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June 7, 2010 | By Karen E. Klein
Dear Karen: I see lots of advertisements for small business motivational seminars. How effective are they? Answer: Motivational speakers may give you the confidence to start your own business. But too often, splashy seminars are high-pressure sales pitches for questionable investments or business opportunities, said Sandy Botkin, a tax law specialist and former Internal Revenue Service tax attorney. "Not all seminars are bad, but it's sometimes hard to determine which ones are legitimate," he said.
April 4, 2010 | By Reed Johnson
Among the eclectic offerings on tap for Los Angeles Opera's Ring Festival LA will be a Teutonic beer garden, lectures on Richard Wagner's masterful artistry and racist ideology, a screening of the Bugs Bunny classic "What's Opera, Doc?" and a convergence of Norse mythology and astrophysics at the Griffith Observatory dubbed "Light of the Valkyries." Among the festival ideas that didn't make the final cut: a "dancing blimp" over downtown L.A. and an all-German dog show at the Convention Center.
November 30, 2009 | By Victoria Kim and Richard Winton
The Calabasas middle school that was shaken this month by attacks on redheads was jolted again Monday when news spread that two 12-year-olds and a 13-year-old had been arrested in the bizarre incident. Apparently spurred by a Facebook site and inspired by the animated "South Park" television show, "Kick a Ginger Day" brought notoriety to A.E. Wright Middle School, an ordinarily peaceful campus that sponsored a tolerance assembly for students Monday in the wake of the attacks. The "South Park" episode, first shown in 2005, was itself supposed to be a lesson in tolerance but misfired, with harassment of red-haired students taking place at schools across the U.S. and Canada over the last few years.
November 23, 2009 | By Corina Knoll
The challah was blessed, the Manischewitz wine was poured, the candles were lighted. It could have been any Shabbat dinner in Los Angeles, were it not for the fact that it took place midweek and the room was full of Catholic schoolteachers. The 34 teachers were participants in Bearing Witness, a seminar designed for educators in Catholic schools learning to teach about anti-Semitism and the history of the relationship between Jews and Catholics. Created in 1996 by the Anti-Defamation League, the seminars are now conducted across the United States.
October 28, 2009 | Mary Jordan
After nine months of being nearly invisible -- a big outing has been to a Dallas hardware store for flashlights -- George W. Bush debuted in his latest incarnation: motivational speaker. Nearly 15,000 people heard the former president, known more for mangling the English language than for his eloquence, reminisce this week about his White House days. Bush, who is writing a book about the dozen toughest decisions he had to make, used much of his 28 minutes onstage to talk about lighter topics, such as picking out a rug design for the Oval Office that reflected his "optimism."
October 26, 2009
Re "Sweat lodge deaths a new test for self-help guru," Oct. 22 I prepaid $6,000 for two James Arthur Ray seminars. I left the first, "Creating Absolute Wealth," following one of the "warrior games" after realizing that what I'd purchased was not only a waste of time but a wealth-creation vehicle for only one person. Approximately 175 participants, outfitted as homeless people and instructed to leave money, ID, cellphones, etc., behind, were loaded on buses and dropped off in downtown San Diego without money, food or water, to "go beyond our comfort zones" for the next several hours, on our own. I spent months trying to get my money back for either seminar (including the one not taken)
July 29, 2009 | Kristina Sherry
There's good and bad news when it comes to American obesity, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday at an event addressing the nation's increasingly costly and deadly weight problem.
May 3, 2009 | Tony Perry
Blake Cole, 19, of Redondo Beach emerged from the surf Saturday morning, longboard under his arm, and professed himself satisfied. "Having fun and doing science," he said. "That's what it's all about." Indeed, the essence of the Physics of Surfing, a 1-unit course for freshmen at UC San Diego, is to mix physical exertion and intellectual rigor.
November 8, 2008
Re "Ring Festival Is Already Packed," by Diane Haithman, Nov. 4: I am curious why the Ring Festival has to have a seminar conducted at American Jewish University regarding the use of Wagner by the Nazis, and who pitched it. Are any taxpayer dollars funding this? Wagner died in 1883, and while he may have held "anti-Semitic" views, his work should be allowed to stand alone, and without all the Holocaust political hoopla, as one of the greatest artistic works in European history. Should we not also censor Jewish-Israeli artistic works and demand seminars on illegal West Bank settlements, violation of Palestinian human rights, and the "wall"?
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