Archive for the Santa Claus Category

Al Qaeda Goes to College: First Book Review

Posted in 1966, 2008 Election, aecond amendment, AIDS/HIV, alcohol, alcoholism, animal house, animals, arrest, art, asia, athletics, Barack Obama, baseball, bichons, Biden, Big Business, binge drinking, blogging, Blogroll, books, breaking news, cars, cats, ceo compensation, Christmas, chrysler, Crime, criminal justice, culture, cyberspace, Democrats, diets, Disabilities, Disability Discrimination, discrimination, divorce, dogs, election, Employment Discrimination, entertainment, environment, films, food, fraternities, Gay Literature, gun control, high education, Higher Education, history, HIV/AIDS, hollywood, immigration, intelligent design, international, internet, Israel, journalism, Law, Law and Justice, leadership, literature, marriage, mccain, media, medicine, middle east, movies, murder, murder in the 20th century, news, North Pole, novels, obama, Oil Companies, Palin, pennsylvania, pets, Pigs, Pit Bulls, Polar Express, Politics, pornography, president, Presidential Election, prisons, professors, random, relationships, religion, Republicans, Santa Claus, Sarah Palin, science, science fiction, sciencec, second amendment, shooting, sports, study abroad, technology, Terrorism, time travel, Uncategorized, United Nations, universities, vegans, Vice President, Violence, VTU, war, war on terror, world affairs, writing on February 21, 2009 by castagnera

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/adjunctprofs/2009/02/book-review-h-1.html

February 21, 2009

Book Review Highlight Al-Qaeda Goes to College

AlqaedaOn Jan. 23, 2009, Adjunct Prof Blog announced  that James Ottavio Castagnera, a well known lawyer and professor at Rider University, just wrote an exciting new book entitled “Al-Qaeda Goes To College.” Professor Castagnera was kind enough to provide me with an advance copy and I could not put it down. 
The book starts off by detailing how Professor Castagnera world began to change on 9-11. It then goes on to discuss the Anthrax scare that occurred at the Hamlton New Jersey Post Office, just a few miles a way from Rider University.    
The book’s research is excellent and it is full of detailed footnotes that others will undoubtedly find helpful.  Professor Castagnera central thesis, however, is on the impact  9-11 had on higher education. He views 9-11 as a double edge sword. On the one hand universities lost their innocence at great cost (increased governmental regulations, security costs etc.), but on the other hand universities also got a windfall because now they offer more programs and research on national security. Professor Castagnera believes that American universities have met the challenge of 9-11 and we are better off because of it. He compares 9-11 to WWII and states that America became a super power because of WWII.

The book goes on and covers such topics as universities’ roles in training counter-terrorism experts, particularly anthropologists working in Iraq and Afghanistan; bio-terrorism research on campuses; inflammatory critiques by the likes of Ward Churchill; the conspiracy theories advocated by some academics regarding 9/11; lawsuits against universities by terror victims trying to get settlements from countries like Iran by seizing archaeological artifacts in American universities; accused Islamists teaching at American colleges, like Sami al-Arian at USF.

This book not only presents well researched factual information, but it also contains legal analysis. For example with respect to the discharge of Professor Ward Churchill, Professor Castagnera outlines the First Amendment rights of public employees and in particular academic freedom. 

To my knowledge, this is the first book on how 9-11 has changed the world of higher education.  This book will be available around April 30th and you can pre-order it now from the above link. You will be glad that you did.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

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Read a sample chapter from my newest book, “Al Qaeda Goes to College”

Posted in 1966, 2008 Election, aecond amendment, AIDS/HIV, alcohol, alcoholism, animal house, animals, arrest, art, asia, athletics, Barack Obama, baseball, bichons, Biden, Big Business, binge drinking, blogging, Blogroll, books, breaking news, cars, cats, ceo compensation, Christmas, chrysler, Crime, criminal justice, culture, cyberspace, Democrats, diets, Disabilities, Disability Discrimination, discrimination, divorce, dogs, election, Employment Discrimination, entertainment, environment, films, food, fraternities, Gay Literature, gun control, high education, Higher Education, history, HIV/AIDS, hollywood, immigration, intelligent design, international, internet, Israel, journalism, Law, Law and Justice, leadership, literature, marriage, mccain, media, medicine, middle east, movies, murder, murder in the 20th century, news, North Pole, novels, obama, Oil Companies, Palin, pennsylvania, pets, Pigs, Pit Bulls, Polar Express, Politics, pornography, president, Presidential Election, prisons, professors, random, relationships, religion, Republicans, Santa Claus, Sarah Palin, science, science fiction, sciencec, second amendment, shooting, sports, study abroad, technology, Terrorism, time travel, Uncategorized, United Nations, universities, vegans, Vice President, Violence, VTU, war, war on terror, world affairs, writing on February 10, 2009 by castagnera

