Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: A Dea...

In his latest column for The Daily Beast, Mike Barnicle juxtaposes the lives and death sentences of Pfc. John Hart, 20, killed outside Baghdad, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the now convicted and sentenced Boston Marathon bomber. Unfortunately, it will be Tsarnaev’s name in the news over the next few years, when our focus should be on reme...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: When Marilyn Mosby’s Cou...

Writing for The Daily Beast, Mike tells us more about Baltimore prosecutor Marilyn Mosby, who Friday announced that six Baltimore police officers would face felony charges in the death of Freddie Gray. The young lawyer’s own cousin, Diron Spence, was gunned down more than 20 years ago on the street in Boston. Spence and Gray, both y...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: The GOP Clown Show’s Alt...

Writing for The Daily Beast from Nashua, New Hampshire, Mike juxtaposes the priorities of the GOP presidential hopefuls in town for the Republican Leadership Summit with those of some local residents hopeful for a more optimistic future. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/04/19/the-gop-clown-show-s-alternate-reality-in-new-hampshi...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: Why Is The GOP So Angry ...

For The Daily Beast, this Easter Mike ponders why so many Republicans are hopping mad. “The fury of some like Ted Cruz is understandable. It’s fueled by his massive ego and outsized ambition along with his personal belief that he is so smart and the rest of us are so pedestrian that he can manipulate opinion to win the Republican no...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: A Boston Cop Shooting an...

For The Daily Beast, Mike weighs in on the tragic shooting of a decorated Boston Police Department (Official) officer this weekend by a career criminal and how the gunfight is viewed by bystanders, despite the camera that captured it all. “The truth today is that one young police officer, brave and without fear, fights for his life ...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: Watching MLK from Vietna...

In his latest column for The Daily Beast, Mike tells the moving story of one marine who knows all too well the long road President Barack Obama was referring to in his speech yesterday marking the the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/08/watching-mlk-from-vietnam-s-rice-padd...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: How We Know Boehner Does...

From the battle to fund the Department of Homeland Security to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech and the far-right future of the Republican party, Mike Barnicle tries to make sense of the inner turmoil swarming around Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH). “Boehner isn’t crazy. He’s just scared and powerless. He’s frightened [House Rep...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: Rudy Giuliani’s Raging B...

Mike’s latest article for The Daily Beast. He writes about former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his recent self-inflicted knock out. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/22/rudy-giuliani-s-raging-bull.html
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: Kayla Mueller: The Best ...

The 26-year-old aid worker taken by ISIS left Arizona to help a people suffering through civil war. Now, her courage should remind us of all the good we’re still capable of. The 26-year-old aid worker taken by ISIS left Arizona to help a people suffering through civil war. Now, her courage should remind us of all the good we’re still capa...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: What ‘American Sni...

Lost in the right/left debate over the new Clint Eastwood film is how few Americans fought this century’s wars, and how the suffering of their families has often gone unnoticed. During the course of any normal day I usually pay more attention to assembling a grocery list than I do to reading movie reviews, although there are a more than a...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: Meet Cardinal Raymond Bu...

Pope Francis demoted the reactionary Burke, but that hasn’t stopped him popping off about how the Church panders to radical feminism. Cardinal Raymond Burke is a 66-year-old guy who lives in Rome, dresses like Queen Elizabeth, and talks like someone who majored in misogyny at some bogus, backwoods, Bible-banging tent school. Until Pope Fr...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: Extremism Is Our Untreat...

It all started back in November 1979. We couldn’t do much about extremism then, and it seems we can do even less now. By early November 1979, America was exhausted. The ever-shrinking president, Jimmy Carter, had been attacked by a rabbit while running and that July had taken to the television to tell us the country was suffering from a b...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: Mario Cuomo, Always Movi...

His ambition for himself wasn’t great enough (he should have run!), but his ambition for America was as noble as a politician’s could be. I looked up to Mario Cuomo the first time I ever met him. He was standing in the batter’s box at Joe DiMaggio Park in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco on the July morning of the day he was ...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

Mike Barnicle tells the story of the Bedford ...

On Morning Joe, marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, Mike Barnicle tells the story of the Bedford Boys, 19 young soldiers from a small Virginia town who lost their lives in the battle that spelled the beginning of the end for Hitler’s Third Reich.
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: Any Outrage Out There fo...

