Monday, August 10, 2015

Russian Reflection

I've always been supportive and appreciative of the open society notion. Even if one is critical of the means used by Mr. Soros -- and I know many people can be -- the notion that people have access to information, travel and experience new places is a means to a better end, I have to believe. This is so different than other media outlets that use the pretty slogans, but then just try to drown out the opposition.

This video, Out Commitment to an Open Society in Russia, is a nice chance to hear from people who have been working on the principles of open society long before it was cool. I can't imagine these organisations not working in the CIS or Russia.


Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Re-writing History -- Kenya and Beyond

This Radio Lab story on the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya and British response is gripping. It seems like Radio Lab was a bit late getting the story since the importance of Hanslope Park, where the documents were stored, was discussed years ago.  But it appears from this article in Feb. 2014 that it will be a while before anyone learns much more...
Since its existence was quietly made public in 2012, the FCO has twice had to seek a special 12-month dispensation from the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, while it decides how much of the archive to declassify. The department announced in December that it will spend six years assessing 60,000 files from the archive, kept at Hanslope Park, near Milton Keynes and classified as "high priority".
The Radio Lab programme has an interesting section on why these documents were saved. Apparently, one idea is that Edward Snowden-esque people opposed the wrongs they witnesses and wanted to save the evidence in hope that the world would eventually find out.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

No Proof

Further to my post about having a numb mind, here is the response to a report that claims there are chemicals typically found in fracking fluid that have been found in drinking wells.
The industry criticized the new study, saying that it provided no proof that the chemical came from a nearby well.
The full title of the article, Fracking Chemicals Detected in Pennsylvania Drinking Water, as well as the contents make me realise that you can't form an opinion on these matters by reading the newspaper.

But to the point, why is the only industry response to say "no proof". Why not something on well integrity or what they do to ensure well integrity?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Numb Mind

I often think blogging and thinking out loud is something I want to do more. Then I log on to twitter and feel this thumping noise of shouting. It's people just trying to tell me what's right, who's stupid, who's a hypocrite. Does Exxon Hate My Children? Should I get my divestment placard? Or is the evil Bill McKibben trying to get me to sit in a dark cave, breaking up with a female avatar of oil?

What the fuck is the Environmental Policy Alliance?

Doubt is Their Product. Been on my shelf for months after I read A Valuable Reputation in the New Yorker. Might postpone that urge to engage with twitter for some actual reading and thinking.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Irresponsible Fox News

Look, opinions vary.

But when I watch this, I shudder at a) the plain idiocy of Fox News and b) that their follow on, an interview with Nigel Farage, is even worse. These clips, painful to watch, and take real political issues, tell small and selective parts of very big and complex stories with the seeming intention of pouring fuel on the fire of fear and hatred.

We sleep in our own bed and that bed is a polarised and and hate-filled place.

Is this apology real on the original comment from Steve Emerson? I only find mention of the story on the Fox New Latino site.

But Mr. Farage pushes on...

#FoxNewsFacts

Update: Here is another version of the apology on a website linked to Emerson.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Power of Reconciliation

Such an amazing story and project about perpetrators and victims from the Rwandan genocide.


See all the photos and stories here.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

In Support of Gap Yahs

Of course, of course, the author is correct, Gap Yah volunteering can be bad, but it can be great too. As with most things in life and social change, it depends on how you do it.

Credit to my cousin-in-law and his colleagues for what I think is one of coolest ideas through Global Citizen Year. It is what I think Peace Corps should emphasise more.
Each year, we recruit and train a diverse corps of high-potential graduating seniors and support them through a bridge year of service learning and leadership training in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Through a world-class training and individual apprenticeships, our Fellows develop the skills and perspectives they need to succeed in college, careers, and a global economy.
The emphasis on service learning and training is exactly what the BBC viewpoint is asking for. I keep believing we need to send them all abroad. Wish Global Citizen Year was around when I was 18!

And if you missed it...one of my favs -- Gap Yah!