This Presidential election really matters.  It sounds so trite to say this. We have weathered a year of Republican primaries with every candidate putting forth their vision for “saving” America. Over the next six months, the country will witness the most costly campaigns ever waged in each party’s efforts to control the Congress and White House. But what really is at stake in this election is the US Supreme Court. Continue Reading »

Nadine from Prudential's new ad

I have become a big fan of Nadine, Prudential’s 65-year-old retiree who happily proclaims “I don’t know how much money I need, but I know whatever I have I’m going to live within.” She certainly speaks for me and many of my fellow Boomers who are approaching retirement age without enough savings to maintain our current lifestyle.

The first Boomers started turning 65 last year. Over the next 18 years, 10,000 Boomers will turn 65 every day. Continue Reading »

Mom, Dad and me at Camp Le Jeune, 1952

To some of us boomers, 1952 was a very big year. I was born at Camp LeJeune where my Dad was training young Marines to fight in Korea. This war in which 1.8 million Americans served came only 6 years after World War II ended with America’s first use of an atomic bomb at Hiroshima. In the early ’50s, our post-World War II world was still reeling from the loss of 78 million people, comprising 4% of the world’s population.
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We just joined our son Andrew for the annual Walk for Epilepsy down on the National Mall. Several thousand people came from all over the country to attend this boisterous show of support for their family members and friends who are fighting for normalcy in a life challenged by seizures.

My son had his first grand mal seizure when he was 8 years old. He was playing dodge-ball in gym class, fell, and hit his head. This trauma induced a full body seizure in front of Andrew’s terrified young classmates.
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According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans today are evenly divided between the “pro-life” and “pro-choice” camps. Last week’s rollercoaster fiasco involving the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood has reignited the abortion debate, at the same time that insurance covering contraception is being blasted by the Catholic Church as an infringement on “religious freedom.” Continue Reading »

Mt. McKinley glacier

Last June, Peter  and I made our first trip to Alaska in celebration of our 35th anniversary. My stepdaughter, Alex, joined us for the second week of cruising down the Inside Passage and provided invaluable research to guide us. For those of you who have not yet been and want to go, this post is for you. (For those of you who have already been to Alaska, please comment and share your own recommendations!)
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A Kodak e-Moment

The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. (photo by Ansel Adams)

Last week’s bankruptcy filing by Kodak reminds me of the Italian cruise ship captain who ordered dinner after his ship hit the fatal rock. In Kodak’s case, the rock was the rise of digital photography.

My generation grew up with Kodak, and made it one of the world’s most well known brands. We took our first photos in the 50s with our Brownie cameras, which came back printed on square glossy black and white paper with scalloped edges. Continue Reading »

Margaret and Denis Thatcher (photo credit: Martin Cleaver/AP)

There is a scene in the new movie “Iron Lady” which made me cry. When Sir Denis Thatcher asks Margaret Roberts, the daughter of a grocer to marry him, she tells him that she cannot be a typical wife who stays home washing tea cups. His immediate response was that her passion for a political life is exactly why he wanted to marry her. This unusual proposal took place in 1950 Britain, when few women were working, let alone in Parliament.

This historic partnership, which began when Margaret and Denis married in 1951, enabled Margaret to become a barrister and Britain’s first female Prime Minister. Throughout her political career, Denis remained fully supportive as both Lady Margaret’s husband and full-time father to their twins. The movie portrays Denis as a man well before his times, one who was comfortable being married to a strong, successful woman.
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Rick Santorum and his family (credit: Santorum for President website)

The new year certainly kicked off with a bang as Rick Santorum surged in the Republican primaries. His “faith, family and freedom” (in that order) platform translates into his party’s retro view that America can avoid decline only by returning to the days when religion (think Christian prayers in school) was central, families (think Mom home with many kids) were the cornerstone of society, and freedom (think heterosexual GI Joe) kept America “strong.”

What Santorum and his followers fail to grasp is that change is inevitable and happening, here and around the world. The rise of the Millenials, those 50 million American twenty-somethings born after 1980, is profoundly changing our global society, and there is no going back.
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I asked my daughter, Caroline Behringer, to write an update to my last post entitled “How do we get beyond Kyoto?”.  Caroline’s report provides an insider view on what occurred in Durban and is  posted below.

*Disclaimer: Title borrowed from a reporter at ClimateWire, who wrote what I believe to be the best account of the drama that unfolded during the final hours of the Durban climate negotiations (“How a Belligerent, Sleep-Deprived Crowd in Durban Arrived at Consensus”).

Sunday morning in the closing plenary (credit: AFP)

It’s 4:00am on Sunday morning, and I’m sitting on the floor in the back of a giant conference room in the International Convention Center in Durban, South Africa. We’ve been here for more than two weeks for the UN COP17 climate change negotiations. The space is filled with delegates from nearly 200 countries seated in rows facing the front of the room. I am fighting fatigue so that I can send updates to the media as quickly as possible, but my colleagues and dozens of others are spread out across the floor sleeping for the first time in three days.
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