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The Resilient Child

The Resilient Child

By Maureen D. Healy

Are you raising resilient children?

If you can survive disappointment, nothing can beat you.
You are unbeatable. -
Louis CK

We all want our children to become resilient: To overcome obstacles, persevere when problems arise and bounce back from adversity. So why do some of us teach resiliency well? And others have a harder time? It’s not an easy question but certainly there’s enough research (data, experience, insight) to point the way toward raising more resilient children.
Keira Knightley: 'The criticism was tough'

Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley: 'The criticism was tough'

Xan Brooks

Hailed as a vibrant new talent, then slated as an am-dram fake, the actor has had a rollercoaster career of blockbusters and costume dramas. Now she is starting all over again

What a hectic and heady career Knightley has had. She has been praised and razed, built up and torn down; variously hailed as the most vibrant British actor of her generation and dismissed as an am-dram fake who got lucky. Hers is an apprenticeship that was played out on camera. It has bounced her from homegrown heartwarmers to Hollywood blockbusters to costume dramas and back again, to the point where she can't quite recall the work she has done or the people she knows. "Oh, hello, we've met before," she exclaims, although I assure her that we haven't. At the tender age of 29, she figures that she must have encountered everyone at least once.

Keira Knightley with her husband James Righton.

Perhaps we should recap the recent decades – for her own benefit as much as anyone's. She was raised in suburban west London, the daughter of dramatists, and famously requested an agent before she turned four. In her teens she took a small role in The Phantom Menace, starred in Bend It Like Beckham and picked up an Oscar nomination for her performance as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. She has acted alongside Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean, suffered soulfully through Atonement and flogged haircare products and Chanel perfume. But her runaway acclaim made her tabloid catnip as well. She was forced to deny rumours that she suffered from an eating disorder and found herself stalked like a frightened gazelle whenever she set out on foot. "I like walking," she says ruefully. "I know that sounds like a stupid fucking thing. But I do like walking, and for a long time I couldn't."

Success, she allows, arrived a little too soon. "I've definitely done all my learning publicly. And I've had to develop a thick skin because of that. So yeah, there would have been a comfortable way of doing it where I went to drama school and made tons of mistakes. If you could choose how success happens, that's what I would have chosen. But of course you can't. And if a moment comes, you have to jump, because it probably won't come around again. So I chose to jump, knowing it was going to be brutal because I knew that I hadn't learned enough. I didn't know what I was meant to be doing."

The way Knightley tells it, her equivalent of drama school was the set of Hollywood blockbusters and high-end costume sagas. She was feted and fawned over; she treated an Olympic ski jump as her nursery slope. Maybe this accounts for the flickering hostility that she seems to inspire. Few rising actors divide an audience to the extent that Knightley does. Where fans applaud the open, unguarded quality of her screen performances, others see an unformed ingenue playing dress-up in the mirror.

'The World Cup is God's gift to women.'

A woman from Brazil and a man from Argentina dance samba at the World Cup Fan Fest 2014, on Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The flood of foreign football fans, the vast majority of them men, has been a boon for the single ladies of Brazil, where a demographic imbalance means women outnumber men by more than 4 million nationally.  (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

At least their women have scored!

Brazil's female population, which greatly outnumbers the men, reaps the benefits of the World Cup with so many football fans arriving

Renata de Mouro Moitinho sambas so fast her feet blur, but her partner moves with the bumbling tentativeness of a toddler taking his first steps.

And in a way the strapping man in a tight spandex soccer jersey really is taking his first steps — his first samba steps, that is: Moitinho's dance partner for the evening is an Italian, visiting Brazil for the World Cup, and she is giving him his very first lesson in the nation's frenetically paced national dance.

The two met at the Fan Fest in Rio de Janeiro, where 22-year-old Moitinho and a group of friends have been going throughout the monthlong tournament in order to, as she puts it, 'hunt foreigners' like the Italian, who declined to give his name.

Moitinho's not alone.

