Archives for June 2013

Ask an Expat: I Want to Live Abroad! How Do I Do It?

A question that I often get, with slight variations of course, is: “I want to live/work/study abroad! How do I do it?”

This question is difficult to answer without more information, such as which country/countries the person is interested in moving to, what their work experience is, whether or not they want to stay in the same field, what their educational background is, whether they’re willing to switch careers/teach abroad/study abroad, etc.… [Read more]

Obama at the Brandenburg Gate…

Fifty years after President John F. Kennedy’s iconic speech in Germany, President Obama is speaking to Germans, in a unified Germany, at Brandenburg Gate.

He noted that he’s proud to return to Berlin as president and that “Angela [Merkel] and I don’t look like previous German and American leaders…”

Times have changed; Reagan and JFK, due to the previous divided status of the city, would not have been able to speak at this same location.… [Read more]

Don’t Kill The Messenger

Since Edward Snowden‘s ‘confessions of an NSA analyst’ I’ve been feeling like I’m trapped inside Tony Scott’s 1988 flick, Enemy of the State. Irony is it’s fifteen years later. In the last two weeks I’ve read and heard Snowden called everything from a terrorist to spy to a narcissist. I’ve even listened to an elected official call for the prosecution (with a straight face) of the journalist who interviewed Snowden.… [Read more]

‘Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’ Voted on by Congress

An update on the Republican party’s insistence on pushing forward with its ‘War on Women‘: The “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act” is a direct challenge to the Supreme Court’s decision in the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalised abortion up to the time a fetus is considered ‘viable’, which is generally considered to be approximately at the 24-week stage of pregnancy.… [Read more]

Summer School

It’s summertime and, as a teacher, that means I am home with my two boys for the next two-and-a-half months. Most people assume this means I have oodles of free time to just sit and kick it on my back deck with a book.

While I do have more time now than I did when my days were 7:30am-5:00pm, I still have a lot of “teacherly” things going on.… [Read more]

The “Nuns on the Bus” Immigration Tour Closes Today

Last year, Sister Simone Campbell made quite a splash on national television when she took her mission on the road. She went from around the nation, neighbourhood to neighbourhood, raising awareness about those among us who live in poverty, and she took her fight to congress when she brought attention to how their budget adversely impacts the most vulnerable in our society.… [Read more]

Government Spying and ME

No, “ME” isn’t an acronym for a data collection system. Well, I guess in a way it is, but this “ME” is simply “me”, or as I’m officially known (middle name omitted)—Patrick White. This post is about my feelings about the NSA looking through Verizon data and other systems that the government uses to “keep tabs” on us citizens.… [Read more]

Busy day for the SCOTUS – good day for consumers

Today the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 5-3 vote that agreements between the companies that make name-brand and generic drugs to delay the generics’ availability can be illegal. Federal regulators can now sue drug companies for antitrust violations when those brand-name drug makers pay generic competitors to keep cheaper, rival copies of a drug off the market.… [Read more]

G8 Summit: Avoidance of Discussions about the Environment

The 39th G8 summit is being held in the United Kingdom today and tomorrow.

Representing approximately 15 percent of the world’s population, 65 percent of the global gross domestic product and two thirds of international trade, the G8 is an informal group of advanced economies that meets once a year at a Summit of Heads of State and Government.… [Read more]

Still Nazis Among Us?

An Associated Press report that 94-year-old Minneapolis retired construction worker Michael Karkoc was allegedly an officer in a Nazi-affiliated Ukrainian militia accused of war crimes during World War II has neighbors stunned and criminal justice agencies in Europe and the United States launching an investigation.

Many crimes are subject to a statute of limitation years after alleged commission given that reliable evidence may no longer be available, and that memories of witnesses fade with time.… [Read more]

Father’s Day 2013

It’s Father’s Day, the day to celebrate paternal bonds and honour the men in our lives who are there either by blood or by choice. Today we celebrate fatherhood and its powerful influence.

Not all fathers are cut from the same cloth; some are actively involved in the lives of their children and some, perhaps due to extenuating circumstances, are not.… [Read more]

Still Our Only Home

This week’s “Say It In Song” pick is one that comes to us courtesy of Jeff Beck and the Hammer Group.

Much will be discussed about the environment this week; despite the fact that climate change will not be discussed at this year’s G8 Summit at which global leaders will meet to discuss topics of international importance, activism will remain a local, grassroots issue.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Is it possible that Americans have come to think well of George W. Bush?

Dear Mrs. Vera,

A recent poll reveals that for the first time since 2005, more Americans have a favorable view of George W. Bush than an unfavorable view. How is this possible?

Regards, Dwight D. Eisenhower, dec’d.

Dear Dirty “I Is In The Shower”,

You are very naughty, indeed, if you think Mrs. Vera will be so easily fooled by such a transparent letter just because I answered a dead man’s question last week.… [Read more]

Surviving the Summer Holidays

The summer holidays are on us again. School is out and the kids are free to run wild. It need not be all chaos at your household this summer as there are many different activities which you can do with your children to occupy their time meaningfully.

  • Sign them up for art camps, or do painting/drawing at home:  It would be great for them to capture their surroundings down in print using different mediums in art.
[Read more]

Funny business: “If you’ve done nothing wrong…”

The Brits have the best expressions, and events this past week on both sides of the world’s longest undefended border confirming the harsh truths of democracy in the Age of Terror recall a good one – “funny peculiar, or funny ha-ha?” The sinister synchronicity observed between sanctioned NSA snoops and the secret spy directives issued by the Honourable Peter MacKay, our Minister of Defence working his inner Big Brother should scare the bejeezus out of any intelligent democrat.… [Read more]

Another Day, Another Massacre

A week ago another lunatic armed to the teeth descended on the town of Santa Monica, California and the Santa Monica City College killing 5 innocent people and wounding scores of others. The gunman, wearing an assault style military uniform, carried an AR 15 assault rifle with over 1800 rounds of ammunition. He killed his father, brother and three innocent random people, shooting indiscriminately at drivers of cars and a city bus before he entered the school where he fired on anyone he saw.… [Read more]

U.S. Army Celebrates its 238th Anniversary

Two hundred thirty-eight years ago the leaders of the United States established what was then known as the Continental Army. Since then, the US Army has defended the nation and its inhabitants against threats, domestic and foreign.

As the main branch of the United States Armed Forces, and both the largest and oldest of the seven uniformed services branches of the military, the Army is responsible for all land-based military operations.… [Read more]

Stormy Seas On California’s Coast

California is playing host to two of our most important partners in Asia: Japan and China. On Tuesday, troops from Japan’s Ground Self Defense Forces (GSDF) arrived for amphibious training exercises with the US Marines off the coast of San Diego. Last Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived at Rancho Mirage to meet with President Obama about national security issues relevant to both countries.… [Read more]

It hasn’t been that long: Loving vs. Virginia #MarriageEquality

As the US Supreme Court prepares to decide on marriage equality cases, taking a look back to one of the first cases fighting for the right to marry becomes all the more important.

In 1967, not even 50 years ago, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Loving v. Virginia case. For those who don’t know, the aptly named Loving couple, Richard and Mildred, committed what was then considered an unlawful act; the couple — a white man and a black woman — fell in love and married.… [Read more]

Edward Snowdon – Patriot or Traitor?

Ah, the Edward Snowdon affair. We seen a lot of material passing through cyberspace and landing on our computer screens (via Twitter) about Edward. I’m going to run through some tweets I found about Edward that I hope you will find interesting.

The National Journal says, Breathe, People: We Shouldn’t Rush to Judgment About Edward Snowden.… [Read more]