Will those who protested Eric Garner’s death rush to the side of Rafael Ramos’ two sons, or Wenjian Liu’s widow, married only two months? Now, in New York City, where tourists are often surprised by the relative sense of safety on streets and subways, it is Officer Rafael Ramos, 40 years old, and his partner, Wenjian Liu, 32, who cannot b...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: Dick Cheney’s Creepy Tor...

A new movie and a visit to the 9/11 memorial remind us what’s at stake when America doesn’t live up to its ideals. On a Saturday buffeted by a cold December wind, thousands strolled with somber step through one of New York City’s two historic cathedrals. Outside, hundreds more waited patiently in a long line to enter; once inside, their v...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: Human Moments at the Eri...

The story of a mother, her son, the police who protected them, and the peaceful protest that brought them all together. Alice Domingues came through the big crowd gathered last Wednesday night at New York City’s Columbus Circle, a container of Starbuck’s hot chocolate in her right hand as she held her son Micah’s hand even more firmly wit...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Daily Beast: Freedom From Fear for Dr...

Meet the children at a small Catholic school in Massachusetts who will directly benefit from President Obama’s executive order. So here they were, some of the people Barack Obama was telling the country about Thursday night, seated, smiling, clearly happy, and outfitted splendidly in the first-grade classroom at Lawrence Catholic Academy,...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

For The Atlantic: Postcard From New Hampshire...

Riding around Manchester with Lou D’Allesandro as he rounds up votes and frets over Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s chances against Scott Brown MANCHESTER, N.H.—Here he is in his campaign headquarters, the front seat of his Toyota Camry, driving along downtown Elm Street, past banks reluctant to lend, storefronts somewhat empty, and ...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

‘The Glove’ narrated by Robert Re...

Inspired by an essay by Mike Barnicle. Produced by his sons Nick Barnicle, Colin Barnicle and colleague Jeff Siegel. Narrated by Robert Redford. A winning combination to commemorate the 4th of July holiday only on ESPN.
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

IN A SPECIAL MORNING JOE PROGRAM ON D-DAY: A ...

In a special Morning Joe program on D-Day: A Celebration of Heroes, Mike speaks with 94-year-old veteran Lawrence Brannon from Morristown, TN, whose days have been forever shaped by what happened in Normandy seven decades ago. “It was…hell,” says Brannon. “I lived 1,000 years that day.” Adds Mike: “Those who died in Europe ser...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

MIKE JOINED ESPN RADIO’S THE SPORTING LIFE TO...

Mike joined ESPN Radio’s The Sporting Life to reflect upon the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. “There are going to be a lot of poignant moments at the conclusion of this year’s Marathon. Obviously many people will be thinking about those who died…but more specifically [about] the youngest…of the victims. Martin...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

A Year After Bombings, Boston Comes Back R...

> This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I’m Scott Simon. Boston Strong has become an American phrase over the past year after bombs exploded at the finish line of last year’s Boston Marathon. Three people were killed – Krystle Marie Campbell, who was 29, Lu Lingzi, a graduate student from China, and Martin William Richa...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

The Timeless Beauty of Baseball

Put on a glove, watch a game, and the years fall away, time stands still, and the joy of baseball reminds you again of life’s eternal sweetness. It could be in a bottom bureau drawer beneath some old tee shirts, sweat pants that no longer fit or laundered dress shirts purchased during the first Reagan administration and not worn since the...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

BARNICLE BROTHERS’ ONE FUND CHARITY VID...

By Jason Mastrodonato / MLB.com BOSTON — Brothers Colin and Nick Barnicle have long been in the field of video production, where they’ve found plenty of success and gratification, including “Down the Line,” a behind-the-scenes documentary on Boston’s Fenway Park released in 2011. So when the tragic bombings t...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

IRAQ WAR AT 10

Early Wednesday, the day after the nation paused to remember a war that began exactly a decade ago, the grass and ground in Arlington National Cemetery was still soft as a sponge from the rain that fell Monday evening. As always, it was quiet as a cathedral with the only noise billowing from passenger jets that leaned into the cloudless s...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

A PROMISE TO THE CHILDREN OF NEWTOWN

Now we witness a regiment of the wounded, the survivors, burying a whole company of the young dead in a small New England town filled with a grief that simply cannot be measured. Monday’s dead babies were Jack Pinto and Noah Pozner, both 6 years old. Tuesday’s funerals saw James Mattioli and Jessica Rekos, again, only 6, their small coffi...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

ONE DEATH IN AFGHANISTAN: BEN SKLAVER’S STORY...

