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America’s War Machine: Local Journalist Releases Essential Look at Military Industrial Complex

51Ob-U5njxL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_After decades covering defense and foreign policy stories in Washington, journalist James McCartney devoted his retirement to writing a book about what he had learned about the military-industrial complex. No small surprise, the MIC is alive and well — nearly 55 years after McCartney, as a reporter just starting out, heard President Eisenhower’s historic 1961 speech that carried his blunt warning about the danger and long term ramifications of an unchecked MIC.

Sadly, James McCartney passed away before he could complete the book, but his wife, Molly Sinclair McCartney, took over where he left off, finishing the book now published and titled “America’s War Machine: Vested Interests, Endless Conflict” (St. Martin’s Press, October 2015). Molly Sinclair McCartney is a noted journalist in her own right, having reported for the Miami Herald and the Washington Post.

William D. Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, reviewed the book on Huffington Post, describing it as a “crisp, clear analysis of the state of the MIC more than 50 years after Eisenhower and his advisors coined the term. The authors deploy dozens of examples to make their case that unfortunately, the MIC is alive and well, with an outsized role in determining not only how much to spend on the Pentagon, but also on whether the country is at war or at peace.” Read the full book review here.

Molly Sinclair McCartney will discuss “America’s War Machine: Vested Interests, Endless Conflicts,” at 2 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Manatee County Central Library, 1301 Barcarrota Blvd., Bradenton and at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 at Florida Veterans for Common Sense, Firehouse, 2070 Waldemere St., Sarasota. The book is available on

Posted on December 3rd, 2015 Comments Off on America’s War Machine: Local Journalist Releases Essential Look at Military Industrial ComplexComments RSS Feed

Sarasota writer wins statewide blog award

Robin Draper

Sarasota’s Robin Draper won big-time recognition for her blog Authentic Florida, which was named Best Food Blog in the state at the Sunshine Awards competition held in Orlando in January. (Yes, I know, I’m a bit behind!) More than 100 nominees were submitted to the contest, held at FlBlogCon (the Florida Blogger and Social Media Conference), and Draper walked away with the prize.

Draper grew up on Siesta Key and after a stint in the Peace Corps and California, she moved back to the area in 2009 and launched her blog shortly afterward. She travels the state looking for fun, Florida-only experiences and eats, and on her site writes about the places she visits and the food she eats with a loving touch. Her book Authentic Florida is available online at Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

Posted on April 30th, 2014 Comments (2)Comments RSS Feed

Sarasota writer/singer/filmmaker releases first novel, Triple Destiny

Diana Colson, a longtime columnist for the Pelican Press back in the day, has released her first novel, Triple Destiny, set in part in Sarasota. The novel tells the story of a dance teacher who hides in Sarasota to protect her daughter from her violent husband, then escapes to Bali

Colson taught in Sarasota County public schools while at the same time performing as a singer/songwriter and also launching a career as a filmmaker. For five years, she was a social columnist for the Pelican Press; now she’s plotting a feature film based on Triple Destiny, and has even recorded a piano theme for the movie.

Posted on March 31st, 2014 Comments Off on Sarasota writer/singer/filmmaker releases first novel, Triple DestinyComments RSS Feed

Former Herald-Tribune editor launches new book on Florida breweries

Craft beer is all the rage these days, particularly in Florida, which has earned a reputation as a hub for creative, delicious beers, with a plethora of small, medium and large breweries all over. The scene has grown so popular it’s now the subject of a book, titled, well, Florida Breweries, and it was penned by former Sarasota Herald-Tribune assistant business editor Gerard Walen.

Gerard now runs a website called Road Trips for Beer, which documents Gerard’s travels for IPAs, ales, porters and more, and he has also launched the website Beer in Florida, which is dedicated to covering all things craft beer in the Sunshine State.

Walen is celebrating the release of the new book with two parties: one at Crystal River’s Copp Brewery on Thurs., April 3, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and one at The Ale and the Witch in St. Petersburg on Thurs., April 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. You can buy a book at the parties for $19.95 or order it on Amazon and bring it with you. Gerard says he’ll sign whatever you’ve got. Check it out! And raise a pint for me.

Posted on March 26th, 2014 Comments Off on Former Herald-Tribune editor launches new book on Florida breweriesComments RSS Feed

Sarasota poet offers meditation on mourning a pet

For all those out there who love their dogs, Sarasota poet Arlene Klein recently republished a collection titled I Never Wanted to Say Goodbye: Gentle Words to Comfort Those Who Mourn the Loss of a Pet. Klein calls the book “a testament to the joy of living with pets and the sorrow of losing them.”

“The book is a collection of poems, written as a tribute to the dogs I loved and lost,” she writes. “Gentle words to comfort those who mourn the loss of a beloved pet. It touches the heart and is an inspiration to embrace every magical moment we share with our furry friends.”

Originally published in 1995, the book was nominated for a Dog Writers Association of America Maxwell award. Klein released a revised edition two years ago — she even got Betty White to write the foreword.

A portion of book sale proceeds goes to the Morris Animal Foundation for canine health studies.

Posted on August 5th, 2013 Comments (4)Comments RSS Feed

Mind-body experience expansion (No LSD required)

Terry DeMeo

I recently spent some time working with Martha Beck Master Certified life coach Terry DeMeo. My work with Terry has turned my life in a virtual Inner 180. It’s not hyperbole to say Terry’s coaching taught me tools I’d never known existed and, seriously, she pretty much blew the lid off (or, actually taught me how to blow the lid off myself) of many of my closest-held assumptions about myself, and the way I think, work and move in the world.

