre, day after day,” said Dombeck. “Protecting the remaining roadless areas of our national forests is perhaps this nation’s last opportunity to keep our few remaining wild places intact.

    “They are important habitats and anchor points for native plants and animals in the face of a changing climate. These remote areas provide some of the last best hunting and fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities with at least a measure of solitude. In today’s fast-paced society, these are the places where future generations might experience the land as their forefathers did. It has been a privilege for me to have a career working with people who care deeply about the health of the land. They are the ones who have earned this award.”

    The award that Dombeck will receive is named for the celebrated photographer who, until his death, was an outspoken advocate for safeguarding the nation’s natural heritage. “It is noteworthy that Mike is the third winner from Wisconsin,” Meadows pointed out. The award was presented to Congressman David Obey (D) in 2000 and to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson in 1990. Nelson served the state as a governor and U.S. Senator and spent the final 24 years of his life as counselor of The Wilderness Society.

    Other winners of the Ansel Adams Award include former Congressman Mo Udall (D-NM), former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall, President Jimmy Carter, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME), Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT), and former Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus.

    The Wilderness Society is the leading public-lands conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 500,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.

    For a hi-res photo of Dombeck, contact

    May 18, 2010

              Where has John Thompson Gone?        
    John Thompson resigned from the Census Bureau, effective June 30th. [See previous post on this]. Here’s where he landed: John H. Thompson Appointed Executive Director of COPAFS WASHINGTON, July 12 – The Board of Directors of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) is pleased to announce the appointment of John H. Thompson […]
              Maybe just a nothing burger, but. . .        
    Funding for fetal tissue research in jeopardy & funding for teen pregnancy prevention axed. NIH fetal tissue research would be barred under House panel’s spending plan Lev Facher | STAT News July 13, 2017 WASHINGTON — A House subcommittee’s draft 2018 spending plan would prohibit federal funds from being spent on research that uses fetal […]
              High school coach who confronted...        

    SEATTLE -- A high school basketball coach in North Central Washington who was placed on leave after getting into a verbal confrontation with a teacher -- including threatening a "beat down" -- was reinstated last week. The incident was recorded on a student's cell phone.


              Creating a More Strategic Corporate Giving Program        
    Almost 150 years ago, Samuel Morse (yes, the inventor of Morse code), fired off the very first telegraph message between Washington and Baltimore, making him the first to ever achieve instantaneous, long-distance communication. Morse ushered in the era of communication technology that would allow for immediate access to information, better education, and broadened opportunities for […]

              John Tamny Joins FreedomWorks' New Center for Economic Freedom        

    FreedomWorks today announced that John Tamny will join FreedomWorks and serve as the director of the organization’s Center for Economic Freedom.

    The Center for Economic Freedom will have a special focus on promoting policies that get government out of the way and allow Americans to keep more of what they earn, while highlighting the dangers of overregulation and protectionism.

    John Tamny will lead the Center for Economic Freedom. John has been the political economy editor at Forbes and the managing editor at RealClearMarkets since 2002. He is an author of two books related to his specialization in economics: Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You about Economics (Regnery Publishing, 2015) and Who Needs the Fed?: What Taylor Swift, Uber, and Robots Tell Us About Money, Credit, and Why We Should Abolish America's Central Bank (Encounter Books, 2016).

    Among other projects, John will begin his time at the Center for Economic Freedom with a weekly Facebook Live called “Not Fake News” to highlight the very real facts about what our federal and state governments are doing to slow our economy and dampen American entrepreneurship.

    “John is a brilliant mind and seasoned expert in his field, and we are excited to have him working with us to promote economic freedom,” said FreedomWorks President Adam Brandon. “He is a great addition to our already stellar team, helping us to spread our message for free markets and limited government even further.”

    John Tamny said, “FreedomWorks expertly enhances the terms of the U.S. policy discussion, and in doing so is constantly changing the course of policy in Washington for the better. I'm thrilled to add my voice to an organization that is on any short list of Washington's most influential.”

    “In the coming years, I'll be publishing various books and hundreds of opinion pieces meant to expand FreedomWorks' already substantial voice. The fight for economic freedom is of singular importance, and I'm excited to be a part of an organization that will continue to advance these freedoms,” Tamny added.

              The Best Part-Time Job in America        

    The fix is in. Did you know, Congress only works 33 percent of the year?

    The base salary for all rank-and-file members of Congress is $174,000, more than triple the median household income of the United States. In exchange for that generous salary, members of Congress work one out of three days.

    The House of Representatives was in session for only 18 hours a week in 2013. Members worked only 130 days in 2015. In case you needed more evidence that Congress doesn’t earn its salary, consider this: House and Senate members only worked eight days in April.

    Eight work days in a month, with an annual salary of $174,000. Can you imagine? Must be nice!

    Meanwhile, in the real world, the average American worker puts in more hours than a medieval peasant. Full-time U.S. employees use only 54 percent of their paid vacation days, sacrificing the rest for fear of falling behind or being replaced. The idea of a congressman skipping that much vacation is laughable, at best.

    I was raised to believe that how people spend their time is a direct reflection of their priorities. The United States holds more than $19 trillion in debt, not including unfunded liabilities. Our health care, immigration, and justice systems are in desperate need of reform. Public schools are underperforming, while families and small businesses are being taxed out of financial security.

    Where is our elected leadership? Clearly, they have other priorities.

    Members of Congress spend most of their time in their districts, schmoozing with donors, speaking at private events, and securing their next elections. The average House member spent $53,170 of taxpayer money on travel in 2013.

    These aren’t legislators, these are professional campaigners.

    The American people aren’t being heard by government because the game is rigged. Washington isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”

              In Defense of Economic Noninterventionism         

    A recent Wall Street Journal article has surprisingly good news: US companies are seeing the highest profit growth in two years with “two consecutive quarters of double-digit profit growth for the first time since 2011.” This surprisingly comes not from policies pursued in Washington, but the hard work of the private sector.

    The fact that businesses and job creators can make such a phenomenal showing after years of regulatory uncertainty and continued political intervention reminds us of the power of the free market and that the best successes come from the work of the individuals, not collectivists in the public sector.

    Perhaps the best reminding of what the last eight years brought us was President Obama’s infamous 2012 campaign speech “If you've got a business, you didn't build that.” Throughout the course of his administration saw a creation of routine legislative and executive actions that were designed to both micromanage business and supposedly “create” jobs. Unfortunately, none of this had the intended success.

    Most prominently among the actions from the executive administration while Obama was presidents include significantly increased regulations. Among these have included the Waters of the United States Rule (WOTUS), Dodd-Frank, the stimulus package, and, most spectacularly of all, Obamacare. All of these added a large interventions and onerous barriers in the economy that failed to achieve their stated goal.

    WOTUS was probably one of the greatest power grabs by the EPA in recent history. The rule essentially sought to define “navigable waters” in the clean water Act which “brought nearly half of Alaska and a total area in the lower 48 states equivalent to the size of California under the CWA’s jurisdiction.” The proposal, had it not been blocked and rescinded, would have cost thousands of dollars for permits on land that was not previously under the EPA’s jurisdiction, delayed production since a permit can take up to months, and this would have resulted in reduced development and production as well as higher prices.

    Though the WOTUS rule was not fully implemented, regulations that did have a massive negative impact on the economy include the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

    As implemented, Dodd-Frank imposed various new regulations on the financial sector, including creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), designated firms as systemically important financial institutions (SIFIs), and instituted price controls on debit and credit card transactions. The result was a climate of over regulation with banks being incentivized to become as large as possible in the hopes of being bailed out while the CFPB became a revolving door for lobbyists and influence peddlers to regulate the market with little to no oversight.

    Unsurprisingly, one fifth of the banks in the U.S. banks, totalling 1,708, went under between the law’s creation and 2016, which is about one per day, and by 2015 five large banks controlled 50 percent of the banking industry.

    Outside of simple regulation, there was also so called “jobs creations” programs that were supposed to create jobs the President did not think businesses could such as the stimulus package. The program was sold as a job creation plan that would keep unemployment below 8 percent for the low price of $830 billion.

    The next four years were marked by above 8 percent unemployment while the money ended up being wasted on worthless projects, including trees in wealthy neighborhoods, a study of erectile dysfunction, and the failed company solyndra which was run by a bundler for the Obama campaign. To make matters worse, though unemployment eventually went down long after the stimulus’s implementation, the labor participation rate reached its lowest in 38 years which shows that people still weren’t working.

    However, the crowned jewel of overregulation and job destruction during the Obama administration was ObamaCare. Implemented to expand health insurance coverage, it has repeatedly failed to reach its goals as premiums went up, enrollment failed to reach its projections, and the legislation gave corporate welfare (including promised bailouts) to the insurance lobby. In the end, most of the coops failed and major companies pulled out of the exchanges, resulting in 1,000 counties, including five whole states, only having one insurer, a major failure in the goal of expanded coverage.

    Inevitably, the phenomenal intervention in the economy by President Obama failed to achieve the job creation while it instead made made doing business that much harder. With record breaking numbers of regulations, Obama was the first President since the Great Depression to never see 3 percent GDP growth.

    The Trump administration in the meantime has pursued a different approach than its predecessor. The Trump administration has seen sixteen regulations cut for every one it has created, had signed four resolutions of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn regulation within two months as President, and rolled back the clean power plan which could have cost $40 billion per year. All of this marks a significant change in policy that will greatly open up business opportunities and expand economic growth.

    However, policy alone does not explain why there has been high profit growth for the last two quarters. As the Wall Street Journal article admits, health care legislation and tax reform have been stalled in the senate. This has caused a climate of uncertainty which businesses have not been happy with.

    Nevertheless, they have instead moved on from Washington and instead remained focused on doing business. Political events seem to have taken a backseat to actual business as the number of S&P 500 companies have mentioned the President or his administration during conferences is down by a third as the research firm Sentieo found out. To be blunt, the involvement of Washington and government policy is not driving the current profit growth and the lack of involvement may actually be increasing it.

    For a better example of how reduced involvement can improve the economy, look no further than the Depression of 1920. At the time, war time debt had exploded, unemployment peaked at 11.7 percent in 1921, and inflation rates jumped above twenty percent. It had the potential to be even more catastrophic than the Great Depression that started in 1929.

    However, the policies pursued were entirely different. The federal budget was severely reduced from $18.5 billion in FY 1919 to $3.3 billion for FY 1922. Taxes at the same time were cut by about 40 percent.

    As a result, unemployment dropped to 2.3 percent by 1923 and a crisis had been averted. This was accomplished not by bailouts and and overregulation but by getting the government entirely out of the way. This is a radically different approach than was pursued during the financial panic of 2008 or even the Great Depression.

    Overall, there has been a repeated belief that government involvement has made economic advancement harder. As was stated by former President Reagan, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” President Kennedy noted the same when he said “Our tax system still siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power and reduces the incentive for risk, investment and effort — thereby aborting our recoveries and stifling our national growth rate.”

    It should come as no surprise then that business are fully prepared to run their own affairs and is best capable to address its own need, for as JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon noted, “We’ve been growing at 1.5% to 2%...because the American business sector is powerful and strong and is going to grow regardless.”

    It remains the desire of others that the government should intervene in the economy to make improvements. However, this has always resulted in guaranteed failure. Be it raising the minimum wage in Seattle or increased taxation and regulations in Connecticut, the result is usually lackluster growth and decreased jobs. At the national level, Venezuela’s nationalization and China’s increased infrastructure projects have created the same results, which is to say none.

    As history and current events have shown time and time again, the best results come not from government involvement and micromanagement, but from the hard work of free individuals in free markets. More and more, the adaptability of businesses to their consumer’s demands and their ability to whether adversity in the marketplace has always been more efficient than the micromanagement the state perceives. As a result, sometimes the best thing to do is to have the government do nothing so that those who can make the economy better will.

              FreedomWorks’ Bill of the Month for August 2017: Lessening Regulatory Costs and Establishing a Federal Regulatory Budget Act, H.R.2623        

    FreedomWorks is happy to announce that our Bill of the Month for August 2017 is H.R. 2623, the Lessening Regulatory Costs and Establishing a Federal Regulatory Budget Act, sponsored by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.

    The federal government has played a significant role in the deterioration of our economy by applying burdensome and unnecessary regulations on the American people for decades. Rep. Meadows’ legislation is very simple and would hold our federal government to a new standard in which any new regulatory cost would be balanced by the elimination of an existing regulatory cost. It would also require federal agencies to repeal two regulations for any new regulation proposed.

    According to a recent study from 1980 to 2012 the economic growth rate has cumulatively decreased each year by 0.8 percent caused by burdensome regulations. These regulations stifle innovation by forcing businesses to invest in regulatory compliance when they could be investing in products and the American people. The study shows that a loss of $4 trillion, one-fourth of the economy in 2012 is the result of GDP loss associated with regulatory accumulation over the years.

    It is crucial that the American people have the freedom of choice within the marketplace and that economic growth is no longer held back by unelected officials creating new regulations in Washington, D.C. This bill would hold agencies accountable by requiring them to submit annual regulatory plans to the OMB. These reports would include new regulation proposals and require the calculation of the economic effects the regulations would have on jobs in the industry.

    It is time for the federal government to strengthen congressional and executive oversight of bureaucrats and make way for a pro-growth agenda. This bill has been referred to the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law. Don’t forget to ask your representative to support this legislation today.

              Venezuela is Socialism's Last Nail in the Coffin        

    From a so-called “economic miracle” to a human rights disaster, Venezuela has followed in the footsteps of literally every single socialist or communist country ever with its country in complete collapse. Crime is on the rise, the people are starving, protests are going all throughout the country, and unconfirmed rumors are coming out that President Nicolas Maduro is considering leaving.

    In the never ending desire to achieve an impossible utopia, Venezuela is living in a nightmare that may serve as the best evidence against government mismanagement.

    To be blunt, the people are starving. Roughly 75 percent of the country lost 19 pounds in 2016. This actually coincides with reports that Venezuelans were looking for food in the trash.

    It is not just food that Venezuelans seem to be running out of at the moment. The country is lacking medicine, toilet paper, and even goods for religious sacraments as well. All sorts of goods are disappearing from the country faster and faster.

    Meanwhile, their economy is in complete shambles. At the start of the year, inflation had hit 800 percent while their GDP had shrunk by 19 percent. To make matters worse, 2016 marked its third year of recession.

    Of course, the elite of the country have not seemed to notice the problems their citizens are facing. Accusations fly of the leaders of Venezuela living luxurious lifestyles despite the recession. Unsurprisingly, reports have the daughter of Venezuela’s last President Hugo Chavez at a networth of $4.2 billion.

    So the big question is: why is Venezuela falling apart? The simplest answer is government mismanagement as it started taking over the economy. Under the watch of Socialists Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro, the socialist leadership in the country has greatly increased its influence in economic affairs, resulting in decreased investment, business failures, and scarcity.

    Over the past decade and a half, the Venezuelan government has nationalized multiple industries, including oil, agriculture, finance, steel, electricity, and telecommunications. Unsurprisingly, this led to significant ruin in the various industries it controlled, especially oil. Case in point, the Chavez regime largely underfunded the investment necessary to bring about increased oil production.

    Large portions of oil revenues were transferred to generous social programs but there was lackluster reinvestment to make sure that more oil was produced to keep revenue flowing. As a result, oil production starting dropping consistently after 2007 which saw a major decline in revenue (and helped lead to the debt that caused hyper inflation). Additionally, Chavez demanded more money from oil companies investing in the country and the ones that refused saw their assets seized. With such a clear lack of respect for human rights, it should come as no surprise that foreign investment has been on the decline recently in the country which is also hurting business and revenue.

    To make matters worse, many workers were fired and replaced with government loyalists. In one case, a company that had never created an oil well was hired to create several since it had ties to the government. The lack of experienced workers unsurprisingly has also added to the decline of the oil industry that was a huge part of the government’s revenue.

    Just about every industry the government has touched has fallen apart. Steel production was reduced by 70 percent after it was nationalized, food production has been on the decline while the government redistributed farmland for the production of food the land was not suited for, and the Venezuelan government is instituting blackouts to reduce consumption to reduce electricity use due to decreased supply. Overall, it seems Venezuela is in the process of running its economy into the ground.

    Venezuela has also added newer regulations and laws to improve the economic situation of its country that had the opposite effect. Case in point, the minimum wage was increased recently by 50 percent despite the fact overall wages still decreased by 17 percent. Other reports have increased labor protections actually hurting business while price controls that were implemented to reduce profits and keep prices low also helped to reduce food productions which also helped cause the food crisis. With all this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the number of businesses in Venezuela has gone down from 800,000 in 1998 to 230,000 in 2016, a decline of 570,000.

    It is important to remember though that none of this should even be looked at as being done as a love for the people from the state. As was noted by a former education minister, the goal of the people reforms is “‘not to take the people out of poverty so they become middle class and then turn into escuálidos’ (a derogatory term to denote opposition members).” Translation: it’s not for their benefit but to create a dependent class of supporters.

    For more evidence of how the government does not care about its people, look no further than its human rights records. The Maduro government has been seizing power by stacking the courts with supportive justices and then met the protests against that with violent crackdowns on dissenters. Meanwhile, accusations of sham elections are now flying in the wake of an election referendum to give him the power to rewrite the country’s constitution. In the end, the increase in power has come to the detriment of the people backed by phony promises.

    As is always the case, the promise of helping the people through government intervention completely falls apart. Just like with China and Russia, the result is always economic ruin with the well connected few reaping the benefits. Unfortunately, the US is not free from these mistakes as states like Connecticut or cities like Seattle implementing their own interventions in the economy that results in disaster. If the US wants to head down the path same economic path as Venezuela that leads to destruction and corruption, it will inevitably end there.

              The Weekly Fix: Double Standard        

    The fix is in. Did you know, corporations like General Electric Co. (GE) spend more money on lobbyists than they pay in taxes?

    The federal government currently taxes corporations at 35 percent. While many argue the rate is too high, you don’t hear companies like GE complaining about it. That’s because they aren’t paying it.

    Over the past 15 years, GE’s federal income tax rate averaged only 5.2 percent. General Electric paid no federal taxes in 2010, despite earning $5.1 billion in U.S. profits. Instead, the company claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

    Meanwhile, GE executives awarded themselves more than $75 million in compensation and paid lobbyists a total of $39 million that same year- all while laying off their own employees.

    How was this possible? It was an inside job. General Electric’s tax planning team includes former employees from the Treasury, IRS, and congressional tax-writing committees. GE doesn’t have a tax compliance team, it has a tax defiance team.

    This is how the revolving door of power works in Washington. Entry-level staffers move to our nation’s capital and work as “public servants” for a few years. They learn the rules of the game, then cash out in the private sector to help lobbying firms and corporations like General Electric manipulate the system.

    And the door spins ‘round and ‘round ...

    No wonder Fortune 500 companies are so quiet on the sidelines while grassroots America fights to reform the tax code. They’ve already cut a deal behind closed doors.

    With a Republican-led Congress and White House, there is a serious opportunity for tax and welfare reform in 2018. It’s time to finally level the playing field. Any serious GOP entitlement reform effort must begin with corporate welfare reform.

    Everyday families can’t afford entire teams of lawyers and lobbyists dedicated to avoiding taxes. We work hard, and play by the rules. Political insiders and corporate America should do the same.

    The American people aren’t being heard by government because the game is rigged. Washington isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”

              States Lead the Way on Criminal Justice Reform        

    Over the past several months, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a step back on federal justice reform efforts, regressing to purportedly “tough on crime” stances. From advising increased penalties for nonviolent offenders to more recently promising an increase in the use of civil asset forfeiture by the federal government, Sessions has been doing everything in his power to give the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s full support to 80s-era policies from which many conservatives have abandoned in favor of evidenced-based practices that reduce recidivism and enhance public safety.

    A study from the Urban Institute found that increased penalties were at best mixed in reducing crime with other factors beyond incarceration driving down the incarceration rate, no evidence it drove down drug crime, and the use of imprisonment as a deterrent to be very costly. As of 2015, the US has the highest incarceration rate in the developed world at 25 percent while the total number incarcerated has increased by 500 percent over the last forty years.

    Meanwhile, the recidivism rate within three years of release increased by five percent between 1983 and 1994, highlighting a failure of harsher sentences to reduce both incarceration and reimprisonment. Keeping in mind that over-incarceration costs taxpayers at all levels of government around $80 billion each year, and those costs are only rising, it comes as no surprise that the “tough on crime” mindset has become both costly and unpopular after failing to get tangible results.

    What is surprising about this is that the states seem to be taking the opposite direction in pursuing criminal justice reform. From increased protections implemented on civil asset forfeiture to expanding licensing opportunities, states have been leading the way in creating new methods to reduce crime, incarceration, and recidivism. The amount of work and variation is actually quite amazing.

    One such reform was pursued in the state of Kentucky. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin signed SB 120 into law, which would eliminate a blanket ban on getting a job license and instead transfer it to a licensing board which will review each case. This will open up opportunities for previous offenders to now get jobs which will make it easier to reintegrate into society.

    The state legislation comes at a very important time for both the country and the state of Kentucky. A report from Reason magazine highlighted that prevention from getting a license due to a criminal record can increase the recidivism rate. There have been repeated cases where individuals have had problems getting licenses because blanket bans like the one in Kentucky have prevented them from getting jobs.

    A study by Arizona State University economist Stephen Slivinski found that recidivism increased by a whopping 9.4 percent in states that had blanket bans for former offenders while in states where it was easier for them to receive licenses it decreased by 4.2 percent. In addition, it was found that “between 60 and 75 percent of released prisoners remain unemployed one year after getting out” which is a problem since a Manhattan Institute Study found that employed individuals are more likely to return if they do not find a job relatively soon to release. Overall, a job is more likely to get people out of crime and reintegrated into society so reform like that in Kentucky will be a step in the right direction.

    For Kentucky, especially at the moment, this will help address problems it is facing. At the moment, Kentucky is failing to fill 110,000 job openings and ranks as having the 47th lowest job participation rate in the country. Getting reformed offenders into the job market will reduce that rate and help get new applicants for the jobs it is failing to fill.

    Similar concepts have also been pursued in the state of Illinois. As the Reason magazine article also notes, Illinois had passed a law in 2011 to ban all licensed healthcare professionals with a previous criminal record. This had initially been done since sex offenders had somehow managed to get licensed as doctors and nurses, but the problem is that the law was far too broad, applying to all former offenders as well.

