An optimist is someone who sees the glass half full, not half empty. An optimist is someone who sees the brighter side of life’s many ups and downs. An optimist knows that evil exists but believes that in the end good will triumph. For example, after America was attacked by Japan at Pearl Harbor and we entered World War II, I believed that we would win. Why? Because America always won its wars. That was the optimist in me.
Sex ed has been in Boston public schools for as long as we can remember. But apparently, a group of students are not satisfied with just being given condoms. They want to know more about sexually-transmitted diseases. According to the Boston Globe of February 16, the Boston Public Health Commission reports that 54 percent of city high school students have had sex, and half of them have had sex with more than three partners. Thus, the likelihood of these students getting a sexually transmitted disease is high.
In an age that glorifies specialization, and often threatens to narrow the interests and achievements of individuals to subfields sterilely reduced to less than an intellectual handbreadth, a person who is truly multifaceted and who offers contributions to a broad array of fields is to be received as a treasure. The recent “manifesto” produced by Jaron Lanier — one of the giants of “virtual reality” research — continues to demonstrate that its author is one such individual.
Look out, or the politicians hustling to rescue us from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and its sexual assaults at the airport may run you over.
Why is it that Egyptians do well in the U.S. but not Egypt? We could make that same observation and pose that same question about Nigerians, Cambodians, Jamaicans and others of the underdeveloped world who migrate to the U.S. Until recently, we could make the same observation about Indians in India, and the Chinese citizens of the People's Republic of China, but not Chinese citizens of Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The new children's movie Gnomeo & Juliet is of course an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s classic work, Romeo & Juliet. In this new world, the bickering enemies are red and blue garden gnomes. The blue garden belongs to the Montagues of 2B and the red Capulets live next door, at not 2B.
These are times that try nations' budgets. Even President Obama is talking seriously about budget cutting — not as seriously as the Republicans claim they are, but hey, give the guy credit. He has proposed trimming $100 billion from this year's spending level to produce a 2012 budget of a mere $3.7 trillion. He proposes reducing the deficit by $544 billion, so that next year' s budget will produce only $1.1 trillion in red ink. And the long-term budget projections are for an additional $7 trillion in public debt (now at more than $14 trillion) over the next 10 years. There, now. How's that for frugality? Eat your heart out, Calvin Coolidge.
Most Americans remember Newt Gingrich as being the former Speaker of the House who led America into the glories of conservative victory, and who guided the Republican Party to electoral success in its 1994 “Revolution,” which resulted in the economic boon of the Internet era of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Most do not associate Newt, however, with his true record, which speaks volumes about his underlying ideology and motivations. This ideology is especially evident in his 2007 book A Contract with the Earth, which he coauthored with environmentalist Terry Maple.