Chance the Rapper is a true original, who does what he wants when he wants, in the fields of his own artistic expression. This holiday season, we’ve seen more of him than ever before: from his performance at the White House and tree lighting ceremony with President Obama, to his appearance last weekend on Saturday Night Live, and his most recent Christmas playlist, which he shared last week during an interview with BBC Radio 1. The artist does whatever he can to spread holiday cheer, and we’re really digging it.This morning, he shared a collaborative Christmas mixtape with fellow Chicago singer Jeremih called Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama. The mixtape is all original and features the choir-like harmonies and soul-filled instrumentation that we all know and love behind the hip-hop stud. The recordings also include fellow Windy City musicians, including Noname, Hannibal Buress, and Lud Foe, and is dedicated “For Chicago”.Get in the holiday spirit and listen to Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama below:
Skillful negotiation can often be more art than science. But it was science that played the most pivotal and visible role in reaching the breakthrough nuclear weapons accord between the United States and Iran last year.The man credited with giving science the prime seat at the bargaining table in Vienna was U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. A longtime nuclear physicist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he leads the Department of Energy, whose core missions involve ensuring nuclear security and confronting climate change, not just by measuring and detecting it, but by searching for science-based solutions.Moniz discussed his unusually powerful part in the Iran deal and how science can — and should — be part of diplomatic efforts to solve major global challenges such as nuclear disarmament and climate change Thursday evening at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).He flatly rejected the notion that the United States didn’t push hard enough to get a better deal. “Most of the criticisms of the deal are not actually criticisms of the deal; they’re criticisms of what the deal is not,” he said.The “only critique worth discussing,” Moniz said, is why the rollback period is 15 years and not longer. “You can always question ‘why 15 years? Wouldn’t 25 be better?’ Well, yeah.”But given the threat that a nuclear weapon in Iran would pose to the world and the international community’s determination to make sure that never happens, the deal zeroed in on Iran’s nuclear weapons program, not other issues.Moniz doesn’t think the deal’s implementation will automatically be derailed by recent developments such as suspicions that Iran shipped illegal rifles and other small arms to Houthi fighters in Yemen that were intercepted by U.S. and French naval forces in recent weeks, or Iran’s apparent escalation of missile launches. But Iran’s ongoing behavior outside the narrow scope of the agreement — such as its role in Syrian fighting, its support for Hezbollah, and human rights violations — could eventually take a toll, he allowed.“Clearly, if the other issues don’t get better, the concern is that even other sanctions could come on and the relationship could be difficult,” Moniz said during a brief session with reporters before delivering the Robert A. McNamara Lecture on War and Peace. “We’re now three months into implementation; it’s going to take a lot more years before we say we’re home free.”The talks had reached a standstill in early 2015 when Moniz took a more central role in the negotiations and began working with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi. The men shared ties to MIT, Moniz as a faculty member and Salehi as an alumnus, and their common scientific background led to a clear understanding of what both sides needed to achieve. That opened the door to possible solutions.The United States had to have at least a one-year “breakout time,” defined as how long it would take Iran “in a full sprint” to assemble the material to build an initial nuclear weapon. And, at President Barack Obama’s insistence, verification provisions that went on for a substantial period of time, in some cases indefinitely, had to be in place, a demand that’s always difficult to get met, he said. For Iran, the ability to continue the activities and objectives of its peaceful nuclear program was essential.The unity shown by the “P5+1” nations and the European Union was also a key reason for the deal’s eventual success, Moniz said.“For the United States to even contemplate unilaterally reversing this agreement would be a tremendous mistake, because in fact the effectiveness of the sanctions regime derived from the coherence of the international community,” he said. “Our deciding to walk away means we walk away alone.”Moniz hopes that many of the gains to eliminate and secure loose nuclear materials around the world that were achieved through the final Nuclear Security Summit held early this month in Washington, D.C., will live on after the Obama administration. In December, the International Atomic Energy Agency will host the first in a series of ministerial-level summits on the issue, while China, which is in the middle of a massive expansion of its nuclear power capabilities through 2030, has built an “impressive” complex that will train thousands