In this July 4, 2014, photo, A Brazilian woman and a Colombian man dance during the World Cup Fan Fest 2014 on Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazilian women say foreign male fans have behaved well, and have displayed a more enlightened, less macho attitude than that of Brazilian guys. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

The past three weeks' flood of foreign soccer fans — the vast majority of them men — has been a boon for the single women of Brazil, where a demographic imbalance means they outnumber men by more than four million nationally.

The imbalance, the result of higher mortality rates among young men, is particularly acute in Rio de Janeiro, where there are just over nine men for every 10 women, according to the 2010 census. That's about the same as New York City, another metropolis known for its lack of eligible single men.

'There are so many men everywhere these days, it's amazing,' Moitinho said, gesturing out over the sea of masculine faces at the Fan Fest. 'The World Cup is God's gift to women.'

The CIA in Germany: A Secret History

The CIA in Germany: A Secret History

American intelligence as been spying on Germany for a long time, with and without their knowledge.

You do not have to look very hard to find in the historical record information revealing that the CIA has been spying inside Germany for more than sixty years. CIA agents have even been captured and expelled by German authorities, including a number who were caught in the 1990s. These incidents, which received comparatively little attention in the U.S., were covered extensively in Germany and enraged the German public.

Despite the fact that Germany has been a longtime friend and NATO ally of the U.S., many of the Agency’s escapades have for decades been chronicled in the pages of the German news magazine Der Spiegel. And thanks to information leaked over the past year to the U.S. and European media by Edward Snowden, we now know in some detail that America’s eavesdropping behemoth, the NSA, had been tapping the cell phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her predecessors since at least the late 1990s.

So why all the hoopla about this latest press revelation? Every foreign government official I have spoken to over the past thirty years has, at one time or another, admitted that they assume that the U.S. intelligence community is spying on their governments. A European intelligence official who has been actively involved in shaping the liaison relationship with the U.S. intelligence community since 9/11 admitted to me last year that, despite his country’s close relationship with Washington, this sort of clandestine behavior by America’s spies will continue well into the future. This is because espionage has become an integral part of American statecraft.

'Get away from me you pig'

'Get away from me you pig'

Donald Sterling attacks wife after she testifies about his failing mental health

BY Nancy Dillon

DEC. 19, 2011, FILE PHOTO

Donald Sterling lashed out angrily in open court Wednesday, calling his wife a "pig" and vowing a full-court legal press against the NBA until his death.

The embattled Clippers owner, who defiantly testified he would ‘never, ever, ever sell’ the team, snapped at his wife Shelly Sterling in open court. Shelly Sterling testified that she fears her husband suffers from Alzheimer’s.

 Shelly Sterling was allowed to remove her husband from the family trust after doctors certified he was mentally unfit.

"He's just not the same person he used to be," Shelly said on the witness stand, describing how her husband of 58 years had trouble remembering things, slurring his words and controlling his anger.

Sterling's lawyer Bobby Samini defended the tycoon's outburst saying he was hurt by his wife's testimony.

"They've been married about 60 years. I think he felt extremely betrayed by Shelly," Samini told the Daily News after the trial ended for the day.

Why are today's young women so unashamed about being fat?

Why are today's young women so unashamed about being fat?

By Linda Kelsey

Fat friends: Linda is shocked by the number of overweight young people she often sees

I am unapologetically fattist. It's unattractive, it's unhealthy and, given the problems that being fat can cause, it should be as unacceptable as smoking.

Standing in the queue for airport security at Luton last week, en route to Malaga and my fortnight in the sun, I became transfixed by the three young women in front of me.

They sounded - and looked - happy and carefree. But what mesmerised me most about this jolly trio was not their conversation, but their appearance: they were size 18 apiece, at least. All in their early 20s, they were laughing and chatting, clearly looking forward to their hols on the Costa del Sol, excitedly planning their days on the beach and nights on the town.

They were not chubby, but fat. They had bulging bellies and billowing pillows of back and shoulder stuffing, punctured by flabby arms and lardy legs that no amount of fake-tan could disguise. And what struck me even more forcefully about these lumpen individuals (there were dozens more, equally large, in the queue behind me) was how obviously unconcerned they were about it.

