, 2018, at the University of Baltimore, Maryland. Endorsers include: Alliance for Global Justice, Black Alliance for Peace, CODEPINK, Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, International Action Center, Liberty Tree Foundation, MLK Justice Coalition, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Popular Resistance, United National Antiwar Coalition, U.S. Peace Council, Veterans For Peace, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, World Beyond War and United for Peace and Justice.  Location:  University of Baltimore, Learning Commons Town Hall, Baltimore, Maryland.  Organized by: Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases.

Conference on U.S. Foreign Military Bases
January 12 - 14, 2018
Learning Commons Town Hall, University of Baltimore
1415 Maryland Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland
Organized by: Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases

Black background with gray letters saying 2017

Thank Mother Earth 2017 is finally over. It was a year that chewed me up, crapped me out, made sweet love to me, punched me in the gut, stole my lunch money, made me laugh, pantsed me, and gave me hope. And I’m only talking about American politics.

It all began with saying goodbye to Barack Obama, the biggest disappointment since losing your virginity. His departure was going to be the end of congressional gridlock and political baby steps. Special interests, criminals, and Valerie Jarrett would no longer decide the nation’s fate while the president negotiated speaking fees with Cantor Fitzgerald. The people would take back their government, they would take back their lives. Yet, as we know all too painfully, the euphoria was immediately extinguished when Hurricane Donald made landfall.

Psychedelic bright hot pink, yellow and blue swirly colors and a Native man dancing with word New Year's Eve Sobriety Pow Wow

Sunday, December 31, 2017, 3:00 PM – 12:30 AM
St. John’s Church, 59 E. Main St., Columbus 43215
Come ring in the New Year old skool style and help support those opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline!!  The proceeds from the 1st Annual Sobriety Powwow Hosted by Five Rivers Chatauqua partnered with Sierra Club Central Ohio will be going to Wakpa Was'te Camp located on Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in Eagle Butte South Dakota.  Grand Entry at 3:00 p.m. Intermission at 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Grand Entry at 8:00 p.m.  

Oliver Stone’s 2012 thriller Savages opens with gorgeous coastline images accompanied by O or Ophelia’s (Blake Lively) voiceover saying: “It started here in paradise, Laguna Beach, where they say God parked himself on the seventh day…” In addition to its stunning scenery, languid Laguna has much to lure Angelenos away from the big city’s daily grind to this SoCal oceanic enclave located about 50 miles south on the 5 Freeway from Downtown L.A.

 

Of course, this Orange County seaside village is widely known for its art galleries - and it’s no wonder, given the splendor of its natural surroundings that would make any dauber’s palette burst with color. But there are also eateries there to make gourmet’s palates drool, so I decided to combine one of my regular excursions as a theater reviewer south to the Laguna Playhouse with a feast.

 

Drifting Down to Driftwood Kitchen: Caramel-By-the-Sea

 

Enough is enough. Especially when it comes to a name.

Many of you have undoubtedly faced a crisis or two about your own. It can come from anywhere, like changing (or NOT) your family name when getting married. Or dumping the curse of one you never liked.

Famous examples abound. The great Texas-born classical pianist Van Cliburn was in fact Harvey Lavan Cliburn. Lady Gaga is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Kirk Douglas was Issur Danielovitch. Marilyn Monroe came from Norma Jean Mortenson. Tony Curtis had been Bernard Schwartz. John Wayne was Marion Mitchell Morrison.

You get the picture.

When I was born in Boston 72 years ago this New Year’s Eve, my mom made my father promise not to name me “Harvey.” Dad’s father, who’d just passed away, was Herschel. So the “H” was unavoidable. But there were certainly better choices. She never forgave him. Me either.

My middle name is Franklin, as my parents were big FDR fans. As an historian, I like it for Ben.

Wasserman means “Aquarius” or Water Man in German. I’m good with that.

But “Harvey”?

Black and white photo of a young man with long flowing brown hair with a headband across his forehead holding a baseball bat as if he's about to swing

Enough is enough. Especially when it comes to a name.

Many of you have undoubtedly faced a crisis or two about your own. It can come from anywhere, like changing (or NOT) your family name when getting married. Or dumping the curse of one you never liked.

Famous examples abound. The great Texas-born classical pianist Van Cliburn was in fact Harvey Lavan Cliburn. Lady Gaga is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. Kirk Douglas was Issur Danielovitch. Marilyn Monroe came from Norma Jean Mortenson. Tony Curtis had been Bernard Schwartz. John Wayne was Marion Mitchell Morrison.

You get the picture.

When I was born in Boston 72 years ago this New Year’s Eve, my mom made my father promise not to name me “Harvey.” Dad’s father, who’d just passed away, was Herschel. So the “H” was unavoidable. But there were certainly better choices. She never forgave him. Me either.

My middle name is Franklin, as my parents were big FDR fans. As an historian, I like it for Ben.

Wasserman means “Aquarius” or Water Man in German. I’m good with that.

But “Harvey”?

The rabbit in the Jimmy Stewart movie was in fact a real-life “Pooka”, a Celtic spirit.

The words Rise Up! Should-to-shoulder equal rights amendment against a purple background and a silhouette of people below raising their hands and fists in the air

Dec 30, 2017 at 7 PM to Jan 12, 2018 at 10 PM
On your phone or computer
THIS IN AN ONGOING EVENT! In honor of Dr. Alice Paul, ERA Action has launched "RISE UP! SHOULDER-TO-SHOULDER FOR THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT". This virtual Social Media event will be an ***ONGOING EVENT UNTIL WOMEN HAVE ACHIEVED CONSTITUTIONAL EQUALITY***. On July 21, 1923, Dr. Paul unveiled the amendment at the 75th Anniversary of the first Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York.

It was quite fitting that Alice chose this day to introduce her amendment as she realized the event was not only a day to celebrate the victory of the long, hard fought battle to gain the vote for women, but the beginning of the next phase for the movement - to obtain full Constitutional equality.

As Alice famously said: "We shall not be safe until the principle of equal rights is written into the framework of our government.”

Is Santa real? What about God? Or Mr. Stranger Danger? A 5-year-old’s curiosity is a wonder to behold — more than a wonder if you haven’t had your coffee yet, or if you’re trying to get last-minute Christmas shopping done at Target and your son says he wants to die right now so he can meet God.

To be a parent is to feel the force of this curiosity like a live spring uncoiling with unpredictable energy against the day’s agenda and the furthest reaches of the known universe, pushing you into a possible future not yet imagined.

“When did people first realize there was a God?”

This is my great-nephew Jackson, doing curiosity handsprings across the academic discipline of theology and squeezing an open-mouthed pause from his mom, Carmen, my niece — with whom I had a lively chat over the holidays about such matters when she had a moment to relax. This was a conversation of puzzlement and gold, and I’ve been thinking ever since about childhood and the precious possible.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has inspired a wave of corporate largesse. When Congress passed the tax bill on December 20, AT&T announced that it would give $1,000 bonuses over the holidays to 200,000 of its U.S. employees. The largest telecommunications company in the world by revenue, AT&T was a vocal supporter of the tax bill, which lowers the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.

Other companies were quick to jump on the PR bandwagon. Comcast gave $1,000 bonuses to over 100,000 employees. Fifth Third announced a $15 minimum hourly wage across the company and gave out $1,000 bonuses to more than 13,500 of its employees.

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