Showing posts from January, 2015

Lack of cohesiveness in the ATL metro area

A few recent ATL metro area traffic-related surveys came out in the past few weeks that are quite telling. In one survey, a majority of folks wish to have more and better public transportation options available to them, but they do not wish to pay for the improvements via taxes. In another survey, scores of respondents say that they prefer to drive solo to work. What’s going on here? Why are so many metro residents wishy-washy on the transportation situation? Driving solo to work is understandable. Coordinating a carpool can be a hassle for many, but wanting more transportation choice without paying for it is puzzling. Mother always said, “You cannot have your cake and eat it too.” OK, so the public is fickle. Is there a way for leaders to band together to build more roads, bridges, trains, bike paths and streetcars throughout this area? Since there are no easy answers to metro Atlanta’s transportation dilemma, there is one common denominator to this problem: It seems that no one is …

Flashback: Madeleine Albright book review - November 2003


Madam Secretary
by Madeleine Albright
Published by Miramax
576 pages, 2003

Buy it online

Albright From the Trenches
Reviewed by Robert J. Nebel

Defending an out-of-power administration is a fulltime occupation for former presidents and cabinet members. Six figure speeches that they give at universities and other institutions are peppered with self-congratulatory praises for their work during their glory years in Washington. There is also no shortage of criticisms within these speeches directed at the current occupants of The White House. Former President Clinton and his underlings have been following that tradition by speechifying for the past two years with tales of investments in education, military, Americorps, a sound economy and record surpluses. It is enough to make listeners who hang onto every word at these speeches pine away for the 1990s.
Clinton's second Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright is no exception. Like her former boss, Albright…

Flashback: Interview with Madeleine Albright - November 2003


Madam Secretary
by Madeleine Albright
Published by Miramax
576 pages, 2003

Buy it online

"Ultimately, the way of life of the United States is dependent on what happens in the rest of the world. Whether it is an imminent threat of terrorism or a fuel supply or genocide -- the US has to realize that they are not the center of the map. There are people on the other side of the globe who affect our way of life."

Former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has the Sunday New York Times and Atlanta Journal-Constitution spread out over a luxurious couch in her Atlanta hotel room on a brisk November day. She absorbs page after page in these papers at a feverish pace. "You must read this front page story inThe Times," she says. "It is about this child with an Israeli mother and Palestinian father. It is quite moving."
Dr. Albright is in town to address a packed house at the Marcus Jewish Community Center as they celebrate …

Flashback: Q & A with Al Franken - September 2003

NEWS & POLITICS Q&A: Al Franken Al Franken takes on the conservative media establishment with his fifth book "Lies And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right." ByRobert J. Nebel / AlterNet September 1, 2003 COMMENT NOW! Conservative talk radio and television are multi-million dollar success models in most major media markets. Many credit syndicated conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh for sparking this phenomenon. Since Limbaugh went national in 1988, the conservative agenda has been sold to the nation in a simplified, entertaining form. Corporations such as Clear Channel Entertainment saw the "Limbaugh Phenomenon" as an opportunity to create "Rush Copycats" throughout the country. As the ratings for these programs have gone through the roof, critics claim that public discourse has plummeted through the basement.

Chief amongst those critics is comedian/political satirist Al Fr…

Flashback: Juan Williams' book on Thurgood Marshall - 2000


Flashback: That Kinko's Guy - 2005

original post on rain taxi

THAT KINKO'S GUYby Robert J. Nebel

Academic life was not easy for Paul Orfalea.  As a hyperactive, dyslexic child growing up in the 1950s and 60s, Orfalea's future looked dim.  His education was plagued with one disappointment after another.  He flunked two grades and graduated eighth from the bottom of his high school class. Through strength and support from his family, Orfalea did not let standardized tests and a D average stop him from achieving success. In the early 1970s, a light bulb went on in his head:  Offer a service that people need.  In this case, it was a photocopy service for students on the University of California at Santa Barbara campus.  That small copy shop was called Kinko's - a nickname he earned for having kinky hair at the time.  The business grew to over 1,200 stores in nine countries. The rise and eventual sale of the successful copy center is chronicled in Orfalea's autobiography, Copy This! (Workman Publishing, $23.9…

Flashback: 'Bait and Switch' book review 2006

Original post at rain taxi

Metropolitan Books ($24) by Robert J. Nebel No one ever said that finding a job in George W. Bush's America was going to be easy, but veteran liberal author Barbara Ehrenreich set out to prove how hard it really is in Bait and Switch. Released last fall to rave reviews and an appearance on the coveted New York Times bestseller list, Bait and Switch is a reminder to all of us that, with or without a job, a search for one on any level is far from pleasant. Ehrenreich, has found her niche in recent years by going undercover to report on the job front in America. In Nickel and Dimed, she took a series of low-wage jobs to tell white collar America that life as a waitress, maid or store clerk is beyond demeaning. With Bait and Switch, Ehrenreich takes on the white collar world with a job search in the asphalt jungle of Atlanta, Georgia. Assuming the identity of Barbara Alexander, a mid…

Flashback: Al Franken interview 2005

AL FRANKEN IS SPREADING THE TRUTH (WITH JOKES)by Robert J. Nebel Al Franken is a powerhouse. This prolific 54-year-old satirist never seems to tire. Author of some of the most well-known political books of humor, including Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat IdiotLies and The Lying Liars Who Tell Them, and his latest, The Truth (with jokes), Franken seems to be a comedy factory that will run forever. Currently on the New York Times bestseller list, The Truth focuses more on policy issues, including the Iraq war, Social Security and gay marriage. Could this be the first sign of Franken's intentions to run for the U.S. Senate is his home state of Minnesota? He admits that he is thinking about it, but nothing is set in stone as of this writing. Even though he strikes a more serious tone with The Truth (with jokes), Franken does not depart from the classic humor that made him such a success during his many years on the late-night comedy variety program Saturday …