One was wearing shockingly skimpy crochet shorts, as seen on size-zero models in adverts. But in this case, the shorts made it appear the wearer had an extra bottom hanging below the cut-off hemline.

Another girl wore white stretch leggings with a pattern of cellulite dimples showing through, accessorised with a super-sized sausage of overhanging belly.

Meanwhile, the third sported a cut-away vest top revealing the entire back of her pink bra, complete with chunky rolls of fat above, beneath and around the straps. To top it all, these three were - I kid you not - sharing a bag of crisps.

Why Obama says he didn’t visit the U.S.-Mexico border

Why Obama says he didn’t visit the U.S.-Mexico border

Brian Hughes

President Obama in a hastily arranged press conference Wednesday insisted that he had not visited the U.S.-Mexico border during a trip to Texas because it would amount to political theater.

“This isn’t theater. This is a problem,” Obama said in Dallas following a meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry to discuss the surge in unaccompanied minors crossing the southwest border. “

“I’m not interested in photo ops,” he added. “I’m interested in solving a problem.”

Republicans have hammered Obama for not visiting the border while tens of thousands of minors enter the U.S. illegally from Central America.

Obama defends decision not to visit border


Obama defends decision not to visit border

Katie Zezima and David Nakamura

After meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the president said he’s “not interested in photo ops,” as pressure mounted to witness the crisis caused by an influx of tens of thousands of foreign children.

President Obama on Wednesday forcefully defended his decision not to visit the Texas border with Mexico to view a burgeoning humanitarian crisis, saying he’s “not interested in photo ops” and challenging Congress to give him new authority to respond to the situation.

“Nothing has taken place down there that I’m not intimately aware of,” Obama said during a hastily arranged news conference here, where he began a two-day visit to the state for Democratic fundraising and an economic event. “This is not theater.”

4 Myths About Marriage You Probably Believe

4 Myths About Marriage You Probably Believe

By Peg Streep

Close to half of all first marriages in the United States end in divorce. What is going on? Are we going about the business of marriage all wrong? Are we picking the wrong people? Or don't we know what to do when things start going south? A look at what science knows and we don't.

1. Living together first is a good idea

I will readily admit that this is what I thought until I read the research, even though I was aware that cohabitation was less than a guarantee of wedded bliss. It always seemed to me that when people married after living together for a substantial period of time, there was still an important transition ahead. It’s only after you’re married that your (and your spouse’s) ideas of what marriage should be like and how spouses ought to behave kick in. These conceptions, usually undiscussed and often unarticulated, come out of our childhoods, our perception of our parents’ marriage, our upbringing, and our personal expectations. Some of us who were fine with our lovers’ behaviors before we tied the knot may find ourselves feeling differently afterward.

Chelsea Clinton nabs $75K in speaking fees — same as Dick Cheney

Clinton Foundation Vice Chairwoman Chelsea Clinton speaks while hosting an event titled "From STEM to Success: A No Ceilings Conversation," at the Colorado Museum of Nature and Science, in Denver, Monday, June 23, 2014. The event was part of the Clinton Global Initiative America, which is being held in Denver this week. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Chelsea Clinton nabs $75K in speaking fees — same as Dick Cheney

By Cheryl K. Chumley - The Washington Times

Chelsea Clinton may be a lot younger, inexperienced and less politically proven than former Vice President Dick Cheney — but when it comes to speaking fees, she commands the same $75,000 he does.

The New York Daily News put it this way: “The former first daughter has never run for office, held a public policy job or done philanthropic work outside her family business. But that hasn’t stopped the speaking fees from rolling in. … At $75,000 a pop, the 34-year-old mom-to-be is pulling down the same fees as [Cheney].”

Chinese Hackers Pursue Key Data on U.S. Workers

Chinese Hackers Pursue Key Data on U.S. Workers


Chinese hackers in March broke into the computer networks of the United States government agency that houses the personal information of all federal employees, according to senior American officials. They appeared to be targeting the files on tens of thousands of employees who have applied for top-secret security clearances.

The hackers gained access to some of the databases of the Office of Personnel Management before the federal authorities detected the threat and blocked them from the network, according to the officials. It is not yet clear how far the hackers penetrated the agency’s systems, in which applicants for security clearances list their foreign contacts, previous jobs and personal information like past drug use.