of inspectors from the region.With the threat of nuclear terrorism still on the rise, Moniz advised the next president to sustain key programs that the United States has underway, such as its work to help other countries establish “centers for excellence” for nuclear security and to continue returning weapons-grade material to the United States and Russia from sites around the world.Other challenges on the front burner that will need to be addressed in the next administration include more elevated security around nuclear facilities, as well as limiting access to radiological sources at civilian sites such as hospitals and oil operations to prevent access to material for making “dirty” bombs, said Moniz.North Korea’s recent displays of nuclear firepower are “obviously … a huge threat” to its neighbors, including China, which “should get a little bit nervous,” Moniz told reporters. The United States will need to work closely with both North Korea and Russia to push the former’s denuclearization. “Nobody’s saying it’s going to be a short path.”Despite the noteworthy goals set in the Paris Agreement on climate change, which calls for 25 to 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions in the next 15 years, Moniz said the United States must be even more ambitious in the coming decade and robustly pursue and support innovations in clean energy.“The reason is pretty simple: that innovation, to succeed and scale in the marketplace, ultimately it’s going to be continuing to drive down cost, and lower costs will lead to more ambition, especially in the emerging and developing economies,” he said. That effort has already begun, as 20 nations, including the United States, have agreed to step up innovation efforts and work closely with the investment world, led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.“I’m certainly a technology optimist, not surprising, but there’s ground for it. Just look at what’s happened in the last six years with costs: solar down 50 percent, wind down 40 percent, batteries down 60 percent, LEDs down 90 percent,” Moniz said. “We’ve got to keep that trajectory going and extend it to other technologies, as well.”
Colleen Fischer | The Observer The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, pictured, is one of Notre Dame’s central landmarks. The Basilica was consecrated in 1888 and has hosted many important events, including Knute Rockne’s funeral in 1931.Rocca said the Basilica’s past is tied to the first place of worship on Notre Dame’s campus.“When Fr. Sorin arrived here in 1842, there was really nothing here except a log chapel, built around 1830 by the first priest ordained in the United States: Fr. Stephen Theodore Badin — as in Badin Hall. Fr. Badin built this chapel so he could minister to the Native American population here,” he said.Sue Montalbano, coordinator of Basilica tours, said Sorin and the monks who accompanied him adopted the chapel as a place of worship, but it quickly became too small for their growing community. It was at this point that the Holy Cross community built the first church on the site of the current Basilica, Sacred Heart One, constructed in 1848. “After the Civil War, men started coming back from the war and [Sacred Heart One] became too small,” Montalbano said.Construction began on the current structure in 1868 and, though it was consecrated in 1888, it was not completed until the addition of the spire in 1892, Rocca said. He added that the design and construction of the church distinguish it as a quintessential product of the then-young University. Montalbano said after rejecting expensive proposals from an architect, Sorin and the Holy Cross community assumed responsibility for the church’s design.“[Sorin] built his own church,” she said.Basilica tour guide Patti Olive said the materials used to build the Basilica originated at Notre Dame. “Fr. Sorin wanted to use natural resources, so the composite of the church is brick and plaster and wood, and the bricks were made by Holy Cross brothers who were here during the time of the construction of the church,” she said. “They had a kiln set up next to St. Mary’s Lake, and they used the silt from the bottom of the lake to make the bricks for the building.”Olive said other features of the church have their own histories. The stained glass windows that fill the Basilica were the work of French Carmelite nuns, whom Sorin had celebrated mass with in Le Mans, France.The murals that decorate the ceiling of the church, as well as the Stations of the Cross, were the work of Italian painter Luigi Gregori, who was also responsible for the Christopher Columbus murals in the Main Building and the art on the interior of the Dome.Rocca said the Basilica has housed several significant events over the years, including the funeral of Knute Rockne in 1931. Rocca said Rockne’s funeral was also the beginning of one of Notre Dame’s most enduring traditions. “[At the funeral] ‘Notre Dame Our Mother’ was sung for the first time,” he said. “The words were written by Fr. Charles O’Donnell, who had been a chaplain in World War I, and became president of Notre Dame.”O’Donnell also played a key role in the addition of the famous Memorial Door in the 1920s. Known for the inscription “God, Country, Notre Dame” above it, the door was added as a tribute to Notre Dame students killed in World War I. Just inside the door hangs a light fixture made from a helmet worn by O’Donnell during the war.Though the Basilica looks much as it did in the late nineteenth century, it has undergone notable changes through the years, including alterations that were made in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. Speaking on the most significant renovation, Rocca added his favorite addition to the Church.