Page 1

JULY 2012


CROSSING THE LINE Porous Borders Pose A Serious Threat








POROUS BORDERS POSE A SERIOUS THREAT In January of 2012, the radical Muslim cleric, Sa’id El Jaziri traveled from Tunisia to Spain to Guatemala to El Salvador to Belize to Chetumal, Mexico, and then by bus to Tijuana, Mexico. On the night of January 10th he climbed over the wall into the United States. If it were not for a group of California firefighters observing him getting into the trunk of a BMW, this avowed jihadist, who has called for the murder of a Danish cartoonist for criticizing Islam, would have achieved his stated goal of getting to a safe place anywhere inside the United States. This is not an isolated incident, but, rather a trend that has been emerging over the past decade. The porous borders of the United States have always encouraged illegal entrance by criminals, drug traffickers, and anyone seeking to bypass the already relaxed immigration procedures. To some degree, anyone who chooses the illegal path of entry could be viewed as a threat to the country; however, the incursion of Islamic jihadists into the United

States represents a significantly elevated threat to our national security. The threat is not limited to the occasional radical cleric; Michael Braun, a former chief of operations at the Drug Enforcement Agency, said Hezbollah had developed relationships with the powerful Mexican drug cartels to “move their agenda forward.” He cited a plot, recently uncovered by the DEA, involving an Iranian operative in Mexico allegedly planning to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C. “Hezbollah are absolute masters at forming close relationships with existing organized crime groups around the world that helps them facilitate what they need to do to move their agendas forward,” Braun




told following the hearing. “And if anyone thinks for a moment that they don’t have their eye on the southwest border and all of our country, then they couldn’t be more wrong.” In his prepared remarks before a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on February 2, 2012,1 Braun said Hezbollah and other terrorist groups understand that the Mexican cartels are already operating successfully inside the United States. “And these groups [Hezbollah] most assuredly recognize the strategic value of exploiting that activity, and all that has been built to support it, for moving their vision forward in this part of the world.”

“And by developing those relations it provides them with the ability to operate far from home in our neighborhood and —as I said earlier—on our doorstep,” he replied. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), committee member and chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, asked about Hezbollah’s relationship to criminal

Why Geography Matters:

Three Challenges Facing America: Climate Change, the Rise of China, and Global Terrorism

Harm de Blij


ep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the committee, said on Feb. 2, 2012, that Iran has changed its tactics to include planning attacks on the United States.1 She also cited Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force and its connections to the Zeta drug cartel in the foiled Saudi Ambassador assassination attempt on U.S. soil. She asked Braun whether he believed Iran had “strategic interests” in Central America and the southwest border. Braun said Quds Force and Hezbollah work “very, very hard” to develop relationships with criminal groups that already have in place systems for illegal activities, including drug and human trafficking, money laundering, and forged document operations.

organizations in the Western Hemisphere and what it means for U.S. security. Braun warned that those relationships allow “these groups to operate freely in our neighborhood,” and said the U.S. would regret it if the threats were not taken seriously. Last year more than 243 million legal entries were processed at our land borders with Canada and Mexico, a steady stream of cross-border traffic by people living, working, and doing business in the border regions. Illegal entries are far harder to track. There were 463,000 ap-

prehensions made of individuals trying to cross illegally between the land border ports of entry. And an unknown number of individuals failed to leave when their visas expired, leaving them living illegally in the United States.


ur porous borders and the flow of illegal immigration across both our southern and northern borders is no longer just an immigration issue; it has clearly become a national security issue that needs immediate attention. But Islamist extremists intending to do us harm somehow show up on our doorstep and freely enter without authorization. In his book, Why Geography Matters, Harm de Blij makes the prediction, “As infiltration into the United States by land, air, and sea from the north, east, and west becomes more difficult because of increasingly effective controls, the map suggests that southern routes prominently including those via the Mexico-U.S. border, will become crucial to terrorist operatives in the years ahead, and that potential southern targets will require special homeland-security attention. From Caribbean shipping lanes to Gulf of Mexico oil installations, and from Houston to New Orleans and Miami, America’s southern flank requires protection against designs that may be on the drawing boards elsewhere in the world and transmitted to the Western Hemisphere via South America.”

Bibliography: de Blij, Harm Why Geography Matters: Three Challenges Facing America: Climate Change, the Rise of China, and Global Terrorism. Oxford University Press, USA, 2007. 1 Starr, Penny. “Former DEA Chief: Hezbollah Eyeing Southwest Border, ‘Hell to Pay in the Not Too Distant Future’.”, February 2, 2012.


“As infiltration into the United States by land, air, and sea from the north, east, and west becomes more difficult … the map suggests that southern routes prominently including those via the Mexico-U.S. border, will become crucial to terrorist operatives…”




COCOONED LIBERALS are Unprepared for Political Debate BY MICHAEL BARONE

It’s comfortable living in a cocoon—associating

cocoons, too. Journalist Bill Bishop, who lives in an Aus-

only with those who share your views, reading

tin, Texas, neighborhood whose politics resemble Kael’s,

journalism and watching news that only rein-

started looking at national data.

forces them, avoiding those on the other side of the cultural divide.

It inspired him to write his 2009 book The Big Sort, which describes how Americans since the 1970s have increasing-

Liberals have been doing this for a long time. In 1972, the

ly sorted themselves out, moving to places where almost

movie critic Pauline Kael said it was odd that Richard Nix-

everybody shares their cultural orientation and political

on was winning the election, because everyone she knew

preference—and the others keep quiet about theirs.

was for George McGovern.

Thus professionals with a choice of where to make their

Kael wasn’t clueless about the rest of America. She was just

livings head for the San Francisco Bay Area if they’re liber-

observing that her own social circle was politically parochial.

al and for the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex (they really do

The rest of us have increasingly sought out comfortable

call it that) if they’re conservative. Over the years the Bay

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.




It Now Falls to Congress Area becomes more liberal and the Metroplex more conservative.


But cocooning has an asymmetrical effect on liberals and conservatives. Even in a cocoon, conservatives cannot avoid liberal mainstream media, liberal Hollywood entertainment and, these days, the liberal Obama administration.

ObamaCare was a mistake from the start, a massive effort by the federal government to take over and control one-sixth of the economy—indeed, the part that concerns the most complex and intimate details of life, our health. It’s the most ambitious example to date of the political hubris progressives have displayed for over a century now, the belief that government can solve all of our problems.

They’re made uncomfortably aware of the arguments of those on the other side. Which gives them an advantage in fashioning their own responses. Liberals can protect themselves better against assaults from outside their cocoon. They can stay out of megachurches and make sure their remote controls never click on Fox News. They can stay off the AM radio dial so they will never hear Rush Limbaugh.


he problem is that this leaves them unprepared to make the best case for their side in public debate. They are too often not aware of holes in arguments that sound plausible when bandied between confreres entirely disposed to agree. We have seen how this works on some issues this year. Take the arguments developed by professor Randy Barnett of Georgetown Law that Obamacare’s mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional. Some liberal scholars like Jack Balkin of Yale have addressed them with counterarguments of their own. But liberal politicians and Eric Holder’s Justice Department remained clueless about them. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asked whether Obamacare was unconstitutional, could only gasp: “Are you serious? Are you serious?” In March, after the Supreme Court heard extended oral argument on the case, CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin was clearly flabbergasted that a majority of justices seemed to take the case against Obamacare’s constitutionality very seriously indeed. Liberals better informed about the other side’s case might have drafted the legislation in a way to avoid this controversy. But nothing they heard in their cocoon alerted them to the danger. Another case in point is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s law restricting the bargaining powers of public employee unions. The unions and the crowds in Madison, which is both the state capital and a university town and which with surrounding Dane County voted 73 to 26 percent for Barack Obama, egged each other on with cries that this would destroy the working class. No one they knew found this implausible. SEE ‘COCOON’ PG 21

Today, the Supreme Court had an opportunity to put a brake on that hubris. Four justices, led by Justice Kennedy, would have done so. But Chief Justice Roberts joined the four justices who are Exhibit A of the modern hubris, writing for the Court to uphold almost all of this monstrous intrusion on our liberty and on the very theory of the Constitution. And he did so on the flimsiest of rationales for deciding a constitutional question—precedent. If precedent carried the weight Roberts gave it today, we’d still be riding in segregated trains and sending our children to segregated schools. So let’s look a bit more closely at this decision— which, to be clear, will take some time to fully digest. The Court rejected the administration’s main argument for the individual mandate, based on Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce: “The power to regulate commerce presupposes the existence of commercial activity to be regulated.” But that’s a slim victory for those of us who’d argued that “not buying insurance” is not an act of commerce. How often does Congress try to regulate “non-commerce” under its power to regulate interstate commerce? As best anyone could tell, this was the first time Congress had ever tried such an expansion of its power. And because there’s no “commerce,” the Court rejected the parasitic Necessary and Proper Clause argument, too, which affords Congress the means to carry out its other powers. But Robert’s bought the administration’s second fallback argument—that the penalty for not buy-


ing insurance is a tax, even though the

the Constitution seriously.

administration abandoned that argument

But that’s just the problem, isn’t it? As James

during the course of litigation, and even

Madison, the principal author of the Consti-

though calling it a “tax” would seem to im-

tution, Thomas Jefferson, and virtually ev-

plicate the Anti Injunction Act, which would

eryone else at the Founding made clear, the

preclude the Court from even deciding this

power to tax, the first of Congress’s 18 enu-

case until someone was forced to pay the

merated powers, like the power to borrow,

tax, which won’t happen for another couple

Congress’s second enumerated power, was

of years. Yet the Court apparently brushed

designed to enable Congress to obtain the

aside that AIA impediment—talk about law-

funds needed to carry out its other enumer-

lessness—in its rush to uphold ObamaCare.

ated powers or ends. It was not, as Madison

And so there’s your foundation for the deci-

made clear in Federalist 41, and often on the

sion: the individual mandate is constitutional

floor of Congress, an independent power to

based on Congress’s power to tax: Congress

tax for any purpose at all. Search as you will

can “tax” those who don’t buy government

through those 18 enumerated powers and

approved health insurance. Don’t ask what

you will find no power to enact ObamaCare

kind of a “tax” that is! It’s not an income

or anything like it. And please don’t say that

tax. Nor is it a duty, impost, or excise tax,

the taxing power serves the commerce

the only kinds of taxes recognized under

power which in turn authorizes the individ-

the Tax Clause of the Constitution, where

ual mandate, because the Court nixed that

Roberts purports to rest Congress’s power;

second leap today.

and it certainly isn’t “uniform throughout

But all of that was lost in 1937 when the New

the United States,” as is required for those

Deal Court, cowed by Roosevelt’s infamous

taxes. It’s sui generis, which is a polite way

Court-packing threat, suddenly “found”

of saying it’s unconstitutional—if we take

that Congress had an independent power

to tax and spend for the “general welfare,” a power that had escaped the Court’s attention for 150 years. That’s the “precedent” for today’s decision—which, like the precedent itself, turn’s the Constitution on its head, giving us effectively unlimited government. It will fall to Congress, then, to undo this monstrosity, if it can. Under the Constitution, as written, health care would be provided like any other service that’s stayed largely free from government control. But starting with World War II wage-and-price controls and the tax advantages that were given to employer-provided health insurance, it’s been one government intrusion after another and a textbook example of how government can completely mess up what free markets plus voluntary charity can efficiently order while respecting the rights and dignity of people in the process. That’s a vision, the Founders’ vision, that Congress can restore, even if this Court has failed to do its part today. Roger Pilon is vice president for legal affairs at the Cato Institute and director of Cato’s Center for Constitutional Studies. SOURCE: CATO.ORG

$11 Billion in Green Grants Produces Few Jobs, House Report Says BY FRED LUCAS

An Obama administration green jobs grant program that spent $11 billion lacks a verifiable job-counting system and likely created only a fraction of the jobs it claims, according to a staff report by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. While Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the grants “created tens of thousands of jobs,” the government’s own National Renewal Energy Laboratory estimates it created 910 direct jobs. The House report criticized even those numbers, saying: “The job creation numbers that exist for Section 1603 are

based on models, not actual data from completed projects. Neither Treasury nor DOE have turned over actual jobs data on the Section 1603 grants program to the committee.” The program was created through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus. Of the $22.6 billion allocated, just under half has been spent. The rest is set to be spent by the end of fiscal year 2017. The grants have gone to 34,140 projects, with $8.2 billion going for wind projects and another $2 billion going to solar projects. The remaining amount went SEE ‘GREEN JOBS’ PG 21










The Four Lies About the Economy That Obama Needs Voters to Believe BY LARRY ELDER

President Barack Obama’s re-election turns on his ability to convince voters that: 1. Obama inherited a “Great Recession;” 2. Every “independent” economist supported the “stimulus;” 3. “Bipartisan” economists agree that Obama’s stimulus worked; and 4. As actor Morgan Freeman puts it, racist Republicans say, “Screw the country… we’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man outta here”—nothing to do with deeply held policy differences. That’s a lot of merchandise to push.


Take this “Great Recession” business: Remember the “misery index”? The term, popularized by former President Jimmy Carter, used to mean inflation plus unemployment. Unfortunately for John Kerry, by the time he ran for president in 2004, the misery index stood at 7.4 midway into the election year, the same as when George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000. What to do? Change the definition. Kerry invented a new misery index, one that included only high-rising costs like college tuition, health care, and gas prices. Similarly, “bad economic times” used to

More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan’s ‘lost decade’ in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today. mean, above all, high unemployment. Within a year of Obama’s presidency, unemployment climbed to 10.2 percent. Within three years of Reagan’s presidency, unemployment reached 10.8 percent. Under Obama, inflation has been—at least so far—rather modest. Early in Reagan’s presidency, inflation reached 13.5 percent. Rather than describe this era as the “Great-Recession-turned-aroundby-Reagan’s-pro-growth-policies,” many pundits and scribes dismiss this period of extraordinary growth as the “me decade” or the “decade of greed.”


“There is no disagreement,”


“that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jumpstart the economy.” What?! More than 200 economists, including several Nobel laureates, signed on to a full-page ad placed in major newspapers by the libertarian Cato Institute. Eventually, over 130 more economists became signatories to the ad. It read: “With all due respect, Mr. President, that is not true. Notwithstanding reports that all economists are now Keynesians and that we all support a big increase in the burden of government, we the undersigned do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance.” More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan’s ‘lost decade’ in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today. “To improve the economy, policymakers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment and production. Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.” These 350 or so notable economists notwithstanding, Obama later doubled down: “This is what independent economists have said—not politicians, not just people in my administration. Independent experts who do this for a living have said this jobs bill will have a significant effect for our economy and for middle-class families all across America. And what these independent experts have also said is that if we don’t act, the opposite will be true. There will be fewer jobs; there will be weaker growth.”

said then-President-elect Barack Obama, SEE ‘FOUR LIES’ PG 21


‘Meaningful Work’ BY THOMAS SOWELL


“Education” is a word that covers a lot of very different things, from vital, life-saving medical skills to frivolous courses to absolutely counterproductive courses that fill people with a sense of grievance and entitlement, without giving them either the skills to earn a living or a realistic understanding of the world required for a citizen in a free society.

The underlying notion seems to be that it is work whose performance is satisfying or enjoyable in itself. But if that is the only kind of work that people should have to do, how is garbage to be collected, bed pans emptied in hospitals or jobs with lifethreatening dangers to be performed?

The lack of realism among many highly educated people has been demonstrated in many ways. When I saw signs in Yellowstone National Park warning visitors not to get too close to a buffalo, I realized that this was a warning that no illiterate farmer of a bygone century would have needed. No one would have had to tell him not to mess with a huge animal that literally weighs a ton, and can charge at you at 30 miles an hour. No one would have had to tell that illiterate farmer’s daughter not to stand by the side of a highway, trying to hitch a ride with strangers, as too many college girls have done, sometimes with results that ranged all the way up to their death. The dangers that a lack of realism can bring to many educated people are completely overshadowed by the dangers to a whole society created by the unrealistic views of the world promoted in many educational institutions. It was painful, for example, to see an internationally renowned scholar say that what low-income young people needed was “meaningful work.” But this is a notion common among educated elites, regardless of how counterproductive its consequences may be for society at large, and for low-income youngsters especially.

Does anyone imagine that firemen enjoy going into burning homes and buildings to rescue people trapped by the flames? That soldiers going into combat think it is fun? In the real world, many things are done simply because they have to be done, not because doing them brings immediate pleasure to those who do them.

even drenched, in blood—is of little interest to those who mistake wishful thinking for idealism. At the very least, many intellectuals do not want the poor or the young to have to take “menial” jobs. But people who are paying their own money, as distinguished from the taxpayers’ money, for someone to do a job are unlikely to part with hard cash unless that job actually needs doing, whether or not that job is called “menial” by others. People who lack the skills to take on more prestigious jobs can either remain idle and live as parasites on others or take the jobs for which they are currently qualified, and then move up the ladder as they acquire more experience. People who are flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s on New Year’s Day are seldom flipping hamburgers there when Christmas time comes.

Some of our more Utopian intellectuals lament that many people work “just for the money.” Some people take justifiable pride in working to take care of their families, whether or not the work itself is great. Some of our more Utopian intellectuals lament that many people work “just for the money.” They do not like a society where A produces what B wants, simply in order that B will produce what A wants, with money being an intermediary device facilitating such exchanges. Some would apparently prefer a society where all-wise elites would decide what each of us “needs” or “deserves.” The actual history of societies formed on that principle—histories often stained, or

Those relatively few statistics that follow actual flesh-and-blood individuals over time show them moving massively from one income bracket to another over time, starting at the bottom and moving up as they acquire skills and experience. Telling young people that some jobs are “menial” is a huge disservice to them and to the whole society. Subsidizing them in idleness while they wait for “meaningful work” is just asking for trouble, both for them and for all those around them. Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His website is © 2012 CREATORS.COM.




Forest Bathing


Summertime is the perfect time to take a healing walk in the deep woods. A healing walk? Are we talking mushrooms and a very particular leafy green? Nope. It’s a concept called forest bathing—shinrin-yoku, translated from the Japanese. While I can’t report it’s all the rage in cities and towns across disgruntled America, it should be. Forest bathing is a natural therapy for reducing stress. So are rice chips and margaritas for many of us, but with forest bathing comes the extra special bonus feature of boosting your body’s own ability to fight disease and resist infection. Yes, you heard me: There is a growing mound of medical research supporting the ancient and traditional understanding that spending quiet time in the deep woods has healing power. Take it in and soak it up, and, over time, forest bathing will produce positive and quantifiable physiological changes. And besides all that, it just feels so good. Walking through a dense forest. Noticing an ant. Watching a river meander and pool. People have been going into nature to heal since time pretended to begin. Now we’re a few steps closer to understanding why. I was just leafing through my tattered copy of the Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents the other day, and there it was, another study showing that forest walkers



have: lower concentrations of the stress hormone cortisol; lower blood pressure and heart rate; a reduced level of two more stress-related hormones, adrenaline and noradrenalin; and—drum roll, please—an increase in natural killer (NK) cells, helpful in your body’s fight against cancer. City walkers, the scientists said, don’t show these same results. And a casual stroll in the garden won’t do it, either. For stress reduction, forest bathing experts recommend a two- to four-hour

cal researchers and forest organizations since 1984. There are over 30 officially designated forest therapy centers in Japan, “where people enjoy the trails and guided walks and receive free medical check-ups under the trees.” “The resulting increase in NK cells lasted for 30 days,” Spilner reports, “[The researchers] concluded that a monthly walk in the woods could help people maintain a higher level of protective NK activity and perhaps even have a preventive

phytocides, it turns out, also help human’s turn on their own disease-fighting NK— natural-born killer—cells soak in nature, moving at a leisurely pace of two hours to cover about 1.5 miles, or 3 miles over four hours. To protect against cancers, says Qing Li, head researcher, he recommends you regularly spend three days and two nights in a forested area. And how does forest bathing help boost your own healing power? The best theory so far, according to scientists at Japan’s Nippon Medical School and Chiba University, is this: Trees and plants produce organic compounds called phytocides to help protect them from disease, insects and fungus. These compounds escape into the air you breathe when you move through a forest—slowly, quietly, with an open heart and working lungs. And phytocides, it turns out, also help human’s turn on their own disease-fighting NK—naturalborn killer—cells. All this comes from a well-researched article by Maggie Spilner, author of Prevention’s Complete Book of Walking, who reports that the health benefits of forest bathing has been studied by medi-

effect on cancer generation and progression.” If you do decide to head into the deep woods, know that there is a dark side. As your most personal trainer, I must warn you that while forest bathing showers you with vitality, it can also drown you in sorrow. I’m talking ticks. This season, these tiny bloodsucking arachnids are thicker than ever, and the risk of Lyme disease is scary high. So please, selfprotect: Cover your skin in light-colored, comfortable clothing—long pants, long-sleeved shirts, socks tucked into your boots, shirt tucked into your pants. Wear a hat. Check your body carefully for ticks when you come in. If you see one, remove it mindfully. Investigate natural repellents: eucalyptus oil, bay leaves and Neem oil. If you have any suspicious symptoms (e.g. the dreaded bull’s-eye, aching joints, fatigue), see a Lyme-experienced doctor for advice and testing. © 2012 ENERGY EXPRESS, LTD. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM INC.

Marilynn Preston—fitness expert, wellness coach and speaker on healthy lifestyle issues—is the creator of Energy Express, the longest-running syndicated fitness column in the country. She has a website: and welcomes reader questions, which can be sent to



Tome on Cancer Shows the Vast Progress Made BY DR. DAVID LIPSCHITZ

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer is a medical masterpiece written by oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee, a researcher and clinician who describes in Pulitzer Prize-winning detail the history of cancer from its earliest recognition thousands of years ago to the present. There was a widespread belief in the second half of the 20th century that cures for all cancers were a possibility. This occurred thanks to the remarkable ingenuity and bravery of basic scientists and clinicians. The advent of anesthesia made radical surgery to totally remove cancer from the body possible. The discoveries that poisonous compounds were able to kill cancer cells made medical treatment a reality. And while irradiation and excessive X-rays led to death and suffering, appropriate harnessing of this powerful tool created yet another approach to directly target and kill cancer cells. Early efforts at treating leukemia in children and Hodgkin’s disease led to the disappearance of the cancer and eventual cures for some patients. Spurred by these early successes, savvy and astute scientists, entrepreneurs and philanthropists formed the American Cancer Society. The organization used marketing and lobbying skills to increase public awareness of cancer, creating hope that a cure for all cancers was possible and persuading Congress to declare a war on this disease by investing huge sums of money focused on eradicating cancer once and for all. This frontal attack led to great advances in our understanding of cancer and medical treatments. However, this knowledge has come at a price. Many patients suffered greatly when exposed to surgical and medical treatments that were truly brutal and often futile.

For a long time, there was a strong belief that the only way to cure common cancers (lung, colon and breast) was to become even more aggressive therapeutically. More and more drugs were given that led to total destruction of bone marrow, severe infections, bleeding, nausea and numerous other symptoms. Death was prevented by keeping patients in totally sterile environments and by bone marrow transplants that eventually allowed the patient to recover.


uring this time, desperate patients demanded ever more aggressive treatment in the hope for a cure. A whole industry developed around this approach to care, and sadly, the effort was fueled by the rare but unscrupulous clinical scientist who reported amazing results that later turned out to be false. The most egregious was by a South African clinician who falsely reported that aggressive treatment cured most women with widespread breast cancer. For most cancers, this approach failed, but for others (leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma) the benefits are significant. With time, therapies have become more nuanced and less aggressive. They are aimed at not only finding a cure but also at improving the quality and quantity of life. And insights into patient and family suf-

The Emperor of All Maladies Siddhartha Mukherjee

fering—physically and emotionally—have led to a greater understanding of the importance of palliative and end-of-life care that respects the dignity of every patient as his disease becomes terminal. Cancer is not one disease. For a number of tumors, greater understanding of the biology of the disease is leading to new breakthroughs and continued hope that a true cure is just around the corner. For others, treatment remains difficult and progress is slow, but researchers are optimistic that new approaches will be found to improve outcomes for patients. There must be a continued commitment to prevention, such as smoking cessation, improved public health, vaccines to prevent infections that can cause cancer, changes in diet and removal of carcinogenic compounds and pollutants from the environment. And while the exact benefits of early detection are occasionally controversial, the evidence is compelling that screening for the common cancers saves lives.


ecent research indicates that the number of cancers globally will almost double by 2030. Much of the increase is related to the improved economies of many nations, leading to a longer life expectancy and a greater risk of cancer. And the kinds of cancers found in the developing world are becoming more like those found in America, namely lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancer. Based on what we now know, the best strategy to attack this challenge is to strive for better treatments and improved screening and prevention. Dr. David Lipschitz is the author of the book Breaking the Rules of Aging. To find out more about Dr. David Lipschitz and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers, visit More information is available at: © 2012 CREATORS.COM


Avoiding Expensive IRA Mistakes BY TERRY SAVAGE

We’re “out of season” on IRAs. Unlike the tax-time crunch, few people are spending time thinking about their individual retirement accounts. And that makes it the perfect time to remind you how to avoid some expensive IRA mistakes. IRA expert Ed Slott ( says the most costly mistakes you can make with your IRA do not come from investment losses. Instead, they are the taxes and penalties that arise when you make mistakes as a result of your own ignorance—or the wrong advice you might receive at your financial institution. It’s up to you to know the rules. Most people are aware that if you withdraw money from a traditional, taxdeductible IRA before age 59, you are subject not only to ordinary income taxes, but a 10 percent federal tax penalty. That’s designed to keep your savings growing over the years. But these days, many desperate people are taking money out of retirement accounts early. Many are unaware that this is a very costly move. Others decide just to move their accounts to a new financial firm. But depending on how you handle the move, you could also be vulnerable to taxes and penalties. Slott gives examples of the five most common, and costly, IRA mistakes: The rollover rule: A rollover occurs when you move an account from one custodian to another, but instead of having the account transferred directly from custodian to custodian, you take the money in the form of a check, and then open a new account. That’s

considered a rollover. You MUST move the money to a new custodian within 60 days—or it will be treated as a withdrawal, and you’ll pay applicable taxes and a penalty, if you’re under age 59-and-ahalf. And you are allowed only ONE rollover per year. Do a second one, and you’ll pay those taxes and penalties. Solution: Have the money transferred directly from custodian to custodian, without taking a check. You can do unlimited account transfers in a year, but only one rollover. Withdraw from IRA for education: If you will need to withdraw for education, move the 401(k) funds to your IRA (if your plan allows, typically if you’ve lost your job), and withdraw from the IRA to pay education bills penalty-free. The education exception applies only to distributions from IRAs, not from company plans. If you really need the money, and if your company plan allows, you can “borrow” from your 401(k). But if you lose your job and haven’t returned the money, it will count as a withdrawal. Set aside money for taxes on withdrawals: Whether you’re taking cash out early, or making the annual mandatory withdrawals required in the year you reach age 70-and-a-half, set aside the cash to pay the taxes when your next tax return is due. Otherwise, you’ll get caught in a vicious cycle, needing to withdraw more to pay taxes next year. Avoid mandatory withholding: When you do a rollover instead of a direct transfer from a company plan, the custodian of your original account is required to withhold 20 percent for taxes. You can file to get the withholding back next year

if you’ve truly rolled the account into another IRA. But that’s money that won’t be working for you. So, again, do a direct custodian-to-custodian transfer, which requires no withholding. The age 59-and-a-half Rule is specific: Many people think you can withdraw from an IRA penalty-free in the year you reach age 59-and-a-half. Wrong. You must actually be 59-and-a-half to avoid penalties! So count 183 days from your last birthday before taking a withdrawal! And a final bit of IRA advice from Ed Slott, one that could save you a LOT of money in taxes in the future: Consider a Roth IRA conversion NOW! Slott notes that it’s been a universal “rule” not to pay taxes before you must. However, we are facing potentially huge tax increases in the years ahead. If you convert from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, you will owe taxes next April—at this year’s marginal tax rates, which are near the lowest in recent history. Then all future gains will come out tax-free. And there will be no required mandatory withdrawals, so if you don’t actually need the money during your retirement years, it can go to your heirs, who can keep it growing tax-free. Of course, you’ll need money outside your IRA to pay the taxes, or you lose some of the benefits of the conversion. But you’re taking money that is earning only a quarter of a percent to pay taxes that would surely be higher in the future. Not a bad trade. And that’s the Savage Truth. Terry Savage is a registered investment adviser and is on the board of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. She appears weekly on WMAQ-Channel 5’s 4:30 p.m. newscast, and can be reached at © 2012 TERRY SAVAGE PRODUCTIONS DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM







Generation America members have access to exceptional savings

We’re here to help you navigate the best deals. We research and negotiate products and services for members with their best interests in mind. For example, we are not an insurance company masquerading as a member association in order to sell policies and earn a commission. We work for you and not an insurance company. This is why our members have saved hundreds of dollars a year on their home and auto insurance and many other benefits and services.

Generation America is committed to securing the best possible benefits to enhance your life and save you money. We thoroughly research, test, and compare numerous potential benefit partners before deciding which ones bring the best value. We get excited when we secure a high quality, money saving benefit.

1. Comparison based on Individual Plan including participant and spouse; 2. Based on an average transferred balance of $2,200 and an average balance of $2,000 on each card. The two year calculation was conducted to introductory APR offers and balance transfer fees during the first 12 billing cycles then each card’s normal terms for the following 12 billing cycles; 3. Based on a refinance at 2.60% APR; 4. Actual Gen-A exclusive savings with Norwegian Cruise Lines vs. brochure rate.; 5. Source: a no closing cost option refinance at 4.375% (vs. 5.875% original loan)

Learn more:






Save 10% on your room at Motel 6 Or 20% at Red Roof Inn

Save on Alamo, Hertz, and National

ƒƒ Motel 6 offers clean, comfortable rooms with the lowest price of any national chain

At Red Roof, you’ll find: ƒƒ Free Wi-Fi, local and long distance calls ƒƒ Free Coffee Bar ƒƒ Pets stay free!

Learn More

Members: Save 10% on your room at Motel 6 Save 20% on your room at Red Roof Inn

Generation America members receive an up to 20% discount plus exclusive coupons for a Free Day and a One Car Class Upgrade from Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental. Members also get a Discount Savings Card with Hertz.

Learn More

Alamo offer for Generation America members: Save up to 20% and receive exclusive coupons for a Free Day and One Car Class Upgrade.


Save on premium Home and Auto Insurance from Liberty Mutual

Home Insurance Liberty Mutual knows how important your home is. It’s your family headquarters, your sanctuary, and the hub of all activity. A Liberty Mutual homeowners policy protects your home and other structures on your property against a variety of losses. It also covers your personal possessions and helps protect you from personal liability claims. Liberty Mutual also offers: Renter’s Insurance, Condo Insurance, Personal Liability Protection, Flood Insurance, and Identity Fraud Expense Coverage. Car Insurance Convenience and added value are part of every auto policy at Liberty Mutual. Simplify your life with a wide range of car insurance benefits, features, and services designed to help you save money and get you back on the road quickly when you have a breakdown or accident. Liberty Mutual also offers: Motorcycle Insurance and Personal Liability Protection.

Learn More HOME LOANS


“No Closing Cost” loan option with Cornerstone Mortgage

Finance a new car on your terms with BlueHarbor

Cornerstone Mortgage Company offers Generation America members a “No Closing Cost” loan option for your home. No hidden fees or buy down points are added to your loan. You’ll receive excellent service, competitively-priced interest rates and a streamlined home-financing transaction. Cornerstone Mortgage Company offers residential lending services tailor-made for Generation America’s members. We deliver first-class client care during and long after the loan transaction.

Learn More

We will make the process easier for you! Our conciergestyle services will guide you through the process and handle all of the paperwork on your behalf. If you prefer we will work directly with your CPA.

Generation America has selected BlueHarbor to provide you with the most competitive auto loan programs. BlueHarbor team members share Generation America’s mission to provide superior member service. From application through funding, BlueHarbor will assist you with the information and guidance needed to make your auto loan financing experience the best one possible. The best rates. The best terms. The best service. Your best loan option—period.

Learn More

Special Offer for Generation America Members: Get 60 days payment free with your new loan. Ask your BlueHarbor consultant for more information.




Get access to LegalZoom at a discounted rate LegalZoom’s documents are trial-tested and have been accepted by courts and government agencies in all 50 states. Create legal documents in 3 Easy Steps: 1. Complete LegalZoom’s online questionnaire at your own speed; 2. LegalZoom double-checks your answers and takes care of the paperwork; 3. Sign your personalized documents-you’re done!

Generation America members get a 10% discount on all Legal Zoom products including estate planning!

Learn More


Premium care and peace of mind with Best Roadside The Best Roadside service network is made up of prescreened third party service providers that live and work in your area. They have the tools and know-how to provide the service that you need whether it is a flat tire, a dead battery or a tow to a repair facility. With their high mileage towing allowance, you’ll be assured to get the help you need.

6 Service Calls per Year Towing up to 75 miles (per service call) Spouse can be included for no additional cost Jumpstart Service Flat Tire Service

Learn More


And much more...

Save 40% on diagnostic services with Hear PO HearPO is the largest provider of hearing healthcare benefits in the United States. Benefits include: ƒƒ Lowest Price Guarantee ƒƒ Financing Options with up to 12-months NO INTEREST

Additional offer: $50 OFF one hearing aid or $125.00 OFF two hearing aids

ƒƒ 60-day no risk trial period ƒƒ 1 year follow-up care, 3 year warranty, and much more...

Learn More


Lower prices, no gimmicks, choose your carrier Generation America has partnered with Wirefly, the leading online seller of cellular phones and rate plans from Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Wirefly promises: Greater Savings: Prices up to hundreds lower than retail store pricing, with no rebates or pricing gimmicks. Fast, Free FedEx Shipping: Start using your phone sooner. Better Selection: More of the latest cell phones than you’ll find at any retail store; Free Returns: Send it back at no charge, for any reason.

Learn More

Exclusive benefit of a FREE Bluetooth Headset with the activation of every primary line of service.




Members deserve a credit card with better rates, lower fees, and more reward options

Liberty Card

ƒƒ Competitive interest rates starting at 9.99% ƒƒ No annual fee ƒƒ No balance transfer fee ƒƒ Valuable rewards points on common purchases ƒƒ Platinum-level Protection

Join Now: New cardmembers earn 5 times the rewards points on gas purchases!* And single rewards points on all purchases Our new Generation America Liberty Card provides you with a generous rewards program, some of the lowest interest rates in the industry, and all of the consumer protections you need to keep your finances secure. With millions of merchants and ATM machines in over 210 countries and territories worldwide, you can take your card on every adventure. Whether it’s a trip across town or across the globe, we invite you to enjoy the many rewards of the new Generation America ATIRAcredit Rewards MasterCard. *TERMS FOR 5X REWARD POINTS ON GAS PURCHASES: Only new approved cardmembers are eligible for this offer. Qualifying transactions for this offer must be made during the first ninety (90) days after account opening now through 8/31/2012 and must have the required merchant code signifying that the transaction for the purchase of gas at a service center or automated fuel dispenser (merchant numbers: 5541 and 5542). Transactions within other establishments (i.e. supercenters or warehouse clubs) may not apply. We do not evaluate whether merchants correctly identify and bill transactions; however we do reserve the right to determine which transactions qualify for the bonus points offer. Cash Advances and Balance Transfers are not eligible for Reward Points. Each account must remain open, in good standing and not become delinquent. Allow up to two billing cycles for bonus points to post to your account. All purchases are subject to credit approval. Please review all terms and conditions before opening an account.

“The Generation America Liberty Card breaks the cookie-cutter mold and eliminates the fine print paradigm. In comparison to other cards’ 0% interest hype with substantial hidden fees, our Generation America Liberty Card provides a competitive interest rate starting at 9.99% and NO balance transfer fees.” MICHAEL YOUNG FOUNDER, GENERATION AMERICA




described Democrat.



Democrats never tire of trotting out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said his “single most important political goal” was to make Obama “a one-term president.” Horrors! Why, doesn’t this just make McConnell the very personification of sinister! Republican opposition for the sole purpose of bringing down Obama, the first black president, yada, blah, etc.

Zandi likes “maverick” McCain, a Republican who voted against the first George W. Obama surrogate Steve Rat- Bush tax cuts using the same left-wing artner recently said that Obama’s gument about the cuts benefiting the rich. stimulus worked—as confirmed Zandi’s man, summoning his inner Dennis by “bipartisan” economists. As proof, Rat- Kucinich, once said, “I cannot support a tner offered the findings of “bipartisan tax cut in which so many of the benefits economists Mark Zandi and Alan Blinder,” go to the most fortunate among us at the who “agree that … we would have had un- expense of middle-class Americans who Apparently, it is outside the brain capacemployment substantially higher than what most need tax relief.” As to the alleged unanimous expert opinion ity of people like Morgan Freeman to unwe’ve had over the last two years.” on the effectiveness of Obama’s stimulus, derstand something: One way to defeat “Bipartisan”? Stanford economist John Taylor debated bad, leftist Democrats’ policies is to deBlinder, a Democrat, served as a member this on NPR with Zandi. Taylor’s analysis, feat bad, leftist Democrats, who seek to of the Clinton administration and later shared by many other economists: “I just implement those bad, leftist policies. It’s advised presidential candidates Al Gore don’t think there’s any evidence. When you not complicated. and John Kerry. As for Zandi, he did serve look at the numbers, when you see what Nothing personal. as a presidential campaign advisor to happened, when people reacted to the © 2012 LAURENCE A. ELDER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM John McCain. Like Blinder, Zandi is a self- stimulus, it did very little good.” CONTINUED FROM PG 9




to geothermal electricity, biomass, solar, thermal and small wind projects.

(O&M) of these PV [solar photovoltaic] and wind systems are estimated to support between 5,100 and 5,500 direct and indirect jobs per year on an ongoing basis over the 20- to 30-year estimated life of the systems,” the NREL report said. “Similar to the construction phase, the number of jobs directly supporting the O&M of the systems is significantly less than the number of jobs supporting manufacturing and associated supply chains (910 and 4,200–4,600 jobs per year, respectively).”

The unions had an economic motive to oppose the laws and seek to recall first Republican legislators and then Walker himself. The law ended the automatic checkoff of union dues, which operated as an involuntary transfer of money from taxpayers to union leaders.

The report goes on to say, “These indirect jobs account for approximately 4,200– 4,600 jobs per year for the lifetime of the systems. Onsite jobs directly supporting the service and maintenance of systems (as well as the associated management and administration) account for approximately 910 jobs annually for the lifetime of the systems.”

The Madison mob seemed unaware that there were attractive arguments on Walker’s side.

Despite being part of the stimulus act, “job creation is not one of the statutory requirements for eligibility and thus it is not a factor in the consideration process. Because the 1603 program’s primary focus is on domestic renewable energy production, Treasury also does not report on the number of jobs created by the program,” said a March 30 letter to the committee from Richard L. Gregg, fiscal assistant to the secretary of Treasury. During his March 16 testimony to the committee, Chu praised the program. “The Section 1603 tax grant program has created tens of thousands of jobs in industries such as wind and solar by providing up-front incentives to thousands of projects,” Chu said. “The Administration is seeking a one-year extension of this program.”


resident Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget proposal would spend another $4.7 billion from 2012 to 2022. In a report on the grant program published in April, the federal government’s National Renewable Energy Laboratories (NREL) drew a distinction between direct and indirect jobs. Even the estimated 5,500 direct and indirect jobs fell short of Chu’s “tens of thousands” assertion.

Before the stimulus, most renewable energy projects were promoted through tax incentives. The Congressional Research Service reported that the 1603 program “results in revenue losses that are greater than the revenue associated with the previously available tax incentives.” The Joint Committee on Taxation projected “10-year revenue losses resulting from the shift from tax credits to grant payments.”

“The annual operation and maintenance


But voters declined to recall enough Republicans to give Democrats a majority in the Senate, and Walker currently leads Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in polls on the June 5 recall election.

Why should public employee union members pay less for health insurance and get fatter pensions than the taxpayers who pay their salaries? Why is it a bad thing for property taxes to be held down and for school districts to cut perks for union members enough to hire more teachers? Beyond the Madison cocoon, in Wisconsin’s other 71 counties, which voted 55 to 44 percent for Walker in 2010, such arguments are evidently proving persuasive. Maybe liberals should listen to Rush every so often.



AS THE ELEGANT THOROUGHBREDS were brought onto the historic grounds of Keeneland Race Course in the heart of the Bluegrass Region, the well-heeled crowd moved around the paddock oohing and aahing at their beauty and sleek configuration. It’s no secret that Lexington, Kentucky, is considered the horse capital of the world, but these thoroughbreds were of the four-wheeled rather than four-legged variety, and their horsepower came not from flying hoofs, but from mega-powerful engines. BY PATTI NICKELL PHOTO: © DAVE HOWARD/IMDAVE.COM


It wasn’t a black stallion creating a stir but a black Packard with a Lalique hood ornament, not a chestnut filly with a lustrous patrimony but a 2000 canary yellow Alfa Romeo 8C Spider with a limited production. This wasn’t Keeneland’s spring or fall race meet but the Concours d’Elegance, a four-day classic car event held every July on the track’s manicured grounds. When I found out I was going to the Concours and accompanying Tour d’Elegance, a driving tour of the beautiful countryside, my imagination went into overdrive (pun definitely intended). I conjured up images of myself in oversized sunglasses and head scarf à la Grace Kelly in “To Catch a Thief,” taking the twists and turns of a bluegrass back road much as she and Cary Grant had done on the winding stretches of Monaco’s cliff-hugging Grand Corniche. Or maybe I would be the bluegrass version of a Bond girl— sitting beside a dashing British spy in an Aston-Martin while we eluded dangerous criminal types. Throughout my fantasies, the Cary Grants and James Bonds came and went, but the sleek, sexy, speedy car was a constant. When I arrived at Keeneland for the Tour d’Elegance, I found a parking lot that would have sent celebrity car collector Jay Leno into raptures. Which one was mine, I wondered? Was it the silver Porsche or the pearl-gray British Sterling or the bottle-green Jaguar? Whichever one it was, how could I go wrong with the dazzling array of Cobras and Corvettes, Maseratis, Mustangs and Mercedes awaiting their drivers?

WHEN YOU GO: 2012 Keeneland Concours d’Elegance Keeneland Race Course Lexington, KY

JULY 2012

19–22 This year’s four-day event will feature the Packard as the marque car and will include a kick-off party, bourbon tour, silent auction and sports car raffle, Concours d’Elegance and Tour d’Elegance. Prices vary for individual events. If you’re just looking, tickets to the Concours d’Elegance are $15, but if you want to ride, Tour d’Elegance prices are $200 per car (two people, each additional passenger is $75) and includes lunch. Tickets for the personalized bourbon tour are $1,500.

My euphoria was short-lived, however. Instead of being the driver, I found I would be the passenger. I had been trumped by a writer for a car magazine who would be behind the wheel. Making a good show of hiding my disappointment, I chirpily asked him which car was ours—the tomato-red Ferrari or maybe the jet-black Lamborghini? With a sheepish look, he confessed he had registered late and was therefore ineligible for one of the hip roadsters. Our car, it turned out, was a muddy brown sedan of who-knewwhat automotive pedigree. With another sheepish look, he shrugged and said, “Sorry, it’s an airport rental.” Just that fast, I went from being a Bond girl to a soccer mom. Concours d’Elegance literally translated means “a competition of elegance,” and while history tells us the first one may have started as far back as the Romans—who enjoyed showing off the decorative aspects of their chariots and the speed of their

For ticket information, call (859) 422-3329 or visit For more information on Lexington and the Bluegrass Region, go to



horses—it is more generally thought to have originated in 17th-century Paris. The early concours event saw French aristocrats parade through the Bois de Boulogne and the Luxembourg and Tuileries gardens in their handsome carriages on summer weekends, leaving the hoi-polloi slack-jawed with awe and envy.

tators to Keeneland’s Car Club Paddock. As dawn broke, the early morning mist swirled, and dewy beads sparkled on the grass, some 150 of the finest and rarest cars in the world —estimated value in excess of $50 million—accompanied by their enthusiastic owners got ready for their close-ups.

Over the centuries, horsepower replaced horses as luxury car owners began to show off their automobiles—not just to wow the populace, but also to vie for prizes and recognition. In France, the concours reached its zenith during the Roaring ’20s, and no social season on the Côte d’Azur was complete without one.

Buffed and polished until their metal chassis gleamed like satin, the cars received the same intense scrutiny from the judges that a Miss Universe contestant or a Westminster Kennel Club entrant would undergo. At stake were trophies in 18 different categories, each sponsored by a different thoroughbred horse farm.

The U.S. version of the concours continues to attract the admiration of the populace and recognizes luxury car ownership, but it serves a higher purpose, as well. Some 40 such events across the country—from the oldest and most prestigious in Pebble Beach, California, to others in Amelia Island, Florida.; Rochester Hills, Michigan.; and the one in Lexington—allow luxury car owners not only to show

Tom Jones, who along with his wife, Connie, chairs the Concours d’ Elegance, has been a lover of classic cars for as long as he can remember, having attended his first concours in 1975 in Cottage Grove, Ore. He’s amazed at how far the Lexington event has come in nine years. “If you do a Google search on Concours d’Elegance, Pebble Beach is the first one that comes up, which isn’t surprising since it’s

Buffed and polished until their metal chassis gleamed like satin, the cars received the same intense scrutiny from the judges that a Miss Universe contestant or a Westminster Kennel Club entrant would undergo. off their classic models but also to support charitable endeavors. In Lexington the funds generated by ticket sales are earmarked for the Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

been running for more than 50 years,” he said. “After that, Amelia Island is No. 2, and we’re No. 3.”

Since its inception in 2004, the Keeneland Concours d’Elegance has donated profits from the weekend totaling $547,000 to benefit the state’s smallest, most vulnerable patients.

Jones might come across sounding like a proud parent, but Bill Sporele, curator of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, who knows a thing or two about cars, agreed, describing the Lexington event as “the pre-eminent concours in the Midwest.”

While the Sunday Tour d’Elegance had fueled all my fantasies, it is the actual competition held on Saturday of the four-day event that is the main draw, attracting some 5,000 spec-

Part of the reason lies in its exclusivity. Whereas some concours have no particular criteria for participation, Jones and his wife believe in quality over quantity, hence the limited number SEE ‘HORSEPOWER’ PG 26








My daughter Ari was heading to the spa for a well-deserved massage. My son and his wife were engrossed in a heady game of tennis. Nine-year-old granddaughter Becca was happily floating down the hotel’s Lazy River while her 7-year-old sister was designing a tie-dye T-shirt in the kids’ activity center. Meanwhile, I (aka Grandma) cuddled up with 3-year-old Josh and watched his 4-year-old sister slide down and go up and slide down and go up multiple slides in the water park. Thus began our recent intergenerational vacation for 10 in Orlando, Florida, where the kids and adults were all kept affordably busy around the clock. The epicenter of all this activity was Reunion Resort, whose very name exemplifies its greatest attraction—a great place for families to come

together for quality time without breaking the bank. With our three families spread out over two adjacent three-bedroom villas, there was plenty of room for nightly dinners and languid evenings of cards and board games, bedtime stories and actual conversation. Compared to squishing two families of four into two hotel rooms—with another for the grandparents—and without the ability to cook in at mealtimes, the savings is enormous. The service is memorable, too. One night, despite the wellstocked kitchen, we reported a missing bottle opener and it was delivered quickly by housekeeping. We expected that, but when they called a half-hour later to make sure we had received it, we thought that was an impressive show of attention to detail. When I left a wake-up call for 8 a.m., the person on the line asked if I’d like

a 15-minute-later snooze-alarm call. Nobody had ever asked me that before. No doubt the kids would have been perfectly happy to hang out at the water park all day, but more about that later. Our first outing was to WonderWorks—a visual oddity of upside-down windows, trees on their heads and a crumbling facade with cracked columns seemingly in mid-collapse that lets visitors know upfront that they’re in for a bizarre experience. And it doesn’t disappoint. SEE ‘ORLANDO’ PG 26

WHEN YOU GO: REUNION RESORT Three-bedroom villa rates start at $299, depending upon season and accommodations, but be sure to ask for special promotions that are often available.


HORSEPOWER CONTINUED FROM PG 24 of cars in competition. “We will always keep it at around 150 entries, with no cars being allowed to participate more than twice in a five-year period,” he said. That brought up the inevitable question: Of the hundreds of cars that have competed over the years, which was your favorite? With no hesitation, Jones answered, “The Figani Filashi Talbot Lago.” Come again? At my quizzical look, he shot back, “You know, the car in the movie ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit.’” Immediately my fantasies returned. Not Grace Kelly or a Bond girl this time. Instead, I was Jessica Rabbit, in a clingy red satin gown, flashing through the bluegrass in a Figani Filashi. It worked for me. Patti Nickell is the travel writer for the Lexington, Kentucky Herald-Leader. © 2012 CREATORS.COM


if damage is done. And that’s a mere fraction of the numerous rooms on various floors filled with captivating interactive options. Seven-year-old Ellie pronounced it “my favorite place ever.” Did I mention the terrifying 4-D rollercoaster movie? I mostly kept my eyes closed, but 4-year-old Talya wanted to see again and again. The admission was $25 for adults, $20 for children 3 to 12. Old Town was a more conventional outing, though its name is a misnomer. Still, the several blocks of funky shops, restaurants and amusements sufficiently quasi-resemble an old town to make the designation appropriate. There are rides that are appropriate for the 3- to 4-year-old crowd as well as adrenaline rushes for older kids who thrive on roller coasters, ziplines and rope courses. The shops are unusually intriguing in their own right. The outdoor ropes course extended more than 40 feet high with multiple challenging configurations of interlocking planks, wires, steps and bridges, one more difficult to traverse than the other. I couldn’t even watch Ellie as she progressed to the high-


est level, leaving many grown men in her wake. From my perspective, she was walking a tight rope—literally—that spanned

We quickly dispensed with the simulated

20 feet across. With the wind blowing and

hurricane, earthquake and gravity-defying

the rope swaying, Ellie was suspended

demonstrations to get to the really fun

in midair just below the cloud line. Again

stuff. For the little ones that meant the

I had to shut my eyes, but she appeared

making of giant soap bubbles, and for

unfazed. Admission is free; unlimited rides

the older kids it was simulated space

are $25 per person.

shuttles. The men tested the speed of

Then it was on to Legoland. No matter the

their fastball, and the women attempted

age, this is a throwback to childhood that

a mind-control game where the winner

can’t help but elicit a smile on kids and

was determined by the ability to relax.

adults alike. Every sign, giant sculpture

The option to lie on a bed of nails comes

and character is made of Legos. I actually

with the warning that WonderWorks is

started touching the trees just to make

not responsible for clothing replacement

sure they were real.


The many rides and theme areas appeal to every age from 2 to 12. They do have a minimum height requirement of 36 inches, so Josh’s parents spent the night before trying to stretch him to make sure he qualified and he did. While the adults wait in line, there are play areas nearby filled with Legos to keep the kids entertained. Admission is $68 for adults, $60 for children 3 to 12. Meanwhile, back at the Reunion Waterpark, with its multiple pools, and a section of ascending interconnected rope tunnels leading to two winding slides, there’s enough to keep kids of all ages entertained. And if the big bucket on top fills to the point of overflowing, dumping water everywhere—well then, all the better. Adult-oriented activities abound as well. Reunion boasts it is the only place in the world where there are three signature golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson as well as an Annika Sorenstam Academy at which she teaches, plus the aforementioned tennis. After my daughter, daughter-in-law and I emerged from our spa massages, we were offered not the usual juice or tea but champagne—more attention to detail. As our multiday adventure neared its end, I turned to my grandchildren for comment. “I have friends who went to DisneyWorld, but I can’t imagine it could be more fun than Legoland, Old Town and Wonderworks,” enthused Becca, touting our less-costly entertainment options. And as Talya proclaimed at the end of each day we were there: “That was the best day ever.” That makes for the best trip ever for the parents and grandparents, too. Fyllis Hockman is a freelance travel writer. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at © 2012 CREATORS.COM


Generation America July 2012 Newsletter  

News and information from Generation America

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you