http://www.historyplace.com/specials/writers/domestic-terrorists.htm

My new book is now available

Posted in 1966, 2008 Election, aecond amendment, AIDS/HIV, alcohol, alcoholism, animal house, animals, arrest, art, asia, athletics, Barack Obama, baseball, bichons, Biden, Big Business, binge drinking, blogging, Blogroll, books, breaking news, cars, cats, ceo compensation, Christmas, chrysler, Crime, criminal justice, culture, cyberspace, Democrats, diets, Disabilities, Disability Discrimination, discrimination, divorce, dogs, election, Employment Discrimination, Higher Education, history, HIV/AIDS, hollywood, immigration, intelligent design, international, internet, Israel, journalism, Law, Law and Justice, leadership, literature, marriage, mccain, media, medicine, middle east, movies, murder, murder in the 20th century, news, North Pole, novels, obama, Pit Bulls, Polar Express, Politics, pornography, president, Presidential Election, prisons, professors, random, relationships, religion, Republicans, Santa Claus, Sarah Palin, science, science fiction, sciencec, second amendment, shooting, sports, study abroad, technology, Terrorism, time travel, Uncategorized, United Nations, vegans, Vice President, Violence, VTU, war, war on terror, world affairs, writing on January 6, 2009 by castagnera

http://www.greenwood.com/catalog/C36428.aspx

Why Reforming Education Is a Critical National Priority

Posted in 1966, 2008 Election, aecond amendment, alcohol, alcoholism, animal house, animals, arrest, art, asia, athletics, Barack Obama, baseball, bichons, Biden, Big Business, binge drinking, blogging, Blogroll, books, breaking news, cars, cats, ceo compensation, Christmas, chrysler, Crime, criminal justice, culture, cyberspace, Democrats, diets, divorce, dogs, election, entertainment, environment, films, food, fraternities, gun control, high education, Higher Education, history, hollywood, immigration, intelligent design, international, internet, Israel, journalism, Law, Law and Justice, leadership, literature, marriage, mccain, media, medicine, middle east, movies, murder, murder in the 20th century, news, North Pole, pennsylvania, pets, Pigs, Pit Bulls, Polar Express, Politics, pornography, president, Presidential Election, prisons, professors, random, relationships, religion, Republicans, Santa Claus, Sarah Palin, science, science fiction, sciencec, second amendment, shooting, sports, study abroad, technology, Terrorism, time travel, Uncategorized, United Nations, universities, vegans, Vice President, Violence, VTU, war, war on terror, world affairs, writing on December 8, 2008 by castagnera

