Browsing All Posts published on »November, 2012«

Sooooo Tired of Lindsay Lohan

November 30, 2012


I don’t normally follow celebrity stuff, but I’ve about had it with Lindsay Lohan.  The latest, as Anthony McCartney reports in, is that she smacked a woman in the face at a Manhattan nightclub in the wee hours of Thursday morning, and was arrested on assault charges.  It’s just one more incident in a […]

Zero Evidence: The “Boogeyman Effect” on Justice

November 29, 2012


The 21st-century equivalent of crying “witch!” On Tuesday we looked at the “CSI Effect,” in which juries seem to apply an impossibly high expectation of hard physical evidence in order to convict, even in the face of what appears to be an overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence. There is an opposite phenomenon as well, in […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: Bringing Happiness by Sprinkling Stars on the Life of a Child

November 28, 2012


By Joan Larsen Sometimes, a single story can change our lives. Though this personal tale takes place in the Christmas season, it is one that – once heard – is remembered forever.   The glories of nature in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana would be hard to match.  But in that wilderness live families whose […]

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: The “CSI Effect” on Justice

November 27, 2012


Overlooked evidence in the Casey Anthony case: would it have made a difference? I have to admit, when the verdict came in the Casey Anthony trial and she was “not guilty,” I was pretty surprised.  There was a time that the evidence presented in this case would have led to a resounding conviction of guilty […]

Keeping the Elderly Relevant

November 26, 2012


Every holiday season, and in some other seasons too, we will make the traditional pilgrimages to our relatives’ homes, and within a couple of days, we are reminded of why we moved out in the first place.  You know what they say:  fish and house guests stink after three days. On this year’s Thanksgiving odyssey […]

If You Are Pro-Life, You Are Anti-IVF

November 23, 2012


In the pre-election flurry of outrageous Republican statements about rape pregnancies, religious opposition to contraception in health-care plans, and the ongoing “War on Women” marked by legislation impacting women’s reproductive rights and choices, the focus has consistently been on preventing abortions and to some extent, hindering access to contraception. There have also been epic battles […]

Happy Thanksgiving to All, and To All A Good Night

November 22, 2012


Happy Turkey Day, everyone!  May you enjoy the company of people you enjoy, or at least get some good stories to tell about your family foibles; may you enjoy a bountiful table and succeed in avoiding the Brussels sprouts; and may you have the most delicious pause to contemplate all that is good in your […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: A Father’s Quest: Finding Debra

November 21, 2012


By Joan Larsen So often it is just a single moment in time that will change our lives forever.  Many of us have had such moments as we have traveled the road of life. But a true fairy tale ending as this story has? I would call it rare. I would call it a miracle […]

The Obliteration of Thanksgiving, and Halloween is Next

November 20, 2012


Fall and winter used to have a certain stately holiday pace to them: first came Halloween, with its witches and goblins, skeletons and black cats.  The venerable pumpkin and the reds, yellows and oranges of Autumn rolled smoothly into Thanksgiving.  There used to be actual Thanksgiving decorations: turkeys, pilgrims, Indians, cornucopias.  People gave the holiday […]

The Cat’s in the Cradle and the Silver Spoon: Slow Down, Parents

November 19, 2012


Andrea Petersen recently wrote a Wall Street Journal article, “A Nanny Who’s Always On Vacation.”  Far from being on vacation, these specialized nannies make their livings by accompanying families on their vacations, to attend to the children while traveling and to give the parents their “adult time” sans kids. I’m not sure what I think […]

Thoughts from Lulu: How Do We Compromise?

