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Bob McMillanAn Opinion

By Bob McMillan

Return to New York

Friday, 19 June 2009 07:34

First, I have to admit being a “snow bird.” Along with my wife, we spent four months at our condo on the West Coast of Florida right next to Punta Gorda. At first, I was nervous about being away so long. But, the anxiety soon disappeared as we got into all kinds of activities.


The Education of Our Children

Friday, 12 June 2009 07:59

Like it or not, we really do live in a global society – not just the economy, but in every aspect from the Internet to worldwide instantaneous news. Another extremely important element of the global reality is the education of our children.

As I did research for this piece, I was appalled by the poor ranking of our 15-year-olds in math, reading, and science. And their poor rankings have been achieved even though we spend one of the highest dollars per student in our public schools. The only country close to our student spending is Switzerland.


A Global Look at Charitable Giving

Thursday, 04 June 2009 12:20

A simple fact. The United States leads the world in charitable contributions and with regard to the number of people who volunteer for good causes, we are second. While the statistics are not fully current, it is safe to say that some $260 billion was donated in 2008 to charities across the nation. The leading recipients were religious organizations, receiving around $90 billion.

Taking a look at charitable giving, by country, as a percent of GDP, the results are interesting. The United States gives almost 1.8 percent of our GDP each year. Canada and England are second with around 0.7 percent of GDP. France is close to the bottom with charitable contributions around 0.15 percent of its GDP.


Complain and Stay at Home

Thursday, 28 May 2009 14:16

Today, there is a great deal to complain about! From the economy to loss of jobs and from high real estate taxes to LIRR fares. The question, about these issues and so many other challenges in today’s society, is what do you do about them?

With television, the Internet and emails, it is easy to complain and stay at home. Thirty years ago, more people were attending meetings at every level. Whatever your political party, Republican and Democratic clubs had high attendance. Now, even with important speakers, few people take the time to participate. They would rather stay at home and complain.


Putting Your Life in Order

Thursday, 21 May 2009 15:32
First, I hope none of my readers will ever have to go through the story presented in this column. It is a true story which recently took place and involved grandparents of one of my family members. The couple had lost their children, and my son-in-law was the only surviving relative. It is also a story about that old proverb which says never put off until tomorrow what you should take care of today.

In your life, everything can seem to be going well until one day the bottom suddenly drops out. In this case, the couple was in their 90s, and until several months ago had led fairly active lives – even driving back and forth from upstate New York to a second home in Florida.


Pass Free Trade With Panama

Wednesday, 13 May 2009 11:50
According to the latest reports, President Obama now approves of the Congress taking action on a long delayed free-trade agreement with Panama. During the 2008 election, Obama had been very critical of former President George W. Bush and his approach to trade. Now the president is taking the position that the United States cannot pursue protectionist policies. That is a realistic positive change.

Frost-Nixon Movie

Friday, 08 May 2009 00:00
In May of 1977, just three years after Richard Nixon left the presidency in disgrace, David Frost interviewed Nixon for a TV series. Frost convinced Nixon to tape four 90-minute programs with Nixon being compensated some $600,000 plus ten percent of the profits.

Most people seeing the videos felt that the results were not totally unfavorable to former President Nixon. In spite of beads of sweat, digressions and clear agony, in the actual interview, the interview received tremendous viewer attention getting very large audience shares. But, the videos were much different than the movie. I felt the movie was not fair to Nixon.


Something Is Wrong in America

Written by Bob McMillan Monday, 05 January 2009 12:57
Perhaps it is the 24/7 news on cable TV or maybe there is something wrong in America. The number of murders, missing children, and sexual predators seems to have grown beyond any realism. Every time cable news comes on, there seems to be a new nasty story. It can be dangerous out there. It is no wonder that you regularly see parents waiting for children to both board and return on school buses. In the "old days," we walked to school or got off and on the bus with little, if any, concern.

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