“The major one was around 1990 when the whole church was closed for around 14 months to be restored,” he said. “They put in air conditioning — thank you Jesus.”In 1992, then-Pope John Paul II designated the church of the Sacred Heart as a basilica. Montalbano said the defining characteristics of a basilica are embodied by Sacred Heart. “A basilica is a place of worship … a place of history … and a place of pilgrimage,” she said.Rocca, Montalbano and Olive all identified the church as the spiritual center of campus.“I would say one thing to take away from the Basilica is that it is the heart and soul of the university,” Rocca said. “I mean, what would Notre Dame be without a university church? There are a lot of universities where there is no central place of worship that speaks to what is most fundamental, and at the heart of the lives of students. I think the Basilica does that.”Tags: Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Brothers of the Holy Cross, Fr. Edward Sorin, Notre Dame history While Notre Dame has many recognizable landmarks, few campus buildings have played a role as important as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. One of the center pieces of God Quad, the Basilica has had a huge influence on Notre Dame as an institution, Fr. Peter Rocca, CSC, the Basilica’s rector of 21 years, said.“Notre Dame would be a much different place if we didn’t have the Basilica of the Sacred Heart,” he said. “It is a powerful symbol that has touched the lives of literally millions of people. And it’s something that people will remember for a long time.”
Perhaps best known for playing Miss Maudie in the 1962 classic film To Kill a Mockingbird, Murphy also had a distinguished career in the theater, receiving Tony nods for her performances in A Delicate Balance, Any Wednesday and Period of Adjustment. She made her Great White Way debut in 1950 in The Tower Beyond Tragedy and her many other Broadway credits included Weekend, Ladies at the Alamo, Coastal Disturbances, The Devil’s Disciple and Waiting in the Wings. Stage and screen star Rosemary Murphy died on July 5 at her home in New York City. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Emmy winner and three-time Tony nominee had recently been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. She was 89. On screen, Murphy won the Emmy for her portrayal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s in the 1976 ABC miniseries Eleanor and Franklin. Other screen credits included Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite, September with Elaine Stritch and the 1966 film version of Any Wednesday that starred Jane Fonda. View Comments Survivors include her sister Mildred and nephew Greg.
Mark Rylance(Photo by Bruce Glikas) Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Spielberg Thinks He Rescued Rylance From TheaterWe’re hoping that three-time Tony winner Mark Rylance is joking about Oscar winner Steven Spielberg here. “In his mind he’s rescued me—rescued me from the slums of the theater! You know, discovered me, bless him,” the British actor told the New York Times. There was another interesting tidbit from Rylance in the interview—although it was a “great thrill” to appear as Wolf Hall’s Thomas Cromwell and portray all his “internal thinking” on PBS: “I’m glad I didn’t have to play it onstage actually.” Ben Miles took on the role on Broadway last year. Rylance is up for an Oscar on February 28 for his performance in Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies and is currently at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Nice Fish. He’s then returning to New York’s boards in November in Farinelli and the King. Some rescue, Spielberg!Don’t Cry for Jenn Colella & Ramin KarimlooWhat’s new, Canada?! Jenn Colella (If/Then) and Ramin Karimloo (Les Miz) will play Eva Peron and Che, respectively, in a Vancouver Opera production of Evita. Directed by by Kelly Robinson, the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber tuner will play a limited engagement April 30 through May 8 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.Tony Kushner to Team Up With Brad PittTony winner Tony Kushner (Angels in America) will join forces with Brad Pitt’s Plan B and Cross Creek Pictures to work on He Wanted the Moon, Deadline reports. The medical research drama is based on a doctor in the 1920s and 1930s, who studied the biochemical root of manic depression just as he began to succumb to the illness, eventually undergoing a lobotomy.Bobby Cannavale’s Vinyl Picked Up for Season TwoCongratulations to new Dad and Tony nominee Bobby Cannavale—HBO has renewed his drama Vinyl for a second season. The series from Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and more, follows Cannavale’s record label honcho Richie Finestra as he lives the dream of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll; we can’t wait to see more of this on our screens!Sneak Peek of New Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtGet that “Peeno Noir” ready! Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will return for its second season on Netflix on April 15. Check out the first trailer of She Loves Me’s Jane Krakowski, Broadway alum Tituss Burgess and Ellie Kemper all strutting their stuff below! View Comments