    This included one Carlos Romero, who had left prison in 1993 and had been working for two years as a respiratory therapist with no legal issues after release until his license was revoked in 2013 because of the 2011 law. Romero and several other individuals who had not committed a legal wrong after release had lost their licenses. In response, he worked with State Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) to create an appeals process that would allow him and others with a previous conviction to make an appeal to get their license back. In 2016, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the legislation into law, allowing Carlos and countless others a chance to get their jobs back and remain proud contributors to the economy.

    This is not the only reform the state of Illinois has pursued. Earlier this year, the state legislature passed a bill to add burden of proof requirements to the police’s use of civil asset forfeiture, a tool that allows police to seize from accused individuals who have not been convicted. Though the bill has not yet been signed by the governor, it has veto proof majorities in both houses. Considering the fact that Chicago Police Department has acquired $150 million in assets from low income and minority neighborhoods and it has included “things like flashy jewelry, flat screen TVs, and a copy of the Call of Duty: Ghosts video game,” this reform is clearly needed.

    Kentucky and Illinois are not the only states have pursued reforms. In Nebraska, State Sen. Laura Ebke (L-Crete) is pursuing the same reforms as Kentucky, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has implemented civil asset forfeiture reforms in Arizona to allow for more transparency, the state of Louisiana passed ten new laws on various justice reform topics this year, and many, many, MANY other states have done similar work. It would appear that across the country, states doing everything to find new and smarter ways to address and reduce crime in ways that drive down recidivism and restore rights.

    The DOJ is continuing to pursue “tough on crime” policies, but the states continue to believe it is better to be “smart on crime.” Increased penalties have been tried for decades and there is lackluster evidence that it has accomplished its goals at a reasonable cost. Meanwhile, states are pursuing newer, fairer, smarter, and better ways to reduce crime, protect rights, and promote outreach. With trends the way they are now, the country will like continue down this path with the states continuing to lead the way on justice reform.

              Capitol Hill Update: July 24, 2017        


    The House and Senate are in session this week.

    There are five (5) legislative days remaining for the House before the August recess and 53 legislative days remaining in the year. The Senate will supposedly work through the first two weeks of the August recess.


    The FY 2018 budget resolution, dubbed "Building a Better America," was marked up and approved by the Budget Committee on Thursday in a party-line vote. The budget would reduce the budget deficit by $6.5 trillion over the ten-year budget window and eventually come into balance in FY 2027, creating a $9 billion surplus.

    Perhaps one of the most important components of the budget is that it begins the reconciliation process for fundamental tax reform. There are also reconciliation instructions for 11 House committees to find roughly $200 billion savings or reforms in mandatory spending.

    The FY 2018 budget resolution isn't on the calendar for the week. It's unclear if House Republican leaders will bring it to the floor.

    Additionally, the 21st Century Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, H.R. 2997, introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) could come to the floor for a vote this week. The bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and reforms the United States' out of date air traffic control (ATC) system. FreedomWorks has released a key vote in support of the 21st AIRR Act.

    On Monday, the House will consider 17 bills on the suspension calendar. Most of the bills on the suspension calendar related to veterans or active military issues. There are three bills on the suspension calendar that relate to small businesses and investment. The House will also consider the Intelligence Authorization Act, H.R. 3180, sponsored by Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on suspension.

    There are three bills on the suspension calendar for Tuesday, including the Medicare Part B Improvement Act, H.R. 3178, sponsored by Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), and a yet-to-be-numbered resolution that will impose sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

    The House will also consider H.J.Res. 111, a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, to cancel the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) giveaway to trial lawyers. The rule put restrictions on the use of arbitration to settle disputes over consumer products. This would lead to more class-action lawsuits, benefiting trial lawyers and hurting consumers. FreedomWorks has signed a coalition letter in support of H.J.Res. 111 and will likely include the vote on our 2017 Congressional Scorecard.

    For the balance of the week, the House will consider at least four more bills on the suspension calendar. The Make America Secure Appropriations Act, H.R. 3219, will also come to the floor. This is the consolidated appropriations bill, or "minibus," for the Department of Defense, the Legislative Branch, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Energy and Water. Like virtually every other bill to come to the floor this year under "regular order," the Make America Secure Appropriations Act is subject to a rule to limit or prevent amendments from the floor.

    On Thursday at 10:00 am, the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing entitled "The Need for the Balanced Budget Amendment." The witness list for the hearing has not yet been announced. Twelve constitutional amendments have been introduced in the House that would require a balanced budget. Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) is the sponsor of two of them, H.J.Res. 1 and H.J.Res. 2. Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), the primary sponsor of H.J.Res. 15, is among the House conservatives who have introduced a balanced budget amendment.

    The committee and subcommittee schedule for the week can be found here.


    Presumably, the Senate will vote this week on the motion to proceed to the House-passed version of H.R. 1628. It's still unclear on what happens next. A vote to proceed to the House-passed version has always been the first step. The next step will be for an amendment to the bill that will substitute the language of either the Better Care Reconciliation Act or language similar to the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill, now called the ObamaCare Repeal Reconciliation Act. FreedomWorks' key vote on the motion to proceed applies only if the base text that will be substituted is similar to the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill.

    At least a few Senate Republicans have backed away from their votes for the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill, which was passed in December 2015 with the support of all but two Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins. Moderate Republicans who refuse to vote for the 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill have demanded $200 billion in Medicaid funding offered by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to get them to support the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

    Some parts of the Better Care Reconciliation Act are in limbo, however, as the Senate parliamentarian has apparently ruled that provisions limiting funding for Planned Parenthood and tax credits for plans that cover abortion will require 60 votes. Other provisions that may require 60 votes include the State Innovation Waivers. Many of these provisions can be altered to make them withstand a Byrd rule challenge, as was done in 2015.

    The Senate still has several nominees to consider and, on the legislative front, the FDA Reauthorization Act, S. 934; the National Defense Reauthorization Act; and the debt ceiling are among the items awaiting action.

    Separately, Senate Democrats are rolling out their "better deal" economic agenda today, which is a rehashing and repackaging of virtually every leftist policy proposal in recent years. The agenda is Democrats' attempt to find a message after a string of special election losses around the country.

    The full committee schedule for the week can be found here.

              The Weekly Fix: Rules for Thee, but Not for Me        

    The fix is in. Did you know, members of Congress can exclude themselves from federal laws they don’t want to follow? Taxpayers are forced to play by the rules, while lawmakers in Washington get a free pass.

    The Congressional Accountability Act (CAA) of 1995 was created to remedy some of these injustices. In theory, the CAA requires members of Congress to abide by some of the same employment and workplace safety laws as any other business or federal government entity.

    But in reality, members of Congress continue to dodge their way around significant legislative policy.

    Congress has the power to kick you off your health care plan, yet lawmakers excused themselves from the ObamaCare exchanges. Congress requires federal agencies to provide citizens with internal records, yet lawmakers exempted themselves from the Freedom of Information Act, along with numerous other record-keeping and transparency laws (including whistleblower protections).

    Congress supports sending citizens to jail for insider trading, yet lawmakers are allowed to make stock trades based on non-public information. Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to protect citizens from dishonest private sector CEOs, yet lawmakers shamelessly lie about the costs of their policy agenda.

    Not surprisingly, the Office of Compliance for the U.S. Congress revealed to the press that representatives often fail to produce records and information critical to investigations in a timely manner- or sometimes even at all. Compliance has no legal authority to subpoena information, leaving them at the complete mercy of legislative offices.

    Why are members of Congress so tone deaf? Because they aren’t living in the same reality as the rest of America. They are shielded from the consequences of their actions. Forget equal treatment under the law, the official slogan of the Legislative Branch should be: Rules for thee, but not for me.

    The American people aren’t being heard by government because the game is rigged. Washington isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”

              Así son los podcasts del        
    Así son los podcasts del
              Lyric Opera Announces its 2017-18 Resident Artists        

    General Director and CEO Deborah Sandler has announced the selection of the artists for the Resident Artists Program for the 2017-2018 season. They include: soprano Marlen Nahhas, mezzo-soprano Lauren Auge, tenor Martin Luther Clark, baritone Tim Murray and coach/accompanist James Maverick. Led by Vinson Cole, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance faculty member and one of the leading artists of his generation, they will perform in various roles throughout the 2017-2018 season on the mainstage at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts as well as at community outreach and education events. The artists were selected after a rigorous national audition of more than 350 singers.

    During their Residency, in addition to appearing in mainstage roles, the Resident Artists will work with visiting guest artists, conductors and directors, participate in master classes, receive career coaching, study leading roles, make musical appearances in the community, and appear in their own intimate musical performances as a part of Lyric Opera of Kansas City's Explorations Series, which will focus on intimate gems of the vocal music repertoire. The Resident Artists have completed their post-graduate education and have some professional experience. The Resident Artists will have a full time 8-month contract for one to two years.

    Meet the Resident Artists

    Sun., Sept. 24, 2p

    Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building

    Lyric Opera audiences will have an opportunity to meet the Resident Artists on Sunday, September 24 at 2p at the Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building for an informal afternoon 'salon'. Through conversation and musical selections including arias, art songs and show tunes, audiences are invited to sneak a first peek at the quartet and pianist who will grace the main stage and our Explorations Series presentations throughout the season. The event is FREE. Seating is limited and RSVPs are required. For ticket information, visit or contact Lyric Opera Ticketing & Patron Services at (816) 471-7344.

    "We launched the Resident Artists Program last year and it has been an unqualified success," stated Sandler. "We join the international opera community in the training of talented, emerging professional young artists. This professional development program involves performance experience and the ability to work with our field's leading conductors, directors and principal artists. Our audiences have embraced our young artists and have been touched by them in a surprising number of ways. I look forward to another season of productive and engaged experiences."

    The program was made possible by a generous donation from the Estate of Richard Hill, Charter Sponsor of the Resident Artist Program.

    About the Resident Artists

    Lebanese-Mexican soprano Marlen Nahhas has been an apprentice artist at Central City Opera for the last two summers where she was awarded the coveted young artist scholarship. The year prior, she was a festival artist at Utah Festival Opera where she won first place in the Michael Ballam International Opera Competition. Ms. Nahhas has been a two-time regional finalist in the Midwest region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. She received her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and musical theatre at Oklahoma City University and her Masters and Performance diploma from Indiana University under the tutelage of Carol Vaness. Recent roles include the title role in Tosca, Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte and Mimi in La bohème.

    As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Ms. Nahhas will perform the roles of The Page in Rigoletto and Berta in The Barber of Seville.

    Lauren Auge, mezzo-soprano, is described as "offering something transformative to the audience" in her work on the stage. Most recently, Ms. Auge was seen as Jennie in Kurt Weill's Down in the Valley and Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte. Making her mark on the competition scene, Ms. Auge was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Bel Canto Foundation competition, the 2014 winner of Sinfonietta Bel Canto Voice Competition, a finalist in the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition and a first place winner in the 2013 Pantazelos Performing Artists Foundation Vocal Competition. Recently Ms. Auge was also a Danis Wilson Apprentice Artist at the Sugar Creek Symphony and Song Festival. Previous operatic roles have included Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, The Duchess in Gilbert and Sullivan's comic operetta The Gondoliers, Thelma in Cold Sassy Tree and The Wife in Darius Milhaud's dark opera Le pauvre matelot.

    As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Ms. Auge will perform the role of Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto.

    Tenor Martin Luther Clark is an alumnus at the University of North Texas holding a Graduate Artist Certificate and Bachelor of Music degree, both in Vocal Performance. While at UNT, Mr. Clark studied voice with Dr. Stephen F. Austin and Professor William Joyner. He recently made his Charlottesville Opera debut as a Young Artist singing the role of Borsa (Rigoletto) and covering Curly (Oklahoma!). In May of 2017, he covered the role of Arjuna (Arjuna's Dilemma) with the Dallas Opera. For the 2016 season, Mr. Clark performed roles including Tonio (La fille du regiment) with Opera North, Bastien (Bastien and Bastienne) with the Dallas Opera Outreach, Mozart (Mozart and Salieri) with Opera in Concert, and several others. Also in 2016, he was selected as a semi-finalist in the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition where he was the youngest competitor by two years. Throughout his college career at UNT, he performed numerous roles including Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Count Almaviva (IL Barbiere di Siviglia), Camille (The Merry Widow), and Frederic (The Pirates of Penzance) to name a few. Making his debut at Wolf Trap Opera, he sang the role of Le Fils (Les mamelles de Tirésias) as a Studio Artist.

    As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Mr. Clark will perform the roles of The Peasant in Eugene Onegin and Borsa in Rigoletto.

    Lauded for his "...consistent, attractive baritone" (Opera News) and "...?rm, ?exible baritone" (The New York Times), Wisconsin-born baritone Tim Murray makes his Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut this season as a member of the 2017-2018 Resident Artist Program. Mr. Murray's 2016-2017 season included a return to the Oratorio Society of New York to cover the baritone soloist in Britten's War Requiem, a short-notice Silvio in I pagliacci with Cedar Rapids Opera, Dandini in La Cenerentola with ARE Opera, NYC, and Moralès in Carmen and Ananias in Britten's The Burning Fiery Furnace with Central City Opera as a member of the Apprentice Artist program. Previous credits include the baritone soloist in both Berlioz's Lélio with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Mahler's 8th Symphony with the Oratorio Society of New York. While a student at Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Murray recorded the role of Le Vicomte de Valmont in Susa's The Dangerous Liaisons with Albany Records.

    As a Resident Artist for the 2017- 2018 season, Mr. Murray will perform the roles of Zaretsky/Captain in Eugene Onegin, Guy Cotter in Everest, Marullo in Rigoletto and The Officer in The Barber of Seville.

    Coach and accompanist James Maverick is from Bloomington, Indiana. Most recently, he was Apprentice Coach at San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program and the Coach Accompanist for Indiana University Opera Theater where he worked on productions of La fillé du régiment and Peter Grimes. Mr. Maverick is a graduate of Indiana University.

    About Vinson Cole

    American tenor Vinson Cole is internationally recognized as one of the leading artists of his generation. His career has taken him to all the major opera houses across the globe including the Metropolitan Opera, Opera National de Paris Bastille, Teatro alla Scala Milan, Theatre Royale de la Monnaie, Brussels, Berlin State Opera and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Munich State Opera, San Francisco Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Opera Australia, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Seattle Opera and many more. Equally celebrated for his concert appearances, Mr. Cole has been a frequent guest of the most prestigious orchestras throughout the world and has collaborated with the greatest conductors of this era including Christoph Eschenbach, Claudio Abbado, Carlo Maria Giulini, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, James Conlon, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Gerard Schwarz as well as Sir Georg Solti and Giuseppe Sinopoli. Mr. Cole had an especially close working relationship with the late Herbert von Karajan, who brought the artist to the Salzburg Festival to sing the Italian Tenor in Der Rosenkavalier - the first of many performances there together. Their collaboration went on to include works such as Verdi's Requiem, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. Mozart's Requiem and Bruckner's Te Deum. Many of these were issued on recordings on Deutsche Grammaphon. He was the performer on the soundtrack for the film Immortal Beloved.

    As a teacher, he has taught at the University of Washington School of Music, the New England Conservatory of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Aspen Music Festival and School, Glimmerglass Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera. He has conducted master classes for San Francisco Opera's Merola Program and the Canadian Opera Company. Currently, Cole is a faculty member at the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

    Mr. Cole, born in Kansas City, studied at the University of Missouri, Kansas City before attending the Philadelphia Musical Academy and the Curtis Institute of Music. In 1977, he won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the WGN Competition, and was awarded both the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Opera Institute grants. His career took off from there as he went on to perform principal roles with the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opèra National de Paris, Paris Opera-Bastille, Teatro alla Scala, and many more. Mr. Cole became well known for his interpretation of French repertoire after singing in the Manon centennial performances with Paris's Opera Comique in 1984. Since then, he has performed singular interpretations in such roles for Lakmè, Carmen, Don Carlos, and Faust. He has been honored with numerous awards including special invitations to perform with the Harriman-Jewell Series recitals and received an honorary doctorate from William Jewell College. He also received the Alumni Award from the Conservatory at UMKC, plus the Seattle Mayor's Arts Award for outstanding individual achievement and commitment to the arts.

    2017-2018 Season at a Glance:

    * Lyric Opera debut


    Eugene Onegin

    Pyotr Tchaikovsky, 1897

    Sung in Russian with English subtitles

    Saturday, September 30, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, October 4, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Friday, October 6, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday, October 8, 2017 2:00 p.m.

    Director: Tomer Zvulun

    Conductor: Ari Pelto*

    Scenery Designer: Erhard Rom

    Lighting Designer: Robert Wierzel

    Onegin: Morgan Smith *

    Tatyana: Joyce El-Khoury

    Olga: Megan Marino

    Lensky: JoNathan Johnson

    Gremin: Paul Whelan *

    Filipievna: Jane Bunnell

    Monsieur Triquet: Steven Cole

    Zaretsky/Captain: Tim Murray*



    Composer: Joby Talbot, 2015

    Librettist: Gene Scheer

    Sung in English with English subtitles

    Saturday, November 11, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, November 15, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Friday, November 17, 2017 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday, November 19, 2017 2:00 p.m.

    Director: Leonard Foglia *

    Conductor: Nicole Paiement *

    Beck Weathers: Michael Mayes *

    Jan Arnold: Sarah Larsen *

    Rob Hall: Andrew Bidlack *

    Doug Hansen: Craig Verm *

    Mike Groom: Mark McCrory

    Guy Cotter: Tim Murray


    Giuseppe Verdi, 1851

    Sung in Italian with English subtitles

    Saturday, March 3, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Friday, March 9, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday, March 11, 2018 2:00 p.m.

    Director: David Gately

    Conductor: David Charles Abell

    Rigoletto: Leo An *

    Gilda: Nicole Haslett *

    Count Monterone: Andrew Gangestad

    Duke: Scott Quinn

    Maddalena: Zanda Šv?de

    Sparafucile: Peixin Chen *

    Marullo: Tim Murray

    Giovanna: Alice Chung

    Countess Ceprano: Lauren Auge*

    Page: Marlen Nahhas*

    Usher: Armando Contreras


    The Barber of Seville

    Gioachino Rossini, 1816

    Sung in Italian with English subtitles

    Saturday, April 28, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Wednesday, May 2, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Friday, May 4, 2018 7:30 p.m.

    Sunday, May 6, 2018 2:00 p.m.

    Director: Michael Shell *

    Conductor: Leonardo Vordoni

    Lighting Designer: Kendall Smith

    Almaviva: Jack Swanson *

    Rosina: Cassandra Zoe Velasco *

    Figaro: Jarett Ott *

    Don Basilio: Brian Banion

    Don Bartolo: Matthew Burns *

    Berta: Marlen Nahhas

    Fiorello: Armando Contreras

    Officer: Tim Murray

    About Lyric Opera of Kansas City

    Lyric Opera of Kansas City was founded in 1958; it is one of the nation's premier regional opera companies and brings high quality live operatic performances to the people of the Kansas City area and a five-state region. Repertoire choices encompass original language performances of standard repertory as well as contemporary and American operas. The Company mounts productions that enrich the community it serves, as well as reflect the highest artistic standards of the profession. Lyric Opera offers innovative and award-winning programs designed to further music and arts education both in schools and in the community, and serves more than 18,000 students and educators each year.

              Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 8/4 - NEWSIES, A CHORUS LINE, SPRING AWAKENING, and More!        

    "BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature West Side Story, Mamma Mia!, Something Rotten, and More!

    Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below!

    Cleveland: Contributor Roy Berko reviews NEWSIES at the Porthouse Theatre. He writes "MaryAnn Black has done an excellent job of choreographing the dance-centric show, especially considering the limited stage size. Flips, somersaults, line-dancing, contemporary moves and balletic moves explode on the stage. Especially strong dancers are: Ryan Borgo, Nick Johnson, Matthew Smetana and Jake Rosko. Matt Gittins lacks some of the dynamism of Jeremy Jordan who was the original Jack Kelly on Broadway. However, he is believable as Jack, the leader of the Newsies, the tough guy with a tender underbelly. He has a strong singing voice. Beautiful Katelyn Cassidy charms as Jacks' love interest and defiant daughter of Joseph Pulitzer. Gittins and Cassidy's rendition of "Something to Believe In" is one of the show's musical highlights."

    St. Louis: Contributor Chris Gibson reviews The Muny's A CHORUS LINE. He writes "Director/Choreographer Denis Jones' conception of this show is startling, and adds a welcome element that I've never encountered in a production of A CHORUS LINE before. Ben Whiteley's music direction is simply sublime, and the orchestra injects a great deal of excitement into this work. Paige Hathaway's scenic design is simple and stark, but still larger than life to fit the vast stage, with huge mirrors reflecting the dancers and the audience. Nathan W. Scheuer's video designs add another dimension to the stories being told, and Rob Denton's lighting keeps each story and dancer in clear focus. Andrea Lauer's costumes fit the characters well, and deftly recreates the vintage look of the flashy costumes that close the show."

    St. Louis: Contributor Chris Gibson reviews MAMMA MIA! at the Fox. He writes "Phyllida Lloyd's direction keeps the action moving at fast pace, and for this kind of lightweight, but enjoyable stuff, that's the right approach. Anthony Van Laast contributes the clever and funny choreography, which helps to keep this high energy production moving along with a head of steam. Mark Thompson's simple, changeable set is brilliant, subtly conjuring up the taverna Donna operates from a variety of angles. Howard Harrison's lighting scheme deftly switchesgears from dramatic to concert hall without missing a beat. And, on this particular evening, the small band produced a fantastic sound, with guitarists Alex Domschot and Jonathan Hawkins throwing down some wailing licks."

    Palm Beach: Contributor John Lariviere reviws THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE at Marquee Theater Company. He writes "This production features a beautifully costumed and choreographed ensemble of dancers. It is a pleasure to see the stage used to showcase the size and skill level of that ensemble. I also noticed how strong the bevy of girls who live at the hotel are in their setting the style of the piece, and providing acting responses to what was going on around them. Allow me to quote the late South Florida director Bob Bogdanoff when he would be handling group scenes: "Acting is REACTING!". So, thank you from both me and Bob (directing angels up in heaven) for giving us an active and present ensemble in this production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, along with some wonderful costuming and enjoyable choreography. It may be the welcome light-hearted fare you're looking for as an alternative to the sea of serious Sondheim musical offerings in South Florida this Summer."

