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!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Humble Pie

Almost without fail, every time I listen to This American Life, I promise myself I need to listen to them all.

This one, on self-improvement made me feel so good about the annual struggle to blog more, drink less and be patient with myself. The Peace Pilgrim was a book that once inspired me with its simplicity and power. I never struck out on the journey myself, but thoroughly enjoyed the story from Daryl Watson.

NPR had run a story on her on January 1, so it was great to be reminded of her vision twice in the same month.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Coming Together (in the Right Direction)

Going back over five years, I recall my cynicism in thinking that companies making bad stuff were getting away from the impacts of their products. It's still a world of corporate green washing, but today on NPR I was pleased to seem one advocate tried to change PepsiCo. from the inside, which I support, and...look at this infomercial by Coca-Cola! They are talking about obesity and being more transparent in the contents of their product.

More than ever, I appreciate that challenge of seeing PepsiCo. as more than a one-headed monster trying to make you have as many Fritos as possible, but rather a place with many heads, some unwilling to change, but others trying to understand how you can innovate, diversify and keep business going.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

New Fish Fighter

I have really enjoyed Hugh's Fish Fight. I meant to watch the videos last year as one of my New Year's resolutions, so better late than never. Eager to explore The River Cottage Fish Book. I learned to skin fish tonight and must learn to cook more mackerel and sardines.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vote Obama!

I can't listen anymore. It's seems like a numbing cacophony of stats from both sides that imply the other side is lying or telling half truths.

But I still woke up this morning and sent of my vote, which I trust might sway the results in the swing state of Vermont.

I didn't need convincing -- I have found the Romney/Fox News/Republican/Ayn Rand view of the world narrow, self-centered, short-term and historically unfounded. I got my problems with Obama and politicians and the way the world is moving, but I see the clear differences.

It makes my stomach twist up with nervousness that garbage like Obama's America: 2016 was advertising on the NYT Five Thirty Eight blog last week, just as the polls are to close. Some really helpful comparisons on a "Who's Who" on Obama's founding fathers!? This film panders to the very worst stereotypes and distortions. While there are many moral equivalency arguments to have about left and right wing "art", this is out of bounds for dishonesty and divisiveness. (Obama's thoughts on the film.) That the film is advertising on Five Thirty Eight and soliciting more tax-deductible donations!!! to spew shit before the election points right at the heart of what's wrong with money in politics. Thank goodness we have had Stephen Colbert mocking and educating us on the role of Super PACs.

Cutting through the loads of lies and counter lies and lies about lies, The New Yorker is comprehensive in its analysis to justify why Obama should get another four years. Read all the reasons, since they all matter, but don't miss the conclusion:
The reĆ«lection of Barack Obama is a matter of great urgency. Not only are we in broad agreement with his policy directions; we also see in him what is absent in Mitt Romney—a first-rate political temperament and a deep sense of fairness and integrity. A two-term Obama Administration will leave an enduringly positive imprint on political life. It will bolster the ideal of good governance and a social vision that tempers individualism with a concern for community. Every Presidential election involves a contest over the idea of America. Obama’s America—one that progresses, however falteringly, toward social justice, tolerance, and equality—represents the future that this country deserves.
Or the New York Times or the Salt Lake Tribune... Yes, you knew how these publications would "vote", but the rationale and reasons -- dare we risk saying we value such talents in writing? -- hold together and make sense and are consistent with what we see happening in the world. And they show the contrast in this election, as well as why voting is a matter of great urgency.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

More Informed Debate On 2012 Election, Please!

Listening to the Romney/Ryan opening speech was a warning to me about what is ahead. Values, principles and character... blah, blah, blah. My main question is whether the rest of the world has anything to do with the US or is it just some island that will rise or fall as a result of the moral convictions of the president?

In contrast to what I expect from both campaigns' upcoming talking points, I dream of really having an long discussion about the economy. I think any debate over the economy should take place only after the electorate listens to the Terry Gross of NPR's Fresh Air in her interview with David Wessel, the economics editor of The Wall Street Journal. Why can't all interviews be this informative? Best to listen to the whole interview. The "interview highlights" are not sufficient.

That was a rally and not a policy speech, for sure, but aside from blaming Obama for the economy and praise for Romney's faith and character (in contrast to a lack of both in Obama?), I don't see any other strategy developing.