Monday, July 30, 2007

In the news...

A few of the top headlines in major American media sources in the past week:

--Michael Vick, star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, being under investigation for involvement in a dog-fighting ring.
--Lindsey Lohan, a sought after young actress, getting arrested for the second time in two months for DUI.
--The proceeds from OJ Simpson's "confession" book have been handed over to the Goldman family by a federal bankruptcy court.
--The Tour de France being seriously marred by a serries of dropouts and kickouts because of doping by major competitors
--"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" sells 8.3 million copies in the US on its first day of all time record.

Other things happening in the world that somehow we don't know about:

--Flooding in China leaves 650 people dead and destroy 450,000 homes, affecting some 119 million people.
--The British Army leaves Northern Ireland after 38 years, showing the progress of the peace process.
--1/3 of Iraqi's are in need of immediate emergency assistance, according to Oxfam.
--In a Lord of War-esque fashion, the US agrees to dealing 60 billion worth of arms to Israel and a handful of key Arab allies in the Middle East.

Before I get lost in a tangent on that last article (I'll save it for another post), this is a piece of the picture of why we never really do much/care much in America. It's hard to care when you don't know.

What ways do you combat ignorance when reading the news? I've made it a goal to...
-Read the news regularly. Even if it's discouraging, it's important to be informed.
-Use a variety of sources. My top three are (which is the weakest of the three on covering world news), the BBC, and Google news (which is well designed in you can thoroughly customize it so it has more world news stories, or a section on news about AIDS or slavery or whatever justice issue you most want to pursue).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

justice at work in Boston

so a couple weeks ago I was hanging out with 7th graders in North Carolina, and now I'm in Boston with 8th graders. The Boston Metro did a nifty little article outlining a bit of what our trip is about...take a look.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


As a follow up to the last post, Renee Montagne was kind enough to interview John Edwards on NPR's Morning Edition and ask him some of the questions we were considering here. (I didn't realize my readership had expanded so handily ; )

Take a look here for an online version. You can either read or listen to it at the link.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Poverty and Politics

John Edwards has built his presidential campaign on the issue of poverty, publishing books (Ending Poverty in America), centering speeches around the issue as far back as June 2006, making it a main push on his website (, and this week launching three-day whirlwind "Road to One America" tour to "help end poverty in America."

While giving more attention to this issue than any of the other candidates, Edwards has created his own controversy through extravagant spending (whether on haircuts or houses), causing some to question whether the elimination poverty is really his passion or just politics. CNN presented an interesting article on their website yesterday, taking a closer look at his campaign trail this week.

So how do we mix politics and poverty? How do you justify spending millions of dollars on a national preliminary campaign that at the end will lead to an even more expensive national campaign, while famillies are struggling to make it by on several thousand dollars for a year? And what does it mean to "end poverty in 30 years" as Edwards aims to do? I am intrigued by his story, by his passions, by his personality, but am also hesitant.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

enacting some Justice in North Carolina...

sorry i haven't been posting...i'm busy working with 45 7th graders in North Carolina, putting in a septic system for some folks that could really use it. i'll be back and ready to attack probably early next week. and i've had a lot of thoughts i've been mulling over, so i'm looking forward to getting some stuff up on here...

Friday, July 6, 2007

veritas forum

I've heard of the veritas forum before. Malone College, the school I graduated from a few years back (and stay actively involved with as a member of the CCO), held a similar sort of idea, except we called them World View Forums. The basic gist was gathering a few experts of varying world views and having them explore their divergent opinions together, venturing through a variety of topics. During my time at Malone, we looked at just war & pacifism (something I hope to explore on this blog sooner or later), Buddhism, sexuality, Hinduism, Judaism, materialism, and more.

Anyway, I stumbled across the Veritas Forum the other day, thanks to my friend Scott Calgaro (yeah, the bio is rather, umm, short, but that austere look ought to convince you of his importance), and found that they have a fantastic collection of their discussions that you can view or listen to online. AND a number of them deal with social justice issues. AND, even better, they have them nicely catalogued so that you can see all the ones associated with this particular topic. AND, finally, because I'm so kind, I've included the link here for your enjoyment. So...enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2007


Thanks to the relentess promotion of a handful of tireless workers (like those who put together Invisible Children, or Don Cheadle and his new book on the topic), Sudan is starting to be a topic that more people are aware of.

On a side note, one of the reasons why I don't think Sudan got a lot of press early on was because most of us have no idea where it is. We assume it's just some small African country, so we don't give it a second thought, not realizing that first of all, size doesn't matter (and neither does location), and even if it did, Sudan's actually 200,000 + square miles larger than Alaska.


Here's a great resource I stumbled across the other day (can't remember how, now), that gives a great, interactive explanation of the crisis in Sudan. Take a look when you have some time...

Washington Post Special Report