Why Reforming American Education Is Crucial
By James Castagnera
Attorney at Large
Last week in this space, talking about how to win the war on terror, I asserted, “The American workforce must be better prepared to compete in the global marketplace. When we are through congratulating ourselves on electing our first black president, let’s recall that inner-city high school graduation rates still hover at or below 50 percent in most major metropolises. Colleges are over-priced and inefficiently labor-intensive. We are cranking out too many lawyers and too few engineers and scientists.”
Just as I am convinced that our national security against terrorists rests primarily on good police work, secure borders, and a sensible immigration policy, the proliferation of drug wars, inner-city gangs, and campus crazies persuades me that education — like energy — is a national security issue.  I offer two reasons why.
First, no democracy can feel itself either fair or safe, when it allows an inner-city proletariat to persist and fester from generation to generation.  According to the cover story in the December 8th TIME Magazine, “Young Americans are less likely than their parents were to finish high school.”  Adds the article’s authors, “This is an issue that is warping the nation’s economy and security.”  They are right.
A report issued in April by America’s Promise Alliance and reported on Fox News found high school graduation rates below 50% in America’s 50 largest cities.  According to Fox, “The report found troubling data on the prospects of urban public high school students getting to college. In Detroit’s public schools, 24.9 percent of the students graduated from high school, while 30.5 percent graduated in Indianapolis Public Schools and 34.1 percent received diplomas in the Cleveland Municipal City School District.”
Consider this:  the odds that you or I will be the victim of one of these thousands of high school dropouts is astronomically higher than the chance that one of us will be killed by an international terrorist.  Philadelphia annually averages about 400 homicides, for example.  While many of these killings are drug dealers or gang members taking out their rivals in jungle-land turf battles, the collateral damage in innocent citizens, including kids, is heartbreaking.
We need only glance across our southern border to Juarez, Mexico, to see how much worse it could become.  As early this year as February 28th, the Dallas News reported 72 drug-related murders in Juarez and worried that the violence could begin spilling over the porous border.  In Mexico, the killings include public officials who try to oppose the warring factions.  “Among the dead there: journalists, a city council member and a police chief on the job just seven hours before he was gunned down. Additionally, the cartels tried to assassinate a federal legislator. And efforts to clean up the force have stalled, as nobody wants the job of police chief. Local media self-censors to survive.”  A popular way for cartel killers to communicate their message is to hang a beheaded corpse from a highway overpass.
How great is the distance between Philadelphia and Juarez?  Thousands of miles as the crow flies, but perhaps only a few years away in terms of escalating violence, as our uneducated proletariats turn in increasing numbers to the only livelihood likely to pay them well.
For those who do graduate from high school and hope to come to college, the current financial crisis may pose an insurmountable barrier.  College students already are regularly graduating with five-figure “mortgages” on their diplomas.  Often, if mom and pop are footing the tuition bills, an actual second-mortgage on the family homestead is how the money is raised.  Now, even that undesirable method may be slipping away, as home equity shrinks and major lenders like City Bank flounder.  We’ll have to wait and see whether the college class of 2013, which will come to campus in September ’09, will be substantially smaller than this year’s crop of collegians.  I predict it will be.
Those who can’t afford college probably won’t be working either.  This morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer’s front page reports the highest unemployment rate in 34 years: 6.7% nationally.  More than 500,000 jobs, adds the Inky, evaporated just last month.
More than 100 years ago, the famous defense attorney Clarence Darrow claimed, “There are more people go to jail in hard times than in good times — few people comparatively go to jail except when they are hard up. They go to jail because they have no other place to go. They may not know why, but it is true all the same. People are not more wicked in hard times. That is not the reason. The fact is true all over the world that in hard times more people go to jail than in good times, and in winter more people go to jail than in summer….  The people who go to jail are almost always poor people — people who have no other place to live first and last.”
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, more than 700 people per 100,000.  Only Russia, some of the other states of the former USSR, and a couple of Caribbean countries come close.  Are we stronger on law and order than our sister democracies?  Or are we failing to provide alternatives to crime?
And where lies the greater threat to our security, Afghanistan or the city nearest your home?
[Jim Castagnera, formerly of Jim Thorpe, is a Philadelphia lawyer and writer.  His 17th book, Al Qaeda Goes to College, will be published in the spring by Praeger.]

Two new books

Posted in 1966, 2008 Election, alcohol, alcoholism, animal house, animals, arrest, asia, athletics, Barack Obama, baseball, bichons, Biden, Big Business, binge drinking, blogging, Blogroll, breaking news, cars, cats, ceo compensation, Christmas, chrysler, Crime, criminal justice, cyberspace, Democrats, diets, divorce, dogs, election, environment, films, food, fraternities, gun control, high education, Higher Education, history, hollywood, immigration, intelligent design, international, internet, Israel, journalism, Law, Law and Justice, leadership, literature, marriage, mccain, media, medicine, middle east, movies, murder, murder in the 20th century, news, North Pole, novels, obama, Oil Companies, Palin, pennsylvania, pets, Pigs, Pit Bulls, Polar Express, Politics, pornography, president, Presidential Election, prisons, professors, relationships, religion, Republicans, Santa Claus, Sarah Palin, science, science fiction, second amendment, shooting, sports, study abroad, technology, Terrorism, time travel, Uncategorized, United Nations, universities, vegans, Vice President, Violence, VTU, war, war on terror, world affairs, writing on October 31, 2008 by castagnera
Published on Times News Online (http://www.tnonline.com)

TIMES NEWS “Attorney at Large” publishes his 16th Book

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Al Qaeda Goes to College has just gone into production at Greenwood Press.

Jim Castagnera, the Times-News “Attorney at Large,” has published his 16th book, The Employment Law Answer Book: Forms and Worksheets. The 800-page tome, complete with a CD-Rom of adaptable human-resource templates, is a new companion to Castagnera’s popular Employment Law Answer Book, which was first released in 1988 and is now in its sixth edition. Both are published by Aspen Publishers, an American subsidiary of the Wolters Kluwer, a large European publishing/communications firm.

Meanwhile, his 17th book, Al Qaeda Goes to College, has just gone into production at Greenwood Press.