    New Jersey: Contributor Ryan Myers reviews NEWSIES at Surflight Theater. He writes "Standouts from this show include the leading man himself "Jack Kelly" played by Logan Farine, who brings his handsome, boyish looks to the stage, as well as his solid tenacious voice for songs like "Santa Fe" and "Something To Believe In." He has his own version of Jack Kelly, and I thoroughly enjoyed that. Daniel Neale also shined as "Davey" by bringing his charm and personality to the role, as well as his fine singing voice in pieces like "Watch What Happens (Reprise), and "Seize The Day".

    San Diego: Contributor E. H. Reiter reviews ROBIN HOOD at The Old Globe. She writes "The costumes by San Diego native and double Tony winner Gregg Barnes are gorgeous and not to be missed. They are so richly textured and colored that it's a surprise that Robin hasn't tried to steal those as well. Also, it proves that we should all be wearing more corsets, capes, and clever hats. The set by Tim Mackabee is inventive and interactive, with vines and ropes decorating the entire theatre, the better to allow the cast to drop in from the top. The use of some crates, plates, and doors in the floor allow for quick scene changes, and the cast use the ability to play with heights, and perspective in fun ways."

    Delaware: Contributor Rosanne DellAversano reviews SPRING AWAKENING at JustArt Theatricals. She writes "The music of SPRING AWAKENING often floods my internal playlist. I absolutely love it. Music Director, Caty Butler, is no stranger to modern musical theater scores, and her treatment of Duncan Sheik's music was on point. The young artist playing Moritz (Brendan Moriak) handled the required vocal nimbleness well enough. Lucy Vavala as Wendla and Jake Collins as Melchoir paired well together. Occasionally, a voice cracked or strained/vocal fatigue could be heard. SPRING AWAKENING is all-around demanding; each artist must be prepared to meet the vocal, physical, and emotional demands in order to execute a fully realized work. Some cast members were at least up for the challenge."

    Washington: Contributor Isabella Basco reviews GRAND NIGHT FOR SINGING at NextStop Theatre. She writes "All of the cast stands out on their respective songs, but Karen Vincent's charm and pristine voice is a standout in a group of highly professional performers. Marquise White has a smooth voice which will make audiences swoon in "We Kiss in a Shadow," and "This Nearly Was Mine." He also is hilarious in the all-time favorite "Honey Bun," and prepare to be dazzled by Sarah Anne Sillers's "I Can't Say No."

    Regional Editor Spotlight:

    Roy Berko
    Cleveland Contributing Editor

    Roy Berko, a life-long Clevelander, holds degrees, through the doctorate from Kent State, University of Michigan and The Pennsylvania State University. Roy was an actor for many years, appearing in more than 16 plays, 8 TV commercials, and 3 films. He has directed more than 30 productions. A member of the American Critics Association, the Dance Critics Association and The Cleveland Critics Circle, he has been an entertainment reviewer for more than twenty years.

    For many years he was a regular on Channel 5, ABC-Cleveland's "Morning Exchange" and "Live on 5," serving as the stations communication consultant. He has also appeared on "Good Morning America." Roy served as the Director of Public Relations for the Volunteer Office in the White House during the first Clinton Administration.
    He is a professor of communication and psychology who taught at George Washington University, University of Maryland, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Towson University. Roy is the author of 31 books. Several years ago, he was selected by Cleveland Magazine as one of the most interesting people in Cleveland.

    Join Team BroadwayWorld! Interested in joining our team, but not exactly sure what we do? All of your questions are answered, along with every open position from guest and student bloggers, Regional Editors, and more! Find out where we have open positions available here!

              Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 7/21 - NEWSIES, MAMMA MIA, and More!        

    BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature Newsies, Mamma Mia!, The Book of Mormon, and more!

    Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below!

    St. Louis: Check out video highlights from The Muny's production of ALL SHOOK UP! Set to the chart-topping hits of the King of Rock 'n' Roll, himself, Elvis Presley, and based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, All Shook Up follows the story of Natalie, a tomboy mechanic with a longing heart, and Chad, a mysterious, hip-swiveling roustabout who is new to town and ready to shake things up. Set in the 1950s, and filled with secret crushes, hysterical shenanigans and matters of the heart, this is one Muny production that promises to have the entire family dancing in their 'Blue Suede Shoes.'

    Washington DC: Contributor Bejamin Tomchik reviews MAMMA MIA! He writes "The credit lays first, and most obviously, with Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the Bs in ABBA. Their music and lyrics are as catchy as when they first debuted in the seventies and eighties. It is hard to find someone leaving Wolf Trap not humming their favorite song. Second is book writer Catherine Johnson for creating an original story that is playful, and naturally incorporates ABBA's songs making them feel like natural extensions of the characters and/or scenes. Director Phyllida Lloyd and choreographer Anthony Van Laast give the production a youthful energy that is a great compliment to ABBA's music. Van Laast's athletic and energetic choreography conveys the urgency of finding Sophie's father with the excitement of her wedding."

    Philippines: Contributor Robert Encila reviews NEWSIES! He writes "Guevara himself has extracted a rambunctious performance from a gifted and intrepid ensemble, harnessing a collective power that defied the heavy rains that threatened to steal the glory on Saturday night [July 15] at Bonifacio High Street Amphitheatre. Fortunately, nature yielded to the man-made tempest, a savage storm forged by inspired singing, dynamic choreography, and a sizzling live band."

    South Carolina: Contributor Neil Shurley reviews HAIR at the Lyric! He writes "The journey begins even before curtain time, as actors - already in character - mill around the open theatre space, creating a welcoming atmosphere as they interact with audience members and each other. The set, designed by Henry Wilkinson, consists of some low platforms, covered in blankets and pillows, with a few swaths of draped fabric in places. And as the music begins, the actors converge and undergo a small ritual in which they take a drug and the lights and music swirl more and maybe the whole evening is just going to be one long drug trip for all of us and then the "Age of Aquarius" dawns and draws us into its spell."

    San Francisco: Contributor Robert Sokol reviews THE BOOK OF MORMON. He writes "A return visit does not lessen the joy of frog-on-face jokes and there's anticipatory joy in getting another dose of Elder McKinley's first-rate, tapping advice "Turn It Off," or succumbing to another "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream." The other thing you get is an opportunity to really absorb the musical riffs on other hit shows with whom Mormon has rightfully taken its place. Try to not hear the essence of "The Wizard and I," "Hakuna Matata," or "Somewhere That's Green" hinted in "You and Me (But Mostly Me), " "Hasa Diga Eebowai," and "Sal Tlay Ka Siti."

    Los Angeles: Contributor Michael Quintos reviews MARY POPPINS at Musical Theatre West. He writes "It also helps that the cast is superb. Katharine McDonough---who was incredible as Eliza Doolittle in MTW's MY FAIR LADY---returns with her Brit accent and self-assured wit and confidence to play the titular nanny, who has magically arrived at Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane to assist in the care of two "adorable" children whose family life seems to be in flux. In McDonough's hands, Mary is appropriately playful yet sincere, sassy yet capable of forethought, empathy and care (McDonough is so charming that the audience didn't even bat an eye when she pantomimed having her infamous measuring tape which went inexplicably missing on Opening Night). Her every appearance as Mary is a delight and her singing voice is, indeed, practically perfect for the role."

    Pittsburgh: Contributor Dylan Shaffer reviews NEWSIES at the Pittsburgh CLO. He writes "Pencil turns, pirouettes, and barrel rolls abound in this show, as large dance numbers follow one another throughout both the first and second acts. Audiences love when a stage full of actors are able to kick, jump, and step in unison, and for the most part, the cast of Disney's Newsies does this. Their synchrony is evident in the tap number "King of New York." There is no question that these boys are talented, but being a beat ahead or behind will never bode well in a group number, and the audience will notice unforgivingly."

    Kansas City: Contributor Sara Brown reviews BACK TO THE 80s at Theatre in the Park. She writes "My favorite part of the show was the girls' costumes. The 80's had such defined fashion, and these girls didn't disappoint with sparkly frocks, fringe boots, and plaid skirts. Their song "Girls Just Want to have Fun," sung by Murphy, Maggie Hutchinson, Anna Hastings, and Colette Worthington, was my second favorite song in the show with their iconic dance moves."

    Cleveland: Contributor Roy Berko reviews THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Playhouse Square. He writes "The little girl sitting behind me was on the edge of her seat throughout the show and, at the end, sleepily said to her mother, "I loved it!"Yes, the touring production of "The Sound of Music," is a very pleasant experience. "So long, Farewell," How long will it be before I have to "Climb Every Mountain" again? Guess as long as I'm a reviewer, "There is No Way to Stop It."

    Toronto: Contributor Taylor Long reviews SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK. He writes "Shakespeare in High Park is the perfect summer theatrical experience. Bring a blanket, pack some bug spray - hey, even pack a picnic. I was jealous at some of the picnic spreads people had prepared. Escape the bustling city and experience two of the greatest plays ever written - performed by some exceptional talent."

    Regional Editor Spotlight:

    Dylan Shaffer
    Pittsburgh Contributing Editor

    Dylan is a modern writer, producer and theatregoer in the Pittsburgh region. In the theatrical realm, he has worked in production, marketing, box office and front of house, in addition to acting, directing and stage-managing. When he is not involved with shows, either in the Cultural District downtown or in the small-town theatres speckling western PA, Dylan keeps busy on the golf course, in the community and at new and exciting restaurants.

    Join Team BroadwayWorld! Interested in joining our team, but not exactly sure what we do? All of your questions are answered, along with every open position from guest and student bloggers, Regional Editors, and more! Find out where we have open positions available here!

              El calentamiento global y nosotros        
    El calentamiento global y nosotros

    Evaluando nuestra responsabilidad ambiental y profesional

    Por Elaine Harger
    Traducido por Sara Plaza

    Mientras iba conduciendo por las Montañas Rocosas en Montana el verano pasado, se me rompió el corazón al ver un montón de árboles de color óxido esparcidos entre los bosques de un verde imponente habitualmente. En algunos lugares parecía que entre un 20 y un 30 % de ellos estuvieran muertos, y de hecho lo están – asesinados por un escarabajo cuyo único depredador es el frío extremo de los inviernos de Montana, ellos mismos enfrentados a la amenaza de verse extinguidos debido al calentamiento global.

    ¿Qué tiene que ver la muerte de los pinares con la bibliotecología? ¿Es el calentamiento global una "cuestión bibliotecaria"? Muchos bibliotecarios opinan que la provisión de libros, programación y otro tipo de información relacionada con temas medioambientales es suficiente para cumplir con las obligaciones de la bibliotecología. Algunos consideran que necesitamos equilibrar la crisis medioambiental con fuentes que nieguen la responsabilidad humana en ella. Sin embargo, me he dado cuenta de que el calentamiento global está en el corazón de nuestras preocupaciones profesionales de varias formas.

    Hace poco, participando en un grupo de discusión del Northwest Earth Institute, denominado: Changing CO2urse, calculé mi perfil de CO2. La producción media de emisiones de CO2 por persona en los Estados Unidos es de 122 libras [una libra equivale a 454 gramos]. Alrededor de 65 libras están bajo el control de cada individuo, mientras que las otras 57 libras es la parte proporcional que le corresponde a cada persona de las emisiones producidas por los negocios, las industrias, los generadores eléctricos y los sistemas de transporte que constituyen parte de nuestra sociedad actual.

    Comparativamente, la media diaria de las emisiones de CO2 por personas en el resto del mundo es de 24 libras. Y, según parece, los ecosistemas terrestres pueden procesar completamente solo 9 libras de CO2 por día por persona.

    Para calcular nuestro perfil personal de carbono, recogemos las facturas de gas de nuestros vehículos y las de nuestros servicios públicos, y contabilizamos el número de viajes en avión que realizamos al año.

    Mi producción de CO2 alcanza las 34 libras por día, más baja que la media norteamericana, en primer lugar porque voy caminando al trabajo y utilizo mi coche lo menos posible.

    Esta información planteaba una cuestión profunda y desencadenó un periodo de total desmoralización surgida al contemplar sus implicaciones: ¿Cómo puedo reducir mi producción personal de CO2 de 34 + 57 = 91 libras por día a 9? Lo que me permitió salir de mis sentimientos absolutamente derrotistas fue darme cuenta de lo siguiente:

    – En primer lugar, yo personalmente no tengo la responsabilidad de reducir 57 de esas libras: es una tarea que corresponde a toda la sociedad, incluida la bibliotecología.
    – Segundo, cualquier reducción de mis 34 libras personales tendría que incluir mis viajes en avión a los congresos profesionales, que normalmente son los únicos vuelos que realizo.
    – Tercero, formo parte de la tercera generación de productores de CO2. La mayoría de mis antecesores vivieron bien produciendo mucho menos de 9 libras de CO2 por día.
    – Cuarto, la tarea de convertir nuestras vidas de destructoras de la tierra en sostenedoras de la misma está llena de aventura y es tan prometedora como cualquiera de las tareas que ha encarado siempre la humanidad. Todo lo que necesitamos es reactivar algo de ese espíritu humano tan positivo de poder hacerlo, y la bibliotecología puede ayudar enormemente a ello.

    Para quienes comienzan, podéis organizar en vuestra biblioteca una proyección del documental del año 2006, Who Killed the Electric Car?, y preguntarle a la audiencia que imaginen cada estación de gas albergando baterías recargables de energía solar en lugar de gasolina.

    Patrocinar y participar en los grupos de discusión del Northwest Earth Institute, de manera que vuestra comunidad pueda explorar las posibilidades de crear relaciones sostenibles con vuestra región bio–región.

    Viajar por el mundo a través de los libros en lugar de hacerlo como turistas escupiendo CO2.

    Y por último, vamos a repensar los congresos del ALA [Asociación Estadounidense de Bibliotecas]. Dar a los encuentros de invierno y anuales del ALA un toque "verde" no consiste en discutir si los centros de convenciones reciclan o no el papel. Necesitamos repensar la necesidad real de estos encuentros nacionales porque no son sostenibles dadas las actuales condiciones.

    Elaine Harger es bibliotecaria de la Mount Si High School en Snoqualmie, Washington, y miembro del consejo del ALA.
    American Libraries / April 2008 / On my Mind / Opinion

              Mosul: już tylko 3 kilometry! Do zdławienia ISIS czy do totalnej rzezi? (FOTO)        
    W sobotę 27 maja armia Iraku, wspierana przez artylerię i lotnictwo USA ruszyła do ostatecznego szturmu na ostatni skrawek Mosulu broniony przez Państwo Islamskie – donosi Washington Post. W rękach islamistów został już tylko niewielki obszar Starego Miasta, o szerokości ok. 3 km i łącznej powierzchni 12 km kw. Po 8-miu miesiącach zażartych walk cały ...
              Des OVNIs se joignent au spectacle aérien à Washington        

    Le festival Skyfest, ce week-end dernier, a attiré plusieurs dizaines de personnes, et au moins l’une d’entre elle a enregistré une vidéo de ce qui semble être un OVNI. John Whichelow a déclaré qu’il n’avait jamais capturé quelque chose comme...
    Savoir plus

    Cet article Des OVNIs se joignent au spectacle aérien à Washington est apparu en premier sur Anguille sous roche.

              Des ovnis filmés depuis le ranch ECETI        

    Voici deux nouvelles vidéos d’ovnis qui ont été réalisées dans le ranch ECETI situé à Mount Adams à Washington. Un ranch qui est dédié à la recherche OVNI. Source : Latest UFO sightings

    Cet article Des ovnis filmés depuis le ranch ECETI est apparu en premier sur Anguille sous roche.

              STUDIES: FBI Crime Report Shows Murder Rates Remain Higher in Death Penalty States        

    The U.S. Department of Justice released its annual FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2014, reporting no change in the national murder rate since 2013. In the Northeast, the region with the fewest executions, the murder rate declined 5.7%, from 3.5 to 3.3 per 100,000 population. The murder rate was 1.7 times higher in the South, which carries out the most executions of any region. That region saw a 3.4% increase in the homicide rate, and its 5.5 murders per 100,00 population remained the highest rate of any region. Murder rates in the West and Midwest declined by 3.8% and 5.4%, respectively. A DPIC analysis of weighted murder rates found that death penalty jurisdictions continue to have a higher murder rate than non-death penalty jurisdictions (including Washington, D.C.): 4.7 per 100,000 compared to 3.8 per 100,000. Ten of the eleven states with the highest murder rates have the death penalty, while six of the eight lowest do not.

    ("Crime in the United States, 2014", U.S. Dept. of Justice (2015); DPIC analysis posted October 30, 2015).  See Deterrence and Murder Rates.

    REGION 2014 2013
    Northeast 3.3 3.5
    West 3.9 4.0
    Midwest 4.3 4.6
    South 5.5 5.3
    NATIONAL 4.5 4.5

    Rates are number of murders per 100,000 persons.

              DOJ announces takedown of Dark Web market where Utah teens obtained fatal doses of synthetic drug        
    By Tal Kopan WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice and its international partners announced Thursday a takedown of a massive Dark Web marketplace that was allegedly one of the world’s biggest sources for the sale of drugs and illicit materials, striking a blow to the cybercriminal underground. In shutting down AlphaBay and arresting its alleged founder, Alexandre Cazes, the Justice Department also is going after the assets of Cazes, who is charged with running the sophisticated anonymous market and was […]
              â€˜Operation Extra Olives’: employees arrested for selling cocaine out of Papa John’s        
    By Dakin Andone (CNN) — Breadsticks and wings weren’t the only sides available at a Papa John’s in Washington state, according to local law enforcement. Until recently, an off-menu item at the pizza restaurant was cocaine. A six-month joint investigation by the King County Sheriff’s Office and the police department in Sammamish, just east of Seattle, resulted in the arrests of five people, two of whom are accused of selling drugs out of a Papa John’s. ‘Operation Extra Olives’ According […]
              October 1, 2009 Correspondence to David G. Reichert - AARP        
    October 1, 2009. The Honorable David G. Reichert U.S. House of Representatives 1730 Longworth HOB Washington, D.C. 20515-4708. Dear Representative ...
              First Books in the Anne Spencer Collection!        

    The Library is so happy to announce the newest Personal Libraries Library Collection, that of poet, civil-rights activist and gardener Anne Spencer. The first book of the Spencer Collection is Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, pictured above, and also found in the Borges Collection.

    The first acquisitions to the Anne Spencer Personal Library reflect her varied interests and place within American literature:

    Star-Land by Sir Robert Stawell Ball
    Wild Flowers Every Child Should Know by Frederic William Stack
    The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
    Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
    Magic Portholes by Helen Follett
    House Plants: Their Care & Culture by Hugh Findlay

    Pictured above are the endpapers to Follett's Magic Portholes; incredible woodcuts pepper the novel.

    Below is the title page spread for The Story of Light by Jeanette Eaton:

    Eaton's The Story of Light is joined by,
    United States Postal Policy by Clyde Kelly
    The White Stag by Kate Seredy
    Enough Rope: Poems by Dorothy Parker
    Birds in Town & Village by W.H. Hudson

    Good-bye to All That by Robert Graves
    Knickerbocker's History of New York, Two Volumes, by Washington Irving
    Geology, Physical & Historical by H. Cleland
    Bird Neighbors by Neltje Blanchan
    The Story of Language by Mario Pei

    Bird Neighbors includes countless images of birds; these birds are obviously stuffed and are strangely arranged on branches and foliage in front of painted backdrops.

    For any questions about the Library, Collections or books (including the new Anne Spencer Collection!), please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 

              Anne Spencer Personal Library Catalogue        

    Blanchan, Neltje, Bird Neighbors - AS 5.7 2013
    Carson, Rachel, Silent Spring - AS 5.18 2013
    De La Mare, Garden Guide: The Amateur Gardener's Book - AS 5.27 2015****
    Findlay, Hugh, House Plants: Their Care and Culture - AS 5.17 2013
    Hudson, W.H., Birds in Town and Village - AS 5.3 2013
    Rutherfurd Ely, Helena, A Woman's Hardy Garden - AS 5.20 2014
    Stack, Frederic William, Wild Flowers Every Child Should Know - AS 5.16 2013

    Follett, Helen, Magic Portholes - AS 5.12 2013
    Miller, Arthur, Death of a Salesman - AS 5.6 2013
    Parker, Dorothy, Enough Rope: Poems - AS 5.14 2013
    Seredy, Kate, The White Stag - AS 5.4 2013
    Whitman, Walt, Leaves of Grass - AS 5.1 2013 

    Emerson, Ralph Waldo, Representative Men: Seven Lectures - AS 5.19 2013
    Graves, Robert, Good-bye to All That - AS 5.10 2013
    Smith, Allen, Life in a Putty Factory - AS 5.22 2014

    Sinclair, Upton, The Jungle - AS 5.8 2013

    Pei, Mario, The Story of Language - AS 5.9 2013

    Davidson, Basil, A Guide to African History - AS 5.23 2015
    Ottley, Roi, New World A-Coming: Inside Black America  - AS 5.26 2015 

    de Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America, Vol. 1 - AS 5.24 2015
    de Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America, Vol. 2 - AS 5.25 2015
    Eaton, Jeanette, The Story of Light - AS 5.13 2013
    Irving, Washington, Knickerbocker's History of New York, Two Volumes - AS 5.11 2013
    Kelly, Clyde, United States Postal Policy - AS 5.5 2013

    Cleland, Hermand, Geology, Physical and Historical - AS 5.2 2013
    Stawell, Sir Robert, Star-Land - AS 5.15 2013
    Watson, James, Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of DNA - AS 5.21 2014

    Please contact the Library at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com to check out a book from the Robert Smithson Personal Library. ** latest book / accession number

              Anne Spencer Personal Library Wish List        
    This ongoing catalogue / wish list is compiled using the catalogue of Anne Spencer's personal books from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. The PLL is looking for the exact editions stated.