In response to questions about the matter, a senior Department of Homeland Security official confirmed that the attack had occurred but said that “at this time,” neither the personnel agency nor Homeland Security had “identified any loss of personally identifiable information.” The official said an emergency response team was assigned “to assess and mitigate any risks identified.”

One senior American official said that the attack was traced to China, though it was not clear if the hackers were part of the government. Its disclosure comes as a delegation of senior American officials, led by Secretary of State John Kerry, are in Beijing for the annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the leading forum for discussion between the United States and China on their commercial relationships and their wary efforts to work together on economic and defense issues.

Computer intrusions have been a major source of discussion and disagreement between the two countries, and the Chinese can point to evidence, revealed by Edward J. Snowden, that the National Security Agency went deep into the computer systems of Huawei, a major maker of computer network equipment, and ran many programs to intercept the conversations of Chinese leaders and the military.

American officials say the attack on the Office of Personnel Management was notable because while hackers try to breach United States government servers nearly every day, they rarely succeed. One of the last attacks the government acknowledged occurred last year at the Department of Energy. In that case, hackers successfully made off with employee and contractors’ personal data. The agency was forced to reveal the attack because state disclosure laws force entities to report breaches in cases where personally identifiable information is compromised. Government agencies do not have to disclose breaches in which sensitive government secrets, but no personally identifiable information, has been stolen.

Cunningham's Early Release Reminds California of His Disgrace

Cunningham's Early Release Reminds California of His Disgrace

Former San Diego Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham last week was granted an early release from post-prison monitoring by the very same federal judge who sentenced him to more than eight years in prison, reports the San Diego Union Tribune

In 2005, the Republican pleaded guilty to mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy and tax evasion charges as part of a plea deal after admitting that he had received over $2 million in bribes-- accepting cash and lavish gifts from defense contractors in return for using his substantial influence to steer contracts and earmarks towards those who were generous to him.  

Christie’s Faking It on Gun Rights

Twenty years before he killed a cap on magazine rounds, the Republican entered politics explicitly to fight for an assault-weapons ban and bullet limit.

A gun control bill landed on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s desk on July 2nd, the same day that two parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, took to the Trenton State House to try to convince him to sign it.

When Christie vetoed the bill instead -- not even blinking at the pleas from the victims’ families -- he sent a message to conservatives and gun-rights groups that he is still a viable contender for the 2016 Republican nomination. Christie will arrive in Nashville this week for the annual meeting of the Republican Governors Association--for which he serves as chairman--with renewed credibility as a right-wing powerhouse. After all, who but a conservative, gun-rights stalwart, unwavering in his principles, would be capable of appearing so unmoved by a father holding up a picture of his murdered son?

Undercutting Christie’s perceived tough guy act, however, is his record. In office and as a candidate for office, he has been anything but the kind of Second Amendment advocate who conservatives want to call their own. And his moderate stance on guns--including his history as an anti-assault weapon ban evangelist--opens him up to charges of inauthenticity.

The World Cup Beyond the Stadiums

The World Cup Beyond the Stadiums

By The New Yorker

The photographer David Alan Harvey captures scenes from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to Copacabana Beach.

Obama meets Perry over child migrant increase

Obama meets Perry over child migrant increase

Dan Roberts in Washington and Tom Dart in Houston 

Barack Obama and Rick Perry shake hands as the president arrives in Dallas to discuss immigration control with the Texas governor

President receptive to Texas governor's proposals but says Republicans must pass spending package first

US border patrols could be moved closer to the Rio Grande river crossing with Mexico in a fresh bid to deter an influx of child immigrants following talks between Barack Obama and the Texas governor, Rick Perry.

The president said he would also consider increased border patrol numbers and even the temporary deployment of the National Guard, but only if Republicans in turn supported a wider White House plan to deal with the crisis.

Speaking after meeting Perry in Dallas, Obama insisted there was little difference in their underlying approach, though conceded that some of the governor's specific proposals were worth considering once Congress passes a $3.7bn supplemental spending package.