“I don’t go to humid places, use tents, sweat suits, heart rate monitors, GPS systems etc. I love the purity and simplicity of training hard on the trails and roads of home. As soon as this is compromised, I am compromising my reasons for staying in this sport for so long. It is not to say that these alternative preparations don’t work, they just wouldn’t work for me.”I love this quote from Deena Kastor, 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medalist. For me, it captures the essence of running, and the point that so many self-described “gear junkies” miss. Part of what draws so many of us to the sport is the simplicity of lacing up the sneaks and heading out the door. No need to drive to the slopes, reserve a court, or make sure the tires are pumped up. Running is just about the only sport in which one can be completely spontaneous and self-sufficient.Sure, it’s entertaining to download a profile of your latest epic run onto Facebook for all of your friends to see. And interesting, I guess, to compare the stats on your GPS to a race director’s promise of a certain mileage or amount of climbing in an event. Yes, I’ve been beaten by competitors who sleep in altitude tents. And I’ve heard of people training for Badwater by running in saunas or dragging tires up mountainous terrain. I know there’s some merit to paying attention to your heart rate monitor, but I’d rather just listen to my body.Like Deena points out, these training tools do work for a lot of athletes. And were I a professional, attempting to make a living and to support my family on race earnings, I would probably experiment with anything (legal) that might give me an edge. But I’m not, and for this reason, I choose to keep my running as pure and simple as possible. For me, there is no gadget or supplement that can replace good, hard work. There are no shortcuts, just the basic principles of training hard, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough rest. Period.Now ditch the gadgets and just get out there and run.
Southern Partnership Station–Joint High Speed Vessel 2015 (SPS-JHSV 15) gave Military officials from the U.S., Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and Colombia the opportunity to share their experiences and learn from each other. The mission, which occurred between June and October, is a U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM)-directed operation planned by U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command (USNAVSO) and the U.S. Fourth Fleet. “By visiting the same countries, we are able to expand and improve on our previously established relationships with our host nation counterparts,” Lt. Cmdr Harvey said. “This offers greater flexibility in useful training and provides the opportunity to offer assistance in critical mission areas for each country. “The Seabees will be building and teaching the Colombian engineers how to create a road challenge course,” Lieutenant Sean McSwain, from NMCB 133, said upon arriving in Colombia. “This is the first country where the Seabees are able to conduct SMEEs.” “The mission is special because each of the Adaptive Force Packages (AFPs), which are specialized teams of joint-service personnel, are able to deploy to the countries for longer periods of time than traditional U.S. Navy deployments,” Lieutenant Commander Nathan Harvey, SPS-JHSV 15 Mission Operations Officer, said in an interview with Diálogo. “This allows for enhanced partner-building exercises that strengthen our relationships with our counterparts and allow us to improve our interoperability.” The USNS Spearhead recently ended a 2015 training mission that was part of the U.S. Navy’s annual series of deployments aimed at fostering lasting relationships with host nations by promoting and enhancing regional stability and security. Successful exchange of ideas “During our two-and-a-half weeks in Belize, we conducted five days of demolition operations, including two days of an ordinance disposal operation,” said Ensign Pierce, who participated in the operation, which included the disposal of nine 81-mm mortar rounds that were no longer serviceable and were a safety hazard to the ammunition storage point in Hattieville. “Additionally, we conducted diving familiarization training which directly improved the maritime safety capabilities of Belize’s Coast Guard (BCG) and Defense Force (BDF).” Combat and ordnance training in Honduras In its final stop, the USNS Spearhead visited the port of Cartagena, Colombia, from mid-September through mid-October. There, U.S. Navy service members assisted the local community while strengthening ties with their Military partners in the 4th Fleet’s AOR, according to a SOUTHCOM statement. The USNS Spearhead, a 103-meter-long catamaran capable of transporting approximately 600 tons of Military troops, vehicles, supplies, and equipment up to 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots, can operate in shallow-draft, austere ports, and waterways. The U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command operates vessel, one of four under contract to Military Sealift Command; a