Book: THE ENCHANTED by Rene Denfeld

The Enchanted

"Stunning ... a darkly beautiful, moving book" One word: stunning! Of course, I can’t stop at a one-word description for what is, without a doubt, my favorite read this year. This book also makes my “favorites of all-time” list, so rich is it in sensory detail, and literary and emotional depth. Set in a death-row prison, the story is unlike … [Read more...]

What’s Your Favorite Way To Celebrate The 4th Of July?

Flickr: Jeff Laitila,
Yokosuka Fireworks

The semi-official/traditional Independence Day celebration includes food outdoors with family/friends, parades and fireworks.  But do we still love our current traditions as much as the media does?    If given the chance, would we start from scratch and create a whole different set of 4th of July traditions?  Would we just modify our current ones? … [Read more...]

Equality and the Destiny of Dissenters

White House on June 26th, 2015

The joy many felt at the SCOTUS’ marriage equality ruling – and the beauty of more than a  dozen landmarks that turned rainbow last night – was marred only by diminishing comments from Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito. Their sour dissents were mirrored by some of the Republican Party powerful. Yet when even conservative CNN commentator … [Read more...]

What Purpose Do Fraternities Serve?

Dare We Say - Finlay and Vercher

DARE WE SAY hosts Shawna Vercher and  Anita Finlay look at the role and cost of fraternities in the wake of the latest outrage and ask -- What purpose do fraternities serve?  Is it time to put an end to them? The boast is that 18 out of 44 presidents have been members of a fraternity.  But what fraternities seem to produce now is a never-ending … [Read more...]

Even The FDA Doesn’t Know What’s In Our Food

FDA doesn't know what is in our food

Eating and drinking is about as basic to our survival as it gets. While we might debate whether various manufactured foods are the healthiest choices we can make in a day, we assume the FDA has approved their ingredients before we eat them.  We assume all the ingredients meet the standard of a “reasonable certainty” that no harm will come to us … [Read more...]

Beating Back the Drive-By Media In Politics

Jerry Doyle and Anita Finlay

As nature abhors a vacuum, so the drive-by media is hungry to control and define any public figure whose impact might supersede their own. How do we beat them? Whether we believe that Hillary Clinton’s “email-gate” is empty click-bait or something substantive, the amount of feverish news coverage generated in advance of securing the … [Read more...]

How Long Do You Give a Leader To Succeed?

Jerry Doyle and Anita Finlay

How long do you give a leader to succeed when it comes to national, state or local government?  Is four years in office enough? California's tax rates are high.  When Governor Brown re-took office in the midst of a fiscal crisis in 2010, we were asked to bear "temporary" higher taxes on the promise that he would balance the budget.  How much of a … [Read more...]

Acting, Hacking and Hollywood

Jerry & Anita

Talking with Jerry Doyle earlier in the week, what started as a tangent to a conversation on terrorism turned into a full blown interview about Hollywood’s underbelly.  We discuss the dust-up caused by the Sony Hack and media release of the racially insensitive comments of SONY Exec Amy Pascal and Producer Scott Rudin about President Obama, the … [Read more...]

The Terror in the Torture Report

Sen. Dianne Feinstein explains intel report on Senate floor (image clip from cspan video)

It was several years after 9/11 before I had occasion to once again board a plane. Arriving at airport security, the sight of everyone in line, by rote, yanking off their belts and shoes shocked me enough that tears rolled down my face. That horrible day in September forever changed us. Suddenly we were no different than any other country … [Read more...]

Will We Ever Bring An End To Domestic Violence?

janay and ray rice (2)

When Football executive and former NFL player Troy Vincent appeared before a Senate committee examining the NFL’s handling of domestic violence and sexual assault, he became the unexpected face of domestic abuse, if only for a moment. While looking to convince the panel that the NFL was cleaning up its act in this regard, Mr. Vincent offered … [Read more...]

What if Fresh Produce Had A Mascot?

Dog Maymo

When we think of fresh fruits and vegetables, we immediately think "healthy."  And not about actually feeling better. We think more about all the work -- storing, cleaning, chopping, slicing, cooking that it takes to prepare them, than about the wonderful taste and texture that comes with them. And somehow, we rarely associate fresh … [Read more...]

Silence Equals A Yes Vote

anita vote PSA

The midterm elections are upon us and famously have lower turnouts, but it’s more important than ever to vote. Midterms may not be as sexy. But they matter. If you get even one person into office who’s better than the suit currently there, you’ve made a difference… So share my PSA: Vote and make your voice heard on election day. If you don't … [Read more...]