Fear is a powerful drug. Those who would act out of fear (and in some cases political opportunism and bigotry) have disregarded the lessons of WWII and the world's shame at the treatment of refugees, especially Jewish refugees, who were turned away and sent back to death at the hands of the Nazis.
I just returned from an international conference in Iceland celebrating 100 years of women having the right to vote. What progress has been made in the century? What difference did women voting make? What remains to be done to achieve gender equality?
On a ruined planet there can be no development or justice, peace or security, functioning economies, markets or states. Can we mature into responsible global citizens fast enough and stop living at the expense of our children and all future generations of life?
So you want to dive face first in the tangled, eccentric, all-around fantastic world of Icelandic music? You're in luck because there's really only one place to start -- the Iceland Airwaves music festival in Reykjavik Nov 4-8, 2015.
Roughly the size of Kentucky, diminutive Iceland nevertheless captivates with its lunar-like surface, volcanic landscape, glaciers, waterfalls and hot springs. Treasures abound everywhere you look, provided you have the gusto to rent a car and venture outside of the country's admittedly charming capital city Reykjavik.
In my entire life I have never breathed in purer air, drank cleaner water or felt so naturally energized.
If you watched the BBC show Poldark this year (which aired in the U.S. on PBS), you're not alone; the 2015 remake of the 1970s hit series attracted huge numbers of viewers around the world, all of whom are eagerly awaiting the second season of the show, set to air in 2016.
It's called Dyrhólaey lighthouse, Iceland, and it's a solitary, century-old lighthouse on a cliff overlooking a black beach that stretches farther than you can fathom. It's a primal, elemental landscape that will make you feel as if you're teetering on the end of the earth.
Let's get this straight. Europe is not responsible for the mayhem in Syria and the resultant chaos. It's the Assad regime and his Iranian backers who are responsible for the crimes against humanity.
It goes without saying that there are vast differences between the Syrian civil war and the Holocaust. But as children continue to drown and families continue to suffocate in their efforts to escape, it is worth recognizing the painful echoes of our past humanitarian failures.
I feel really behind the curve, but I only recently discovered that the United States actually has an official "too big to fail list." Essentially, this is a list of companies that have been sanctioned by the government as getting a guaranteed pass, no matter how economically ruined it becomes.
No amount of fancy tripod and filter will help you get good shots while you are in a moving vehicle. And yet it is possible!
Are you in the need of a change of scenery? Is your summer vacation still leaving you to daydream about faraway places? Check out this video and take a virtual trip to the 10 happiest countries in the world!
James P. Leary's new book and CD set, Folksongs of Another America, reveals astonishing diversity in the music of the Upper Midwest.
More than once, I seriously considered the idea of forgoing the trip and forgetting my impulsive purchase all together. In my moments of doubt I asked myself: would I ever really forgive myself for turning down a trip to Italy? The answer was no.