Sunday, 01 February 2009 19:00 Jim Camp Editorial Dept - Lifestyle

Those of us born in an earlier era recall the Cold War that lasted from shortly after the end of World War II until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. It was the era of Mutually Assured Destruction with massed nuclear missiles pointed at one another. It was an era when Americans were rightfully concerned about Soviet espionage inside the U.S. and Soviet expansionist ambitions throughout the world.

The expression is “You had to be there to understand it.” The Cold War turned hot when North Korea invaded the south and was fought to a stalemate that exists to this day. I was around when it turned hot again in Vietnam during the 1970s, serving as a fighter pilot against which Soviet-made weapons were aimed.

I have since concluded that the Vietnam War contributed greatly to the end of the Cold War. Just as the race for space began with the Soviet launch of Sputnik, escalating our fears that the Russians had got the jump on us technologically, the Vietnam War convinced the Russians that the vast technological leaps the U.S. had made in the waging of war—particularly an air war—were such that they would always be at a disadvantage.

Monday, 01 December 2008 19:00 Jim Camp Editorial Dept - Lifestyle

 The November 24 cover of Time magazine pictured President-elect Barack Obama as the reincarnation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It is an image of strength and hope. An image of a future filled with enthusiasm, intelligence and leadership.

To many it seems as though the mainstream media’s adulation of the incoming President might be overboard causing a Washington Post media reporter to write on November 17 that “we seem to have crossed a cultural line into mythmaking.”

President-elect Obama won a significant electoral victory. He carried states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia which all could have gone the other way. But, even with such an amazing Electoral College victory he only received 52 percent of the popular vote across the nation. That means that 48 percent of the voters remained unconvinced of his promises and his agenda for America.

Saturday, 18 October 2008 19:00 Ingo Schmidt Editorial Dept - Lifestyle

Government Responses to the Financial Crisis: Meltdown and Bailouts - Falling house-prices triggered a financial crisis in the summer of 2007. Increasing numbers of people who had borrowed against their property, whose value they expected to rise continually, had trouble to pay their mortgages and other bills. Particularly hard hit were people whose mortgages had flexible interest rates that were now rising.

Hard hit were also the banks that had given out loans with levity and repackaged such credits as investment products that could be bought and sold on financial markets.

By doing so, a link between the housing market and financial markets was forged. Through this link plunging house prices could translate into a financial crisis. When this wiped out the U.S. investment-banking sector through a series of bankruptcies, takeovers and shifts from investment to commercial banks, stock markets plummeted.

To avoid financial meltdown, which could deprive all economic circuits of its lubricant – money, the U.S. government and central bank presented a $700 billion bailout plan. This money would be used to buy up bad loans and worthless assets to restore market values and investor confidence. This plan triggered a wave of anger among the American people who, rightfully, thought that they shouldn't pay the bills for a handful of big shots.


Saturday, 18 October 2008 19:00 Brian Fitzpatrick Editorial Dept - Lifestyle

The media-cultural scene is exploding right now, with so many significant developments we can’t write about just one. Instead, we’re touching on three stories, ranging from very good to very bad to just plain awful, because of the insights they offer about the media’s role in shaping our culture.

Let’s begin with the bad. Hollywood has been openly promoting homosexuality at least since 1997, when Ellen DeGeneres publicly declared her “orientation,” and the entertainment networks jumped on the bandwagon by inserting homosexual characters into their shows. This year, the Tinseltown campaign to persuade Americans that homosexuality is healthy and normal has reached unprecedented heights, or depths, depending on how you look at it.

As CMI’s Colleen Raezler reports in her new Eye on Culture study, “Lavender Propaganda,” the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is crowing that “the 2008-2009 television season contains a record number of homosexual, bisexual or transgendered characters,” more than double the number from last year. We’re up to 35 characters spread across 21 series. 14 of these series are aired between 8 and 10 p.m., which includes the “family hour.”

Tuesday, 07 October 2008 19:00 Sarah Tofte Editorial Dept - Lifestyle

A backlog in the testing of rape kits in Los Angeles means that many crime victims still wait for answers.

I spent a recent morning at the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, where women (and men and children) get emergency medical care and counseling immediately after they have been raped. I was researching how the center's nurse practitioners collect evidence for a "rape kit."

According to the Justice Department's most recent National Crime Victimization Survey, only about 40% of sexual assaults are reported to police, though other nongovernmental studies indicate even lower rates of 10% to 20%. But among those who do report a rape, most are taken to a hospital to have a rape kit created.

In this age of "CSI" and other forensic science TV series, rape victims believe that DNA and other evidence in their rape kits will help police and prosecutors find and punish their assailants. If only that were more true.


Tuesday, 05 August 2008 20:00 Tarek Refaat Editorial Dept - Lifestyle

For many years, perhaps centuries, the human mind is always being tested and challenged by other human minds. But the main challenge which remains is concerning the ability to discuss, share and explain thoughts and concerns. Throughout history it was found that those who would listen to those with concerns are a very small fraction than those who oppress them.

The trend of life has become let people live under your rule, not because they find in you the wisdom and wit to lead them but rather from the iron fist you possess. Including those nations who have liberty and freedom of speech.

When it comes down to actually taking decisions they will not allow you to interfere. Some nation’s folks have been protesting and refusing to go to war. But still they do. Some nations allow you “the freedom of speech” but in the end it is ink on paper. Your view will actually not do that much change. However the best thing is that they still try and protest and not give up. On the other hand other nations remain in the shadows and without speaking out their mind because the fear of having their heads taken off.



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