“He [Perry] was concerned that some of the positioning of border patrol agents is too far from the border to be effective in deterring folks from coming in as opposed to simply apprehending them,” Obama said.

"I indicated to him that what he said made sense … if we pass the supplemental we would have the resources to carry out some of the things that he has requested.”
Hillary’s Outside Enforcers Are Led by a Former Foe


Hillary’s Outside Enforcers Are Led by a Former Foe

She’s ostensibly not in campaign mode, but a staff of 20 at the outside group Correct the Record is busily working to defend the former secretary of state against right-wing attacks.

On a recent sweltering Wednesday in Washington, D.C., when most of the town had cleared out for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, Adrienne Elrod was at a desk piled high with books—among them both of Hillary Clinton’s memoirs and the 2008 campaign pot-boiler Game Change—emailing with a reporter from BuzzFeed about a small item running later that evening.

Elrod is the communications director for Correct the Record, a 6-month-old outfit founded by David Brock, the one-time conservative dirty trickster who in the 1990s turned over a new leaf and started Media Matters, which keeps a watchful eye on the latest talk radio or Fox News outrage. The new group was created to, well, correct the record, particularly the right-wing attacks on Hillary Clinton as she mulls a 2016 presidential run.

The 20 or so staff members at Correct the Record, glued to computers in a loft-like space on Massachusetts Avenue, next to Brock’s own office, were engaged that afternoon in pushing back on a narrative emerging that sales of Clinton’s latest memoir, Hard Choices, were tanking.

“If we hadn’t already seen three articles on this, before the bestseller list was even out, we wouldn’t be doing this,” said Burns Strider, a genial bear of a Mississippian. He was surrounded by Elrod, an Arkansan and former operative with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and two other aides who barely looked up from their MacBooks. On the walls around them were photos of Clinton at various periods of her career—looking regal at the State Department, shaggy with Bill in their Yale Law School days.

Dealing With Your Partner's Infidelity? 6 Do's and Don'ts

Dealing With Your Partner's Infidelity? 6 Do's and Don'ts

By Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S

Unsurprisingly, cheated-on partners sometimes find themselves struggling with even the simplest of actions and decisions regarding both their relationship and day-to-day life. If you have recently learned about infidelity in your relationship and are experiencing any degree of the pain and uncertainty described above, the following lists of Do’s and Don’ts may be helpful.

#1. DO get tested for STDs.

Men and women who engage in sexual infidelity are often careless about safer sex. As soon as you learn that your partner has been sexually unfaithful, you should visit your primary care physician, explaining the situation and asking for a full STD screen.

The Future of Higher Education

The Future of Higher Education

Online classes are picking up popularity amid a debate about the rising costs of tuition, can the online degree ever replace a traditional university diploma? Coursera CEO and former Yale president Rick Levin discusses on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero.

The New Business Casual Is Still Uptight

The New Business Casual Is Still Uptight

Every workplace imposes certain behavioral standards on its workers — dress this way, talk that way, get lunch here and not there. Learning these standards is, we’re told, a big part of being successful. But what do we do if they’re constantly shifting, or if we’re not even sure what they are?

At The Billfold, Megan Reynolds tackles one aspect of this question — the meaning of the word “professional.” As she notes, many of us have certain received ideas about what counts as professional — she mentions “pants that are not jeans” and “org charts.” But these ideas, including those about pants, may be less useful in the increasingly common workplace culture (especially in tech or creative fields) where, as she writes, “everyone seems equal.” She explains:

“In the modern office, everyone is your friend. There are multiple happy hours, brisk claps on the shoulder, and everyone seems to be pals. If you’re lucky enough to work in an industry where everyone in the office is around the same age, going to work feels more fun than anything else. Perhaps there is beer in the fridge. Perhaps instead of sitting at your desk for an hour, you can flop on a couch in someone’s office and discuss the best place to get a manicure.”

She describes her own experience working at a company where “the atmosphere was casual, dorm-like, fun.” But what’s an appropriate workplace demeanor when your office feels like a dorm? And what if, as sometimes happens in dorms, someone decides you don’t quite fit in?

