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Posts from the ‘Culture’ Category

7
Oct

Sexual Assault Victims: What I Remember

In the summer of 1972 or 1973 when I was 11 or 12 years old, I was sexually assaulted by a gang of boys, which included my five brothers, cousins, and a boy unrelated to me.  I was with my family (my parents, five brothers, aunt, uncle, and cousins) in Maine, staying at a rustic vacation retreat owned by friends of my parents. Actually, the owners weren’t exactly friends of my parents. My father worked with a man named Kearney at Paine Webber whose wife’s family owned the vacation property in Maine. The Kearney’s had several children including a son named Dave who were roughly the same age as us so vacationing together seemed like a good idea. Read more »

3
Oct

The Elephant in the Room with Kavanaugh, Ford, and the Senators

Over the past week, the people of our nation have been mesmerized by the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, particularly those by Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford who claims Kavanaugh assaulted her in the summer of 1982 when she was 15 years old and Kavanaugh was 17.

The Republicans claim the Democrats are using Ford as a political tool to prevent a conservative federal judge from being appointed to the nation’s highest court while the Democrats claim the Republicans – primarily white, middle-aged or old men – are not giving enough consideration to a woman’s allegations of sexual assault, which brings us not to a discussion of who – Ford or Kavanaugh – is more believable (by most accounts both individuals were believable) but to a perverse idea that many people – and particularly Republicans supporting Kavanaugh’s nomination – don’t verbalize: Ford’s allegations – although believable – should not prevent a white, middle-aged man who represents their ideals from being appointed to a prominent lifelong post on the nation’s Supreme Court. So the question becomes why? The reason appears to be related to the extent of the assault. Read more »

25
Sep

Executive Compensation at Columbia (2017)

2017 was a great year for Columbia University (Columbia) and many of its employees. Total revenue reached $5.7 billion while expenses totaled $4.5 billion (not including depreciation) which contributed to the endowment increasing from $13.2 billion to $14.7 billion at year-end, of which only $3.4 billion is permanently restricted.

In terms of compensation, 34,811 employees were compensated $2.8 billion, which equates to an average compensation of $81,000.  The 17 most highly compensated individuals (listed below) received $40 million which equates to an average compensation package of $2.4 million each: Read more »

23
Sep

Executive Compensation at Columbia (2016)

People often joke about the low compensation in academia but many individuals working for non-profit educational institutions (i.e. colleges and universities) receive very high compensation packages. Although the most highly compensated tend to be investment managers for the endowment, presidents, provosts, department chairs, professors, and fundraisers, the overall average compensation package is often nothing to make light of.

At Columbia University (Columbia) – a private, Ivy-League educational and research university on the Upper West Side in New York City (although there are six campuses, five in New York and one in Paris), 34,437 employees were compensated $2.6 billion (or an average of $76,000 each) in the school year beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2016. 4,928 individuals received more than $100,000 in total compensation. Read more »

21
Sep

Imagine the Donald Trump Presidential Library

Presidential libraries are relatively new to the United States with the first one established in 1941 for Franklin Roosevelt when he proposed to leave his presidential papers to the public (instead of keeping them as private property).

The people of the United States generally bought into the idea that the sitting President’s documents, artifacts, and gifts of state were public property so presidential libraries have been built for every president since Herbert Hoover (his being opened in 1962 when he was 88 years old). Read more »

15
Sep

Executive Compensation at University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) is a private research university in Philadelphia that is also a member of the Ivy League. With more than $12 billion in the school’s endowment, Penn also includes a hospital, five outpatient facilities, an in-patient rehabilitation center, and 10 research facilities.

The IRS Form 990 (2015) covering the year beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2016 reports the following key information about Penn: Read more »

11
Sep

Remembering the Children on 9-11

Today marks 17 years since 9-11 and yet the wounds continue to feel raw, especially for the people who lost family and friends that day. Nearly 3,000 people were killed that day, the majority of whom were adults but there were also eight very young children (ages 2 – 11) who perished when the planes they were on crashed. Had those children lived, they would be 19-28 years old today, in the prime of their lives.

American Airlines Flight 77 departed Washington, DC for Los Angeles but was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon. On board, were five children: Read more »

7
Sep

Executive Compensation at the NRA

The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is a non-profit 501 (c) (4) organization that fights tirelessly for our second amendment rights. Whether or not you believe the second amendment refers to “militia” or “the people” has always been controversial but is even more so in the wake of the near weekly occurrence of mass shootings in this country. People are speaking out for gun control because quite frankly, there are too many guns and assault weapons in the hands of the wrong people, and too many people are dying. Read more »

5
Sep

10 Health Things That Make You Go Hmmm

Dr. Greger, MD of Nutrition Facts (www.nutritionfacts.org) has shown that “plant-based nutrition is the only diet that’s ever been proven to reverse heart disease in the majority of patients” and is effective in “treating, arresting, and reversing some of our other leading killers as well.”  Knowing this, there have been many situations related to health that have caused me to pause and question the advice given, the reasoning offered, or the justification provided by doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and the general public.  Here are just a few……. Read more »

26
Aug

My Renewed Faith in the Democratic Party

A few years ago (2016) right after Hillary Clinton won the democratic primaries, I was at a cocktail party where the host was Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York. She was there supporting several democratic candidates running for office in New York but opened up a question and answer session where we could presumably ask whatever we wanted. Read more »