November 16, 2012


By Luanne Keifer How do we compromise?  That question has rattled around in my brain since the election.  Is it ethics, pride, stubbornness, or the influences of our upbringing that debilitate our ability to not only listen but compromise? I sat laughing when John Boehner informed his fellow Republicans that not everyone looks like you […]

Very Public Indiscretions Tarnish Perceptions of All Women

November 16, 2012


An old Army friend still works in the Pentagon.  We spoke recently, and of course the topic turned to this whole mess with General Petraeus.  Among other things, we touched on the dampening effect this could have on the careers of top female advisors and deputies everywhere. When I was a young lieutenant in the […]

Rushing to Judgment: A Word on General Allen

November 15, 2012


As it happens, I knew General Allen slightly.  When he was still a one-star, he and I worked some of the same regional security and policy issues for our respective bosses, and had occasion to meet a few times.  He was intellectually brilliant, of a serious mind, and dedicated to his job.  He moved quickly […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel Stories: Far Off the Beaten Path in Patagonia

November 14, 2012


By Joan Larsen I am so sure that I speak for all of us when I say that we come to a point when we need a change of scene… and we need it now.  “Please,” I will say, “let the world go away!”  Whether we go far or near, we need time and we […]

Check It Out! Lisa Borges Giramonti’s “A Bloomsbury Life” Blog

November 13, 2012


In her article, From Paper to Film: “Cheerful Weather for the Wedding”  Lisa interviews screenwriter Mary Henely Macgill about the journey of adapting Julia Strachey’s book into a screenplay.  Check out this behind-the scenes look at bringing the book to life on the screen!

LIPA’s Superstorm Sandy Performance Draws Third World Comparisons

November 13, 2012


Shades of déjà vu.  In the wake of the 2010 “Snowmageddon” blizzard in the Washington DC area, Pepco was thoroughly blasted for their poor performance in maintaining and restoring electrical power, but that didn’t lead to any great improvements for 2011 or 2012.  The Maryland Public Service Commission fined Pepco a million dollars for their […]

Grim Thoughts on the Origins of Veterans Day: Voices From WWI

November 12, 2012


It used to be called Armistice Day.  At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Great War officially ended. It was the first war to involve all of the great powers of the Earth aligned against each other; it was first industrialized war; the first war to see air-to-air combat; […]

Comic Review: Brooke McEldowney’s “Pibgorn”

November 9, 2012


You may know of cartoonist Brooke McEldowney through his daily comic strip, 9 Chickweed Lane.  What many fans may not realize is that Mr. McEldowney produces another strip, Pibgorn.  I have never seen Pibgorn in any print newspaper (there are editorial reasons for this, which will become apparent), although the Washington Post does include a […]

Maryland’s Version of the DREAM Act: Whose Dream?

November 8, 2012


One surprise that came out of this election was that voters in Maryland passed that state’s rather more generous version of the DREAM Act, allowing some illegal immigrants to attend Maryland universities at the lower in-state tuition rates (Note, the never-passed federal DREAM Act would offer a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who came […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel Stories: Climbing the Dune

November 7, 2012


By Joan Larsen As a child, I whirled the big round globe that graced our living room, with a single finger choosing the countries I would go to when I grew up.  For so many of us, the pictures in National Geographic  fed our dreams… dreams that danced in our heads, refusing to go away.  […]

Election Day! How Much Do You Trust Electronic Voting Machines?

November 6, 2012


Doesn’t it seem like we rush to have the latest, glitziest, shiniest new thing, often without considering its drawbacks and disadvantages?  Every new thing is the “wave of the future” and we want to get there first.  We rarely seem to consider whether the “wave of the future” is really an improvement or not.  Case […]

What Does Electronic Data Have in Common With the Burning of the Library at Alexandria?

November 5, 2012


The ancient library of Alexandria, Egypt, was charged with collecting the knowledge of the whole world, such as it was in those days.  When Julius Caesar accidentally burned the library during the siege of Alexandria in 48 BC, tens of thousands of volumes went up with it… one of the bigger “oops” moments in history, […]

Mike Firesmith: Someone to Talk To

November 2, 2012


By Mike Firesmith The creepy guy never so much as spoke to me until he saw me with Legs. There aren’t that many women who even women say have great legs but Legs is mostly legs. She’s friendly, she’s intelligent, and she doesn’t like guys hitting on her. I never have which is why she […]

And Now for a Little Serenity: Sean Connery Reads “Ithaca”

November 1, 2012


In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, perhaps we could all use a little serenity… some philosophical contemplation of life and how we approach its challenges.  Joan Larsen has kindly shared her appreciation of the 1911 poem “Ithaca,” by Constantine P. Cavafy, as read by Sean Connery (ah, what a voice!).  It seems pretty appropriate right […]