crew of 26 civil Service Mariners navigates and maintains the platform, and the number of military personnel embarked was based on mission requirements, ranging from 104 service members for extended durations to 312 personnel for transits up to 96 hours. The USNS Spearhead made its third stop in Guatemala from August 25-September 14, when U.S. Navy Divers provided training and conducted SMEEs with their counterparts to bolster the Central American nation’s counter-trafficking fight. “We accomplished quite a lot while in Honduras,” said Commander Robert Toth, commander of the AFP for SPS-JHSV 2015 and the commanding officer of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 6. Belize, Guatemala, and Colombia Raúl Barreno Castillo contributed to this story from Guatemala City, Guatemala. A team of U.S. Marines assigned to the 8th Engineer Support Battalion in Camp Lejeune in North Carolina was deployed to support SPS-JHSV15 operations in Honduras and later in Guatemala. In Honduras, water purification specialists cleaned 5,000 gallons of water for the local community using their Lightweight Water Purification System (LWPS). The mission was not the first time the USNS Spearhead arrived in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and Colombia, as the vessel stopped in those countries in support of SPS-JHSV 14 in 2014, when it also visited the Dominican Republic. The latter training sessions were held during different components of the mission. In Belize and Colombia, U.S. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) divers and technicians covered more than 60 training topics with their local counterparts. And in Guatemala, medical AFPs and Guatemalan medical teams participated in a joint effort Medical Civics Action Program (MEDCAP), during which more than 400 women were given prenatal care and many children were treated for parasitic infections. Additionally, personnel tended to more than 250 patients and conducted Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs) to assist in future medical procedures. The courses were aimed at personnel from the Marine Brigade, the Caribbean Naval Command, and the Special Operations Jungle and Naval Special Forces Brigade. The United States has also supported the Central American nation with humanitarian and medical assistance through the hospital-ship Comfort, in which 10,000 low-income Guatemalans were seen in various medical areas, between April 22 and May 2. During the four-nation tour, the USNS Spearhead teams trained and worked with partner nations’ Militaries and security forces on locally identified needs, such as port security, non-commissioned officer professional development, operational risk management, and medical readiness, among others. It anchored on its first mission stop in Honduras on July 11, where U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsmen taught a Combat Lifesaver course to Honduran Naval students in Puerto Castilla. In the same port, EOD technicians trained Honduran divers in the use of an underwater handheld sonar devise known as AN/PQS-2A to locate objects; meanwhile, in Trujillo, AFP builders and equipment operators assisted in a water reservoir repair project. By Dialogo October 19, 2015 It’s good that the Central American countries strenuously work and train to fight illegal drug trafficking. Thank you to SOUTHCOM for facilitating this kind of training for the countries! “This mission has been successful in the exchange of ideas, in training in medical readiness, and EOD.” “The idea of this type of Military exchanges is to update knowledge in [both] the fight against organized crime and new underwater search and rescue techniques,” said Guatemalan Army spokesman Colonel Hugo Rodriguez. “The support given by the United States in the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking is important. The cooperation between the two countries has been positive for Guatemala in its goal of defeating criminals.” At the same time, a team of Navy divers and technicians were deployed from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala, to conduct SMEEs in Colombia. “The Colombian divers have a great diving program, which allows us on to focus on advanced techniques,” Ensign Pierce said. In previous countries, divers and EOD personnel worked together during SMEEs, but in Colombia, they focused on rating specific specialties and teaching two different groups. Following its stop in Honduras, the Spearhead went to Belize, where U.S. Navy Divers and EOD technicians trained and conducted SMEEs with their counterparts to improve the Central American country’s fight against illicit trafficking and disposal of explosives. “The Guatemalan divers were eager to learn our diving techniques,” said Navy Diver 1st Class Joseph Olin of Mobile Diving and Salvage Company 31 from EODMU3, stationed in San Diego, California. “We started in the pool reviewing basic diving procedures and practiced different searching methods. By the end of our time in Guatemala, we were conducting searches off a pier in open water.” “Working alongside the Honduran Buzos de Combate [Combat divers] unit, the EOD and dive teams conducted SMEEs,” said Ensign Adam Pierce, EOD platoon officer-in-charge. “We engaged in demolition operations, diving, and underwater sonar techniques, while forging relationships that will benefit both nations in the near future.”