Carlos Bueno, an engineer and author, writes on his blog about situations when the new, cool office can be just as oppressive as the old, buttoned-up one. He cites a post on a start-up’s blog (now removed, but cached here) describing a candidate who was turned down for a job after showing up for his interview in a suit, rather than the start-up’s preferred dressed-down look.
How Mexico’s Cartels Are Behind the Border Kid Crisis

How Mexico’s Cartels Are Behind the Border Kid Crisis

Caitlin Dickson

Mexico’s drug gangs have taken over the human-trafficking business along the border, and agents suspect they may have a hand in the unprecedented number of underage migrants stagnating in Texas’s detention centers.

Over the past decade, after long existing side by side with coyotes, the cartels decided to get in on the action. Now, they've turning what was once a relatively informal and somewhat familial underground operation into a highly sophisticated human trafficking network.

While the journey north was always treacherous and costly, in the hands of the cartels it has become deadlier than ever. The entire border, and the routes leading up to it, are controlled by some combination of the Los Zetas, Sinaloa and Knights of Templar cartels, along with a few smaller groups—making it impossible to cross without their permission. And their permission will cost you. Where migrants may have once paid a single person from their hometown $300 to $500 to guide them across, the initial going rate to cross the cartel-occupied border can range between $3,000 and $6,000 per person, the price varying depending on the age, gender, and origin of the migrant. Most people can’t afford that much up front, so family members in the States will often wire money to the smugglers, or pay in installments along the way.

Bryan Stow verdict: Jury finds Los Angeles Dodgers negligent, awards $18 million

Jury finds Los Angeles Dodgers negligent, awards $18 million


A jury found in favor of Bryan Stow in the beating of the San Francisco Giants fan outside Dodgers Stadium in 2011, awarding the permanently disabled man about $18 million.

Frank McCourt, the former Dodgers owner, was found not responsible for the permanently disabling injuries Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan, suffered in March 31, 2011outside Dodgers Stadium. Dodgers fans Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood also were found negligent for brutally beating Stow.

Fed policy bans asking legal status of parents who claim illegal children

FILE - In this July 7, 2014 file photo, immigrant families and children's advocates rally in response to President Barack Obama's statement on the crisis of unaccompanied children and families illegally entering the United States, outside the Los Angeles Federal building. Tackling what he has called a humanitarian crisis, Obama on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 asked Congress for $3.7 billion to cope with a tide of minors from Central America who are illegally crossing the U.S. border, straining immigration resources and causing a political firestorm in Washington.  (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

Fed policy bans asking legal status of parents who claim illegal children

By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times

Nearly half of all illegal immigrant children don’t show up for their deportation hearings, federal officials testified to Congress on Wednesday, underscoring just how easy it is for those surging across the border right now to disappear into the shadows.

The number could be even higher for the current surge of unaccompanied children flooding across the border, who are often released to illegal immigrant parents who have no incentive to bring their children to immigration courts.

Sun Valley 'billionaire's summer camp'

Billiionare's row: Dozens of private and corporate jets are parked in Hailey, Idaho July 8, 2014, as media and tech executives fly in from all over for the Sun Valley media conference

Sun Valley 'billionaire's summer camp'

By Ted Thornhill

The great and the good of the media and technology world have jetted into the picturesque Idahoan mountain resort of Sun Valley for the annual Allen & Company conference, where champagne sipping and deal-making are the order of the day.

The airport 'parking lot' was congested with private and corporate aircraft as movers and shakers on such as Rupert Murdoch, Google’s Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt, movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Intel’s Brian Krzanich, eBay’s John Donahoe, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Twitter's Dick Costolo, LinkedIn's Jeff Weiner and AOL's Tim Armstrong flew in for the exclusive affair, which is largely closed to media.

It’s likely that the seeds of several major mergers will be sown at Sun Valley, with Murdoch, the CEO of News Corporation and 21st Century Fox, the world’s second biggest media company, rumoured to be considering a buyout of Time Warner.