Our work covered personal and professional areas and, well, I can’t recommend her enough if you are seriously seeking to eliminate the roadblocks you’ve created in your life. ‘Cause that’s the biggest lesson, that I thought I knew already before working with her, but soon realized that I had only understood the concept on an intellectual level: the roadblock to experiencing your life the way you want to experience it isn’t your parent, your boss, your job or your broken-down-old car. The barriers between you and the life you want to live aren’t put there by boyfriends or thundershowers or a penchant for chocolate. The only thing getting in your way is you.

Working with Terry one-on-one was the best learning investment I’ve made in myself since working three jobs and seven days a week to put myself through college.

A lawyer-turned-life coach based in Coconut Grove, Florida, Terry’s mission is simple: helping intelligent people solve problems and transcend challenges. And I loved that she communicated and worked with me from both an emotional POV and a scientific one. She taught me a lot about how the brain works (and a not insignificant amount about how the body works).

No less an authority than Martha Beck, the bestselling author and Oprah magazine columnist, calls her “a wise, inspiring coach with the experience, emotional intelligence, and intellect to guide you through virtually anything.”

I encourage you to check out her Facebook page her Facebook page, and website (linked above), where she publishes her own thoughts, like this one I loved: on the discipline of writing.

Posted on July 11th, 2013 Comments Off on Mind-body experience expansion (No LSD required)Comments RSS Feed

‘The best party of the season’ — put it on your calendar

I’m not the party-going type, so when I tell you I’m hitting the circuit, it means something. I’ve had a blast attending past Sarasota Magazine parties at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and I expect this year’s, scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, to be no exception.

Dubbed Glamour in the Garden, the soirée is being promoted as the “best party of the season,” and I believe it. Past events have brought out a who’s-who of local bigwigs and celebrities, and you can’t top the setting: Selby at sunset.

Click on the image below for more details about the event, and to snag your tickets. Tell ’em M.C. sent you:

Posted on April 10th, 2013 Comments Off on ‘The best party of the season’ — put it on your calendarComments RSS Feed

Anne-Marie Slaughter headlines this year’s Renaissance Luncheon

Anne-Marie Slaughter

If you’re unaware of the myriad offerings of the Women’s Resource Center, a great opportunity to learn more is coming up quickly: On Tues., March 12, the Center hosts its biggest fundraising event of the year — the Renaissance Luncheon — at the Ritz-Carlton.

“For our donors, [the luncheon] lets them know the good programs and services their money is supporting,” Executive Director Janice Zarro explained to me last year. It’s “an opportunity to showcase our values and the impact we are having on our community.”

And that impact is significant.

Each year, nearly 13,000 women take advantage of the Center’s varied programs, which include everything from peer referral counseling, finance education and Excel spreadsheet training to lessons on starting and managing a business. On the personal side, they offer classes in navigating life as a widow, learning yoga, handling divorce, bouncing back from adversity and creating the life you desire – just to name a few.

The Renaissance Luncheon is a cornerstone in helping the Center continue to do what it does for the women of our community and has developed into a can’t-miss event — attracting close to 600 men and women who want to support the Center and draw insights from the outstanding keynote speakers.  The theme for this year’s luncheon is “Redefining Balance,” and the keynote speaker is Anne-Marie Slaughter, the author of the much-discussed and controversial 2012 Atlantic essay, “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All.”

The event begins with boutique shopping at 10:30 a.m., followed at noon by lunch and Slaughter’s talk. It also includes drawings for prizes and a silent auction — some of the goodies include a five-course meal for eight, courtesy of Zest! of Sarasota catering.

A ticket for the luncheon will run you $95; you can purchase one online by clicking here.

Posted on February 26th, 2013 Comments Off on Anne-Marie Slaughter headlines this year’s Renaissance LuncheonComments RSS Feed

More Joy in January


Sitting at my desk, immersed in updating content for a client website, all doors and windows open, and outside a bird singing one of the sweetest songs. So sweet, so soft, so near; it draws me away to the doorway and I search the surrounding bushes for the source of that singing. I finally spot a female cardinal, deep in the bush very near. She falls silent when I reach the door. I go back to my desk and realize I can see her easily from here.

She’s hasn’t resumed her singing, but I know she will. And as corny as this sounds, I realize this is joy. “Our truest life is when we are dreams awake.” Henry David Thoreau

Posted on January 24th, 2013 Comments Off on More Joy in JanuaryComments RSS Feed

Path Financial Facebook blog dedicated to good economic news

We’re so inundated with economic news each day — good news, bad news, who’s up, who’s down — my tendency is to sometimes just ignore the whole shebang, but one of my clients is trying to help folks zero in on the important positive news out there.

Path Financial (whom I’m very proud to call a client) just launched a new Facebook page called the Better News Blog, where the company is plucking out and highlighting important positive stories from around the web. Here’s how Better News defines its mission:

The purpose of the Better News Blog is to share smart, well-sourced, and solidly-researched news articles and stories that stress the positive side of things. While we mostly focus on economic and market issues, we also provide links to general interest stories that we find inspiring or noteworthy.

News outfits, talking heads and high-drama pundits are dedicated to selling “bad” news. The Better News Blog wants to share with you good news you can use instead.

If you’re as in to sharing good news and focusing our energies in positive ways as much as I am (or at least as much as possible!), help me spread the word for my client’s new page by “liking” it on Facebook: Click here and “Like” — and read the positive news coming your way!

Posted on December 26th, 2012 Comments Off on Path Financial Facebook blog dedicated to good economic newsComments RSS Feed