Last week, Laura and Gary Sklaver buried their oldest boy, Ben, who was 32 when killed by a suicide bomber in the remote village of Murcheh in the distant land of Afghanistan. Ben was a captain in the U.S. Army. Now he has become one of 804 Americans, 37 from Connecticut, to lose their lives in an expanding war that belongs mostly to the ...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

Tito and Theo – Grantland

Tito Francona is tired. He is sitting at his desk in the manager’s office located at the far end of a small locker room in a ballpark — Fenway Park — approaching its 100th birthday. He is wearing white uniform pants, a red hot-top and black spike-less athletic shoes, a Red Sox cap on his hairless head. And he is staring at a cluster...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

The Afghan War Through a Marine Mother’s Eyes...

Mélida Arredondo, of Roslindale, Mass., center, holds boots worn by her son, Marine Lance Corporal Alexander Arredondo, who was killed in Iraq in 2004, as she joins demonstrators in Boston Dec. 2 in opposition to President Obama’s plan to commit an additional 30,000 troops to the war in Afghanistan. Josh Reynolds / AP Nearly everyth...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

Barnicle on Kennedy: Of Memory and the Sea – ...

Here was Ted Kennedy, 74-year-old son, brother, father, husband, Senator, living history, American legend. He was sitting on a wicker chair on the front porch of the seaside home that held so much of his life within its walls. He was wearing a dark blue blazer and a pale blue shirt. He was tieless and tanned on a spectacular October morni...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

Boston getting used to idea of beating New Yo...

How did this happen? Was there a specific date, a single event that erased the burden of history and allowed the weight of municipal inferiority to be lifted from the shoulders of every fan in New England who has been witness to decades of humiliation delivered by New York teams? Think about it. Saturday, the Patriots play the Giants at e...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

When murder’s not enough; Grim details just w...

  This time, homicide came to a quiet cul-de-sac in a peaceful suburb, apparently driven by a growing wave of debt built on delusion that collapsed into a despair so deranged that the only escape route Neil Entwistle could allegedly think of was to grab a gun and kill his wife and 9-month-old daughter as both slept in a rented home o...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

A Bit of Humor Goes A Long Way – Boston Globe...

BELFAST — It is a balmy, lemon-yellow evening and I am standing outside a large glass and cement structure called Waterfront Hall, completed last year along the River Lagan in Belfast where people have the capacity to loathe a stranger based solely on beliefs or a baptism. Community input here means a funeral or a fire, yet it occurs to m...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

Getting a fix on the real thing – Boston Glob...

  Like most major American cities, Boston is like a layer cake. Some elements are as obvious to the eye as frosting while others remain obscured by simple geography. Yesterday, for example, a gray Monday, if you walked from the Public Garden to Kenmore Square and back along Newbury Street you could easily think the city was filled by...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

Silent Dreams Coming True – Boston Globe

  Hong’s incredible journey began on the day 11 years ago when he sat confined to the dust of his fishing village near Can Tho in Vietnam and suddenly heard someone mention America. Of course, Hong did not actually hear what the person was saying because he has been deaf since birth. But he sure did understand the primitive sign lang...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

Firefighters’ heroic effort in blaze that cla...

“I was driving the chief,” Walter Cobe was saying. “We got there just as Engine 48 pulled up. It was maybe three or four minutes after the alarm was sounded. I jumped out of the car and one of the people standing outside said there was kids still inside so I went right up the ladder.”     Walter Cobe is 5...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

A HERO IS FOREVER

When the old man swung the imaginary bat through the fresh air of a clear, sunlit afternoon, the weight and dust of all the years fell away like marbles toppling off the edge of a three-legged table. Adults clapped. Little kids hung from the rail and sat atop a parent’s shoulder. Some men and women, of a certain age, and with a cert...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

We died for the 4th of July – Boston Globe

  It’s the Fourth of July weekend. A time when much of America marches and sings and stops to do all sorts of different things for all kinds of reasons. Where are you today? At the beach? On the front step? Down the Cape? Up in Vermont? Just sitting around the house hoping the sun will clear that clutter of clouds and provide you wit...
Optimism: America's Most Ignored Asset

The clock takes a holiday at Fenway – Boston ...