Holder of a J.D., Ph.D., Castagnera has spent more than 25 years practicing, writing about, and teaching law. He has been a labor lawyer and litigator with a major Philadelphia firm and the general counsel/corporate secretary for the then-largest convenience store chain in New Jersey and for the nation’s number one econometric forecasting organization. He has published 15 other books, as well as more than 50 professional/scholarly articles and book chapters. He is a frequent commentator in newsletters, newspapers, magazines, and broadcast media and has been writing his regular weekly column “Attorney at Large” for the Times-News since December 2003.

His teaching has taken him to the University of Texas-Austin, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Widener University School of Law. He has completed 12 years as Associate Provost and Associate Counsel for Academic Affairs at Rider University in Princeton/Lawrenceville (NJ), where he also holds the rank of Associate Professor of Business Policy.


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No, Virginia, There Is No Santa Claus

Posted in animals, breaking news, Christmas, environment, history, Law, Law and Justice, leadership, literature, media, North Pole, Polar Express, Politics, relationships, religion, Santa Claus, science, science fiction, technology, Uncategorized, United Nations, war on September 29, 2007 by castagnera

No newspaper columnist or commentator — whether as humble as yours truly or as famous as Andy Rooney — fails to admire Francis Pharcellus Church. On September 21, 1897, the New York Sun published an editorial under the headline “Is there a Santa Claus?” Church’s piece, responding to an inquiry by a little girl, began unforgettably, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” If you are too young to have encountered the column, you can read it, and all about it, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes,_Virginia,_There_is_a_Santa_Claus, which also offers a 1974 animated-cartoon version and an interview with the girl/woman who inspired Church.
Suffice to say, when I still believed in Santa, his home was the North Pole. Such modern classics as Chris Van Allsburgh’s The Polar Express, which became a Tom Hanks movie in 2004, agree with my geography. No matter: Santa had better plan to confine himself to Macy’s department store from now on. The North Pole is up for grabs and the land (ice?) rush is in full fettle.
According to a Time Magazine cover story, entitled “Fight for the Top of the World,” last week, “As global warming melts the Arctic ice, dreams of a short sea passage to Asia — and riches beneath the surface — have been revived.” Asks the news magazine, “With Russia planting a flag on the ocean floor at the North Pole, Canada talking tough and Washington wanting to be a player, who will win the world’s new Great Game?”
If not Santa, who does own the North Pole? We Yanks have a claim. In 1909 American explorer Robert Peary, accompanied by four Inuit, planted the Stars and Stripes at the spot he believed to be the geographic pole. On April 7th, or perhaps later when preparing his expedition journal for publication, he penned, “The Pole at last!!! The prize of 3 centuries, my dream and ambition for 23 years. Mine at last.…” All the same, many scientists, historians and geographers now dispute Peary’s accomplishment.
By contrast, Norwegian Roald Amundsen’s 1912 claim of success is much more strongly supported by scientific measurements. Still, should planting a national flag entitle a single nation to the whole enchilada? This was once the way of it. The great Western powers — England, France, and Spain, even tiny Holland and Belgium, and later Germany and the U.S. — built vast empires in Africa, Asia and South America, not to mention Australia and the South Pacific. They all started with explorers planting their country’s flags on far-off beaches and mountaintops.
Those days are long gone, together with those European empires. Their chapter in World History 101 was slammed decisively shut the moment the last helicopter left the roof of the American embassy in Saigon in 1974. The few remaining tin-pot protectorates and island colonies hanging on today aren’t worthy of a mention here.
So how in the heck can anybody claim a floating mass of ice and snow at the top of the world? This seems to me to be as bad as the patenting of human DNA. Although such patenting proceeds apace, as does the scramble for the North Pole, opposition is building beside it. According to the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics, “For example, from 1993 to 1994, more than thirty organizations representing indigenous peoples approved formal declarations objecting to the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) bid to patent viral DNA taken from subjects in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.” In 1995, 180 religious leaders led by Jeremy Rifkin held a Washington press conference opposing the practice. More recently the European Commission indicated it likely will oppose patents on human DNA.
At a time when Free Market Capitalism rules godlike over globalization, privatization, and outsourcing, everything seems up for sale. But, pendulums, Virginia, have a way of swinging. If Santa can’t have the North Pole all to himself, then perhaps it ought to be held in trust by the United Nations or some such international entity for the benefit of all of us. Maybe even the polar bears, which I hear are having a hard time of it as the ice cap shrinks, deserve our collective consideration.
Journalist Church — who wrote of Santa, “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus.” — would probably approve.
Jim Castagnera, formerly of Jim Thorpe, is the Associate Provost and Associate Counsel at Rider University and a 2007-08 Fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.