    -De La Mare, A.T., ed.,  Garden Guide: the Amateur Gardeners’ Handbook (A.T. De La Mare Co., 1940)


    -(--), An Appeal to the Common Sense of Colored Citizens (Republican National Committee, 1940)
    -(--), Africa: Questions and Answers for Mission Circles and Bands (Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church, 1897) 
    -(--), One year from the day that the Supreme Court of the United States outlawed segregation in public schools everyone interested in implementing that decision is invited to attend a Southwestern Regional Conference on Integration in Houston, Texas, May 17, 1955 (Southern -Regional Conference on Integration, 1955)
    -Atlanta Urban League, The Negro School Child in Atlanta (The Atlanta Urban League, 1945)
    -Davidson, Basil, A Guide to African History (Doubleday & Company, 1965)
    -Dobler, Lavinia and William A. Brown, Great Rulers of the African Past (Doubleday, 1965)
    -Lee, David, The Negro Problem: Editorial (1948)
    -McCulloch, James E., The Call of the New South: Addresses Delivered at the Southern Sociological Congress, Nashville, Tennessee, May 7 to 10, 1912 (Southern Sociological Congress, 1912)
    -Ottley, Roi, ‘New World A-Coming’: Inside Black America (Houghton Mifflin, 1943)
    -Streeter, Daniel W., Denatured Africa (Garden City, 1929)
    -Willkie, Wendell, Wendell Willkie Speaks to Negroes: Address at Rally of Colored Republicans, Chicago, Illinois, September 13, 1940 ( Republican National Committee, 1940)


    -Hutchison, Keith, Labour in Politics (Labour Publishing Company, 1925)
    -Nathan, Maud, The Wage Earner and the Ballot (National American Woman Suffrage Association, 1908)
    -National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Does Your Congressman Represent You?: A Voters Guide (1964)


    -(--), Chronicle and romance : Froissart, Malory, Holinshed (P. F. Collier & Son, 1910)
    -(--), Heartsease: or, The Brother’s Wife (D. Appleton and Co., 1855)
    -Boyeson, Hjalmar H., Falconberg (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1899)
    -Brinker Post, Mary, Annie Jordan: A Novel of Seattle (Doubleday & Co., 1948)
    -Butterworth, Hezekiah, Up from the Cape: a Plea for Pepublican Simplicity; Mayflower Tales (J.S. Ogilvie Publishing Company, 1883)
    -Chevalier, Maurice, With Love (Little, Brown & Co., 1960)
    -Dunsany, Lord, Five plays : the gods of the mountain, The golden doom, King Argimēnēs and the unknown warrior, The glittering gate, The lost silk hat (Little, Brown & Co., 1917)
    -Ellmann, Richard, ed., The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry (W.W. Norton & Company, 1973)
    -Fallada, Hans, Little Man, What Now? (Simon & Schuster, 1933)
    -Fast, Howard, Citizen Tom Paine (Bantam Books, 1946)
    -Gras, Felix, (Catharine Janvier, trans.), The White Terror: A Romance of the French Revolution and After (D. Appleton and Co., 1900)
    -Harris, Cyril, Street of Knives (Little, Brown & Co., 1950)
    -Johnson, Johnson's Chief Lives of the Poets : being those of Milton, Dryden, Swift, Addison, Pope, Gray, and Macaulay's Life of Johnson (Foreword by Matthew Arnold) (Henry Holt & Co., 1880)
    -Kerlin, Robert T., Contemporary Poetry of the Negro (Press of the Hampton Normal & Agricultural Institute, 1921)
    -Kipling, Rudyard, Barrackroom Ballads (Donohue, Henneberry & Co., 1899)
    -Kipling, Rudyard, Departmental Ditties (M.A. Donohue & Co., 1901)
    -O’Brien, Edward J., ed., The Best Short Stories of 1924: and The Yearbook of the American Short Story(Small, Maynard & Co., 1925)
    -Patten, William, ed., Short Story Classics (American) ( P.F. Collier & Son, 1905)
    -Rothberg, Abraham, The Thousand Doors (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965)
    -Scott, Sir Walter, The Lady of the Lake (Thomas Crowell & Sons, 1893-1900)
    -Shoup, Francis Elliott, ed., Pope's The Iliad of Homer : books I, VI, XXII, and XXIV (B. F. Johnson Publishing Company, 1901)
    -Smart, C., trans., The Works of Horace (David McKay, 1896)


    -(--), Washington Merry-Go-Round (Liveright, 1931)
    -Addington Symonds, John, Renaissance in Italy (Modern Library, 1935)
    -Anthony, Katharine, Catherine the Great (Garden City, 1927)
    -Dabney, Richard Heath, The Causes of the French Revolution (Henry Holt and Co., 1889)
    -De Tocqueville, Alexis, Democracy in America (Colonial Press, 1899)
    -Gibson, Hugh, ed., The Ciano diaries, 1939-1943 : the complete, unabridged diaries of Count Galeazzo Ciano, Italian minister for foreign affairs, 1936-1943 (Doubleday and Co., 1946)
    -Langford Warren, Herbert, The Foundations of Classic Architecture (Macmillan Co., 1919)
    -Parman, Jr., Francis, The California and Oregon Trail: Being Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life (Hurst and Co., 1900)
    -Turner, Edward Raymond, Europe, 1789-1920 (Doubleday, Page, 1920)
    -Vehanen, Kosti, Marian Anderson: A Portrait (McGraw Hill, 1941)


    -Orlanidi, Nazareno, Italian Grammar (Tip. Sociale, 1910)
    -Tuckerman, Julius, Simplicité : a Reader of French Pronunciation (American Book Co., 1908)


    -Chamberlin, Thomas, A College Text-Book of Geology (Henry Holt and Co., 1909)
    -Curry, Preston E., and Ralph Rice, Applied Business Arithmetic (South-Western Publishing Co., 1940)
    -Korzybski, Alfred, Manhood of Humanity: the Science and Art of Human Engineering (Dutton and Co., 1921)

              Annual Mormon Book Review        

    Carrying on from last year's review of David Robert's Devil's Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy, here is a second review of another Mormon-centered book. Enjoy!

    Jared Farmer. On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008. 455 pages. Cloth: Alkaline Paper. $29.95.

    From the early days of the inception of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS), the Mormons were concerned with place-making. Joseph Smith, the religion’s founder, initially identified Jackson County, Missouri as the “center place,” where the Garden of Eden had once stood. However, the devout were soon thrown out of the state by the governor, and moved on to Nauvoo, Illinois. Later, after Smith was assassinated, the new Mormon leader, Brigham Young, turned his gaze farther west and in 1846-1847 led a party of followers to Utah, which he claimed as “Deseret”—their Zion. There, the Saints found their “place apart” from the rest of the world.

    Jared Farmer’s 2008 book On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape adroitly traces Mormon place-making in Utah. His story is ostensibly about Mount Timpanogos, a landmark known as “Timp” that unites the skyline above Orem and Provo. But the history involves much more than the mountain. It is a microcosm of Angloamerican settlement in the west. Using a singular landmark, Farmer delves into the importance of creating place out of space. He asks why Mount Timpanogos usurped the importance of the historically and agriculturally significant Lake Utah, and how the Mormon settlers manipulated their turbulent history with the Ute Indians in order to make myths and claim places as their own. The book deals with two centuries of history, as well as the interaction between varied cultures and the sometimes contradictory dogma of the LDS Church. Though complex, On Zion’s Mount is a wonderfully executed book—well written, insightful, and an excellent example of how to use local history to illuminate greater historical narratives.

    The book is divided into three sections, each focusing on a different step in the climb to the veneration of “Timp.” The first, “Liquid Antecedents,” deals with the early history of the Ute Indians and the Mormons. It also concentrates on how bodies of water were significant to residents and settlers in the Utah Valley. This section is compelling, as Farmer explains just how distinct the freshwater Lake Utah was in the arid Great Basin. The lake was a natural landmark for the Utes, who relied heavily on its plentiful supply of fish. In the mid-1800s, it became a landmark for the Mormons, who arrived predisposed to seek out monuments in their new “holy land.”

    Despite the Mormons’ intention to find a locale that was disconnected from the rest of the world, the Utah Valley, where the first waves of Mormons settled, was not a “place apart.” It was populated with Ute Indians, who had lived in the area for centuries. The wellspring for many of these Utes was Utah Lake, a freshwater reservoir southeast of the Great Salt Lake. The Indians there called themselves Timpanogos Nuche—“Rocky River Fish Eaters.” They identified themselves in connection with the body of water. The Mormons entered into an unstable relationship with the Timpanogos; an association characterized by violent fits, uneasy alliances, and contradictory feelings. This fluctuating friendship came with a bond to Utah Lake.

    Both the Timpanogos and the Mormons emphasized the importance of place. The Utes classified bands by “geographic food names” like “Lake People” and “Fish-Eaters.” (25) The Saints were concerned with place as it related to Millenialism. While other religions affected by the Second Great Awakening believed in a prediction of when Christ would return, the Mormons were concerned with where. (36) When the Mormons arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, the hot springs, streams, and of course the Great Salt Lake all contributed to the Saints’ belief that they had found their promised land. In the waters they took healing baths, baptized their children, and fished. These same waters had been frequented by the Utes for decades, if not centuries.

    From their introduction onward, relations between the Mormons and the Timpanogos were rocky. In 1849, the former noticed that livestock was missing, and rallied a group to ride south and confront Little Chief, a Ute leader who lived on the shores of Utah Lake. The chief turned the Saints towards some “mean Ewtes,” who they subsequently slaughtered for stealing.(62) Three days afterward, a band of Mormon men decided to relocate their families to Utah Lake. The Saints settled in the midst of hostilities between bands of Utes. In order to secure their own safety, the settlers at Utah Lake as well as the LDS leadership engaged in unsteady diplomacy and occasional fights with different Indian contingents.

    To complicate the already problematic situation, Mormons arrived in Utah with preconceptions of Native Americans. In fact, Indians were integral to the burgeoning religion’s discourse. According to LDS dogma, Indians were descendants of the “Lamanites,” once followers of Christ who traveled to America before the Babylon captivity. In the New World, the hostile sect broke away from their brothers, the “Nephites.” For this, God cursed the Lamanites with dark skin. The ill-fated group waged war on the Nephites and erased any fragments of Christianity from the land. The last Nephite scribe, Moroni, was the impetus for the Mormon religion. He came to Joseph Smith in a dream and told him where to find the scriptural record of this lost history. With his revelation of the sanctity of the Lamanites, Smith incorporated proselytizing to Indians into the Book of Mormon. The descendants of the Lamanites who converted would be saved during the Second Coming. More importantly, they would assist Christ in destroying the earth as soldiers of the apocalypse. This created a contradictory idea of Native Americans: “They were cursed to be inferior yet promised to be superior. They were destined to save the world, yet they couldn’t save themselves.”(57) Furthermore, dealing with real-life Utes proved harder than the LDS leadership imagined.

    The tension in Saints’ beliefs between “Indian-as-brother and Indian-as-other” continued to influence their interactions with natives around Utah Lake.(61) Young was wary of the amicable relations between his followers and the Timpanogos and wished that the two groups not mix. In 1850, following the murder of an Indian man, the Mormons and the Utes engaged in the “Indian War.” Later, LDS leadership chastised natives for engaging in slave trade with a New Mexican. Though in Mormon thought there were some redeemable Indians, by 1860 Young was determined that the Utes ought to be displaced. He wrote to Washington, D.C.: “It is our wish that the Indian title should be extinguished, and the Indians removed from our Territory (Utah) and that for the best of reasons, because they are doing no good here to themselves or any body else.”(82) By the latter half of the 1860s most of the Timpanogos people moved to the Uinta Basin, estranged from the place upon which they based their identity.

    Following the removal of the Utes, Utah Lake experienced a surge and then a decline in popularity that mirrored the fate of other regional waterways. In the late 19th century, tourists came to the area to take in the healing waters of the hot springs, the Great Salt Lake, and Utah Lake. Additionally, the latter continued to be a distinguished fishery. However, this fame did not last. In the first half of the 20th century, fires destroyed a number of Salt Lake resorts. Overfishing and the introduction of nonnative species affected Utah Lake. The Great Depression and WWII furthered the destruction of water sport popularity. The federal government opened the Geneva Steel plant on Utah Lake; its smokestacks and pollution diminished the reservoir’s beauty and water quality. Even after the plant closed in 2001, the lake had lost its reputation. Residents considered it dirty, shallow, and full of undesirable fish. Furthermore, during the twentieth century Utahans rethought their sense of identity. Instead of revering the hydrological geography of Utah, its residents had turned their gaze upward to the peaks.

    The second section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Alpine Play,” discusses how Utahans built Mount Timpanogos into a landmark. Farmer makes great use of the exclusion of certain places as well as their later inclusion. Using topographical resources from the four western surveys, as well as mormon settler drawings and maps, Farmer shows how Timpanogos went from being an undefined ridge in the Wasatch Range to a distinct massif that overshadowed both the larger Mount Nebo to the south and the historically significant Lake Utah to the west.

    As in the first three chapters, Farmer employs LDS beliefs to form the basis of his argument. The Saints’ theological sense of place included an emphasis on mountains. Settlers viewed their new homeland through religion; mountains pervade world religions as the geographical pathway to God. Peaks were of special importance to Mormons, since Joseph Smith purportedly prophesied that they would “become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.”(150) When the Saints arrived in Deseret, they labeled many geographic sites with biblical names, including Mount Nebo, the highest peak in the Wasatch range. However, in the 1880s Mormons began to secularize their environment. This shift was motivated by the United States Congress, which outlawed theocracy and polygamy. During what Mormons call “The Great Accommodation,” the Saints rethought the peaks in a patriotic light.

    The King Survey was the first to identify “Tim-pan-o-gos Peak” in 1869.(164) However, no one considered it a defining aspect of the region, and many could not even see it; the massif was just a part of the jagged wall between Provo and American Fork Canyons. It wasn’t until the early decades of the 20th century that residents of Provo “began to visualize a mountain.”(167) The view of Timpanogos from Provo changed as the town relocated to the east of its original home at old Fort Utah. Spurred by the historic importance of mountains to the Mormons as well as the “European vogue of alpine aesthetics,” it was not unnatural for the residents of Provo to revere a nearby peak.(141) By 1910, the town described itself in relation to the mountain.

    The King Survey did more than just identify Mount Timpanogos—the survey also pronounced it (erroneously) the highest peak in the Wasatch Range. In reality, that title belongs to Mount Nebo. However, the claim persisted even after the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey corrected the record, and tourists began arriving to climb the “highest mountain in the Wasatch.”(175) With the boosterism of Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts, Brigham Young University’s athletics director, and the national increase in the popularity of hiking, “Timp” became a recreational landmark. Roberts led yearly hikes to the top of the massif, and along with the claim that they were climbing the highest peak in the Wasatch, boosters “endlessly repeated claims that the Annual Timpanogos Hike ranked as the biggest hike in America, the greatest community hike in the world, and the largest ‘pilgrimage’ to any mountain over 10,000 feet.”(202) The peak, as well as its ascent were powerful symbols of community strength.

    Though the hike was discontinued in the 1970s, the peak remained emblematic of Provo. The Forest Service designated Timpanogos as wilderness. They banned the grazing of domestic animals and introduced mountain goats to the area in 1981. Meanwhile, Provo and Orem transformed from farming communities into suburbia and Robert Redford bought and built up Sundance. These changes emphasized the dichotomy between wilderness and urban areas. With the growth in population of the two cities and the ski resort, Timpanogos increased in importance. In 1996 the mountain’s significance was solidified in Mormon minds when the LDS Church built Mount Timpanogos Temple. Farmer ends this section with a rumination on environmentalism. Despite all the reverence for place, Mormons are not conservationists, and do not engage in preservation of their landmark. “Sense,” he concludes, “is not the same as sensibility.”(238)

    The final section of the book, “Making a Mountain: Indian Play,” investigates how “Timp” was marked with cultural meaning. Farmer examines the place name as well as the legends that surround it. In the nineteenth century, white Americans like Henry Schoolcraft and Lydia Sigourney advocated the use of Indian place-names, despite the usual miscommunication, misappropriation, or blatant invention of “native” words. The American government continued the trend by accepting Indianist names of states. In Utah, “Timpanogos” was a long-remembered name in the Provo region. The Indians themselves were displaced to the Uinta Band, and though the name had originally designated a river, the waterway had been renamed “Provo River.” For locals, associating the mountain with a Native word “gave the landmark a heightened semblance of antiquity and authenticity.”(281)

    Ironically, to further this authenticity, Eugene “Timpanogos” Roberts provided the mountain with a fake Indian legend. “The Story of Utahna and Red Eagle, an Indian Legend of Timpanogos” retold a familiar Angloamerican tale of the Indian Princess—the “dark-skinned Sappho” throwing herself from a precipice in response to a suitor.(287) These stories, all of which have suspect providence, used Native American tragedies to deepen American antiquity.(297) In a land without any ancient city walls or moldering castles, a sense of historic depth was created through legend. Additionally, the legends of leaping maidens alleviated whites’ guilt on displacing the Indians across the continent. The tales emphasized either brutish men that the women could only escape by committing suicide or savage societies that forced women to neglect her chosen lover. Either ended with the implicit message: the race of Indians is uncivilized. More importantly, the destruction of these Native maids was self-imposed. In an age when America was dealing with the morality of Indian Removal, it was more convenient for white storytellers that the natives to make the choice of self-destruction.(314)

    The Legend of Timpanogos gained further footing by its performance in Utah. People repeated the story of Utahna and Red Eagle, and the tale influenced an opera, a ballet, and an oratorio. Locals further promoted the fake history by dressing up in war paint and moccasins and climbing the mountain “as Indians.” The mountain was seen as the embodiment of a Native woman; like the “Sleeping Ute” in Colorado, “Timp’s” ridge resembles a slumbering Indian maid. The Mormon use of Indianist music, storytelling, and fashion to create the Legend of Timpanogos was paradoxical in that they paid homage to a romanticized version of the people that they had forced out of the Utah Valley—the Timpanogos’ ancestral home. These cultural performances replaced history with both fiction and selective memory. Modern residents of Utah formed their own heritage; no matter that their memory is based on a fallacy.

    But of course it does matter, which is Farmer’s point. Mormons produced a heritage that all but erased the Utes, just as it effaced the importance of Utah Lake. Instead of concentrating on their forebears’ efforts to colonize a “place apart,” which would necessitate emphasis on their interactions with the Indian inhabitants, Saints overwhelming focused their attention on the successive journeys westward. LDS theologians went so far as to modify the meaning of a Lamanite, so that Amerindians lost their scriptural status.(370) When they did incorporate Native Americans into their heritage, they did so with Indianist fictional stories that obscured history with romanticism. In this way, Farmer’s book acts as a historical monument, countering the heritage attached to Mount Timpanogos. Using “Timp” as a framework for his study, Farmer is able to resurrect the forgotten history of the Timpanogos Nuches and Lake Utah.

    On Zion’s Mount is an outstanding cultural, local, environmental, and religious history. Farmer engages readers with his lucid prose even as he presents the tangled story of Mormons, Utes, and the western landscape. Such excellent writing is especially important when one is reminded of some of the recently popular books on Mormon history: Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven and David Roberts’ Devil’s Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy.19 Krakauer and Roberts are both professional journalists and authors; their work is aimed at the populace rather than the academy. And yet Farmer rivals these works in its composition and surpasses them in its historic breadth and depth. More importantly for scholars, his argument illuminates the American inclination to transform its landscape and pinpoints those transformations in culture and historic memory. Overall, Timpanogos’ jagged ridge proved an excellent vantage point from which to view Utah’s past.
              McCain Time Out        
    In recent news, Senator McCain has decided to suspend his campaign in order to focus on the recent economic crises (which, I'd like to add, has made restaurant-goers really fucking testy). Letterman railed on the guy, saying that if McCain has decided to go back to Washington, he should let Palin campaign in his stead.
    Letterman put it well when he made a comparison to football— if your Quarterback is out of the game, you put in your second-string quarterback. But I feel like that analogy can be applied further to the McCain campaign, 'cus the man is treating the whole process like a game. He was down in the polls (9 points in an ABC/Washington Post poll and down 6 in a Fox poll) and wanted to make it look like he's a responsible senator (FYI, he's missed 412 votes in the current congress) so what did he do? He called a fucking time out.

    Obama will still be campaigning, and his camp has said that he'll still be debating (though against whom, I don't know...he'd rip Palin apart) on Friday (tomorrow! tomorrow! We'll see him! Tomorrow!). It's only a day away!
              Letterman, McCain, and McCain's arrogance and lies        
    Have you seen this yet? McCain was supposed to appear on Letterman yesterday, but called him up a couple hours before the show and canceled, saying that he had to get on a plane to Washington to help solve the economic crisis (as if his god-like presence would solve the whole fiasco). McCain would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for that stinkin' Katie Couric, who was about to interview him on CBS. Letterman got a live feed into Couric's stage, where you get to see McCain getting all dolled up for an interview with her.
    Letterman gets pissed and shits on McCain. It's brilliant.

              WATCH LIVE: Issa holds hearing on Occupy D.C.        
    The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), will hold a hearing on Tuesday regarding possible health and safety issues at the Occupy D.C. encampment. Watch this live video from The Washington Post, broadcast Jan. 24, 2012....
              Congress presses Obama to sell F-16 jets to Taiwan        
    WASHINGTON — US lawmakers across party lines stepped up pressure Thursday on President Barack Obama to sell F-16 jet fighters to Taiwan, with some accusing the administration of showing deference to China. “With over 1,600 missiles pointed directly across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan needs the me...
              Rep. Peter King sets second Muslim radicals hearing        
    WASHINGTON — A key US House of Representatives committee next week will hold the second in a controversial series of hearings on Muslim radicalization in the United States, the panel’s chairman announced Thursday. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King, a Republican whose first ...
              U.S. soldier fights Afghan ‘kill squad’ court martial        
    JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington — A US soldier accused of being part of a rogue “kill squad” that targeted Afghan civilians should not face court martial, his lawyer argued at a new hearing Wednesday. Private Andrew Holmes is accused of the premeditated murder of a teenage boy in a ...
              U.S. soldier wins new hearing in Afghan murder case        
    SEATTLE (Reuters) – A military judge has granted a defense request to reopen pretrial evidentiary proceedings for one of the five soldiers in Washington state charged with killing Afghan civilians in cold blood. Dan Conway, the civilian lawyer for Army Private Andrew Holmes, said he was notifi...
              Ex-Black Panther Mumia gets new sentencing hearing        
    WASHINGTON (AFP) – A US appeals court ordered a new sentencing hearing Tuesday death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, without overturning the guilty verdict of the man who has become a cause celebre for death penalty opponents. The court in Pennsylvania ruled that Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther who ha...
              Jon Kyl: Christians are as victimized by hate crimes as Muslims in America        
    WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) implied Tuesday that Christians are as victimized by hate crimes as Muslims in the United States. Speaking at a hearing called by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) about the civil rights of Muslim Americans, Kyl said, “I’m a bit perp...
              US soldier pleads guilty over Afghan killings        
    JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington (AFP) – A US soldier pleaded guilty to targeting Afghan civilians for execution, under a plea bargain for his part in a rogue US Army unit in southern Afghanistan. Corporal Jeremy Morlock, who is set to testify against four co-accused, admitted murdering or helpi...
              US Senate to hold hearing on Muslim rights        
    WASHINGTON (AFP) – A US Senate committee said Tuesday it will hold a hearing next week on protecting the civil rights of American Muslims, two weeks after another panel hotly debated the threat posed by homegrown Islamists. The US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and H...
              House panel votes to defund NPR after emergency GOP hearing        
    WASHINGTON – The House Rules Committee on Wednesday voted 6-5 to defund National Public Radio after an emergency hearing called by Republicans, sending the measure to the floor for debate Thursday. The committee examined and approved H.R. 1070, a bill designed “to prohibit Federal funding of N...
              El Silencio Deleznable de la Prensa Yanqui. Comentario Vick G. Miller        
    El Silencio Deleznable de la Prensa yanqui comprada durante el juicio y condena de nuestros Cinco Héroes. Comentario Vick Gómez Miller.

    La acusación certera de nuestro Canciller Ricardo Alarcón en el caso del juicio amañado y carente de
    La atención periodística, comprada para guardar silencio es la infamia que vuelve a reverdecer en
    Ocasión del cumplimiento de la injusta condena a René González , quien el próximo siete de octubre
    Tendrá que ser puesto en libertad, aunque ya Washington se prepara en aplicarle la “incapacitación” consistente en tomar medidas una vez que cumpla sus términos en prisión, los Cinco no estén en condiciones para acercarse adonde el gobierno sabe se encuentra el escondrijo de los verdaderos
    Terroristas, que siguen siendo un ejército secreto de la infamia yanqui.
    Alarcón insiste que a René le quedarán ahora tres años de libertad supervisada, lo que constituye un riesgo para nuestro Héroe y una sanción adicional que le sigue alcanzando sin que estén excluidos
    Sus familiares.
    Ahora bien si esto se aplica Obama el presidente norteamericano decidirá en que lugar se coloca.
    La mafia gusano americana está moviendo todas sus influencias políticas para que como es habitual
    En los Estados Unidos se siga haciendo lo que ella planifica. Porque quien ha visto que en la tierra donde
    Se acoge como héroes a los verdaderos terroristas, tal es el caso de Posada Carriles y a quienes les enfrentan, les mantienen en un secreto absoluto en tanto les juzgan con perversidad y les aplican bestiales condenas.
    Tal vez el mandatario de los EEUU haga realidad la dignidad que de él esperan quienes le eligieron y
    Procure que la justicia enfrente a los verdaderos terroristas que asolan al país y ponen en peligro la vida de sus ciudadanos.
              Carmelo Anthony Returns To Baltimore To Face Off Against The Washington Wizards        
    For the first time in two years, New York Knicks player and Baltimore native Carmelo Anthony will hit the court in Charm City. He faces off against the Washington Wizards Thursday night.
              Mike Huckabee To Obama: Have TSA Pat Down First Family        
    Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Fox News personality, has dared President Obama to motorcade to Washington Reagan National Airport with the First Family and have the Obamas submit to one of those very controversial airport pat-down inspection. Huckabee made his interesting suggestion on Fox and Friends. Huckabee apparently believes that profiling would be […]
              Comment on Support Celebration of Sergio Weick’s life killed by San Diego Sheriffs on August 12th, 2016 on #GoFundMe by Abel Chavez        
    Hey there everybody, news came as a big shock to me because I saw him in court last year, and bumped into him on the sprinter a few months later. He was my boy since Washington playing pranks on people, and then this. I am coming in from Utah in a week so send me your information and I will reach out to you and help how I can. Your all in my prayers. My condolences to the family
              Smart move: The Grahams’ spin-off of The Washington Post        
    Jack Shafer, the Reuters columnist, wrote last year that Graham family should spin off the Washington Post newspaper from the company of the same name. As the buyer he suggested Michael Bloomberg. “Not so crazy an idea,” I said on the Solomon Scandals site and in the Georgetown Dish. Now the spin-off will become a […]
              â€˜House of Cards’ and ‘Scandals’        
    Enjoying the gritty depictions of Washington power players in the fabulous House of Cards series on Netflix? Then you might also check out The Solomon Scandals, which predates the Netflix program. Like so much of House, as well as the classic novel All the King’s Men, Scandals is about the conflict between friendship and duty. […]
              Jontay Porter to Reclassify, Play with Brother Michael at Missouri Next Season        

    Michael Porter Jr. won't be the only Porter playing for the Missouri Tigers in the upcoming college basketball season.

    On Wednesday, Jontay Porter—Michael's younger brother—tweeted he will reclassify to the 2017 recruiting class:

    "This is going to be a special year for Mizzou basketball, and I couldn't pass up on this opportunity to be a part of it," Jontay Porter said, per Jeff Goodman of "Playing with Michael was definitely one of the most attractive things about reclassifying. Every team we've played on together has had major success, so hopefully that trend continues."

    The Porter brothers will have the opportunity to play for their father, Michael Porter Sr., who is an assistant coach on new head coach Cuonzo Martin's staff.

    Jontay Porter was originally set to join the Washington Huskies, but he decommitted after the firing of Lorenzo Romar. His brother also decided against joining the Huskies and headed to the Tigers.

    Martin has put together a loaded 2017 recruiting class, which Scout listed as the eighth-best group in the country. It already included Michael Porter Jr., who is a 5-star prospect on Scout, Jeremiah Tilmon, Blake Harris and C.J. Roberts, and it now has Jontay Porter as another potentially dominant force in the frontcourt.

    "He makes everything easier for everybody on the court and that's one thing that he's very good with," Michael Porter Jr. said, per Goodman. "He might not fill the stat sheet in term of points, but the way he attacks the game it makes it so much easier. I think him coming here alongside the other players we have here will be ridiculous."

    The Tigers were an abysmal 8-24 last season but feature this talented incoming class as well as returning pieces Jordan Barnett, Kevin Puryear and Terrence Phillips. They figure to be a much more potent threat to the Kentucky Wildcats and others in the SEC this season.

    Read more Missouri Tigers Basketball news on

                                                                                                                  Película: Sully. Dirección: Clint Eastwo
    odPaís: USAAño: 2016. Duración: 96 min. Género: DramaReparto: Tom Hanks (Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger), Aaron EckhartLaura LinneyGuion: Todd Komarnicki; basado en el libro “Highest Duty”, de Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger y Jeffrey Zaslow. Estreno en España: 4 Noviembre 2016.
    El 15 de enero de 2009 el mundo fue testigo de
    “El milagro del Hudson” cuando el Capitán “Sully” Sullenberger hizo amerizar su avión averiado sobre las frías aguas del río Hudson, salvando la vida de las 155 personas a bordo. Sin embargo, incluso cuando Sully estaba siendo aclamado por los ciudadanos y los medios por su inusitada proeza que demostraba su destreza como aviador, se despliega una investigación que amenaza con destruir su reputación y su carrera.

    Resulta interesante ver cómo la mirada de Clint Eastwood, que se fijó en el héroe solitario que imponía la justicia a tiros, se ha ido trasladando hacia héroes más imitables, y termina por posarse en el héroe anónimo, que es cada persona que cumple, que hace su trabajo perfectamente, pensando en su familia. La historia de Sully, nuevamente basada en hechos reales, es modélica: el 15 de enero de 2009 el comandante Sullenberger, conocido por Sully, despegó del aeropuerto de La Guardia (Nueva York); a los pocos minutos una bandada de pájaros averió los dos motores y forzó un aterrizaje de emergencia. Sully tomó la decisión de posar su nave en el río Hudson, logró hacer un amerizaje perfecto y -gracias a la pronta intervención de los equipos de rescate- no hubo ninguna víctima. La prensa exultó, Sully era el héroe del día, y de los días siguientes.
    La película de Eastwood sorprende en primer lugar porque mantiene al espectador pendiente de la pantalla, en suspense, a pesar de que sabe desde el principio todo lo que va a suceder; naturalmente cuenta con dos grandes bazas, un guion que se reconstruye continuamente, preguntándose con el equipo investigador de los hechos si la decisión tomada fue la mejor, o si pudo ser una temeridad. A medida que las autoridades competentes cuestionan la actuación de Sully, vamos conociéndole y resulta fascinante este hombre, absolutamente normal por otra parte: trabajador, esposo, padre y compañero. Tom Hanks, segunda baza de Eastwood, hace una de sus mejores composiciones de los últimos tiempos. Naturalmente los investigadores se convierten en “los malos” de la película, pero sin maniqueísmos: el punto de vista de Sully, que se siente cuestionado, es el de la víctima acosada, y eso se refleja en la cinta, sea exagerado o no.
    Con esta historia, además, quiere Eastwood romper una lanza a favor del hombre, la encuesta es impersonal, por supuesto, pero el enemigo no es el investigador, sino el ordenador que sugiere alternativas a la actuación del comandante, y que pretende que son realizables, al menos según las matemáticas. Al final de la historia, Sully toma la palabra y dice que él no es una excepción, sino un hombre más que trabaja con otros hombres.

    Por lo demás, rueda Eastwood con soltura, con la veteranía de sus 86 años, con pulso firme, sin que los alardes -y hay un par de secuencias que lo son- llamen demasiado la atención, porque cada toma está al servicio de la historia.(FILA 7).

    ...En unas manos diferentes de las de Clint Eastwood, y con un guión menos elaborado que el pergeñado por Todd KomarnickiSully podía no pasar de ser un entretenido telefilm de sobremesa, que rinde homenaje a los héroes cotidianos. Pero a su manera, como el del aterrizaje en el río Hudson, la propia película es un milagro, pues logra hacer emocionantes y dignos de consideración desde distintos prismas, los conocidos hechos.

    Ayuda sobremanera el guión deconstruido, la narración arranca con el exitoso aterrizaje ya ejecutado, y los pilotos obligados a permanecer en un hotel de Nueva York mientras se investiga el accidente, mientras el contacto de Sully con su esposa es solo telefónico, y la presión mediática creciente. Se sucederán los flash-backs que nos llevan al embarque del pasaje y la tripulación, y los flash-forwards hacia una antipática investigación que siembra dudas en Sully acerca de la profesionalidad de su actuación. La cinta está bien documentada, pues se basa en el libro "Highest Duty", escrito por el propio piloto con el periodista de The Wall Street Journal Jeffrey Zaslow.
    El film tiene el mérito de mostrar a una amplísima galería de personajes, pasajeros, tripulación, control aéreo, investigadores, ciudadanos anónimos inspirados por el suceso, la familia de Sully, y en todos los casos sorprende la autenticidad, se sortea el peligro del tópico o de los comportamientos forzados. Y es precisamente la importancia del factor humano, de las personas, la clave argumental, a la hora de alertar acerca de una sociedad a menudo demasiado deshumanizada y tecnificada, en que lo queremos todo perfectamente hecho y lo queremos ya. Por supuesto, para hablar del heroísmo de las personas corrientes, que cumplen con su trabajo y cuidan de su familia a diario lo mejor que pueden, Tom Hankses la elección actoral perfecta, está brillante, y se quita la espinita de dos películas fallidas de 2016, Esperando al rey e Inferno.
    Es un clásico, y sabe dirigir al modo clásico sin que suene nunca antiguo o rancio. Con 86 años, Clint Eastwood aporta al cine una agradecible y tranquila frescura. Y en apenas hora y media logra mostrar un amplio abanico de emociones; no confunde en las idas y venidas argumentales, y las escenas concretas del accidente y del avión sobre las aguas resultan visualmente novedosas, tienen inusitada garra.(DE CINE 21).

    De lo mejor que ha dirigido Clint Eastwood en los últimos años.
    Primer punto importante a aclarar sobre esta película: no esperen una de catástrofe que no va de eso, ni mucho menos. No sería tan interesante como lo que nos propone Clint Eastwood en uno de sus trabajos más sobresalientes de los últimos años, y también uno de los más equilibrados que ha dirigido a lo largo de toda su carrera. Naturalmente hay varias escenas particularmente espectaculares, pero la película no tira por ese camino. Muy al contrario: construye desde los personajes y desde la cercanía que consiguen los actores para los mismos en lugar de fabricar un espectáculo visual sometido a los efectos visuales. No esperaba menos de Eastwood. Así es como se sitúa dentro de la filmografía del director en unas coordenadas temáticas sobre la responsabilidad del individuo frente al sistema que la acercan a Sin perdón, Mystic River, Gran Torino, Cartas desde Iwo Jima o El francotirador, al mismo tiempo que en su arranque espectacular y en su estructura narrativa recuerda la fragmentación del relato en distintos tiempos pero muy bien coordinada que podemos encontrar también en Las banderas de nuestros padres y Más allá de la vida......(ACCIÓN DE CINE).

    Cuatro años separan esta concisa pero en el fondo compleja (formal y discursivamente) 'Sully' de la aparatosa, pretendidamente rompedora, aunque de un conservador apabullante, 'El vuelo', de Robert Zemeckis. Siete años (de 1952 a 1959) pasaron entre 'Solo ante el peligro', de Fred Zinnemann, y su respuesta hawksiana, 'Río Bravo'. Este es el mejor ejemplo de lo que Clint Eastwood efectúa como respuesta airada a ese film con Denzel Washington: una defensa del profesional, del héroe alérgico a los focos y sin lloriqueos existenciales.
    El capitán Chesley Sullenberger (nadie mejor para encarnar ese ideal corriente que Tom Hanks) cumple con su deber, hace su trabajo y se apoya en su compañero (Aaron Eckhart, a nada de robarle la función a Hanks). Punto. En la humanidad y el anonimato del héroe se halla la esencia del homo Eastwood en toda su filmografía, así como cierto desencanto hacia los tiempos modernos que buscan crear leyendas para destruirlas. Construida como un mental rashomoniano puzzle, Sully es la apología de un cine clásico entre gansos modernos.(FOTOGRAMAS).

              LOS SIETE MAGNÍFICOS        

    Película: Los siete magníficos. Título original: The magnificent seven. Dirección: Antoine Fuqua. País: USAAño: 2016. Género:AcciónwesternInterpretación: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Peter Sarsgaard, Byung-hun Lee, Haley Bennett. Guion: John Lee Hancock, Richard Wenk y Nic Pizzolatto; basado en el libreto de Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto y Hideo Oguni.Música: James Horner. Estreno en España: 23 Septiembre 2016.

    Los habitantes de Rose Creek, atemorizados bajo el control del industrial Bartholomew Bogue, deciden contratar a siete forajidos para terminar con la amenaza: Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Home (Vincent D´Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel García Rulfo) y Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). Sin embargo, pronto se darán cuenta de que están luchando por algo más que simple dinero. Antoine Fuqua dirige esta versión moderna del clásico de 1960.

    Descubrí "Los 7 Samurais" de Akira Kurosawa después de ver el remake de John Sturges y gracias a un ciclo retrospectivo de la SEMINCI de Valladolid y fue la primera vez que comprendí la necesidad de los remakes para que historias localistas se pudiesen conocer más allá de sus orígenes. Sturges no era Kurosawa y Fuqua no es Sturges ni Kurosawa pero nos ofrece una película casi perfecta con un reparto extraordinario y un espectáculo que hará las delicias del gran público que, sin duda, responderá a esta propuesta revitalizadora de un género muy popular como es el western relegado ahora a las sobremesas de las TV autonómicas.
    Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D' Onofrio y Peter Sarsgaard están estupendos y el resto del reparto les acompañan con acierto. La música de James Horner es muy buena pero no consigue hacer olvidar el famoso tema de Elmer Bernstein que dejo un clásico inolvidable.
    Seguramente cosechará mejores críticas que otros clásicos recientemente versionados y el público responda bien en lo merece.(SOLO FALTA ELMER)

    Revisitación de la historia de siete expertos con las armas, que deben defender a una pequeña y pacífica comunidad de campesinos, amenazados por unos matones que quieren hacerse con sus tierras. Originalmente fue contada por Akira Kurosawa en Los siete samuráis, y luego trasladada al lejano oeste por John Sturges en Los siete magníficos, el mismo escenario donde transcurre esta nueva versión dirigida por Antoine Fuqua.
    Más allá del viejo y absurdo debate de si resulta “innecesaria” esta película –cualquier historia puede ser contada de nuevo, y hasta está bien hacerlo si contiene material valioso, también pensando en las nuevas generaciones: luego los espectadores decidirán si desean verla o no–, podemos decir que se trata de una película correcta, rodada con una espectacularidad a ratos algo exagerada, que entretiene pero que no resulta memorable.
    Lo más destacable y que sabe poner en valor, como los anteriores filmes, es la idea de fondo de la dignidad, hay que saber mantener la cabeza alta y dar la cara ante la injusticia, aunque resulte  incómodo y surja la tentación de escurrir el bulto. Y entre los elementos novedosos, pero que no enriquecen en gran cosa la narración, está la idea de dar al grupo unos rasgos multiculturales –un afroamericano, un indio, un oriental...–, más el hecho de que se realza el papel de la mujer, al fijarse en la viuda que contrata a los pistoleros.
    Teniendo la película como coguionista a Nic Pizzolatto, que ha logrado llamar la atención con la serie True Detective, cabía esperar una mirada más filosófica y deprimente a la naturaleza humana, pero prevalece cierto optimismo, y también la fe sencilla que lleva a reunirse y rezar en la iglesia, y a la confianza de que pase lo que pase, y a pesar de sus personales demonios, los lugareños del pueblo y sus defensores se mueven por una causa justa. Los actores están bien, sobre todo Denzel Washington, que imprime la necesaria decencia a su personaje.(DE CINE 21).

    Floja y decepcionante en varios aspectos, es entretenida pero no convence.

    La asociación de Antoine Fuqua y Denzel Washington en una película del oeste merecía más. Su visita a la mitología de la icónica Los siete magnificos merecía más. Ye esperaba más de un guión del creador de True Detective, Nic Pizzolatto. El personaje de Chris Pratt merecía más desarrollo del que tiene, no puede ser simplemente un comparsa humorístico de Denzel. El propio Denzel merecía más porque su personaje, aún teniendo todo el apoyo del director, que parece haber devaluado el resto de “magníficos” para reforzar la “magnificencia” de su protagonista, está dibujado con trazos desiguales y como a todo el resto de sus compañeros le falta una escena definitoria que marque al personaje similar a la que tuviera Yul Brynner en la versión de John Sturges en los años 60 en el cementerio, junto a Steve McQueen, lo que podríamos llamar la clave épica. En lugar de esa presentación de clave épica, Fuqua y sus guionistas prefieren darle al personaje una explicación final que además de innecesaria incluye una especie de giro al modo del western europeo con sus historias de venganza que llega demasiado tarde al relato para proporcionarle al personaje una motivación sólida para su conducta, y tampoco ejerce bien el rol de elemento de intriga sobre su pasado, aunque lo pretenda....(ACCIÓN DE CINE).
    Que Antoine Fuqua decida empezar 'Los Siete Magnífcos' sin ceder a la tentación de hacer un riff que nos recuerde la mítica banda sonora de Elmer Bernstein debe entenderse como toda una declaración de principios. No se trata de facturar un remake de un western mítico, sino de reinterpretarlo según los vientos (ideológicos) que soplan. Los bandidos que aterrorizaban un pueblo mexicano en el original toman cuerpo ahora en un tiburón de los negocios que no duda en colocar en la misma ecuación los conceptos de democracia, capitalismo y Dios.
    Si a eso le añadimos que, en el septeto de rebeldes con causa, hay un negro, un asiático y un mexicano, es evidente que funciona como alegoría distópica de una América presidida por Donald Trump. El carisma de Washington y Pratt, junto a una eficaz presentación de personajes, avalan su disfrute al margen de lecturas políticas, aunque el clímax es confuso y atropellado.(FOTOGRAMAS).

              Pussyhats in the Street and Elephants in the Room at the Women’s March on Washington: 3 Notes from a Recovering White Feminist        
    Like many of us who marched on Washington DC yesterday, I’m still processing. This is probably because I’m tired (being a revolutionary is hard work!) and…
              Seven Lessons of Sea Kayaking        

    I scurried around the banks of the Potomac River, burying canned food, clothing and jugs of water in the cargo hatches of my kayak. My launch down the US eastern seaboard was imminent, a journey I’d been preparing for over a year. Weight distribution was the preoccupation of the moment, as the lay of the ballast would determine my tracking ability. Fighting for a straight line over unfamiliar waters in the following weeks would waste time and drain my stamina.

    Dark cumulus crowded overhead, but a rainy departure didn’t bother me—a baptism of sorts and reminder that elemental immersion and climate exposure are a kayaker’s default mode. The East coast hurricane season was at its peak, and I’d be tracking storm developments on a weather radio. The draws of an autumn trip were cooler air temperatures and less solar intensity, with coastal waters retaining their summer warmth. The clouds of mosquitoes and biting flies would have thinned, the noisy summer beaches vacated. Raptors and Monarch butterflies had begun their southern migrations down the coast, and fauna would be fattening up for the winter—autumn is a time of preparation and epic distance. Deep winter with its quiet frozen landscape is my idea of perfection, but autumn offers clement temperatures, crisper air and favorable tradewinds for long distance kayaking. It was my final window before the big freeze.

    Read the rest of this story of my trip from near Washington DC to the Outer Banks here.

              Pass the sunscreen (and the common sense)        
    I may not be a parent, but { this} story still bothers me. Apparently a law in Washington state bans teachers from applying sunscreen to students. It doesn't ban students from self-applying, but they must have a doctor's note. The law is well-intentioned, of course, due to allergies to various sunscreen additives. Point Defiance Elementary in Tacoma strictly enforces their rule that lines up...
              256 Artists enter the CVG show        
    Two hundred and fifty six artists from 58 cities across the state of Washington entered over six hundred artworks in to Collective Visions Gallery's competitive juried arts show.
              Roads can be dangerous places for returning soldiers        
    Wars can deliver so many disturbing stories to those of us at home. This one from the Washington Post is something of a surprise. It confirms for us that we can try to build safe roads, but there are factors at work out there that we have no way to allow for. The story says […]
              Who is Latino?        
    LAO Director Marta Tienda was recently interviewed by Carlos Lozada, Outlook editor of The Washington Post, for his recent article “Who is Latino?” published on June 21, 2013. ‘Shut up, you stupid Mexican!” The words spewed from the mouth of a … Continue reading
              I would call these Galois Games but I can't        
    Here is a game (Darling says I only blog about non-fun games. This post will NOT prove her wrong.)

    Let D be a domain,  d ≥  1 and 0 ≠ a0  âˆˆ D. There are two players Wanda (for Wants root) and Nora (for No root). One of the players is Player I, the other Player II.

    (1) Player I and II alternate (with Player I going first) choosing the coefficients in D of a polynomial of degree d with the constant term preset to a0.