  Baseball is a game of memory, and it returns tomorrow to a place where grass has not yet given way to a carpet. It comes home to a green haven filled with reminders of both heartbreak and happiness, a ballyard called Fenway Park where the cargo of past athletic time refuses to yield to sports’ current themes of greed and arrogance....
 
 
Mike Barnicle's Work | News
Optimism: America’s Most Ignored Asset

Mike Barnicle

“Any cause that encourages people to never stop learning, never stop participating in the social/cultural experiment that is these United States of America—I’m for it,” Mike Barnicle told The Berkshire Eagle prior to delivering the annual Mona Sherman Memorial Lecture, presented by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College (OLLI at BCC) in Massachusetts on Friday, May 22.

With his talk, ”Optimism: America’s Most Ignored Asset,” Mike discusses elements of society’s social media obsession and what it does to diminish the collective, institutional memory of who we really are as a nation—as well as what we can do to re-engage on a personal level with each other. This lecture applies Mike’s experience, wit, rich knowledge of national and international affairs, and blunt observations—as displayed in his column for The Daily Beast or during interviews on MSNBC’s Morning Joe—to the fast-changing, often controversial and polarizing social media world we’re all trying to navigate. The news seems as bad as it ever was, but Mike believes we can tackle our challenges as a nation, from social justice issues here at home to ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, with a little more genuine, human interaction and optimism.

“There is no substitute for the natural curiosity and sympathy that comes from really spending time with someone else,” says Mike.

The Mona Sherman Memorial Lecture, was created and named in honor of one of OLLI’s most dynamic members, the late Mona Sherman, who served as President of OLLI’s Board and helped lead its transformation. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College is a year-round membership organization providing compelling educational experiences, including courses, speakers, special events and trips.

For more information about the event, please check out these articles:

Mike Barnicle on the historic handshake between Prince Charles’ and Gerry Adams...

On Morning Joe, Mike Barnicle talks about the historic handshake between Prince Charles’ and Irish republican leader Gerry Adams, accused of being a senior figure for the Irish Republican Army (IRA) when the group killed the Prince’s uncle in 1979. “I’ve been covering Northern Ireland since 1973, and after two of the most shocking assassinations occurred you’d think ‘this is never going to end.’ Gerry Adams has bridged a gap that was unbridgeable 10 or 15 years ago,” says Mike. Listen to the conversation about the conflict known as The Troubles. Only on Morning Joe.

Mike Barnicle and Michael Schmidt on Hillary Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal

On Morning Joe, Mike Barnicle talks with The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt about Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s scrutinized relationship with Sidney Blumenthal, a personal counselor, who advised her on Libya during her time as Secretary of State. “Sidney Blumenthal’s relationship was with whom? Certain people who wanted to do business with Libya as it was imploding? And do we know whether Blumenthal had any business relationship with contractors?,” asks Mike. Listen to Michael Schmidt discuss his latest reporting on the issue. Only on MSNBC.

Mike Barnicle with Gen. Michael Hayden (Ret.) on sending more resources to Iraq

“Ramadi has fallen, Fallujah has fallen, Mosul has fallen, it’s Memorial Day weekend, Section 16 will be crowded with the families of those already lost in Iraq. My question, not just to you, but to the official policy makers in Washington, is: How many more American lives are we willing to risk and lose in saving this false nation?,” Mike Barnicle asks of Gen. Michael Hayden (Ret.), former Director of the NSA and CIA, who suggests sending more resources to Iraq in the fight against ISIS. Listen to the Morning Joe conversation here. Only on MSNBC.

Mike Barnicle with Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates joins MSNBC’s Morning Joe and talks with Mike Barnicle about concerns and the unintended consequences of breaking up Iraq, as some key figures have suggested. “What do you favor now? What would be best now?,” Mike asks Secy. Gates in regard to a new approach toward stabilizing Iraq. Listen to Secy. Gates’ Middle East analysis here.