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Sylvia Wallace: A Woman Ahead of her Time

Saturday, February 18, 2017 4:31 PM
February 18, 2017, is the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Sylvia Wallace, my mother, a woman who was ahead of her time.
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Academy Awards 2017—Foreign Language Films

Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:26 AM
This year, a record 85 countries entered films in the Foreign Language category for the Academy Awards. I saw 82 of these films. 1. Normally, there are few comedies entered in this category, but this year was an exception. I attribute this to Sullivan’s Travels Syndrome, named after the classic 1941 Preston Sturges film. When times are hard and people are struggling to keep their heads above water, a good laugh goes a long way.
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Irving Wallace: 100th Birthday

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 8:55 PM
On March 19, 2016, the popular novelist Irving Wallace—my father—would have turned 100 years old. Instead of honoring my father by presenting a review of his achievements and recalling what a generous, warm-hearted person he was and how much enjoyment he brought to millions of readers around the world, I have decided to look at some of the developments he would have most appreciated if he had lived to be 100, instead of dying at the age of 74.
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Republicans Release Presidential Policy Platform

Monday, August 3, 2015 5:10 PM
In a move that caught the media by surprise, the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced that it had gotten the approval of every one of the 17 leading declared Republican presidential candidates to publish a comprehensive platform for the 2016 elections.
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Academy Awards 2015—Best Foreign Language Film

Thursday, February 19, 2015 8:05 PM
When I tell people that, over a two-month period, I watched films from 83 different countries, the most common reaction is…a blank stare. Most people don’t even ask me what my favorites were. But I have to say that I had a wonderful time. Not only were most of the films at least “good”, but even the bad ones usually provide an insight into what is going on in another part of the world.
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Best Picture Nominees—Selma, American Sniper and the Distortion of History

Thursday, February 12, 2015 1:36 PM
Bradley Cooper, who portrays Kyle (and does a great job, by the way), has said that American Sniper is “not a movie about the Iraq War….It’s not a political movie at all.” I beg to disagree. Any film that does not question the rationale behind the war it portrays by default accepts the correctness of that war.
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My Sister Died of an Overdose of Prescription Painkillers

Sunday, August 10, 2014 2:36 PM
After four years of being President Barack Obama’s “drug czar,” Gil Kerlikowske suddenly discovered the prescription drug death crisis. By this time, prescription drug overdoses had become the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., surpassing gunshot wounds and automobile accidents. “We weren’t paying attention to it,” he told a House of Representatives subcommittee. Tell that to ER workers and law enforcement agents around the country…not to mention Americans who lost loved ones.
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50 Years of Keeping a Daily Diary

Monday, January 6, 2014 11:03 AM
I would not have realized how much we unconsciously edit our memories if I did not have contemporaneous accounts of each day of my life for the last 50 years. Most of these alterations are minor and harmless. But there is one false memory that had a major effect on my life. The incident began on October 16, 1979.
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Inaugural Address 2013: If I were President

Sunday, January 27, 2013 2:11 PM
Every time a President of the United States takes the oath of office and gives an Inaugural Address, it is a time for reflection about what our nation stands for. I believe it would help if more Americans considered what they would say in such circumstances. If I were elected President of the United States, this is the speech I would give at my inauguration.
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11 Secret Documents Americans Deserve to See

Thursday, December 13, 2012 12:55 PM
Many documents produced by the U.S. government are confidential and not released to the public for legitimate reasons of national security. Others, however, are kept secret for more questionable reasons. The fact that presidents and other government officials have the power to deem materials classified provides them with an opportunity to use national security as an excuse to suppress documents and reports that would reveal embarrassing or illegal activities.
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AllGov France Launched

Monday, May 21, 2012 1:35 PM
It is with great pleasure that we announce the launch of AllGov France, the first expansion of AllGov outside the United States. Like allgov.com, allgov.fr is built on a foundation of hundreds of trustworthy, well-researched articles about a wide ...
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Last Message from Ecotopian Ernest Callenbach

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 7:21 PM
During my first semester as an undergraduate at San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University) in 1967 I signed up for a class in Film Theory taught by Ernest Callenbach. For the first few weeks I didn’t find the class as inter...
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Academy Awards 2012—Foreign Language Films

Sunday, February 26, 2012 6:04 AM
I saw 50 of the 63 films entered in the Best Foreign Language Film category and I am happy to report that this was an exceptionally good year. If there was no single masterpiece that stood out, there were a couple dozen good films that I would ...
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Academy Awards 2012—Documentary Shorts

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 5:06 AM
Academy Awards 2012—Documentary Shorts   With this year’s nominees clocking in at an average of 34 minutes, the Academy might want to rename this category Documentary Mediums rather than Documentary Shorts. Perhaps because of their length, they ...
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Dictator of the Month: Who Was Kim Jong-il of North Korea?

Friday, December 23, 2011 7:18 AM
The death of Kim Jong-il probably marks the end of an era, the end of one family controlling the fates of 24 million people. Despite the fact that I have written about living dictators for many years, I managed to visit North Korea in 2007. It w...
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Dictator of the Month: Ali Khamenei of Iran

Sunday, November 27, 2011 5:46 AM
To hear some commentators, you would think that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, was the most dangerous man in the world. In reality, he has almost no power whatsoever. He does not control Iran’s nuclear program. He does not control Ira...
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Executive Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships: Who Is Melissa Rogers?

Rogers got her foot in the door at the White House in 2009 when President Obama appointed her to be chair of the Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. She recommended changes in the Affordable Care Act to allow more religious exemptions from its contraception mandate. The language was changed to require that contraception be covered by insurance, but paid for by the insurer. Obama appointed Rogers to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council four days before he left office.   read more

Principal Deputy Director of the United States Mint: Who Is Rhett Jeppson?

Jeppson’s 28 years of Marine Corp service included stints as counter-terrorism planner and chief of current operations for Marine Forces Europe from 2001 to 2003; chief of joint national training capability and European engagements lead at the U.S. Special Operations Command from 2004 to 2008; deputy director of operations for U.S. Forces Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010; and lead crisis response planner at U.S. European Command from 2010 to 2012.   read more

Coordinator of the Bureau of International Information Programs: Who is Macon Phillips?

With the rollout of the Obama administration in January 2009, Phillips was appointed director of the newly established Office of Digital Strategy. Among his accomplishments was his development of “We the People,” the White House’s online petitioning system, which served as a platform for 400,000 citizen-petitions signed by more than 16 million users. But Phillips was soon embroiled in controversy over a blog posting on the site related to the debate over Obama’s new health care law.   read more

Acting Under Secretary of the Veterans Benefits Administration: Who Is Tom Murphy?

As the VA's director of compensation services, in charge of the VA’s disability and death compensation programs, Murphy often was called to testify before Congress about the agency’s huge backlog of claims by veterans. Murphy did tout a newly installed computer system designed to handle claims more efficiently, but continued to take heat from Congress. He was also sometimes criticized for denying benefits to veterans claiming damage to their health because of exposure to Agent Orange.   read more

Director of the American Institute in Taiwan: Who is Kin Moy?

Moy was deputy executive secretary for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and has held posts in the U.S. embassies in Beijing, China, and in Seoul and Busan, South Korea. He was a key proponent of President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia” policy and was involved in Taiwan’s bid to join the TPP trade agreement championed by Obama. His wife, former Wall Street Journal reporter Kathy Chen, was one of the journalists who won a Pulitzer Prize for articles on the U.S. military.   read more
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