    (2) When they are done, if there is a root in D  then Wanda wins, else Nora wins.

    There is a paper by Gasarch-Washington-Zbarsky here where we determine who wins the game when D is Z,Q (these proofs are elementary), any finite extension of Q (this proof uses hard number theory), R, C (actually any algebraic closed field), and any finite field.

    How did I think of this game?  There was a paper called Greedy Galois Games (which I blogged about here). When I saw the title I thought the game might be that players pick coefficients from Q and if the final polynomial has a solution in radicals then (say) Player I wins. That was not correct. They only use that Galois was a bad duelist. Even so, the paper INSPIRED me! Hence the paper above! The motivating problem is still open:

    Open Question: Let d be at least 5. Play the above game except that (1) the coefficients are out of Q, and (2) Wanda wins if the final poly is solvable by radicals, otherwise Nora wins. (Note that if d=1,2,3,4 then Wanda wins.) Who wins?

    If they had named their game Hamilton Game (since Alexander Hamilton lost a duel) I might have been inspired to come up with a game about quaternions or Hamiltonian cycles.

    POINT- take ideas for problems from any source, even an incorrect guess about a paper!

              Escrow Hill Limited Expands Services at        

    Escrow Hill Limited has retained Washington, D.C. based Intellectual Property Law Firm Greenberg & Lieberman to provide an enhanced range of online escrow services at

    (PRWeb January 07, 2015)

    Read the full story at

              Research Scientist, Bioinformatics - George Washington University - Foggy Bottom, MD        
    We are seeking a highly motivated, skilled, and collaborative computational biologist to contribute to multiple NIH -funded microbiome research projects....
    From George Washington University - Fri, 16 Jun 2017 17:12:57 GMT - View all Foggy Bottom, MD jobs
              This Weekend: Musicals, art show openings, outdoor concerts, festivals & more        

    ‘Nordic Tapestry’ in new exhibit Before the weekend starts, the Washington Art Association & Gallery...

    The post This Weekend: Musicals, art show openings, outdoor concerts, festivals & more appeared first on Milford Mirror.

              With Medicaid Under Threat, an N.C. Pastor Laced Up His Shoes and Began Walking to Washington        
    His daughter has special needs, and his family couldn’t get by without the program On an otherwise uneventful Sunday in early July, fifty-one-year-old pastor James Brigman was preaching about Abraham and Isaac when he says God delivered to him a simple message: practice what you preach. Brigman has a daughter with special medical needs, and he'd been thinking about the Senate's health care proposal, which could make drastic cuts to the Medicaid-funded program his family relies on.…
              Solid Concepts to Exhibit at AUVSI's Unmanned Systems 2013 in Washington, D.C.        

    Solid Concepts will display cutting edge unmanned vehicles and manufacturing technologies at the show this year.

    (PRWeb August 12, 2013)

    Read the full story at

              'They Love Freedom': Ai Weiwei On His Lego Portraits Of Fellow Activists    Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has had several confrontations with Chinese authorities. (He was once beaten so badly by police that he had to have brain surgery.) Through it all, Ai continued to make art, and his art continued to travel the world, sometimes without him. That's what happened with Trace , a series of Lego portraits Ai created while under house arrest. The artworks, which depict activists and political prisoners from around the world, were first shown at the former prison on San Francisco's Alcatraz Island in 2014, and nearly a million people saw them there. But at the time, Ai was still under house arrest and couldn't travel to the exhibition . Now, the artist has his passport back, and he was able to attend a new show of those portraits which opens Wednesday at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. NPR was there for his first look at Trace in a gallery setting: Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: A few years
              'Priestess Of Polka Dots' Yayoi Kusama Gives Gallerygoers A Taste Of Infinity    Infinity is a concept that's nearly impossible to grasp, let alone see . But it's one of artist Yayoi Kusama's obsessions. The Japanese artist is known for her "infinity rooms," which have mirrored walls that make the space feel endless. Now, for the very first time, six of Kusama's infinity rooms are on display in one venue: the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. (The show will later travel to Seattle, Los Angeles and other cities.) At first, walking into one of Kusama's infinity rooms can be disorienting. One room, The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away , is pitch black except for a spray of flickering red, green, yellow and blue lights — like little jewels suspended in mid-air. They seem to go on forever; you're not sure what you can touch and what's out of reach. Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu says the room makes "you feel as if you're a speck in amongst something greater." That idea — that we're all just specks in the universe —
              New Play About 'Roe V. Wade' Is A Prism For Looking At The American Divide        
    When the Oregon Shakespeare Festival asked playwright Lisa Loomer if she'd be interested in writing a play about Roe v. Wade, she was understandably skeptical. The 1973 Supreme Court decision, which legalized a woman's right to an abortion, marked a historic moment, but more than 40 years later the issue is far from settled. Loomer says she wasn't sure Roe v. Wade would make good theater, so she started reading about key players on both sides of the issue. She says, "That, for me, was the story of the divide in American culture. I thought [ Roe v. Wade ] was a great prism for looking at that divide." But Loomer knew her play needed to be even-handed. She says, "I wanted people to feel, as they watched the play, that their point of view was represented, if nothing else because that helps people be more open and willing to hear another point of view." The result, Roe , is currently playing at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. It opens by introducing its two main characters: Norma McCorvey,
              President Trump, First Lady Attend Inaugural Balls         
    Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: A number of inaugural balls are taking place right now around Washington, D.C. President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will appear at three of them - two Liberty and Freedom Balls at the Washington Convention Center and the Salute to Our Armed Services Ball at the National Building Museum. That ball is free, but admission is by invitation only. NPR's Elizabeth Blair is there, and she joins us now. And, Elizabeth, the National Building Museum is a very unusual building in normal times, what's it like there tonight? ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: Tonight it is very much a tribute to the '70s, and it's, well, you know it's a 19th century building and it's - has these very, very high ceilings and these huge columns inside, but it's kind of almost turned into a bit of a disco here. There are - it's - but it's quite beautiful. There are American flags draped from the ceiling in between the columns, and it's quite elegant. SIEGEL:
              Is Donald Trump's Sun 'Cliché' Rising Or Setting On His New Website?        
    It didn't get a lot of attention – and maybe that was intentional - but a new website from President-elect Donald Trump's transition team went live last week. It's too soon to judge the Trump administration's aesthetic sensibilities, but the new site provides some clues. "It could've been stolen from the Reagan campaign of 1984, how 'It's Morning in America again,'" said H.W. Brands, an American history professor at the University of Texas-Austin and the author of Reagan: The Life . Brands says that sunrise imagery is "at striking odds from the whole theme of the Trump campaign which (was) that 'It's getting really near midnight now,'" Brands joked. The sun "cliché," as Brands calls it, didn't begin with Reagan. During the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin noticed a half sun on the back of presiding officer George Washington's chair . "Franklin remarked that artists, over the years ... have had a hard time distinguishing in their art between a rising and a setting sun,"
              As Students Struggle to Pay Tuition, Schools Scramble to Trim Budgets         

    HOLLY SNIFF, who is the first person in her family to attend college, found out about making hard choices early on. "I really wanted to go out of state for school, but because of financial reasons I couldn't," says Ms. Sniff, who is now a sophomore at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

    For as long as she can remember, Sniff has been putting away money for her education. "I saved every dollar I was given as birthday presents or special treats as a child," she says.

    Those childhood savings along with summer earnings and additional financial help from relatives got Sniff through her first year of college. But tuition continues to rise, and Sniff, along with millions of other students, is struggling to keep up.

    At the same time, both private and public colleges and universities are moving beyond trimming at the margins to control costs.

    Many schools are freezing faculty salaries, suspending hiring, delaying building maintenance, limiting course offerings, and even cutting academic departments.

    Administrators are finding that they can no longer fund every project, department, or program. In the 1991-92 academic year, 57 percent of all colleges and universities were forced to reduce their operating budgets, according to an annual survey by the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C.

    At the University of Vermont, a budget committee's proposal to eliminate the School of Engineering led to an uproar and the eventual resignation of the university's president.

    AS state funding shrinks, public universities are being forced to increase class sizes and cut back on student services. Students at California's public universities have staged massive student protests against overcrowded classes and eye-popping tuition increases.

    Nationwide, public colleges raised their tuition and fees an average of 10 percent and private-college increases averaged 7 percent this year, according to the College Board's annual survey released last month.

    "Given the state of the economy and its impact on state budgets, many people expected much larger [tuition] increases this year, particularly in the public sector," says Donald Stewart, president of the College Board.

    The rate of increase for public-college tuition is actually down this year compared with last year's 13 percent rise. And private colleges held their increases to last year's rate.

    Yet that doesn't mean tuitions are gravitating back to earthly levels, warns Arthur Hauptman, a college tuition consultant.

    "What the public tuition number says is that the recession has eased a little bit," he says. "If things get better [in terms of the economy], you would expect to see some additional reduction in those numbers."

    In the '90s, Mr. Hauptman points out, there is much more competition for state funds than there was in the 1980s. Health care, prisons, and elementary and secondary education are all clamoring for funding.

    "Despite predictions at the beginning of the '80s that it would be a tough decade, it turned out to be a very good decade for higher education in terms of revenue growth," Hauptman says. "Every major revenue source for colleges grew in real terms during that time - federal, state, tuitions, endowments, sales, and services."

    And how were those revenues spent? Some faculty critics argue that the funds were spent on administrative bloat. "The fact is that in the '80s administrative staff at both private and public colleges grew much faster than the faculty," Hauptman says. "It is also true, however, that in the 1980s faculty salaries increased in real terms."

    Last year, Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D) of Colorado launched a congressional investigation into the skyrocketing cost of tuition at public colleges.

    "When it comes to college education, American families are paying more and getting less," she said. "Since 1980, the cost of sending our kids to college, a key part of the American dream, has doubled or tripled the rate of inflation every single year."

    The investigation found that the growing research orientation of public higher education has fed the spiraling tuition costs. The teaching load of professors dropped from the traditional 15 hours per semester to as low as six hours per semester at some institutions, according to the study.

    Pinning down the cause of increased tuition at either public or private universities isn't easy. Education is a labor-intensive enterprise that does not lend itself to productivity gains, administrators argue.

    "Because faculty salaries have lagged in the past and because of competition for faculty among universities and industry, faculty compensation [increases] now exceed inflation," points out Paul Locatelli, president of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif.

    Yet it is possible to increase teaching loads, reexamine the length of the academic year, and de-emphasize research in an effort to gain productivity, argues Hauptman.

    "Colleges want to increase their resources; it's a natural inclination," he says. "If you read the college presidents' letters to the parents, you would assume costs are pushing tuition increases. But I think it's more that the revenues provided by the tuition hikes allow the schools to increase costs."

    Meanwhile, students like Holly Sniff are willing to work harder or borrow more in order to get a college degree. Sniff expects to have accumulated about $10,000 in loans before she graduates. "I think I'm better off taking out loans now and using my life savings so that hopefully in the future I can find a better-paying job," she says.

    Increased indebtedness raises the stakes for many students. "I'm not really concerned with it now," Sniff says, "but as soon as I graduate I'm going to have to get a good-paying job to pay off all of these loans."

    Become a part of the Monitor community

              A Twittervite to a Blogger Diner        
    Yesterday, I noticed a quick "tweet" from Jeremiah Owyang in which he invites locals to a blogger dinner in New York, then uninvites them, then kind of re-invites them to a meeting with Charlene Li.

    After a rather cryptic plea to Sam Lawrence to argue my case before Jeremiah, I decided to take my chances and hopped over the George Washington bridge into midtown Manhattan to see if I would be a persona non Grata if I showed up for the event without being formally registered (as registration had already closed).

    On the subway I was busy musing about whether I would appear to others as a Zelig character, crashing the party and behaving in a "chameleon like way" as one of the pseudo-blogerati. I started wondering if indeed I had any business calling myself blogger, let alone going to the meet-up, when suddenly a poster caught my eye: "Working for the radical notion of fairness". This is the tag line of an online community for "independent workers, mutual support, advocacy and the spirit of friendship".

    I thought about how blogging is a very personal form of expression and decided that working for fairness was exactly who I am and want to be. The radical part was a bit strident but heck, having passions around causes is part of my DNA. Regardless of credentials I felt armed with a real persona even though I see my blogging experience as a modest one.

    I got to NYC, attended the meet up, found Charlene Li to be gracious and welcoming, received a copy of her excellent book, Groundswell, which she authored with Josh Bernoff and considered the evening a success. In addition I met with a number of folks who I had hoped to be introduced to for a long while now such as Robin Carey and Jerry Bowles, being a visitor of their Social Media Today and their Energy Collective blogs. Then too, I encountered a number of others who I'd like to add to my twitter buddies and who engage in activities regarding the tracking, creation, and promoting of social media. I'll need to check my "dance cards" for exact names but companies like Razorfish and Monster and Clickster come to mind.

    Upon returning home, I went to further reference the event, the hostess, and some of the folks I'd met and found this post in Charlene's blog: Turning radicals into revolutionaries: the key to kick-starting your social strategy Really resonates. I think I'll change that poster tag line for me to read: "Working for the revolutionary notion of fairness".

              New York City Love II        
    Was ich an New York so liebe? Hmm... schwer zu sagen. Da gibt es so viel. Für viele von uns wäre es wahrscheinlich die Mode - die Metropole der angesagtesten Trends und neuesten Entdeckungen. Für mich persönlich ist es die Stadt an sich mit all ihren Facetten. New York wirkt einfach so riesig und ist doch so klein, dass man sogar alles zu Fuß erreichen könnte, wenn man es denn wollte und wenn man die Zeit dazu hat. Und zwischen all dem Trubel gibt es so viele tolle grüne Flecken, die zum Entspannen und Durchatmen einladen. Grüne Wiesen und Blumenbeete zwischen all den Betonklötzen und hupenden Autos. Grüne Oasen bremsen einen immer wieder ab und lassen einen für einen Moment verweilen. Der High Line Park gehört zu eben diesen Plätzen, die mich an New York so faszinieren.

    Im Westen von Manhattan erstreckt sich der über 2 Kilometer lange High Line Park nahe des Hudson Rivers. Von der Gansevoort and Washington Street im Meatpacking District schlängelt sich der Park in Richtung Norden vorbei an Chelsea bis hoch zur 34th Street. Es ist wirklich total sehenswert, sich einmal die Zeit für diese Strecke zu nehmen. Vor allem bei Sonnenuntergang ist es wunderschön! Es gibt auch eine Stelle mit fließendem kühlen Wasser, die wie gerufen für angeschwollene Füße kommt, die einen den ganzen Tag über harten Beton tragen mussten. Der Ausblick, der sich einem bietet, ist wirklich toll und ist ein netter Begleiter auf dem Weg in die nächste Skybar. Auch auf dem Weg in Richtung 9/11 Memorial and Museum nutzten wir diese Strecke und spazierten dann noch ein wenig am Hudson River entlang. 

    Der Weg ist wirklich ziemlich lang und man sollte sich Zeit nehmen, aber bei so schönem Wetter war es einfach unumgänglich, auch ein wenig die Sonne zu genießen, sich auf der Wiese zu sonnen und dabei den Blick auf den Fluss zu genießen. Was kann es schöneres geben, als sich dabei mitten in Manhattan zu befinden? Mit direktem Blick auf des höchste Gebäude. Umgeben von Ruhe und Lärm. Besonders süß fand ich all die Kindersportgruppen, die an dem Tag unterwegs gewesen sind. Ob auf dem Weg zu den Spielplätzen mit den Kleinen oder in Richtung Basketballplatz für die Großen - alle trugen sie ihre Warnwesten oder speziellen farblich abgestimmten Shirts, an denen man sie leicht erkennen konnte. Selbst am späten Nachmittag waren sie noch gemeinsam unterwegs und hatten ihren Spaß. Während wir uns auf den Weg zu einem ernsteren Thema in der Geschichte der USA begeben haben - 9/11...

    Direkt vor dem One World Trade Center befindet sich das 9/11 Memorial. Unglaublich riesige quadratische Löcher befinden sich mitten in New York tief im Boden und erstrecken sich über eine gewaltig große Fläche. Literweise stürzt das Wasser wie Millionen von Tränen hinab in die Tiefe. Ganze 9 Meter sind die Becken tief, an denen einst die beiden Twin Tower ihren Platz hatten. Ich kann das Gefühl leider kaum beschreiben, das man empfindet, während man dort steht - all die Namen der Opfer, dieses gigantische Ausmaß und die Tatsache, dass all das Wirklichkeit gewesen ist, egal, wie weit es doch von Deutschland entfernt schien. Wenn man dann ganz plötzlich dort vor Ort ist, wird einem das zum ersten Mal wirklich bewusst und lässt einen ziemlich schlucken. 

    Jeder der einmal die Möglichkeit hat, sich dieses Mahnmal und das dazugehörige Museum anzuschauen, der sollte dies unbedingt tun! Das Museum ist so unglaublich interessant eingerichtet, dass einem ziemlich oft einfach der Atem weg bleibt. Videos, Zitate, Sprachnachrichten der entfürten Passagiere, Bilder des Einsturzes und viele verschiedene Gegenstände, die einst einmal den Opfern gehört haben, selbst eingeknickte Stahlträger, die riesige Antenne eines der Gebäude und Feuerwehrautos werden im Museum ausgestellt und regen zum Nachdenken an. Ich stand einfach nur sprachlos mitten in all den Erinnerungen tief unter der Erde. Genau an dem Punkt, über dem sich das Unglück vor knapp 14 Jahren ereignete. Gänsehaut, Traurigkeit und Unmengen an Respekt gegenüber den vielen Helfern und Familien der Opfer nahm ich von diesem Ort mit nach Hause. Unbeschreibliche Gefühle. Und ein Kloß im Hals.

    Den letzten Tag verbrachten wir noch einmal in Uptown. Der Central Park darf bei einem New York City - Besuch natürlich auf keinen Fall fehlen. Und so machten wir uns trotz des schlechteren Wetters auf den Weg um den größten der Seen. Wir pflückten Himbeeren (ob man das überhaupt darf?) und fütterten Eichhörnchen auf Bäumen und Schildkröten im See, kamen am Soft Field vorbei begegneten Joggern, Pferden mit Kutschen und vielen Radfahrern und Spaziergängern. Der Park ist immer so voller Leben und macht einfach nur gute Laune. Leider haben wir es nicht mehr geschafft, uns (wie eigentlich ursprünglich geplant) ein paar Fahrräder auszuleihen, um uns einmal den gesamten Park anzuschauen - denn auch das wäre in unserem the New York Pass inbegriffen gewesen. 

    Denn von New York muss man wissen, dass es eigentlich gar nicht so wirklich die Stadt ist, die niemals schläft. Und auch keine Stadt mit unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten - denn spätestens 17 Uhr schließt eigentlich so ziemlich jedes Museum, das man sich eventuell noch angucken wollte. Auch die Hop on - Hop off - Busse fahren nach 17 Uhr nur noch für spezielle Nachtfahrten und -strecken. Fahrräder lassen sich dann leider auch nicht mehr ausleihen und überhaupt scheint 17 Uhr eine ganz magische Stunde zu sein. Also versucht in New York (und auch in vielen anderen Städten der USA) einfach früher aufzustehen, um ab 9 Uhr Morgens auch wirklich alles nutzen zu können. Und habt vor allem wirklich immer die Öffnungszeiten im Blick! Es ist halt ärgerlich, dass es in dieser Stadt eigentlich so viel zu sehen gibt, man aber zeitlich einfach ziemlich eingeschränkt ist. 

    Allerdings hat New York auch wunderschöne Gebäude mit den tollsten Verzierungen. Architektur spielt dort eine wirklich wichtige Rolle und zwischen all dem Beton und den verglasten Fronten finden sich immer wieder wahrhafte Schätze. Vor allem auch bei der Fahrt mit the Ride wird man immer wieder auf die tollen Bauwerke hingewiesen. Und man bekommt ganz nebenbei noch eine ordentlich Portion Entertainment geboten, bei der man lachen, tanzen und Spaß haben kann. The Ride ist eine extravagante Stadtrundfahrt für den etwas größeren Geldbeutel - denn mit 74$ ist diese Fahrt dann doch etwas überteuert! Doch natürlich ist auch diese Attraktion wieder im New York Pass enthalten, wodurch sie der Kauf dieses Passes erst Recht immer mehr lohnt! Der Bus in dem ihr fahren werdet ist kein gewöhnlicher Bus, denn die Sitzreihen sind wie im Kino angeordnet und man schaut zur Seite hinaus und nicht nach vorn. Durch die abgerundeten Fenster, die sich bis zur Hälfte des Daches erstrecken, hat man den perfekten Blick auf die Stadt und kann all den Überraschungen folgen, die einem mitten auf der Straße begegnen werden - eine Fahrt, begleitet von Schauspielern, tanzenden Ballerinas und singenden "Passanten" vereinen sich Broadway, Entertainment und Quizshow mitten in einer Stadtrundfahrt. Mitmachen sollte man dieses einzigartige Erlebnis auf alle Fälle einmal. Aber man sollte hier schon etwas mehr Englischkenntnisse mitbringen, damit man dem Ganzen besser folgen kann. Wer dann noch einmal ein wunderschönes Gebäude von innen bestaunen möchte, sollte vielleicht einmal einen Blick in die New York Public Library werfen. Sie befindet sich direkt am Bryant Park in Midtown. 

    Ihr wollt am Ende eurer Reise dann doch noch - ganz wie einst Ted Mosby - wissen, wo es denn nun den besten Burger der Stadt gibt? Tja, also - wie schon die New Yorker in How I met your Mother schwärmten und ihren Sieger kürten, so kann ich ihnen bisher nur zustimmen - das Corner Bistro hat einfach so unfassbar gute Burger! Das kleine unscheinbare Bistro befindet sich in der 41st Street im Greenwich Village nur ein paar Blocks von Carry Bradshaws Apartment - Eingang entfernt. Dieser kleine Laden hat sich seine viele Auszeichnungen eindeutig verdient! Und trotz der Plastikteller schmeckt der Burger einfach traumhaft gut - medium gebraten und so unglaublich saftig und lecker! Das Bier wird in ordentlichen Bierkrügen gereicht und alles in allem ist es da so schön familiär und gemütlich, dass man sich gleich willkommen fühlt. Natürlich ist das Bistro auch oft recht voll und bietet aufgrund der Größe auch nur eine geringe Anzahl von Plätzen - aber wer etwas Geduld mitbringt und einen Augenblick warten kann, der darf sich auf einen fabelhaften Imbiss freuen! 