Asian Pacific American Bar opens South Florida chapter July 1, 2004 Regular News Asian Pacific American Bar opens South Florida chapter South Florida’s multi-cultural legal community has a new diversity bar association, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida.APABA is an affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.Founded in March, APABA will speak for the legal needs and interests of the burgeoning South Florida Asian Pacific American community. It will also provide resources and networking opportunities for attorneys, paralegals, law students, and legal educators.“South Florida’s legal community has been very supportive,” said Jay Kim, APABA’s president. “APABA could not have formed without the backing of Steel Hector & Davis, Kluger Peretz Kaplan & Berlin, and Kirkpatrick & Lockhart. Those firms really encouraged the participation of their attorneys, and gave APABA the financial and legal assistance needed to get the ball rolling.”Kim said APABA seeks to build coalitions within the legal profession and the community to address issues vital to people of all colors and creeds, such as equal opportunity, civil rights, ethnic and religious tolerance, and increasing diversity in the federal and state judiciaries. APABA will also monitor state and local legislative developments that affect South Florida’s minority populations.“Our goal is to build an organization that will serve as a voice for the hundreds of Asian Pacific American legal professionals in South Florida, and as an advocate for the tens of thousands of Asian Pacific Americans who call South Florida their home,” said Mimi McAndrews, the first Asian Pacific American woman elected to the Florida House of Representatives, and member of the APABA Board of Directors.APABA will also serve as a vehicle for Asian Pacific American legal professionals to interact socially.“Asian Pacific Americans are still just a small portion of The Florida Bar, and it is easy to feel culturally isolated,” said William Simonitsch, APABA’s secretary. “While there is significant cultural diversity among Asian Pacific Americans, we have many shared experiences that bind us. Through APABA, we can explore common ground.”For membership information contact Alice Sum or Eugenia Chu, at (305) 379-9000.
Credit unions expanded their consumer credit 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, outperforming both banks and financial companies, NAFCU Director of Research and Chief Economist Curt Long said after analyzing data published by the Federal Reserve Monday.For the month of December, total consumer credit increased an annualized 5.4 percent. Total consumer credit for credit unions increased 0.2 percent during that month as consumers took advantage of low interest rates, Long said.Non-revolving credit, which is mostly motor vehicle and education loans, increased at an annual rate of 4.4 percent, while revolving credit, which is primarily credit cards, increased 7.9 percent in December.“Non-revolving credit remained solid as consumers took advantage of low interest rates to purchase vehicles and as young adults pursued higher education,” said Long. The Federal Reserve data also showed that revolving credit growth rebounded from November but still revealed that consumers are refraining from taking on excessive credit card debt. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
All of these are extensions of very bad manners. We aren’t respecting other people or their property. We need to inspire and equip this generation of children, teens and parents to live with civility, character, integrity and respect, the principles our country was founded upon.Our problem seems to be from our busy, fast-paced society, where often both parents are working outside the home. Where children are overly involved in sports, music lessons, and other activities, there’s often little time available for parents to pass on important life skills and basic manners to their children. Compounding the problem are the many overly stressed single-parent families and the high number of latch-key children who have excessive unsupervised time.In addition, parents and educators are realizing that much of the music, movies, television and the internet children consume are generally not good reinforcers of the proper moral values and manners. The impact of these social forces is having a serious effect on our society. We need to address this growing problem before it gets worse. Remember, our country is only as good as the people who are living in it. So it is about time we change how we are doing things.Walter “Neal” BrazellRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Car hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes America as a country was where people cared, where they were kind, helpful, and civil. A country where people greeted you politely on the street, who treated others with respect, and who obeyed the law of the land.Unfortunately rudeness, crudeness, bullying, cheating, embezzling, murder, and drug abuse are getting to be more prevalent. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion