Posts Tagged ‘President Barack Obama’

Using the News as a Discussion Point in Lectures

In Education, Writing (all kinds) on March 28, 2016 at 3:00 AM

Sometimes for a professor it can be hard to find a way to bridge the gap between the theory of a textbook and the reality that goes on around us. The news is one way to do this.

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Watch President Barack Obama’s Last State of the Union Address January 12, 2016

In Writing (all kinds) on December 26, 2015 at 9:35 PM

Happy Birthday President Obama!

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on August 4, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Happy Birthday from Donna Magazine!

Reducing gun violence in America‏

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Pets, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) on February 21, 2013 at 3:00 AM

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Author profile: James Valitchka

In Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Living, Media Writing, Writing (all kinds) on July 4, 2012 at 3:00 AM
One of James Valitchka's Nine Books is Superheroes Don't Have Dads - Photo Courtesy of

One of James Valitchka’s Nine Books is Superheroes Don’t Have Dads – Photo Courtesy of

Image result for James Valitchka

By Rachel Muenz

James Valitchka’s writing has put him on an ambitious road.

His ninth book, Superheroes Don’t Have Dads 2, is to be released Nov. 3 and focuses on his link to President Barack Obama. Valitchka got to meet and speak with Obama for a few minutes as part of a school trip to Washington on Jan. 19, 2009, the day before the president’s inauguration.

The 14-year-old author says it’s his dream to follow in Obama’s footsteps and become President himself, either that or the Prime Minister of Canada. As a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S., he would be eligible for either position.

That goal might be unrealistic to some, but Valitchka says this is the path he was meant to follow, though he adds he’s intimidated by the challenges he faces at times.

“It is strange because so many people tell me [being Prime Minister or President] is my calling and I feel it sometimes driving in the car with my mom,” he said in an email interview on Oct. 9. “I know that God has a purpose for my life and it’s scary and overwhelming but I have to be obedient.”

Superheroes Don’t Have Dads 2 is the sequel to the book that launched Valitchka’s writing career, Superheroes Don’t Have Dads. Published when he was just eight, that book went on to become a national bestseller and also proved Valitchka as a leader when he went on a tour to encourage literacy and discourage bullying.

Now an established motivational speaker as well as an author, Valitchka has plenty of good advice for young writers. He says his favourite part of writing is the creative aspect and adds writers shouldn’t be afraid of using their imaginations.

“I love escaping from the world as it exists and creating hope, new experiences, better experiences, with a pen or pencil or computer,” says the Appleby College student. “I always tell [other] students, ‘Go for it. Let your imagination run wild!’”

Valitchka says keeping a notebook with them at all times is also very important for young writers to capture that wild imagination.

“When I get the words I can lose them so easily and I don’t remember them later,” says Valitchka, who also runs two organizations that help youth, Stand Up and Speak Out – Voice for Children and Youth and Global Youth United for Success.

For Valitchka, overcoming the fear of sharing those words and finding the time to write are the biggest challenges he faces. But even with schoolwork, sports and hanging out with family and friends he still makes time to write for half an hour each day.

When he gets stuck with his writing, Valitchka says he takes time away from the problem, like he does with any other.

“I take a day off and usually in a quiet time a voice will speak to me and it is so beautiful I have to write it and those are always the best parts of the story,” he says. “When we are still we hear God’s voice and he is the best storyteller in the world.”

Writing in your own voice, no matter what editors or other people might say is also important for young writers, Valitchka adds. But he also points out that, although writing is fun, it’s not something people tend to make money doing.

“You have to be very realistic about a career in writing,” Valitchka says. “It doesn’t pay the bills.”

At the same time, he says staying positive is important, especially for young writers, who often aren’t taken seriously.

“You have to know who you are and believe in yourself and others,” Valitchka says. “When I’m faced with negativity, I say, ‘Nice to meet you, take care’ and I’m gone.”

As far as the writing process goes, the young author says he writes about what he’s experienced but also uses his imagination. He says he both plans and improvises when writing.

“For essays, I use an essay outline,” Valitchka says. “For story writing, I use my heart.”

However, he says he used more structure and planning when writing Superheroes Don’t Have Dads 2 because it is a sequel. He’s also working on another book, Mischievous Maiya, about his four-year-old sister.

Although being a world leader is Valitchka’s long-term career plan, he says he’ll still keep writing even once he’s achieved his goal.

“I will always write because that is how I connect with others and that is very important to me,” says Valitchka. “If God gives me a story, He expects me to do something with it and about it.”

It’s not mine, it belongs to the universe.”

For more information about James Valitchka or to contact him, visit his website For more about Stand Tall and Speak Out, visit

Holiday Greetings from America

In Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Religion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) on December 23, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Image result for Barack Obama and family

Friend —

This time of year, Americans around the country are taking the time to exchange heartfelt messages with friends and loved ones, reflecting on the past year. They write of achievements and setbacks, of births, graduations, promotions, and moves.

These messages allow us to overcome the miles that separate us. And they allow us to continue one of the most basic American traditions that have held folks close for centuries — the simple sharing of stories.

And as families gather around holiday tables this season, we also have the opportunity to share the stories of the change this movement has achieved together.

It is a narrative woven by individuals across America — in big cities and small towns, hospitals, and classrooms, in auto manufacturing plants and auto supply stores.

These are stories of rebuilding, and of innovation. Stories of communities breathing new life into old roads and bridges, of local plants harnessing alternative fuel into new energy. Stories of small businesses getting up, dusting themselves off, and beginning to grow again. Stories of soldiers who served multiple tours of duty in Iraq now coming home — and enjoying the holidays this year in the company of loved ones.

These are stories of progress.

They unite us, and they are ours to share.

We’ve pulled many of them together in one place, PROGRESS. You can see what our reforms have meant to Americans in every state — block by block, community by community.

Click here to read about stories of progress in your area — and share them with your friends and family.

The reforms that we fought long and hard for are not talking points.

And their effects don’t change based on the whims of politicians in Washington. They are achievements that have a real and meaningful impact on the lives of Americans around the country. They are achievements that would not have been possible without you. PROGRESS localizes them — and brings them to life.

It tells of how a green technology business in Phoenix, Arizona, is using a grant from the Recovery Act’s Transportation Electrification program to bring the first electric-drive vehicles and charging stations to cities around the country.

It tells how, thanks to closing the “donut hole” in prescription drug coverage, a diabetic woman in Burlington, Vermont will no longer have to choose between purchasing her monthly groceries or the insulin she needs to survive.

It tells about how 136,000 Pennsylvania residents’ jobs were saved or created by the Recovery Act.

And about how, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 22,900 small businesses in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District are now eligible for health care tax credits — and how 17,500 residents in Idaho’s 1st with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage.

There are thousands of more stories like these.

In the coming days, as we gather with our loved ones at dinner tables around the nation, let’s pass them on. Let’s celebrate the spirit of service and responsibility that brought them to fruition. And let’s steady us with the resolve to continue pressing forward.

Because the coming year will hold new challenges — battles that have yet to be fought, and stories of progress that have yet to be written.

Take a look at the progress we’ve made in your area — and share the stories you read with your friends and family:

Happy holidays and God bless,


P.S. — Last week, seven OFA volunteers joined me at the White House for a special meeting — and they brought along your feedback from the Vote 2010 campaign. It was incredibly meaningful for me to be able to hear directly from supporters like you. And your input will be front and center as we plot our course moving forward into the new year. Please take a couple minutes to check out some photos and stories from the meeting.

U.S.A. and Russia

In Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, travel, Writing (all kinds) on April 22, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Alina Smirnova Writes about U.S.A. and Russia – Photo Courtesy of

Alina Smirnova - April 22, 2010

By Alina Smirnova

U.S. President Barack Obama warns of rising nuclear terrorist attack.

At a summit in Washington, Obama told world leaders the risk of a nuclear attack is increasing.

He urged world leaders to act, and not just talk, in order to prevent the acquisition of the weapons by the wrong hands, BBC reports.