    Übrigens... sind alle Restaurants in New York mit Buchstaben an den Eingängen oder in den Fenstern ausgestattet - um Restaurants, die mit C gekennzeichnet sind, würde ich lieber einen Bogen machen. Auch von Restaurants mit einem B nimmt man lieber Abstand. In Restaurants mit einem A als Kennzeichnung kann man jedoch bedenkenlos essen gehen!

              Microsoft has a crazy plan to get high-speed broadband to everyone        
    Microsoft is very aware that internet speeds in rural America are no match for broadband service available in urban areas, and has a plan to fix it: Using your existing TV connection. Microsoft won’t just install some sort of contraption that will turn your TV into a broadband beaming device. Instead, the company wants to use white spaces, or those TV channels that aren’t used for TV broadcasting, to bring broadband access to more than 2 million people in the US. According to the The New York Times, Microsoft on Tuesday will announce plans to start a white spaces service in 12 states including New York, Texas, Washington, Virginia, Michigan, Maine, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. However, Microsoft will not become an internet service provider. The company will work with local companies including the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities in Virginia and Axiom Technologies in Maine, sharing investment costs and revenue. Microsoft president Brad Smith told The Times that white spaces are “the best solution for reaching over 80 percent of people in rural America who lack broadband today.” White space technology is sometimes referred to as “super Wi-Fi,” as it behaves just like Wi-Fi but over greater distances. The signal is more powerful than cellular service, as the frequencies can penetrate walls and other obstacles. Thus, white space tech could bring broadband speeds to more than 24.3 million of people in rural America who do not have internet access. Microsoft has to work with regulators to obtain the rights of using white spaces, but also with device makers. Currently, devices capable of using white space connections are rare and expensive. But Microsoft will demonstrate four devices that would cost below $200 next year.
              Ergun Caner Agrees with Kevin Ezell on Bloggers in the Basement        
    In recent days, Kevin Ezell, the new President of the North American Mission Board, came under attack for comments he made to his congregation about bloggers. The Associated Baptist Press first reported the statement Ezell made to his congregation prior to his election as NAMB President. Ezell told Highview Baptist Church:
    Because of the visibility of the position, there are people across the United States who want to look for things that perhaps I do not do as well or they think we should do different, and perhaps be critical of myself or of Highview, just to try to get their name in the paper,” he said. “Typically those are bloggers who live with their mother and wear a housecoat during the day. Just ignore them, but I apologize if you are hurt by anything that they might say about me or indirectly about you.
    Quickly the news spread and was picked up by SBC Voices where he was criticized by blogger Dave Miller and many of his readers. Additionally, other Southern Baptist bloggers like Peter Lumpkins and Wade Burleson blasted Ezell for his words as well. On Monday, September 27th, James R. White of Alpha & Omega Ministries posted a video regarding recent comments of a similar nature made by Ergun Caner, the former President of Liberty Theological Seminary who was removed from his position earlier this year for what a Liberty University investigative committee called "factual statements that are self-contradictory." White referenced David McGee's article published by the Media General News Service on September 25th, entitled, "Caner Defends Background in Bristol Speech", in which Ergun Caner, speaking after his appearance at Bristol’s (VA.) 12th annual prayer breakfast at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, made the following statement regarding bloggers:
    We saw it (controversy) coming. My brothers and I have been dealing with it for years. This just happened to bounce big, and I paid no attention. News means little to me, and the Web is — well, bloggers for the most part — are just frustrated people in their basements.
    With Kevin Ezell being roundly criticized by many in the Baptist Identity camp, will these same men and women, who previously backed Caner during the height of his controversy, now in turn criticize him for the essentially same comments? Will this even make news in Southern Baptist circles? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, I've got to get out of the basement - I have ministry to do.
              The Gospel and Jeremiah Wright        
    I have avoided speaking about Barack Obama's former pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, for about as long as possible. There are a number of reasons for this. Foremost among them is the irritation I have felt in seeing political pundits and news personalities (most of them unbelievers), attacking a pastor for view he expressed from a pulpit in a church. Now, don't get me wrong. I disagree heartily with what the man said, whether or not it was taken out of context. But I am very uncomfortable with a pastor being criticized publicly for his views by those outside of the faith. And yet, this has become the norm in the U.S. these days - and that worries me a great deal.

    I recently wrote a comment on another man's blog about the criticism being heaped upon Wright (and consequently, Barack Obama), and pointed out that, while I am disgusted by the media's treatment of Rev. Wright, I do believe there are some upsides to the controversy, namely that it puts a spotlight on the inherent problems of Liberation Theology and its influence in the African-American church. I don't have the time, nor the patience (or really the education) to dive deeply into Liberation Theology, so let me offer a few links for further study:

    An article, "What is Liberation Theology?" at
    An interview with Eric Redmond, an African American Pastor in Maryland, by Albert Mohler
    A partial transcript of that interview at entitled, "Is Jeremiah Wright Mainstream?"
    Eric Redmond's post, "Jeremiah Wright’s BLT" (Black Liberation Theology), on his blog, A Man From Issachar

    Suffice to say, the problems of Liberation Theology are vast, and they are a stumbling block to the gospel. As one commenter at wrote:
    Liberation theology creates further division.
    Liberation theology counters racism with racism.
    Liberation theology is man-made and runs perpendicular to the gospel.
    Liberation theology is no gospel at all.
    I would agree with this assessment. And since Rev. Wright resurfaced a few days ago and today was blasted by Barack Obama for remarks he made at
    the National Press Club Monday in Washington, I have been thinking even more about Wright and his theology. As I was considering this, I stumbled across Warren Kelly's post on Wright at his blog View From The Pew. Kelly discusses Wright's answer to a question posed to him by a moderator after his speech at the National Press Club on Monday. The moderator stated, "Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the father but through me.'" Then the moderator asked, "Do you believe this? And do you think Islam is a way to salvation?" Wright replied simply, "Jesus also said, 'Other sheep have I who are not of this fold,'" seeming to indicate that indeed Muslims and those of other religions would inherit eternal life apart from a personal relationship with Christ. Sadly, applause followed his comment. Kelly noted,
    Wright had what I call an Osteen moment. He had the chance to share the Gospel in front of millions. Not only that, but he had the chance to calm the fears of evangelical Christians that his church was somehow not really a Christian church. He could have done so much, but he decided not to.
    He then wisely observed that, "Jeremiah Wright did to Jesus exactly what the news media have been doing to him -- taken [sic] a part of a sermon, quoted it out of context, and made it sound like something that wasn't intended."

    Denny Burk, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Criswell College in Dallas, Texas. and blogger extraordinaire picked up on the story as well and explains what Jesus was actually referring to in John chapter 10:
    When Jesus says that he has “other sheep who are not of this fold,” it’s likely that he is referring to Gentiles who would later come to faith in Christ. The sheep that are following Him at that point in the narrative are Jews, but Jesus aims to have followers from among the Gentiles as well. Whoever the “other sheep” are understood to be, they nevertheless have the characteristics of “sheep.” They listen to and follow Christ, and they are saved only by Him.
    Additionally, he points out that, "To say that 'other sheep' refers to unbelievers (or followers of Islam in Reverend Wright’s case) simply runs roughshod over the plain meaning of the passage."

    So, as I noted to the other blogger in my comments referred to at the start of this post, Jeremiah Wright's pulpit rhetoric doesn't really bother me - it's his misunderstanding of the Gospel and disregard for the fundamentals of the faith that worry me.
              Obama Not as "Green" as He Would Like You to Think        
    Future Presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama might not be as "green" as he appears. And I don't mean "inexperienced." Last year Obama came under fire from conservatives for giving a series of speeches on the need to reduce carbon emissions by breaking America's addiction to SUVs, while arriving and departing in a GMC Envoy. When the story broke, Obama's press secretary, Tommy Vietor, issued a statement saying that Obama liked to roll in a Flex-Fuel SUV, which suggested that he was indeed practicing what he preached. Unfortunately for Obama, many clever conservatives did their research and found out that the GMC Envoy does not come equipped with Flex-Fuel technology.

    But now, Obama's committment to being Green is being challenged by environmentalists on both sides of the aisles (Washington Post article here). In a Grist article entitled, "Even Stevens?" reporter Amanda Griscom Little descibes the problems environmentalists have with the "Coal-to-Liquid Fuel Promotion Act of 2007" co-sponsored by Obama and Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning. According to the article, "Coal-to-liquid (CTL) technology uses a highly energy-intensive process to convert coal into diesel fuel for cars or jet fuel for airplanes -- an appealing prospect to the coal industry in Obama's home state of Illinois, but not to [environmentalists] and others concerned about global warming." Little goes on to explain the problems with CTL technology:
    David Doniger, policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate Center, has supported coal gasification as a viable alternative to coal-burning power plants, but explains that CTL is not as promising an alternative to conventional gasoline or biofuels. "Coal-to-liquid is, in the best-case scenario, no worse for the climate than oil-derived gasoline -- and no better," he says. The best-case scenario assumes that CTL producers find a way to capture their carbon emissions. Problem is, none of the current CTL projects actually involve carbon capture. Without that step, the climate impacts of CTL fuel are far worse than those of gasoline. According to an NRDC analysis, a 35-mpg car powered by the CTL fuel that's currently available would generate as much carbon dioxide pollution as a far less efficient 19-mpg car that runs on conventional gasoline.
    The Bunning-Obama bill "which would expand tax incentives for CTL and help jumpstart the industry with public-private partnerships, was first introduced by the senators in spring of last year." It appears that for Obama, regional politics trump environmentalism. It will be interesting to see how many of his Democratic collegues will support the bill and undermine the Dems climate control promises. One thing is for sure: Obama's "100 percent approval rating from the League of Conservation Voters for his environmental voting record in the Senate last year" is certain to decrease this time around.







    • エントリ1を解に入れる/入れない
    • エントリ2を解に入れる/入れない
    • エントリNを解に入れる/入れない


    • 実装が簡単
      • 貪欲法の亜種のような形になるので、すぐ書ける
    • 高速
      • 線形計画法(ILP)のソルバーを使うと解が出るまで結構時間がかかります
    • 最悪ケースが保証されている
      • 目的関数が最適解の場合と比べて(1 - 1 / e) / 2以下にはならないってやつですね
      • かなり緩い下限ではあるものの、ないよりは安心できるし、実験的にはかなり最適解に近い解を出すことが多い

    劣モジュラ最適化の欠点としては、目的関数が劣モジュラ関数である必要がある、というのがありますが、自分に必要なCoverage functionは劣モジュラ関数なので大丈夫です。


    元論文では文iと文jの類似度を計算するために、それらの文に含まれている単語のtf-idfのコサイン類似度を計算していましたが、ML君でエントリから特徴抽出したベクトルに対する重みを保持していたので、エントリiとエントリjに関連する重みベクトルのコサイン類似度を今回は使ってみました(\mathbf{f}_i \odot \mathbf{w}と\mathbf{f}_j \odot \mathbf{w}のコサイン類似度)。詳しい実装は以下を参照してください。

    元論文ではCoverage function以外に多様性を考慮した項も入っています。しかし、論文の実験結果を見ると、この項がなくてもそれほど悪くならないようなので、今回は実装していません。





    劣モジュラ最適化と機械学習 (機械学習プロフェッショナルシリーズ)

    劣モジュラ最適化と機械学習 (機械学習プロフェッショナルシリーズ)

              About Jackie Robinson        

    Who was Jackie Robinson?


    Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was the first black Major League Baseball. Robinson broke the baseball color barrier when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues, (aside from the 1880s, before the MLB was organized) he is most known for bringing social justice to baseball, which had seperate leagues for blacks (the Negro leagues) and whites for six decades. His character and skills are what helped him challenge the traditional basis of segregation, which was prevalent in all areas of American Life, and was a catalyst to the Civil Rights Movement. Robinson was not just any other baseball player, he strived for success and achieved it, as he helped the Dodgers get to six World Series' and win it all in 1955. He was Rookie of the Year in 1947, MVP in 1949 and a six time All-Star from 1949-1954. He was then inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1962 followed by all of MLB retiring the Jackie Robinson Jersey: number 42, in 1997, an honor reserved solely to Robinson. 

    Pre Baseball Life

    Jackie was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, to a family of farmers during a Spanish flu and smallpox epidemic. He was the youngest of five children, after his brothers Edgar, Frank, Matthew, and Willa Mae. He was named "Roosevelt" as a middle name, in honor of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who died earier that month. The Robinson's moved to 121 Pepper Street in Pasadena, California after their father left them in 1920. Their mother worked various jobs to support them as they grew up in relative poverty even though Pasadena was considered an affluent place. They attended Washington Junior High School followed by Muir Tech High School. The Robinsons were superb athletes. Matthew was a silver medalist in the 1936 Olympics and he and Frank inspired Jackie to seriously pursue a career in sports. Jackie played on the Muir Tech football team as quarterback, basketball team as a guard, track team as a jumper, tennis team and baseball team as both a catcher and shortstop. In 1936, he won a Tennis Tournament and played in the Pomona baseball tournament all star team with fellow future Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Bob Lemon. 

    After High School, Jackie went on to Pasadena Junior College where he continued his involvement in sports. He also was elected to the Lancers, a local organization responsible for helping patrol school activities. In 1938, Jackie joined the All-Southland Junior College baseball team and was selected as that years MVP. He also received honors for his outstanding community service, even though he sometimes acted against those around him who seemed racist. While playing football for PJC, Jackie broke his ankle. A few days before Jackie's 19th birthday he was arrested for vocally disputing the arrest of a black friend of his. He quickly earned a reputation for being one who won't shy away from beligerrance in the face of racism.

    After graduating from PJC, Jackie's brother, Frank, was killed in a motorcycle accident which helped Jackie make a decision to move to L.A. where he could console Frank's family. Jackie decided to attend UCLA where he met is future wife, Rachel Isum, and won varsity letters in all the major sports. He won the 1940 NCAA Mens Outdoor Track and Field Championship in the Long Jump,jumping a whopping 24 Feet 10.5 Inches. Ironically, in that year, robinson batted .097 for the UCLA baseball squad. In 1941, he took a job with the NYA as an assistant athletic director, as it would have been impossible for him to get a job as a proffesional athlete due to the color barrier. Later that year he traveled to Hawaii where he had an opportunity to play for the racially mixed semi-pro Honolulu Bears' football team. After that season he would move back to L.A. to play for a local football team, not realizing that the US involvement in World War 2 would sidetrack him for a little while and end his short football career.

    Robinson was drafted to the Army in 1942 and was stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas. Throughout his 3 plus years in the Army, he was always treated as a subordinate by the White controlled military. He still managed to become a second lieutenant in 1943, and joined the Black Panthers Tank Battallion, the first Black tank unit to see combat in WWII. However, jackie was never in combat. After getting engaged to his College sweetheart, Rachel, he was sidelined after injuring the same ankle he hurt back in high school. He would finish his army service as a coach for army athletes until 1944 when he was discharged. While in the Army, Robinson made close ties with boxer, Joe Louis, as they helped each other struggle in the white dominated Army.

    In early 1945, after working some part time coaching jobs, Jackie received an offer from the Kansas City Monarchs to Play professional Baseball in the Negro Leagues. He signed a contract worth $400 a month as he played for the Monarchs for 1 Season. He played 47 games at shortstop batting .387. The Negro leagues were'nt for Jackie as he didn't like their unorganized style. Luckily he received a secret offer from the GM of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey, to come to NY and play for their Minor League team. They offered him $600 a month on the condition that he would be able to take abuse from other players for being the only black, but contain himself from fighting back. Jackie accepted, and immediately left the Monarchs for NYC where he would marry Rachel Isum, who was in NY studying to be a Nurse. Jackie would start with the Dodgers' AAA club in Daytona Beach, FL that next season.

    Baseball Career

    In 1946, Robinson arrived at Daytona Beach, Florida, for spring training with the Montreal Royals of the Class AAA International League (the designation of "AAA" for the highest level of minor league baseball was first used in the 1946 season). Robinson's presence was controversial in racially charged Florida. As he was not allowed to stay with his teammates at the team hotel, he lodged instead at the home of a local black politician. Since the Dodgers organization did not own a spring training facility (the Dodger-controlled spring training compound in Vero Beach known as "Dodgertown" did not open until spring 1948), scheduling was subject to the whim of area localities, several of which turned down any event involving Robinson or Johnny Wright, another black player whom Rickey had signed to the Dodgers' organization in January. In Sanford, Florida, the police chief threatened to cancel games if Robinson and Wright did not cease training activities there; as a result, Robinson was sent back to Daytona Beach. In Jacksonville, the stadium was padlocked shut without warning on game day, by order of the city's Parks and Public Property director. In DeLand, a scheduled day game was called off, ostensibly because of faulty electrical lighting.

    After much lobbying of local officials by Rickey himself, the Royals were allowed to host a game involving Robinson in Daytona Beach. Robinson made his Royals debut at Daytona Beach's City Island Ballpark on March 17, 1946, in an exhibition game against the team's parent club, the Dodgers. Robinson thus simultaneously became the first black player to openly play for a minor league team and against a major league team since the de facto baseball color line had been implemented in the 1880s. Later in spring training, after some less-than-stellar performances, Robinson was shifted from shortstop to second base, allowing him to make shorter throws to first base. Robinson's performance soon rebounded. On April 18, 1946, Roosevelt Stadium hosted the Jersey City Giants' season opener against the Montreal Royals, marking the professional debut of the Royals' Jackie Robinson. In his five trips to the plate, Robinson had four hits, including a three-run home run. He also scored four runs, drove in three, and stole two bases in the Royals' 14–1 victory. Robinson proceeded to lead the International League that season with a .349 batting average and .985 fielding percentage, and he was named the league's Most Valuable Player. Although he often faced hostility while on road trips (the Royals were forced to cancel a Southern exhibition tour, for example), the Montreal fan base enthusiastically supported Robinson. Whether fans supported or opposed it, Robinson's presence on the field was a boon to attendance; more than one million people went to games involving Robinson in 1946, an amazing figure by International League standards. In the fall of 1946, following the baseball season, Robinson returned home to California and briefly played professional basketball for the short-lived Los Angeles Red Devils.

    The following year, six days before the start of the 1947 season, the Dodgers called Robinson up to the major leagues. With Eddie Stanky entrenched at second base for the Dodgers, Robinson played his initial major league season as a first baseman. On April 15, 1947, Robinson made his major league debut at Ebbets Field before a crowd of 26,623 spectators, including more than 14,000 black patrons. Although he failed to get a base hit, the Dodgers won 5–3. Robinson became the first player since 1880 to openly break the major league baseball color line. Black fans began flocking to see the Dodgers when they came to town, abandoning their Negro league teams.

    Robinson's promotion met a generally positive, although mixed, reception among newspapers and white major league players. However, racial tension existed in the Dodger clubhouse. Some Dodger players insinuated they would sit out rather than play alongside Robinson. The brewing mutiny ended when Dodgers management took a stand for Robinson. Manager Leo Durocher informed the team, "I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fuckin' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded."

    Robinson was also derided by opposing teams. Some, notably the St. Louis Cardinals, threatened to strike if Robinson played. After the threat, National League President Ford Frick and Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler let it be known that any striking players would be suspended. Robinson nonetheless became the target of rough physical play by opponents (particularly the Cardinals). At one time, he received a seven-inch gash in his leg. On April 22, 1947, during a game between the Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies, Phillies players called Robinson a "nigger" from their dugout and yelled that he should "go back to the cotton fields". Rickey later recalled that Phillies manager Ben Chapman "did more than anybody to unite the Dodgers. When he poured out that string of unconscionable abuse, he solidified and united thirty men."

    Robinson received significant encouragement from several major league players. Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese once came to Robinson's defense with the famous line, "You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one of them." In 1948, Reese put his arm around Robinson in response to fans who shouted racial slurs at Robinson before a game in Cincinnati. A statue by sculptor William Behrends, unveiled at KeySpan Park on November 1, 2005, commemorates this event by representing Reese with his arm around Robinson. Jewish baseball star Hank Greenberg, who had to deal with racial epithets during his career, also encouraged Robinson. After colliding with Robinson at first base on one occasion, Greenberg whispered a few words into Robinson's ear, which Robinson later characterized as "words of encouragement." Greenberg had advised him that the best way to combat the slurs from the opposing players was to beat them on the field.

    Robinson finished the season having played in 151 games for the Dodgers, with a batting average of .297, an on-base percentage of .383, and a .427 slugging percentage. He had 175 hits (scoring 125 runs) including 31 doubles, 5 triples, 12 home runs, driving in 48 runs for the year. Robinson led the league in sacrifice hits, with 28, and in stolen bases, with 29. His cumulative performance earned him the inaugural Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award (separate National and American League Rookie of the Year honors were not awarded until 1949).

    Following Stanky's trade to the Boston Braves in March 1948, Robinson took over second base, where he logged a .980 fielding percentage that year (second in the National League at the position, fractionally behind Stanky). Robinson had a batting average of .296 and 22 stolen bases for the season. In a 12–7 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 29, 1948, he hit for the cycle—a home run, a triple, a double, and a single in the same game. The Dodgers briefly moved into first place in the National League in late August 1948, but they ultimately finished third as the Braves went on to win the league title and lose to the Cleveland Indians in the World Series.

    Racial pressure on Robinson eased in 1948 as a number of other black players entered the major leagues. Larry Doby (who broke the color barrier in the American League on July 5, 1947) and Satchel Paige played for the Cleveland Indians, and the Dodgers had three other black players besides Robinson. In February 1948, he signed a $12,500 contract (equal to $120,914 today) with the Dodgers; while a significant amount, this was less than Robinson made in the off-season from a vaudeville tour, where he answered pre-set baseball questions, and a speaking tour of the South. Between the tours, he underwent surgery on his right ankle. Because of his off-season activities, Robinson reported to training camp 30 pounds (14 kg) overweight. He lost the weight during training camp, but dieting left him weak at the plate.

    In the spring of 1949, Robinson turned to Hall of Famer George Sisler, working as an advisor to the Dodgers, for batting help. At Sisler's suggestion, Robinson spent hours at a batting tee, learning to hit the ball to right field. Sisler taught Robinson to anticipate a fastball, on the theory that it is easier to subsequently adjust to a slower curveball. Robinson also noted that "Sisler showed me how to stop lunging, how to check my swing until the last fraction of a second". The tutelage helped Robinson raise his batting average from .296 in 1948 to .342 in 1949. In addition to his improved batting average, Robinson stole 37 bases that season, was second place in the league for both doubles and triples, and registered 124 runs batted in with 122 runs scored. For the performance Robinson earned the Most Valuable Player award for the National League. Baseball fans also voted Robinson as the starting second baseman for the 1949 All-Star Game—the first All-Star Game to include black players.