Brazil’s psychological trauma

A Brazil soccer fan screams as Germany defeats her team 7-1 in a semifinal World Cup match as she watches the game on a live telecast in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Bruno Magalhaes)

Brazil’s psychological trauma

Gideon Rachman

Team crumbled under unbearable pressure and lost by unthinkable score

Watching the World Cup from Brazil – as I did last week – it was impossible to miss the huge weight of expectations placed on the national team. Half the country – including some toddlers and dogs – seemed to be wearing the yellow jersey of Brazil. Some Brazilians told me that the players would use that pressure to inspire themselves to greater heights. That always seemed doubtful to me. And last night, we saw the opposite happen: the Brazil team crumbled under unbearable pressure and lost by an unthinkable amount.

Of course, as many people have remarked, this was not a great Brazil team. In truth, the last time Brazil put out a side that really played the “beautiful game” was in 1982. But even allowing for the fact that this was a relatively weak side – shorn of two key players –this was an almost inexplicable result. After all, Germany had only just managed to beat Algeria, 2-1, in extra-time and notched up the same narrow victory margin against France. But after Germany had gone ahead against Brazil, the Brazilian team seemed to go into shock, as they could see their country’s World Cup dream disappearing. Only a traumatised team could lose discipline so utterly that they conceded five goals in less than 30 minutes.

More broadly, I think Brazil’s mistake was to react emotionally to the loss of Neymar, their talismanic star, and to commit to an all-out attacking game – in the hope of blowing Germany away, backed by a fervent crowd. A more rational move, for a weakened team, facing a strong German side, would have been to adopt a cautious, defensive approach, and to wait for their moment. But such an approach simply did not fit the country and the team’s emotional mode.
Michael Tomasky: If we lived in a better country, we’d take these kids in.

Yes, Rick Perry is awful for not shaking his hand, but the president needs a Pope Francis-like moment with the border kids to signal America is more than blowhards and racists.

Let’s get Rick Perry’s jackass-ery out of the way quickly: Refusing to shake hands in public with the president of the United States is just an idiot thing to do. Perry is trying to claim the faux moral high ground here by arguing that he held out for a more substantive meeting and got it, but come on. It’s not as if that meeting wouldn’t have happened if the governor had shown up on the runway. What exactly does Obama get out of a public handshake with a hard-right, not that bright, confusingly optometrized Texas Republican?

This might be a paragraph you can wave in my face on January 21, 2017, and God knows I’ve written a number of them, but: Rick Perry ain’t never gonna be president. We’ve been watching him on the national stage for a while now. Forget the third thing he forgot. The problem is that his instincts are wrong, his timing is bad, his hand is heavy. Accusing the White House of orchestrating a “coordinated effort” to help the movement of tens of thousands of children? That’s just Tea Party nonsense. He’s a guitarist who never knows what notes not to play. Now, guitarists like that have fans, sometimes millions of them. But they don’t ascend the plinth of greatness. He just has “governor but nothing more” written on his face.


Obama is at a really vulnerable point in his presidency, I think, not dissimilar to the point George W. Bush was at in August 2005, when Katrina hit. Then, Bush’s approval rating was generally in the mid-40s, as Obama’s is now. Hanging on, but vulnerable to one straw that could break the camel’s back. Obama is in that place now. And this is pretty far afield, but keep an eye on Aleppo in Syria. Aleppo has been a stronghold of the more legitimate opposition to Bashar al-Assad. It might be about to fall to Assad’s forces. This, two weeks after Obama announced a big aid package for the moderate rebels. Syria is Obama’s biggest foreign policy failure—he should have delivered that $500 million to those forces long ago, but he delayed. When Assad’s recapture of Aleppo is consummated, Obama is going to look played again.


If we lived in a better country, we’d take these kids in. It’s obscene that we don’t. Used by jackals, no life to go back to at all. Yes, I guess we can’t encourage 200,000 or 300,000 to come. But we could at least be housing them in circumstances better than 20 of them sharing one toilet. It’s disgusting and makes me ashamed, and it should you.

Obama warns: 'Right-size' immigration expectations

Obama warns: 'Right-size' immigration expectations


Barack Obama is pictured. | AP Photo

Just after President Barack Obama had finally soothed frustrated immigrant-rights activists by vowing to use his executive power to patch the immigration system, he issued a plea of his own to the group assembled at the White House.