Forty-seven nations are present at the summit, excluding representatives from North Korea and Iran, who were not invited because of disputes over their nuclear programs, BBC reports.

Obama said that by the end of the summit, there will be concrete action plans to make the world safer.

Convincing nations of the dangers won’t be a challenge, the Globe and Mail report, but convincing leaders to open their secret and sensitive sites to outside scrutiny so that all materials could be tracked will be harder.

The summit will end on April 13 and is part of Obama’s ambitious goal to make the world free of nuclear weapons, one that he admits he may not see within his lifetime.

According to the Globe and Mail, the immediate goals are tracking, accounting for and repossessing warhead-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium.

Before the beginning of the summit, Canada and Ukraine both pledged to eliminate their stockpiles of enriched uranium, which could be used in the construction of a weapon.

Last week, U.S. and Russia signed a treaty to reduce the number of their nuclear weapons by a third.


Barack Obama and Health Reform

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on March 30, 2010 at 5:07 AM

Patrycja Klucznik Writes about Barack Obama and Health Reform – Photo Courtesy of

Patrycja Klucznik - March 30, 2010

Online Story #7
Patrycja Klucznik
March 23, 2010

Barack Obama’s presidency has been marked by yet another historical venture, as of March 22. The new healthcare reform bill, which is seen as a milestone for American administration, was passed on Sunday and includes lowering the cost of healthcare for small business and families that were previously unable to afford coverage. It proposes to provide health care for over 30 million citizens who are uninsured and avoiding discrimination by insurance companies to Americans previously deemed uninsurable because of existing health problems.

The bill was passed by a 219-212 vote, and been debated on for over a year. The Republican Party, which has been explicitly against the legislation, did not offer a single vote.

Controversy is brewing in at least 10 states, which plan to file a lawsuit claiming that the new bill goes against state sovereignty by forcing the state to provide some kind of healthcare insurance for every citizen.

In the meantime, the mood on Capitol Hill is that of excitement and relief. A CBS poll found that 29 percent of Americans believe that the bill will ameliorate the system. Only time will tell at this point. Regardless, Obama’s administration will be sure to go down in the history books as being the change he had promised.


Sign Up! and Happy Holidays!

In Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Living, Media Writing, Music, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) on December 23, 2009 at 4:29 AM

iPod - December 14, 2009

I discovered something that can make you feel like a star.

I was on the computer last night, just after finishing a conversation with a friend and client of mine I am doing editing for her first book. I popped into my computer a CD that I borrowed from the Toronto Public Library. The CD was a Michael Bublé one with the song “Come Fly With Me” on it.On the CD, Michael Bublé offers his fans the opportunity to sign up to his mailing list. At first, I declined. Then I thought how cool it would be to receive an email from Mr. Bublé. I popped back in the CD and signed up. Sure enough, there was an automated response with the name of Michael Bublé in my inbox.

As the CD was burning, I then thought about doing this for other singers I admire. I set up one for Madonna, Janet Jackson, India Arie, and Seal. I tried to set up one for Jill Scott and Maxwell, however, I could not see where this option was available online.

If you ever wanted to feel like a star and have some fun doing so at the same time – this is an extremely cost-effective way to do it. I also went on Barack Obama’s website and received a personal greeting from the President of the United States too.

Even with all of these special gadgets such as email from celebrities to make anyone feel special around the holiday season, I must say it has been the warm phone calls with the promise of making new friends, the touching cards from extraordinary people and the thoughts and kind words from students, colleagues and family of good wishes for the holidays that really touches my heart more.

Merry Christmas everyone, Happy Holidays and do have a Splendid New Year!

US President Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

In Beauty, Culture, Education, Environment, Events, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, travel, Writing (all kinds) on October 9, 2009 at 6:23 AM
President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize - Photo Courtesy of Google

President Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize – Photo Courtesy of Google

Obama Nobel - October 9, 2009

CBC reports that US President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009. His leadership in international affairs and aiming to bring peace to troubled regions are counted as reasons for this prestigious award.

Congratulations President Obama.

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