    That year, a song about Robinson by Buddy Johnson, "Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?", reached number 13 on the charts; Count Basie recorded a famous version. Ultimately, the Dodgers won the National League pennant, but lost in five games to the New York Yankees in the 1949 World Series.

    Summer 1949 brought an unwanted distraction for Robinson. In July, he was called to testify before the United States House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) concerning statements made that April by black athlete and actor Paul Robeson. Robinson was reluctant to testify, but he eventually agreed to do so, fearing it might negatively affect his career if he declined.

    In 1950, Robinson led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman with 133. His salary that year was the highest any Dodger had been paid to that point: $35,000 ($338,091 in 2012 dollars). He finished the year with 99 runs scored, a .328 batting average, and 12 stolen bases. The year saw the release of a film biography of Robinson's life, The Jackie Robinson Story, in which Robinson played himself, and actress Ruby Dee played Rachael "Rae" (Isum) Robinson. The project had been previously delayed when the film's producers refused to accede to demands of two Hollywood studios that the movie include scenes of Robinson being tutored in baseball by a white man. The New York Times wrote that Robinson, "doing that rare thing of playing himself in the picture's leading role, displays a calm assurance and composure that might be envied by many a Hollywood star."

    Robinson's Hollywood exploits, however, did not sit well with Dodgers co-owner Walter O'Malley, who referred to Robinson as "Rickey's prima donna". In late 1950, Rickey's contract as the Dodgers' team President expired. Weary of constant disagreements with O'Malley, and with no hope of being re-appointed as President of the Dodgers, Rickey cashed out his one-quarter financial interest in the team, leaving O'Malley in full control of the franchise. Rickey shortly thereafter became general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Robinson was disappointed at the turn of events and wrote a sympathetic letter to Rickey, whom he considered a father figure, stating, "Regardless of what happens to me in the future, it all can be placed on what you have done and, believe me, I appreciate it."

    Before the 1951 season, O'Malley reportedly offered Robinson the job of manager of the Montreal Royals, effective at the end of Robinson's playing career. O'Malley was quoted in the Montreal Standard as saying, "Jackie told me that he would be both delighted and honored to tackle this managerial post"—although reports differed as to whether a position was ever formally offered.

    During the 1951 season, Robinson led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman for the second year in a row, with 137. He also kept the Dodgers in contention for the 1951 pennant. During the last game of the season, in the 13th inning, he had a hit to tie the game, and then won the game with a home run in the 14th. This forced a playoff against the New York Giants, which the Dodgers lost.

    Despite Robinson's regular-season heroics, the Dodgers lost the pennant on Bobby Thomson's famous home run, known as the Shot Heard 'Round the World, on October 3, 1951. Overcoming his dejection, Robinson dutifully observed Thomson's feet to ensure he touched all the bases. Dodgers sportscaster Vin Scully later noted that the incident showed "how much of a competitor Robinson was." He finished the season with 106 runs scored, a batting average of .335, and 25 stolen bases.

    Robinson had what was an average year for him in 1952. He finished the year with 104 runs, a .308 batting average, and 24 stolen bases. He did, however, record a career-high on-base percentage of .436. The Dodgers improved on their performance from the year before, winning the National League pennant before losing the 1952 World Series to the New York Yankees in seven games. That year, on the television show Youth Wants to Know, Robinson challenged the Yankees' general manager, George Weiss, on the racial record of his team, which had yet to sign a black player. Sportswriter Dick Young, whom Robinson had described as a "bigot", said, "If there was one flaw in Jackie, it was the common one. He believed that everything unpleasant that happened to him happened because of his blackness." The 1952 season was the last year Robinson was an everyday starter at second base. Afterward, Robinson played variously at first, second, and third bases, shortstop, and in the outfield, with Jim Gilliam, another black player, taking over everyday second base duties. Robinson's interests began to shift toward the prospect of managing a major league team. He had hoped to gain experience by managing in the Puerto Rican Winter League, but according to the New York Post, Commissioner Happy Chandler denied the request.

    In 1953, Robinson had 109 runs, a .329 batting average, and 17 steals, leading the Dodgers to another National League pennant (and another World Series loss to the Yankees, this time in six games). Robinson's continued success spawned a string of death threats. He was not dissuaded, however, from addressing racial issues publicly. That year, he served as editor for Our Sports magazine, a periodical focusing on Negro sports issues; contributions to the magazine included an article on golf course segregation by Robinson's old friend Joe Louis. Robinson also openly criticized segregated hotels and restaurants that served the Dodger organization; a number of these establishments integrated as a result, including the five-star Chase Park Hotel in St. Louis.

    In 1954, Robinson had 62 runs, a .311 batting average, and 7 steals. His best day at the plate was on June 17, when he hit two home runs and two doubles. The following autumn, Robinson won his only championship when the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series. Although the team enjoyed ultimate success, 1955 was the worst year of Robinson's individual career. He hit .256 and stole only 12 bases. The Dodgers tried Robinson in the outfield and as a third baseman, both because of his diminishing abilities and because Gilliam was established at second base. Robinson, then 37 years old, missed 49 games and did not play in Game 7 of the World Series. Robinson missed the game because manager Walter Alston decided to play Gilliam at second and Don Hoak at third base. That season, the Dodgers' Don Newcombe became the first black major league pitcher to win twenty games in a year.

    In 1956, Robinson had 61 runs, a .275 batting average, and 12 steals. By then, he had begun to exhibit the effects of diabetes, and to lose interest in the prospect of playing or managing professional baseball. After the season, Robinson was traded by the Dodgers to the arch-rival New York Giants for Dick Littlefield and $35,000 cash (equal to $299,192 today). The trade, however, was never completed; unbeknownst to the Dodgers, Robinson had already agreed with the president of Chock full o'Nuts to quit baseball and become an executive with the company. Since Robinson had sold exclusive rights to any retirement story to Look magazine two years previously,[165&91; his retirement decision was revealed through the magazine, instead of through the Dodgers organization.


    Robinson's major league debut brought an end to approximately sixty years of segregation in professional baseball, known as the baseball color line. After World War II, several other forces were also leading the country toward increased equality for blacks, including their accelerated migration of to the North, where their political clout grew, and President Harry Truman's desegregation of the military in 1948. Robinson's breaking of the baseball color line and his professional success symbolized these broader changes and demonstrated that the fight for equality was more than simply a political matter. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that he was "a legend and a symbol in his own time", and that he "challenged the dark skies of intolerance and frustration." According to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robinson's "efforts were a monumental step in the civil-rights revolution in America ... [His&91; accomplishments allowed black and white Americans to be more respectful and open to one another and more appreciative of everyone's abilities."

    Beginning his major league career at the relatively advanced age of twenty-eight, he played only ten seasons, all of them for the Brooklyn Dodgers. During his career, the Dodgers played in six World Series, and Robinson himself played in six All-Star Games. In 1999, he was posthumously named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

    Robinson's career is generally considered to mark the beginning of the post–"long ball" era in baseball, in which a reliance on raw power-hitting gave way to balanced offensive strategies that used footspeed to create runs through aggressive baserunning. Robinson exhibited the combination of hitting ability and speed which exemplified the new era. He scored more than 100 runs in six of his ten seasons (averaging more than 110 runs from 1947 to 1953), had a .311 career batting average, a .409 career on-base percentage, a .474 slugging percentage, and substantially more walks than strikeouts (740 to 291). Robinson was one of only two players during the span of 1947–56 to accumulate at least 125 steals while registering a slugging percentage over .425 (Minnie Miñoso was the other). He accumulated 197 stolen bases in total, including 19 steals of home. None of the latter were double steals (in which a player stealing home is assisted by a player stealing another base at the same time). Robinson has been referred to by author David Falkner as "the father of modern base-stealing."

    "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." —Robinson, on his legacy


    Historical statistical analysis indicates Robinson was an outstanding fielder throughout his ten years in the major leagues and at virtually every position he played. After playing his rookie season at first base, Robinson spent most of his career as a second baseman. He led the league in fielding among second basemen in 1950 and 1951. Toward the end of his career, he played about 2,000 innings at third base and about 1,175 innings in the outfield, excelling at both.

    Assessing himself, Robinson said, "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." Regarding Robinson's qualities on the field, Leo Durocher said, "Ya want a guy that comes to play. This guy didn't just come to play. He come to beat ya. He come to stuff the goddamn bat right up your ass."

    Post-baseball life

    Robinson as ABC sports announcer in 1965

    Robinson retired from baseball on January 5, 1957. Later that year, after he complained of numerous physical ailments, his doctors diagnosed Robinson with diabetes, a disease that also affected his brothers. Although Robinson adopted an insulin injection regimen, the state of medicine at the time could not prevent continued deterioration of Robinson's physical condition from the disease.

    In his first year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, Robinson encouraged voters to consider only his on-field qualifications, rather than his cultural impact on the game. He was elected on the first ballot, becoming the first black player inducted into the Cooperstown museum.

    In 1965, Robinson served as an analyst for ABC's Major League Baseball Game of the Week telecasts, the first black person to do so. In 1966, Robinson was hired as general manager for the short-lived Brooklyn Dodgers of the Continental Football League. In 1972, he served as a part-time commentator on Montreal Expos telecasts.

    On June 4, 1972, the Dodgers retired his uniform number, 42, alongside those of Roy Campanella (39) and Sandy Koufax (32). From 1957 to 1964, Robinson was the vice president for personnel at Chock full o'Nuts; he was the first black person to serve as vice president of a major American corporation. Robinson always considered his business career as advancing the cause of black people in commerce and industry. Robinson also chaired the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) million-dollar Freedom Fund Drive in 1957, and served on the organization's board until 1967. In 1964, he helped found, with Harlem businessman Dunbar McLaurin, Freedom National Bank—a black-owned and operated commercial bank based in Harlem. He also served as the bank's first Chairman of the Board. In 1970, Robinson established the Jackie Robinson Construction Company to build housing for low-income families.

    Robinson was active in politics throughout his post-baseball life. He identified himself as a political independent although he held conservative opinions on several issues, including the Vietnam War (he once wrote Martin Luther King, Jr. to defend the Johnson Administration's military policy). After supporting Richard Nixon in his 1960 presidential race against John F. Kennedy, Robinson later praised Kennedy effusively for his stance on civil rights. Robinson was angered by conservative Republican opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He became one of six national directors for Nelson Rockefeller's unsuccessful campaign to be nominated as the Republican candidate for the 1964 presidential election. After the party nominated Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona instead, Robinson left the party's convention commenting that he now had "a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler's Germany". He later became special assistant for community affairs when Rockefeller was re-elected governor of New York in 1966. Switching his allegiance to the Democrats, he subsequently supported Hubert Humphrey against Nixon in 1968.

    Protesting the major leagues' ongoing lack of minority managers and central office personnel, Robinson turned down an invitation to appear in an old-timers' game at Yankee Stadium in 1969. He made his final public appearance on October 15, 1972, throwing the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the World Series. He gratefully accepted a plaque honoring the twenty-fifth anniversary of his MLB debut, but also commented, "I'm going to be tremendously more pleased and more proud when I look at that third base coaching line one day and see a black face managing in baseball." This wish was fulfilled only after Robinson's death: following the 1974 season, the Cleveland Indians gave their managerial post to Frank Robinson (no relation), a Hall of Fame-bound player who would go on to manage three other teams. Despite the success of these two Robinsons and other black players, the number of African-American players in Major League Baseball has declined since the 1970s.

    Family life and death

    After Robinson's retirement from baseball, his wife, Rachel Robinson, pursued a career in academic nursing—she became an assistant professor at the Yale School of Nursing and director of nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. She also served on the board of the Freedom National Bank until it closed in 1990. She and Jackie had three children: Jackie Robinson Jr. (born November 18, 1946), Sharon Robinson (born January 13, 1950), and David Robinson (born May 14, 1952).

    Robinson's eldest son, Jackie Robinson Jr., had emotional trouble during his childhood and entered special education at an early age. He enrolled in the Army in search of a disciplined environment, served in the Vietnam War, and was wounded in action on November 19, 1965. After his discharge, he struggled with drug problems. Robinson Jr. eventually completed the treatment program at Daytop Village in Seymour, Connecticut, and became a counselor at the institution. On June 17, 1971, at the age of 24, he was killed in an automobile accident. The experience with his son's drug addiction turned Robinson, Sr. into an avid anti-drug crusader toward the end of his life.

    Robinson did not long outlive his son. Complications of heart disease and diabetes weakened Robinson and made him almost blind by middle age. On October 24, 1972, he died of a heart attack at home in Stamford, Connecticut, aged fifty-three. Robinson's funeral service on October 27, 1972, at New York City's Riverside Church attracted 2,500 admirers. Many of his former teammates and other famous black baseball players served as pallbearers, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson gave the eulogy. Tens of thousands of people lined the subsequent procession route to Robinson's interment site at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, where he is buried next to his son Jackie and mother-in-law Zellee Isum. Jackie Robinson Parkway also runs through the cemetery.

    After Robinson's death, his widow founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation, of which she remains an officer as of 2009. On April 15, 2008, she announced that in 2010 the foundation will be opening a museum devoted to Jackie in Lower Manhattan. Robinson's daughter, Sharon, became a midwife, educator, director of educational programming for MLB, and the author of two books about her father. His youngest son, David, who has ten children, is a coffee grower and social activist in Tanzania.

    Awards and recognition

    According to a poll conducted in 1947, Robinson was the second most popular man in the country, behind Bing Crosby. In 1999, he was named by Time on its list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Also in 1999, he ranked number 44 on the Sporting News list of Baseball's 100 Greatest Players and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team as the top vote-getter among second basemen. Baseball writer Bill James, in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, ranked Robinson as the 32nd greatest player of all time strictly on the basis of his performance on the field, noting that he was one of the top players in the league throughout his career. Robinson was among the 25 charter members of UCLA’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984. In 2002, Molefi Kete Asante included Robinson on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans. Robinson has also been honored by the United States Postal Service on three separate postage stamps, in 1982, 1999, and 2000.

    The City of Pasadena has recognized Robinson in several ways. Brookside Park, situated next to the Rose Bowl, features a baseball diamond and stadium named Jackie Robinson Field. The city's Human Services Department operates the Jackie Robinson Center, a community outreach center that provides early diabetes detection and other services. In 1997, a $325,000 bronze sculpture (equal to $470,522 today) by artists Ralph Helmick, Stu Schecter, and John Outterbridge depicting oversized nine-foot busts of Robinson and his brother Mack was erected at Garfield Avenue, across from the main entrance of Pasadena City Hall; a granite footprint lists multiple donors to the commission project, which was organized by the Robinson Memorial Foundation and supported by members of the Robinson family.

    Major League Baseball has honored Robinson many times since his death. In 1987, both the National and American League Rookie of the Year Awards were renamed the "Jackie Robinson Award" in honor of the first recipient (Robinson's Major League Rookie of the Year Award in 1947 encompassed both leagues). On April 15, 1997, Robinson's jersey number, 42, was retired throughout Major League Baseball, the first time any jersey number had been retired throughout one of the four major American sports leagues.

    As an exception to the retired-number policy, MLB has recently begun honoring Robinson by allowing players to wear number 42 on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day. For the 60th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut, MLB invited players to wear the number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day in 2007. The gesture was originally the idea of outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr., who sought Rachel Robinson's permission to wear the number. After receiving her permission, Commissioner Bud Selig not only allowed Griffey to wear the number, but also extended an invitation to all major league teams to do the same. Ultimately, more than 200 players wore number 42, including the entire rosters of the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Pittsburgh Pirates. The tribute was continued in 2008, when, during games on April 15, all members of the Mets, Cardinals, Washington Nationals, and Tampa Bay Rays wore Robinson's number 42. On June 25, 2008, MLB installed a new plaque for Robinson at the Baseball Hall of Fame commemorating his off-the-field impact on the game as well as his playing statistics. In 2009, all uniformed personnel (players, managers, coaches, and umpires) wore number 42 on April 15.

    At the November 2006 groundbreaking for a new ballpark for the New York Mets, Citi Field, it was announced that the main entrance, modeled on the one in Brooklyn's old Ebbets Field, would be called the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The rotunda was dedicated at the opening of Citi Field on April 16, 2009. It honors Robinson with large quotations spanning the inner curve of the facade and features a large freestanding statue of his number, 42, which has become an attraction in itself. Mets owner Fred Wilpon announced that, in conjunction with Citigroup and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Mets will create a Jackie Robinson Museum and Learning Center, located at the headquarters of the Jackie Robinson Foundation at One Hudson Square in lower Manhattan. The main purpose of the museum will be to fund scholarships for "young people who live by and embody Jackie's ideals."

    Since 2004, the Aflac National High School Baseball Player of the Year has been presented the "Jackie Robinson Award".

    Robinson has also been recognized outside of baseball. In December 1956, the NAACP recognized him with the Spingarn Medal, which it awards annually for the highest achievement by an African-American. President Ronald Reagan posthumously awarded Robinson the Presidential Medal of Freedom on March 26, 1984, and on March 2, 2005, President George W. Bush gave Robinson's widow the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress; Robinson was only the second baseball player to receive the award, after Roberto Clemente. On August 20, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, announced that Robinson was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts in Sacramento.

    A number of buildings have been named in Robinson's honor. The UCLA Bruins baseball team plays in Jackie Robinson Stadium, which, because of the efforts of Jackie's brother Mack, features a memorial statue of Robinson by sculptor Richard H. Ellis. City Island Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida—the baseball field that became the Dodgers' de facto spring training site in 1947—was renamed Jackie Robinson Ballpark in 1989. A number of facilities at Pasadena City College (successor to PJC) are named in Robinson's honor, including Robinson Field, a football/soccer/track facility named jointly for Robinson and his brother Mack. The New York Public School system has named a middle school after Robinson, and Dorsey High School plays at a Los Angeles football stadium named after him. In 1976, his home in Brooklyn, the Jackie Robinson House, was declared a National Historic Landmark. Robinson also has an asteroid named after him, 4319 Jackierobinson. In 1997, the United States Mint issued a Jackie Robinson commemorative silver dollar, and five dollar gold coin. That same year, New York City renamed the Interboro Parkway in his honor.

    In 2011, the U.S. placed a plaque at Robinson's Montreal home to honor the ending of segregation in baseball. The home is located at 8232 avenue de Gaspe south of rue de Guizot Est and near Jarry Park and close to Delorimier Stadium, where Robinson played for the Montreal Royals during 1946. In a letter read during the ceremony, Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow, wrote: "I remember Montreal and that house very well and have always had warm feeling for that great city. Before Jack and I moved to Montreal, we had just been through some very rough treatment in the racially biased South during spring training in Florida. In the end, Montreal was the perfect place for him to get his start. We never had a threatening or unpleasant experience there. The people were so welcoming and saw Jack as a player and as a man."

    Career statistics

    1945 Kansas City 47 163 36 63 14 4 5 23 13       .387                  
    1946 Montreal 124 444 113 155 25 8 3 66 40   92 27 .349                 10
    1947 Brooklyn 151 590 125 175 31 5 12 48 29   74 36 .297 .383 .427 252 28     9 5 16
    1948 Brooklyn 147 574 108 170 38 8 12 85 22   57 37 .296 .367 .453 260 8     7 7 15
    1949 Brooklyn 156 593 122 203 38 12 16 124 37   86 27 .342 .432 .528 313 17     8 22 16
    1950 Brooklyn 144 518 99 170 39 4 14 81 12   80 24 .328 .423 .500 259 10     5 11 11
    1951 Brooklyn 153 548 106 185 33 7 19 88 25 8 79 27 .338 .429 .527 289 6     9 10 7
    1952 Brooklyn 149 510 104 157 17 3 19 75 24 7 106 40 .308 .440 .465 237 6     14 16 20
    1953 Brooklyn 136 484 109 159 34 7 12 95 17 4 74 30 .329 .425 .502 243 9     7 12 6
    1954 Brooklyn 124 386 62 120 22 4 15 59 7 3 63 20 .311 .413 .505 195 5 4a   7 13 7
    1955 Brooklyn 105 317 51 81 6 2 8 36 12 3 61 18 .256 .378 .363 115 6 3 5b 3 8 10
    1956 Brooklyn 117 357 61 98 15 2 10 43 12 5 60 32 .275 .382 .412 147 9 2 2 3 9 9
    TotalsBrooklyn13824877947151827354137734197 740291.311.409.47423101049772113107
     Career155354941096173634267161867248   .316    97   

    a The sacrifice fly (SF) as a unique statistical category did not exist in Major League Baseball from 1940 through 1953. Any pre-1954 sacrifice flies by Robinson would be reflected in the sacrifice hit (SH) category.

    b Likewise, the intentional walk (IBB) category only became a unique statistic beginning in 1955. Any intentional walks issued to Robinson before that year would be reflected in the walk (BB) category.


              The Virus - An Ultra Lite Novel        

    The Virus
    (An Ultra Lite Novel by Howdy)

    This Monday started like most any day but would end anything but
    typical. The Weather Channel forecasted mild atmospheric conditions
    (even for November) but unfolding events would soon challenge and
    startle mankind as never before.

    In an elaborate government building somewhere in Rome, a multitude
    of dedicated world renowned computer and technology experts studied
    The Virus that had already secretly infected 98% of the planet's
    computers in its first stage. Up to this point, none outside this edifice
    had ascertained the existence of the silent menace.

    In Jerusalem, heavy crowds were milling around The Dome of the Rock,
    the third holiest site to Muslims worldwide. On the other side of the
    Wall, a larger than expected crowd of Jewish worshipers prayed even
    as portions of the wall continued to collapse.

    In New York City, the Stock Market opened slightly higher while
    down in Washington - Pentagon officials poured their second cup
    of Maxwell House Decaf. Further south, the last edition of The
    Atlanta Journal was being prepared while further west, parents
    turned toward their offices after depositing their children at school.

    Work halted temporarily in the government building as the new
    dynamic and charismatic leader's entourage entered. He spoke
    over the JBL sound system. "Good associates, The Virus is
    scheduled to be released as planned in two stages. Stage one as
    you know affects all the world's primary computers while the
    second will decrease the excess occupiers that have so strained
    our fragile environment. Both will begin to take effect within the
    hour thanks to your hard work." He will later become Time Magazine's
    "Man of the Year".