“We need to right-size expectations,” Obama said before stepping into the Rose Garden last week to announce that he had given up on Congress, according to multiple attendees.

Nobody nodded in agreement. After a long wait — first for Congress to pass an overhaul bill, then for the president to act on his own — immigrant advocates weren’t in any mood to low-ball their demands.

Pete Carroll headed to Trojans HOF

Pete Carroll

Pete Carroll headed to Trojans HOF

By Terry Blount |

Some USC fans still have bitter feelings about Pete Carroll's departure.

But the Seattle Seahawks head coach will be inducted into the University of Southern California Hall of Fame in 2015, the school announced Monday.

The former Trojans football coach is one of 16 people who have been named to the hall's 11th class. They will be introduced at halftime of USC's game against Oregon State on Sept. 27 at Los Angeles Coliseum.

Carroll coached at USC from 2001-09, leading the Trojans to two national championships (2003 and 2004), seven consecutive Pac-10 titles (2002-08) and a 97-19 overall record. USC made bowl trips in each of Carroll's nine seasons, winning seven of those games.

Brazil's Lesson of Failure

Brazil's Lesson of Failure

By Christine Louise Hohlbaum

Although we like to win, failure has its own flavor of fabulousness when we realize how much closer it brings us to who we are. Brazil's colossal loss against Germany in the World Cup semi-finals is a great example.

What Online Dating Sites Can and Can’t Give You

What Online Dating Sites Can and Can’t Give You

By Gwendolyn Seidman, Ph.D.

In the quest to find romance, more and more people have turned to online dating. Once stigmatized as a venue for the desperate, online dating sites have become a normal part of the dating game. A recent survey of 19,000 people who were married between 2005 and 2012 found that 35 percent of these new couples met online, with about half of those meeting through an online dating site (Cacioppo et al., 2013).  So how can these sites help you find romance, and what pitfalls should you be aware of as you click your way to true love?

VA chiefs who stifled whistleblowers got $100,000 in bonuses

"There is a sense of mission that's lacking and I'm really hoping that this committee with its powers will take aggressive action to make the retaliation stop," Dr. Jose Mathews told the House Veterans Affairs' Committee. Dr. Mathews, a former chief of psychiatry at the St. Louis VA facility, said he was reprimanded for pointing out to supervisors that psychiatrists at the hospital there worked just 3.5 hours a day. (Associated Press)

VA chiefs who stifled whistleblowers got $100,000 in bonuses

By Jacqueline Klimas - The Washington Times

The Department of Veterans Affairs paid out more than $100,000 in bonuses last year to top executives at facilities that ignored whistleblower complaints of poor patient care.

Whistleblowers have played key roles in uncovering systemic problems at VA hospitals across the country, revealing long wait times, cooked appointment books and bad treatment of veterans.

Fluoridation and Dementia

Fluoridation and Dementia

By Mario D. Garrett, PhD

If the beta-amyloid deposits are truly the cause of dementia then why do we allow fluoride in our water that causes them?

Since 1962, on the recommendation of the United States Public Health Service, fluoride has been used in the public drinking water supplied to about 2 out of 3 Americans. The decision to add fluoride to drinking water is made locally. The types of fluoride include fluorosilicic acid, sodium fluorosilicate, and sodium fluoride.

Studies have consistently shown positive outcomes for fluoridation in the health of teeth of children, adults and older adults — although these studies have been contested. The bigger contention is whether we need to indiscriminately fluoridate our teeth by ingestion of fluoride through our water supply without being able to control the level of exposure, the varying sensitivity of the recipient, and its accumulation in the body.

Fluoride is also ingested from fruit juices, sodas, popular breakfast cereals, lettuce and raisins and anything grown with pesticides since fluoridation is an effective killer of pests.

However beneficial the fluoridation is to the health of teeth, it does not tell us the whole story, especially on the overall health of older adults. Since 25 percent of adults 60 years old and older no longer have their natural teeth, the arguments for the benefit of fluoridation is somewhat toothless.

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