Academy Awards 2015—Best Foreign Language Film

Thursday, February 19, 2015 3:05 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.read more

Best Picture Nominees—Selma, American Sniper and the Distortion of History

Thursday, February 12, 2015 8:36 AM
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. read more

My Sister Died of an Overdose of Prescription Painkillers

Sunday, August 10, 2014 10:36 AM
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.read more

50 Years of Keeping a Daily Diary

Monday, January 6, 2014 6:03 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.read more

Inaugural Address 2013: If I were President

Sunday, January 27, 2013 9:11 AM
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.read more

11 Secret Documents Americans Deserve to See

Thursday, December 13, 2012 7:55 AM
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. read more
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Latest News

It Looks like Obama is Still Using “Signature Strikes” Aimed at Unnamed People After All

President Barack Obama indicated two years ago that his administration would no longer employ “signature” drone strikes. A signature strike is one in which subjects are targeted based on patterns of behavior rather than intelligence about who they are. But the January attack in which two hostages, including one American, were killed shows the CIA has continued to employ the tactic.   read more

Chinese Scientists Cause Alarm after Announcing Editing of Human Genes

Those opposing the editing of human genes say the changes can be passed to later generations and have an unpredictable effect on those populations. There is also concern about dangerous or unethical applications of the technique. Even the Chinese admitted that the gene modification did not go as well as they would have liked. They changed the genetic material of 86 embryos, of which 71 survived. But upon testing those that did survive, the scientists found only 28 were successfully spliced.   read more

Native American Actors Walk off Set of Adam Sandler/Netflix Movie in Protest of Insulting Script

Their complaints include naming Native American women “Wears No Bra” and making the film’s Apache characters resemble Comanche. “One thing that really offended a lot of people was that there was a female character called Beaver’s Breath," said Loren Anthony, one of the Navajo actors who walked out. "One character says ‘Hey, Beaver’s Breath.’ And the Native woman says, ‘How did you know my name?’” Another complaint was black actors wearing makeup were portraying Native Americans.   read more

Switzerland Wins Happiest Country Ranking; U.S. 15th of 158

The World Happiness Report for 2015 ranks nations using a variety of factors, such as income, life expectancy, and personal freedoms. Based on the criteria, Switzerland came out with the highest score (7.587). Right behind it were Iceland (7.561), Denmark (7.527), Norway (7.522) and Canada (7.427). The U.S. came in 15th on the list—right behind Mexico—out of 158 ranked. “The people who design our institutions and govern our lives need to pay attention,” said report co-author John Helliwell.   read more
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